Asexual Representation: Interview With the Vampire

Interview with the Vampire is famously homoerotic, at least according to Allos. But Baby Ace Courtney saw components of her own experience in The Vampire Chronicles, so we're here to make the argument that Anne Rice's Vampires are, in fact, Asexual.


Courtney: Why? Hello? It is we: Courtney and Royce! The internet’s favorite Asexual vampire couple. And today is the moment that I’m sure you have all been waiting for, because we are going to talk about vampires. Anne Rice’s vampires, to be precise. Now, when I was young, I read a good deal of The Vampire Chronicles. I can’t claim to have read every single one because, apparently, Anne Rice was publishing these things up until just a few years ago. But definitely like, throughout my teenage years, the first four or five of them were definitely my jam. And especially, as a young Asexual, who did not have any good asexual representation to sort of look to.. or admire… I kind of found a pseudo-aspirational form of my sexuality in The Vampire Chronicles.

Courtney: And to those of you listening, especially those of you who have not read it and probably those of you who are allosexual and are not ace like me, this might come as a surprise to you because I rarely if ever see people talking about the Asexuality of Anne Rice’s vampires. Because the driving factor in all of the conversations around vampire sexuality in Anne Rice’s world is they’re pretty gay! Or at least, they are all very bisexual. And now Royce, You haven’t read these books before you met me. Did you realize that these vampires are in fact, Asexual?

Royce: I didn’t really have a lot of information. Anne Rice wasn’t really ever on my radar until someone sat me down, and was like, “Hey, let’s watch Interview with the Vampire.” Which is fine…

Courtney: The movie is… I’d argue, not great.

Royce: But in it, there is no clear… what we mortals would call physical affection. And I don’t know if that’s a product– watching the movies, I don’t know if that is just a product of the 90s or… you’re going to get into the book itself… but there was a lot of homo-romanticism at least, between the the most prominent characters. But there was nothing that indicated that any sort of fornication was happening.

Courtney: Yes, and– and we’re definitely going to talk about that more here. Because from my experience… Well, actually first, before we go into this, when you were sat down to watch this movie, goodness knows when… it’s an old movie. It could have been at any time… Was that the moment you realized “Oh, this is why people tell me I look like…” Who do you look like? Is it Tom Cruise or the other one?

Royce: Tom Cruise. Yeah, it’s– it’s–

Courtney: I’m not up to date with my sex symbols.

Royce: It’s Lestat. And, and I think that was the preface. Like, someone had watched Interview Of The Vampire and was, like, name-dropped that character, and I didn’t really know much about it. And then, finally, was like “Let’s watch this movie.”

Courtney: Gotcha.

Royce: And then I, since then I’ve gotten a couple of passing comments in public of “You look kind of like Tom Cruise out of a certain movie.” Which is not not always Interview with a Vampire. But, usually.

Courtney: Which is so interesting because I mean, not really… I mean the long hair, you got going for you, same as he does in that movie. I guess there’s maybe an argument to be made that you have, like, somewhat similar noses, but I think general… like, bone structure is much different, but…

Royce: I think that people are often off when they try to make appearance comparisons between two people from memory. Like the number of times I’ve heard that I have a doppelganger, but I’m pretty sure that if I stood side by side with that person, I would look nothing like them….?

Courtney: Sure. Sure. See, I get that a lot less often than you do too, which I think is weird. Like I don’t often have people being like you look exactly like someone I know.

Royce: That’s because you are racially ambiguous.

Courtney: That’s true.

Royce: And thus, less likely– there is a smaller chance of someone else being racially ambiguous in the same combination.

Courtney: That’s true. So, so, whereas you, as a white person, get “I know someone who looks just like you.” I, as a racially ambiguous person, get “What are you? You’re so exotic.” So horrible. Oh, we’re gonna have to talk about that at much greater length in an episode where the topic lends itself better to that. But we’re here to talk about vampires in fact. And the thing I wanted to get back to, the thing I’ve noticed as someone who was an avid reader of these books at a young age, talking to people after the fact, everyone reads these books differently. Absolutely everyone. My gay friends say it is filled with gay vampire sex. It is very homosexual. And I argue no, not quite.

Royce: It does appear to be homo-romantic, but that is a different story.

Courtney: It’s a different story! And this is where, I think, a good grasp of what we’ve touched on– on a bit before, the split attraction model, which is something that not all, but a lot of Asexual people use because… you know, you and I, we are both Asexual but we have some level of attraction for one another, we are, in fact, married and have been for a long time, quite happily. So our attraction isn’t sexual in nature, but it’s a different type and some of the common types of attraction you’ll hear are romantic attraction, aesthetic attraction, you might hear sensual attraction. And they all have different connotations. And from every allo I know, no matter what their orientation is, they read these books and they read sex. And when I first read these as a teenager, I was baffled when I learned this. Because I was like, “What book are you reading? I do not see the sex with which you refer.”

Royce: That reminds me, we should talk about The Curious Sofa sometime.

Courtney: Oh my gosh. Yeah, we’re gonna talk a lot about Edward Gorey in 2022. Don’t you worry. So my gay friends see gay sex. But the really, really unfortunate thing is all of the straight people I know who have read this book, see something bordering on pedophilic, and incestuous, because everyone sees sex somehow.

Royce: Because two adult men in a relationship that has homo-romantic undertones have a… daughter… figure?

Courtney: Yeah, yeah, so we’ll get into that. I will have direct quotes from people of my past, who might have read these books. But Royce, since you haven’t read it, and I’m sure some of our listeners out there haven’t read it, I’m going to give everyone the cliff notes, and then I’ve pulled a few direct quotes from the book to make my case that the vampires are definitively Asexual. So, we’re starting at the very first book: Interview With the Vampire. And one thing I kind of just want to get it out of the way, because I don’t want anyone to listen to this and think “Oh, this must be a great book. It must be great for representation.” I don’t want that to necessarily be anyone’s takeaway… because if I read this book right now, for the very first time, it would absolutely hit differently than it did at the time that I read it. So, Anne Rice, she passed away near the end of 2021. Many people in the queer community were rightfully so grieving her loss, because a lot of queer people with varying identities saw themselves in her books.

Royce: I didn’t realize that this book was actually published in the 70s.

