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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Dracula from the Dracul novel by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker. For the character from the original novel, see: Count Dracula (Bram Stoker).

I am looking forward to meeting you, Bram.
~ Count Dracula to Bram Stoker.

In the 2018 authorized prequel by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker named Dracul, Count Dracula is referred as Dracul (mainly due to the characters' ignorance about him) for most of the novel and serves as the titular main antagonist. Of course, he is primarily based in Bram Stoker's Count Dracula and presumably some unfinished drafts that Stoker kept from the character that never made it into the original classic.

History

Long ago, Count Dracula traveled to Ireland in search of the vampire Dolingen von Gratz in order to make her his new wife. He found Dolingen with a knife through her heart, her head crushed and buried beside her beloved's house. Enraged by the man's action against her, Dracula considered killing him but immediately decided against that once he came to the conclution that Dolingen would prefer to kill that man herself.

The Count then took Dolingen's undead corpse to Castle Dracula in Transylvania where he fed her with rabbit's blood after taking the knife off her heart. The reanimated Dolingen demanded Dracula to know where she was, and after he responded, she was utterly horrified and desired to return to Ireland with her beloved. Annoyed, Dracula pointed out that her "beloved" was the one who drove a knife through her heart, stating afterwards that mortals are not expected to comprehend the immortals such as her or himself. Dolingen however, was having none of it and once again demanded to return home, stating that her beloved Deaglan had only driven a knife through her heart to free her tortured soul. Dracula then attempts several times to make advances on Dolingen by giving her elaborate Transylvanian dresses and jewels, but Dolingen refuses them all. Slightly annoyed, Dracula resorts to threaten the life of two twelve year old servants, urging her to choose who to drain (stating that her place is with her kind) or he would consume them both. Since Dolingen refused to kill either of them, Dracula drains one of the servants and drags Dolingen to a dungeon. There, he kept her locked and threw her a woman for her to feed upon. While Dolingen initially didn't want to kill the woman, she committed suicide and forced Dolingen to drink her blood because if she didn't, then Dracula would kill another one of her children.

Becoming increasingly frustrated by Dolingen's constant refusal of his advances over her and her constant demands to return home, after keeping her locked in his Castle for several years, Dracula decides to travel to Ireland once more to look for Dolingen's beloved, Deaglan O'Cuiv. Once in Ireland, Dracula finds the now-married man and kidnaps him to bring him to Transylvania, draining him and feeding him his vampiric blood on the way back. This is done to point that, once they are in Transylvania, Deaglan looks several times older than he actually is. A weeping Dolingen pleads Dracula not to harm Deaglan but the Count only answers that she brought that onto herself. With that, he turns Deaglan into a vampire and commands his gypsies to tear apart his body by tying him to four horses and then making them run in four distinct directions. After that, Dracula removes Deaglan's beating heart and places it in a small box not long before removing his family ring and placing it in one of Deaglan's hands.

In 1801, Dolingen managed to escape Castle Dracula, stealing his maps and embarking on a quest to restore her beloved by searching for all his pieces across all Europe. Enraged, Dracula murdered all his servants in the Castle and began to plot his revenge against Dolingen for leaving him: he traveled to a village that he has slaughtered long ago (which was populated by vampires under his command) and built a mausoleum which read "Countess Dolingen von Gratz seeked out and found death 1801" and "the dead travel fast" which was ment to imprison her as punishment for leaving him.

In 1854, the Count travelled to Ireland and murdered the O'Cuiv family, Deaglan's descendants, in order to force Dolingen out of hiding. However, Dolingen arrived after the crime scene and managed to vampirize the last surviving members of the family. Roughly at that time, Dracula learned that Dolingen was disguising herself as a nanny to the Stoker family by the name of "Ellen Crone" and that she had begun to feed the sickly boy named Bram Stoker with her blood to avoid the sickness to take root because Ellen had come to love the boy as her own child. One night, both Bram and his sister Matilda had suspicions about Ellen and followed her to Castle Artane. There, aided by Bram's night vision and psychic connection to her, they followed her tracks to a swamp, where they were able to see her in elderly form (because of refraining from drinking blood) and jumping to the water. While they were about to conclude that no human being was able to survive being underwater for too long, they were suddenly attacked by a swarm of dragonflies. When, in panic, they began to run from where they came, Bram caught a glimpse of a hand coming out of the water and grabbing a dragonfly, then banishing. Later that night, they were both somehow brought back to their respective rooms. While Matilda was asleep, Bram awoke and saw a pair of red eyes in the dark looking directly at him. The beast then fell from the ceiling on top of him and whispered in his ear "sleep my child" with Ellen's voice, making Bram fall asleep as the beast bit him in the arm. Determined to find out what is really going on, they decided to return to the Castle but all they could find was Ellen's coffin full of earth and the hand of Deaglan O'Cuiv that had Dracula's ring. The next day, Ellen left the Stokers knowing that if she stayed then they were in danger from Dracula's wrath but kept visiting Bram in secret to sustain him with her blood.

