Claudia


Appears in Novels:

* Interview With the Vampire
* The Vampire Lestat
* The Queen of the Damned
* The Tale of the Body Thief
* The Vampire Armand
* Merrick


Basic Information:

Other names: The Eternal Child, The Vampire Child
Time when made: 1794
Age: 65
Age when made: 5
Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana
Place when made: New Orleans, Louisiana
Parents: Mother - Agatha
Maker: Lestat
Fledglings: None
Paramours: Louis
State: Dead


Appearance:

Hair: Long blonde, glorious yellow
Eye: Huge, blue with long curling lashes
Face: Round-cheeked
Mouth: Bud
Body Shape: Small, enticing, flat-chested
Skin Tone: Silken-skinned


Mortal and Immortal Life:

In plague-torn New Orleans in 1794, the newly-made vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac had a crisis of conscience. He went for a guilt-driven, rain soaked walk through the plague-sealed houses near the wharf, where the epidemic had hit the strongest, and asking himself whether he was damned. In a shack, Louis found the blonde, blue-eyed child, Claudia trying to wake her mother, Agatha, long since dead from plague, and without her father. Louis took pity on the girl and intended to take her to an orphanage. However, since he wanted to die, he had denied himself the sustenance of blood and being starved by a self-inflicted need to drink the blood of rats rather than humans, he started to feed on her convincing himself that he would end her suffering. Before he could finish, his companion Lestat de Lioncourt found him and mocked him for giving in to his vampiric urges. Louis felt so trapped in his self-condemnation that he drank from this child, who was his very first human victim in four years.

Lestat then took Claudia to a hospital, but brought her to the hotel in the next night and told Louis to finish her. Louis drained her nearly to the point of death, but Lestat pushed him away and offered his wrist to her, making her into a vampire child so that he could keep Louis with him.

The three of them formed a "family" of sorts, with Claudia learning refinement from Louis, but also Lestat's fondness for playing with victims before their death. She learnt to play with her victims, and she developed a taste for families, taking them one at a time. She particularly liked to feed on mothers and daughters. This peace lasted approximately 65 years. Lestat and Louis still treated her like a doll, despite the fact that her mind matured into that of an intelligent, assertive, and seductive woman. She read Boethius, Aristotle, and sophisticated poetry, and could play Mozart by ear, yet still they dressed her, combed her hair, and bought her pretty things. Claudia was resentful that her developing maturity was not acknowledged.

During the course of 65 years, Claudia eventually realized the flipside of the implications of her immortality: while she could never grow old, she could never grow up either. This described by Louis when she saw Lestat murder a young Creole woman; she asked him if she would ever look like the young lady that Lestat took. Eventually Claudia discovered that she was once a mortal child and came to hate her two "fathers" for making her while she was in such a helpless form.

Claudia eventually attempted to kill Lestat. The attempt upon Lestat's life was prefaced by a scene in which she asked both Lestat and Louis "which of you made me what I am?". Finding out that Lestat was responsible, her relationship with Lestat was disintegrated. Afterwards, for all intents and purposes, she offered two boys to Lestat as a "peace offering", knowing his fondness for young men. But what she gave Lestat were two dead boys poisoned with absinthe and laudanum. After Lestat drank from them and became much weaker, she cut his throat and stabbed him in the chest. Then, she and Louis dumped Lestat's body in a swamp, but only for three nights, he returned, scarred and hideous. After accidentally setting their flat on fire, Claudia and Louis fleed, boarding a ship bound for Eastern Europe, in search of other vampires who could teach them of their true nature.

When it became clear that Eastern Europe held no answers to their vampire existence, Claudia plotted a course for Paris. They arrived in Paris and discovered a "coven" of vampires, who pretended to be actors pretending to be vampires. Armand, the head of this coven, fell in love with Louis, but saw Claudia's existence as an abomination. And she also sensed Louis's emotional infidelity as he grew attached to Armand. Claudia demanded that Louis made Madeleine, a doll maker into a vampire to be a mother-protector for her. Madeleine, Claudia, and Louis lived together for a brief time until the vampires in Paris grabbed them and took them to the Theater des Vampires for the trial of the murder of Lestat. Lestat had arrived, and his accusations against Claudia resulted in Claudia and Madeleine being locked into an airshaft and burned to death when the sun rose.

