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Why the Vampire Armand Has Us Chomping at the Bit to Sink Our Fangs into Season 2’s ‘Interview with the Vampire’

Why the Vampire Armand Has Us Chomping at the Bit to Sink Our Fangs into Season 2’s ‘Interview with the Vampire’

Mild spoilers ahead…

AMC’s 2022 Interview with the Vampire TV series took a fresh approach to the beloved 1994 classic film — starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, and Antonio Banderas — and offered a new perspective on the life, death, and un-life of Louis de Pointe du Lac, as well as a whole new take on Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Season 1 was a masterpiece of storytelling; the recasting of Louis — portrayed by Jacob Anderson — brought a different dynamic to the narrative that offered a creative approach to the ennui of this classic vampire tale.

This is particularly true when it comes to the Season 1 finale, which was bloody — pun intended — miraculous . Besides a Mardi Gras blood feast in which plenty of plump bodies were exsanguinated, Louis and Claudia (portrayed by Bailey Bass) killed their maker Lestat — which coincidentally occurs halfway through the original Anne Rice novel — thus making it a fitting point to bookend Season 1’s narrative. However, all the gory violence and immortal-relationship woes aren’t the only things that left fans parched for more, as the narrative revealed that Rashid, Louis’ manservant, is actually the ancient vampire Armand.

But who is this mysterious vampire, and what makes his appearance in the series so exciting? Well, while Armand plays a crucial role in Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, Daniel, the reporter interviewing Louis de Pointe du Lac, doesn’t actually meet Armand in the Interview with the Vampire novel. The meeting between Daniel and Armand was made specifically for the this new reimagining.

AMC’s televised take on Louis and coterie has been a somewhat faithful adaptation that, in many ways, is truer to the book than the 1994 film ever was. Still, some liberties have been taken, like the change in setting and smaller changes in the chronology of certain events. The introduction of the vampire Armand to Daniel this early in the narrative is a significant deviation from the source material, especially when we take into consideration that the two haven’t met in the Interview with the Vampire novel but in a subsequent 1985 book titled The Vampire Lestat.

From what we know from the novels, following the apparent murder of Lestat at the hands of his own creations, the murderous duo, Louis and Claudia, depart New Orleans and set course for Europe, all under the seemingly watchful eye of Armand and an actually none-dead, un-dead, Lestat, as confirmed at the end of the Season 1 finale.

The narrative sees Louis and Claudia travel through Bulgaria, Romania, and Paris — with the latter being the city where Armand carved out his place in vampire society. Here, Armand, the oldest among those vampires, built his Theatre des Vampires, a theatre in which a coven of vampires perform horrific acts for live human audiences, who believed that the performances were mere theatrical spectacle and not a display of supernatural showmanship.

Louis and Claudia encounter the coven, which then captures Louis and executes Claudia because vampire law prohibits turning children and she’s seen as an abomination. Armand, who has developed a deep emotional connection to Louis, seeing him as a kindred spirit, frees Louis from captivity, motivated largely by his own desire for companionship. Fueled by rage and grief, Louis doesn’t leave the coven with Armand, as the latter hoped. Instead, he sets the theatre on fire and kills most of the vampires in the coven.

The two cross paths in subsequent novels, but they have the most significant amount of interaction in The Tale of the Body Thief, which is the fourth novel in the series and the one in which they develop a romantic relationship. However, in the new version developed for the television show, Armand’s story has been seamlessly woven into Louis’ narrative, and the strategic reveal of his identity provided not just a shocking twist in the series but also showcased some very clever storytelling and a deep psychological understanding of dynamics in co-dependent relationships.

This new version of Armand is a powerful 514-year-old vampire, posing as an unsuspecting Rashid, Louis’ faithful manservant. His ability to withstand the sunlight gained through the ages allows Armand to merge and blend with the human world. This contrasts Louis’ struggles with his own vampiric nature while also allowing Armand to protect Louis when he’s most vulnerable. This retouching of the original source materials gives the fandom a unique taste of familiarity complemented with an authentic twist that not many saw coming.

The upcoming season will likely adhere to the source material to a large degree, so we’re bound to see Louis and Claudia going to Europe, where they will inevitably come into contact with Armand and the Theatre des Vampires. All the events described above, including Claudia’s death, Lestat’s resurrection, and the burning of the Theatre des Vampires, are likely to transpire in the upcoming season, though it’s also safe to assume that the narrative might suffer some minor changes.    

We can also expect Armand and Louis’ relationship to be put under the microscope as the narrative dives deeper into their intertwined histories recounted by Louis de Pointe du Lac, with Armand’s relationship with Daniel being nothing short of a fascinating subplot in the upcoming season. In Rice’s chronicles, Armand eventually gives the Dark Gift to Daniel in The Queen of the Damned novel — loosely adapted into a 2002 film of the same name, with a very good soundtrack.

So, there are actually plenty of exciting things in store for Season 2 of Interview with the Vampire, and Armand’s unexpected but not unappreciated appearance in the narrative has the fandom chomping at the bit to sink its fangs into the new but still captivating universe of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. AMC had commissioned the making of Season 2 even before Season 1 premiered, but the exact release date remains hidden amongst the shadows, with the nearest possible release date poised for early-to-mid 2024.  

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