The plot of Carmilla: I’m your new roommate
The plot of Dracula: You’re my new roommate
— Blood and Rose
— Strigoica-Spring Night
by Takato Yamamoto
It'd make sense for vampires to be climate activists because they're literally immortal so they'll have to live on this planet forever, and what the fuck are they going to do when the humans start dying off?
"The Sleep of reason produces Monsters" - Francisco Goya
I know that they should propably be wearing 16th century romanian royalty gowns, but i just love late 19th century tea gowns, and i liked the idea of them using draculas Britain obsession to get some new dresses.
The (Gay) Origins of Vampires in British Literature
Thanks to the absolute joy that is Dracula Daily, I thought now might be a good time to talk about the origins of the vampire in British literature. I am a 19th century scholar who focuses on the Gothic, so while by no means an expert on vampires, I do have some understanding of how the genre came to be and boy, is it as wild and petty and as you'd hope it to be.
In order to understand how vampires came to be the aristocratic, blood sucking sex symbols they are today, let's first lay some ground work on how the tradition made it's way to Britain:
The vampire is a folkloric figure from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, and Greece. In 1701, French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort was touring the island of Mykonos and recounted in his A Voyage to the Levant (1702) his experience witnessing the locals dig up the grave of a suspected Vrykolakas and cut the heart from its chest.
A century later, the Romantic poet Robert Southey cites de Tournefort's Voyage in his epic poem Thalaba the Destroyer (1801). The poem does not outright use the word "vampire" and the turning of the main character's love interest into a vampire is a minor plot point, but Southey's work draws a direct line of how the vampire tradition jumped from Greece to England.
Now here's where it gets interesting.
It involves (of course it does) everybody's favorite 19th century bad boy, Lord Byron.
Byron's poem The Giaour (rhymes with shower) is the first mention of a vampire in the English literary canon. His vampire falls more in line with the folkloric vampire as a blood drinking corpse than a debonair aristocrat. How Byron learned about vampires is not clear. He could have learned about them from Southey or de Tournefort, or encountered the legend during his own travels in Greece. Either way, Byron didn't really care for vampires. He thought they were dumb.
ENTER THE FAMOUS GHOST STORY NIGHT AT LAKE GENEVA
Scene: Mary and Percy Shelley. Mary's step sister Claire, Lord Byron, his doctor John Polidori, probably a ton of opium, and definitely a lot of sexual tension.
While most people know that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein during this time, it's also worth noting that Byron started writing what was called A Fragment, or a Fragment of a Novel which featured an aristocratic traveler/vampire. However, Byron got bored with it and decided to drop the whole thing.
Not so much for Dr. John Polidori. Polidori worshipped Byron. He wanted to be Byron. He most likely wanted to bed Byron and Byron had the gall to laugh and call him "Polly Dolly" and refuse to give him the time of day.
So Polidori got his revenge by taking over Byron' s fragment and turning it into The Vampyre (1819). The entire novel is a thinly veiled jab at Byron and his hedonistic living. To make matters worse, the public thought Byron wrote it which infuriated Polidori who just wanted to shame Byron who laughed the entire thing off and said he would never write anything so trashy.
Once again, you can blame Lord Byron for something. The aristocratic, seductive vampire is (indirectly) because of him.
Today Dracula Daily taught me that vampires have been sexy since the beginning, thought maybe that was a modern bit added to an old creature but nope Jonathan proved me wrong by describing dracula's roomies
A gay vampire? Call that a fruit bat!
Welcome to The Penny Dreadful!
Since we're all addicted to Dracula Daily, and a few other literary Substacks have cropped up since, I decided to create my own!
Penny Dreadfuls, little serialized gothic stories sold on the streets of Victorian London for a penny a chapter, were an early precursor to modern pop culture first surfacing in the 1830s. Many of the gothic novels we know and love began as Penny Dreadfuls, or as serialized novels printed in other publications such as newspapers.
Starting on October 1st, 2022, we'll revisit some original Penny Dreadful stories, gothic novellas, and novels in a serialized fashion.
I hope you'll join me!
-- The Archivist
What do you personally think is the backstory of the three vampire women?
