An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Meet 5 hungry vampires who sure know how to show their school spirit...and the wacky crew of monster hunters out to get them!

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Bree
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An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Bree » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:02 am

So I realize that Vampire Cheerleaders(/PMS) is not yet complete, and with the current arc dealing with time travel, much of what I say will likely be rendered obsolete by the future comics. (I've had to update this analysis at least twice with new pages coming out as I began writing it, in fact.) I'm also a brand-new 2014 reader (immigrating from MC to EC to here), meaning that I haven't seen these things from the beginning and, heck, I don't even have the best sources of info available. (My sources outside the actual comic are TVTropes-based writings plus an occasional link to a Word Of God post in the forums.)

That being said, I've embarked on what I consider a worthy endeavor anyway: to compile the most complete character bios that I can manage, with my input on what I think the character is meant to be. Everything from their personality to their history and my predictions of their future. And if you ask why I say "my opinion", it's because I'm putting faith in the belief that events are MEANT to be open to interpretation, relying on viewers to fill in the gaps themselves (a sort of Genius Bonus), but I still think it possible to get close to what the creators themselves have in mind.


So let's start with Heather:
She started the comic as a sheltered girl, in a semi-abusive household. We know her mother clearly was at least a little (if not a lot), and her father (while not as bad) clearly showed some signs as well about enforcing her seclusion. The result of this was a girl who was highly innocent, highly naive, not prone to the exact workings of the world, and as a result, managed to even be cheerful in spite of living what behind closed doors was a bad life. Not being aware she wasn't normal, she was simply content and even happy to just go about her life.

So while she was obviously a goodie-two-shoes who had great passion and love for her ambition (cheerleading), there were hints already that she had a darker side locked away, in no small part thanks to her parents. This might be one of the reasons why Leonard never became anything more than a friend for her, too: because he was likely her ONLY friend, or if not, one of only a few. As a result, she simply didn't know how to take it to the next level (so to speak) or saw him as closer to a brother than anything else.

Obviously, not to the point where she would actually call him as such. He was close to her, but not *that* close. Being a recluse will have that tendency towards a girl like her. So basically, not distant enough to be a boyfriend; not close enough to be a brother. Her naivety also contributing a fair deal to this.

First on my agenda is tackling the subject of what could be great debate: a widely-regard "retcon" of the moment where she was selected to be turned. I'm going to hold a little bit of faith (or naivety, or lack of knowledge) and assume it wasn't one. (And IF it was one anyway, writing a description that makes it so that it might as well have not been one.) That offers up a wide variety of options for the discrepancy. She could be flat-out lying to them about the circumstances, in order to save her coven. She could have been so truly morphed as to have forgotten reality and truly believe she held a choice. If you can glamour another vampire, it's possible she was glamoured into thinking it.

But call me gullible. I want to give an explanation, an official explanation, that closes the discrepancy as not being a retcon, but of being consistent, just with us not having the gap. Keep in mind her position when she insists she had a choice: she mentions she could be glamoured to forget, or go all the way to become a vampire cheerleader. A potential key involves the glamour. And then there's how she was initially attacked. There was a fade to black, a gap in the story. So her narrative is in fact plausible. She was bitten, and drained. It's possible then that the vampires showed off some of their vampiric abilities (starting by draining her partially) and made their offer, appealing to her desires (we'll get to those in a bit), and that she took them up on the offer, not fully knowing what she was getting into. (Which they then show.)

There are a couple of other scenarios I can think up involving glamour that could explain the fade to black, but another highly possible theory is simply that the vampires made their offer not AFTER the fade to black, but BEFORE it. Similar to the above, but changing the chronology, and after she accepts the offer, they move in, surprising her and causing the outcry of pain. (Because getting bit can hurt.) And looking at "tryouts 7" and then 8, it's actually possible they talked about it in the gap between THOSE two, even sooner. (Point remaining, there are multiple ways the conversation can become willing.)

These are not the best thought out ways to make it work, but it does work well enough. If it's not enough for you, then this should suffice. Tell me: does it make more sense to randomly turn someone who COULD turn against you, or someone who explicitly said they were okay with it? The latter is a lot more likely a scenario.

You might then ask, "why didn't she show immediate signs of knowing?" Well, that's actually fairly easy. Being bitten by a vampire, glamour or not, leaves you in a bit of a daze. I imagine being transformed is even moreso. Think of it as roughly being akin to having a bad hangover after a night out drinking. I don't have much experience in that field, but if someone does, they might be able to tell me...if you had a hangover (in a setting where cryptids are only beginning to be known to exist), is your first thought going to be "uhg, I'm a vampire now", or is it going to be, "uhg, I had a weird dream...what happened to me"? So her initial confusion makes sense.

In fact, it's even shown on Tryouts 10 compared to the initial reveal two pages prior. If she was thinking straight, she'd have remembered the vampires already, and would have reacted with more knowledge about them. But she didn't, because she was still hazy. (This applies even if you ascribe to the idea that she was unwillingly turned. If she were coherent and forcefully turned, she'd be showing MUCH stronger resistance to the vampires, but because she's weak and hazy, she's just confused. So if she can be confused with an unwilling turn, it's fully possible to be confused with a willing turn.)

The vampires also treat her fairly well. One shows a bit of impatience for how long it took, and another affectionately greets her, asking about if she slept well. This kind of family bond implies they already had some sort of connection to her. The next page shows it even stronger, where they don't treat her with the full delicacy you'd expect from a COMPLETELY fresh recruit--the mention of the rebirth is dropped casually (as if she's expected to know what it is), and the delivery of the last line on the page suggests as much as well:
The unpleasant part is done with. Think of it as being loosely equivalent to going in to get a shot. You're told in advance what it's for, what it's going to be like, know it's going to hurt, and once it's done, are given a warming reply about how it's finished.

And then on tryouts 11, her expression over her mouth seems to be more of an "that was actually real!" reaction, the type you'd get when waking up from a lengthy experience you thought was a dream only to find evidence it was real. Her instant reaction to it being cool also shows that she clearly had no issue with being turned, so if she had no issue being turned after, it's likely she would be willing before. And furthering that, the feelings she must have been experiencing basically seem to be of the "I'm actually having it, I'm actually going to have my dream and this ability" type of reaction.

Now keep in mind in the pages following that. When Heather claims that she was given a choice, she doesn't go into an explanation as to what they actually told her. In fact, she doesn't mention that they mention the 2-pint rule (that WOULD be a contradiction); her mention of the 2-pint rule is separated from that. So their explanation could have been as simple as vamping out, taking a bite, saying, "yes this is real", explaining what they want her for and that she needed to be a vampire for it, and offering her the choice.

Granted, this may not be the best of form, to not lay down all the rules in advance, but if she's just going to decline, then there's not much point in them anyway, and the vampires aren't exactly the type of people to have this sort of detail fully thought out anyway. (They needed a cheerleader, they wanted her to be a vampire. They needed her to be willing, but that doesn't mean she needs to know all the details before accepting.)

A very, very vital clue to her being told in advance, though, is in "being a vampire 101 a" and the follow-through "being a vampire 101 b". Specifically?
"But I thought you were vampires."
And the reply, "And so are you, now."
She was just bitten, so she knows she's a vampire, but her first thought is not of HER being a vampire, but of THEM. This hints pretty heavily towards being aware in advance, and thus, having the opportunity to have held a choice.

The rest of the time during her lessons, she's not exactly reacting to being a vampire with any shock. She's taking to it with incredible ease. (More on that in the personality section following.) So it's not as if she's being thrown into a world she doesn't want. It's her getting used to the specifics of a world she CLEARLY wants.

Buy this theory if you want to, reject it if you want to, but this mini-essay is part of my further thoughts on her character. Many think that her base personality was fundamentally altered by the change, quite a few thinking for the worse.

I, however, just think that her true self was brought out. You might recall what my psychological profiling of her early character was, which is basically exactly what the vampires saw, too. Yet Lori (explicitly on the cast page) has what can be considered an eye for talent. (Having a hundred years' worth of experience means she likely is able to tell a lot about a person's personality before they're turned, as a precaution to make sure they can remain low-profile post-turn.)

It was said of her that a "whole new world opens up for her". And as a result of that, my thoughts are that the sheltered life she had been living is simply replaced with that of a more broadened one. As a result of this, the innocence and naivety she was known for slowly (and I do mean slowly, as in, mostly a HEALTHY growth away from it!) erode away, but the goodness within her does not.

You might wonder why Heather would then do a lot of the things she did. Her early actions a result of her undead youth, her later actions show basically no signs of being anything other than a growing adolescent. She's got friends, she's more outgoing, she's not as reserved as she was, all signs point to her being a vampire as simply having allowed her to grow as a woman. Other changes include the fact that she shows off some skill in planning, that she has the potential for leadership, and basically? That she has the potential to grow into the role that Lori holds, which is something that Lori probably likes about her.

Of course, just because she's heading towards becoming a more mature woman does not mean she is in any way an adult, yet. She's still in her adolescence. This is why some of the more mischievous things the vampire coven will do doesn't alarm her. Her sheltered life also plays a part in that. It didn't vanish overnight, so she's also not going to have the absolute best sense of "right" and "wrong". (Just because you like to do "good" doesn't mean your sense of "good" matches others'.)

Overall, the result is that, as a result of becoming a vampire, Heather changed from a recluse into a woman, but one who has not yet fully found her way. She's come out of her shell, but hasn't fully explored life.

