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Villain Overview

Have you come to destroy me? The old professor has a new pupil to fail as he failed. I have taken everything from him, and I will take everything from you. Your wife. Your son. I am a drinker of men.
~ Sariel to Eph.

Sariel, also known as The Master, is the main antagonist of the FX's Horror-Thriller The Strain. He is one of the seven original ancients and the youngest among them. He is also the mastermind behind the strain virus that spread in New York City.

He was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. He was also portrayed by Robert Maillet in Season 1 and 2, Doug Jones in Season 2, Jack Kesy in Season 2 and 3, and Jonathan Hyde in Season 4.

History

Past

Sariel is one of the Ancients, seven eldritch beings that have existed since biblical times, they being the spawn of the Archangel of Death Ozryel, who, unknown to God, secretly reveled in blood and carnage.

When God sent Ozryel and two other angels to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Angel of Death could not contain his excitement in killing all he could, being enthralled by the blood spilled.

Soon after, a crazed Ozryel attacked fellow angel Micheal in an attempt to drink his blood. Horrified and disgusted, God captured Ozryel and had his body dismembered, the seven pieces were then scattered across the globe.

However, over time, the blood that leaked from Ozryel's body parts took form inside the soil of their tombs, becoming the Ancients. Sariel is the youngest of them, created from the blood of Ozryel's severed head.

In 1873, a man named Jusef Sardu, along with several uncles and cousins went on a hunting trip in Romania. During the expedition, all of the Sardu men disappeared mysteriously, though sometimes their mutilated bodies were found.

Eventually, Sardu was the only one left, vowing to kill the monster or die trying. He tracked and found Sariel feeding on a hunter within a cave. Sariel taunts Sardu, using his stinger to subdue the man before taking his body as his new host.

After Sariel took Sardu's body, he came to Sardu's village and presumably began turning the children into strigoi, making the villagers abandoned their home.

Eventually, during World War 2, Sariel met German Officer Thomas Eichorst, who became his second in command, Eichorst allowing Sariel to feed on prisoners of the concentration camp he worked at.

There, he encounters Abraham Setrakian, who attempts to stab Sariel with a silver knife. Quickly overpowering him, Sariel mocks Strakian's call to God before breaking every bone in his hands.

By the end of the war, with the Allies victory near, Thomas Eichorst flees into the woods and arrives at a secret bunker. There Sariel transfuses a worm into his body, triggering Eichorst's rebirth as a strigoi.

Season 1

Years later, Sariel hid on a plane arriving at New York, attacking and infecting everyone onboard. An airport official, Peter Bishop, comes across Sariel and drained of his blood by Sariel before having his skull smashed in.

After Sariel killed Bishop, he returned to his coffin, which was then smuggled past airport security and delivered to Eldritch Palmer, who kneels in terror upon seeing The Master.

Later, a fully turned Kelly Goodweather is summoned Sariel, who meets her face-to-face and tells her to "rejoice."

Meanwhile, Eph and the others locate Sariel's lair only to find it littered with resting strigoi. Eph hears Kelly's voice crying out for help, but Setrakian knows it is a trap leading them to Sariel. The voice leads Eph into a large chamber containing Sariel's coffin, only to be surrounded by strigoi.

After arriving and finally meeting Eph face to face, Sariel attempts to kill him, but Fet, Setrakian, and Nora arrive and set off a home-made UV light bomb, killing some strigoi and repelling Sariel. Setrakian wants to pursue his old foe but is forced to retreat when the group come upon hundreds of newly turned strigoi inside a cavern.

Later, after his battle and face to face with Eph, Sariel rejuvenates a dying Eldritch Palmer by giving him a drop of his white blood.

Following another battle, the Strigoi Hunter's enter the theater Sariel is using as a lair and fight past his strigoi, including Bolivar and Eichorst. Upstairs, Setrakian and Eph confront Sariel and drive him into the daylight where he is severely burned, but escapes. Setrakian and the others are stunned that sunlight failed to kill the Master.

Season 2

After his battle, Sariel, whose body is dying after exposure to sunlight, orders Eichorst to retrieve blind children who are converted into a new type of strigoi called Feelers, imbued with psychic abilities and used as trackers. By the Master and Eichorst's command, the Feelers are given to Kelly, whose memory has been restored.

Eichorst and Bolivar prepare for the Master's transfer to a new body. However, Eichorst is shocked and dismayed when the Master transfers his essence into Bolivar's body rather than his. The Master then demands that Eichorst swear fealty to him in his new form.

After Sariel transfers into Bolivar's body, Setrakian and Quinlan confront Sariel, who is nesting in a factory, and also Eichorst. When Fet dynamites the building, Sariel escapes in the explosion. Quinlan angrily blames Setrakian and Fet for thwarting his opportunity to destroy the Master, then warns them to abandon the hunt to him. Following a failed assassination attempt by Eph on Palmer that leaves the businessman lover Coco in critical condition, Eldritch refuses to help Sariel anymore until he saves her. Begrudgingly, The Master complies.

