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"I'm sure you've heard the stories. The tales. The legends. Do try to contain your fear. Would be a shame if terror dulled this extraordinary event. After all, it's not every day you meet... Dracula."
―Dracula[src]

Count Dracula was a famous and powerful vampire. Possessing abilities uncommon to vampires, he sold his story and became a huge celebrity in both demon and human society, but was considered by many to be a myth. Both an enemy and ally to the Scooby Gang, Dracula maintained a rivalry with the Slayer, Buffy Summers, and an unusual friendship with Xander Harris. His celebrity status was such that the Scoobies were all starstruck to meet him, and flattered that he had to confront them.

Biography

Rise to Fame

"I'll tell you what. That glory hound's done more harm to vampires than any Slayer. His story gets out and suddenly everybody knows how to kill us."
Spike about Dracula[src]

Dracula was the historical Vlad Ţepeş.[3] He claimed to have killed more people than God's plagues combined before he was ever a vampire,[4] and made reference to impaling people in times past, such as those who failed to show him deference, for example.[3]

He met and "hung out" with Anyanka, a vengeance demon and Patron Saint of Scorned Women when she was about 700 years old. Anyanka had cursed a man by making him incredibly obese and Dracula complimented her by saying that the man was doomed forever.[1] In the 19th century, Dracula's story was published in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, which caused concern among the vampire community, who labeled him a sell-out for making their vulnerabilities public knowledge to humans. He also formed a rivalry with the vampire, Spike, at least partially over a debt of eleven pounds, though Spike later claimed that Dracula "forgot all about his foes" because of his increasing fame from both the novel bearing his name and its various adaptations.[1]

Battle with Buffy Summers

"I have searched the world over for you. I have yearned for you. For a creature whose darkness rivals my own."
―Dracula to Buffy[src]
BuffyvsDracula

Dracula with Buffy Summers.

In 2000, Dracula came to Sunnydale, a Californian town which lay on a Hellmouth and was home to Buffy Summers. He had heard the stories about the world-famous Slayer and wanted to meet her himself. Introducing himself to the starstruck "Scooby Gang", Dracula hypnotized Buffy's friend Xander Harris into becoming his servant and later seduced Buffy into letting him bite her whilst in her bed. Xander eventually led Buffy to Dracula's castle on the outskirts of Sunnydale, where she tried to take control and kill him, but once again fell victim to his "thrall". Dracula forced to feed of his blood, however, this caused Buffy to regain her senses and she proceeded to battle the vampire and successfully staking him. Upon her apparent departure, Dracula tried to reform from mist, but Buffy reappeared and staked him a second time, telling him she was wise to his tricks, having seen his movies. When he again tried to reform, she reminded him that she was still there and would just stake him again if he came back. Finally accepting that the Slayer was truly a worthy adversary, Dracula left Sunnydale.[1]

Mid-life Crisis

"The world cycles... each generation must negate the generation before it. Overstay your welcome, and you'll become a tall tale for children. Fodder for terrible films and television serials. All because you committed the one cardinal sin — you aged."
―Dracula[src]
Dracula (or gandalf)

Dracula, feeling old and withered

Some time after the destruction of Sunnydale, a lonely Dracula kidnapped Xander and put him under his thrall for a second time. Discovering Xander's location, Buffy arrived at Dracula's castle and demanded her friend be returned to her, brushing off his attempts to frighten her. While fighting Buffy, Dracula lamented how he had become a joke and warned Buffy that she too would become antiquated one day. Buffy simply ridiculed Dracula for his "mid-life crisis". He eventually agreed to release his "manservant" from his trance, but not before bidding him an emotional goodbye and genuinely thanking Xander for the time they spend together.[5]

In Tokyo

"I loathe Buffy Summers, her whole army makes me want to retch, and I'd just as soon see them wiped off the map once and for all. However, nobody steals from Dracula"
―Dracula[src]
Dracula03

Dracula greets Xander

A band of vampires possessing abilities similar to Dracula's executed a raid on the Slayer headquarters in Scotland, successfully stealing Buffy's Scythe. With no other leads, Xander and Renee were dispatched to seek Dracula's aid. Unbeknowst to them, Dracula continued to deal with his crisis by drowning his sorrows in alcohol, having even lost his lust to kill. However, the sight of the approaching Xander led him to shave and take on a younger appearance.[6]