As for the treatment of her parents, this can be attributed in part to the more negative aspects of her growth. Once content to accept the abuse she was given, now as a more mature woman, she won't tolerate it, and has the power to stop it. Unfortunately, again, she's not a full adult yet. So when she turns the tables on her parents, to her it's likely little more than simply getting back at her parents, and thinking that if what they did to her was okay, what she does to them is just as okay. (An unfortunate aspect true to real life is that abusers DO raise abusers, and Heather, having been abused, is going to have SOME abusive tendencies.)

Keep in mind that however little you think they deserve to be zombified, the reaction to their daughter being a vampire was to be ready to STAKE her. (Well, one had a stake and the other a cross, so close enough.) A more loving household would give her a stern talking to, lecture, scolding, and maybe revocation of privileges, but they were flat-out willing to murder (or even if not, THREATEN to murder) their daughter.

Vampire or not, she had just had a near-death experience and been tortured for the last month of her life--enough to be in really bad shape. As a loving parent, that's the type of moment where you embrace your daughter. (And then maybe offhandedly mention, "also, you're grounded".) But the first thing to greet her is threat of death. (And if you look in the last panel of that page, it looks like she IS showing concern for her mother, which is more than can be said of her mother for her.)

That doesn't make it an okay thing to do, of course. (Even on the next page, instead of the death-threat, we actually DO get the off-handed "you're grounded". But as far as first impressions go, they still made a lousy one, and Heather's not exactly a beacon of maturity. It'd be fair to say there's some blame on both sides, even if you feel there's more on Heather's for being a bit juvenile. 'Cause, well...she IS still a teenage kid.) It's a flaw in her character, one she gets away with. But it shows that she's still human even as a vampire, in that she's neither perfect nor a monster, and is an overall lighter shade of gray.

(On a personal note, this has no backing by canon, but it's also fully possible that Heather's progressively loosened her grip on her parents. She's probably not intent on relying on them, and they DO have a baby to raise, so Heather's probably less inclined to glamour them as much. This is particularly true if another theory of mine is correct: Heather, like Lori, is seeking a perfect senior year. It's hard to have one with parents that hate/want to kill you, but once said senior year is over, no need to glamour them.)

So basically, once she got the hang of being vampire, I see Heather as basically such:
Someone who doesn't quite have a full understanding of how the world works, but is rapidly expanding her knowledge to understand it. Smart and talented, but inexperienced. Increasingly outgoing, but not bold and rash in her moves. A bit of a jane of all stats, but not having total control over any, balancing out the group. I see this trend when she rushes to the defense of her coven, loving them and yet not abandoning her humanity while having embraced her vampiric life. I see it in her attempt to save Lori's life, and devotion to go with her.

And after the time skip, I still see it when she's in Lori's position. She's grown more knowledgeable in that timeframe, maybe a little bit traumatized by the torture, maybe a little bit saddened by having only one member of her coven with her, and as a result of these factors, being a little bit prone to frustration and anger. Lingering resentment for how the PMS treated her coven likely still exists as well. So as a result of these, she pushes her cheerleaders harder than Lori did. (But note that it's only Katie she treats rather harshly. She seems much easier on her vampire girls.)

After all, as said, she's got big shoes to fill, and is not nearly as experienced as Lori is. But like the humans she once was among, she IS trying. She's learned much from Lori, and clearly is loving (if in a bit more scolding manner) of Suki. Now, thanks to lack of screen time, we don't get to see much of her interaction with the rest of the cheerleaders in great detail, but while what we see is a little bit harsh, it's not much harsher than Lori was when Lori handed out her scoldings. (Because Lori DID give those out!) However, you can tell that she doesn't push her team too hard, and while annoyed, is still caring to them.


So I guess my overall impression of Heather Hartley is that "Hartley" can have another meaning: serving as The Heart, when need be.
She's grown up a lot, and has a lot longer yet to go, not being the perfect lady and having a ton of flaws, but she helps keep the coven together, and when having a sort-of new coven after the time skip, retains that position of unification.

What that means for her future, though, is unclear, but I happen to think her future looks fairly bright. She's a sweet enough gal. Most likely, she would follow her coven wherever they go, but it's also possible that she sticks with what I believe to be a semi-new coven of hers, and simply goes to reunions with her coven whenever called by Lori to do so, sort-of like branching out to start your own family. (It's possible Lori turned them, but also possible Heather turned them. "Nap Time Leonard" along with the fangs in previous strips plus the continued traditions show that they definitely ARE vampires.)

While on a personal note, I like the idea of the five staying together, I see a great amount of appeal to the latter canonically, because we KNOW that at some point, Lori Thurston gathers all that she has sired (actually, more specifically called her progeny, but same thing) over the years together and declares them the Thurston Family. I heavily picked up the implication from this that the members gathered had been split up over the years, and were for the first time gathering together in one spot, like a family reunion. So it's likely that Heather would be among them. It might be her bottom-left in panel four of "the Thurston Family Name", even, though given the small size and that it takes place some time in the future, it's difficult to be sure. (Other members of the juniors-turned-seniors squad are DEFINITELY there, though.)

Now, granted. The comic's not finished, yet. And time traveling may meddle with the state of affairs in the future. But I'm willing to be that it's actually fully canonical, or if not fully, then 99%. Or some similar high percentage. The point being, it is VERY likely that Heather becomes a part of the Thurston family, and as the family is likely of considerable size, those are the two options most likely--Lori/Lorna's innermost circle, or the leader of her own circle.

And now, my final thoughts?
Heather's not exactly a character to be adored, but she's also not a character worthy of being hated. She's a person that we probably don't want too much spotlight on, but we COULD put spotlight on at some point to show her final growth. (Because we've already seen her initial growth.)

(Hey, didn't I TELL you it'd be in-depth?)



As for Lori Thurston herself?
For a start, the first thing to be made aware of is the fact that there are two aspects to Lori's personality as I see her: her schoolgirl side and her vampire side. The two do NOT conflict, and do NOT hold dominance over one another; both are equally large parts of her personality. You might disagree with me, but that's how I feel about her--her vampire self as of modern days is that of the motherly progenitor of her coven, the sire of the eventual grand Thurston family. Her schoolgirl side is that of the young woman she likes to be, doing "girl stuff". (Many lament the loss of childhood, but the teen years are often overlooked. Yet they are actually even better than the childhood years, and the desire to relive them is quite understandable.) Neither is any more or less her than the other, because both are equally essential to Lori as a person.

And with that in mind, I can say that the reason for this spans back to her rebirth as Lorna. And it's also her as Lorna that I wish to explore her character.
Now it's no guarantee that EVERY generation Lori was in school, she made vampire cheerleaders (particular candidates for being left out include '08-'12 and '28-'32, the former coming right after her tragic experiences and the latter in a time of tension), but I'm assuming that at the very least, she's had a vampire coven in more iterations than not. (It seems that with the recent comic having a vampire need to address her by a different name, she does at least partially recycle her covens. Which carries a very concerning implication as to why this time around they were all fresh recruits.)

So with that in mind, we begin from the moment she was sired. We know that it was a VERY violent attack, not one meant to turn her; it actually KILLED her, almost to the point where the timeline was disrupted. (Turning may or may not require physical death, but I get the heavy implication that if so, it doesn't need to be as brutal as hers was.) Worse? Her sire left her there, with no master, out alone in the metaphorical wild (well, technically also literal wild given the forest). Of course, that wasn't her sire's fault, but it happened all the same and when she later becomes more familiar with vampires, it's likely to have left an impression on her psyche.

What we saw from Lori when she was pre-turned Lorna suggested she was a normal girl. She did girl stuff, lived a good life, and was a good person. This is another reason I drew the parallel between her and Heather; we didn't see much of her, but we saw enough to get the general feeling of her being that young woman maturing through school and having the time of her life.
...And then, the violent attack happens, and she gets overwhelmed. She's left dazed, confused, and not understanding what the heck she is. We've SORT-OF seen the lens of a character becoming something not fully understood with Katie, but this is much, MUCH worse. The good girl who existed before was shattered in an instant. She didn't know what she was. She made mistakes. She turned to her friends for help, and even turned them, but because she didn't understand her powers, she was left making mistakes and watched her friend die. (Since she's addressed by the name Lorna in a future iteration, though, it's possible she had others she kept close that survived.)

Like with Heather, being a vampire must have unlocked aspects of her personality that were buried. But unlike Heather, these truly were corruptions. Corruptions she later (mostly) recovers from, but corruptions all the same. She's currently considered sexy and seductive, and that's a skill she likely had to learn in order to feed. She had no training, so improvised methods, likely very sloppily, likely leaving messes, and in all probability, a trail of bodies in her broken wake. (In all probability, not intentionally. But how long would it take her to realize when feeding how to get no more than two pints? That's not an instinctive bit of knowledge, as Heather's initiation showed.)

But all the while, the original rather sweet girl remained. She almost assuredly didn't WANT to cause harm to anyone. This is particularly true given how she was turned; she wouldn't want to slaughter people as she almost was by her sire. This conflict, between her instincts and her will, are what would help drive her to rely on her friend, even risking turning her in spite of not fully knowing what she is. The loneliness to bear would otherwise be too great.

And yet, because of the lack of experience, she got her friend killed and almost died herself. She was terrified. She memorialized her dead friend, and swore to do things right. With eternal youth, she WOULD be able to have a 'perfect year', so long as she had the patience to wait for it. So she grew. Adrian likely taught her the ropes, being a substitute-sire. We already know that Adrian was a pretty cool guy, so if Lori lost any of her stronger virtues that I speculated she'd try to keep, Adrian near-assuredly helped to restore them.

