Episode 8

Published on:

4th Feb 2019

The Queen of the (Bad Word) - Ashley and Joel Discuss Queen of the Damned, the novel - AC008

Ashley and Joel are back in the saddle to discuss the third Vampire Chronicle, Queen of the Damned. This sprawling historical fantasy epic leads to some great conversation about what makes Anne’s vampires stick out from the rest of the supernatural pack, and why we’re still so anxious to see and read their stories 30 years plus later.

If you like Anne Rice and her vampires enough to read this, then you like them enough to join our cult...I mean Discord: https://discord.gg/PkbCaMgVu3

If Discord isn’t your thing, we also have a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/articulatecoven/ or follow us on Twitter @articulatecoven


Queen of the (Bad Word) - Queen of the Damned, the novel by Anne Rice

Joel: The Articulate Coveen is the original unofficial podcast and fan community for An Rice's interview with the Vampire and An Rice's Immortal Universe from AMC and AMC Plus. Welcome to the Articulate Cove in the unofficial podcast for Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, the Vampire Lestat. We are your hosts. I'm Joel.

Ashley: I'm Ashley.

Joel: And we are the articulate coven. Thank you for joining us for this episode. In this one, we're gonna be discussing the novel, the Queen of the Dam from nineteen eighty eight. So If you haven't read that one or you'd like to avoid spoilers, maybe go ahead and pause this one and then dive into the novel. But this one's been out there quite a while, on an upcoming episode, we're gonna be talking about the movie version of this specifically. But this is one of those books that when I think of the Vampire Chronicles, Ashley, I think of this book in a lot of ways. First and foremost, because of the, like, sprawling historical story that it tells the saga of the vampires as it were. But very specifically for me personally, this one is not gonna resonate for everybody else as much. But the cover of this book And the title of this book caused much consternation amongst my junior high classes and teachers as I was trying to read it. I was about, I don't know, probably twelve, maybe thirteen, when I was reading this one and I very specifically remember having to wrap my paper back copy in duct tape so that No one would be offended by the title of the book and what I was reading. So that's my main memory when I think about the Queen of the damned.

Ashley: That's amazing. That's hilarious. So did you get in trouble for reading a naughty book, Joel? Oh,

Joel: I got I always got in trouble for reading naughty books, but this one specifically had a dirty word on the cover. And that's like that that's beyond, like, maybe a a a bodice ripping of You can't rotate taggadis. Yeah. And nothing like that. This was a actual dirty word. You you and not only that, but it was the queen of the dirty word. Oh, no.

Ashley: Oh, I'd forgotten how crazy this book is. And what I really love, I think one of the things that has stuck with me about this book is just that the mythos that it really kinda lays down for for Anise's vampires. You know, like, the beginnings of everything, which I think is really cool. And This is one of the first times we get storytelling from so many different perspectives. So we hear other voices other than just L'Estat and Louis who were used to hearing. I think that that's one of the reasons why this book has always kind of stood out in my memory. It sort of sets up so much great storytelling from the perspectives of these these new vampires that we're meeting and that we're gonna we're gonna get books full books about later on.

Joel: We had gotten in the vampire last shot. We get the sort of the the story dumps that he gets and then sends to us, Mary is his story most importantly. But those are very different than this where you have whole pieces of the book that Lestat wasn't even present for. He's not even a character in this part of the story. Some many big portions of it, he didn't even exist. For the story that they're telling. So it is really amazing. Interesting thing that I notice here is I'm looking at the Wikipedia entry for this book. In a twenty fourteen interview where they were announcing the release or the upcoming release, of Prince L'Estat, the first in the new series of novels that Anne has begun releasing over the last few years, her son Christopher said that that book, Prince La Stott, was the first true sequel to the Queen of the damned. And I think in hindsight, that is sort of something that was very much evident to me too. And it's gonna come up a lot in my notes as we go through the story of this book. But there are so many things in the modern books, in this latest rash of L'Estat tells that a lot of the fan base have railed against. They've said, oh, this stuff comes out of left field. It doesn't connect to the stories that we know and love and the characters that we know and love. And yet, if you read this book and you go back and really pay attention, a lot of it seems like these ideas maybe even fully formed have been percolating in ants head for decades. In particular, there's one line that I want to reference, it's right out of the very beginning of the book here. Chapter three is the legend of the Twins. And this is the story of the archaeologist who Maheret had worked with for years to try to find her sister. And he's well, it's actually his daughter that's sort of talking about the fall of her father. She says they'd laughed at him or ignored him. Not believable, such a link between the old world and the new six thousand years old indeed. They'd relegated him to the crazy camp along with those who talked of ancient astronauts, Atlantis, and the lost kingdom of Mu. Now, the lost kingdom of Mu has not been referenced in any of the new novels. No spoilers here. However, Atlantis is in the title of one of the new novels. And I think anyone who's paid any attention to some of the railings from fans who don't like it, some of them have even referenced ancient astronauts. I think the concepts that I and are are are are playing with, it's broader than that. But again, she was talking about this stuff right from the very beginning. I think a lot of this stuff has been in her mind to connect even to the vampire mythos all the way from the early eighties here when she was coming up with this book. I really do. I think a lot of this stuff was there from the beginning, and it's interesting now to see it in hindsight.