By 1868, Dracula continued his plans for revenge by targeting Thornley Stoker's wife, Emily. He attacked her night after night and eventually drove her insane by draining her and feeding her his blood in order to use her as bait to draw Ellen out of hiding. Thornley eventually made contact with his brothers Bram and Matilda, and together, they contacted the expert in the occult, Arminius Vambéry. He deduced by the markings of the ring that Bram found in Ellen's coffin when he was a child, that the ring belonged to the Dracul family. Vambéry then explained that the Draculs were ancient and practiced a forbidden form of dark magic named "Scholomance" taught by the devil in the Carpathain Mountains where he would take teach ten students and take the tenth for himself. The Dracul family used Scholomance to fend off the Turk armies centuries ago, with the tenth Dracul student being taken by the devil himself. That man was to forever renounce God and Heaven in exchange for becoming a "god among men", learning the darkest magic and with it, creating the evil of undeath. Later that night, they witnessed Dracula sneaking into the house to bite Emily, to which they were able to determine the source of her insanity. When the Count saw them, he immediately turned into a swarm of bees and relentlessly attacked them. However, they barely hold him off by praying together and force him out the house.

Vambéry later called a seer to tell them where Ellen was headed. While he got interrupted many times, when Emily came and touched the seer, he screamed "Whitby" before Emily let go of him and, much to Thornley's despair, jumped out of the window to go to meet Dracula, her new master. Using Bram's link to Ellen and, subsequently Ellen's to Dracula, they realized that Ellen must be in Whitby but Dracula is chasing her. Following Bram's link, they ended up in Whitby's Abbey where they encounter Ellen with her vampiric childer Patick and Maggie O'Cuiv. Ellen then shows her past memories with Dracula to Bram which causes them both to cry. She explains that she is guarding Deaglan's body and that if they can kill Dracula and then placing Deaglan's heart in his body at the same time when she is pouring her blood in his body, then Deaglan would finally be free from Dracula. However, the missing piece, the heart, is in a place called the Village of the Dead near Munich, which is filled with Dracula's vampires. While they are talking, they suddenly realize that night has fallen and that Dracula might be searching for them. Concluding that it is too dangerous for them to stay all together in one place (as Dracula can easily best three vampires, let alone mortals), their best chance would be to hide separately in the populated areas of Whitby as he cannot enter a place without gaining an invitation, while someone should stay and take care of Deaglan's body. Ellen then points out to Bram telepathically that Dracula can see, smell and hear through Deaglan's body, so they cannot say the specifics of their plans out loud if Deaglan wakes up behind the door. Out of fear that the vampire may pass through small cracks turning into mist, Vambéry orders Ellen, Maggie and Patrick to exist and fills the room with crucifixes, mirrors and puts a rose in front of the door However once Ellen, Maggie and Patrick left the room, the door where Deaglan O'Cuiv's body was sealed began to shake and Bram felt that something spoke to him through telepathy. When Vambéry aproached the door, he suddenly fell to the ground sweating. He then robotically stood up straight and spoke to Bram using his lips but not uttering a word, speaking only in the latter's mind: "Ah, yes of course you are here". After that, Vambéry fell to the ground. Patrick quickly returned (only to the stairs, as he couldn't enter the room) when he heard the noise but Bram told him to take Vambéry away and declared that he would be protected from Dracula in that room. Reluctantly, Patrick complies, taking an unconciouss Vambéry with him and leaving Bram to fend for himself for the rest of the night.

The night is long, with Bram being on the verge of falling asleep numerous times, and Dracula speaking in his head though Deaglan's body sealed behind the door. Dracula resorts to many threats and manipulations, such as: the promise that he would tear him apart if he does not open the door using a genderless voice, the statement that he loves both him and Matilda using Ellen's voice and, when Bram shoots with his rifle, resorts to begging not to hurt him using both his mother's and Matilda's voice, before rebuking him for the way he is treating his own "mother" using his father's voice. He also recounts many events of Bram's past childhood he learned through Ellen using the latter's voice and, interestingly, assures him that the creature who's hand came out of the water that night to catch a dragonfly, could make all his pains go away if he let that creature bite him. Bram was tired but as the night was about to end, Dracula finally appeared. When Bram looked to the window, he could see the vampire standing in a hill staring at the Abbey with Emily by his side and a pack of wolves surrounding them. Touching the ground with both hands, Dracula spawns thousands of snakes out of the woods surrounding the Abbey and with an unseen force, they all begin to crawl towards the tower where Bram is located. In panic, Bram tries to close the window but Dracula casts a spell and the window disintegrates into dust in Bram's fingers. The Count then points with intent at the tower, causing it to shake and Bram's mirrors begin to fall to the ground as the rose in front of the door starts to deteriorate and the door where the body is shakes ever more violently. When the snakes enter the room, Bram is now forced to defend himself with his knife and as he is about to get overpowered, he notices that the snakes suddenly banish. With relief, he notices by the ringing of the bells that his life was saved by the coming of the dawn. Bram's group later arrive to fin a very weak Bram in the floor of the Abbey and they all help him to go out of that place so that he could finally get some much-needed sleep. The rest open the door and grab Deaglan's coffin to later load it on the boat.