He taught her how to live. This is not stated anywhere in-comic, but it's not too hard to figure out. And she did. The gaps in knowledge that had once caused her to fail, she now had filled in. This is where she begins her journey into having the two personalities. Her vampire side is gaining experience of life, aging even as her body remains the same. Her schoolgirl self longs to relive the days with Emma, only this time done right.

And from there, she begins her journey. Now, we don't know what Lori does in the 16 or so year gaps. If it was to go to four other schools, you'd expect her to have mementos for every four years, but she doesn't; she has them only for every twenty. So to her, it MUST be her school, not any other. (Additionally, in the near-future, she cries out "Go Bats!" which means the Thurston family hails exclusively from Bakertown.) This is, again, both sides of her. I'd like to think that her faking of 'being her own daughter' means that she actually goes out into the world as an ADULT during those 16 years, which when you think about it, makes a fair amount of sense since you graduate High School at ~18 and those with lucky enough genes can appear that age up to their 30s. (For instance, I have a 25-year-old sister who can pass as a highschooler, still. So people can write it off as Lori just looking young for her 'age'.)

Thus, she has lived full lives, seen the world most likely (a motivating factor for doing so could be a search for her creator, ESPECIALLY after the recent comic--it's just she's searching through space when it's time she needs), broadened her horizons, and has held a lot of fun. It's even possible she's been in enough relationships that she's had a fair amount of experience with both sexes, supported by her behavior when hunting the gorgon. (Obviously, she can feed on both males and females, but I'm talking about an actual relationship.) In fact, a convenient cover for having a daughter would be to be the second wife of a guy with at least one kid from the previous marriage, since it gives a level of plausible deniability to keeping the same last name, and yet having said daughter be born.

Yet in all of this time, I think she feels boredom. (This may be one reason she likes to tease people so much and is so easily intimate with women. Plenty of time for experimentation over a hundred years.) Depending on how many times she's made a vampire coven, how close they remain, and the fate of said covens (she does mention SURVIVING progeny, which means she of course has had some die over the years--we saw Emma, and there were likely others that died, too especially given the fresh start for 2008-2012), it's also fully possible she's lonely during the times away from school, too.

So when back in school, she continues to obsess over it, trying to have the perfect year. She seeks companionship, and for people to love her. Beyond pragmatic reasons for not flaunting her powers everywhere (her traumatic past is enough alone to ensure limited usage), another contributing factor is very likely that she wants to be loved not as a vampire, but as a PERSON. This is hinted at when we see that she didn't rig the ballot to become prom queen (and likely didn't charm the voters with glamour). She got it all by herself, and was proud of it, of being liked, which is why the revelation she was a vampire (and the terror of the populace) was all the more horrifying to her.

This of course reflects a bit back to not having a sire. (Well, sire there to raise her, anyway.) She doesn't have a family. So she's created her own. She desperately reached out in the recent comic when feeling the presence of her sire (in the past), because she's been without that love for far too long. (And it was a relief when she knew she had a maker at last.)

So what this means when it comes to the modern times is that the Lori Thurston that we know has the calm, cool head of her wisdom, a true mother to her coven and cares for her daughters dearly, and yet at the same time, a sexy seductress, playful, teasing, a little bit mischievous, and very much still human inside.

And I think you can see this in the comic's chronological order, too. It's basically indisputable that she DOES act like a mother to the other vampires, loving them, giving them a harsh talking to when they do bad, guiding them, treating them with respect, the whole works. Contrary to what some believe, I don't think she truly has any contempt for humans, though I think her having lived so long has caused great apathy towards humanity as a whole. But every once and a while, she finds people she truly likes, and offers them the life that she has, letting them into her circle, her world, because while she might not dislike those outside her world, she doesn't particularly love them, either. And she wants to love people.

She's perfectly happy with the decisions and actions of her coven, too, so long as they are not monumentally stupid, because again, she's more their mother than their actual mothers are, and as a result, will back them up. (See also: her apathy towards humanity after having seen so much of them--only so much you can do before you learn not to get invested and all.) This DOES result in some morally gray things, however, I don't think she actually takes things too far.

As an example, as much as she may tease Leonard when Leonard was enthralled, she still held him with some degree of respect. Leonard himself said that while what they did wasn't particularly nice, it was mean in a playful spirited way, where they never truly made him do anything horrible. (As partly evident by the fact that, post-time-skip, he's actually still doing a lot of the same things he did as a thrall.) To me, this tells me that at least on some level, she respects humanity beyond a fear of what they can do; she holds at least some level of genuine care in them, even if as a whole she'd rather focus on things more important to her and her coven.

Basically, while there's quite pragmatic reasons for not killing, something tells me that Lori wouldn't allow it even if there wasn't. And as the comic goes on, you get to see her progressively opening up more of her personality, where she shows progressively more of this affection. In fact, there's even hints of it towards the cheerleaders that go with the A team to Nationals, even though earlier in the comic she's not as accepting of them. (This may be a side-effect, however, of her perfect year already having been ruined, so she defaulted to being more nice as she knew she'd need to come back again anyway. Plus, Heather DID spawn from B team and would need B team's support in her own senior year.)

The final proof of this is when she is attacked by PMS; she made sure not to harm any of the attendants (in fact, PMS came closer to doing that than she did), and she only attacked PMS after being REALLY TICKED OFF and being given good reason to fight back. In all of that, she was respectful, she was mature, she was calm and cool, and yet within her burned a raging temper of her old youth. She ultimately sides with her love of her coven, and got into the fight for them, but even after hundreds of years, she's not fully grown yet as a person.

As for what she's doing now, it's quite possible that she's actually out looking for Stephanie. She's presumably graduated from school, she's hundreds of years old (well, not really hundredS, but close enough), and she's got very little else to do. She's not going to be that fond of PMS, but to some extent they did bond together in their struggles, might feel compelled to repay Stephanie for freeing her, and like I said, doesn't exactly have much else to do. Other possibilities involve her visiting older sired vampires of her family, or that she's continuing the hunt for Cressida. It should be noted that in the future, she's side-by-side with J.C. (okay, not quite, but close), so it's rather possible she bonded with him at some point (makes sense, given that she knew his father), and the present's as good a time as any.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean a romantic bond (professional relationship is totally plausible), though given the centuries gap between present and future, it's certainly not impossible to have happened, but in any case, at some point or another she clearly gets along with at least SOME of the PMS, which supports the hunting/searching theories above.

As for what she ends up doing? It's rather possible that they don't catch Cressida for a long time, given that both vampires and the gorgon are immortal. So while vampires are presumably an increasingly-public thing, making it harder and harder to hide (and she was rather publicly exposed as one), it's possible that she DOES end up going back to Bakertown High School eventually and DOES manage to FINALLY get a perfect senior year.

Which would of course bring up a 'now what?' to her. And therein lies where I think her speech about the Thurston family can take place. No longer feeling bound to uphold the schoolgirl self she had been, she embraces her other vampiric motherly half and becomes the sire of what is effectively a whole Thurston clan. (I would estimate she probably has something like 20 children of her own, not going into children's children. That doesn't mean they all survived, but that's...still a big vampire family given immortality. And these numbers I'm giving are likely on the LOWER side.)

And let's say that the Thurston clan continues to prosper throughout the centuries. (Which it has no reason not to. ESPECIALLY given an acceptance of cryptids into society.) Looking at the vampires' fame in the future, and her position of power, it's basically a given that vampires are an accepted part of galactic society. And if her clan is among the more prominent ones (this may owe to their ease of turning and unique adaptations), then she has an investment in protecting it, making her position make total sense: as the commander of the fleet, she is defending her babies as the loving mother she is.

(One thought as a bit of a personal guess I have is that her entire breed of vampire was either really rare or actually extinct before Lori came to be. Hominus Nocturna seem like they have a really awesome power--so why so few of them? Being hunted to rarity or even extinction would help to explain that. Basically, the theory is that via the stable time loop, Lori with Suki's assistance managed to re-introduce that particular breed of vampire...which in modern days, is much, MUCH easier to become successful as.)


So like Heather, my overall impression of Lori is that she's an overall nice woman. She has her darker moments when you get on her bad sides, and her desire to have some fun means she's far from squeaky-clean, but as of the modern age, she is most likely one of the largest beacons of positive morality for vampires, and NOT in a bad way. Flawed, sure. Still growing, yeah. Living the good life, while balancing being a mother? Oh yes.

My final thoughts are that she's definitely a great character that I love to see that we're currently exploring, think she can be explored some more, but also think we have enough to know the basics already. A well-written character all-around, I'd say, and someone I wouldn't mind being friends with. (Or for that matter, being amongst her daughters.)

(Seriously, though, don't expect all my analysis to be as in-depth as these two have been. They're some of the more controversial complex characters, so I have the most to say about them.)



Unfortunately, I don't think I can give nearly as much feedback about Zoe. Simply put, while she's far from a flat character, while she's an interesting person and everything, there's...really not much about her to say that the comic doesn't already tell you. She's had some spotlight, and we know a fair amount about her, and she IS an interesting person, but really, whereas in the analysis about Heather and Lori, I gave what I feel is good insight, when it comes to Zoe, I don't think there's much I can truly say.

