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Count and Countess

 Count and Countess
type
TVTItem
 Count and Countess
label
Count and Countess
 Count and Countess
page
CountAndCountess
 Count and Countess
comment
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_content_3'); })A Historical Fiction novel by Rose Christo.The book follows two of history's most notorious psychopaths: Count Vlad III Dracula, the 15th century Christian zealot known best for impaling his Muslim enemies, and Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the 16th century Hungarian princess rumored to have bathed in the blood of six hundred girls.The book starts In Medias Res. A very young but very well educated Vlad and his two brothers have just been sold by their cowardly father, the Prince Regent of Wallachia, as war hostages to the Ottoman Empire. Vlad's older brother is killed from the get go while his younger brother is treated like a concubinus. Vlad himself is expected to become a Janissary, one of many Christian boys kidnapped by the Sultan to fight on the frontlines of war. Vlad, despondent, writes a suicide note in the dirt of the campsite.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_content_2'); })A century later, a young and lonely Elizabeth discovers the note written in her flower garden and writes back. A correspondence begins.A character study told in a series of letters, Count and Countess notably "grows up" with its characters. As Vlad and Elizabeth are both young and sheltered at the start of the story, their letters initially read as an innocent but eager friendship. As they become older and desensitized to the cruelty around them, their letters grow darker and more structured. The more they alienate themselves from the rest of the world, the more obsessed they become with one another. The result is a completely different pair of characters by the end of the story who don't even realize they've become the people they used to hate.Also arguably a deconstruction of the ever-popular vampire genre: Vlad and Elizabeth are the real-life figures who inspired the contemporary mythos.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_content_1'); })
 Count and Countess
fetched
2019-05-23T21:30:47Z
 Count and Countess
parsed
2020-06-24T06:31:27Z
 Count and Countess
isPartOf
DBTropes
 Count and Countess / int_10dcbe05
type
Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other
 Count and Countess / int_10dcbe05
comment
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Vlad insists there is no love lost between him and his brothers, but has a breakdown when he unexpectedly finds his little brother alive and well, then loses him again, this time for good. Every action he undertakes in the novel is either revenge for his brothers, or lonely desperation to be with the only friend he's ever had. He eventually accepts this, and begs Elizabeth's forgiveness.
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 Count and Countess / int_10de0193
type
Time-Travel Romance
 Count and Countess / int_10de0193
comment
Time Travel Romance
 Count and Countess / int_10de0193
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 Count and Countess / int_116a941b
type
Applied Phlebotinum
 Count and Countess / int_116a941b
comment
Applied Phlebotinum: It is never explained how Vlad and Elizabeth's letters are traveling to one another across time, though they do try to figure it out.
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 Count and Countess / int_12dd1d4c
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Rape as Drama
 Count and Countess / int_12dd1d4c
comment
Rape as Drama: Arguably shakes Elizabeth's entire worldview.
 Count and Countess / int_12dd1d4c
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 Count and Countess / int_13645c02
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TroublingUnchildhoodBehavior
 Count and Countess / int_13645c02
comment
Troubling Unchildhood Behavior
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 Count and Countess / int_14beeefd
type
Darker and Edgier
 Count and Countess / int_14beeefd
comment
Darker and Edgier: The writing style as well as the series of events mature at exactly the same pace as Vlad and Elizabeth do.
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 Count and Countess / int_14e41a53
type
A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
 Count and Countess / int_14e41a53
comment
A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: "Darvulia" is really the Holy Roman Emperor's daughter Elizabeth, planted in Elizabeth's service to fill her head with heathen ideas and turn the public against her. Presumably so her dad could snatch Elizabeth's throne without any contest.
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 Count and Countess / int_188668f2
type
Redemption Quest
 Count and Countess / int_188668f2
comment
Redemption Quest: Elizabeth tries to invoke this by taking in and educating Hungarian and Slovakian peasant girls. Still, she continues to mentally unravel. Vlad, too, if you think about it. He may insist that he's always doing the right thing and acting in service of God, but why does he spend such large chunks of time scouring the Bible for passages on forgiveness?
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 Count and Countess / int_18d15922
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Title Drop
 Count and Countess / int_18d15922
comment
Title Drop: Subverted. Neither Vlad nor Elizabeth are referred to by the titles of Count or Countess.
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 Count and Countess / int_19851b86
type
The Sociopath
 Count and Countess / int_19851b86
comment
The Sociopath: Both of them. Even as children, they write jokingly to one another of murdering their more annoying contemporaries. Elizabeth also enjoys making her mother think she is insane.
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 Count and Countess / int_1c5002bc
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The Stoic
 Count and Countess / int_1c5002bc
comment
The Stoic: Elizabeth as an adult. Not So Stoic: But she's very nurturing toward her young daughter, even considering that her daughter was born of rape.
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 Count and Countess / int_1c6ded94
type
Wicked Cultured
 Count and Countess / int_1c6ded94
comment
Wicked Cultured: Vlad.
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 Count and Countess / int_1f6ec528
type
Would Not Shoot a Civilian
 Count and Countess / int_1f6ec528
comment
Would Not Shoot a Civilian / Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Averted, frequently and vigorously.
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 Count and Countess / int_1f963842
type
Bloodier and Gorier
 Count and Countess / int_1f963842
comment
Bloodier and Gorier: In spades. Both characters are children at the start of the novel and don't really go into detail about the daily violence around them, perhaps because it's something they don't want to think about. The violence has become quite graphic by the time the story ends.
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 Count and Countess / int_2139c878
type
Church Militant
 Count and Countess / int_2139c878
comment
Church Militant: Vlad. Even as a teen, he is overly zealous about his faith in Christianity, possibly because he's really got nothing else. Reaches tragic heights by the story's end.
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 Count and Countess / int_2207b002
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Ambiguously Brown
 Count and Countess / int_2207b002
comment
Ambiguously Brown: Most of Vlad's family, though not Vlad himself, which is where the implications of him being an illegitimate child come from.
