One detail folks often miss: The heroes go into great detail on the proper way to kill Dracula. But in the end, THEY DON’T DO IT. They stab with a Bowie knife of all things. Hardly a decapitation or “sacred bullet.” That bit has always made me scratch my head. Did the details of Stoker’s own story get away from him? Was he trying to infer Drac wasn’t really dead? Or were the heroes just wrong?
His great nephew wrote a sequel set in 1912 a few years ago. It’s called “Dracula, the undead”. It’s supposed to be based on stokers notes for a sequel.
Well, it could be implying that the piercing was the important part, not necessarily what did it (Maybe a Vlad the impaler reference?). Van Helsing himself is still new to the whole vampire hunting thing. Maybe he was just trying to be safe by covering his bases?
Much of what “everybody knows” about vampires wasn’t solidified until the late 20th century, when many different versions of vampires in books and films gelled into one fairly well-defined narrative.
Back in 1939, Batman killed a vampire with a silver bullet. But of course, today everyone “knows” that silver bullets are for werewolves, not vampires.
When I was in high school I read Dracula and, yeah, thought it pretty cool. Just this year – and now that I have been a Catholic for 18 years (I was nothing when I was a kid), I re-read it, and was quite struck by the seriousness (although not always terribly orthodox seriousness :-)) with which the Blessed Sacrament is treated in the novel.
Stoker was Irish, and perhaps Catholic – I just know that I hadn’t noticed that at all before. Mind, at 16 I didn’t notice much of anything 🙂