In other words...I think that Zoe is just the kind of character we all instinctively "get". We don't need an elaborate explanation to know about her, nor would we complain about there not being much to her. It's just that everything there is to her, we simply have an innate understanding of, I think, and in my opinion, that's actually a GOOD thing for a character, because yes, sometimes it's good to have that type of common ground.

But in my best attempt to explain anyway (this may fail to be accurate), whereas Heather reads as sort-of being a protege of Lori, Zoe is definitely her best friend. (At least of this generation.) She's there as that good friend to support Lori when she needs help, and provides many of the same skill sets. However, while being alike, she also offers a contrast (foil, so to speak), having many things about her that are distinctly different. This is what close friendships are made of, and I think almost anyone who has had a friend can identify these things with Zoe Weller.

Her past is a bit of a curiosity, but most likely is something rather mundane overall. In the present, we can see her interactions with Suki rather clearly, though ultimately she's not in close contact with Suki anymore. (Presumably, she's left with Lori to go wherever she goes, while Suki stays in school.) It's in the moments like this that we most strongly see that Zoe is not identical to Lori, in that Zoe--while wise beyond her years--is still a young woman, in contrast to Lori who has the wisdom of years and yet sometimes acts like a young woman.

Obviously, there's legitimate chemistry there between Zoe and Suki given the events of future!Zoe to Suki, and this again shows to me how Zoe is overall still younger than Lori, admittedly by proxy of Suki being younger and Zoe being on Suki's level in said interactions. Basically, if Zoe and Suki become an item in the present (or near-future), then it'd be that of a young couple. Lori probably wouldn't serve as a proper mother to them, but would at least be an aunt.

This is of course speculation, since we don't know what will happen when Suki returns from her adventures to the present. (Or if she will return at all--it IS possible that the future we saw is the 100%, final, absolute future with all events locked in stone, necessitating that Suki never go back to the present, though I find this possibility incredibly unlikely if for no other reason than the wasted chance to explore the Suki-Lori connection.)

But when that happens, another possibility (which I'll explore a bit in the Suki section) is that the three of them become near-equals, with Lori as a (big?) sister rather than a mother to Zoe. All-in-all, I'd say the fate of Zoe largely is tied to the fate of Suki. We know she does reasonably well and is alive centuries (if not millennia) into the future, and has feelings for Suki. It's difficult to pin down the exact mechanics of what will happen to her without knowing the exact mechanics of what time travel does.



So while we're at it, we might as well cover Suki herself.
Like Zoe, we don't exactly know her past, but we DO know her personality. To me, the best way I have to describe it is, simply a "Cloudcuckoolander", in that her head's a bit in the clouds. As a result of this, we get the Suki that we know and love: says a lot of random stuff, and blurts out whatever she's thinking, no matter how inappropriate (or dangerous) it may be to say, and who is unafraid to act the way she likes to. (Plus can get easily side-tracked.)

Of course there's more to her character than that, but I think that's the central trait about her that all other aspects revolve around: her carefree chick who lives life freely and openly, in spite of the risks involved in having done so. And like most cloudcuckoolanders, she's not actually stupid; she's frighteningly smart....when she needs to be. (It's just that she often doesn't need to be, and can afford to be dumb.) Basically, she's a bit crazy, and has crazy ideas, and isn't exactly the best planner...but sometimes, she just knows what works, and runs with it for aaaaaaaall its worth.

This of course makes her a polar opposite to Lori, while also giving her a strong contrast to Zoe. It could be said that she's childish, but when push comes to shove, knows how to be more mature. She's casual, but when serious can get argumentative. She's easily distracted, but won't let herself lose sight of important things.

All-in-all, she's a great character to have in this final arc of VC, since it allows us to explore the quirky aspects of the characters through her. (Basically, she herself doesn't have much room to expand as a person, nor would we really want her to since we like her the way she is. It's others exposed to her that we see grow, though this does at least partially feed back; I imagine Suki's treatment of Lori and Zoe is going to change once they've gotten back together.)

As for what happens to her in the future, that's one disadvantage of me writing this before the series has finished. Her being among the central 3 characters of the story, she's going to be among the last we know the final fate of. One thing to note is that Lori likely instinctively knew she needed to sire Suki. She didn't recognize the why, and won't until she sees Suki again, but when she does, I think we WILL get an interaction that allows us to see how the loop works.

My GUESS at it involves the self-feeding time loop. Since one cannot be sired without the other, neither is going to be inherently superior to the other, and thus, the two are going to be, at least to some degree, "equally" vampires. Perhaps they're even sister-like, but overall, however much Suki may go through, Suki is still Suki, and Lori is still Lori, and Lori is the far more motherly of the two, thus, why I think it'll remain a Thurston coven.

In other words, after a reunion, exchanges are made, they come to a much better understanding of one another, and yet while the dynamic has shifted slightly, it has not been largely altered. It's not quite clear what her fate with Zoe will be, either. A large unknown involves whether she reciprocates future!Zoe's feelings, and if she does, then if present!Zoe can recognize them as existing, too.

All-in-all, Suki is that one crazy friend of yours who is out of touch with reality, but when in touch with it is surprisingly firm.



While we're on the subject of the current plot, we might as well cover Leonard.
I have to say that I've rather enjoyed seeing his character, mainly because he is someone you can hold a lot of empathy for. (Basically, he's a person we all know and many have been.) He's a little bit geeky, but not severely so; he's mostly your average guy.

He does have the desire to get involved in the paranormal, hunting vampires, other cryptids, the like, but those are shown to be dreams that he's not fully in the know about and hasn't completely comprehended. So he's a good case when he comes along of being taught by experience, systematically figuring things out as he goes along, in contrast to the PMS who as professionals know basically the exact cause of something when entering a scene. (Most of the time, anyway.) And given enough time and practice...he actually succeeds, becoming actually pretty darn respectable. Yet for all his efforts, he's still just your average-day guy, NOT a professional, so while he may occasionally be in his element, most of the time, he's just going to be winging it with the expected mixed results.

You can see that rather clearly when he went from hunter to thrall after Plan BC, in that for all his preparations, he's still a teenaged guy high on hormones. When he gets out of the situation, he doesn't instantly become a monster-slaying god, either. He has a strong fanboy moment with the PMS, and after that's finished, lets them do most of the work. He's smart, but not infallible. He's a good study, but he lacks experience. He's a good friend, but handles friendship awkwardly. We don't really know what his life is like, but Heather is likely his only long-time friend, as supported by his shy/nervous attitude.

Basically, he's the meek everydude, who just so happens to not yet be an adult, yet. Occasionally badass, occasionally a wimp, most of the time just a guy who does what he can. I really, really like his character, in that while surprisingly simple to describe, it has a depth that goes miles deep.

And we love him for it. (Well, *I* do, anyway.)

No clue what'll happen to him after the story's finished, though. Could get some mundane job, could fulfill his dream and continue the adventure. Heck, it IS possible that he becomes a vampire, though I find it a bit unlikely. Best guess I suppose would be living a nice, long mortal life and dieing of old age. (Or becoming immortal, but somehow that feels like wishful thinking.)



Oh, might as well complete the trio and cover Katie. To give a basic understanding of her, well, her bio covers most of it. She's basically the youngest of the cast...and as a result? It shows in how she acts. She's a teenage girl, practically too young to be called a "young woman". When it comes to characters we tend not to like, well, a lot of the things she displays in her attitude are things not to like. However, whereas others might see this as a reason to hate her as a character...

...I actually really, really like it. 'Cause let's face it. It's realistic. We might not LIKE that it's realistic. We might not THINK we were *that* bad. But oh, yes. Trust me. We were. Every single one of us, in our own unique ways. (And for those in the audience who're actually younger than Katie is, trust me, you'll be that way when you get her age!)

The result to me is a really, really smartly-written character. She's immature. She doesn't think like an adult. Frankly, she doesn't really belong in the field at all until she begins to mature. The key word, here, though, is "begins". That's actually a great reason to have her as a protagonist: she's got a long ways to go. She might be kind in comparison to her sister, but that's STEPHANIE we're talking about, and she doesn't actually contribute much to changing that aside from her mere existence as a cryptid. Basically, while she is a member of PMS that got a lot of screentime, it was Stephanie who grew as a character as she was the focus.

Katie grew from being worthless to having a purpose (becoming, quite literally, stronger, and as a result, more confident), but when you actually well and truly analyze her attitude, there's not much of a marked difference. (Aside from her mastery of her ability and her attitude as a result.) She's TOUGHER, yes. She got stronger. She became an asset. She learned how to fight, how to control her power, and all that. That means her character grew. But her PERSONALITY didn't. She's still the 15-turned-16-year-old she was before. However, over the course of the current Vampire Chronicle, she actually IS starting to mature, albeit very, very slowly. One advantage of having three central characters is a large amount of time spent on said three central characters, and they're each getting more and more fleshed out.

So when it comes to Katie, over the course of VC 1-3, she earned her spot on the team by transitioning from worthless to warrior. Now's her time to go from immature to mature, and with every passing reaction where she's progressively more reasonable, she's taking a step towards that direction. I'm not sure where to best pull up examples of what I mean, here, about her build as a character previously yet the need (and now slow fulfillment) of the progression of her personality, so I'm going to invoke a cop-out response and ask you to read PMS 1-2/VC 3 and the current arc to see what I mean, since that's my take on her.

(Basically, though she certainly might seem a little bit more, for lack of a better term, "bitchy" in the current arc, it's not something really new; it's just something we've gotten a larger focus on. Yet with that increased focus also comes an increased eye on how she is changing. Physically, she's not going to change anymore. She underwent character development already. But her personality is definitely not going to be the same by the time the travels are over. She's aging by it.)