They all eventually leave for Munich by boat and later by train, with the vampires kept in their coffins. Once they arrive to the Village of the Dead, they notice that Dracula has arrived before them as the whole place is filled with his gypsies. After looking around, they find a tomb with the "Stoker" name on it and decide to dig it. Once dug, Emily is found inside screaming and under her the heart of Deaglan O'Cuiv is finally found. Once night falls, they all reunite in a house, where Ellen restores Deaglan but the latter is still weak because of the lack of living blood. Outside, Dracula grows impatient and threatens to burn the whole building to the ground by conjuring a massive electrical storm and urges Ellen to keep her end of the bargain, to not expect things to go her way this time. She reluctantly goes outside with Bram and all the undead break ranks for them to pass. Dracula then leads them to the white mausoleum he had prepared for his vengeance. There he commands Ellen to enter the mausoleum but not before stating that she will learn to love him in time. A horrified Bram asks Dracula why does he cause her so much pain if he supposedly loves her so much, to which Dracula responds that he loves her more than any mortal can but she must be punished for her actions, before stating that without Ellen's blood, Bram's sickness would return and in time he would die. Dracula would allow him to live his life as he pleases until the sickness takes him, and then he would return and turn Bram into one of the undead. An instant later, Dracula's eyes turn red and he turns to directly look upon Bram's to tell him "sleep my child". Bram later wakes up in a hotel with his brother, with his sister and his brother's vampirized wife unharmed.

20 years later, Bram Stoker is contacted by Mina Harker because of their mutual enemy. When she questions him about the Count's location, Bram tells her to come the next day. However, Bram does not go to meet Mina that day and instead readies his sharp stake, declaring that he would personally travel to Transylvania to hunt down Dracula.

Appearance

Dracula's appearance through the novel is described very faithfully to his original incarnation. Like in the original, here he is extremely tall, has an aquiline nose, black long hair, sharp and elongated canines, and a small black beard. Unlike in the original, however, Dracula retains his youthful appearance for the whole book and never grows old or is in need to rejuvenate himself by drinking blood. This may be so because he doesn't appear as much as in the original, so every time that he presumably grows old or rejuvenates, it is not directly shown or described to the reader. Also unlike the novel, where he dresses all in black with no trace of other color in his suit, here he has the iconic black cape with red in the inside.

Personality

Their motives remain a mystery, but one thing is clear: they will leave a trail of death in their wake and they do not hold human life in higher esteem than we do the life of a fly.
~ Arminius Vambéry.
I have learned much about you from Ellen. She holds you in very high esteem. Your sister too. And your brother. What an ingenious family. I can smell her blood in your veins, her sweet blood. I cannot wait to taste it, Bram. In all these years, do you realize that I never fed on your Nanny Ellen? I never had her blood on my lips. And know that it will not be for long before I taste not only hers, but also yours ...
~ Dracula taunting Bram.

Similarly to the novel, Dracula is a very calm and collected individual who speaks eloquently and uses respectful manners. However, it becomes evident that this is clearly just a façade to hide his true self; that of a monstrous, bloodthirsty predator devoid of all humanity. He has deeply misanthropic views as he compares mortals to annoying flies and states that they are both sustenance for vampires and a plague upon the world. Dracula also employs manipulation and extortion to get what he wants, whether that is buying Dolingen pretty dresses to get her to love him, or threatening to murder children for the same goal. He shows a sense of pragmatism in that he only made the deal to let Deaglan O'Cuiv march free because he knew that, being one of his progeny, he could control him at any time and either way he would turn Bram into a vampire in the end and Dolingen would end up imprisoned and tortured under his watch, so his revenge would be complete. Dracula also suffers from a severe god-complex as he identifies Dolingen's rejection of him as a "sin" and claims that he will "forgive her sins" in time after she faces her proper punishment and comes to love him.