Courtney: Yes, quite controversial at the time! So, these books are from the 70s. She was 80 when she recently passed away. She is very much ‘woman enraptured with southern history.’ Maybe you know where I’m going. So, I will never claim that she did everything perfectly. And one of the things that was even more jarring on a reread, than it was the first time through years ago, was just the way she handled, like, southern plantations. Because the two primary vampires we’re going to be talking about today are Louis and Lestat. I think a lot of people in this discourse about these, you know, “sympathetic vampires” forget the fact that Louis was a literal plantation owner, and enslaved many, many Black people… And it’s just not very– it’s icky to read a lot of the time.

Courtney: And I know some people will try to make the argument, like, “Well, that’s history. You’re starting the book in the Seventeen Hundreds… Of course someone in the South has…” It’s still not handled well. This is not good, like, historical fiction in that sense. There are some icky lines about how, like, “These aren’t the African Americans that you picture today. These– these were people from Africa who are very tribal,” and very much like the– the “magical minority” trope, like, these enslaved people who they’re occasionally feeding on as vampires, they’re the ones who almost blow the vampires’ cover, because they “know about magical thing– things. They know about Voodoo. They know about these tribal things.” So they’re more, you know, more mystical, more superstitious. So it’s not good. It’s quite bad. So I want to get that out of the way, because I don’t want to just not address that elephant in the room where it comes to this book.

Courtney: But before I talk about the the gayness, the Asexuality, how all of my allo friends have read this… I want to talk about just people’s general conceptions because it’s an old enough book. It is now also an old enough movie. It’s a very, very large well-known franchise. So even people who haven’t read the book, and even people who haven’t seen the movie, a lot of those people still have an idea of what it’s about. And I’ve, even quite recently, seen people make the case for “Oh, I didn’t know that there was any Asexuality to it. I thought there was a lot of bisexuality, a lot of homosexuality, but she deals with alternative family structures in a really good positive light.” And I’ve seen people make that argument over and over again. Like, “the alternative family structure is very good”. It is– it is representation. That doesn’t mean it’s good.

Royce: Do you think a lot of that comes from the movie, removing a lot of sort of side content, where Lestat is generally horrible?

Courtney: Well, he’s not great in the movie either. Like, they watered down a lot in the movie, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t portray him as, like, a loving husband. It’s so… let’s– let’s– let’s go into this! So, Louis is a Southern plantation owner, Lestat is a vampire who still has a mortal elderly living father, who is blind and needs caretaking, and he decides to ask Louis if he can take his life, turn him into a vampire, if they can live together on his plantation mansion and take care of his father, until his father dies. And more so than I think any other book I’ve ever read– I think there’s a lot of selective reading going on, because whether you say they are homosexual, whether you say they’re Asexual, whether you say they’re gay and ace, a lot of people find the Louis-Lestat relationship to be some level of aspirational, and it absolutely is not. And I want to make that very, very clear off the bat.

Royce: Future podcast episode coming out later about all of the toxic allo relationships in media.

Courtney: Well, that’s exactly it, like, in the 70s Anne Rice was sitting here being like, “there are so many toxic allo-cishet relationships, that the cishets can aspire to, we don’t have any toxic homo-romantic asexual relationships for those folks, to look up to it. Let me fix that.” [laughs] So I pulled this excerpt because I really want to drive home that, yes, Lestat and Louis lived together for a very long time; I wouldn’t even say that there was anything justifiably romantic about it. Like, if anything, it was queerplatonic, but there– there was not any reciprocated love happening, right from the get-go.

Royce: Well, you mentioned that they pretty much hated each other. So, it’s– kind of sounds more like not even queerplatonic, it was– they were more just bound by circumstance, both being immortal creatures that couldn’t really exist in society.

Courtney: In a way. I mean Lestat was very, very much abusive, and very much trying to keep Louis with him. Even when Louis tried to break away. So in that case, it was a very, very abusive toxic relationship. But this– this excerpt I pulled is from like The Night, Louis is in the process of becoming a vampire, it’s the– the first night of the rest of his immortal life. He is arguing with Lestat because they’ve been arguing right from– right from the start. And they haven’t gotten Louis his own coffin yet. So dawn is approaching, and Lestat is like, “Hey stop being a baby. Get in the coffin.” Because, because Louis is a little concerned about getting in the coffin. And so Lestat says,

Courtney: [reading] «Now I’m getting into the coffin. He finally said to me in the most disdainful tone ‘And you will get in, on top of me, if you know, what’s good for you.’ And I did, I lie face down on him, utterly confused by my absence of dread and filled with a distaste for being so close to him, handsome and intriguing though he was. And he shut the lid.» And they go to sleep like that, and not even a paragraph later after he wakes up in the morning, his first true– wakes up in the evening, rather, his first true evening as a full-fledged vampire.

Courtney: [reading] «The first thing which became apparent to me, even while Lestat and I were loading the coffin into a hearse and stealing another coffin from the mortuary, was that I did not like Lestat at all. I was far from being his equal yet, but I was infinitely closer to him than I had been before the death of my body. I can’t really make this clear to you for the obvious reason that you are now as I was before my body died, you cannot understand. But before I died, Lestat was absolutely the most overwhelming experience I’d ever had.»

Courtney: So this is where the selective reading comes in, because people hear words like he’s handsome, he’s intriguing, this is an overwhelming experience… and the word experience is italicized. So, there’s definitely that, like, vampire mystique to it, and vampires are often very, very sexy in their portrayals like this. But a lot of people seem to skip over that he’s like, “I don’t like Lestat one bit. Yes, he’s handsome, but I hate that guy!”

Royce: Hearing you read that passage, it actually makes me think more of the commonly attributed, vampiric power of hypnosis or manipulation where he says “you as a mortal wouldn’t understand this.” But when Louis was a mortal, he found this person intoxicating and now that he is a vampire, it seems more like he is freed from Lestat’s power in the same way.

Courtney: I think that could– that could be a fair reading of it. I hadn’t thought about it specifically in that way, but I think that’s just as valid a reading as any I’ve heard.

Royce: I think there are many cases at least in the movie, where a vampire looks upon a mortal and compels them to do something. Against their better judgment.

Courtney: Yeah, that’s definitely a vampire trope. And when people are talking about, like, you know, “Anne Rice’s vampires are very gay, they slept in the same coffin together.” Exactly that one time. And it was because they didn’t get him a new coffin yet. And they went out and got Louis his own coffin the very next day, and even that very night sleeping in the coffin together, he was like, “I was filled with disdain for being so close to him.” And it’s like nothing aspirational about that. It sounds like a horrible situation.