[CW: Brief mention of rape, assault, incest]
Within Dracula itself, I honestly really like that their background is left ambiguous, and I even like the accidental inclusion of the line "I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the moment how or where," which alludes to what seems to be an earlier version of Dracula in which the blonde vampiress was one and the same as Countess Dolingen in "Dracula's Guest" and in which Harker would have cause to recognize her. That sort of uncanny familiarity, while it's in the text by accident, adds to the anxieties that come from us not knowing the women's history--of us not being able to position their relationship to the count. Are they conquests? Concubines? Co-evals? Relatives? Should we therefore read into them implications of rape? Abuse? Incest? Various critics and annotators have speculated as to all of these things, and I think that part of the literary power vampires have throughout this novel is how resistant they are to quantification: just as they cast no reflections or shadows, we are never shown an exact history of any of them (even the Count's supposed identity as a specific historical figure is murky).
That being said, like many many many Dracula enthusiasts, I did at one point come up with backstories for them fitted to fanfiction I never actually wrote. While I'm not sure these are headcanons I'd cling to terribly hard nowadays, you can still see what I'd come up with for them circa 2014 if you’re so inclined.
Now seems like a good time to tell tumblr about the absolute worst, and absolute funniest production of Dracula I’ve ever seen. (Yes, worse than the Rhys Myers version. That was a hot mess, but at least it was hot). It’s a long story, so buckle in.
Our sorry saga begins in 2018, when I discovered that a castle in my northern English city was hosting an immersive Hallowe’en theatre-by-candlelight performance of Dracula. Although I didn’t realise this at the time, the production was put on by a amateur dramatics society from a local university, with no previous performance history. For the life of me, I don’t know how a random group of 19 year olds persuaded the charity which runs this important historical landmark to lease the entire castle out to them, but they did. Because they did, I made the mistake of thinking that they were an accomplished professional theatre company, and that their version of Dracula was going to be good. Excellent, even. They had a decent flyer, and they got into the local paper. I mean, it’s Dracula - at night - in a castle - on Hallowe’en. What could possibly go wrong?
As it turned out, everything.
The guests arrived at the drawbridge at 7pm, for our in-character hosts to greet us with flickering lanterns and usher us into the forebuilding (a little lobby attached to the keep). It’s important to know that this castle is a simple, square based medieval keep which consists of a cellar / dungeon directly beneath a great hall, and some smaller upper rooms atop the hall, with a mezzanine balcony.
My first indication that things are not-as-advertised is that one of our 19th century hosts has frosted tips, and the other is in full emo regalia, à la MCR concert circa 2009. The hosts proceed for the next half hour to ignore us, providing no further information about the performance, while walking ominously around our small crowd of roughly 20 guests with their lanterns.
At 7.30pm, it’s time for the performance to begin. By this point, we’re all pretty cold and stiff, what with standing around in a medieval stone keep. Frosted Tips raises his lantern and announces in a booming voice that it’s time for us to descend down a spiral staircase to the dungeon. An extremely steep, one hundred and twenty step spiral stone staircase, in the dark.
Nowhere on their flyer, website, or ticketing was it stated that we would need to climb stairs at any point during the performance. Let alone these stairs.
Most of the guests are dressed casually, but two women in their 40s (lets call them Linda and Cheryl) are in high heels for a night out at the theatre - as you do. Cheryl and Linda ask our hosts in a worried tone whether they really need to climb down 100+ dodgy stone stairs in heels. Frosted Tips explains that yes, the play begins in the dungeon, and that during the performance, we will have to climb up and down this staircase no less than six times.
Linda points out that she and Cheryl are both in high heels. Cheryl points out that she suffers from vertigo. Frosted Tips looks at them flatly and says ‘Well then you won’t be able to see the play.’
Cheryl asks, in a slightly quavering voice, ‘Then what are we supposed to do now?’
Frosted Tips replies, with all the grace of an 18 year old who isn’t getting paid enough to be here on a Saturday night, ‘I suppose you’ll have to leave.’
They left. God, how I wished later I was them. I didn’t see them get refunds.
5 minutes later, all 20 of us (well, 18 now) are crammed into this miserable, clammy dungeon. At this point it becomes clear that this 2.5 hour immersive theatre performance not only entails repeated forced exercise, but also doesn’t include chairs. There’s nowhere to sit except the dirty floor.
