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If These Walls Could Talk (Ch1)

Fandom: Castlevania Netflix

Summary: Vampires do not have reflections, and castles do not have hearts. But Dracula is no ordinary vampire, and Castlevania is no ordinary castle. If castles can fight, maybe they can think too.

The series, and Adrian’s childhood, told from the perspective of the castle.

Chapter Summary: “My mother’s name was Lisa, and she was mortal…She actually showed up at his front door. She found the castle and banged the door with the pommel of her knife…She was remarkable. She beat on the door until my father let her in, and then demanded he teach her how to be a doctor.”

Notes: 

This is a fic I’ve had up for a while, that people seem to really like!! Not sure why I took this long to post it over here XD I’ll post the next chapters I have over the next few days or so, but if you can’t wait they’re over on my fanfiction blog @antihero-writings, as well as in my fic masterlist over there!! (And technically in my masterlist here, but it’s messed up right now XD)

I was writing a different Castlevania fic–(”Such Fragile Things”, if you’re curious)–when I started describing things as if from the castle’s perspective…and I thought that was a very interesting idea, so this happened. The idea was also inspired by Sypha’s “it’s fighting me!“ I thought that was really interesting because she was speaking almost as if the castle were a living thing. I was originally planning on posting this as one long thing (and I may still do so after I finish), because the sections are very much connected and meant to flow into each other, and I think it’ll be easy to miss things if they’re separate. But I realized it would be easier, both for me to post, and for people to read, in bite size-pieces. Plus it has very clear-cut sections that are easy to split into chapters. So… here you go!!

If you enjoyed this, I’d really appreciate if you could leave me a comment and/or reblog!!

If you are a fan artist who is interested in making cover art for this fic PLEASE don’t hesitate to message me!! I have a very specific idea for cover art for the chapters but it would cost too much to commission so many pieces…So yeah, if you’re interested, I’d love it if you could reach out!!

Chapter 1: "Lisa”

“Is this how the castle felt to you before my mother first arrived at your door?”

The castle doesn’t like children.

Well, maybe that’s too strong to say. It simply isn’t the place for them. Its existence is a signpost: leave me alone. It is not used to having company—much less a family—inside it, nor is it ready to welcome for a crying, puking, giggling thing into the world. It does not intend to be a cozy place to coddle him into adulthood.

The castle itself pierces the sky, its turrets and towers the dripping stain of the sun’s blood across the moon.

The bare walls hold no colorful tapestries for a child to enjoy, no paintings of its many inhabitants to tell of—for there was only ever one (and maybe that ought not change. It is safe to say the castle doesn’t like change). The royal red and gold carpets are more suited to kings; not designed for spit-up, mud, and scuffing. ‘Don’t play with that’ would be a motto around here; so many contraptions either easy to break, or which could break the child. The fireplaces, while almost always lit, only ever coughed warmth onto the floor before them—they provided no snug space to curl up on a winter’s day. Even the mirrors here are empty, holding nothing but a reflection of the bare walls they sit upon.

There are certain people who were seemingly born as they are; they never owned toys, never crawled on the floor, never walked with clumsy steps—their footfalls were always this calculated count—never burped on their mother’s nice shirts, and surely never had anything so dull as a childhood. They were always just…here, on the world. There was no innocence, and no losing it. So it was with Dracula.

The very thought of Dracula ever owning toys, even in some nice cottage far away from here, with a doting mother and an absent father, with a funny last name like Cronqvist, defied sense to the castle. So no, no toys here, nor any simple charts for learning; the books divulged their secrets to more mature minds. Just blood and books, gold and gears, forgotten magic means, mirrors that reflect nothing, and a pile of prayers to a good God they used to justify their ungood, and ungodly deeds.

All these things—or their absence—do not make for the picture of a baby-proof home.

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If These Walls Could Talk (Ch5)

Fandom: Castlevania Netflix

Summary: Vampires do not have reflections, and castles do not have hearts. But Dracula is no ordinary vampire, and Castlevania is no ordinary castle. If castles can fight, maybe they can think too.

The series, and Adrian’s childhood, told from the perspective of the castle.

Chapter Summary:You really don’t understand the act of forging. He’s not dead. We make life from death here.”
“And you make soldiers for Dracula, which is one reason why he invests so much in you despite your…humanity. …Dracula brought us all here to fight his war, Hector. All the vampires under his reign.”
The war. Not his war.”
“…Hector do you think this war is going well?…It seems chaotic, undirected, as if we were lashing out at humanity without any real plan beyond wild destruction.”
“I think wild destruction is what he wants.”