Courtney: And so I suppose that could be… there are sort of two different allo schools of thought that I’ve encountered, where sleeping in the coffin together is an allegory for sex. But then the other take is, I suppose, a little more promiscuous, it’s the drinking blood is an allegory for sex. Neither take I am fond of. And so, to go back to your point, Royce, about just circumstantially needing to be together… They do touch on that a bit because Louis is being interviewed, hence Interview With The Vampire. And so after he tells the story about how he became a vampire, I took this excerpt:

Courtney: [reading] «’And there you were,’ said the boy after a pause, ‘with another vampire you hated.’ ‘But I had to stay with him,’ answered the vampire. ‘As I’ve told you, he had me at a great disadvantage. He hinted there was much I didn’t know. And must know. And that he alone could tell me.’» So, right off the bat, there– there is an abusive dynamic because Lestat is manipulating Louis by withholding information from him. Information, which as a new vampire, could mean life or death. At this point, Louis doesn’t know what can kill a vampire, if anything can kill a vampire. He doesn’t know the rules or how to stay safe and Lestat is overtly keeping that over his head to keep him there. I also underlined this line because I thought it really drove my point home.

Courtney: [reading] «I positively loathed Lestat.» And I guess, I mean, truth be told, because I have seen people take it either way, like “Oh sleeping in the same coffin, that’s basically sex” or “Drinking each other’s blood, that’s practically sex.” Even if you take that take, which I kind of think personally is a weird take. That only happened once each, between the two of them. Like Lestat, turned Louis into a vampire, by drinking his blood and giving some blood back for him to drink, that happened the one time. And then, they slept in a coffin together that one time by sheer necessity, and neither one seemed super jazzed about it. And, you know, they pretty much go on like that for a while. They continue living on the plantation with Lestat’s elderly dying father. Louis still has mortal relatives who are alive at this point. And in the next chapter we have another example of just what I was saying, Louis says:

Courtney: [reading]«And I realized that I’d tolerated him this long because of self-doubt. I’d fooled myself into believing I stayed for the old man and for my sister and her husband, but I stayed with Lestat because I was afraid. He did know essential secrets as a vampire, which I could not discover alone. And more important because he was the only one of my kind, whom I knew. I hated him, and wanted to leave him. Yet, could I leave?» This is page 63 of this book. He’s already saying I hate him and I want to leave.

Royce: And self-preservation was the reason for staying.

Courtney: [sing-songy] Sounds like an abusive relationship to me. So, another allo take I hear is “all of Anne Rice’s vampires are bisexual.” And there’s definitely solid evidence for some of them potentially being bisexual or at least pre… pre-vampirism, still as mortals they might have been asexual, or bisexual rather, because Courtney is making the point that all vampires are asexual. I will back up these claims with evidence, I assure you. And even even in vampirism, you know, people say, “Oh well, Louis and Lestat are definitely a gay couple. And it– it says that Lestat’s favorite human to kill is a young man.” Some people also read something at least bordering on sexual with that.

Courtney: But this was actually a scene, it was almost, almost verbatim– which actually made it into the movie where Lestat brings home a couple of prostitutes and he… he likes to play with his food… which is something Louis’s talking– constantly talking about how much he hates how he’ll, like, sort of mess with people before he kills them. Because Louis’s not into killing. He doesn’t like it. In fact, he lives exclusively on rats for a while because he doesn’t want to take human life. But I found this very, very interesting because some people say “Well, Lestat’s not just gay, he’s definitely bi because he also, you know, he’s bringing home all these prostitutes.”

Courtney: But I underlined this line, because I think I put a lot more weight on this than anyone else who has ever read these books… But this line [reading] «The woman on the settee with him was already teasing him about his kisses, his coldness, his lack of desire for her.» No one ever talks about that line. Everyone’s like, “Oh, he brings home female prostitutes.” It’s like the prostitute’s, like, “What’s your deal? Why aren’t you into me?” His lack of desire… So, like he’s just messing with them.

Royce: Logically. It’s probably also a safer target for a vampire, regardless of orientation. Just needing to fulfill their blood quota.

Courtney: Blood quota, I like that. So it’s kind of like at this moment, because Lestat is messing with these women. He kills one pretty quickly and moves on to the next one. And they didn’t hint at ‘no desire’ in the movie… but I believe I have heard, anecdotally, that Tom Cruise, like, explicitly asked the movie to be, like, a little straighter than the books. Like he still took the role, but I think he was notably a little uncomfortable with how, like, at least vaguely homoerotic things were. So, I don’t know if that was an intentional change. Like okay, “You can actually be into the prostitute if you want.” But it’s at this point Louis is like “You’re a monster. I can’t be with you anymore!” Because he’s been like this for years, and now at this point– and he’s again talking about or, at least thinking to himself, “I’m gonna leave.”

Courtney: And this is when Louis himself actually breaks down. And bites a young girl, Claudia. This is after he has not consumed a human in a very long time. He’s not into that, but he’s still just like, really hungry. He meets a young girl. Wrong place at the wrong time. Realizes he’s sucking her blood, realizes she hasn’t died yet, and kind of calls it off. And tries– tries to end it. And that ends up being the girl that they adopt. And I think that’s where people start to say, you know, “unconventional family structure, and that’s good representation actually,” because it’s two men who adopt a young girl. And I’m sure this was much more scandalous in the 70s, but this is still not an aspirational family.

Courtney: Lestat finds Louis doing this, makes fun of him, pokes a lot of fun at him for doing this, and then is like, “Why don’t we make her a vampire, will adopt her, she’ll be our daughter!” Great. Done. He turns her into a vampire right then and there even though Louis doesn’t really want any part of it. He’s very conflicted and that is when Lestat’s like “Louis was going to leave me… but now you’re not, are you Louis? Because now we have a dear precious daughter now, and you’re gonna stay here and help me raise our lovely daughter.” And Louis is like, “Damn you! You fiend!”

Courtney: So, I guess Lestat got what he wanted for a little while. He stayed with him, even though he was very much planning on leaving and trying to find a way to. But Lestat is not only awful to Louis. He’s also awful to their new daughter now, Claudia. She is five years old at the time they made her a vampire. And for the first, like, few years where she’s still, you know, mentally a young girl, I think things are mostly fine. But as she starts to get her own, like personality, Lestat just gets terrible to her.

Royce: Five? They made her older for the movie, then.

Courtney: I gotta think they have to, for the movie because…

Royce: …to actually be able to get a reliable child actor. Yeah.