As a result of this, though, it'll be quite interesting to see what comes of her after the adventure has concluded. She's probably going to be involved in monster hunting for the rest of her life, but in what manner I suppose really depends on how the winds of the story blow. (Heck, I'm not exactly sure about lycanthropy biology, so if they don't age like humans are, it's possible she could keep at it for a looooooooooooooooooooooooong time.)



When it comes to her older sister Stephanie, we can clearly tell she's changed a lot over the years.
When she was young, she had no problem interacting with Laura, and has fond memories of dealing with cryptids. However, her descriptions of the events don't sound particularly filled with violence, and it's rather likely that her monster hunter parents probably were not mass-murderers of cryptids. Undoubtedly I imagine they'd have killed some, but I don't get the impression they killed them all.

Lacking in strong social skills (as revealed by Charlotte being her only other childhood friend and their own word about things such as skipping prom), Stephanie likely spent a LOT of time invested in family and invested in the family business. However, while not having that great of social skills and clearly interested in her parents' work, she had other hobbies that she pursued.

I haven't had the chance to read Aoi House (I know, shame on me!), but she had at least one adventure with them, if not multiple, in which she was fairly high-spirited.

So the nature of the incident which changed her must have been really, truly, horrendously bad. Keep in mind that we've seen a lot of cryptid torture/killing/similar methods (admittedly mainly on other cryptids), but to most things, Stephanie doesn't slow down. So this couldn't have just been a normal encounter gone bad. It had to have been something well and truly spectacularly messy.

To my knowledge, this event has never been directly shown nor described in detail, just heavily hinted at as involving the cryptids murdering her parents brutally.

But that was enough to transform her, ironically just as much if not moreso than a transformation into a cryptid would. She retained several key features of her personality, from her fashion sense to her strong passions to her familial bonds, but everything else about her morphed and twisted. Later when she's recovered, she herself admits she was going through some dark times, and boy is it evident she was. Harsh, snappy, unforgiving, murderous, full of rage, maybe guilt, angry at every setback, expecting high performances, extreme disregard to feedback...all unbecoming of a truly good person.

In short, though having the elements of a 'hero' (for lack of a better term), her motivation, her attitude, and all-around methodology made her anything but, and practically made her a villain. She undoubtedly did good, but she had zero hesitation to prematurely do acts that would have easily qualified for being 'evil', all for the sake of what in simple terms could be called blithering rage for revenge.

Of course, this is a bit of an exaggeration. When it comes to the fights we saw her in, for MOST of them, there wasn't an alternative so she wasn't at fault and did what she had to in order to survive. (See above, for her parents.) She's also quite nice to humans who don't earn her ire. But a large part of the early comic focuses on her growing out of this phase in her life, of recovering from her loss, and realizing what the really important things (that she almost lost in her fury) are. And it's only truly around the fight with the Vampire Chicks that this actually begins to fully manifest. (This is one reason why Stephanie and Heather both no longer require as much screen time: because both had their character growth basically conclude once their fight had.)

It was beginning to come out as early as not eviscerating her sister and sparing the life of J.C., it began to mature when she worked with them as a team in Las Vegas, it materialized when she began making live captures, but it wasn't until the fight with the Vampire Chicks that you got to see her full growth. The emotions, the poses, the overall way of operating, it is here that she not only becomes a true professional, but also gains a true team, there by her side. She protects them and ultimately saves them, having grown from barely any heart to having a good deal to spare.

...Still a bit of a jerk some times, still a bit reckless, but there's a reason she was selected by the mothmen. You can see the mothmen throughout the story observing her, and they were watching her for the signs I pointed out. Always in the position of leader, they ended up taking her in when she was finally fit to LEAD.

I'm afraid my analysis on Stephanie is a bit weaker than it should be, as I fear I lack the proper ability to describe the central core of her character. Mainly because she's such a rich one. But boiled down, I'd say that it's someone who took a bad event in a really wrong way, and since then has been working to build herself up into the person she SHOULD have been from that. She's succeeded, for the most part, too.

And now it's just a matter of what the mothmen mean for her, and for that...well, frankly, I don't have a clue. If the page is to be trusted, she's just fine ruling them, but that seems to be a bit questionable. I can see her becoming some sort of immortal queen, I can see her returning to a life of monster hunting, really depends on how the mothmen are handled. (It's also possible that she and some combination of the current trio and maybe with an extra member become permanent space-time travelers, in a Dr. Who kind of way, but I find that to be a little less likely than them settling down SOMEWHERE and somewhen.)



Next in line, the last original PMS member.
First off when it comes to Charlotte, I just want to share my thoughts on something. VC technically shares universes with EC and MC, and yet Charlotte is treated entirely differently than the Hellrune coven witches would be. The way I see it, there are basically three options, the first being that Stephanie has a similar pact with Charlotte as her parents had with the Delacroix family. The second option is that while called a witch, what Charlotte is practicing is not actually witchcraft, but just got called that. The third, basically a bit of a variation of the other two, is that just like there's multiple types of vampires and werewolves in the setting, there are different types of witches as well. Cryptid-blooded witches (like the Hellrune coven) are considered evil, whereas non-cryptid witches are considered good.

Now with that out of the way, the basic core of Charlotte's character as I see her is to be, well...basically, among the most human characters in the series. By which, I mean...a character who in very little delivers so VERY much and tells us they're a real person that we can relate to. When it comes to Charlotte specifically, this manifests in, for lack of a better term, being a bit of a 'gamer girl'.

She's similar to Zoe in that she's that one friend who's there to both be similar and yet offer contrast, strong but easily wavered, devoted yet quirky, kind yet not bold, competent yet easily knocked off-balance. Whereas Katie offers Stephanie muscle in a fight and some ties to humanity out of one (in spite of ironically no longer being human), Charlotte offers the air support and gives more moral support.

Honestly, I feel like she could do with more focus and that'd make this description be a bit better, but she's given plenty enough for us to get the general gist. As a person, that friend you need. As a character, effectively a third wheel in arguments to diffuse tenser moments and back her friends up if things get ugly.

As for what happens to her, she probably remains a monster hunter for the duration of her life. I get the impression that in the future, PMS are still known for their actions as Zoe and Lesley acted as if encountering Leonard and Katie was nothing out of the ordinary. Granted, they're in an amusement park created by Lita, but it still seems odd that Lita alone would be able to make them popular celebrities even centuries/millennia into the future. Thus, my belief that the remaining members of PMS (Charlotte, J.C., and Lita) continue to be monster hunters, perhaps with the aid of now-graduated vampire cheerleaders at their side. (It's been shown that at the very least, Suki has interest in the idea given her fascination with the programming Lita watches and her surprise at werewolves being real. It's not too unreasonable to think other members of the coven have an urge to explore the world, now.)

This would offer a handy explanation for why they're still a big deal in the future. Beyond Lita backing them up (and perhaps beyond the vampire cheerleaders doing the same), they'd have not just a small fraction of adventures over the course of a year, but a whole BUNDLE load of adventures over the course of MANY years, just with an altered roster. (Think of it in terms of a long-running show. One thing they often do is a rotation of the roster on the show. Some members stay, some members leave. I imagine that PMS could become like that. The original founding members of Stephanie and Katie disappeared, and Leonard is not among them anymore, but Charlotte, Lita, J.C., and any vampire cheerleaders tagging along are there, and allow the "show" to continue.)

Of course, this is a prediction I don't see changing when Katie, Stephanie, and Leonard are re-introduced into the timeline, so basically, I think that her natural place is to be a monster-hunter. It's what she's good at. (Not as a team leader, though. At least, not as likely. She fumbles too much under pressure, which means that unless she overcomes that fault, she'd always be there as support for the leader rather than being the leader.)

Another possibility is that witches live longer lives. (Again, the specifics of witches, and even her particular brand of witchcraft, are not laid out. In some stories, witches can live for...a very long time.) This would allow her to help the story of the original members of PMS survive for much longer, too, since even J.C. wasn't there from the VERY beginning, whereas Charlotte was.



Speaking of J.C., he might not count as an official member of PMS, but I count him as one anyway. (It could be said that, like Leonard, he is "one of the girls". That's not a description of his personality--well, with the exception of when he was first introduced, during which it might be applicable--but rather a description of how well he fits in among them.)

If the profile page wasn't enough to tell us as much, it's not too hard to figure out he's not that old, especially for a vampire. (Keep in mind that vampires who're born vampires tend to age slower than normal humans. We don't know his father's exact type of vampirism, but we know that they share a universe with EC, and in EC, it's shown rather well with Layla and Nina at the very least.) He's relatively young and inexperienced, so as a result of this, lacks confidence near the beginning. He's shown as being reserved, shy, and nervous. He's got the ability to express himself, and will do so, but at the beginning, doesn't push with any force. In spite of these flaws, even at the beginning, he's still competent--though he may have preferred desk work, he's clearly a trained officer, who is in his own words, "idealistic, not stupid".

So his journey over the course of VC is evolving into a proper field agent, one who easily belongs with the PMS. After his secret is revealed, he is less inclined to keep his feelings hidden, and he becomes a little bit more combat-oriented, albeit reluctantly. As he gains experience handling Stephanie, he gains the strength of character to stand up to her, and plant a firm foot down, resisting her efforts of mindless slaughter and insisting they at least TRY to save the cryptids whenever possible.

