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Mystic falls meets the world wide web: where is "The Vampire Diaries" located?

Chapter


Abstract


  • CW’s television version of The Vampire Diaries centres around a love triangle involving a mortal girl and two supernatural suitors. All three contemporary filmic representations are based on novels and feature vampires who are living within small communities, necessitating that they limit their monstrous ways.

    The Vampire Diaries’ Salvatore brothers, Stefan and Damon, are configured as foils to each other. Once close, they became estranged over their interest in the same woman, the vampire Katherine, who ‘turned’ them both. Stefan is constructed as a ‘good’ vampire, who seeks to retain his humanity and make moral choices. He maintains a monogamous relationship with the protagonist, mortal teenager Elena Gilbert. Competing for her affections is Stefan’s older brother, Damon, who is impetuous, promiscuous, immoral and appears to embrace the darkness and its associated powers. Ironically, it is Damon who is configured as the romantic hero in the early back-story to present-day events; he claims he required no compulsion to be ‘turned,’ because he wanted to spend eternity with Katherine. The love triangle thus becomes as much about the competition between the two men as romantic heroes as it is about good brother versus bad.

    Twitter and fansites such as www.vampire-diaries.net suggest that fans do indeed find something profound—or at least attractive—about the anti-hero, and indicate a marked difference in opinion between fans of the relationship between Stefan and Elena (“Team Stelena”) and those who wish to see the Elena character teamed with Damon (“Team Delena”). Indeed, profile information on www.vampire-diaries.net includes “Team” alongside more conventional descriptors such as name and gender. Producers Plec and Kevin Williamson are aware of the debate within the show’s fandom, publicly commenting on the possibilities of the love triangle online and at the recent New York Comic Convention. The immediate and interactive nature of feedback to—and indeed, from—the show’s producers raises interesting questions about the ongoing storylines of the show, and how fan opinions and marketing decisions are worked into the already complex interaction with the storylines of the original novels by L. J. Smith. Indeed, a new book series, written from the point of view of Stefan and outlining the so-called “real” back-story of the brothers will be progressively released in late 2010 and early 2011, with the writing credit being shared among ‘consultants’ Smith, Plec and Williamson. Copyright boundaries have seemingly been further blurred on occasions when Plec has retweeted fan videos which utilised the CW Network’s footage. Questions about authority and authorship, then, are as omnipresent in The Vampire Diaries as supernatural beings are in Mystic Falls.

    Fans have access to the producers, writers, directors, actors and music director via Twitter, and these contact details are disseminated via the fansites. This paper will examine the complexities of authorship in The Vampire Diaries, given its active online community and their unprecedented level of access to its creative team, through close textual analysis of the series, Twitter conversations between the producers and fans, and dedicated fansites such www.vampire-diaries.net. This erosion of boundaries between producers and consumers has cemented the modern-day vampire as arguably the ultimate uncanny being in popular culture. The vampires as represented in the television incarnation of The Vampire Diaries are simultaneously and antithetically outsiders and members of a town which itself shifts uncannily between the parallel universes of the novels and the series. They are at once the predatory, nomadic loners of folklore, and respected founding members of their close-knit Southern township; characters whose relationships and interactions within that township are themselves mediated by an active community of online fans.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • McMahon-Coleman, K. (2011). Mystic falls meets the world wide web: where is "The Vampire Diaries" located?. In G. Schott & K. Moffat (Eds.), Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire (pp. 157-167). Washington, DC: New Academia Publishing.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/asdpapers/347

Book Title


  • Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire

Start Page


  • 157

End Page


  • 167

Abstract


  • CW’s television version of The Vampire Diaries centres around a love triangle involving a mortal girl and two supernatural suitors. All three contemporary filmic representations are based on novels and feature vampires who are living within small communities, necessitating that they limit their monstrous ways.

    The Vampire Diaries’ Salvatore brothers, Stefan and Damon, are configured as foils to each other. Once close, they became estranged over their interest in the same woman, the vampire Katherine, who ‘turned’ them both. Stefan is constructed as a ‘good’ vampire, who seeks to retain his humanity and make moral choices. He maintains a monogamous relationship with the protagonist, mortal teenager Elena Gilbert. Competing for her affections is Stefan’s older brother, Damon, who is impetuous, promiscuous, immoral and appears to embrace the darkness and its associated powers. Ironically, it is Damon who is configured as the romantic hero in the early back-story to present-day events; he claims he required no compulsion to be ‘turned,’ because he wanted to spend eternity with Katherine. The love triangle thus becomes as much about the competition between the two men as romantic heroes as it is about good brother versus bad.

    Twitter and fansites such as www.vampire-diaries.net suggest that fans do indeed find something profound—or at least attractive—about the anti-hero, and indicate a marked difference in opinion between fans of the relationship between Stefan and Elena (“Team Stelena”) and those who wish to see the Elena character teamed with Damon (“Team Delena”). Indeed, profile information on www.vampire-diaries.net includes “Team” alongside more conventional descriptors such as name and gender. Producers Plec and Kevin Williamson are aware of the debate within the show’s fandom, publicly commenting on the possibilities of the love triangle online and at the recent New York Comic Convention. The immediate and interactive nature of feedback to—and indeed, from—the show’s producers raises interesting questions about the ongoing storylines of the show, and how fan opinions and marketing decisions are worked into the already complex interaction with the storylines of the original novels by L. J. Smith. Indeed, a new book series, written from the point of view of Stefan and outlining the so-called “real” back-story of the brothers will be progressively released in late 2010 and early 2011, with the writing credit being shared among ‘consultants’ Smith, Plec and Williamson. Copyright boundaries have seemingly been further blurred on occasions when Plec has retweeted fan videos which utilised the CW Network’s footage. Questions about authority and authorship, then, are as omnipresent in The Vampire Diaries as supernatural beings are in Mystic Falls.

    Fans have access to the producers, writers, directors, actors and music director via Twitter, and these contact details are disseminated via the fansites. This paper will examine the complexities of authorship in The Vampire Diaries, given its active online community and their unprecedented level of access to its creative team, through close textual analysis of the series, Twitter conversations between the producers and fans, and dedicated fansites such www.vampire-diaries.net. This erosion of boundaries between producers and consumers has cemented the modern-day vampire as arguably the ultimate uncanny being in popular culture. The vampires as represented in the television incarnation of The Vampire Diaries are simultaneously and antithetically outsiders and members of a town which itself shifts uncannily between the parallel universes of the novels and the series. They are at once the predatory, nomadic loners of folklore, and respected founding members of their close-knit Southern township; characters whose relationships and interactions within that township are themselves mediated by an active community of online fans.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • McMahon-Coleman, K. (2011). Mystic falls meets the world wide web: where is "The Vampire Diaries" located?. In G. Schott & K. Moffat (Eds.), Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire (pp. 157-167). Washington, DC: New Academia Publishing.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/asdpapers/347

Book Title


  • Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire

Start Page


  • 157

End Page


  • 167