What follows is several identical scenes of Dracula visiting Jonathan in ‘his quarters’ (ie. the dungeon) to discuss legal matters and sexually harrass him, broken up by periods of Jonathan fake sleeping. Frosted Tips and Black Parade then lead us up to the great hall, where Dracula continues to harrass Jonathan over dinner, and then back down to the dungeon. Rinse and repeat for one hour.
On the brightside, climbing 120 stairs 4 times in 2 hours is a good way to keep warm. On the downside, I suspect that the writer and director took illict substances sometime between the original script and final rehearsals. I say this because the book wasn’t broken down into a proper story with clear scene breaks. There’s no Lucy, no Demeter, no Whitby, no nothing of the middle 300 pages. There’s just Jonathan’s initial stay in the castle, a random visit from Mina to establish that she and Dracula Want To Fuck™, and Van Helsing’s visit for the show down. But because we’re all just alternately standing in the dungeon or the hall, there’s no indication of the passage of time. We’ve got no idea if Jonathan is taking yet another midday nap, or if several nights are now passing over the course of five minutes. Is Mina is arriving because it’s next 8pm or next year? Who fucking knows.
As the play unfolds we realise that Dracula aside, two guys are rotating all the male speaking roles (unless you count Frosted Tips). So the actors must have an alternative way of getting between the dungeon and great hall between scenes, in order to keep the performance going without getting ludicrously out of breath. A way which was crucially not open to Cheryl or Linda. There’s no significant props and there’s no staging. There’s just what already exists in the castle - ie. the occasional suit of armour, the long table of the hall, and some rickety chairs. In short, there is absolutely no reason why the entire play couldn’t have taken place in the great hall, thus sparing everyone the aerobic torture.
The worst thing about this experience though, without a shadow of a doubt, was how viscerally uncomfortable it was.
The key theme of the company’s play appears to be that Dracula is a serial sexual predator, especially towards certain freshfaced attorneys whose names begin with J H and rhyme with Ronathan Rarker. Now, god knows I’m all for the sexual reading of Dracula. But you know what I’m not for? Having to watch people be sexually harrassed.
And yet, here we are. Pressed shoulder to shoulder in this miserable dungeon, as directly infront of us Dracula repeatedly pins skinny little Jonathan up against medieval stonework, sniffs his neck and goes ‘Ah, ah, ah,’ like Count Von Count. Because unlike everyone else’s attempts at RP English accents, Drac is full blown Hotel Transylvania.
Can you imagine how excruciating it is to watch a visibly uncomfortable teenager be repeatedly touched and crowded against a wall 1 metre from your face, but not be able to intervene because it isn’t real?
And so, Jonathan continues to cower and mutter asinine things about legal contracts, and Dracula continues to leer and paw over him like some kind of... well, like a registered sexual offender. This ungodly pantomine continues every time we descend back down into the dungeon. For two hours.
At no point do any of the cast acknowledge what Dracula is doing, or address or explore it in it any way within the script. It doesn’t add to to the production in a meaningful way. It just... keeps happening. Jonathan looks deeply unsettled and never makes eye contact with Dracula, but at this point it’s impossible to tell if that’s a directorial choice, or if it’s because the wall is uncomfortable and his clothes are getting dirty...or indeed if it’s because his colleague is taking the theatrically sanctioned firetruck game just a wee smidgen too far. There’s no interogation of the demonisation of sexuality, of bisexuality, of the links between vampirism, sex, and religiously or socially prohibited behaviours, no nothing. There’s just Nonconsensual Sexy Times In The Clammy Dungeon for Days.
To go back to the director’s potential consumption of ilicit substances, they also decided that it would ‘build atmosphere’ to make us sit stand through extended periods of silence (we’re talking several minutes at a pop) watching Jonathan fake-write in his journal or fake-sleep on a plinth. Babes, the only thing it built was cramp. Let me tell you that it was weird standing around like Edward Cullen to watch this guy repeatedly lie down, fully dressed, on a bare stone plinth - no bed, pillows or blanket - in a dungeon - and pretend to sleep.
At least while Jonathan’s “sleeping”, Dracula won’t be sniffing his neck, rearranging his clothes and impersonating Adam Sandler. Wrong, obviously. Because of course the sleeping periods are when the vampire wives emerge.
Now, these particular wives run cackling about wearing nighties, knickers and nothing else. They were thin nighties, so believe me that you could very much tell, down to whether it was briefs or bikinis. (And guys, the castle is cold. Northern lasses are fucking invincible.) So then not only are we watching Jonathan fake sleep on what is essentially his own tomb, we’re also watching three girls in next to nothing climb on top of him, writhe around, and lick his chest and face.
