Thursday, 24 June 2010

Character Connection: Lestat de Lioncourt

This is a wonderful meme hosted by Jen at The Introverted Reader. Every week, you share one literary character that you love with your fellow bloggers. You talk about the character, say why you love them and hope that everyone else will love them too.;) Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

MY CHARACTER THIS WEEK: Lestat de Lioncourt

The vampire Lestat appears in several of Anne Rice’s novels, and is the narrator of five books in The Vampire Chronicles. He first appears in Interview with the Vampire. He is the narrator of The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the Body-Thief, Memnoch the Devil and The Blood Canticle.

I love Lestat’s character. In my eyes, he is the best vampire character that has been created and he is quite unique. He’s such a specific character that I think it would be hard to re-create him. It’s easier to re-create Louis, his brooding, melancholy fledgling, but Lestat is pretty much unique, I believe. He is a complex character.

He was born in the 1760s as the seventh son of a French marquis. His quest to find meaning in life lead him to Paris, where he was turned into a vampire, pretty much against his will. On that night, he learned for the first time that vampires existed and before he could fully realise the truth, he was already one of them. And so, Lestat’s immortal journey began. I will not say much about his history. He has a very rich history and I would hate to spoil anything for you, in case you’re interested in reading The Vampire Chronicles.

Lestat is a very beautiful man/vampire. He is known for his beautiful blond hair that sometimes appears fluorescent under lightning. His eyes are grey, but their colour adapts according to Lestat’s surroundings and his orbs can become blue or violet. He is well shaped, beautiful and is the centre of attention many times.

Lestat is known as the Brat Prince amongst the vampire population and he is very fond of this soubriquet. He is very enthusiastic, bold and defiant. If you tell him not to do something, he will not listen to you. He does what he wants to do. He is a fashionista and is not a stranger to vanity. He likes to perform, first as an actor and then as the lead singer of a rock band, which many vampires do not approve of. He was illiterate as a human, but as a vampire he learned to read, write, play the piano and the violin. He is very fond of literature and although he appears to be a flamboyant and flippant young man, he can go very deep with his mind and ask philosophical questions and ponder on them.

He is a very charismatic vampire, but despite his charismatic, daring and flamboyant nature, he is a loner in his core. He persistently tries to find meaning in his existence. He is close to a few vampires. With some he shares love and friendship, with some he has this strange love-hate relationship. He is bisexual and in my opinion, he falls in love often, pretty much in every novel. He has interesting, but meaningful reasons for loving someone, be it a vampire or a human. I guess that although he enjoys being a loner, he still needs some contact and bonds with other vampires, as well as humans. In fact, as a vampire he realises that he loves the human race more as a vampire than he did as a human. At one point, he yearns for humanity again, for the human experience, and when he gets it, he realises how much he actually loves being a vampire and how he would never return back to the mortal coil. Lestat really is a complex individual. But that’s what I like about him. He doesn’t moan about his existence as a vampire. He loves being a vampire and although he experiences moments of depression, he would not change himself in any way.

Despite being a vampire and enjoying human blood and the hunting (he makes a game of hunting), he is also pretty generous and is able of altruism. He helps several humans throughout the course of the series.

He is labelled as an anti-hero and I agree. In fact, I personally would label him as a Byronic hero. He has all the qualities of a Byronic hero; he fits the profile perfectly. Anne Rice really created an amazing character when she created Lestat. Nowadays, it seems that vampires are either completely bad or are brooding, almost human characters. Lestat is neither. Lestat is pretty much everything you can think of and in the end, he is simply Lestat.


Introverted Jen said...

Oooh, great description of Lestat! I recall disliking/mistrusting him in Interview With the Vampire, but then adoring him in the rest of the books. He's not perfect by any means, but he's always fun to read about. You just never know what he's going to get up to next. Great choice!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Thanks, Jen!

Jan von Harz said...

Great character analysis. It has be a long time since I read any of Rice's books, but from what I can remember you did an excellent job describing Lestat.

Claire said...

I have Interview with the Vampire to read - can't wait now!!

Sullivan McPig said...

Great choice, although I myself liked Armand better (in the first two books atleast)

Daria Hlazatova said...

i enjoyed this! great post and description - i shouldn't even read the book now ) love the vampires!

The Readings of a Busy Mom said...

i have to admit Lestat is the best and his characters suit him so well

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Wonderful! He has been and always will be my favorite vampire. Wasn't saddened by the movie version...but I will always love Lestat.

Nishant said...

It has be a long time since I read any of Rice's books, but from what I can remember you did an excellent job describing Lestat.
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