After meeting with Xander again, Dracula pretended he led a pleasurable existance with aid of his new manservant, Butterfield, while not hiding his disgust for Renee, whom he referred to as "moor". After a while, Dracula revealed that, while intoxicated, he had lost the secret of his more-than-vampire powers in a bet with a group of Japanese vampires, wagered against a Kawasaki 21000 motorcycle. Outraged with both himself and his opponents, Dracula agreed to assist in the assault on Tokyo, despite his hatred of Buffy and the Slayers in general, in order to get revenge on the vampires who stole his powers.[7]

"Those filthy yellow swine!"
―Dracula on Toru and his cohorts[src]

Upon arriving in Scotland, Dracula aided Willow Rosenberg in preparing a spell to counter the magical plans of Toru, leader of the Japanese vampires. Toru sought to undo Willow's spell from years before, and remove the powers of the Slayer from the masses of girls that now composed Buffy's army.[8]

Dracula fought in the battle in Tokyo, killing many of Toru's underlings, and providing a magical sword that was able to unmake the vampire's spell before it was completed. Dracula's Sword was enchanted by demons and was likened to the Slayer Scythe. Willow used the Sword to remove the mystical powers that the vampires possessed. Toru himself was even bested by Dracula, but the killing blow was given to Xander, who struck Toru down to avenge the death of Renee. After scattering Renee's ashes, Xander told the departing Dracula that he was no longer the vampire's servant and would kill him if he ever called him one again.[4]

Dracula returned to his castle in Transylvania, but kept writing letters to Xander, even though he never received a response.[3]

In San Francisco

"We have seen that as new laws of magic are created, they are written in the book. Might words written in the book not then become the new laws of magic?"
―Dracula[src]
Draculasanfran

Being pampered by his fans.

Following the End of Magic and the subsequent creation of the new Seed of Wonder, the newly sired vampires displayed the power to shapeshift into giant bats, wolves, night panthers, bees and mist. Though realizing they did not get these powers through stealing them from Dracula like the Japanese vampires did, the Scoobies figured Dracula might be able to tell them how these powers worked.[9] Xander and Dawn traveled to Transylvania, where Dracula and Butterfield made up stories about the incredible life they were living in Xander's absence. Hearing of vampires whose powers might outshine his own, Dracula agreed to come to San Francisco to investigate.[3]

After a confrontation with several new vampires, the Scoobies plus Dracula returned to Xander's apartment. Upon learning that the blank pages of the Vampyr book were slowly being filled as new rules of magic were created, Dracula theorized the reverse might also be true: writing in the Vampyr book might establish new rules of magic. He sent Buffy and Willow to capture one of the new vampires to investigate how their powers worked, but this was a only a ruse to remove them from the apartment. Xander fell back under Dracula's thrall and the two managed to flee with the Vampyr book.[3]

Inside room 303 of the Hotel Luxe Dracula had Xander write various statements about him in the Vampyr book, first restoring his body to its younger form, then making him be recognized as lord of all vampires by all beings. Vampires quickly started showing up to the room, and while some indeed came to worship him, others intended to kill him to become the new lord of vampires themselves. To prevent anyone from being able to harm him, Xander wrote in the book that "Dracula became the most powerful vampire of all". This, however, caused Dracula to transform into the Old One Maloker, whose body was destroyed but whose essence lived on, using the vague description to come back into being.[10]

"You must... kill me. Decapitation... Then burn the head and body separately. It is the only way."
―Dracula[src]
Draloker

Dracula, in the process of transforming into Maloker, pleads with Buffy to kill him

The Scooby Gang attempted to battle the massive Old One on the streets of San Francisco, with Dracula's hold over Xander weakening as his persona was being overwritten by Maloker's. Willow used magic to turn Dawn into a giant and had a priest bless the Redwood Investment Group building, after which Dawn staked Maloker by pushing him onto it. Maloker turned to dust, but as Dracula was able to come back from being staked he reassembled and was found back in his original, human form.

DraculaMistsOut

Dracula bids Xander farewell once more.

However, he immediately started transforming again and pleaded with the Scoobies to kill him, but Xander interrupted Buffy's attempt to do so. Writing into into the Vampyr book that Dracula was able to overcome Maloker using his willpower immediately returned Dracula to normal. In addition, Xander wrote that everyone Dracula had power over found themselves free. Xander promised they could still hang out as long as it was as normal people. Warning to be careful with the Vampyr book, Dracula turned to mist and disappeared to return to Transylvania.[11]

Magic Council

Dracula was appointed as a member of the third Magic Council following the demise of the previous members at the hands of D'Hoffryn, and the death of D'Hoffryn himself. When Dracula arrived at the Plaza Inn to attend the August meeting, he was greeted by Lilah Morgan of Wolfram & Hart who hoped to offer legal advice and lobby services. Dracula rejected her offer, as he didn't trust lawyers.