As I said, excruciating.
Blessedly, Jonathan escapes the castle after an hour or so (or maybe he’s left dying in the dungeon, honestly I can’t remember and I don’t care), which means it’s time for Dracula to seduce his fiancée instead.
And so we get to Mina.
We’re over an hour in to the play by the time Mina arrives, and she’s the only woman with a speaking role (the vampire wives are only allowed to cackle. Black Parade doesn’t even get to give directions). All of her scenes take place in the great hall, which is a solid 4 times the size of the dungeon. However for some reason the actress has modelled her Mina-voice off of Lina Lamont in Singing In The Rain. By which I mean that she’s so high pitched and squeaky, that across the echoing depths of the great hall, no-one can hear what she’s saying. The Count sounds ridiculous, but at least he knows how to throw his voice and boom. So a lot of what we hear for the next hour is simply unintelligible guinea pig noises followed by ‘AH, AH, AH!!’, echoed by unhinged cackling echoing around the drafty rafters from the near-naked wives on the mezzanine balcony.
After Dracula seduces Mina with fake dining (not using any plates or bowls, because again why use props) and rambling about his ‘good friend Jonathan’, I guess she’s sold, because she and Dracula break out a slow dance. As they waltz about the great hall Mina starts to get droopier and droopier, until Dracula is essentially leading her around while she’s doing the limbo. I think the implication was that he’s hypnotised her. But the kicker is that for the entire duration of the waltz, there’s no music. We watch Mina and Dracula waltz in silence for ten minutes, and no-one in the cast even thought to bring a bluetooth speaker.
By this point, the batshit nonsense of the last two hours is starting to bear on me. Things have gone beyond awful into just plain hilarious. If they keep waltzing, I’m going to lose it. But does it end there? Oh no! Mina hasn’t been sexually harrassed yet! So whilst we watch this awful, silent limbo waltz, late at night in this cold, looming castle hall, Dracula starts to slowly peel Mina’s clothes off. (Diversity win! The anti-semitic stereotype who assaulted your boyfriend is bi!! Fuck you Moffat!!!)
We’re watching the most awkward strip tease I’ve ever seen, in pure silence. My shoulders are shaking with laughter and I hope everyone else in the audience mistakes it for shivering from the cold.
The silent waltzing continues. Mina’s frilly blouse and thick hoop skirt fall to the floor. Oh god, I think, I don’t want to see her thong.
Not to worry, she’s wearing another full costume underneath. THE SAME COSTUME.
And then they just stop waltzing and the play continues.
From this point on I’m pinching my leg almost hard enough to draw blood simply to suppress hysterics. Meanwhile, Mina’s second blouse is askew and her second skirt is hanging off, exposing her hip and part of her hoopskirt for the rest of the performance. She and Dracula continue to vaguely nuzzle, cuddle, and feel each other up, but there’s no kissing. There’s no kissing in the entire performance. This is what I cannot fathom. There’s nonconsensual sniffing and licking and looming but there’s no consensual kissing. What the fuck planet are we fucking on?!
Eventually, blessedly, this torture comes to an end when Van Helsing (the only half competent actor) kills Dracula. I think he pushes a stake in him and Dracula collapses in the great hall or something, but I don’t remember. Possibly I just blacked out for the final 20 minutes. Frosted Tips gives us one final haughty sneer, and we escape out into the night to tentatively ask each other, in a typical British fashion, "So... what did you think of the play?”
And that is how I paid a solid £20 for one of the worst evenings of my life. To my shame I dragged two friends along with me - one of whom I haven’t spoken to since (not sure if there’s a connection).
What Google informed me later is that the actors who played Mina and Dracula are both the founders of the theatre company, and the directors of the show. Which explains why they cast themselves as the leads, and then made everyone suffer through 20 minutes of them feeling up each other, and in Dracula’s case, another hour of him feeling up Jonathan in the Clammy Dungeon of Sex.™
While writing this post, I found the theatre company online. They have a single 1 star review. It’s not from me.
They’ve never put on another production. The castle has never hosted immersive theatre again, either.
Happy fucking Hallowe’en.
You're in her DM's, I'm in her neck with my fangs.
We are not the same.