Ashley: Well, and I love I love authors that have put that much thought into their the universes they're creating. You know, Stephen King's really good about that. You know, there's references in in so many of his works to other others of his works. You know, other characters, you know, it's in the in the dark tower series, you know, there's so many references to his work. And even other people's works, you know, he references there's some Harry Potter references buried in there too. And so it's as a reader, I always really appreciate authors that that put that much thought and energy into their under their world creation, and I'm really attracted to that kind of storytelling.

Joel: So the first part of this book is all over the place were introduced to dozens of characters. It seems like I my wife always complains about having to keep up with the Game of Thrones cast list, and this is that and more So when we get to this part of the TV series on Hulu, I think she's not gonna be very pleased. But we're most of these characters we've actually been introduced to before characters like Armand and Daniel, who is the reporter from the interview interview with the Vampire. He's finally given a name in this book. Morius, we we meet Lewis again. We meet Gabrielle Santino. So a lot of new characters though too. Characters like Tough Cookie and Alex and Larry and all of these sort of like junior vampires that come and go pretty quickly in some cases, but all of them are so well sculpted. You know, Anne, has such a gift of creating, you know, fully formed human beings in just a few pages. I know a lot of people complain about her descriptions of scenes or or scenery. She'll just spend a day and a half on the curtain sometimes, it seems like. But when she comes to character descriptions and the actual building of those characters, I think she does such a great job. Somebody like Tough Cookie literally has one chapter but I remember Tough Cookie. I think about her sometimes. I think about that story and the ups and downs, the rises and falls. And all of that adds to the drama as you see what Akasha is doing and then finally, eventually understand why she's doing it and and, you know, you're sort of swept up in it as as part of L'Estat's story.

Ashley: Well, it's so funny. I remember the first time I read that, read this book being really impatient with some of that. And just being like, please, just get to the vampires. I know and give a care about. But I will say with this read, I was completely sucked in to those real peripheral storylines that are just sort of laying the laying the groundwork for what's about to what's about to go down and and really help create that tension and that confusion that's that's happening amongst the characters as they're trying to figure out what the hell is going on around them.

Joel: So and what is going on around him? Two things, primarily, there's the dream of the twins, which we've already referenced. The the story of the twins, the archaeologist has this. But he's having these vivid dreams of this story sort of realized played out in front of him and many immortals, many vampires across the world are having the stream of the twins as well. No one that we meet at this point in the story anyway knows what to do with that dream, but many of them are having it. The other thing that ties this altogether is that some powerful being an ancient vampire were pretty sure fairly early on. And of course, we looking outside having the hindsight that the Vampire Lestat novel brings us, we're pretty sure that this is Akasha, but some ancient powerful being is killing vampires in mass. Not only individually, but burning coven houses, burning, you know, hideouts to whole nine yards, and blowing them up with this power of the fire gift, the spontaneous combustion You wanna talk about a really exciting set of visual sort of show pieces for the series. These attacks when sort of the invisible powerful being is coming through and blowing up bars and restaurants and houses and all sorts of stuff, that's gonna be really cool to see. They're

Ashley: gonna need a really good special effects budget for that season.

Joel: Absolutely. The whole season, in fact, all of the things that these ancient ones do when they come together, this is gonna be one of those moments when you're hopeful the first couple of seasons have been successful because the budget has gotta be there strongly. You're absolutely right. So as all of this sort of finally comes to a head, We realized that it is Akasha that is doing this. She's the one that's burning out all of these fledgling vampires. She has destroyed Inkel. In fact, a swallowed a hole effectively left a shell of him behind. Pinned Marius in their sanctuary and is now running around the globe doing what exactly? What is she building towards? And that's what we find out as we get into part two. What did you think about, in particular, less talk about for a minute Jesse, the character of Jesse Reeves, and the continuing story of the Tallamasca. This is something that we got sort of a glimpse at in the last story. I I felt like there are, you know, pieces of there is a group maybe on the outside. But here is the first time that we actually see them as a real organization and get some idea of what they're doing. They're they're monitoring and chronicling the stories of ghosts and ghoulies, in particular, they know all about the vampires. It turns out. Yeah.

Ashley: This would be, I think, my dream job, you know, when I was when I was reading the books, I love the introduction of the towel mask. I love I love the the characters that we're gonna meet later on and and get know better in tell the body thief. I and I've read and I've read the witching hour and the Mayfair the Mayfair books too. So you get you get a lot more of of the Talamask in those books. And I just I I I love it. I love and I love Jesse. I like Jesse a lot. I I think that they did a really good job of flushing that character up pretty quickly. I love, of course, I'm always delighted by strong, beautiful, fabulous, red headed characters. And it's, you know, easy to identify with to me when I was reading the books because she was immortal and she was, you know, learning about all these things and investigating all these things. To me, she was like the character that I really connected to the most as a reader.