 Count and Countess / int_2207b002
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 Count and Countess / int_22cf536c
type
Chekhov's Gun
 Count and Countess / int_22cf536c
comment
Chekhov's Gun: The name Elizabeth. Elizabeth reveals in one of her letters to Vlad that her name comes from the old Hungarian for "God is My Oath." When Darvulia betrays Elizabeth to the Holy Roman Emperor, she utters, "God is my oath." This is a major clue that Darvulia is really the Emperor Maximilian's daughter, Elizabeth of Bohemia, in disguise.
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 Count and Countess / int_23781532
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Ironic Name
 Count and Countess / int_23781532
comment
Elizabeth means "God is My Oath" (making this one more of an Ironic Name).
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 Count and Countess / int_270c1778
type
Blood Magic
 Count and Countess / int_270c1778
comment
Blood Magic: Subverted. Both Elizabeth and Vlad are led by different circumstances to believe that the blood of their victims will heal their impurities or help them circumvent death. It absolutely does not.
 Count and Countess / int_270c1778
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 Count and Countess / int_2a015a74
type
Beauty Equals Goodness
 Count and Countess / int_2a015a74
comment
Beauty Equals Goodness: So averted with Vlad, who is described as an adult as having golden hair, green eyes, bronze skin, and a downy beard. Elizabeth is a bit of a subversion; she is by far the more sympathetic of the two characters but her looks are actually described as quite plain, even ugly.
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 Count and Countess / int_2c0f4598
type
Asexuality
 Count and Countess / int_2c0f4598
comment
Asexuality: Implied with Vlad. When his adviser tries to hook him up with a wife, he retaliates by killing her, then putting her body on display in his welcoming chamber. His interest in Elizabeth never approaches sexual territory, in fact he states early on that he likes her so much because she's his intellectual equal.
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 Count and Countess / int_2cac89cf
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The Ingenue
 Count and Countess / int_2cac89cf
comment
The Ingenue: Young Elizabeth.
 Count and Countess / int_2cac89cf
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 Count and Countess / int_2df4fa08
type
Omniglot
 Count and Countess / int_2df4fa08
comment
Omniglot: Elizabeth speaks something like six different languages. Justified in that she is royalty and expected to speak what her subjects speak.
 Count and Countess / int_2df4fa08
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 Count and Countess / int_2fcf9bbc
type
Gratuitous Foreign Language
 Count and Countess / int_2fcf9bbc
comment
Gratuitous Foreign Language: Very slightly played with. Because Vlad spends his childhood fighting for the Turkish army, he only knows Ottoman military phrases and not their Romanian or Latin counterpart. E.g., a squadron is a takim and a captain is an agha. He seems to think alayli means commanding officer, but in actuality it merely meant that the soldier giving him orders was an enlisted man who rose up through the ranks.
 Count and Countess / int_2fcf9bbc
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Count and Countess / int_2fcf9bbc
 Count and Countess / int_34dcfc96
type
KickTheDog
 Count and Countess / int_34dcfc96
comment
Kick the Dog: Both have their moments, but prominently, Elizabeth sending her little brother to his death just so he won't challenge her for Hungary's throne. It's strongly implied she killed her father, too.
 Count and Countess / int_34dcfc96
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Count and Countess / int_34dcfc96
 Count and Countess / int_362461f6
type
Sex Slave
 Count and Countess / int_362461f6
comment
Sex Slave: Vlad's younger brother, Radu. Later graduated to a Janissary himself.
 Count and Countess / int_362461f6
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 Count and Countess / int_3754b680
type
Temporary Blindness
 Count and Countess / int_3754b680
comment
Temporary Blindness: Subverted. Vlad is blinded in one eye after a beating and waves it off, expecting the damage to heal eventually. It doesn't, and he retains the partial blindness well into adulthood.
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 Count and Countess / int_37690091
type
Stable Time Loop
 Count and Countess / int_37690091
comment
Stable Time Loop: And how. Elizabeth mentions very early on to Vlad that there's an unmarked gravestone outside Castle Poenari. Later, when Poenari is in Vlad's possession, he plants an unmarked grave in memory of Elizabeth's dead child. Elizabeth wraps one of her letters around a crucifix which she gives to Vlad as an ironic present. The crucifix was originally given to her by her grandfather, Stephen Bathory. As a mark of friendship, Vlad later gives the crucifix to Istvan Bathory, Elizabeth's great-grandfather. Elizabeth tells Vlad that her great-grandfather (Istvan) held the title of "Prince of Poland." During Vlad's timeline, when the Prince Sobieski dies of old age, Vlad snatches his vacant title and gives it to Istvan. As a child, Vlad's main inspiration to escape the Turkish stronghold is that Elizabeth tells him someone with his name is eventually going to become the scourge of the Ottoman Empire. While held captive by the Turks, a young Vlad buries Elizabeth's letters in the dirt for safekeeping. When the Turks unexpectedly switch campsites, Vlad loses all of her letters. Later, as an adult, Elizabeth has some of her men go to Byzantium to dig up the letters. The letters she wrote only a couple of years ago have suddenly aged about a century, which naturally freaks her out. Elizabeth has her handmaid draw a sketch of her face, which she sends to Vlad in one of her letters. Vlad has a portrait made of the sketch and hangs it in Castle Poenari. Elizabeth mentions to Vlad that when her family lived in Castle Poenari, no such portrait was hanging there. Turns out all his stuff seemingly gets auctioned off after his death. Years later, the portrait winds up in Emperor Maximilian's palace and is probably what launches Maximilian and Darvulia's "witchcraft" campaign against Elizabeth. Early on, in trying to help a young Vlad escape the Janissaries, Elizabeth wraps her letter around a bunch of ducats and sends them back in time to him. Ducats weren't being used as currency during Vlad's time period; Vlad even mentions that the Turkish doctor who was overseeing him must have been baffled when he confiscated the coins. Fast forward to Vlad's adult years, and suddenly ducats are the currency being used in Vlad's timeline. It's implied that Elizabeth might have had the same effect when she described how a hunting rifle works in another letter. During a later section in the story, Vlad is so lonely that he travels to the town of Cachtice just hoping to get a glimpse of Elizabeth's home, Castle Csejthe, which resides on the Carpathians there. In searching for it, he describes the castle to the villagers, who insist no such castle exists. He realizes it hasn't been built yet. But probably will be now that he planted the idea.