Personality

"My boy... I was never an ordinary vampire. Or did you forget what I used to be? I've killed more men than God's plagues combined. And that was before I started eating people for fun. The fields of Europe used to steam with the blood of my enemies. Trust me... the vampire's the least of your concerns. It's the old man you need to worry about."
―Dracula[src]
Buffy vs Dracula

Personality-wise, Dracula was similar to a vain celebrity; he was deeply convinced of his own superiority and highly aware of his world-wide fame. Spike described him as both a "poncy sod" and a "glory hound".[1] He enjoyed living a life of luxury,[1] not being one for remaining "low profile".[10] Charismatic and handsome, Dracula often inspired fear and respect from those around him, becoming visibly annoyed if they were not impressed.[5]

However, his pretensions hid his true feelings of loneliness; according to Xander he lied to everyone, including himself.[3] He also came to resent his status as a pop culture icon rather than a true and feared figure of evil,[5] referring to Stoker's novel as "a bodice-ripping hackwork for repressed Victorian matrons", and telling Andrew Wells to remind him to urinate on Stoker's grave.[3]

Because of his advanced age and origins in landlocked central Europe, Dracula had an idiosyncratic and often bigoted view of race. He never addressed Renee directly, instead conveying messages through Xander to his "moor". He also referred to a group of Japanese vampires as "filthy yellow swine" on more than one occasion.[12]

Dracula appeared to adorn many common stereotypes about vampires. Like Drusilla, Dracula wore archaic clothing such as capes and other traditional garments that represented 15th century aristocracy. Dracula enjoyed living in large castles and mansions, and even slept in a coffin. [3]

​Appearance

DraculaTrueForm

Dracula's true appearance.

Dracula appeared to others as a tall, young Caucasian man with an athletic build and long dark hair. His striking features along with his fame made him very attractive to the point that Willow, a lesbian, even admitted to finding him "sexy". However, this handsome demeanour was merely an illusion cast by his hypnotic powers.

Dracula was actually a wrinkled old man with white hair. Xander described him having "wrinkles and age spots everywhere. Deep crow's-feet. The nose of an alcoholic sea captain" with full-body rosacea​.

Since vampires did not physically age, its likely that he was sired at an old age (or possibly could be a result of his shapeshifting powers). When Dracula got into the possession of the Slayer Handbook, he had Xander restore his body "its bloom of youth, vigor and comeliness."

Powers and Abilities

Riley: "He's not just a regular vampire. He has special powers, right?"
Spike: "Nothing but showy Gypsy stuff."
— Riley and Spike[src]
  • Andrew Wells explaining Dracula's powers
  • Dracula decapitates a vampire.
  • Dracula using hypnosis
  • Dracula turning into mist
  • As a wolf
  • As a panther
  • As a swarm of bees
  • As a bat

Besides the regular powers of vampires, Dracula possessed a number of magical abilities. According to Spike, these powers were nothing but "showy Gypsy stuff". Dracula explained his powers were part of "the ancient magics". He said he risked his very soul to attain them and that he was their worldy guardian.[7] However, he later revealed that the spells were actually mere window dressing, intended to strengthen his power of will, and that he gained his powers literally by willing it to be so. Nevertheless, it took him decades to achieve them.[3]

Because of his advanced age, Dracula possessed greater strength than most vampires and demonstrated this when he easily decapitated new vampires with a swift blow and by choking them hard enough (new vampires were much stronger than normal ones).[10] He also was proficient in sword-fighting.[4]

Additionally, according to Willow, Dracula could read people's minds and project himself in others' dreams based on the research she did on the Internet, though none of these powers were demonstrated.[1]

Shapeshifting: Using magic, Dracula was able to transform into various nocturnal animals such as bats, wolves, and panthers. He could also assume the form of a swarm of bees or a cloud of mist which allowed him to easily dodge attacks.[5] His shapeshifting powers were limited to nighttime, as he could not change shape during the day.[3]

Reconstitution: If Dracula were ever staked, he would seemingly die as he turned to dust, but only before appearing as a cloud of mist and reconstituting himself. The only way to permanently kill him was to decapitate him and burn the head and body separately.[11]