Joel: One of the interesting things is all of these little stories when we're meeting Jesse, when we spend the long section with Daniel in our mind, the the first section with Cayman. Those sections in particular reminded me a lot of the story structure that we saw in the first season of Castle Rock on Hulu. You know, you would have several episodes in a row that followed a fairly formulaic straightforward narrative format. And then suddenly, there'd be one episode that featured side character as the center point for this particular episode, and it would be told out of chronologically chronological order. It would sort of catch you up on things you had missed or jump ahead perhaps or tell a side story or whatever. And because of that, at the end at the beginning, it might seem like it's out of place by the end of the episode or at least by the next episode, things would have fallen together and you'd realize how much more they had fleshed out the overall idea of how these things are are rolling out. It was just a really well done plan, in my opinion, that Castle Rock used this year. I think this is absolutely doable here too. The whole section with Daniel and Armand could play out in one single episode. You could open with Daniel on the run again. You know, and for the first fifteen or twenty minutes have our mind sort of like a spook in the background. You don't even know who it is. If you haven't read these books or you don't know the story, and then suddenly have that character come back from previous seasons and you realize, oh, this junky that I'm watching now is actually the reporter that interviewed Louis in the very beginning. Oh my gosh. Like, all of this is Connect You know, you can have that play out over the course of forty five minutes or so and really get to know them and their relationship that they have that is apart from everything else. I think about The most recent season of Westworld had a great episode. I think it was number eight, Kicksuya. It's all focused on the Native American tribe within Westworld and this one Native American character in particular, it is absolutely a work of art. And the story of Cayman forgetting and remembering himself over the course of centuries of him toying with the Tallamasca a few times, all of those sorts of things. I think that could be really, really well done again over the course of forty five minutes or an hour. And could be almost a self contained story that would be a great, great showcase for whatever brilliant actor they get play Cayman eventually, which by the way, as soon as I say that, I immediately have the vision of Cayman from the Queen of the damned movie, and I hate that movie all over again.

Ashley: I haven't done my rewatch of it yet because I really wanted my reread to be very pure, but I really like it forward to hating it all over again too. I do feel like so much of of of the early sections of this book kind of have have a feel to me, like, mentally, I'm sort of making that, you know, in in in in crime shows, the the the board with all the red storing, attaching all the different story lines together. That's sort of what mentally my brain is doing when I when I read this book, especially trying to remember what's related and what's not, like, sort of tying those lines together and and sort of figuring out how it's all going to coalesce, you know, into into like the story where we're in in our present time.

Joel: Well, and this is that's one place where like with with Game of Thrones, I feel like in the end, the television show can be an actual, like, better version of the story in some ways because it'll cut away some of that and get directly to like, you'll it'll be more obvious what is color and what is important to the plot, you know, as you move through those scenes. The the other thing that struck me in here as we get sort of all the vampires grouping up and you've basically got the one group that's hanging out with Mojave, and then you've got Akasha and Leshat on their own as she's trying to woo him to her side. Here's the cool thing that happens in this novel, L'Estat gets superpowers. You know what I mean? He he was a pretty powerful vampire for his age anyway. And Anne explains that away by him getting blood from Marius and him being born from I can't think of his creator's name, Magnus. Magnus creates him and Magnus had never created a vampire before Lastat. So so there's, like, an extra jolt there. But still, he's just a, you know, two hundred and year old change vampire at this point. But now he's drinking continuously and consistently from from the original fount. He becomes her consort. He gains the gift flight, he gains all of the fire gifts, etcetera, etcetera. I love the moment when he sort of testing out some of his his newfound strength. He's he's been with Akasha for a while. This is in chapter fourteen. He wakes up in the palace. He's being bathed by these servant women that she has. And he's experimenting with flight and telekinesis and spirit travel and everything. He says, I didn't like this being invisible. Leaving my body and I wasn't going to do it again. I thought right there, she is already riding tail of the body fever. Literally, the next book is about the concept of losing your physical form and and traveling between bodies and what is spirit versus what is form, and all of those concepts are really delved into completely. So again, like foreshadowing in a big way, that just gives me the utmost respect for Anne. And when I think of we just mentioned the telemasca sort of briefly there, But when you think of the pop culture takes on this idea, and I mean, surely, some form of this has anteceded in other, you know, versions of literature. But specifically, things like the watchers and buffy I

Ashley: think the vampire Hireslayer? Yes.

Joel: Yeah. Or the watchers in the Highlander series -- Mhmm. -- it is absolutely the Tallamaska just you know, you give them a name change and you slightly change the origins to suit your own universe that you're building. But like it is the exact same organizations, and and it's the exact same ideas. And so I think about how influential she's been in those specific ways, and then in broad ways as far as, like, universe building and consistent Saga what's the chronology or however you wanna say it, you know, that level of things that we sort of take for granted now in a world where we've got twenty two Marvel movies and counting or whatever. But, like, that it's not it's not normal. It didn't have to be this way. And I don't think that Anne gets enough credit for those pieces that she's brought to pop culture. No.