I drew Dracula's three weed smoking girlfriends roommates
“Anne Rice made vampires sexy” shut the FUCK up Bram Stoker is out here writing erotic passages about Jonathan longing for his sensitive neck to be sucked on by a vampire with his whole bussy and you dare disrespect him?
Hey odd question if like a vampire confessed to a priest does the priest still have to follow all the restriction and promises they would with anybody else?
Uh, yes! That’s discrimination.
Shy vampire ler that can't help but apologize every time their teeth accidentally tickle the other, and confident human lee that's constantly begging them to bite them more cause it tickles.
"You know I'm really sensitive right here, in the crook of my neck"
"O-Oh, I see, I'll make sure to avoid that area then"
"You don't have to~"
Cue flustered vampire noises.
there is no heterosexual explanation for Dracula yelling, "This man belongs to me!" in reference to Jonathan
Winterhawk Samplers: Fics to Sink Your Teeth into (aka werewolves and vampires)
It may not be October, but it is Dracula Daily season! Fandom is full of werewolves and vampires, and winterhawk is not immune to the thrall of our beloved cryptids. We've got total AUs where shifters run entire towns or are integrated fully into human society, and we've got canon adjacent fics where the only difference is that someone turns kinda canine once a month, or seems to have a slight iron deficiency. Sometimes writers use were and vampiric traits as alternatives or parallels to super soldier strength or longevity. Sometimes being a were or vamp is the reason an otherwise non-powered Hawkeye can keep up; sometimes, just like in canon, his humanity is what makes him the bruise-able goofball we (and Bucky) know and love. Each fic on this list includes who is "what" and whether it's a total AU or if there are canon elements.
The Wolves of Timely (series) by: @mariana-oconnor
length: 101k series, 89k part 1 | rating: M-E | tags: werewolf!Bucky, total au, full shift were-creatures, carson's carnival, identity porn, enemies to friends to lovers, canon disabilities
Summary excerpt (part 1): Clint Barton’s got a bag full of stolen money and a burning desire to stay under the radar. His old friends in the Carnival will be looking for him and they sure as hell won’t be happy. In a desperate attempt to stay off their radar, he ends up in Timely, a small town so far off the beaten track he’s surprised he even found it, and waits for Barney to comes and get him. Because Barney will be coming. Clint knows he will. But [...] something’s going on in this small town, and Clint’s not sure if he’s jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Why this one? This series has incredibly rich world building that adapts key canon backstory elements into a beautiful, secret were society world. A brooding, protective Bucky and a self-deprecating, compassionate Clint have to bridge a river full of well-deserved trust issues, mirroring the kind of mutual trauma recovery seen in many canon fics.
It's Dark and There are Wolves by: @lissadiane
length: 41k | rating: E | tags: werewolf!Bucky, werewolf!Clint, canon adjacent, full shift werewolves, pack dynamics, light d/s, graphic depictions of violence
Summary: It’s dark and there are wolves howling and the only thing standing between Clint and death by wild beast is the hand he’s got clutching his stomach where his guts are threatening to make an unwelcome appearance. He really shoulda asked for more details when Natasha called him up and asked him to help Captain America search the Russian countryside for his long lost best friend who'd just tried to kill him in D.C.
Why this one? This beautiful fic adds a supernatural layer to a canon backdrop. It's got everyone's favorite snarky asshole Clint and protective Bucky learning to trust themselves, their minds, their instincts, and each other along the way.
10 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Cryptid - Facts and Tidbits Every Human (and Cryptid!) Should Know by: estranqer
length: 2.8k | rating: T | tags: werewolf!Clint, vampire!Bucky, total au, meet-cute, famous Bucky, cryptids are known
Summary excerpt: Being a popular Cryptuber is both hard and rewarding for Bucky. It's hard because his face is so recognizable nowadays. It's rewarding because he's just about to meet his biggest fan.
Why this one? It's funny and fluffy; this is a really fun vision of what it'd be like if cryptids were a totally normal part of society.
Vampire!Clint AU (series) by: @shatteredhourglass
length: 19k total, 9k part 1 | rating: E | tags: vampire!Clint, canon adjacent, canon-typical violence, biting, clint is emo about his vampirism
Summary (part 1): He’s not sure what happens, but the next minute Clint’s eyes are flicking towards him, something dangerous and feral in his stare. And there’s blood still smeared on the corner of his mouth. For a minute, he’s not entirely sure he’s not going to be attacked, because all he can think is that this isn’t a human in front of him, this is a predator.