Dracula also has a delusional sense of entitlement as when he tries to manipulate Ellen into thinking that she was being hostile towards him for demanding to return home when he "only showed her nothing but love and kindness", when in actuality he kidnapped her against her will and keeps her locked in his Castle. He also displays a great sense of self-importance, complaining that Ellen has not asked his name, only for her to refuse to ask and causing him to get enraged or annoyed to the point of threatening a child's life. He is also completely obsessed with Ellen and the depths of his obsession go to the extreme that he is not only willing to travel from Transylvania to Ireland twice just because she was there but to: keep her prisoner in his Castle, expect to instantly get her affections after kidnapping her, threaten his own servant's lives because she rejects his advances, kidnap Deaglan O'Cuiv and mutilate him as "punishment", kill all his servants in a fit of rage because Ellen escaped his castle and formulate an elaborate but twisted plan for revenge in where she would end up in a fate worse than death and her adoptive son would be turned into one of his vampires.

Powers and Abilities

It is believed that the strongest among them can take any form, be it a bat, a wolf, a swirling mist and even a human being. They can appear young, old or any age in between. Some can manipulate the elements, cause fog, storms, thunder.
~ Arminius Vambéry

Dracula is by far the most powerful character in the Dracul novel as not only does he possess all the standard abilities of a vampire, but also has Scholomance at his command, allowing him to cast dreadful spells on his opponents.

Powers

  • Immortality: Arminius Vambéry assures that Dracul is the Voivode Dracula and, as a vampire, he cannot die from old age.
  • Superhuman Strength: According to Vambéry, the vampire possesses the strength of twenty men.
  • Superhuman speed: When Thornley Stoker tries to run away from him, Dracula closes distance between them without even running.
  • Wall-crawling: He states that he likes climbing down the walls of his Castle.
  • Superior Senses: Vambéry states that vampires see in the night as clear as a human would in the day.
  • Partial invulnerability: Like all vampires, Dracula cannot be harmed by conventional means and ordinary bullets would pass right through him without any harm being made. Even if his heart were to be pierced by a knife or his body torn apart, this would only render him inactive but his corpse would still be undead and if any of his underlings were to reform his body and feed him with blood, then he would return.
  • Transformation: He can assume many shapes such as bats, wolves, bees or an intangible mist.
  • Control of beasts: Vambéry claims that the vampire has control of the creatures of the night such as wolves, bats, rats and other kinds of beasts.
  • Hypnosis: He easily put Thornley into a trance to force him to tell him what he wanted to know, and also drove Emily to utter insanity.
  • Telepathy: Dracula can communicate mentally to mortals and vampires alike.
  • Psychic Powers: Dracula creates a psychic link to any vampire he sires and uses it to exert his will over them and even see, smell and hear through them as if they were extensions of himself. It is also implied that, being the one responsible for bringing the curse of undeath to the world in the first place, every vampire in existence traces their origins back to him and thus shares a psychic link with him, even the ones that he has not sired (such as Ellen).
  • Shadow manipulation: Dracula is able to project shadows if there is enough light to create one.
  • Elemental Manipulation: Dracula has the incredible ability to manipulate the weather and the elements with an extreme degree of control. He can create blue flames to burst out of nowhere and his electrical storms are so precise that, at will, he can make a lightning strike fall wherever and whenever he chooses during a storm.
  • Vampirism: Like in the original novel, Dracula can sire vampires by sharing his cursed blood with the victim and draining them of their mortal blood. Once the victim is dead, they rise from the grave as a vampire who is completely obediant to their sire.

Abilities

  • Scholomance: As the devil's tenth student, he renounced both God and Heaven to become a "god among men" and was taught the darkest secrets of Scholomance. It is implied that he created the undead and became a vampire using the devil's cursed teachings. While the exact extent of his spells are not made clear, they are implied to be vast, allowing him to accomplish things that the other vampires in the novel clearly cannot do. This includes but is most likely not limited to: disintegrating a window with what is described as a "sinister spell", invoking thousands of snakes out of nowhere (probably hell itself), creating very realistic illusions, possessing people who are near his vampires, causing holy symbols to burn or break and entire buildings to shake with mere gestures.

Trivia

  • When compared to the version of the character portrayed in Dracula the Un-dead, where Dracula is just a misunderstood hero, this version is overall much more faithful to the character from the original classic. Ironically enough, both Dracul and Dracula the Un-dead were written with collaboration from Dacre Stoker.
  • There have been talks concerning a movie adaptation of Dracul directed by Andy Muschietti.
  • Although it is commonly believed that Count Dracula was based in the real-life historical figure Vlad III Tepes, the author's end notes of Dracul claim that Bram Stoker's monster was in fact an ancient evil much older than the Wallachian prince.
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