The Strigoi Vampires in 'Vampire Academy' Are No Joke
In the Peacock series 'Vampire Academy,' there's more than one type of vampire. The antagonists of the series are known as Strigoi, but who are they?
The new Peacock series Vampire Academy — adapted from the novels by Richelle Mead — is filled with plenty of different kinds of vampires. There are the dhampirs (half-vampire, half-humans) who protect the Moroi (the ruling class of vampires). And then there are the Strigoi (zombie-like, blood-driven vampires) who serve as the series antagonists.
As it turns out, all of the types of vampires found in Vampire Academy have mythological roots. Based on what we know from the books, here's an explainer on all things Strigoi, including the differences between them and other vampires in the story.
The 'Vampire Academy' Strigoi vampires, explained.
To begin with, the concept of strigoi actually comes from Romanian mythology. In mythology, strigoi are troubled spirits rose from the grave, could turn into animals, could turn invisible, and gained vitality from the blood of their victims. According to The Guardian, Bram Stoker's titular character Count Dracula became the interpretation of the "modern" strigoi vampire.
In Vampire Academy, Strigoi are "the bad vampires." Strigoi are typically depicted as pale with blood-red eyes. They possess supernatural healing powers, immortality, superhuman strength and speed, and compulsion abilities. Strigoi have the strongest thirst for blood and can drink any blood, although they prefer to feed off the Moroi, who have the most power.
Unlike Moroi vampires, who are born, Strigoi are made. Humans, dhampirs, and Moroi can all be turned into Strigoi by being bitten and then drinking Strigoi's blood. Similarly, Moroi can turn into Strigoi if they purposefully kill someone during feeding. All creatures can also willingly turn into a Strigoi, typically for immortality or power, but this is rare.
Strigoi do have several weaknesses, the most notable being sunlight. Moroi and Dhampirs have no problems existing during the daytime, but Strigoi cannot be anywhere with sunlight. They cannot walk on holy grounds or possess magical abilities. Strigoi also have less "humanity" and are possessed with an animalistic instinct to hunt and feed. The best way to kill a Strigoi is with a silver stake through the heart or decapitation.
In the world of Vampire Academy, there is only one way to transform a Strigoi from their state: to stab a Strigoi with a silver stake enchanted with Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit through the heart. One of the ways the vampires of Vampire Academy differentiate from the typical depiction are that Moroi, the ruling class, are not only vampiric, but they possess magical abilities based on an element. They are also not immortal.
On the show, dhampirs, such as protagonist Rose Hathaway, are the "guardians" of the Moroi, specifically to protect them from the evil Strigoi. They train at Vampire Academy to become guardians to royal Moroi like Lissa Dragomir. The class system present in both the Vampire Academy show and the books presents an interesting twist to a classic vampire narrative.
If you're looking to catch a glimpse of creepy-crawly Strigoi or check out the show for yourself, Vampire Academy is currently streaming on Peacock. New episodes premiere on Thursdays.