 Count and Countess / int_37690091
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Count and Countess / int_37690091
 Count and Countess / int_38bb862f
type
Don't You Dare Pity Me!
 Count and Countess / int_38bb862f
comment
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: The only time Vlad displays a temper toward Elizabeth is when she accuses him of mourning his deceased brothers.
 Count and Countess / int_38bb862f
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Count and Countess / int_38bb862f
 Count and Countess / int_3ae6199a
type
Psychopathic Manchild
 Count and Countess / int_3ae6199a
comment
Psychopathic Manchild: Vlad.
 Count and Countess / int_3ae6199a
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Count and Countess / int_3ae6199a
 Count and Countess / int_3b113b7
type
Character Development
 Count and Countess / int_3b113b7
comment
Character Development: Arguably the entire point of the story. Neither character even remotely resembles his/her childhood counterpart by the end of the story, except that their basic interests have remained the same.
 Count and Countess / int_3b113b7
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 Count and Countess / int_3b9b21c9
type
So Beautiful, It's a Curse
 Count and Countess / int_3b9b21c9
comment
So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Played sensibly and tragically with Radu. He is eleven years old when first taken to the Turkish campsite, and an extremely beautiful child, described as "dark and otherworldly." Instead of handed a sword, he gets passed around from soldier to soldier. But he becomes so fearful and obedient that he is eventually "rewarded" as a young teenager and gets promoted from sex slave to child soldier.
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 Count and Countess / int_3bc88a7f
type
Foregone Conclusion
 Count and Countess / int_3bc88a7f
comment
Foregone Conclusion: It's almost impossible to go into the story not knowing how both characters will turn out.
 Count and Countess / int_3bc88a7f
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 Count and Countess / int_3e74b72e
type
The Pollyanna
 Count and Countess / int_3e74b72e
comment
The Pollyanna: Istvan Bathory, who seems largely unfazed by his time spent as a Janissary and holds no ill will against the envoys who conscripted him.
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 Count and Countess / int_3ea7916d
type
Immortality Immorality
 Count and Countess / int_3ea7916d
comment
Immortality Immorality: Half of Vlad's story is about trying to find a way to outlive his natural lifespan, so he can finally meet Elizabeth face to face.
 Count and Countess / int_3ea7916d
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 Count and Countess / int_3f45aa4b
type
Epistolary Novel
 Count and Countess / int_3f45aa4b
comment
Epistolary Novel: The entire novel is told in a series of letters. The usual order is Vlad-Elizabeth-Vlad-Elizabeth, but on occasion Vlad or Elizabeth will forget to write back, leading to a break in the pattern.
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Count and Countess / int_3f45aa4b
 Count and Countess / int_424c9a9b
type
Cold-Blooded Torture
 Count and Countess / int_424c9a9b
comment
Cold-Blooded Torture: Both Vlad and Elizabeth.
 Count and Countess / int_424c9a9b
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 Count and Countess / int_42d7e928
type
Meanwhile, in the Future…
 Count and Countess / int_42d7e928
comment
Meanwhile, in the Future...
 Count and Countess / int_42d7e928
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 Count and Countess / int_44606d14
type
Becoming the Mask
 Count and Countess / int_44606d14
comment
Becoming the Mask: As a young boy, Vlad very notably hates the Sultan because he tortures his captives with impalation and forces women and children to fight. Once Vlad returns to Wallachia and inherits an army of his own, he slowly starts implementing the exact same routines. His reasoning is different—e.g. he wants to scare the Turks with their own practices, he runs out of enlisted men to fight the war—but by the end of the novel, he has become so cruel and capricious that it doesn't really matter what his reason was.
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 Count and Countess / int_46118dc5
type
Adult Fear
 Count and Countess / int_46118dc5
comment
Adult Fear: When Elizabeth seizes up and causes her daughter's death
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 Count and Countess / int_4655ec83
type
Important Haircut
 Count and Countess / int_4655ec83
comment
Important Haircut: Vlad cuts off his long hair after escaping life as a child soldier. It's not entirely about symbolism, though, and more a matter of practicality; the hair was weighing him down.
 Count and Countess / int_4655ec83
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 Count and Countess / int_47e9e5c6
type
Smart People Know Latin
 Count and Countess / int_47e9e5c6
comment
Smart People Know Latin: An informed ability. Vlad and Elizabeth mention a couple of times that they are apparently writing to each other in Latin.
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 Count and Countess / int_49d18492
type
Scenery Gorn
 Count and Countess / int_49d18492
comment
Scenery Gorn: When Vlad besieges Byzantium.
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 Count and Countess / int_49d59be9
type
SceneryPorn
 Count and Countess / int_49d59be9
comment
Scenery Porn: Some of the locations in later segments of the book, especially Curtea de Arges. Frequently applies to the Carpathian Mountains, too. Scenery Gorn: When Vlad besieges Byzantium.
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Count and Countess / int_49d59be9
 Count and Countess / int_4a57732a
type
Friendless Background
 Count and Countess / int_4a57732a
comment
Friendless Background: Both characters are pretty isolated from their peers as children, as well as hated by their families (Vlad's brothers mock and ostracize him for possibly being born out of wedlock, as he does not resemble anyone in his family; Elizabeth's brothers are slightly nicer but her parents treat her like a cross between a ticking time bomb and a festering plague). This is arguably the reason the kids latch onto one another so tightly once they've overcome their initial animosity.
 Count and Countess / int_4a57732a
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Count and Countess / int_4a57732a
 Count and Countess / int_4b4f6a2f
type
Mood-Swinger
 Count and Countess / int_4b4f6a2f
comment
Mood-Swinger: Vlad seems to suffer from borderline personality disorder. He even tells Elizabeth that he can only hate or love without any middle ground. Borderline personality disorder is the least of his problems. He also seems to suffer from histrionic personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and mild schizophrenia. And, of course, he is a psychopath. Why does Elizabeth love him, again? Oh, right, because she's just as nuts...