Ashley: I would agree with that a hundred percent. And I don't think she gets enough just in general don't think she could snuff credit for the depths of of her work and the depths of of her writing and the depths of the creations because I think a lot of people think it's just you know, we joke about it about the sexy vampires, and I think that a lot of people just sort of write it off as, oh, it's just, you know, silly, sexy, vampires, but there's a lot of meat to to these stories.

Joel: Oh, absolutely. And I'm and we're getting into a stretch that I particularly love where I feel like Anne gets real metaphysical for a while. In her own life and begins to explore some things too. The tale of the body thief and if thief and m m knock the devil in particular, But again, all of that stuff is laid out here. Mahari is telling the story of her and her sister to the big group. And there are several things in there. That again reference some of these modern places where she's taking the vampire narrative and make me think she was there all along. Specifically, there are a couple of references that Mahari makes to the world of the spirits before mankind became conscious. She talks about the spirits. Talking about watching us change from apes to man. And that's something that's referenced again in MIMNOC, the devil. And again, in some of these most recent novels, just, again, a long term thinking and and a wavelength, I guess, that Anne has been on for, you know, thirty or forty years now, almost.

Ashley: Yeah. It's yeah. I don't I mean, you're a hundred percent right about all of that. It's just I'm excited because, you know, I'm real behind on the newer books. So I'm really excited to see how all this is gonna line up and lay in lay in each other. You know, it's like it's like the little Russian nesting dolls. And I'm gonna open you open the next one and there's more inside and it's and it's it's an, you know, it's such an epic adventure that we've gotten to be on for decades. And I'm as a reader, I'm really grateful for

Joel: it. I am I'm very excited to see how you respond to the the modern novels in comparison to you know, as somebody who's looking at him with fresh eyes, but also having gone through all the other novels more recently as we sort of work through the whole series, it'll be really, really interesting. Let's talk about a cautious plan. So when we get right down to it, what she's gonna do is she's she's gonna take men out of the world.

Ashley: In our trash. I know.

Joel: Ninety percent of men, is that it or ninety nine percent of men? I can't remember now what her numbers are, but effectively she's gonna decimate the male population completely from the earth. And she even says, in in a couple of generations, it'll be okay. We can allow men to flourish again because we will have fixed the world with them being gone. A couple two things came up to me. First and foremost, obviously, last year, we had the big Infinity War film with the the Avengers. And, you know, Thanos' whole thing is like, let's just wipe out half the population. That'll solve, you know, world peace, it'll solve hunger, it'll solve our resources, fight, etcetera, etcetera. My question then is, do you also institute like, a birth policy so we can't repopulate up to those levels again. But never never mind the decimate particular logic. It is interesting though that the simple solution of removal of obstacles. You know, first of all, it clearly won't work. It's totally immoral. It's totally unethical and it's not even practically applicable. You can't you couldn't do it in in practice and get away with it and have the result that you wanted. But I it was interesting looking at those two comparisons between sort of Akasha, the all powerful vampire and Thanos wielding the infinity gauntlet and snapping. Not just men, but, you know, half of you ladies out of existence too. At least he was an equal opportunity destroyer. Right? Yeah.

Ashley: Well, I I appreciate that she's trying to smash the patriarchy in such a really big way. And I have to be honest, like, I didn't remember I didn't remember that being her, like, goal at all. I, like, I get I I got into it and really got into my reread, and I was, like, I don't remember so many details of this book, but I was you know, there's there's the part of me that's like, yeah, you know, that's not a bad idea. Obviously, I don't really think that. But, I mean, we all have our days where I feel like, you know, maybe the world would be a better place if it was a little bit more of a a matriarchical society. I'm not saying I think that we should kill ninety percent of the men, guys. Don't misunderstand me. I don't agree with the queen of

Joel: Here's what's killing me. Here's what's killing me. The day that I was listening to this part of the audiobook. I was literally listening to Akash's argument her trying to win L'Estat over the same day that doctor Blazzy Ford was being questioned in front of congress. And I thought several times, you know what? It's hard to argue with the lady. Yep. Man are the problem. Go ahead.

Ashley: I mean, we're not supposed to say, men are trash, but I can understand how people feel that way sometimes.

