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Armand's biography

Child of the centuries

Biography - In his own words (T.V.A. excerts) - Armand Appreciation Week

You won't tell I didn't warn you: this is *spoiler* to the Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice !

  1. From Russia to Lestat ( "The Vampire Lestat", 2nd novel of the Vampire Chronicles )
  2. Louis and Claudia ( "Interview with the vampire", 1st novel )
  3. To our time and general points ( "Queen of the Damned", 3rd novel, and "Memnoch the Devil", 5th novel )
  4. Suicide, Sybelle and Benjamin ( "The Vampire Armand", 7th novel)

1) From Russia to Lestat

A monastery cell
A monastery cell
Armand was born in the middle of the 15th century somewhere in Russia, but didn't stay there very long. He was still a child when he was captured by Mongols and led to Venice. There, he was bought by Marius, one of the oldest vampires of that day. Marius was "born" during the Roman Empire, and at this time he was living among humans as a painting artist. He had chosen the child, then called Amadeo, for his beauty and -that's what is told in the third book- because of his ability to give love despite his painful past. Amadeo became one of his apprentices, his model (one resulting painting is recurrent in the books, "Amadeo's temptation", located in Talamasca's retreat in London at our time - until I stole it - just kidding), and a source of some pure blood before the hunt. As he was growing older, Marius finally made him a vampire at the age of 17 to keep him unchanged, it was around 1499.

The other vampires of these days were belonging to covens, present in many countries and cities, like those of the RPG "Masquerade". They had rules and dark beliefs about their state. Marius was an outlaw for them because he wasn't hiding from humans and he had a secret he had kept from them. So they attacked him after Amadeo's 'rebirth' to kill Marius, thinking they could get his secrets from the young boy. He had been changed too young according to vampire's precepts and was defenseless against their number and experience. Marius vanished in flames, falling in Venice canals and was considered dead. But Amadeo knew nothing and Santino, the leader of the Venicean coven, finally invited him to join them.
For your record, the secret was that Marius was guarding the two 'ancestors' of all the vampires, the Egyptian rulers Enkil and Akasha, who will later be known as the Queen of the Damned.

Many years later, Amadeo, now called Armand, had became the leader of the Paris coven. Around 1780, a new outlaw vampire appeared : Lestat, insolent and carefree. Soon after his rebirth, he turned his mother Gabrielle into an undead like himself. That was forbidden too... The coven finally kidnapped Lestat's (boy)friend to catch him. Lestat tried to convince them to change their "way of life" (excuse me for the bad joke...) and get into the world. Some were troubled by his speech, and Armand himself was torn between the anger to see his coven ready to fall down and the eagerness to follow Lestat's example and freedom -and Lestat himself... They had a complex hate-love relationship, still not completely cleared out 200 years after, and often tried to kill each other.

Armand finally solved the problem by killing most of his people, putting a sudden end to the coven principles. He tried to attract, then kill, then convince Lestat to live with him. And would you believe it? He failed. Not because he had tried to kill him some minutes before. Lestat didn't care at all, and it's a chance for him because everybody wants to kill him at a moment... He said Armand had nothing to offer him. Nothing he wanted, maybe, or nothing he wanted enough to give in exchange for what Armand wanted from him, but that's the only moment where he showed some circumspection in 200 years, really... So he left his theater to Armand against the promise this one would let the surviving vampires "live" there and tune into this new age. And he went around the world with Gabrielle to find Marius. Armand had told him his story and what Lestat had kept in mind was that maybe Marius wasn't dead and knew the secret of their existence. Lestat... If it's possible to kill you, I will... Even though I really appreciate this only reasoned decision from you.

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2) Louis and Claudia

Death in Les Innocents
1892. Lestat had created two vampires in Lousiana during the past century. The first was another cute young man, Louis. The younger one was Claudia, a girl changed at the age of 5 by both Lestat and Louis. Claudia was too young to become a vampire. She had no experience of human feelings, and then no conscience at all. Just the "Want it, take it" cruelty of childhood, and she had never enough - of blood usually. After some decades, she also felt painfully that she would never grow up. She came to reproach Lestat and Louis to have deprived her of a human life. That's one of the many reasons why she guilefully tried to kill Lestat, and ran away to Europe with Louis to find answers to Louis' metaphysical questions.

They had found none when they came back in Paris. But the vampires of the Theater contacted them. Louis was always feeling guilty of killing people, dwelling on moral considerations. Feeling better of feeling bad, thinking he was not so bad as long as he felt guilt and said it loud... But it was at least different from the complete cynicism and fakeness of the Theater's vampires, and Armand liked it. Louis was a perfect symbol of his uncertain time, and that's what Armand needed. But there was Claudia. Although Louis was completely out-of-it, she had felt from the start that Armand wouldn't let her interfere. These two easily understood each other.

And then Lestat came too (sigh...). He had survived Claudia's attack, but needed some powerful vampire blood to recover complete health. And Armand was the easiest to find of the ancient ones. Let's laugh a little: Lestat thought Armand would obviously accept to help him because he somehow had a debt to him... Lestat didn't know Louis and Claudia were in town. Armand weakened him still more to make him accuse Claudia of having tried to kill him. That was the only crime among these vampires, punished by definitive death. Then she was condemned by the coven, while Louis was only locked up in a metal coffin and buried "alive". Armand came to free him the evening after, whereas Claudia had been burned by sun during the day. And Lestat was pathetically mourning her death he had caused... He? Yes, I agree, Armand is the most responsible of all this. But that's not what Louis had understood at this time, though he was feeling some bitterness Armand hadn't saved her. And you haven't seen everything yet... Oh, I forgot, to leave with Louis, Armand had also killed the young human he had at this time, Denis. Isn't it lovely? No you're right, it's not. Nobody's perfect. What do you expect from a centuries-old vampire? Love and roses? That comes first, but things change.