 Count and Countess / int_4b4f6a2f
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 Count and Countess / int_4b4f6a2f
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Count and Countess / int_4b4f6a2f
 Count and Countess / int_4d0fea06
type
Lonely Together
 Count and Countess / int_4d0fea06
comment
Lonely Together: The reason they bond so deeply is because they have nothing else to hold onto. Elizabeth herself points this out toward the end.
 Count and Countess / int_4d0fea06
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 Count and Countess / int_4d0fea06
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Count and Countess / int_4d0fea06
 Count and Countess / int_4efc4fae
type
Good Scars, Evil Scars
 Count and Countess / int_4efc4fae
comment
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Vlad sustains heavy scarring on his throat and loses part of his ear.
 Count and Countess / int_4efc4fae
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1.0
 Count and Countess / int_4efc4fae
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Count and Countess / int_4efc4fae
 Count and Countess / int_50d71a78
type
Dual Wielding
 Count and Countess / int_50d71a78
comment
Dual Wielding: Vlad is taught how to dual-wield swords as part of his Janissary training, a talent he passes on to his own forces.
 Count and Countess / int_50d71a78
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 Count and Countess / int_50d71a78
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Count and Countess / int_50d71a78
 Count and Countess / int_52aa0c4a
type
The Caligula
 Count and Countess / int_52aa0c4a
comment
The Caligula: As a direct result of Becoming the Mask, Vlad almost manages to out-Caligula Caligula himself.
 Count and Countess / int_52aa0c4a
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 Count and Countess / int_52aa0c4a
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Count and Countess / int_52aa0c4a
 Count and Countess / int_5f49ac76
type
Single-Target Sexuality
 Count and Countess / int_5f49ac76
comment
Single-Target Sexuality: To the point that Vlad does not find other women even remotely interesting. Elizabeth at least enjoys making Emperor Maximilian sexually uncomfortable.
 Count and Countess / int_5f49ac76
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Count and Countess / int_5f49ac76
 Count and Countess / int_5fb6411f
type
We Are as Mayflies
 Count and Countess / int_5fb6411f
comment
We Are as Mayflies: The life expectancy during their time is apparently quite low. They're only twenty and they're already talking about their lives being halfway over.
 Count and Countess / int_5fb6411f
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 Count and Countess / int_5fb6411f
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Count and Countess / int_5fb6411f
 Count and Countess / int_5fd14ab3
type
Sacred Hospitality
 Count and Countess / int_5fd14ab3
comment
Sacred Hospitality: Vlad kills a Turkish couple who tried to give him shelter and food.
 Count and Countess / int_5fd14ab3
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 Count and Countess / int_5fd14ab3
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Count and Countess / int_5fd14ab3
 Count and Countess / int_63b02752
type
Hair-Trigger Temper
 Count and Countess / int_63b02752
comment
Hair-Trigger Temper: Vlad. It's one of his defining characteristics.
 Count and Countess / int_63b02752
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Count and Countess / int_63b02752
 Count and Countess / int_68333a8b
type
Elite Army
 Count and Countess / int_68333a8b
comment
Elite Army: The Black Forces of Hungary.
 Count and Countess / int_68333a8b
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Count and Countess / int_68333a8b
 Count and Countess / int_6bda9a30
type
Meaningful Name
 Count and Countess / int_6bda9a30
comment
Meaningful Name: Where do we begin...? Vladislaus means "Prince of Glory." Drakulya means "Son of the Dragon" (his father's nickname was "Dragon") but can also be read as "Son of the Devil." Elizabeth means "God is My Oath" (making this one more of an Ironic Name). Radu means "The Happy One." Another ironic name. Elizabeth frequently calls her boorish husband "The Bear" in her letters to Vlad. When she finally has a daughter though it's not his child, she names her "Orsolya"—which means "Child of the Bear." Mircea means "Peaceful Glory." According to Vlad, he was known for being a peaceful diplomat, a skilled orator, and not very good with a sword. Istvan means "Crowned One." Vlad later crowns him the Prince of Poland. Elizabeth has a nosy and treacherous lady-in-waiting named Catilina. Historically, Catilina was the name of the infamous Roman politician who tried to overthrow the Roman Republic.
 Count and Countess / int_6bda9a30
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Count and Countess / int_6bda9a30
 Count and Countess / int_6d871385
type
Villainous BSoD
 Count and Countess / int_6d871385
comment
Villainous BSoD: Elizabeth has one when Vlad stops writing to her and she realizes she is entirely alone.
 Count and Countess / int_6d871385
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 Count and Countess / int_6d871385
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Count and Countess / int_6d871385
 Count and Countess / int_6f271c2e
type
Fangs Are Evil
 Count and Countess / int_6f271c2e
comment
Fangs Are Evil / Scary Teeth: Vlad invokes this purposely, largely inspired by protovampiric folklore during his time period. Since the Turks guarding the Janissaries confiscate their weapons at night, leaving Vlad with no plausible means of escape, Vlad decides to make his teeth into a weapon by ritually sharpening them.
 Count and Countess / int_6f271c2e
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Count and Countess / int_6f271c2e
 Count and Countess / int_70ade2c4
type
Culture Clash
 Count and Countess / int_70ade2c4
comment
Culture Clash: Elizabeth is very racist toward Slovaks, which is historically accurate of Hungarians during her time period, but in Elizabeth's case it is implied to be a result of her discordial relationship with Ferencz and Johannes, both of whom are from Slovakia. Interestingly, her favorite handmaid, Dorotta Szentes, is also Slovakian, but Elizabeth has no problem with her except occasionally describing her as unrefined. She also hates the English. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, this starts making sense in later chapters. Elizabeth explains that the English governess who took care of her as a child often made her feel like a freak.