The result of this growth is that by the time of PMS 2, he's part of the group, and in VC 3, actually takes part in their raids. He contributes, he coordinates, he's taken on a position of field messenger, relaying between PMS and PETM to maximize their cryptid-saving efforts. (He is not the leader and has no problems not being the leader, since he's not the one doing the majority of the fighting.) In short, he goes from meek and simple, to strong and intelligent. He managed to figure out something was wrong when handing the vampire cheerleaders over, after all, so it's fully possible that he played a very large part in figuring out the culprit behind the abduction, and obviously jumped at the chance to rescue them.

This stance is likely among the reasons why come time in the future, he's there along-side Lori (well, in a chair by her, serving the same role for her as he does for PMS in the present as a communications officer): he was the member of PMS (or close enough to a member) that treated them the most reasonably and caused the least harm. (His contribution to fighting the VCs was trying to save Charlotte and firing a taser.) He's clearly sympathetic to them, more than any of the other characters can be (he IS a half-vampire, after all, and thus knows all too well about vampiric needs), so would jump at the chance to help them out, and likely in the present is currently traveling with the other vampire cheerleaders. (See Lori for what that likely entails.)

Overall, J.C. is not the hero-type, and he knows he's not. He's there to support the heroes, and to keep them actually worthy of the name hero. He's a good guy, offering the team the connections they need in order to get their jobs done. He carries authority but is not the leader, and is wise enough to recognize that, but also smart enough to know he's not an idiot to be pushed around. His input is valuable, and his skills indispensable. Out-of-universe, he doesn't offer much of a bridge, but in-universe, he acts as a fine liaison between the heroes and the forces they may be up against, for instance him being a vampire (half, anyway) when interacting with vampires. So once he became competent at fieldwork, he easily earned his spot as a monster hunter, even though he's mainly a noncombatant. (Mainly by choice.)



Of course, let's not forget Lita. She clearly began the story as a villain, but as an incorporeal being, she's not kept up the trait.
Rather the opposite, in fact. She could have caused all sorts of mischief to the team and made their lives miserable, but at worst she provided a mere nuisance when satiating her boredom via pop culture. Bonding to Katie seems to have changed her for the better, though, since ultimately, with what little powers she possesses, she ended up doing selfless things such as saving Charlotte's life at the end of VC 3.

Which you can see after the bond to Katie is broken, too. She could have gone out and done a lot of bad. And yet, we clearly see that by the time of the future, she's a widely-respected figure, on good terms with the Thurstons (considering them very close friends), and clearly lacks the agenda she once possessed. She even offers protection to random people with her 'body'.

This is most evident after her 'death', in fact. Her ghost-self is killed, which unleashes the original demon she was at the very beginning of the story. If she hadn't changed at all, said demon would have remained evil...but in her demonic form in the future, she's still focused on protecting her friends. As she says, "no one sprocks the demoness Lilita's kin". So she considers at the very least Katie (if not many more) to be her family, and will do whatever it takes to protect them.

So basically, what we get from her as a character overall is someone who, once her ambitions have been curved, becomes a bit of a snarker, there and offering minor aid to the team, but who lacks any true strength. (A sort-of spirit adviser, you could say.) She does what she can after she learns to care, and ultimately in the future is proven quite successful, and something tells me even her station blowing up (with her on it) isn't going to stop her from that. A bit sassy, a fair amount of caring, in spite of appearances to the contrary, she's easily family for the groups.



If there is one character I have a complaint about being under-developed, it would be Lesley.
She's been present throughout a large majority of the series, and yet, never been able to take a large role in things. (She has plenty of lines, but they're mainly one-offs that any character could say.) I'm quite positive that if Lesley could hear me, her reaction to what I'm saying would be just as bad if not worse than Katie's reaction to her words, but I feel the need to express them (at my hazard) all the same:
Simply put, while she's there in a significant portion of the comic, she's never truly shined. I can think of her place in things when actually putting effort into thinking, but what she contributes is not nearly as instinctive to my mind as it is the other Thurston Family members. Simply put, she is not that memorable.

That having been said, I can tell there's a lot there, even though we simply don't see it and at least I personally have trouble remembering it. She's listed as the voice of reason in the group, and I think that's a fairly apt description of what she does: offer a bridge in the gap, even moreso than Heather does. Basically, if we got to know her more intimately, her precise personality and maybe her history would become much more defined, since it's clear she has plenty of both (in spite of the mundane life, she DOES seem to have held the most in her life of the three initial seniors), but it's not needed to tell the story.


Granted, a lot of this is just me winging it, to bridge gaps in the story. But I DO think to some extent, "viewers are geniuses" is in effect, in that a lot of the leaps between the stories may be hard to get, but ARE possible to make, with some degree of thought put in. Perhaps a bit awkward at times, but still understandable. Granted, there's a "drawback" to this approach, which in my mind is also a feature. Because the story of Vampire Chicks as a whole relies a BUNCH on said jumps for various reasons, there is room for interpretation there, allowing us to make up our own stories from there.

Such open-ended storytelling may not be to everyone's tastes, but I can tell you that at the very least, I can say *I* enjoy it. It allows me to make stuff like this.

So it's on that note that I can leave you to rip my post to shreds!

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Storm-forge mystique
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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Storm-forge mystique » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:39 am

...who are you, and why do you have the permissions to make announcements?

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Bree
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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Bree » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:50 am

That wasn't me.

To answer, I'm...a newb who had WAY too much free time on their hands. :P

dmra
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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by dmra » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:17 am

Bree wrote: So let's start with Heather:
She started the comic as a sheltered girl, in a semi-abusive household. We know her mother clearly was at least a little (if not a lot), and her father (while not as bad) clearly showed some signs as well about enforcing her seclusion. The result of this was a girl who was highly innocent, highly naive, not prone to the exact workings of the world, and as a result, managed to even be cheerful in spite of living what behind closed doors was a bad life. Not being aware she wasn't normal, she was simply content and even happy to just go about her life.
I read about as far as here and gave up. Not your fault but the idea that Heather grew up in a "semi-abusive household" is one that keeps getting put forward on the forums to justify/explain her appalling behaviour. The only evidence I can see about Heather's upbringing is that she call her parents "pretty strict" and they get upset after she comes home very late and hours after they expected her.

It might not be the most liberal and free and easy of childhoods but hardly abusive. They clearly don't mind Heather being out of the house. They let her have friends - even boy ones. For Pete's sake they don't approve of the cheerleaders but they still let Heather take part.

Doesn't fit any kind of definition of abuse that I know of.

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Nightgazer Starlight » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:27 am

dmra wrote:I read about as far as here and gave up. Not your fault but the idea that Heather grew up in a "semi-abusive household" is one that keeps getting put forward on the forums to justify/explain her appalling behaviour. The only evidence I can see about Heather's upbringing is that she call her parents "pretty strict" and they get upset after she comes home very late and hours after they expected her.

It might not be the most liberal and free and easy of childhoods but hardly abusive. They clearly don't mind Heather being out of the house. They let her have friends - even boy ones. For Pete's sake they don't approve of the cheerleaders but they still let Heather take part.

Doesn't fit any kind of definition of abuse that I know of.
http://www.vampirecheerleaders.net/stri ... _parents_2

Seems pretty abusive to me.

Especially how she's frying her daughter's hand.

Notice how she insulted the cheerleaders too.

And how she is telling her daughter to quit them, well it's implied she is.
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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by dmra » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:41 am

I don't know about you but I wouldn't expect my daughter to start burning simply by coming into the house. It's not as though her mother is holding her hand over a flame or anything.

Parents disapproving of people their children like and even being rude to them - especially when they've worried and angered them by staying out without contacting them to say where they are and why- may be embarrassing but it's hardly abuse. Calling it that is actually insulting to people who really have been abused either physically or mentally.

It certainly doesn't justify doing the equivalent of drugging them, making them into your slaves and forcing them to have a child.

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Adam_Arnold » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:44 pm

Storm-forge mystique wrote:...who are you, and why do you have the permissions to make announcements?
I put a sticky on the post earlier as a reminder to myself to manually add some bold to Bree's post to make it a bit easier to find where different character sections started.

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Bree » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:14 pm

dmra wrote: Not your fault but the idea that Heather grew up in a "semi-abusive household" is one that keeps getting put forward on the forums to justify/explain her appalling behaviour. The only evidence I can see about Heather's upbringing is that she call her parents "pretty strict" and they get upset after she comes home very late and hours after they expected her.
Well, it begins with even the cast page: Heather's bio says that her parents are "overbearing and avid churchgoers". If you look up the definition of overbearing, it's "unpleasantly or arrogantly domineering". With synonyms including tyrannical, despotic, oppressive, high-handed, bullying, and bossy. (Domineering isn't much better if you look it up, and presumably you know the definition of the other words.)

So even in the cast page, I'd infer abuse. (It doesn't help that a fairly common--not necessarily accurate, but also sadly not a fictional creation as it DOES happen--portrayal of many "avid churchgoers" in fiction IS of them being abusive. So call that a bias on pop-culture. It's something that shouldn't happen, and it's something that only happens to what I HOPE to be a minority of Christians, but it DOES happen whether we like to acknowledge it or not, and pop-culture tends to portray it happening a fair amount, so whenever I see "avid churchgoers" or similar in a story, my mind's going to be red-flagging their kids because it's practically a Trope.)