Joel: It just seems like an awful higher percentage of men are of that persuasion than

Ashley: not women anyway. Not all men actual hashtag not

Joel: That's right. Hashtag not all men. Hashtag not all vampires either. Ashley, not all vampires are on board with this. I did I did think it was interesting that she effectively has no one on her side when it comes right down to it. That none of the elders. And first of all, this group is obviously very selective. It's basically based on who either Akasha couldn't kill direct or she wasn't positive she could. And then those that Lestat loves specifically and she thought them being alive would aid her case or him winning him over to her case, I guess, I should say. But still, no one in this group looks at her plan, looks at the odds against survival, if they fight her, and says, yeah, sure. I'm in with you. Like, I mean, it just seems like surely there's at least one Aky in the group. That's the thing that struck me as odd is that what Anne has created here is an entire, you know, pantheon sort of of vampires that are effectively all benevolent. Really, when it comes right down to it, like the true evil ones don't last centuries except for I mean, there are there are a couple of examples clearly, especially in the modern novels. There's some older vampires that have resurfaced that are pretty dastardly dudes and do debts as that were. But the the number of true chaos agents, I guess I should say, not not evil or good, but those who are for chaos versus you know, stability. There there just aren't many. Acacia is the only one really that's up for chaos. Howard

Ashley: Bauchner: It's true, but I think that part of that is because these all of these vampires that that that we're hanging out with in this book. So many of them have a love for humanity, have a love for people, have a love for the art that humans make, and they really romanticize humans even though they're, you know, feeding on them, but they still have this very kind of romantic love for humanity. And I think that that's really the reason why they don't lean towards her side. You know, it would be an easy choice to make. I mean, it's not really long term, especially the older ones. They don't even really have to feed that much. It's not really gonna affect them, you know. But I think that it's really that that love of humanity that they all that they all kind of share. And I think it's one of the reasons why they're all drawn to each other too. As as like the little coven that they they become and that they create for themselves, it is it's all based in in wanting to be around human and wanting to connect with humans, you know, even though they don't wanna really wanna reveal themselves or reveal what they truly are, they still want to be among humans. They're always trying to figure out ways to make themselves look more human and to blend in and so that they can sit around in the cafes and and watch humans kind of interact and live. That's

Joel: always one of my favorite things. Hearing the different vampires describe the little emotions that they make towards trying to be human the way that they hold the wine glass or the different kinds of drinks that they order to make them feel warmth and, you know, things like that. I I love all of those little moments. There is an interesting thing that came up to me in this book because I I had started reading Blood COMMUNION at the same time that I was finishing up this audiobook for this reread. And in blood communion, there is a lot, especially in the beginning, there's a lot of discussion of L'Estat's ancestral home, the Chateau, very small spoiler. We've discussed it before. But in the new books, he has completed a restoration -- Mhmm. -- and expansion of the chateau in which his he was born. You know, that his father and family had his ancestral home. That home is really introduced for the first time. It's discussed obviously in the vampire list. We see the whole story of the wolves, etcetera, etcetera. But it is very much introduced in this novel. Akasha takes him to the ruins and shows him these, you know, ruined castle walls and he has a glimpse then of what it could be and imagines what if I rebuilt the place, etcetera, etcetera, I could rule from here. Again, a little glimpse of what was to come years later in Prince Lastot and the books that have followed. So interesting stuff there. Me, personally, I'm I'm with Lastot in the end, though. Acacia is very compelling. She's re tempting the ride and the thrill of, you know, literally being a god's consort in that way. I think would be very attractive. But in the end, I would stand with the others and against, you know, madness, that that's what it is. And Lisad is right. He tells her, he tries to tell her, it'll never work. You can't build the society. The the people will rebel against you. And if you look at we've discussed this in other episodes, I think, Ashley, especially talking about, like, the handmaid's tale and, you know, dystopias, when you build this, what you imagine to be a perfect society with all the edges rounded off, all that does is us humans, which are very full of edges, we rub against them. You know? And we're gonna end up noticing more than if you had tried to leave it lumpy It's in the matrix. Right? The agent Smith says we the original matrix was a perfect world, a perfect human world, but he ruled against it. You all affect a committed committed suicide because you couldn't handle the perfect world. You wouldn't believe it. And I think that's I think that's very true. When you try to build a society that doesn't allow for humanity and for spontaneity or for alteration or whatever. The very nature of humanity burst out of the edges of that. Well,

Ashley: and you And

Joel: that's what L'Estat and the rest of the vampires were showing.

Ashley: Absolutely. And you run into different perspectives of what perfection is. You know, like in what what a perfect world looks like, that's different US ten people, what their perfect world is. You're gonna get ten different answers, you know. And I think that that's essentially why you have that sort of rebellion against against those false those false utopias that people try to, you know, and a lot of these and a lot of dystopian fiction are trying to create. The rebellion happens because for at least for someone, it's not their idea of perfection. Howard Bauchner:

Joel: So two things that we haven't touched on basically at all yet. The first of all, the actual origin of the vampires. We find out where these creatures come from. They are the off birth, the the result of the union of spirit and flesh, an actual Spirit creature, his name was Amel, combined with the flesh of Akasha, it turns out that the original legend was that it was Akasha and Inkel, but in the in the actuality, it was Akasha first and only. It combined with her, she was wounded dying had bled out on the floor, murdered by assassins from her cabinet, and Amel's form literally adhered to her brain and heart somehow in the core of her being and now form this new existence as vampires. This is, first of all, a huge idea. And again, we talked earlier about the concept of the Tallamask and how that's been copied. You know, the origin of vampires is something that a lot of different mythos have discussed, but it wasn't really something that I don't remember anybody talking about. I don't remember reading anything that that comes before this one. This is a pretty darn good origin for a creature like a vampire.