 Count and Countess / int_70ade2c4
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Count and Countess / int_70ade2c4
 Count and Countess / int_753a61d4
type
Time-Travel Tense Trouble
 Count and Countess / int_753a61d4
comment
Time-Travel Tense Trouble: They suffer from this as children, humorously.
 Count and Countess / int_753a61d4
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Count and Countess / int_753a61d4
 Count and Countess / int_780a078e
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Self-Made Orphan
 Count and Countess / int_780a078e
comment
Self-Made Orphan: Elizabeth is strongly implied to be one.
 Count and Countess / int_780a078e
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Count and Countess / int_780a078e
 Count and Countess / int_790a1a93
type
Ineffectual Loner
 Count and Countess / int_790a1a93
comment
Ineffectual Loner: Elizabeth tells Vlad she prefers silence and solitude to human company. One has to wonder if the only reason she can bond with him is because he's a piece of paper. She seems to hit all the requirements of schizotypal personality disorder.
 Count and Countess / int_790a1a93
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Count and Countess / int_790a1a93
 Count and Countess / int_80621707
type
Arranged Marriage
 Count and Countess / int_80621707
comment
Arranged Marriage: Elizabeth and Ferencz Nadasdy, fairly early on. Vlad's adviser later tries to arrange a marriage for him. It doesn't end well at all.
 Count and Countess / int_80621707
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Count and Countess / int_80621707
 Count and Countess / int_808cbaeb
type
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
 Count and Countess / int_808cbaeb
comment
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Vlad is extremely nonchalant in writing to Elizabeth about just how often he's beaten while held captive by the Turks. This does a pretty decent job of showing that he's already in the middle of becoming desensitized to brutality. Elizabeth herself is later guilty of this and takes up the habit of murdering anyone who threatens her security as Princess Regnant, but describes the murders in the same way one would describe the weather. Sometimes played for humor, especially when Vlad is a child.
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Count and Countess / int_808cbaeb
 Count and Countess / int_819b6384
type
Sympathetic Murderer
 Count and Countess / int_819b6384
comment
Sympathetic Murderer: Elizabeth, but barely.
 Count and Countess / int_819b6384
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 Count and Countess / int_819b6384
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Count and Countess / int_819b6384
 Count and Countess / int_823c6e3e
type
LargeHam
 Count and Countess / int_823c6e3e
comment
Large Ham: Vlad really likes to be the center of attention...
 Count and Countess / int_823c6e3e
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 Count and Countess / int_823c6e3e
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Count and Countess / int_823c6e3e
 Count and Countess / int_88da529f
type
The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask
 Count and Countess / int_88da529f
comment
The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Elizabeth.
 Count and Countess / int_88da529f
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Count and Countess / int_88da529f
 Count and Countess / int_89a17726
type
Spell My Name with an
 Count and Countess / int_89a17726
comment
Spell My Name with an "S": It's "Vlad Drakulya," not the more common "Vlad Dracula." This is possibly to fit the explanation Elizabeth later gives: Between their native languages, which share a lot of commonalities, adding "-ya" to the end of a word means "Son/Daughter of." So "Drakul" (Dragon) + "-ya" = "Son of the Dragon." The real-life man known today as Vlad Dracula signed all his documents as "Vladislaus Drakulya."
 Count and Countess / int_89a17726
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Count and Countess / int_89a17726
 Count and Countess / int_8ae880f7
type
Deconstruction
 Count and Countess / int_8ae880f7
comment
Deconstruction: Of vampire romance. Granted, neither Vlad nor Elizabeth is a vampire, and vampires within the context of the book are definitely fictitious, but when one character's drinking blood and the other is bathing in it, the imagery is all too heavily evoked.
 Count and Countess / int_8ae880f7
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Count and Countess / int_8ae880f7
 Count and Countess / int_8b568cb7
type
Posthumous Character
 Count and Countess / int_8b568cb7
comment
Posthumous Character: Sort of. Elizabeth notes occasionally that by the time she receives Vlad's letters, Vlad is technically already dead. A more straightforward example is Vlad's older brother Mircea, who is dead from the very first page.
 Count and Countess / int_8b568cb7
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Count and Countess / int_8b568cb7
 Count and Countess / int_8b68d9a7
type
Stalker with a Crush
 Count and Countess / int_8b68d9a7
comment
Stalker with a Crush: Both characters, as kids, latch onto each other and refuse to let go, even as adults. As they lose everyone and everything else around them, they cling tighter. They believe they are in love, but as Elizabeth points out, they can't even be certain the other writer is who he/she says he/she is, leaving the credibility of their bond questionable and unhealthy at best.
 Count and Countess / int_8b68d9a7
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Count and Countess / int_8b68d9a7
 Count and Countess / int_8d23f3a7
type
Timey-Wimey Ball
 Count and Countess / int_8d23f3a7
comment
Timey-Wimey Ball: Caused by the plot device that lets Vlad and Elizabeth write letters to one another with a good hundred years between their eras. In some cases Vlad will write Elizabeth a letter and receive a reply only a few days later, but entire months have passed on Elizabeth's end. Vlad and Elizabeth are respectively fourteen and thirteen at the start of the story; by the time it's over, and Vlad and Elizabeth are both grown up, Elizabeth is older than Vlad.
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Count and Countess / int_8d23f3a7
 Count and Countess / int_8ed5c6e4
type
Asshole Victim
 Count and Countess / int_8ed5c6e4
comment
Asshole Victim: Was anyone really all that upset when Elizabeth kills her rapist?
 Count and Countess / int_8ed5c6e4
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 Count and Countess / int_8ed5c6e4
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Count and Countess / int_8ed5c6e4
 Count and Countess / int_916c72b3
type
Rule of Symbolism
 Count and Countess / int_916c72b3
comment
Rule of Symbolism: Both Vlad and Elizabeth meet their ends at the hands of the Holy Roman Emperor, though it's a different Emperor for each of them.
