Werewolves and Vampires?

by Becca!!!
(Sandy, Utah, U.S.A.)

Question:
I've heard (from movies, some books, and other sites) that vampires sometimes keep werewolves for protection. I was wondering how true this was. I have also heard that werewolves can kill a vampire and sometimes vampires are afraid of them. How true is this?

Answer:
I suppose it's only natural for creatures like vampires and werewolves to show up in the same stories and legends. After all, the two have a lot in common. They both are creatures of the night, they both are known for their bite, and they both can transfer their cursed powers to others through a bacteria in their blood and saliva. They can both be killed by a silver bullet to the heart, and are both powerful creatures with no natural predators.

It's probably because of the similarities that these creatures end up being talked about in the same sentences fairly often. If nothing else, they're both extremely famous monsters with an equally famous lack of self-control around their potential victims. All things considered, what monsters make better enemies than vampires and werewolves?

While it's completely understandable for storytellers to want to see these two creatures go head-to-head, there is little historical or mythological reason to believe that this would ever have been the case. The vampire versus the werewolf is, in many ways, like King Kong versus Godzilla. In the latter example, the giant ape seems to be a perfect opponent for the giant lizard, though the two creatures had absolutely no reason to have ever co-existed. Not only were they from (slightly) different time periods, but one had nothing to do with another. Still, it doesn't stop this from being the all-star heavyweight fight of the millennium.

Though both vampires and werewolves were thought to exist in the middle ages of Europe, neither really had anything to do with one another. Vampires are, for one, thought to be considerably older than werewolves, and are connected in many ways to dark spirits and demonology, while werewolfism is not. Even if the two did come into contact, there is little reason for them to be either friends or enemies. Despite their immense powers, vampires (like most hunters) prefer an easy kill when they're hungry, and werewolves certainly don't provide this. On the other hand, most werewolves have no self-control in their canine state, and therefore can't benefit from anything a vampire could offer.

TV shows like True Blood contain storylines where werewolves work for vampires in exchange for the highly-desired vampire blood. This makes sense in the True Blood mythological universe, but not so much outside of it. True werewolves are almost always human by day, so they wouldn't offer much more protection or loyalty than a regular human could to a vampire who was stuck indoors during the daylight hours.

Somewhat similarly, the Twilight series pits werewolves and vampires against one another as natural enemies. In this series, the author gives the power advantage to the wolves, though this is probably only because the story would fall apart completely unless this was the case. There's no reason why werewolves (or shapeshifter wolves in Twilight's case) and vampires wouldn't fight, but there's also no reason why they would.

To summarize, vampires and werewolves have very little to do with one another, despite their many similarities. It makes for good fiction to put these two in the same stories, but there's no evidence to suggest that they would ever have any contact with one another in the "real world".

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