'Vampire Academy' Is Connected to 'The Vampire Diaries' — but Not in the Way You'd Expect
The highly anticipated TV adaptation of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series has arrived. The new Peacock series follows young guardian-in-training dhampir Rose Hathaway (Sisi Stringer), as she seeks to protect her best friend, Princess Vasilisa "Lissa" Dragomir (Daniela Nieves), as they navigate relationships, vampires, and boarding school.
Some have drawn parallels between Vampire Academy and another popular teen vampire show, The Vampire Diaries. Are the two shows connected? Here's what you need to know.
Is 'Vampire Academy' connected to 'The Vampire Diaries'?
Vampire Academy is based on a book series by Richelle Mead, while The Vampire Diaries is based on a series by author L. J. Smith. The two worlds are entirely separate, with different mythology and characters for each. The Vampire Diaries ran as a television series on the CW for eight seasons from 2009 to 2017, and sparked two spinoff series: The Originals and Legacies.
Vampire Academy was first adapted for film in 2014. The film starred Zoey Deutch as Rose Hathaway and Lucy Fry as Lissa Dragomir, but the film's critical reception was poor due to an "overstuffed backstory" and an attempt at adding a Mean Girls–esque tone to the more serious franchise. As such, the Vampire Academy television show serves as a total reboot for the series.
However, there is a connection between the new Vampire Academy series and The Vampire Diaries.
Film and television writer, director, and producer Julie Plec rose to commercial success as the showrunner, executive producer, and developer of The Vampire Diaries. She currently serves as a co-creator, writer, executive producer, and showrunner on Vampire Academy. Co-creator and co-writer Marguerite MacIntyre is another connection between the two shows, best known for her role as Liz Forbes on The Vampire Diaries.
According to a review from Variety of the first four episodes of Vampire Academy, the two shows are similar in their themes and audience. Both shows are teen dramas focusing on love and vampires, so it's not hard to draw parallels between each. Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) of The Vampire Diaries was caught in a seemingly perpetual love triangle, but the characters of Vampire Academy are more concerned about vampiric war.
In the world of The Vampire Diaries, vampires were mostly a hidden-from-mortal-eyes issue to be dealt with in secret, whereas Vampire Academy is training young dhampirs (half-vampires) as guardians of the ruling class Moroi (vampires with self-control) to battle evil, older vampires called Strigoi intent on causing worldwide chaos. There's also a political element to the books and the show, with Lissa becoming a young heir to a throne she is unsure about accepting.
For those interested in seeing for themselves, reruns of The Vampire Diaries are currently streaming on HBO Max, while Vampire Academy's first four episodes are streaming on Peacock. Future episodes of Vampire Academy will be available for streaming on Thursdays.