Ashley: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. See, this is the stuff that I remembered from my first read. It was it was all about, like, the mythology really really stuck with me. And so I I remembered this story so distinctly. And I love it. I love I love the idea of when I love the idea of different types of spirits, you know, that there are spirits that are cool and all play games with you and and and do parlor tricks essentially. And then there are obviously more mischievous spirits. And then there are spirits that are that actually have intentions that are not good. And so and, you know, as as the twins are, you know, in their youth and it and and it always seems like I love that it's all passed down through that matriarchical line of the daughters of these women, being able to connect to the spirits and being able to talk to the spirits and have those relationships. And but it is it's a dangerous game because you're really not in control. And that's essentially what happens here is they refused they refused. Amelior refused to kind of entertain his his desires, and it resulted in vampires.

Joel: And it's such a it's such an interesting concept. The the idea of spirits as these sort of immature beings even though they're ancient thousands and thousands of years old. The skepticism that all of the characters treat the spirits with. The idea that, you know, they they say they all existed before humans, but maybe they did we don't know whether to believe them or not. You know, all of that is such an interesting idea, and and it's particularly, I think, a reflection of the skepticism and the hunger for answers that Anne brings to her own struggles with religion. You know, raised, devout, Catholic sort of fell away, from not only Catholicism, but religion at all. She's would have considered herself and did consider herself an atheist for most of her life in the middle period. And then to come back, not only to religion, but specifically to Christianity, a very sort of orthodox view of Christianity for a while. And then to open that back up into what is now kind of a a more new a g universalist approach, I think, is how she'd probably describe herself. Now she might even be back to being agnostic. I'm not sure. But that long weird road with God. That is such an interesting idea and and its own universe, I think, is even more compelling. You know, L'Estat's whole story really is about his quest to be good, his quest for purpose and for moral certainty. You know, he wants to serve a purpose in the world and he wants that purpose to be for good. His view of what that means has changed and evolved a lot over the course of his life, but that is central. And for L'Estat, that is still very much in relation to whatever supreme being exists for him, you know. And I think that is a great example of how even with these very sort of mundane spirits, Mahari and Mac Mahari and Macari, they have that same sort of relationship with the spirits that they actually know exist. They're communicating with them. They know that these supernatural beings are real and yet still I don't know. Maybe today, I believe, in them exactly. And maybe I think that they're they did exist before us, and maybe they are some sort of next level. And then the next say, nah, they're all just dead humans and they're all stupid and have forgotten, you know? And it's back and forth.

Ashley: Well, I think it's really natural in in in humanity and you see it, you know, throughout throughout the history of of of human and culture and religion, Like, we're always trying to find answers to the unexplainable. We're always trying to find we're trying to explain the things we don't understand. And And I think that that's one of the reasons why she makes sure that she imbues her even her supernatural characters with those with those characteristics because those are the things that connect us. Those are the things that help us understand each other. Those are the shared shared feelings even even an atheist has come to that place because they question things, you know, even an agnostic you know, an agnostic is always questioning things. So many people find religion and seek religion and embrace religion because it gives them comfort or it gives them it gives them a way to explain things that they don't understand or that they're that they fear. And I am I I think that it's very wise of her to include those qualities in her characters, and I think it's one of the things that I mean, it's one of the reasons why we're still, you know, what, thirty, forty years later, still talking about Louis and Lastat. You know, that's the reason why we we're talking right now why we still why we still care about these characters. If they if we couldn't connect to them, it would be like people don't I don't feel like people talk about the twilight vampires like this. You know what I mean? Like, it's it's it's it's She's she gives them a beautiful humanity that we can understand and relate to.

Joel: Absolutely. And lots of other writers can crib off of and make pale examples that then sell lots of copies too. I'm I'm not gonna call any names. I'm just gonna say Lots of people wrote trashy versions of an Anewise novel and they have whole career spaced off of it.

Ashley: For sure, and that's great. But but I don't think people are as connected to that on a long term level. You know what I mean?