Courtney: But yeah, like, don’t get me wrong. She was very young. And once she does start growing up, mentally, her body doesn’t change, but she gets, you know, a little more independent, a little more headstrong. And like, Lestat cannot handle that. And he’s awful to her. In fact, Louis even says it at one point. [reading] «He gave little suggestions that he might do her harm. ‘A starving child is a frightful sight.’ He said to me, ‘a starving vampire even worse. They’d hear her screams in Paris.’ He said, were he to lock her away to die. But all this was meant for me to draw me close and keep me there. Afraid of fleeing alone, I would not conceive of risking it with Claudia.» So, every time I see people who are like, “This is great queer representation! The two men adopted a daughter together in, like, the 1800s, it’s great!” I’m like, no, it’s not. It’s not good. It’s very bad. In fact.

Royce: Yeah, one thing you said as we were preparing for this podcast, was the fact that most people forget that Lestat was the villain of the book for the most part.

Courtney: And I wonder how many of those people it’s just years removed, or it’s selective reading, or if it’s people who read more of the series because the second book in the series, like, is about Lestat, his whole life. So I don’t know if people, you know, learn more about him, gain more sympathy to him, and then sort of like, you know, retroactively forget the way he was written in this book or the way he was described by Louis in this book.

Courtney: So for as much as I’m going to criticize it, these books, like, definitely meant a great deal to me. And I’m going to be perfectly honest, the first time I read Interview With The Vampire was actually because my partner at the time lent me his copy. And this guy was very queer, he definitely read these books and was very much like, “This is a great book. It is very queer, loved the vampires. love the darkness.” And when I– when I borrowed the first book, like, I also loved it the first time I read it. But that partner ended up being very, very abusive. And so I was like partially through the second book when we finally called it quits.

Courtney: And so I wasn’t about to, like, steal this book or finish– finish this book. And so getting my own copies of this book was kind of a big… just sort of like, moment of independence for myself also. Because it was actually the very first online purchase I ever made. I went to eBay and I got a huge book– or a huge haul of used Anne Rice books which included most of The Vampire Chronicles and some of her other works. And when that big box of used books from eBay came to my door, that was like such an oddly liberating feeling, and I just kept– kept reading The Vampire Chronicles at that point.

Royce: Question: did your big book haul include Anne Rice’s erotic novels published under a different name?

Courtney: I think a couple of them, I think a couple of them… and I didn’t read them either. [laughs] By the way. I think a couple of them were like, Anne rice like, originally published as Anne Rampling or whatever the pseudonym was that she used for some of those originally. So, I mean, she has written erotic novels and this is something people know about Anne Rice, so I think people are also inclined to take the things she writes in a very sex-heavy direction, even when there is no literal sex happening.

Courtney: But after this, you know, really horrible breakup with this very, you know, abusive queer ex of mine… I– I dove right into another bad decision. I dated a straight guy [laughs] and I didn’t have a need to read Interview With The Vampire even though that was in my big book haul because I’d already read that one. So I was like, “Hey, new boyfriend. Why don’t you read this book? It’s going to be a really good book.” And so ex was like “I like this book because because of all the gay vampire sex.” But new boyfriend, halfway through this book, came to me dumbfounded, and I kid you not, said [exaggerated shock] “Did Louis and Claudia fuck??” And I was like, “What is wrong with you?? No! They absolutely not! What are you talking about?.” And he’s like, “I think they fucked!” [fumbles] “No, nope. Nope, that– that definitely didn’t happen. Show me where that happened.” He’s like, “You gotta read between the lines, but it’s super obvious that Louis the vampire and his daughter, Claudia, the– the five-year-old vampire… [sarcastic] they definitely fornicated.” And I could not figure out for the life of me where he got– got that.

Royce: Red flag. Break up time.

Courtney: [burst out laughing] If only! If only! Because listen, he was also– also abusive in… in fewer ways than the last ex was, but still not good. And by this point, like I had read ahead. I– I knew the secrets of the lore. I knew that canonically Anne Rice’s vampires do not have genital sex. There’s a deep lore reason for it, which we’ll get to that later. I want you guys to know the lore reasons, like anyone who says that these vampires are literally having genital sex, it’s– it is canonically not correct. But I think you have to get to the fourth book…? I want to say, I know I’m going to have to reread to find exactly where that passage is, but I think in the fourth book, they explain why that is.

Courtney: So when I read that I was very vindicated. Because as a young Asexual, I was like, I also didn’t pick up on how abusive this was probably because I was in an abusive relationship of my own at the time, but I was like, [intrigued] “Oh, the dark romance without any sex? This is perfect! And they had a daughter without having sex? Oh, brilliant! Love it.” So, and that’s kind of what really started this trend. Those were the first two people whom I might have discussed this book with, or this series, actually, in some cases. But it became a pattern.

Courtney: Because the more straight people I knew who read this were like, “Yeah, that was definitely, like, kind of pedophilic that he was just, like, sleeping with this vampire in a five-year-old body.” And I was like, [forceful] “Where did you read this?” But then all the gay people I knew were like, “Yeah, Louis and Lestat were having sex all the time.” And I was like, [dumbfounded] “Where did you read that? I don’t see it! Any of this, none of it.” But I’ll give them this, they’re– they’re wrong, each and every one of them, but…

Royce: First of all.

Courtney: First of all, they’re wrong. On second readthrough, because in preparation for this episode I re-read the first book, because it’s been over a decade since– since I’ve read it last. So I wanted to make sure that I had all my ducks in a row and that my memory was fresh. I understand allos a little more now, than I did then. Because back then I was just baffled by everyone all the time, and I didn’t know any other Asexual people and I was just like “Wait, you think this? Wait, you feel like that?” Like, I didn’t understand any of it. It was all foreign to me. Now that I have embraced my Asexuality. I’ve met other Asexual people and I’ve had conversations about sex and sexuality with a variety of people, knowing that we all experience things differently, I can’t say I get the allos because I still think they’re very weird, but at least know a little more about how they think. And Anne Rice’s writing style is very very lush. It is very flamboyant. It’s very romanticized. And part of that is just Anne Rice. I mean as I said, she has written, you know, erotic novels, which I don’t think I’m ever going to touch personally.

Royce: You had a really cringey audiobook going for a while.

Courtney: It was horrible. Yeah. I’ll tell the story real quick. So when I was just in a Barnes & Noble several years ago, and there was, like, this brand new, like “The Prince Lestat, the new edition of The Vampire Chronicles.” And I just saw this in Barnes & Noble without hearing any news about this whatsoever. And I was like, “Anne Rice is still writing novels in The Vampire Chronicles? What?” So, I just, like, bought it because why not, I still haven’t read it to be perfectly honest, maybe I’ll have to if we end up making this whole thing a whole series. But I just, sort of like, googled that at that point. I was like “how many Vampire Chronicles are there? Are there some I didn’t know about?” And she made a crossover series called The Lives of the Mayfair Witches, which kind of, from what I understand, can stand on its own but there are some crossover characters at a certain point and it is very evident that this is in the same universe.