Louis left after having warned Armand. The day after, when dawn began to show, the vampires were ready to sleep. Louis came to the Theater and burned it down with the vampires inside. He has had absolutely no problems, because the human employees had been sent somewhere else by Armand. Here I confess Armand had made a mistake: by killing Claudia he learned coldness and cynicism to Louis, who had then less interest for him. However they travelled together a long time, escaping the other covens' revenge. It ended where everything had started for Louis: near New Orleans, after Louis had discovered Lestat wasn't dead, another untold truth Armand had kept from him. Armand finally left him since he had nothing left to expect from him.

Gargoyle over Paris at night
Gargoyle over Paris at night

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3) To our time and general points (the lengths I'd go not to mention Daniel or Memnoch)

Louis went on travelling a little, and Lestat buried himself, unable to adapt himself to the beginning 20th century. Armand settled down in New Orleans, killing vampires crossing his fief (that is not sure, in fact, it's a story told among young vampires. But it wouldn't be very surprising. Useless and empty young vampires have no interest for Armand, but they're signs that could betray his existence to mankind. ... Me, biased and blinded? No, just pragmatic, and selfish when it comes to it. I won't shed a tear for a vampire, if Armand didn't consider him/her worth to be left 'alive'. I remind you that we're talking about undead serial killers here).

New Orleans
New Orleans
In the late 20th century, after Louis had told his own story to a journalist, Daniel, this one came in New Orleans. He was looking for Lestat and a proof he wasn't completely insane. He found Armand, who achieved to turn him mad... Oh, sorry, my sweet Armand, it is not as simple and awful as some pretend. Daniel was another key, like Louis the century before, to tune into the modern world. Armand followed him in a 5 years-long cat-and-mouse game, after what Daniel became his boyfriend. Bad choice, sweetheart, let me say... You're really not good at choosing your mates, you know that?

Another hate-love relationship, and Daniel was often running away, destroying himself with drugs and alcohol, blaming Armand to relish seeing him die. As I see things, he needed nobody to kill himself, but he finally got what he wanted : as he was close to die, Armand broke the promise he had made to himself, and turned him into a vampire. His first-born and probably his last, considering how it turned out.

In the same time, Akasha, Queen of the Damned, had awakened by hearing Lestat, finally back from his own sleep, singing rock songs about his vampire nature (Lestat... is undrinkable to say the least...). She killed almost all the vamps and intended to become the Goddess of humanity with Lestat by her side. But the vampires she had left 'alive' to help her saved the world (...), killed her and all settled for a while in Armand's new fief, an island in front of Miami. Then they splitted again. What a pity Armand apparently renounced to kill his followers... Just one more? Please?
Night Island
Night Island

In 'Memnoch', he attempts to commit suicide by going into (more exactly jumping towards) the sun, from the StPatrick's Cathedral's parvis in New York, after Lestat came back from the "Memnoch's Heaven-and-Hell Special Rollercoaster Tour" with memories from Veronica's Veil, God, Christ and all.

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4) Suicide, Sybelle and Benjamin

St Patrick
St Patrick's cathedral
Hopefully, in the snow storm he fails. Later he'll tell about strange visions occuring to him in the process, including one from a kid in a hotel's room, calling his god for help against a guy slapping a young woman - and the kid's prayer is heard as Armand, by some trick remaining unexplained even to himself, manages to appear in the flat and kill the man, even though he's still in the sky lost in snowy winds.

But the result is that he wakes up on a building's roof covered with snow, under an iron plate that conveniently fell on him after he crashed on, protecting him from sunbeams (his guardian angel has been working hard lately). He's been injured by sun quite a lot however during his near-flight, and he can't move, his skin and flesh being burnt to the bone.

He remains there for some time, hiding his thoughts to other vampires who believe him dead, his only remaining link to life being the music played by the young woman of his hallucination, Sybelle, and the kid's prayers, Benjamin, whose hotel is close from the building he fell on. Eventually he decides to keep on living, and mentally calls Benjamin.

The two mortals bring him back to their hotel, fearless, and he tells them what he needs - blood, to heal his wounds. Benjamin brings a victim back to their hotel - the only person who would have asked questions about the vanishing of the guy Armand had previously killed, Sybelle's brother. After a while they form another "dysfunctional happy family" - such as once formed Lestat with Louis and Claudia.

Sybelle is a 25 yrs old gifted piano player, who fell into apathy after her parents accidentally died. Benjamin is a Bedouin boy that was hired... rather kidnaped, by Sybelle's brother to take care of her. Curiously enough, though remaining a bit hazy and obsessively playing Beethoven's 23rd Sonata : "Appassionata", Sybelle has been enlivened by Amadeo's irruption in her life.
The Appassionata

After months Armand finally decides to make his own opinion on Lestat's travel, by drinking his blood to access his memories. Thus he goes to New Orleans where most vampires are gathered around the comatose Brat Prince, along with his two mortals. He gets to drink his blood, and that's where he tells his tale to David - which is transcribed in "The Vampire Armand" -, while Marius takes care of his companions.

It's only when he gets back to them that Armand finds his master (who had repeatedly sworn he would never, ever do the same mistake as making a vampire as young as Armand...) has turned both Sybelle and Benjamin into vampires... which, err, gets on Armand's nerves quite a bit, for he wanted to see Benjamin growing to fulfill the promises of the 12-yrs old he was, and to protect Sybelle from his own darkness (as if she cared about *that*, really... She's a bit insane, but she's not stupid : she loves you).

(one day, sweetheart, if you let me do I would kill him and others for you, just to spare you to have their blood on your hands...).

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