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high-fructose-lesbianism:

The Vampire Chronicles + ao3 tags part 3

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Santino loved Fedoras when they first came out (and probably still does) #HEADCANON ACCEPTED.

For @desanctii!

Why does most of the fandom like Armand? (I’m on Memnoch The Devil, and I know what the next book is) He cut off Nicolas’s hands, killed Claudia, and kills suicidal people. (I’m not trying to shame anyone, I just want to understand why.)

It seems like you have sort of made up your mind about him, Anon, listing those crimes 😦 If you don’t like him for those reasons, or any reasons, you are under no obligation to change your mind, but I appreciate that you want to understand why ppl do like him.

If you’re on Memnoch then you know most of Armand’s story, and you know that Armand’s book follows MtD. His book goes into his story more deeply, and from his own perspective, and I think that’s part of what ppl like about him. His narration is different than Lestat’s (most of the books are Lestat’s POV or his recording of what others tell him), and I think some Armand fans are just glad to get out of Lestat’s head!! lol. 

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[^X Bjorn Andresen, a fan fave as Armand]

In TVA, you get more detail and scenes from Armand’s mortal life and fledgling life, and some of what follows. You get how he feels about seeing Lestat in MtD and a moment of intimacy between these two alpha personalities who have had a simmering competition between them since they met.

Some ppl find that Anne Rice has done Armand a disservice in his own book by having him claim any amount of agency in what happened between him and Marius. That’s up to the individual reader to decide, what they think of that relationship, regardless of what the author’s agenda was when she wrote it. 

I do think some of the things Armand says in TVA are

somewhat

exaggerated because he is telling the story to David, who was flirting at him really hard in the beginning of that book, and I think Armand wanted to remind David that he’s not the cute bb 17 year old he appears to be, and not to mistake him as such. So the scene describing Claudia, I’m not sure I trust Armand that he really did anything to her other than do nothing when the other vampires of the theatre put her in that sun-well-thingie.

I wouldn’t say that most of the fandom likes Armand. I think that certain characters have waves of popularity, and some are talked about more than others at any given time… there was a period about two years ago, I think, that ppl were all over Nicolas, discussing him, theorizing that he might have survived, etc. 

Tom Hiddleston is talking about Loki here, I think, but the concept is captivating, and it applies to Nicki and Armand:

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[ Tom Hiddleston quotes Josephine Hart, gifs from here X]

Nicki seemed to be one of the only canon characters that explicitly had a mental illness, and that was during a time on tumblr that ppl were being more open about having mental illness and identifying with fictional characters who also had mental illness.

We are drawn to characters who have traits like ourselves, and/or those that survive, and overcome obstacles when they are faced with challenges like our own.

I think Nicki also represented some of the disillusionment ppl were feeling about the world at large at the time.

It might be that Armand has taken on more of that role, some fans also headcanon that Armand has mental illness(es) and he can also represent fans who feel disillusioned about the world at large, since the world has been so cruel to him. 

More on all that later*, so I can address the other part of your statement now.

He (1) cut off Nicolas’s hands, (2) killed Claudia, and (3) kills suicidal people. (I’m not trying to shame anyone, I just want to understand why.)

^Ok, I’m going to address each of these things, since you want to understand. I’ll take it at face value that you’re not trying to shame anyone for liking a fictional character who does those things. 

Whether you want to agree with my explanations is entirely up to you. If you judge him by human, real-world standards, yes, each of these things is maniacal and horrible. So my explanations are for FICTION.

NO CUTS WE LONGPOST LIKE MEN.

^I have to stop doing that I’m going to get in trouble.


First off, I would like to point out that I don’t think canon indicates that he takes pleasure in any of those things individually, except for the normal pleasure of that last one, vampires love feeding, there’s no getting around that 😉

(1) He cut off Nicolas’s hands, 

This seems like fairly standard vampire punishment from a coven master. @damnitarmand, an Armand RPer, responded very well to this question, I’ll reblog it momentarily.

Armand may have been trying to help Nicki in the ways he knew how. Armand had been a coven master for hundreds of years, dealt with madness from many ages of vampires, maybe this was something that helped in other cases. It could be seen as cruel from our mortal standards, but maybe that was considered a reasonable form of treatment for vampires.