*
“Are you still my friend?”
“Always.”
“Then know that you may be alone.”

Chapter 5: “War”

The Castle does not like these guests Dracula has let in.

It knows many of them; has housed a number of them before. But that was before. Before the Life. Before the Light. And it no longer likes the death and the dark. It no longer likes the way these guests squabble, and talk of death and war as if it’s not at their beck and call. It feels like it’s infested with bedbugs, bitten a hundred times in its place of rest, itchy till it can’t fall asleep anymore.

The war room is always the most jittery and loud, housing the war its named after.

They have brought their war with them. The Castle must and will fight Dracula’s war, but only Dracula’s war. Dracula may think they fight his war. But the war they bring is their own, more insidious, having its own branches, trying to choke out its master’s goals. There is descent. Secrets fluttering on silver tongues, like moths in the halls, congregating around any light here. Viruses, lies contaminating its walls. Betrayal against its master, who was gracious enough to invite them in.

Its master wonders to the walls who his friends are—as well he should, for he has so few—and the Castle wishes in its numb state he never let them in. Why couldn’t he have just stayed with his boy, and let the light reach him?

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^^ excellent point and stoker also was inspired by write the novel because of a friendship he had with a hungarian-jewish (me too!) actor, ármin vámbéry. it’s very, very important to note that whatever antisemitism exists in the novel was, for all intents and purposes, more likely a product of the political climate than a conscious choice on the part of the stoker. but it is also important to remember this line from chapter 26:

We found Hildesheim in his office, a Hebrew of rather the Adelphi Theatre type, with a nose like a sheep, and a fez. 

it’s an antisemitic caricature of the only explicitly jewish character in the text, and given the xenophobic undertones of dracula’s characterization, it certainly sets a specific tone. dracula is, above all, about fear of the outsider: fear of outside influence permeating the sanctity of western soil, of foreign bodies penetrating the fresh blossom of english womanhood, of difference as contagion. being aware of xenophobia and being irish does not exempt someone from antisemitism: i’m not disagreeing with you at all, but it is something that needs to be said. 

side note: i’m sure there’s work out there about this topic, but it’s also worth noting the correlation between blood in dracula and the idea of blood purity throughout history. specifically, the fixation on ‘cleansing the blood’ of jewish influence dates back to the middle ages, and the idea of limpieza de sangre, or blood purity, was a huge part of the spanish inquisition that required new christians to swear on a cross they were not of moorish or jewish descent. the overtones of blood impurity in dracula are undeniable, from the very basis of vampirism to van helsing’s repeated attempts to perform a blood transfusion on lucy.

and it’s also important to note that those issues has been greatly heightened through adaptations- nosferatu, for instance, employs gross stereotypes of jews. the most pervasive image of dracula that we have, in many ways, relies on jewish stereotypes: physical attributes like a long, thin nose, a widow’s peak, heavy-lidded eyes, etc were touted by nazis as physical attributes of jews. (and stoker specifically notes that dracula has a long, thin nose.)

i don’t have much else to say here and i’ve tired my hand out but it’s so important to think cognitively about all and any texts we’re reading, but whatever antisemitic sentiment exists in dracula hasn’t stopped me from loving and enjoying it as a jew, which i’m sure you’ve all gathered.

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Oh yeah… I’d forgotten that Indiana Jones met Dracula (who a vampire claiming to be Dracula) during the show’s WW1 period…

Man, you know how series based in the past have a habit of having the protagonists stumble across historical people and events with alarming frequency, this show had it in SPADES.

Young Indy met Winston Churchill (played by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes), Al Capone, Franz Kafka, Mata Hari (whom a teenage Indy slept with), Lawrence of Arabia, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ho Chi Minh (whom Indy met while attending the signing of the Treaty of Versailles), Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Elliot Ness (Indy’s roommate at one point), Ernest Hemmingway…

Basically, as Forrest Gump was for the latter half of the 20th century, the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles were for the first half.

I remember it being a fun show, although your mileage may vary on the idea of Indy’s fate in the 1990s being his descendants in assuming that the 90+ year old was just senile and making stories of his life up, causing to try and put him in a home against his will.

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Renfield across multiple adaptations of Dracula.

Dwight Frye in Dracula (Universal 1931), Jack Shepherd in Count Dracula (BBC 1977) and Tom Waits in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), plus Corin Redgrave as a Jonathan-Renfield amalgam in Dracula (ITV 1968) and David Suchet as a Van Helsing-Renfield amalgam in Dracula (2006).

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