Peacock’s ‘Vampire Academy’ is set in a world where vampires live in the same world as humans but have their own society governed by their own set of rules. The story mainly takes place inside the campus of a school where elite vampires learn to harness elemental magic, while the half-vampires train to be their guardians. In between these class differences, which create many hurdles in the relationships between the vampires, Rose and Lissa forge a strong bond of friendship, getting each other through thick and thin.
The world of ‘Vampire Academy’ is expansive and concocts unique mythology surrounding the immortal beings, which sets it apart from other vampire stories. What makes it more interesting is that it is co-created by Julie Plec, who was also involved in the creation of another hit vampire YA drama, ‘The Vampire Diaries’. Does this mean that the two shows are related? Let’s find out.
Are Vampire Academy and The Vampire Diaries Related?
While both ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘Vampire Academy’ are set in the world inhabited by vampires, they are two very different shows and don’t have a common thread connecting their stories. There are, however, a few similarities between them. Both shows are adaptations of their respective book series. ‘The Vampire Diaries’ is based on the novels written by L.J Smith, while ‘Vampire Academy’ draws inspiration from the books of Richelle Mead. Both shows have been co-developed by Julie Plec, and also involve Marguerite MacIntyre, who serves as co-creator of ‘Vampire Academy’ and appeared in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ as Sheriff Liz Forbes, the mother of one of the main characters, Caroline Forbes.
‘Vampire Academy’ focuses on the story of the best-friends-since-childhood Rose and Lissa, with the latter possessing magical powers. The events kickstart with the death of Lissa’s parents. Similarly, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ has the friendship of Elena Gilbert and Bonnie Bennet at its center, where the latter is a witch. The story of ‘TVD’ begins after the tragic accident in which both of Elena’s parents die. Unlike Lissa, Elena’s brother stays alive. The lead characters in both shows are on the brink of adulthood and indulge in complicated relationships while trying to find out more about their past and battling vampires, who are crueler and much more dangerous than the ones they come to know and love.
While the baseline of both shows feels quite similar, it is in the themes and the grander scale of stories that the differences start to surface. Plec and MacIntyre have spent years working on vampire stories. Their collaboration started with ‘TVD’, and they went on to work together on its spin-offs, ‘The Originals’ and ‘Legacies’, and have now reunited for ‘Vampire Academy’. Even though all of these shows have blood-sucking immortals as their subjects, the duo explained that each of them tells a different story.
“Vampire Diaries was about trying to survive a deep grief. The Originals was about trying to recover and repair [from] the scars of abuse and [a] dysfunctional broken family. Legacies [is]about wanting to, if you’re looked at as an outsider, how can you find the power within that and actually grow into your own hero? Vampire Academy is very much [about] what it means to bond together with those you love the most, and then make the change you want to see in the world,” Plec said.
Plec and MacIntyre’s experience with their previous shows informed their storytelling in ‘Vampire Academy’, mostly for the things that they wanted to keep separate from the previous ones. Mead’s distinct portrayal of vampires, segregated in Moroi, Dhampir, and Strigoi helped them do something different even when they’d been dealing with the same creatures all this time. The fact that ‘Vampire Academy’ focuses solely on vampires is also a welcome contrast with regards to ‘TVD’ and its spin-offs, all of whom expand their world with other supernatural creatures like werewolves and witches, among others. “What was so great about having spent the last 13 years in that franchise is feeling like, “I’ve done so much of this. So, now, how can I challenge myself to do it differently?” Not just relying on my old tricks and freshening up my suitcase of story ideas, so to speak,” Plec said.
Plec describes ‘Vampire Academy’ as a combination of ‘Bridgerton‘ and ‘Hunger Games‘, while ‘TVD’ is more along the lines of ‘Riverdale‘ meets ‘Twilight‘. Considering all this, it is clear that even though ‘TVD’ and ‘Vampire Academy’ might fall under the same genre and share the same bones, they are very different shows from each other.
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