You're right, there's nothing explicit in saying they're strict that would translate to abuse, but it's a warning sign of it all the same. While the wording here is fine enough, her expression and pose do not seem like that of a parent delivering a scolding; she seems to be in a more domineering position, and the way she grabs Heather's arm is also a gesture of control. (Especially given pop-culture on the subject.) If you look at Heather's expression in that page, she's even terrified, and while she may have some good vampiric reasons to be frightened, it's fully possible that something like this has happened before when Heather was a human and she's afraid of it.

The next page, Heather even says that her mom is hurting her. I don't have kids, but if I did, I can assure you that if my child said I was hurting them, I would stop whatever it was I was doing that caused them pain. Heather's mom continued, and was giving a lecture down on her, being rather dismissive of her choice. (It was HER choice to be a cheerleader, meaning HER choice who to hang around with.) Though not to the point of being flat-out verbal abuse, if this is her reaction to what is otherwise a normal incident, then it gives a warning sign. And again, look at her posture, her body language. She's not just pulling Heather in by force. She's also pulling Heather downwards, with her right hand (presumably her dominant hand) curled up into a fist. That is a HUGE warning sign.

Another sign of them being controlling is how she got in contact with Leonard who let her know the tryouts were over. So she was obsessing over those details of Heather's life. Granted, control does not by itself imply abuse, but it does again give another indicator of it. Another along the same lines is how she delivers the line about the cheerleaders being a bad influence on Heather. "I knew they would be" is the type of language that (from my understanding) actual abusers will use. And it raises the question, if the cheerleaders are such a bad influence, who then gets to decide what's a good influence on Heather? The answer would be, of course, her mom, in her mom's eyes anyway. She gets to say what is or isn't a good/bad influence. Another sign of control.

Which is basically confirmed when Heather says that she's done being her mother's "little miss perfect". 'Perfect' children are often the result of highly-abusive households (fairly certain this is actually a proven fact, though I wouldn't know where to track down references), for reasons that I think are obvious, in that any time the child does anything not-perfect, they get punished.

And while having your kid be a vampire is obviously going to give SOME negative reaction, from a more loving household you'd expect a "what's wrong with you" or the like. Instead...we get "you're no child of mine" and "you ungrateful child". The former in particular is a rather nasty line for a parent to deliver to their kid. And then, skipping forward, we get their reaction to her after the events of VC 3: stake and cross in hand. (Now, admittedly, it's a bit more understandable from people glamoured into doing what they've done. But that's still their daughter there, and they look ready to KILL her.)

At the VERY least, Heather lived in a household with at least one parent who was parenting sub-optimally. (A good parent nurtures their child, lovingly, and while occasionally giving them a stern talking to, will allow them a great deal of freedom. They're there to support their kid, and while they may ultimately express disapproval with their child's path, should still ultimately be there backing them. I believe we can all agree that's about the best model for a parent out there, and that Heather's mother fell short of this on multiple fronts.) I think we can universally agree to that much.

But while there's nothing explicit (few things in VC/PMS are), the implication IS there to me.

If you continued reading the analysis on Heather, though, I don't use abuse to justify her actions. Quite the opposite. I explain that while the abuse contributes to her actions, they in no way are justifiable. Basically, what she does is still wrong, and I'm not defending the action being done. However, I'm providing an explanation that to me seems a reasonable way for a human to have done what they did. (In other words, something that shows the action wasn't evil, either. Not good, not evil, definitely wrong, but also definitely having a cause. And this is my effort to have given a realistic one.)

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by dmra » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:51 pm

It seems to me that there is a much simpler explanation for why Heather acts the way she does than looking for a history of abuse.

Look at what her first comment is when she realises she's a vampire after "cool" is "when do we get to kill something". This from a girl that the vampires were calling "sweet" "innocent" and "naive". Unless they are dreadful judges of character it seems to me that part of the process of being turned is losing your humanity. That is the losing sense of empathy or sympathy towards other people - especially "normal" humans.

Which is why Suki can joke about killing boyfriends; why they all talk about glamouring their parents; why nobody seems to have the least objection to what Heather does to her family and so on. Are we supposed to think that all of the vampire cheerleaders came form abusive homes or is there more to it than that?

The idea that something about becoming a vampire changes your personality and makes you amoral seems to me to be a far more plausible idea than it's down to your upbringing prior to changing.

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Bree » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:57 am

dmra wrote:Look at what her first comment is when she realises she's a vampire after "cool" is "when do we get to kill something". This from a girl that the vampires were calling "sweet" "innocent" and "naive". Unless they are dreadful judges of character it seems to me that part of the process of being turned is losing your humanity. That is the losing sense of empathy or sympathy towards other people - especially "normal" humans.

Which is why Suki can joke about killing boyfriends; why they all talk about glamouring their parents; why nobody seems to have the least objection to what Heather does to her family and so on. Are we supposed to think that all of the vampire cheerleaders came form abusive homes or is there more to it than that?

The idea that something about becoming a vampire changes your personality and makes you amoral seems to me to be a far more plausible idea than it's down to your upbringing prior to changing.
Counterpoint: while we don't know what breed of vampire he was, J.C.'s father was clearly not amoral. We've seen other vampires of different breeds that have also shown morals, albeit more loose ones. In fact, Maria herself basically says that one dead human is not worth the life of a whole vampire coven--thus, it's basically shown that vampires for the most part don't kill, and yet they treat the idea of dead humans as being something that comes with the territory every once and a while. Loosened morals (called explicitly as such on the cast page) do not mean a lack of morals. And you can clearly tell that she has empathy/sympathy for humans at various different points as well, and other vampire cheerleaders do as well. Asking about Leonard, the look on her face when her mother collapsed, that she wanted to keep Lori from letting Stephanie bleed out, that she insists they're not monsters, and so on and so forth. (These are just random ones I thought of off the top of my head; there are plenty throughout the story.) So vampires have the same emotions they do as humans, at least to some extent.

The very point you raise about her as being proof she's amoral, in fact, is a demonstration that her personality didn't change: she lived a sheltered, sweet, innocent, NAIVE life before being turned. After being turned, the casual drop of "when do we get to kill something" (keep in mind said something doesn't necessarily have to be a human, thanks to certain sparkly vampires that teenaged girls love to read about feeding off of animals. Yes, they're "vegetarian" for doing so, but still killing something; it's something and not someONE) is a demonstration that she's still naive and innocent, since she doesn't know any better.

That doesn't mean she wasn't changed by the transformation, though. That wasn't my point, either. It's just that I firmly believe in a middle ground. Heather wasn't like this always just with it locked away thanks to her background, nor did she become like this because of being turned. Rather, Heather became how she is now because of a combination of both, in that her past contributed to her new outlook after her transformation. The transformation played a part in making her morals more loose by giving her more power than a teenaged girl should have. (She's immature.) It unlocked parts of her that weren't explored, that's for sure, but I posit that it's not unexplored for being human so much as it is unexplored because her parents wouldn't let her. Some of these were good; she became more outgoing as a result to name just one. (Something tells me that she was largely unnoticed by anyone except Leonard before she became a vampire.) But others were bad, as she lost some inhibitions that you really shouldn't lose, and yet are the type of thing that she can gain back with age.

A basic summary of it is that my take on Heather is that she's immature, and a vampire, which combined with loosened morals and power abuse leads to the unfortunate characteristics of her, well, character. However, being a vampire did not cause said characteristics by virtue of being a vampire, since she's still a teenager; being a teenager contributed just as much. Given another 3-10 years to mature, and Heather will probably be someone barely different from any other human.



Honestly, it's as if people forget what they were like at that age. I can tell you that if I were to become a vampire at, oh, say, the age of 14 (yes, I know Heather's not that young, but it's in the age range), I would milk that power for all its worth and abuse the HECK out of it. (I can tell you I was a lot like Heather back then: naive to the workings of the world, almost completely innocent. I also know that I briefly became abusive to others before growing out of it and becoming nice again.) And yet, here now at my current age if I were to suddenly become a vampire, I'd just have it be a part of my daily routine and otherwise be unaffected by it. Age contributes a LOT to maturity and as a result, morality. Heather, being younger, simply doesn't know better.

That doesn't make the actions any less bad. They're still inexcusable. She shouldn't be using her power as heavily as she does. But amoral she is not. Lacking humanity, she is not. I'd argue that what she does in fact proves that she IS human (well, sorta, aside from the whole sucking blood thing) in fact. Just an immature spoiled brat of one. (Because, admit it, her actions basically are that of...a spoiled little brat. You don't need to be a vampire to be a spoiled little brat.)

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Tython » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:15 am

On the subject of Heather being hurt in that scene where her mother is pulling her into the house remember that Vampires need to be invited in if the owner is still alive unless it is a public place like a school which is a classical staple of vampire lore so it does raise the question on weather Heather is being physically hurt by her mother or if it is due to her vampire nature in which her mother is completely unaware of until it is to late.

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by dmra » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:34 am

Bree wrote: Honestly, it's as if people forget what they were like at that age. I can tell you that if I were to become a vampire at, oh, say, the age of 14 (yes, I know Heather's not that young, but it's in the age range), I would milk that power for all its worth and abuse the HECK out of it. (I can tell you I was a lot like Heather back then: naive to the workings of the world, almost completely innocent. I also know that I briefly became abusive to others before growing out of it and becoming nice again.) And yet, here now at my current age if I were to suddenly become a vampire, I'd just have it be a part of my daily routine and otherwise be unaffected by it. Age contributes a LOT to maturity and as a result, morality. Heather, being younger, simply doesn't know better.