Courtney: And knowing that there is some level of crossover, I thought, “Oh, I should go and read these before I get onto the new book just in case, you know, there’s some sort of big astonishing lore drop or some character who’s been added who I’m not privy to yet.” So I was like, “what the heck? I’ll– I’ll read The Lives of the Mayfair Witches.” Oh my gosh. This– this is when I did have a physical copy of, but I was also just really busy with my Victorian hairwork business at the time. So I was doing a lot of time in the studio, working with my hands. So I was kind of flipping back and forth between reading the physical book and putting the audiobook on. And it was downright painful to listen to and read. Because it was just too much! I don’t even think this was considered an erotic novel, so that really doesn’t make me feel good about what her actual erotic novels are… but the sex was so frequent and unnecessary and just uncomfortable, just awful. I hated it. [laughs]

Royce: Even coming into the room, listening to the sex scenes played at two times speed, they were still too long.

Courtney: They were still too long! I was listening to it on two-times speed, because I was like “Get there!” Like, “Get through it! Get through it!” And then Royce would come into the room with just, like, one eyebrow raised, while I’m sitting there doing work, but my entire face is just cringing and we’re just both highly uncomfortable and I’m sorry Royce, that I put us both in this situation. Will never again go in blind to an Anne Rice audiobook, or any book. Probably. It was awful…

Royce: Question, before I get back into it. You are familiar with the concept of mass hysteria where a large group of people, generally believes something in a panic. What do you call something when a large group of society collectively fanfictions a work of literature? Because it kind of sounds like, that’s what has– what is happening with The Vampire Chronicles.

Courtney: We call them threatened with legal action! Because Anne Rice, famously hates fanfic. And she– she like, outright has said, like “Don’t you dare make fanfiction of my characters. I can’t bear to think of fanfic of my characters.” And she would, like, issue take down orders to fanfiction websites and, like, actually send legal threats to people who she found making fanfiction. And so she has been like in modern day one of the least supportive authors of the fanfiction community. So no fanfiction of those vampires! Which is very interesting. I’m not into fanfiction. I haven’t quite read fanfiction. I definitely don’t write fanfiction, but I know it is a lush and thriving community, and I think, good for them.

Royce: It definitely sounds like there’s some aspect of shipping culture here, where people are ignoring all the red flags and pretending that there is a happy couple at work here.

Courtney: I mean honestly… I would love this to be a happy functional couple. Are you kidding me? Gay vampires with their vampire daughter? Who are actually a functional family unit? I would love that! But that’s not the fact of the matter. So, truly… So, yeah, I can’t claim to know much about the shipping communities, the fanfiction communities… but I do know that Anne Rice is very unfriendly to them.

Courtney: So in just, like, getting back to how I understand allos a little more now… So on on my recent read through, I kind of started seeing some of the words and phrases where I’m like, “Oh, that’s why you thought that this meant sex.” Is just in a lot of the words she uses. First of all, she uses the word sensual a lot, which people often conflate to be sexual. And if you spend any amount of time engaging with asexual discussion online, with the Ace community, you should well know that they are not necessarily the same. They can go hand-in-hand for some people, but not always. And I never took her use of the word sensual in these books to be in an erotic direction. Because she makes it very clear that vampires have heightened senses. Every sense is heightened, from vision to smell, absolutely everything. They did a horrendous job of showing this in the movie. I don’t know why they were like… utter failure of imagination where they’re like, “Let’s take this statue, that doesn’t move and give it eyes that actually move, once he’s a vampire, because that’ll show them that vampires see things better than humans.” like What??? Very, very weird.

Courtney: But she’s constantly talking about how they can move faster than humans, they can sense things better. So, when she uses the word sensual, I always took that to be in the literal sense of the word, the heightened vampire senses. But now that I have studied allos a little further, I can see why they think that means sexy. But she also starts to, at a certain point once Claudia mentally grows a little older, she never steps away from the father-daughter dynamic. Right up until the end Claudia’s being referred to as daughter. But she will occasionally throw in a line where will be like “father and daughter, lover and lover.” And teenage Courtney was like “Lover, doesn’t have to mean in a sex way.” Adult Courtney knows that any allo who reads that is going to think it’s in a sex way. But no! Louis was not having sex with the body of a five-year-old! Absolutely not, even though she is, now, like 64. And even without getting into the deep lore. I have proof of that later in this book too. Which– I will pull excerpts. I will cite my sources.

Courtney: But yeah, so Claudia basically sleeps in Louis’ coffin every single night, for almost their entire vampire lives. At a certain point she wants a coffin of her own, and Louis is, like, deeply wounded by this. In fact, he said [reading with emphasis] «which left me more wounded than I would let her see. I walked out after giving my gentlemanly consent. For how many years had I slept with her as if she were part of me, I couldn’t know.» And I just took that to be like any parent, like my child’s growing up and doesn’t need me anymore. Right? But even after Claudia gets her own coffin, and she still goes back to Louis’ coffin and sleeps with him seemingly every night.

Royce: Which kids being of an age where they frequently, like, climb into their parents bed, is a very frequent well-documented behavior.

Courtney: Yeah, absolutely! But yeah, so in– I mean, this is the point she’s growing up more. She’s wanting a little semblance of independence but isn’t really, you know, walking the walk so to speak, because she’s still climbing into Louis’ coffin, but she starts to really resent Lestat. Which is probably for her own good, because Lestat has literally threatened to kill her. I feel like maybe that wasn’t emphasized quite enough. But yeah, yeah Louis describes, you know, [reading] «She grew cold to Lestat and our fragile domestic tranquility erupted with his outrage. And once he even flew at her shouting that he would slap her.» Like awful. This is, this is not an aspirational family dynamic.

Royce: Did he literally… 90’s movie effects like wire– wire across the room to slap her?

Courtney: Probably [laughs] But yeah, and so I was, I was pulling lines trying to really prove the fact that these are Asexual vampires. The first book doesn’t give me nearly as much as latter books do. But as we’re talking about the first book. I also wanted to be– I wanted to be fair to the allos! We aren’t always [laughs] fair to be allos. I’m sorry. I thought I could say that with a straight face. I did pull something where, like I said, she loves these… the use of the word ‘sensuous’, and ‘sensual’, which in most cases I found to be really, really innocuous. Even her use of ‘lover’ I usually found to be very innocuous.