Hypnosis: Dracula's main power was his hypnotism. He could use these powers to put people under his "thrall". This power could be activated at will without the need of physical contact, or even gaining the victim's concentration like Drusilla did, simply by commanding his victim immediately to do it. With it, he could reduce Xander into a Renfield-like state, making Xander refer to him as his master, dedicated to pleasing him in order to become a vampire himself, turn against his friends, eat insects and spiders and even change his mannerisms and posture into something resembling an Igor. His influence on Buffy didn't totally remove her free mind, but made her willing and submissive, if not hesitant. This stopped when she drank his blood, the shock of its taste (which she described as 'gross') bringing her back to her senses. Dracula has said his ability to put people under his thrall would only work on people who were weak-minded or (secretly) wanted it,[3] which was backed up by Giles, who said his victims needed to want to be taken.[1] He also used his hypnotism to make people see him as his younger self, rather than his true, old form.[10]

Magic: He demonstrated proficiency in magic, given the fact that he imparted knowledge on how to perform Carolina's Grasp to Willow.[12]

Razor-sharp fingernails: Like Darla and Drusilla, Dracula seemed to possess very sharp fingernails which allowed him to slit a person's throat[10] and slit his own wrist in order to let Buffy taste his blood.[1]

Lightning sensory: He was able to sense when lightning was about to strike, which he used for dramatic effect.[3]

Relationships

  • The Three Sisters — A trio of female vampires who lived with Dracula in his Transylvanian castle and joined Dracula when he traveled to Sunnydale. Although presumably loyal to Dracula, they also attempted to seduce Rupert Giles[1] and dress Xander up like a "bobby".[5] Dracula referred to them as "the harpies".
  • Anyanka — Anya told the Scooby Gang that she and Dracula "hung out a few times" back in her demon days. She claimed "He's pretty cool. You know, from a whole... evil thing perspective." Dracula was impressed with Anyanka's work as a vengeance demon, and Anya thought his compliments were "really sweet". However, she doubted he would remember her anymore, as she was "just a silly young thing. I mean, like seven hundred or so."[1]
  • Buffy Summers — Dracula was enamored with the infamous Slayer, viewing her as his equal. According to Willow Rosenberg, Dracula liked to make a connection with his victims before he sired them. Describing her as "magnificent", he seduced Buffy into letting him bite her in her bed. Buffy was initially starstruck by the vampire, and rather flattered that he held her in such regard. Nevertheless, when she broke free of his thrall, she ridiculed him for his clichéd routines and defeated him relatively easily.[1] When next they met, Buffy was distinctly unimpressed by Dracula, mocking him for his attempts to intimidate her.[5]
  • Xander Harris — When first they met, Dracula was confused by Xander, referring to him as "strange and off-putting". Xander, like Buffy, mocked Dracula and was not particularly frightened of him, even challenging him to a fight. Dracula effortlessly put him under his thrall, turning him into a loyal servant with a compulsion to eat insects. When the spell was broken, Xander expressed anger at being reduced to a "spider-eating man bitch".[1] Dracula seemed to miss Xander, as he later went to the effort of putting him under his thrall once more, apparently for no other reason than to offer himself company. The two spent an unknown part of a year together, with Xander showing Dracula how to ride a motorcycle and other activities. When Buffy tried to rescue her friend, the brainwashed Xander remained loyal to his "master", slapping Buffy in an pathetic attempt to repel her. Realizing he belonged back with the Scoobies, Dracula reluctantly told Xander to leave, but thanked him for his company.[5] At their next meeting Dracula displayed unmistakable affection for Xander. Dracula protected him immediately after Renee was killed, offered him the coup de grâce after disabling the vampire who killed her, and even offered, in a friendly manner, to "assist" Xander in his private funeral for Renee.[12] When Dracula came to San Francisco to help investigate the powers of the Evolved Vampires, he once again put Xander under his thrall. Xander showed complete loyalty to his "master", attacking his friends and stealing the Vampyr book before fleeing with the vampire. When Dracula started transforming into the Old One Maloker he urged the others to kill him, telling Xander it would mean a great deal to him if he would be the one to put an end to it. Xander was able to reverse the transformation and also freed everyone Dracula had power over. Dracula assumed he and Xander would not see each other again now that his thrall over him was broken, but Xander promised they could still hang out as long as it was as normal people. Referring to each other as 'Xander' and 'buddy' instead of 'manservant' and 'master' the two parted on friendly terms.[13]
  • Joyce Summers — Joyce allowed Dracula to pick her up and have coffee together, later inviting him back to her house. It was left unclear if anything else occurred between them.[1]

Gallery

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