Joel: No. Absolutely. That's that's what I'm it's like it's the difference between, you know, a a fine meal and fast food. Both are sustenance of some sort. The one other big concept that we haven't talked about at all in this one yet is the great family. This is something that I remember even in my initial reading thinking, oh, this is gonna have a lot more importance moving forward. This is going to matter in future books, I think, or maybe even and I thought at the time there was some connection between the great family and the Mayfair witches. There's not not directly anyway. They are sort of like mirrors of each other in that they are, you know, long term tracked family connections that were tracked by matrilenial heritage and they were were super naturally powered in some way or super naturally connected. But they're not connected to one another directly. I do love the idea though of an ancient vampire finding her purpose in following and protecting and shipperting her own human descendants. I think that is fascinating. And of all the ancient vampires that we meet in Anne's world, Mojave is the only one who's never gone to sleep. And the reason she never had was because she always had a focus and she always had an into the modern world. She never lost her mind. She never lost herself because she was always tied to the great family. I find that concept just absolutely fascinating and I wish that there was more to it, more done with it in these stories. Even in the modern stories, I feel like and again, I don't wanna get into spoilers, but I feel like there are different ways that she could have brought that back in one way or another, and she didn't take those opportunities. So when she has connected so many things over the years. It's interesting that that is sort of this one giant story that's just left out there. You know, you know what, obviously, it was used in this particular novel as a very specific example of what would be lost if Akasha won. Right? The great family would be shattered if a cautious plan was enacted. But it seems like that I don't know. I'd like to know more members of the great family as we move forward in these stories, I would think. Well,

Ashley: I think it's interesting that most of our vampires don't have off spring before they became vampires. Like, Gabriel, I think is pretty much it as far as, like, that I can think of offhand. Most of our vampires had not had children themselves, and so they don't have that same connection you know, to to a family, to their, you know, that's how they end up creating they end up creating their family or attempting to create their family through their, you know, preter natural offspring through their the vampires, they sire. But even that, you lose they end up losing their connections in some ways because they can't hear each other, they can't communicate. You know what I mean? You can't it's just it's I think that that's one of the reasons one of the differences between between Malaret and and and the other vampires and the reason why she why she never went to sleep, why she never had to because she has this driving purpose that the other vampires really can't understands, but they're always seeking. Howard Bauchner:

Joel: Yeah, in a in a lot of ways, it's like, I should say, Myriad is you know, his job of keeping those who must be kept was sort of a mirror of that, a smaller version of that. He's he's keeping the vampire family while she's maintaining the great human family.

Ashley: Absolutely.

Joel: I love this book. I love this book particularly in retrospect, particularly when you think about or or know about some of the things that Anne is doing with the story now. And as she continues it forward, I think this book has even more to tell us and add the characters and the color that she brings throughout it are just thoroughly enjoyable. It is a long read particularly in comparison to the other two that had come before. But it's I I would probably put it as my Second or third favorite book in the whole series actually.

Ashley: I it's always been my favorite. You know, my my my favorite of the books just because I really loved I just loved the depth of it, and I loved that it introduced us to so many so many characters. Does that I agree. I agree with Kelly. That does get overwhelming. But so many of these characters we're gonna see again, this book I fell in love I was fascinated with Pandora, and then we got a stand alone book a few years later, and I was so excited for that. And so I just think that what I love so much about it is is that is that we get the great family of the vampires. You know, we get we really get to know these characters that we have maybe heard about peripherally and haven't actually seen yet or that maybe we've heard about from other people's perspectives that we haven't really gotten to get to know them, like getting to spend more time with Daniel and getting to understand his character and how much Armand messes with his brain and I love but I love that because we only saw him through Louie's eyes in interview with a vampire. And so I I don't know. I just I love I love how different it is from the first two books in in in narrative. I love how different it is in narrative voice. But it's, of course, that one hundred percent feels like Anne.

Joel: Absolutely. Absolutely. So what you need to do now if you're listening to this and you have Red Queen of the Dam before, then you need to go out and you need to find a copy of the film. I'll tell you you can stream it on HBO Go or HBO Now if you have one of those services, and you could probably find it in your local library too. You can probably find a copy on DVD, maybe to watch if you want to. It's on Amazon and iTunes as well. You can rent it if you need to there. But go check out the movie so that you're ready to talk about it when we get to talk about this in our next episode as well. If you've never seen it before. Oh, friend.

Ashley: You guys.

Joel: Oh, friend. There's just there's so much, like, all of the things that interview with the vampire did write with Neil Jordan and Brad Pitt and Tom and that whole crew, this movie gets wrong. So many of those very very same things. It is so interesting to see the juxtaposition of of those two things. And And, also, the juxtaposition of this story laid out in, you know, two novels, basically, the Vampire L'Estat and the Queen of the damned the Queen of the damned both of which were longer than the books that or the book that had come before. And then in the movie, they squeezed all of that story into but it's actually not that long a film? Like, it's barely two hours even, I think.

Ashley: It feels interminable. Yeah. No.

Joel: You're right. Nobody gets to the end of that movie. Goes, man, I wish I'd left in the, you know, the twenty five minutes worth of outtakes. Where where is the Oh, I could I could

Ashley: turn around and rewatch this a meeting at least said no one ever.

Joel: No. That is really true.

Ashley: Do not buy it, rent it. Do not do not do not buy you're not gonna wanna watch it like once a year. It's not it's not that movie.

