Trope Sighting! Vampires and Telepathy

When the hero and heroine DON’T have a telepathic relationship exactly…

Reversing or confounding mental invasion in vampire romances indicates significant change to the archetype. In monster theory, one of the vampire’s greatest weapons is the ability to penetrate personal sanctums/the mind.

Also note that the telepathic abilities are a burden to the possessor, causing annoyance even pain


In the Sookie Stackhouse series (aka True Blood), Sookie—not a vampire—is unable to read vampire minds (but she can’t be glamoured, at least)

In Twilight, mind-reader Edward is unable to read Bella’s mind

In Fashionably Dead (Hot Damned), new Vampyre Astrid is constantly fails to shield her mind from other people listening in

In Amaury’s Hellion (Scanguards Vampires), empathic Amaury is unable to read the emotions of mortal vampire hunter Nina


The original vampires of Dracula and early film were depicted as sneaking into London on a ghost ship, slipping into maidens’ bedrooms, into dreams, turning into insubstantial mist. The vampire could hypnotize (and many still do through glamour, sparkles, or Green Eye), enslaving mortals. But in more recent stories, the vampire’s mental powers are blocked or turned on its head.

Why is the vampire’s power being taken away? I have some theories:

Romance  Quite simply, vampires as monsters weren’t heroes to fall in love with. Now that they are, they cannot be as invasive, the mortal women need to pose more of a challenge, they cannot be allowed to “cheat” in the relationship, etc.

Privacy  Invasion of our inner thoughts hits too close to home, these days. With Big Brother, corporate cookies, and criminal spyware already worming into our lives, we’d like to imagine supernatural immunity to a vampire’s mentalism.

Discovery  This one may seem contradictory, but perhaps vampires are losing their mental mojo because of how badly we want to be understood as individuals, as unique. Taking away their short-cut forces them to get to know us the old fashioned way and draws out the process. Vampires’ difficulty in finding out who we are turns us into enigmas, makes discovering our true nature a treasure hunt, a quest, a battle. Not only do we want to learn our true nature, but we want others to want to know, too, and to go to great lengths to prove how worthy we are at our deepest essence.

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