 Count and Countess / int_916c72b3
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 Count and Countess / int_916c72b3
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Count and Countess / int_916c72b3
 Count and Countess / int_9a158325
type
Gothic Horror
 Count and Countess / int_9a158325
comment
Gothic Horror
 Count and Countess / int_9a158325
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 Count and Countess / int_9a158325
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Count and Countess / int_9a158325
 Count and Countess / int_9e9203e1
type
Dramatically Missing the Point
 Count and Countess / int_9e9203e1
comment
Dramatically Missing the Point: To illustrate just how inhuman he is, Vlad completely doesn't understand why Elizabeth is upset when her daughter dies. Vlad spends later segments in the story traveling Europe in search of Sultan Mehmed, who has gone into hiding. Disguised as a commoner, he has a conversation with a couple of Bulgarians and discovers for the first time how hated he is by his subjects, specifically because he forces young boys and unwed women to join his army. Vlad does not understand why this is such a bad thing, and in fact he seems to genuinely think that subjecting children to violence at an early age is necessary for them to grow up. When you realize that this is because he spent his childhood as a child soldier...
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Count and Countess / int_9e9203e1
 Count and Countess / int_a1b141f4
type
My God, What Have I Done?
 Count and Countess / int_a1b141f4
comment
My God, What Have I Done?: Elizabeth, when she realizes her Blood Baths aren't working.
 Count and Countess / int_a1b141f4
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 Count and Countess / int_a1b141f4
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Count and Countess / int_a1b141f4
 Count and Countess / int_a7016efe
type
Lonely Rich Kid
 Count and Countess / int_a7016efe
comment
Lonely Rich Kid: Both of them.
 Count and Countess / int_a7016efe
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 Count and Countess / int_a7016efe
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Count and Countess / int_a7016efe
 Count and Countess / int_a86069f
type
Alternate History
 Count and Countess / int_a86069f
comment
Alternate History: Most notably, the real-life Elizabeth Bathory never took the Kingdom of Hungary for her own, though she did pass many of the bills presented in the story. Byzantium never became Constantinople, and thanks to Vlad, it never becomes Istanbul. (At least not during his or Elizabeth's time.)
 Count and Countess / int_a86069f
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Count and Countess / int_a86069f
 Count and Countess / int_a8a4b41e
type
Not So Stoic
 Count and Countess / int_a8a4b41e
comment
Not So Stoic: But she's very nurturing toward her young daughter, even considering that her daughter was born of rape.
 Count and Countess / int_a8a4b41e
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Count and Countess / int_a8a4b41e
 Count and Countess / int_aabe2fb
type
Deliberate Values Dissonance
 Count and Countess / int_aabe2fb
comment
Deliberate Values Dissonance
 Count and Countess / int_aabe2fb
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Count and Countess / int_aabe2fb
 Count and Countess / int_ae3d6438
type
Deadpan Snarker
 Count and Countess / int_ae3d6438
comment
Deadpan Snarker: Elizabeth.
 Count and Countess / int_ae3d6438
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 Count and Countess / int_b42b7e7b
type
Moral Myopia
 Count and Countess / int_b42b7e7b
comment
Moral Myopia
 Count and Countess / int_b42b7e7b
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Count and Countess / int_b42b7e7b
 Count and Countess / int_b8ba9b1f
type
Crossing the Desert
 Count and Countess / int_b8ba9b1f
comment
Crossing the Desert: A brief segment of Vlad's story has the Turkish army setting up camp in a desert, probably Syria.
 Count and Countess / int_b8ba9b1f
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 Count and Countess / int_b8ba9b1f
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Count and Countess / int_b8ba9b1f
 Count and Countess / int_b9d334b2
type
Aerith and Bob
 Count and Countess / int_b9d334b2
comment
Aerith and Bob: Almost definitely unintentional, but when sharing pagetime with characters named Ferencz, Dorotta, Darvulia, Orsolya, Istvan, Bogdan, Mehmed, and Radu, names like Elizabeth, Frederick, and Christian can appear very jarring.
 Count and Countess / int_b9d334b2
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Count and Countess / int_b9d334b2
 Count and Countess / int_bd4264a3
type
Slasher Smile
 Count and Countess / int_bd4264a3
comment
Slasher Smile: Vlad invokes this on purpose. Every time he's about to kill someone with his artificially sharpened teeth, he grins at them first, just to give them a preview of what's to come.
 Count and Countess / int_bd4264a3
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Count and Countess / int_bd4264a3
 Count and Countess / int_c8d6d621
type
I Will Wait for You
 Count and Countess / int_c8d6d621
comment
I Will Wait for You: In a twist, it's Vlad, not Elizabeth, who takes this viewpoint, proposing that he will find a way to outlive natural mortality so he can make his way to her time period. He evokes this again at the end of the book when Elizabeth has been killed and he decides to march into Hell after her. Elizabeth is much more realistic about the odds that they'll end up together.
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Count and Countess / int_c8d6d621
 Count and Countess / int_c9c756a8
type
Child Soldiers
 Count and Countess / int_c9c756a8
comment
Vlad spends later segments in the story traveling Europe in search of Sultan Mehmed, who has gone into hiding. Disguised as a commoner, he has a conversation with a couple of Bulgarians and discovers for the first time how hated he is by his subjects, specifically because he forces young boys and unwed women to join his army. Vlad does not understand why this is such a bad thing, and in fact he seems to genuinely think that subjecting children to violence at an early age is necessary for them to grow up. When you realize that this is because he spent his childhood as a child soldier...
 Count and Countess / int_c9c756a8
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 Count and Countess / int_c9c756a8
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Count and Countess / int_c9c756a8
 Count and Countess / int_ca9e3345
type
Temporal Mutability
 Count and Countess / int_ca9e3345
comment
Temporal Mutability: Vlad contemplates trying to change Elizabeth's future by killing off the ancestors of the man who raped and impregnated her on her impotent husband's command. This is also the entire reason he befriends her great-grandfather: He wants to keep her bloodline safe until the day she's born.
 Count and Countess / int_ca9e3345
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 Count and Countess / int_ca9e3345
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Count and Countess / int_ca9e3345
 Count and Countess / int_caa28b82
type
Cloudcuckoolander
 Count and Countess / int_caa28b82
comment
Cloudcuckoolander: Elizabeth as a child.