Joel: No. Unless you're one of those rare fans that really loves the soundtrack. We're gonna talk about that, of course, as well. Folks, if you like this show, we would love for you to go into Apple Podcasts and review us. Give us a rating and review if you'd like. Here's one that we got pretty recently. Excellent podcast. This podcast has made my week. I have been looking and looking for a podcast discussing Sunrise in the books and the movies forever. This was the first fandom in characters that I ever cared about. And I am so excited for the series and this podcast. Thank you. Thank you, and we'll try to make more of them. That's what we'll try to do. How about that? Quarter the damned.

Ashley: We'll we'll strip your

Joel: ass. Whitting the movie is only like I said, it's only two hours. So that it should not take us months to get this next episode out anyway. And then after that, tail of the body thief is a pretty quick read too. So we're gonna try to get those into high gear for you. And of course, We've always got our ear to the ground for new news about the upcoming TV series. If you haven't been up to date on that, go back and listen to our episodes where we discussed the news laid out so far. Every now and again, Christopher will post a Instagram image of he and or his mother hanging out at Paramount Television Studios. So work continues and when there is big news particularly as casting begins, that's the next thing really that I think we're like way to hear is some of the major casting announcements. When that stuff comes up, we'll have a discussion of that as well. You can join us on Facebook, Search for articulate coven. We've got a Facebook group there you can join and you can find us anytime online at articulate coven dot com. Ashley, you got anything you wanna add for this episode?

Ashley: Just a shout out to the Facebook group. I love I've been sick almost the entire month of January, which has lasted for I think about a year and a half now. But I love the conversation in a group. I love when you guys post things. So please please join us and keep the conversation going. We love talking to you guys.

Joel: Well, and it's one of those things that for those of you that are there now or that join us after you hear this, you're gonna be able to say you were there when because I guarantee you when this TV show comes out, people are gonna find the podcast, people are gonna find the Facebook group, and it's gonna sort of blow up overnight with people that aren't part of the in crowd that weren't your from the very beginning. And so it's gonna be a whole different experience. Make sure that you're one of the early adopters and you could be one of the leaders of that big community as it grows. Once the TV series gets into high gear. Until next time, we have been your hosts. I'm Joel.

Ashley: I'm Ashley.

Joel: And we are the articulate oven. Thanks for listening to the Articulate Cove. You can join our community on Facebook by following the links in the show notes. Or searching for articulate coven on Facebook. You can subscribe to the show in Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, or at articulatecoven dot com. And share us with your And Rise loving friends.

Show artwork for The Articulate Coven: Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire & Immortal Universe After Show

About the Podcast

The Articulate Coven: Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire & Immortal Universe After Show
Unofficial Podcast & Community for Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, Mayfair Witches and Immortal Universe from AMC
The unofficial podcast and fan community for Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, Anne Rice’s Talamasca & Anne Rice’s Immortal Universe as brought to you by AMC.

Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat and his Coven of the Articulate are some of the most loved vampires in literary history. This show covers the books, the films and the ongoing tv series from AMC, Anne and Christopher Rice that gives us a peak at their world. We’ll cover the Interview with the Vampire series starring Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid and from creator and show runner, Rolin Jones. We’ll also cover the Mayfair Witches series starring Alexandra Daddaro, Jack Huston, Tongaya Charisa and from the show runner and executive producer, Esta Spalding. As well as whatever other Anne Rice created properties AMC wants to produce in the future!

Join us, if you would travel the Savage Garden as one of the Coven of the Articulate!

About your hosts

Joel Sharpton

Profile picture for Joel Sharpton
FROM HIS BEGINNINGS IN SMALL-MARKET RADIO WHERE HE STARTED IN 2004, and hosted a weekday show on Retro Radio, the Peach 99.3, to his burgeoning podcast empire and production service, Pro Podcasting Services, and the 1000+ blog entries he's written in between, Joel's never had a problem getting his message across.

Now Owner/Chief Editing Officer of ProPodcastingServices.com Joel is helping podcasters, authors and more spread their messages and amplify their voices. Joel has had the opportunity to speak at several podcast conferences from coast to coast about producing, editing, and voice over work. He has also spoken at high schools and colleges with young entrepreneurs interested in these fields as well as small business lunch and learn events.

Father of four and the lucky husband of one, Joel loves discussing his kids and wife with anyone who will listen. With the family, he likes discussing Marvel Superheroes, great music and whatever the latest project is he's hatched in the studio.

A NBA fan since birth, an Apple user since 2008, blogger since 2003, and podcaster since 2012, Joel is an open book, mostly now in audio form.

Ashley Wright Ihler

Profile picture for Ashley Wright Ihler
Ashley is a proud nerd, happy to be living in this timeline where she gets new Star Wars, Marvel, Game of Thrones, and Vampire Chronicles content all at the same time! This truly IS a magical place. When not snuggled under a comfy blanket with Maggie and Gomez (the goodest dogs in the world), Ashley can be found making merry with her awesome husband Brett at the Joint Theatre and Coffeehouse where she performs professionally with the Joint Venture and Improv Little Rock during weekly comedy improv shows. She also dabbles in stand up and would have a blog if she weren't such a procrastinator.