Courtney: There were a couple ones I was like, “Come on Anne, come on…” Like Louis starts to kill humans again after Claudia becomes a vampire, but he’s still not into it. He doesn’t like it very much. He’s very ashamed of it and Claudia after she starts really lashing out at Lestat, at one point says [reading] «’Kill with me tonight.’ She whispered as sensuously as a lover.» And that’s when I was like “Stop it, Anne. Don’t give the allos any reason to think that this 20 something year old vampire body is doing anything inappropriate with this five year old vampire, like to stop.” So to be fair like the first time I heard someone say like, “I think they’re having sex.” I was like “you’re absolutely ridiculous. There is no way. That could be. Where did you read that? What are you talking about now?” Now it’s like, “Okay, you read that and you took it the wrong way.”

Courtney: So we– we talked a little bit about how the allos read this versus how the gays read this, and how I as a baby Ace read this once upon a time. But there is one other perspective. I don’t know how common this is because I’ve only talked to one woman about this, a friend of mine years ago, a trans woman told me that she read Interview With The Vampire when she was a teenager and she heavily related to Claudia. And that kind of gave me an aha moment because Claudia, as now a grown woman and– a would be elderly woman in the body of a five-year-old child, begins to really have an issue with that. And that’s one of the things that Lestat actually, like, nags her about. Like, he’ll make fun of her by pointing at a grown woman and being like, “You’ll never have a figure like that.” And then she’d get noticeably upset about it and he’d keep doing that. So, like, bad dad award. Really.

Courtney: But I, I did pull this passage because not only do I think this is perhaps the best highlight of what… what someone in the Trans community might be able to identify with, but it also rolls into the next scene where definitively we learn, uh no, they are not having sex, stop it, you weird, weird allos. So, I guess we need to bridge some gaps here. So, Claudia tries to kill Lestat because he’s a very bad dad. Tries to kill him, doesn’t know how to kill a vampire. So, they think he’s, well, disposed of and past the point of no return. But surprise! You can’t kill a vampire in those ways you attempted. So Lestat comes back and attacks them. And they tried to kill him again with fire this time. Don’t know if they succeeded but they’re like, “Well, guess we got to move to Europe now. Can’t– can’t be around this guy because we don’t know how to kill him.” So they get on a boat and they go to Europe. They say, “Hey, let’s look for more vampires. More of our kind, because Lestat sucks. Surely there is a vampire out there somewhere who sucks less than he does.”

Courtney: And after skulking about Eastern Europe for a while, they eventually wind up in Paris and Claudia forms a deep fascination with a doll shop. Where a local doll maker just makes baby doll after baby doll, only baby dolls. And she comes running into the hotel where they’re renting a room and she’s very excited, she is fussing with this doll that’s of a fully grown woman. And she very excitedly says,

Courtney: [reading] «’It’s a lady doll.’ She said, looking up at me, ‘See a lady doll!’ She put it on the dresser. ‘So it is,’ I whispered. ‘A woman made it,’ she said. ‘She makes baby dolls, all the same baby dolls. A shop of baby dolls. Until I said to her I want a lady doll.’» And a doll is something that they– Louis especially has frequently referred to Claudia as, you know, she– she looks like a doll, she’s as perfect as a doll, her white vampiric skin is like porcelain, and all that good stuff. They dress her in ribbons, her curly hair, frilly dresses. All that good stuff. So Claudia eventually says,

Courtney: [reading] «’Do you know why she made it for me?’ And Louis says, ‘Because you are a beautiful child and she wanted to make you happy.’ She was laughing, soundlessly. ‘A beautiful child,’ she said, glancing up at me. ‘Is that what you still think I am?’ And her face went dark as again she played with the doll, her fingers pushing the tiny crocheted neckline down toward the china breasts. ‘Yes. I resemble her baby dolls. I am her baby dolls.’ But something seemed to shift suddenly and then I saw what her still childish figure was doing. In one hand she held the doll, the other to her lips, and the hand that held the doll was crushing it. Crushing it and popping it. So it bobbed and broke in a heap of glass that fell now from her open, bloody hand onto the carpet.»

Courtney: And Claudia, who is now so excited at having this lady doll, because she’s tired of all the baby dolls, just absolutely goes off and demolishes this doll that she loved, because Louis, is once again, comparing her to a beautiful child. Which, you know, that’s kind of what– you can feel the emotion in that passage. Because she literally takes it out on the doll, crushing it. And although this is the body of a young girl that wishes to be the body of a fully grown woman, I think that’s the part that resonated with my friend all those years ago. Because she could very much relate to being in a body that doesn’t match the brain. So there’s still just like…

Courtney: Even though I’m making a case that there is no literal gay vampire sex, because there is not, there’s still so much beautiful queerness that just seeps from every page of these books. So I’m– I’m very much not making the case that this is not a queer read, because it very much is. But this is where I’m like, come on people who think that Louis is having sex with Claudia… She literally, here starts to lament the fact that she has never had sex and she even asks Louis she says, “But tell me one thing, one thing from that lofty height. What was it like making love” and Louis’ reaction is interesting here. And this is what I really want to talk about.

Courtney: This is… this is the real meat and potatoes as it were the extent of the Asexuality in this book, I think? Because we don’t get all the lore drops until later. But Louis says, [reading] «I was walking away from her before I meant to. I was searching like a dim-witted mortal man for cape and gloves. ‘You don’t remember?’ She asked with perfect calm, as I put my hand on the brass door handle. I stopped feeling her eyes on my back, ashamed. And then I turned around and made as if to think, where am I going? What shall I do? Why do I stand here? ‘It was something hurried,’ I said. Trying now to meet her eyes. ‘and dot dot dot it was seldom savored, dot dot dot something acute that was quickly lost. I think it was the pale shadow of killing.’»

Courtney: This is the vampire who doesn’t like killing… I would like to formally add to the Anne Rice vampire discourse! Louis was Asexual before becoming a vampire. I’ma say it. So I mean, his reaction here, I think is so interesting because she asks him this, which also like anyone who reads her asking this and still thinks they’re having sex…? Very weird take, you are selective reading. But she’s like, “What is it like to make love?” And his immediate reaction is like, “I gotta get out of here.” It’s like “I’m leaving. Where’s the– where’s my Cape?” He’s like, “My hand was on the door before I knew what I was doing.” So he’s noticeably uncomfortable, first of all. But then when he’s like, “Well, I guess I gotta answer her.” He says “something hurried, seldom savored, acute, and quickly lost.” And there are like more dot dot dots in this one paragraph than I think, there are in half of this whole book. And also the fact that he does then start to equate it to a pale shadow of killing being the one who famously doesn’t like killing, and is very beside himself every time he– he actually does kill someone… I think that’s also very interesting and very telling.