 Count and Countess / int_caa28b82
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 Count and Countess / int_caa28b82
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Count and Countess / int_caa28b82
 Count and Countess / int_ce1d78bc
type
Foreign Queasine
 Count and Countess / int_ce1d78bc
comment
Foreign Queasine: Vlad, sometimes; he finds it unthinkable that Balkan men will eat chilled cucumber soup in the middle of winter, but on the other hand, he has no problem with Turkish food.
 Count and Countess / int_ce1d78bc
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Count and Countess / int_ce1d78bc
 Count and Countess / int_ce9da072
type
Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic
 Count and Countess / int_ce9da072
comment
Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Even as kids, both Vlad and Elizabeth are beautifully articulate. Then when you remember they're Royal Brats and all their dialogue is composed of letters to one another, when they've had more than enough time to figure out what they want to write down, it all makes sense.
 Count and Countess / int_ce9da072
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Count and Countess / int_ce9da072
 Count and Countess / int_cedeae6a
type
Wacky Wayside Tribe
 Count and Countess / int_cedeae6a
comment
Wacky Wayside Tribe: The two bashi bazouk who get into a childish rivalry with Vlad and Istvan during the latter two's days as Janissaries.
 Count and Countess / int_cedeae6a
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1.0
 Count and Countess / int_cedeae6a
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Count and Countess / int_cedeae6a
 Count and Countess / int_d001c42c
type
Anti-Villain
 Count and Countess / int_d001c42c
comment
Anti-Villain: They both start out as this, particularly Vlad. All he wants to do is avenge his dead brothers and win back Romania's freedom. Unfortunately, he pulls this off in all the wrong ways.
 Count and Countess / int_d001c42c
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1.0
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Count and Countess / int_d001c42c
 Count and Countess / int_d08595d3
type
Broken Bird
 Count and Countess / int_d08595d3
comment
Broken Bird: Elizabeth.
 Count and Countess / int_d08595d3
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Count and Countess / int_d08595d3
 Count and Countess / int_d31da2e3
type
If It's You, It's Okay
 Count and Countess / int_d31da2e3
comment
If It's You, It's Okay: Vlad hates anyone who's not a Christian. Unless they are Elizabeth. As the novel progresses, he lampshades the number of things Elizabeth is that he hates, and how he loves her regardless.
 Count and Countess / int_d31da2e3
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Count and Countess / int_d31da2e3
 Count and Countess / int_d5921e22
type
Prince Charmless
 Count and Countess / int_d5921e22
comment
Prince Charmless: Ferencz Nadasdy. To a lesser extent, Vlad II Drakul and Emperor Maximilian as well.
 Count and Countess / int_d5921e22
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 Count and Countess / int_d5921e22
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Count and Countess / int_d5921e22
 Count and Countess / int_d8dde631
type
You Are Worth Hell
 Count and Countess / int_d8dde631
comment
You Are Worth Hell
 Count and Countess / int_d8dde631
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Count and Countess / int_d8dde631
 Count and Countess / int_dd92bf66
type
Warrior Prince
 Count and Countess / int_dd92bf66
comment
Warrior Prince: Vlad, but definitely not the good kind. He seems to do this on purpose so that he can contrast himself with Sultan Mehmed, who is never on the battlefield with his men.
 Count and Countess / int_dd92bf66
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Count and Countess / int_dd92bf66
 Count and Countess / int_dda99fa8
type
Despair Event Horizon
 Count and Countess / int_dda99fa8
comment
Despair Event Horizon: For Elizabeth, it's when her daughter dies.
 Count and Countess / int_dda99fa8
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Count and Countess / int_dda99fa8
 Count and Countess / int_df9021e7
type
Disabled Means Helpless
 Count and Countess / int_df9021e7
comment
Disabled Means Helpless: Elizabeth suffers from some form of worsening epilepsy, probably a result of chronic focal encephalitis. Her sickness makes others (even her own parents) see her as a pariah and a freak. Later in life, especially after her epilepsy accidentally causes the death of her child, she starts bathing in blood in a last-ditch attempt to cure her condition, making her more of a Sympathetic Murderer than an out-and-out psychopath.
 Count and Countess / int_df9021e7
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Count and Countess / int_df9021e7
 Count and Countess / int_dfbf8667
type
Right Under Their Noses
 Count and Countess / int_dfbf8667
comment
Right Under Their Noses: Vlad wages war with the Ottoman Empire largely because he wants to kill the Sultan. He fights battle after battle, besieges stronghold after stronghold, and the bastard is nowhere to be found. Actually, he is hiding out in Brasov, the very same church town where Vlad has all his weapons forged. Vlad does catch up with him in the end, but only after receiving some advice from an ex-Black Forces soldier.
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Count and Countess / int_dfbf8667
 Count and Countess / int_e03533c8
type
Blood Bath
 Count and Countess / int_e03533c8
comment
Blood Bath: According to this story, Elizabeth Bathory's baths in blood began as a means to cure her epilepsy. It didn't work.
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Count and Countess / int_e03533c8
 Count and Countess / int_e13156e1
type
Mama Bear
 Count and Countess / int_e13156e1
comment
Mama Bear: Elizabeth toward Orsolya.
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Count and Countess / int_e13156e1
 Count and Countess / int_e3b0cd87
type
Morality Pet
 Count and Countess / int_e3b0cd87
comment
Morality Pet: Istvan Bathory to Vlad. Also, considering how manic both main characters become, they are sort of morality pets toward each other. Another one for Vlad is his little brother Radu. After spending years thinking Radu was dead and slowly devolving into a sadistic mass murderer, Vlad is unexpectedly reunited with his very much alive brother. His first course of action is to smile incredulously and touch Radu's hair. It is the only kind moment he's ever had in the novel.
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Count and Countess / int_e3b0cd87
 Count and Countess / int_e3cee2e7
type
Empathic Environment
 Count and Countess / int_e3cee2e7
comment
Empathic Environment: When a teenage Vlad escapes the Turkish army and starts heading home for the first time in years, it begins to rain. (Not the novel's first instance of rainfall, though.)