Eleni writes to Lestat in TVL: 

“[Nicolas] must be watched constantly so that he does not enlarge our ranks. His dining habits are extremely sloppy. And on occasion he says most shocking things to strangers, which fortunately they are too sensible to believe.“ In other words, he tried to make other vampires. And he didn’t hunt in stealth. “In the main it is Our Oldest Friend [Armand, obviously] who is relied upon to restrain him. And that he does with the most caustic threats. But I must say that these do not have an enduring effect upon our Violinist.”

“…I tell you these things not to haunt you but to let you know that we do our utmost to protect this child who should never have been Born to Darkness. He is overwhelmed by his powers, dazzled and maddened by his vision. We have seen it all and its sorry finish before.”

^So clearly, Armand does everything he can before punishing him so viscerally, and Nicolas really was getting out of control. Eleni even notes that Nicolas is not taking to vampirism very well and would never have been turned by the coven, they’ve had hundreds of years to learn about who can handle it and who can’t, and they have their own system of psychological care, such as it is.  

When Armand does take his hands, yes, it’s bc

Armand

has been pushed to being “maddened by the excesses” of Nicki! Not maddened for nothing. There is no indication that Armand takes pleasure in it. Further proof that it’s a standard punishment is when Eleni explains to Lestat that it’s temporary:

“It has come to the worst, as I feared. Our Oldest Friend, maddened by the excesses of Our Violinist, finally imprisoned him in your old residence. And though his violin was given him in his cell, his hands were taken away. But understand that with us, such appendages can always be restored.”

^So for all of the above, I don’t consider Armand’s cutting off of Nicki’s hands as a crime but as a merciful thing that’s standard procedure, albeit probably a last resort, for restoring vampire sanity.


(2) killed Claudia, 

^Armand tried to get Claudia a new adult vampire companion when he pressured Louis into turning Madeleine. Armand even admits to Louis that he himself takes the responsibility for Madeleine:

“ `But if it’s any consolation to you … surely you realize I had a
hand in it.’
” [Armand said]

`That I did it to be free of Claudia, to be free to come to you …
yes, I realize that. But the ultimate responsibility lies with me!’ [Louis] said. 

“`No. I mean, directly. I made you do it! I was near you the night you did it. I exerted my strongest power to persuade you to do it. Didn’t you know this?’ Woe.

I bowed my head. 

‘I would have made this woman a vampire,’ [Armand] said softly. `But I thought it best you have a hand in it. Otherwise you would not give Claudia up. You must know you wanted it…

“ `I loathe what I did!’ I said.
” `Then loathe me, not yourself.’

^To me, Armand’s plan was to have Madeleine take Claudia off of Louis’ hands, so that Louis could still communicate with Claudia but not be responsible for her anymore. 

I do think that the theatre vampires, led by Santiago, had other plans in mind, and that Armand had to cut his losses and let them kill Claudia since they were bloodthirsty for it. It’s exciting to kill vampires, as Santiago has said. Armand probably knew also, as a coven master, that it was a crime to turn a child anyway, and that she would have died at some point anyway (she might have even taken her own life). 


(3) and kills suicidal people.

^In canon, yes, it’s described as Armand calling to those who wanted to die. Whether they could have been saved by actual medical care, or psychological therapy, I don’t think that’s addressed in canon. So here you might have an actual crime, of him killing innocent ppl who are consenting to death but not really capable of consenting to death.

This is his approach to the dilemma of being a vampire and needing to kill ppl on a regular basis, there’s a few options for doing it in canon:

  • Take lots of Little Drinks, if you’re capable of that, and not kill anyone, but spend like 3x the amount of time every night having to find that many more ppl to feed from. For awhile, it seemed like Louis wasn’t capable of this, since he gets so caught up in the swoon that he can’t stop. He might be able to now, tho.
  • Kill evildoers – bc “they deserve it anyway!” and you’re “protecting the innocents!”, but you still have to struggle to find the ones that deserve the death penalty, do drug dealers deserve to die for selling pot? In TOBT, Lestat kills someone who’s a serial elderly rapist/murderer, one would think that evildoer is evil enough to deserve the death penalty, but everyone is entitled to a defense attorney under U.S. law. 
  • Kill indiscriminately, anyone who crosses your path, and don’t judge, bc they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time – Louis’ method bc he won’t judge evilness, lacking the Mind Gift but also, he doesn’t think he should be making that choice.
  • Kill innocent ppl – not very nice but some vampires do that. Claudia did.
  • Kill ppl who want to die as a form of assisted suicide; they are consenting to death – Armand is doing this, at least mentioning it in TVL and again in TVA. Medically assisted suicide is a very controversial thing but it is legal in some countries, and it reduces the prolonged suffering of terminally ill ppl. From wiki: “The three most frequently mentioned end‐of‐life concerns reported by Oregon residents who took advantage of the Death With Dignity Act in 2015 were: decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable (96.2%), loss of autonomy (92.4%), and loss of dignity (75.4%).”