Courtney: And that’s also, you know, something that was a super quick, seemingly innocuous change that they made to the movie? They opened the movie with his monologue, just sort of saying like, “Oh my wife died in childbirth, shortly before I met Lestat”...? Which was very weird, because that did not happen and in the book we actually get a glimpse of his life before he meets Lestat, and there was no mention of a wife, no mention of a girlfriend. And in fact, the family member who died that had put him in grief was his younger brother. So being single doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re Asexual, but I think his response right there– because that’s– that’s as close to an actual conversation about sex as they have in this entire book.

Courtney: And in fact, the only imagery that we get of any physical arousal at all, in this book, comes shortly thereafter where they actually do meet a coven of vampires. And the oldest vampire in the group, Armand, has a human familiar and this is one where I’m willing to say I may have misread this as a teenager. This might have actually implied real physical arousal, but I’ll tell you where my head was at after I read this passage. So Armand offers Louis to, like, “here... have a taste of this human of mine.” And it’s clear that this young boy, they don’t give an age, but they call him a boy and refer to him as young. So I don’t know if it’s like, I don’t know what age he’s supposed to be. No idea.

Courtney: Armand likes snaps and is like, “Go Dennis, let Louis drink from you.” And then this boy goes, offers himself to Louis, clearly already has vampire fangs-like puncture marks all over him, and it says [reading] «He was pressing the length of his body against me now and I felt the hard strength of his sex beneath his clothes pressing against my leg.» That did not feel good to read aloud… But that is the only imagery of physical arousal at all in the entire book. And it is a mortal boy. And when I was younger, I just thought this was like a natural physical response to like getting your blood sucked… not necessarily in a sexual way… because you know, I always read like know, sometimes when people would be hanged in ye olden days, sometimes people would get erections and I was like, “That’s probably just like a blood pressure thing, you know?” And I thought I was, totally had to be 100% removed from actual sexual arousal, because that’s where my head was as an Asexual teenager. But I know. What do you think? As an adult I’m starting to think, like, maybe that boy did actually, you know, like it.

Royce: Well, going back to, often under-explained, vampire powers, the bewitching nature of vampires often has a similar effect on people. So, I don’t know if we are supposed to take that as a proclivity for the individual or an impact of the draining of blood, or the general nature of vampires in Anne Rice’s novels in general.

Courtney: Which is all very true! And I would also submit that, this is also kind of proof that Anne Rice doesn’t shy away from imagery like that. And as further proof, go read The Lives of the Mayfair Witches, if you can stomach it. Because I did manage to finish the first book and I was disappointed that I did quite honestly. Like if Anne Rice wants to write a raunchy sex scene, Anne Rice will write a raunchy sex scene. You better believe it! Which I mean, now that Armand is in the picture, I’m a little surprised that more people don’t talk about Armand and Louis as An Item. Because I think Lestat is just such an iconic character, he’s like the epitome of the, like, byronic vampire… the– the suave, handsome, mysterious vampire.

Courtney: But really if there’s a case to be made about a homo-romantic relationship it’s Louis and Armand. And I don’t think that gets enough discussion, because even Claudia after meeting Armand is, like, [reading] «’He loves you. He loves you, he would have you and he would not have me stand in the way. Loves blinded you, your fascination with his knowledge, his power.’» So, this is Claudia talking to Louis saying, “He loves you. He wants me out of the way so he can have you to himself, and you’re in love with him too. And you can’t see how far he’s willing to go to get you.” And Claudia thinks her life is in danger, which whoa, it is! And Louis is like, “Oh, pshaw. That’s– that’s ridiculous.” But they– they don’t move in with this coven of vampires, but they visit them, especially Louis and Armand.

Courtney: They have a lot more page time than they did screen time in the movie, if you’re familiar with the movie. But this, this mortal boy of Armand’s, really as far as depth goes as just pure fascination for Louis, because he doesn’t really get to be his own character. The next major passage about him has Louis saying [reading] «I could see that mortal boy again, as if he were not asleep on the bed, but kneeling at Armand’s side with his arms around Armand’s neck. It was an icon for me of love, the love I felt. Not physical love. You must understand. I don’t speak of that at all. Though Armand was beautiful and simple and no intimacy with him would ever have been repellent, for vampires physical love culminates, and is satisfied, in only one thing: the kill.» So he’s straight up saying, “Yes, I love Armand but not in a physical way. Definitely not talking about a physical way.”

Courtney: And there you go! They are Asexual. Although they do add the, you know, physical love culminates and is satisfied with the kill. So that– that’s kind of where people try to make the argument again of, like, draining the blood is a stand-in for having sex. Which I still just don’t get. I really don’t. I know that in some readings of vampires perhaps that could be a little more accurate. I’m not saying that has never been the metaphor ever. But I think it’s just really talking about something physical and visceral and, you know, the actual feeding and eating, drinking, consuming, is sort of the only bodily love of the vampire. Does that make sense?

Courtney: So yeah, then, you know, Claudia is worried. She feels like Louis is going to leave her for this Armand. Either that or Armand’s going to kill her. So she goes back to the doll sh–, the doll shop, and the doll maker named Madeline ends up being someone she decides to make a vampire. But her body is too small, she doesn’t have enough blood to give to make Madeline a vampire. So she brings her back home to Louis and is like “Louis! Make her a vampire for me!” and Louis in his endless waves of ennui is like, “But I cannot…” And she’s like, “Do it, do it Now! You’re gonna leave me and I need someone to take care of me.” And then she guilts him and is, like, “You made me immortal at this young age, you know, I can’t take care of myself. I’m so small.” And Louis finally gives in and turns Madeline into a vampire.

Courtney: And that’s when he starts, you know, really ruminating – if there’s one thing we can do is ruminate – on how the last mortal part of him died, when he created a new vampire, because he never wanted to condemn anyone to this fate. Very emo. And he starts to speculate. He’s like, “Well, if the mortal part of me died, so what did I feel then for Armand? The creature for whom I’d transformed Madeline, the creature for whom I wanted to be free,” [reading] «a curious, and disturbing distance, a dull pain, a nameless tremor? Even in this worldly clutter I saw Armand in his monkish self, saw his dark brown eyes and felt that eerie magnetism.»