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 Count and Countess / int_e4965307
type
Composite Character
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comment
Composite Character: Sultan Mehmed is a composite of his real counterpart and his father who started the war that Vlad is trying to end.
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 Count and Countess / int_e52a0409
type
Calling the Old Man Out
 Count and Countess / int_e52a0409
comment
Calling the Old Man Out: Vlad to his father, Vlad II Drakul, upon breaking free from the Turkish camp. In a very bloody and calculated way.
 Count and Countess / int_e52a0409
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 Count and Countess / int_e596f27b
type
Star-Crossed Lovers
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comment
Star-Crossed Lovers: Elizabeth and Vlad think they are this.
 Count and Countess / int_e596f27b
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 Count and Countess / int_e9e2c54d
type
You Already Changed the Past
 Count and Countess / int_e9e2c54d
comment
You Already Changed the Past
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 Count and Countess / int_ea35fda5
type
Bastard Bastard
 Count and Countess / int_ea35fda5
comment
Bastard Bastard: Implied with Vlad.
 Count and Countess / int_ea35fda5
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Count and Countess / int_ea35fda5
 Count and Countess / int_eef90616
type
Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick
 Count and Countess / int_eef90616
comment
Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Vlad is full of them.
 Count and Countess / int_eef90616
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Count and Countess / int_eef90616
 Count and Countess / int_f4a3140c
type
Survival Mantra
 Count and Countess / int_f4a3140c
comment
Survival Mantra: For a teenage Vlad, when he must walk over two hundred miles home by his lonesome. "I am a lion of God."
 Count and Countess / int_f4a3140c
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Count and Countess / int_f4a3140c
 Count and Countess / int_f6624c30
type
Together in Death
 Count and Countess / int_f6624c30
comment
Together in Death: Vlad invokes this after receiving his final letter from Elizabeth, surrendering himself to the Holy Roman Emperor to be executed for war crimes.
 Count and Countess / int_f6624c30
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 Count and Countess / int_f6b30338
type
Murder Is the Best Solution
 Count and Countess / int_f6b30338
comment
Murder Is the Best Solution
 Count and Countess / int_f6b30338
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 Count and Countess / int_f788b2c5
type
Love Makes You Evil
 Count and Countess / int_f788b2c5
comment
Love Makes You Evil / Love Makes You Crazy: Vlad begins drinking the blood of his enemies hoping that it will make him immortal, such as the strigoi (i.e. vampires) in old Romanian myths. Why? So he can be with Elizabeth in her time period, of course.
 Count and Countess / int_f788b2c5
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Count and Countess / int_f788b2c5
 Count and Countess / int_fb3576b2
type
TheDogBitesBack
 Count and Countess / int_fb3576b2
comment
The Dog Bites Back: Elizabeth to both Ferencz and Johannes.
 Count and Countess / int_fb3576b2
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Count and Countess / int_fb3576b2
 Count and Countess / int_fbd285b7
type
Comically Missing the Point
 Count and Countess / int_fbd285b7
comment
Comically Missing the Point: A rare moment of Black Comedy for Elizabeth, when she offers to let Dorotta use her Blood Bath and Dorotta refuses. She doesn't understand the reaction.
 Count and Countess / int_fbd285b7
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Count and Countess / int_fbd285b7
 Count and Countess / int_ff7e9adf
type
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
 Count and Countess / int_ff7e9adf
comment
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Vlad and Elizabeth are both imagined as blonds; Vlad's hair is at one point referred to as a lion's mane while Elizabeth is compared to the moon. When they are young and innocent, this gives a wholesome and positive image. Probably done on purpose, knowing that both kids will grow up to be total monsters.
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 Count and Countess / int_ff7f34c5
type
Pet the Dog
 Count and Countess / int_ff7f34c5
comment
Another one for Vlad is his little brother Radu. After spending years thinking Radu was dead and slowly devolving into a sadistic mass murderer, Vlad is unexpectedly reunited with his very much alive brother. His first course of action is to smile incredulously and touch Radu's hair. It is the only kind moment he's ever had in the novel.
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ItemName
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Count and Countess

The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Count and Countess
hasFeature
Ambiguously Brown / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Bastard Bastard / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Blood Bath / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Blood Magic / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Bloodier and Gorier / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Calling the Old Man Out / int_c146048b
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Church Militant / int_c146048b
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Cold-Blooded Torture / int_c146048b
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Composite Character / int_c146048b
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Crossing the Desert / int_c146048b
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Culture Clash / int_c146048b
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Disabled Means Helpless / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Don't You Dare Pity Me! / int_c146048b
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Dramatically Missing the Point / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Elite Army / int_c146048b
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Empathic Environment / int_c146048b
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Epistolary Novel / int_c146048b
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Fangs Are Evil / int_c146048b
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Foreign Queasine / int_c146048b
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Good Scars, Evil Scars / int_c146048b
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Gratuitous Foreign Language / int_c146048b
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I Will Wait for You / int_c146048b
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Immortality Immorality / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Love Makes You Crazy / int_c146048b
 Count and Countess
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Meanwhile, in the Future… / int_c146048b
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Mood-Swinger / int_c146048b
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Murder Is the Best Solution / int_c146048b
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Omniglot / int_c146048b
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Scary Teeth / int_c146048b
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Single-Target Sexuality / int_c146048b
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Slasher Smile / int_c146048b
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Smart People Know Latin / int_c146048b
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So Beautiful, It's a Curse / int_c146048b
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Star-Crossed Lovers / int_c146048b
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The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask / int_c146048b
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Time-Travel Romance / int_c146048b
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Villainous BSoD / int_c146048b
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Wacky Wayside Tribe / int_c146048b
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Warrior Prince / int_c146048b
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We Are as Mayflies / int_c146048b
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Wicked Cultured / int_c146048b
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You Already Changed the Past / int_c146048b
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You Are Worth Hell / int_c146048b