Armand’s killing method described in TVL:

[Armand] had perfected the act of
killing beyond the abilities of all the Children of Darkness that he knew. He
had learned to summon those who truly wished to die.
He had but to stand near
the dwellings of mortals and call silently to see his victim appear. Old,
young, wretched, diseased, the ugly or the beautiful, it did not matter because
he did not choose. Dazzling visions he gave, if they should want to receive,
but he did not move towards them nor even close his arms around them.

Drawn inexorably towards him, it was they who embraced him. And when their warm
living flesh touched him, when he opened his lips and felt the blood spill, he
knew the only surcease from misery that he could know. It seemed to him in the
best of these moments that his way was profoundly spiritual, uncontaminated by
the appetites and confusions that made up the world,
despite the carnal rapture
of the kill. In that act the spiritual and the carnal came together, and it was
the spiritual, he was convinced, that survived. Holy Communion it seemed to
him,
the Blood of the Children of Christ serving only to bring the essence of life
itself into his understanding for the split second in which death occurred.

I think Armand’s assisted-suicides were mostly emotionally-driven, I don’t think canon goes into much further detail about it. I would think that Armand is killing ppl who are truly beyond saving, and the time period in which he’s doing it is not one that handled mental healthcare the way we do now. So at that time, that was probably not considered a crime, but a mercy killing.

Currently, his decision to kill “those who wish to die” (and possibly, he influences that on them), yes, he might be killing innocent ppl who might have had a chance at living otherwise. 

Armand in TVA, more modern-era, is now killing an evildoer/drug addict: 

Now I had to have blood. There was no time for the old game, the game of drawing out those who wanted to die, those who truly craved my embrace, those in love already with the far country of death of which they knew nothing.

…The next [victim] was a common desperate youth, full of festering sores, who had killed twice before for the heroin he needed so badly as I needed the doomed blood inside him.”

We don’t have as much information on whether he’s more of a “kill the suicidal” or “kill the evildoer” in current canon. In the TVA example above, the victim has killed “for the heroin,” so he’s an evildoer anyway.


*SO WHY DO PPL LIKE ARMAND??? O____O

Why do ppl like peanut butter? Or not like it? Some ppl are allergic to peanut butter. There are so many reasons to like a character! 

We’re drawn to characters for any number of reasons!

I think this current crop of tumblr VC fans is talking about Armand more bc he is also a victim of CSA, has undergone an enormous amount of trauma in canon, and survived it, even becoming a coven master in the cult that brainwashed him for centuries. It’s inspiring to see a character carry the weight of all that damage and seem to overcome it and, even, become strong and confident, and even happy, at least sometimes. There’s no denying there’s a lot of sass in Armand. 

Maybe fandom wants to embrace him and comfort him and give him all the happiness they would want themselves to have. It’s easier to project it onto a fictional character, and see it reflected back when you imagine him, in fanart or fanfic. 

Imagining Armand enjoying himself, exploring technology with Daniel or playing videogames and elbowing Lestat to try to mess him up on coven game night, all of his past is still inside him but he’s trying to make the best of things, trying to have a family, such as it is, trying to find his purpose in life. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? A home. And I think we like to see characters like ourselves find home and feel wanted, at least some of the time.

ihad a dream last night that i went to a diner(like applebees or macados)with Armand and mystery friends of his. Whilewe were waiting for food,isaw a picture ofArmand on the wall and pointed it out to him,prompting him to leave the restaurant with his friends. Ichased after them but he was angry and wheni caught up he grabbed a random kid off the street and dumped fireants(from where?his pockets?)on him and told me to leave them alone even though i was their friend i thought. It was so weird lol

That was a wild ride from start to finish, Anon, lol.

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Armand would HAAAATE being compared to some fast food restaurant picture… 

Person: Hey Armsy
Person: ARMSY
Armand: Yes what
P: That poster looks like you!
A: *looks*
A: No it doesn’t
P: Yes, it does! The hair is even parted the same!
A: That’s a girl. A girl child.
P: But you look like her, don’t you?

*pause*
A: No, I do NOT.
P: I’m just saying, smile like that…
A: *storms out*

… Armand dumps fireants on a random person bc reasons.

#Fanart request #Fanfic request