Further, it was revealed within The Vampire Armand that before the death, Claudia had requested to be made a woman, and willing to be exposed to anything to allow this, no matter how torturous. Then Armand attempted to connect her head to an older vampire's body through the use of vampiric blood. He failed, however, so he exposed her to sunlight to hide what he had done.

Claudia also appeared in Queen of the Damned in which Jessica Reeves, a young member of the Talamasca, found her diary. In the diary, she wrote about her gifts she got from her two fathers, Louis and Lestat, for what she believed to be her birthday. It was also revealed in Queen of the Damned, that Claudia harbored a deep and conflicted love towards her dark father, Lestat. Louis gave her the diary and Lestat gave her a doll. The doll provokes Claudia to lash out at Lestat and demand him to tell her why he treated her like a doll. Lestat, in a moment of weakness, kissed her and recited this verse from the Jaccobean revenege "The Duchess of Malfi":

Cover her face. Mine eyes dazzle. She died young.

In The Tale of the Body Thief, Lestat was haunted by an image of Claudia after he lost Akasha. Claudia seemed to haunt him mercilessly in an attempt to make him feel the pain she claimed he inflicted on her. More cynical, he was prone to despair over what he was, and she appeared to him as his conscience. Would he did it again, she asked; would he make her, a child, a vampire? She was present throughout The Tale of the Body Thief as Lestat pondered the pressing question of his own evil nature. He was confronted with his self-deceptions and finally said good-bye to Claudia as a moral force when he accepted what he was and knew that he would do it all again.

Louis continued to grieve for Claudia until his grief finally consumed him and he requested that David to ask Merrick, his old pupil, lover and a powerful voodooienne in the Talamasca, to call upon Claudia's spirit so that he could know if she was at peace or still suffered. Merrick discovered in the Talamasca vaults, the diary originally found by Jesse Reeves in the townhouse of the Rue Royale where Lestat, Louis and Claudia had lived, and gave it to Louis to read. There were only a few entries and only one of true significance to Louis, dated September 21, 1809. Claudia wrote:

It has been so many decades since Louis presented me with this little book in which I might record my private thoughts. I have not been successful, having made only a few entries, and whether these have been written for my benefit I am unsure.

Tonight I confide with pen and paper because I know which direction my hatred will take me. And I fear for those who have aroused my wrath.

By those I mean, of course, my evil parents, my splendid fathers, those who have led me from a long forgotten mortality into this questionable state of "bliss."

To do away with Louis would be foolish, as he is without question the more malleable of the pair.

Louis will do as I wish, even unto the very destruction of Lestat, which I plan in every detail. Whereas Lestat would never cooperate with my designs upon Louis. So there my loyalty lies, under the guise of love even in my own heart.

What mysteries we are, human, vampire, monster, mortal, that we can love and hate simultaneously, and that emotions of all sorts might not parade for what they are not. I look at Louis and I despise him totally for the making of me, and yet I do love him. But then I love Lestat every bit as well.

Perhaps in the court of my heart, I hold Louis far more accountable for my present state than ever I could blame my impulsive and simple Lestat. The fact is, one must die for this or the pain in me will never be sealed off, and immortality is but a monstrous measurement of what I shall suffer till the world revolves to its ultimate end. One must die so that the other will become ever more dependent upon me, ever more completely my slave. I would travel the world afterwards; I would have my way; I cannot endure either of them unless that one becomes my servant in thought, word and deed.

Such a fate is simply unthinkable with Lestat's ungovernable and irascible character. Such a fate seems made for my melancholy Louis, though the destroying of Lestat will open new passages for Louis into the labyrinthian Hell in which I already wander with every new thought that comes in my mind.

When I shall strike and how, I know not, only that it gives me supreme delight to watch Lestat in his unguarded gaiety, knowing that I shall humiliate him utterly in destroying him, and in so doing bring down the lofty useless conscience of my Louis so that his soul, if not his body, is the same size at last as my own.


Merrick commanded Claudia's spirit to come but Claudia was full of hatred and vengeance, spitting her hatred toward Louis. She urged Louis to take his own life, claiming that such a sacrifice would warm her icy soul and speed her way on her endless wanderings. Taking Louis, Merrick and David by surprise, she plunged the jade pick used in the conjuring ceremony into Louis' very heart. Louis was destroyed, not his body but only his soul. Despite Merrick's protestations that, though the spirit was most definitely that of Claudia, it told lies, Louis sought his own destruction. His attempt to destroy himself failed and when he was restored, his dependence upon Claudia had finally ended and he was ready to move on without her.