He’s not sure if he wants Clint to pounce on him or not.
Why this one? This verse feels just like canon, only Clint's got a special diet and Bucky is really, really here to help him out with that. This has got the boys reaching understanding over misplaced self-shame, a fair bit of sex and violence parallels, and a seriously BAMF Clint.
Sunglasses (MCU vamp/were universe) (series) by: @sevdrag
length: 10k total, 2k part 1 | rating: T | tags: vampire!Clint, werewolf!Bucky, total au, humor, disaster Clint Barton.
Summary (part 1): Clint Barton is the worst at being a vampire, Werewolf Bucky is so done with his shit, and Mistress Natasha knows everything.
Why this one? This is Clint at his most dumpster fire, and a Bucky who is so, so over it; and yet, he can't quite manage to stay away. It's a ridiculous and humorous take on vampire and werewolf lore such as sunlight aversion, thrall, superior instincts, and changing under the moon.
The next nine fantastic fics include who is what kind of creature, and whether it's a total au or canon-adjacent. They are in descending order by length.
Fair Game by NotEvenCloseToStraight
length: 140k | rating: M | tags: werewolf!Bucky, total au, full-shift wolves, bigotry, game warden Clint, pack dynamics
something magic, something tragic by @feedmecookiesnow
length: 55k | rating: M | tags: vampire!Bucky, total au, hydra sucks, Clint on the run, torture (non-graphic), enemies to lovers
Oh Negative by @ladyladylady1
length: 17k | rating: M | tags: vampire!Bucky, total au, True Blood fusion, bigotry, bartender Clint
something like home by @themarshalstale
length: 13k | rating: T | tags: werewolf!Bucky, canon adjacent, humor, farm fic, post CATWS
Is That the Fangs I Get? by: @downwarddnaspiral
length: 11k | rating: E | tags: vampire!Bucky, total au, hipster Bucky, and they were roommates!, oblivious Clint, crackfic
Howl by: @drgrlfriend
length: 9.7k | rating: T | tags: werewolf!Bucky, canon adjacent, memory loss, claiming, feels
All Bark, All Bite by @hawksonfire
length: 6.1k | rating: E | tags: werewolf!Clint, vampire!Bucky, canon adjacent, biting, shifting
make me feel alive by: shatteredhourglass
length: 3.7k | rating: E | vampire!Clint, vampire!Bucky, canon adjacent, pwp, blood-drinking
Stand Down, Simmer Down by: @vexbatch
length: 3.2k | rating: T | werewolf!Bucky, canon adjacent, non-binary Clint, domestic fluff, discussions of self-realization and acceptance
Make sure to check out the author pages of all the fics listed! Lots of these writers have multiple vampire and werewolf fics.
What else would you have included on this list? Add your favorite cryptid fics below!
and check out here for more themed winterhawk lists.
Danny gets fangs, and they're retractable like the vamps' from True Blood. Also like them, he doesn't have perfect control over when they come out; they're subject to emotional arousal. Pretty much any emotion will do it when it's strong enough (in either form, poor kid). It's Scary Eyes 2.0: Scary Teeth! (or, My Shiny Teeth And Me remix: My Scary Teeth And Me)
Also love how one of the books TB is based on specifies that newer vampires have lisps while they get used to talking with their fangs. I'm bringing this up because it takes a while for anyone in Amity Park to realize he has fangs. First they notice Phantom seems to suddenly go silent at times. Turns out he's just really self conscious about the lisp so he avoids talking when his fangs are out.
Of course when his rogues catch on to this, they take special care to get a rise out of him. Finally there's a way to shut this kid up
what if Jonathan didn't escape...
Is it just me or does Mr Harkers apparently close interest in Count Dracula’s hands have a strong “Is this aristocratic eccentric with the wolf fixation and frighteningly sharp EVERYTHING going to tear my throat out?” energy?
Yes. I think one can definitely read his fascination with the Count's physical features as having a homoerotic cast; I think one can read it as a product of Stoker's obsessive interest in physiognomy; but also... this is a horror novel. I think Jonathan's reactions can very much be interpreted as those of a guy rightly concerned that horror novel shenanigans are about to befall him.