That doesn't make the actions any less bad. They're still inexcusable. She shouldn't be using her power as heavily as she does. But amoral she is not. Lacking humanity, she is not. I'd argue that what she does in fact proves that she IS human (well, sorta, aside from the whole sucking blood thing) in fact. Just an immature spoiled brat of one. (Because, admit it, her actions basically are that of...a spoiled little brat. You don't need to be a vampire to be a spoiled little brat.)
Pretty bleak view of teenagers you have there. It's been quite some time since I was one but I don't recognise that picture. I was no angel but I'm pretty sure that I wasn't so lacking in basic human sympathy that I would have enslaved my parents and turned my best friend into a thrall without at least a few bursts of conscience.

Even if your argument was true for Heather it wouldn't explain the behaviour of the rest of the vampires. They really aren't any more moral than her.

Unless turning into a vampire stops emotional development as well as ageing you' might expect some of the others to try to stop Heather doing what she did to her parents or at least make a protest. But none of them showed any kind of disapproval or dislike about her actions.

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Nightgazer Starlight » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:46 am

Bree wrote:Counterpoint: while we don't know what breed of vampire he was, J.C.'s father was clearly not amoral. We've seen other vampires of different breeds that have also shown morals, albeit more loose ones. In fact, Maria herself basically says that one dead human is not worth the life of a whole vampire coven--thus, it's basically shown that vampires for the most part don't kill, and yet they treat the idea of dead humans as being something that comes with the territory every once and a while. Loosened morals (called explicitly as such on the cast page) do not mean a lack of morals. And you can clearly tell that she has empathy/sympathy for humans at various different points as well, and other vampire cheerleaders do as well. Asking about Leonard, the look on her face when her mother collapsed, that she wanted to keep Lori from letting Stephanie bleed out, that she insists they're not monsters, and so on and so forth. (These are just random ones I thought of off the top of my head; there are plenty throughout the story.) So vampires have the same emotions they do as humans, at least to some extent.

The very point you raise about her as being proof she's amoral, in fact, is a demonstration that her personality didn't change: she lived a sheltered, sweet, innocent, NAIVE life before being turned. After being turned, the casual drop of "when do we get to kill something" (keep in mind said something doesn't necessarily have to be a human, thanks to certain sparkly vampires that teenaged girls love to read about feeding off of animals. Yes, they're "vegetarian" for doing so, but still killing something; it's something and not someONE) is a demonstration that she's still naive and innocent, since she doesn't know any better.

That doesn't mean she wasn't changed by the transformation, though. That wasn't my point, either. It's just that I firmly believe in a middle ground. Heather wasn't like this always just with it locked away thanks to her background, nor did she become like this because of being turned. Rather, Heather became how she is now because of a combination of both, in that her past contributed to her new outlook after her transformation. The transformation played a part in making her morals more loose by giving her more power than a teenaged girl should have. (She's immature.) It unlocked parts of her that weren't explored, that's for sure, but I posit that it's not unexplored for being human so much as it is unexplored because her parents wouldn't let her. Some of these were good; she became more outgoing as a result to name just one. (Something tells me that she was largely unnoticed by anyone except Leonard before she became a vampire.) But others were bad, as she lost some inhibitions that you really shouldn't lose, and yet are the type of thing that she can gain back with age.

A basic summary of it is that my take on Heather is that she's immature, and a vampire, which combined with loosened morals and power abuse leads to the unfortunate characteristics of her, well, character. However, being a vampire did not cause said characteristics by virtue of being a vampire, since she's still a teenager; being a teenager contributed just as much. Given another 3-10 years to mature, and Heather will probably be someone barely different from any other human.



Honestly, it's as if people forget what they were like at that age. I can tell you that if I were to become a vampire at, oh, say, the age of 14 (yes, I know Heather's not that young, but it's in the age range), I would milk that power for all its worth and abuse the HECK out of it. (I can tell you I was a lot like Heather back then: naive to the workings of the world, almost completely innocent. I also know that I briefly became abusive to others before growing out of it and becoming nice again.) And yet, here now at my current age if I were to suddenly become a vampire, I'd just have it be a part of my daily routine and otherwise be unaffected by it. Age contributes a LOT to maturity and as a result, morality. Heather, being younger, simply doesn't know better.

That doesn't make the actions any less bad. They're still inexcusable. She shouldn't be using her power as heavily as she does. But amoral she is not. Lacking humanity, she is not. I'd argue that what she does in fact proves that she IS human (well, sorta, aside from the whole sucking blood thing) in fact. Just an immature spoiled brat of one. (Because, admit it, her actions basically are that of...a spoiled little brat. You don't need to be a vampire to be a spoiled little brat.)

I agree completely with you there now.

Also I'm working on an AU fic that will cause Heather to mature, or die.

When she is out shopping with the VC a portal opens and transports her to a... harsher place then.

I'll give you a four word clue on where she ends up at right then.

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Adam_Arnold » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:55 am

Nightgazer Starlight wrote:When she is out shopping with the VC a portal opens and transports her to a... harsher place then.
Vampire Cheerleaders Go To HFIL.

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Re: An in-depth analysis of VC/PMS characters

Post by Bree » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:36 pm

Tython wrote:On the subject of Heather being hurt in that scene where her mother is pulling her into the house remember that Vampires need to be invited in if the owner is still alive unless it is a public place like a school which is a classical staple of vampire lore so it does raise the question on weather Heather is being physically hurt by her mother or if it is due to her vampire nature in which her mother is completely unaware of until it is to late.
It's her vampire nature and her mother is MOST likely not aware at that point, but all the same, Heather cried out to her mother that she was being hurt by what her mom was doing. Heather seemed to give some resistance to the pull, being physically hurt by her vampiric nature, and told her mother she was being hurt. Her mother didn't stop, though. She instead got angry.
dmra wrote:Pretty bleak view of teenagers you have there. It's been quite some time since I was one but I don't recognise that picture. I was no angel but I'm pretty sure that I wasn't so lacking in basic human sympathy that I would have enslaved my parents and turned my best friend into a thrall without at least a few bursts of conscience.
And trust me, I DO recognize the picture. All too well. As I said, I got very good at wrongdoings. I didn't even think I was doing wrong. I thought of it as a game. And yet, I was HURTING people. It's extremely unpleasant to think about in hindsight, but I actually was a bit of a monster back then. All the while, still being naive and innocent. I also had a strong distaste for my mother, so I can tell you that there's at least a decent chance that, yes, I would have enslaved my parents. (In fact, if I were to browse through the writing I did when I was at that age, a fair number of my stories featured my parents being exactly that: enslaved to me.) As for her best friend being a thrall, note that she DOES have a few bursts of conscience about it. They don't last, but she does at least show some concern about him.
Even if your argument was true for Heather it wouldn't explain the behaviour of the rest of the vampires. They really aren't any more moral than her.
And with the exception of Lori, their mother, none of them are that much older. Even Lesley, the vampire among them that's meant to be the most mature, can't be more than two years older than Heather at most. Thus, they act in similar overall manners because they are similar in age and (im)maturity. One thing to note is that in the future, the vampires are all celebrities. Now tell me...if they were amoral as you say, how would they be able to stay like that? They're not even looked unfavorably upon; they're friendly and liked. That's them in the future. So clearly by then, the vampires are for lack of better wording, "good". Given what we see in the future, all signs point to the vampires there reflecting what the vampires can and (given a few years) WILL be, but currently are not.

Basically, my argument isn't that being turned into a vampire itself alters you, even though it does contribute. Age and background (and thus, original personality) play a large part as well. While all of the vampire cheerleaders (save Lori) have SIMILAR outlooks on things, none of them are identical and each of them are in a different developmental stage. Lesley's meant to be more mature. Zoe's slightly more mature, but still bickers with Suki. Suki is a little bit out of touch with reality, and was held back a year for habits that are certainly immature. (Not studying enough.) Heather is younger than any of them, and right now, is more immature than any of them.

The only way this doesn't hold is if you think that Lori is also amoral, but if you look at her actions, she is the one constantly scolding the other vampire cheerleaders for their vampiric activities that she doesn't approve of. The worst actions of Lori are allowing the actions tied to Heather to go through: glamouring her parents and making Leonard a thrall. Even then, though, Lori has good reason to have Heather glamour her parents. If she didn't have glamoured parents, she likely wouldn't have a home to come back to. It also nourishes Heather more than any other random human would. It's done for the sake of Heather, and doesn't cause any LASTING harm to Heather's parents. That brings us to the thralling, which was her idea, but I think this one has a fairly simple explanation as well: Leonard was proven a competent threat to her cheerleaders and actually caused her harm (by her ingesting his blood). Making him a thrall is the surest way to prevent him from telling anyone, and if you look at her treatment of thralled Leonard, she is actually the vampire cheerleader who treats him with the most respect. She gives him his break, for instance, and allowed him to go with Katie to the prom. (By then no longer a thrall, but still.) While under her command, Leonard was still treated well, albeit with some spirit-of-the-fun things like riding in the trunk. By all accounts, she's treating humans well. Or if not "well", then imagine "better than she could be". Even keeping a low profile, there are MUCH worse things that she could do to people than what she does, and you can imagine that at least partially owes to some respect to human life. Basically, the worst things Lori does to humans are things done directly to benefit her coven. (I'm not explaining the Lori part as well as I should be. Try reading my analysis of her in the OP; I go into it rather a lot in how I think about Lori.)

In short, all signs point to the vampires changing by turning, but not being the main defining factor in the change. Other environmental factors (age/background/personality) seem to play a much larger part.

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