Descriptions in the Novels:

Interview With The Vampire
"She was only five at most, and very thin.....her cheeks still full like plums.....the long curling lashes.....the more I looked at her, the more I could taste her skin....feeling her soft neck. Soft, soft, that's what she was....the sweet perfume of a child strong and pulsing in spite of sickness and death." by Louis
"She sat composed, revived, filled with life, no sign of pallor or weakness in her, her legs stretched out straight on the damask, her white gown soft and thin like an angel's gown around her small form." by Louis
"She had a voice equal to her physical beauty, clear like a little silver bell. It was sensual. She was sensual.....how plump her skin was, like the skin of warm fruit, plums warmed by sunlight; her huge lumminescent eyes were fixed on me with trusting curiosity......her hair was untangling and becoming like satin. She was the most beautiful child I'd ever seen, and now she glowed with the cold fire of a vampire. Her eyes were a woman's eyes, I could see it already. She would become white and spare like us but not lose her shape." by Louis
"She was mysteriously quiet. And from time to time I even feared that she had lost all sense.....she was simply unlike Lestat and me to such an extend I couldn't comprehend her; for little child she was, but also fierce killer now capable of the ruthless pursuit of blood with all a child's demanding....Lestat...but was loving to her, proud of her beauty, anxious to teach her that we must kill to live and that we ourselves could never die." by Louis
"Mute and beautiful, she played with dolls, dressing, undressing them by the hour. Mute and beautiful, she killed." by Louis
"She was always a vision, not just of child beauty, with her curling lashes and her glorious yellow hair, but of the taste of finely trimmed bonnets and tiny lace gloves, flaring velvet coats and capes, and sheer white puffed-sleeve gowns with gleaming blue sashes. Lestat played with her as if she were a magnificent doll." by Louis
"Claudia was mystery. It was not possible to know what she knew or did not know. And to watch her kill was chilling......her eyes more mindless than I had ever seen Lestat's......That's what she was. A magic doll. Laughter and infinite intellect and then the round-cheeked face, the bud mouth." by Louis
"These two lying under the gentle rain were Madeleine and Claudia, and Madeleine's lovely red hair mingled with the gold of Claudia's hair, which stirred and glistened in the wind that sucked through the open doorway. Only that which was living had been burnt away-not the hair, not the long, empty velvet dress, not the small bloodstained chemise with its eyelets of white lace. And the blackened, burnt, and drawn thing that was Madeleine still bore the stamp of her living face, and the hand that clutched at the child was whole like a mummy's hand. But the child, the ancient one, my Claudia, was ashes." by Louis
The Vampire Lestat
".....to bind him closer to me at the most precarious of moment, that I committed the most selfish and impulsive act of my entire life among the living dead. It was the crime that was to be my undoing: the creation with Louis and for Louis of Claudia, a stunningly beautiful vampire child. Her body wasn't six years old when I took her, and thought she would have died if I hadn't done it, this was a challenge to the gods for which Claudia and I would both pay." by Lestat
The Vampire Armand
"Claudia....the golden-curled child vampire made by Louis and Lestat one wicked and foolish night in New Orleans, the child vampire whose mind and soul became immense as that of an immortal woman while her body remained that of a precious all too perfect painted French doll....she was a forbidden thing, a child immortal, too small, too fragile for all her charm and cunning to survive on her own. Ah, poor blasphemous and beauteous creature. Her soft monotone voice, issuing from diminutive and ever kissable lips, will haunt me forever." by Armand
"For many a year, she haunted me. I could not strike from my mind the faltering image of her girlish head and tumbling curls fixed awkwardly with gross black stitching to the flailing, faltering and falling body of a female vampire whose discarded head I'd thrown into the fire. Ah, what a grand disaster was that, the child-headed monster woman unable to speak, dancing in a frenetic circle, the blood gurgling from her shuddering mouth, her eyes rolling, arms flapping like the broken bones of invisible wings..... her small, enticing, flat-chested and silken-skinned angelic form. She was not fit for deliverance after the failure of my butchery; she was as a prisoner subjected to the cruelty of the rack who can only smile bitterly and dreamily as she is led, torn and miserable, to the final horror of the stake. She was as a hopeless patient, in the reeking antiseptic death cubicle of a modern hospital, freed at last from the hands of youthful and overzealous doctors, to give up the ghost on a white pillow alone....I never loved her. I didn't know how." by Armand