Courtney: So, explicitly stated there is not a physical love here, but he’s talking about eerie magnetism and sort of wondering what love means, now that “I’ve – you know– lost myself.” And he ruminates for another couple more pages, talking about how he’s lived with [reading] «a colossal deceit and self-deception. I allowed myself to forget how totally I had fallen in love with Lestat’s iridescent eyes, that I’d sold my soul for a many-colored and luminescent thing, thinking that a highly reflective surface conveyed the power to walk on water. What would Christ need have done to make me follow him like Matthew or Peter? Dress well, to begin with, and have a luxurious head of pampered, yellow hair.» So confirmed, Louis is a hair guy.

Courtney: So yeah! Even though from day one, he’s like, “I don’t like Lestat.” He’s now looking back on those days being like, “But damn, he had really good eyes and hair though.” So there is definitely an aesthetic attraction going on. Whether or not that was his baseline, as a human before meeting Lestat, or if there is some sort of additional vampire allure that happens, that remains to be described, but that’s what I would call aesthetic attraction. There is nothing, nothing at all in these pages to convince me that there is sexual attraction of any kind happening amongst any of these vampires present day.

Courtney: And I’m trying to have this argument with people who think that Louis and Claudia had something sexual going on. I’ve even convinced them that there is nothing actual physical happening… but they’ll still be, like, “But there was definitely something romantic going on. It was still a romantic relationship. They were practically married, like husband, and wife.” And it’s like, that’s the same thing that other people are saying about Louis and Lestat, is that they were married gay couple. But even Armand goes on later to say, you know, [reading] «’But now Claudia has released you. Yet still you stay with her and stay bound to her as your paramour,’ He said. ‘No, she’s no paramour of mine. You understand.’ I said. ‘Rather, she’s my child and I don’t know that she can release me. These were thoughts I’d gone over and over in my mind. I don’t know if the child possesses the power to release the parent. I don’t know that I won’t be bound for her as long as she…’ I stopped. I was going to say for as long as she lives but I realized it was a hollow mortal cliche. She would live forever as I would live forever, but wasn’t it so for mortal fathers? Their daughters live forever because their fathers die first.»

Courtney: And this is like right before the vampires all kill Claudia. Spoiler alert. So like, this is the last real discussion that Louis is having with anyone. And even Armand’s like mistaking this to be a love interest and Louis is like, “No, she’s my daughter.” So, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to say! But then for people who claim, you know, the love was between Lestat and Louis. Lestat is… Well, we don’t get enough of his perspective in this one to know how he really feels about Louis. Louis is talking down on him all the time, talking about how this is a horrible relationship. And even though he says, you know, [sarcastic] he has good eyes and good hair, “I might be a Christian and Jesus looked like him,” you know, Armand starts talking about love and how he loved the vampire who made him a vampire and Armand, yeah, straight up says,

Courtney: [reading] «’I wish I had the artist power to bring alive for you the Venice of the 15th century. My master’s palace there, the love I felt for him when I was a mortal boy, and the love he felt for me when he made me a vampire’ – and Louis is like – ‘Love? What is this love of which you speak? There was love between you and the vampire who made you?’ I leaned forward. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘A love so strong he couldn’t allow me to grow old and die. A love that waited patiently until I was strong enough to be born into darkness. Do you mean to tell me there was no bond of love between you and the vampire who made you?’ ‘None,’ I said, quickly.»

Courtney: None! Take– take that Lestat! Louis never loved you! So Armond, definitely gay. Louis, probably was an Asexual even before becoming a vampire. But that said, for lack of everything physical, and for evidence that he did not love Lestat at all, he very much did love Armand. iIn talking to Claudia, he says [reading] «’Either I go with him, or I die. And it’s something else which is irrational and unexplainable, in which satisfies only me.’ ‘Which is?’ She asked. ‘That I love him,’ I said.» So why Louis and Armand don’t get– don’t get the ships as often as they do? [laughs] I will never understand.

Courtney: But yeah, the vampires in this new coven are super suspicious of these two because they’re being very secretive about the vampire who met them. So they’re already kind of on their bad side, but then Lestat shows up again, being like “Surprise! I didn’t die that time either!” And Lestat is just a mess, and he is just sloppy, and sobbing and begging Louis to come back home. And he outright told these vampires that Claudia tried to kill him so that they would condemn her to die so that he could have Louis to come back home. So, I really, like, I don’t think Lestat ever felt any true love for Claudia. Bad Father Award again! I must say.

Courtney: But yeah, this whole time Lestat is just begging him. “Come home to me, come back to New Orleans. I must talk to you.” The other vampires, you know, track down Claudia, force her and Madeline, her new companion, out into the sun where they are condemned to die. Lestat kind of lets all that happen. After Louis finds out he’s very upset, obviously, and Lestat is still just like, “Please. Please, you’ll come with me. I can’t make you understand. We need to talk. Please come home Louis.” And then he’s literally like [reading] «the soft subdued sobs broke from him.» Like he’s a mess. And Louis goes rogue, tries to kill all the other vampires. Does warn Armand, “Hey I’m going and kill all the other vampires. Maybe don’t go home because I’m burning the whole place to the ground.” And Armand is, like, “Well guess I’m getting all my stuff and heading out!”

Courtney: And yeah, the book kind of ends with Armand and Louis traveling the world together for an indeterminable amount of time. Like, presumably decades at least, where they go to Egypt and Asia, and they go to New York. And eventually Armand confesses that Lestat wasn’t there when Louis burned everything down, and he’s probably still alive and Louis very calmly, like “Okay, I guess I’ll go talk to Lestat then.” But he feels nothing for Lestat. He no longer seems to feel anything for Armand. He’s just kind of– they’re just companions, but Louis is kind of like “Sometimes I wish I was alone instead of having Armand with me.” And that’s kind of it.

Courtney: And I just think it’s so fascinating that so many different people can read this book and glean so many different contexts from it. And it was very silly of me to also think that we were only going to talk about the first book in this series for a few minutes, you know, maybe 15-20 minutes tops… and then we’d move on to the next book. But I see our runtimes getting a little long here. So let’s consider this part one of the Asexual reading of The Vampire Chronicles. Because if any of you out there are still skeptical, if any of the out there are still thinking that maybe those vampires are actually having sex despite all the evidence I’ve presented at this point… stick around! Maybe you’ll be surprised with what we have to unearth. Bye now.