Dracula refers to the title character of Bram Stoker's novel, a European nobleman who is also a vampire. The exact history and nature of this individual is a matter of debate among WNU scholars. What seems certain is that in life he was Voivode ('Prince') Vlad Tepes ("the Impaler"), a 15th century warlord in what is today Romania. Dracula comes from his father's membership in the Order of the Dragon (it means "Son of the Dragon"). He defeated an attempt by Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire to conquer Wallachia, essentially using guerilla tactics and a campaign of psychological warfare (some would call Terror). Betrayed by his brother Radu the Handsome, his throne was usurped but he regained it after marrying a Hungarian princess and converting to Roman Catholicism. Although the date of his death is recorded, the disposal of his corpse remains unknown.
Philip José Farmer did not reference Dracula directly but he did make mention of the Van Helsing family, whose members had many run-ins with the vampire lord. John A. Small posed the theory that Vampirella was transformed via Carmelita Rodriguez, a woman bitten by Dracula during an encounter with Zorro.
In several chronicled adventures, including those by Fred Saberhagen, Dracula encountered Sherlock Holmes. Other written histories reference Dracula's interactions with members of the Frankenstein and Talbot families (see "Children of the Night" by Charles Loridans below). He also encountered Solomon Kane as recorded by Roy Thomas. Marvel Comics published a series titled Tomb of Dracula which has proven a source of many recorded activities of former Romanian warlord. There have also been numerous motion pictures about Dracula, some of whom are believed by Wold Newton scholars to be more-or-less accurate depictions of some chapters in his unlife. Dracula, like some other brilliant but evil men (such as Fu Manchu), apparently acts out of a motivation for personal power. He seems to generally operate from his homeland in Transylvania.
Loridans posits a theory to explain inconsistencies about Dracula's behavior and appearance--namely, that the vampire learned how to make "soul clones" of himself. This consisted of creating a vampire then infusing them with Dracula's own blood, creating a bond that would allow the Impaler to exert control over this individual while not completely erasing the host's pesonality. According to Loridans, the process is not always 100% successful. Known soul clones of Dracula are said to include:
- An unnamed Aztec (chronicled in the motion picture El Santo and Blue Demon VS Dracula and the Wolfman).
- A Chinese wizard named Kai (as chronicled in the film Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires)
- A Hungarian named Count Lejos Zelevska (who would father a son by a Gypsy woman, as well as masquerade at one point under the name Armand Tesla as chronicled in the film Return of the Vampire) created circa 1815.
- Lestat (a failure--Dracula could never control this being or his lusts)
- Graf Orlock (as chronicled in the film Nosferatu)
- Count Latos, an American adventurer originally named Thomas Caine (who left half-Chinese sons behind) - believed to have encountered archeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr. in 1918 (this clone's exploits were chronicled in mulitple films including House of Dracula, House of Frankenstein, Billy the Kid Meets Dracula, Sundown:The Vampire in Retreat as well as an episode of the t.v. series McCloud).
- Denrom, a handsome English adventurer lured to Dracula's castle by the Count's vampire brides (Hammer Studios dramatized several encounters with this soul clone in films such as Horror of Dracula, Taste the Blood of Dracula, The Satanic Rites of Dracula, etc.)
- Grodim, a member of the Cobblepot family
- African Prince Mamawalde (aka "Blackula"), another failed soul clone because the host's will proved too powerful.
- Dracula Mordante, oft-time foe of Vampirella
- Dracula Pan whose history has been partially chronicled in The Historian as well as the film Dracula in Istanbul.
- Dracula Matthias
- Dracula Magnus
A vampire as old as Dracula has no doubt had victims almost beyond number. Some that have been identified (albeit not always with complete reliability) include:
- Lucy Westenra
- Mina Harker, nee Murray
- Carmelita Rodriguez
- Countess Cagliostro
- Elizabeth Van Helsing
- Rachel Van Helsing
It bears noting that Dracula's victims of choice are apparently all young attractive females. Yet each of his soul clones seem to be male.
According to Marvel Comics as well as Charles Loridans, Dracula has attempted to sire biological children, with some success:
- Lilith, a mortal child raised by gypsies then magically transformed into a vampire who longed to destroy her father.
- Janus, created as part of a plot involving a satanic cult, killed but then resurrected using the soul of an angel.
- Xarus, whose origins are unclear but who tried to stage a coup against his father, supplanting him as Lord of the Vampires.
- Wikipedia article about Count Dracula
- Wikipedia article on Marvel Comics' version of Count Dracula
- Kiss of the Vampire (John A. Small's essay on the relationship between Dracula and Vampirella)
- House of Dracula: Voivodes or Princes of Wallachia (family tree)
- Children of the Night (earlier version)
- Best Fangs Forward (Fitting Saberhagen's Dracula into the Animus Klonum Theorum)
- Vampirism in the WNU by Dennis Powers
- Dracula in the TV Crossover Universe (Robert Wronski's blog)