After Eichorst loses an auction for Occido Lumen', an ancient tome apparently containing the secret to killing Sariel due to Palmer cutting off the money in an attempt to convince Sariel to treat him as an equal, Sariel infects Coco in retaliation, forcing Palmer to kill her.

Season 3

After Nora's death and Zach's kidnapping, Eph drinks more heavily but continues working on the anti-strigoi bioweapon for Feraldo. She says its fatality rate has dropped from 100% to 75% due to their quick adaptation and Sariel becoming more aware of it. Fet assists the Navy SEALs in eliminating vampire nests and searching for Sariel; however, Eichorst lures the SEALS into a trap and Sariel infects nearly the entire team.

Eph and Sariel then bargain with each other, Eph would give him the Lumen if the Strigoi Leader returned Zach, the two meeting in person at a park. During the exchange, Kelly uses a Feeler disguised as Zach to steal the Lumen, although the silver cover severely burns her hands when she attempts to take it. During the fight, Quinlan kills the Navy Seals Sariel infected.

First stunning him with a grenade filled with silver, Quinlan beheads Sariel, although his true form, a large, crimson worm, manages to escape.

Palmer and Setrakian devise a plan to lure Sariel to Stoneheart headquarters so that Eph, Fet, Dutch, Setrakian, and Quinlan can entrap him in the silver-lined sarcophagus. However, Sariel, who has taken a new body, ambushes Palmer and transfers his essence into him, gaining Palmer's memories. Sariel retrieves the remaining nuclear bomb from Palmer's vault and revives the mortally wounded Eichorst.

Eph and Setrakian meet with Palmer, but quickly realize it is Sariel and battle him. Dutch activates the strigoi disruption device, crippling Sariel; Quinlan, Fet, Eph, and Setrakian seal Sariel into the silver-lined sarcophagus. As Setrakian, Quinlan, Fet, and Dutch take the sarcophagus that had Sariel in it to dump it into the Atlantic. Enraged over his mother's death, Zach vengefully detonates the bomb.

The explosion's shockwave frees Sariel from the sarcophagus, and the resulting nuclear debris obscures the sun, allowing the strigoi to walk freely in daylight. Eichorst leaves with Zach, while Setrakian’s group is forced underground to avoid nuclear fallout and rampaging strigoi.

Season 4

Nine months have passed since "Illumination Day", the day the bomb was detonated, leading to a nuclear war that created a nuclear winter. The strigoi, now freely roaming the streets in the dim daylight, have enslaved humanity and established a dictatorship called "The Partnership", aided by human collaborators.

Sariel, whose was fully strigoi since he took over Palmer's body, mentoring Zach and telling him has dark potential. Sariel, suspecting Zach's allegiance is faltering, tells him he can either support his cause or leave and live hand-to-mouth like other humans. Zach reaffirms his loyalty to the Master.

When Eph and Alex travels to the countryside to continuing on their investigating about Sariel's New Horizon's "farms", they discover these are concentration camps to using humans as livestocks for the strigoi consumption. When Sariel speaking through a newly-turned strigoi, he taunts Eph, saying Zach is alive and has dark potential.

When Eichorst stings Setrakian, Sariel speaking through Eichorst as he listens to Setrakian warning that Sariel's defeat is inevitable, he behead Eichorst. When Sariel tries to found Quinlan than the others, Desai falsely accuses his wife of betraying Sariel. However, Sariel knows he's lying and kills them both. The team sets off to detonate the nuke at the Empire State Building.

During the final battle, Sariel orders a final purge of Manhattan to flush out the team, When Eph and Fet lure the Master and a strigoi horde to their hideout, Sariel is trapped below ground with the Zach and Quinlan.

Sariel battles and injures Quinlan, he tells Zach to kill his father, but when Sariel attempts to transfer his essence into Zach, Eph attacks him and instead becomes possessed. Before that, Eph was able to arm the bomb. Sariel believes he won, However, Zach triggers the bomb, destroying him along with Sariel. Five years later, the nuclear winter is subsiding, humanity has recovered and destroyed all but a few strigoi that are kept captive.

Trivia

  • The deranged Renfield is known for declaring Dracula as "Master" in Hollywood renditions of the classic story. 

Navigation

           The Strain Villains

The Master's Faction
The Master | Thomas Eichorst | Eldritch Palmer | Werner Dremerhaven | Gabriel Bolivar | Kelly Goodweather | Sanjay Desai | Zach Goodweather | Strigoi

Others
Everett Barnes | Alfonzo Creem | Rudyard Fonescu | Matt Sayles | Kimmy | Unnamed Marauder | Braden | Kroft | Officer Tardi | Norma Bonnie