Armand (The Vampire Chronicles)
|The Vampire Chronicles character|
Antonio Banderas as Armand (1994)
|First appearance||Interview with the Vampire (1976)|
|Portrayed by||Antonio Banderas (1994)|
|Aliases||The "vagabond angel child of Satan"|
|Significant other(s)||Marius de Romanus (maker/lover)
Bianca Solderini (lover)
Sybelle and Benji
Louis de Pointe du Lac (lover)
Daniel Molloy (fledgling/lover)
Armand is a fictional character in The Vampire Chronicles novels written by Anne Rice. At the end of the series, he is approximately 500 years of age. His outward appearance is that of a beautiful adolescent boy, small, with reddish-brown locks, soft brown eyes and slender fingers. His features are at times compared figuratively to those of Cupid or a Botticelli angel.
As a human
As a child he could, after praying, paint vivid pictures of Jesus Christ, Madonna, and the Eastern Orthodox Saints. His astonished parents eventually revealed it to the monks in the Monastery of the Caves, who lived an ascetic life buried beneath earth, sustained only by water and small amounts of food, until they died. Both the monks and Andrei believed he was destined to live such a life, while his father was appalled by the idea. When their ruler Prince Michael ordered Andrei to paint an icon and bring it to the castle of his brother, the supposedly dead Prince Feodor, Andrei was captured by Tartars and brought as a slave to Constantinople and subsequently sold to a Venetian brothel. There, he was subjected to horrific sexual abuse and developed amnesia.
Marius, a 1700-year-old vampire then living as a painter in Venice, rescued Andrei, giving him an education and a luxurious life. Andrei was renamed by Marius as Amadeo. Marius was in love with a courtesan named Bianca Solderini yet could not bring himself to turn her into a vampire. Instead, he chose Amadeo for his beauty, youth and painting skills (apparently lost, along with his memories) to educate 'in the way of the blood', so as to eventually make him a vampire. Amadeo, who owed Marius his life and sanity, loved him single-mindedly and was eager to become a vampire. He did not understand Marius' hesitation of turning him at such a young age, or turning him at all and in an act of rebellion and anger he seduced an English Lord, whom he eventually abandoned after a few nights. However, the English Lord became obsessed with Amadeo and enraged by his betrayal, wounded him with a poisoned blade. In doing this, he forced Marius to turn Amadeo into a vampire to save his life. Amadeo was 17 years old at the time of his transformation.
As a vampire
Shortly after his turning, Marius' Palazzo was attacked by a Satanic cult of vampires, led by the vampire Santino. Marius was set on fire and Amadeo and the other children at the Palazzo were kidnapped and taken to Rome. Santino tortured Amadeo by burning his friends to death and starving him in a cellar until he was forced to feed on his best friend and innocent children. After five months of such psychological torture, Amadeo was ready to believe everything the cult said in exchange for their love and forget all he has known before. Because of his strength, he was named the leader of the Parisian coven in 1580, and renamed Armand, since a name with the word 'God' (Deo) in it seemed unfit for the leader of a satanic coven.
After living in this way for around 200 years, the vampire Lestat was created. Following their rules, the coven tried to capture Lestat and maybe destroy him, yet Lestat was stronger than Armand at that time, and declared them ridiculous and unfitting for the times in which they lived, disproving their beliefs that they could not look upon crosses, walk into churches, or live in places of light. Realizing that he spoke the truth, Armand fell into despair and destroyed most of his own coven and tried to persuade Lestat to take Armand with him on his journeys yet failed. Instead, he joined the Théâtre des Vampires that Lestat's fledgling Nicki founded and learned to move among mortals again. In the late 19th century, Lestat's fledglings Claudia and Louis happened upon the theater. Armand, tired of the theater, saw Louis as a new possibility of integrating into this period of time. When he could not persuade Louis to leave Claudia or otherwise, he managed to get rid of Claudia, eventually burning her in the sun, and then let Louis burn the theater with the vampires in it so that he could leave with Louis. They stayed together until around the 1920s, then parted because Louis never fully recovered from Claudia's death, and knew that Armand was at least partly responsible for her death.
After the incidents in Interview with the Vampire, 'the boy' Daniel Molloy tried to find Lestat, but was found by Armand. Daniel provided a link for Armand to the new time, and they formed a relationship. However, Daniel grew more and more impatient, longing to be turned to a vampire, and they were estranged although they would not part. In the end, Daniel managed to destroy his health to such a degree that he was close to death, and Armand finally turned him into a vampire. This happened in 1985, Daniel is Armand's only fledgling to date, and they could no longer stay together after this incident.
When Lestat brought back Veronica's Veil from his journey in Memnoch the Devil, Armand was struck by the sight of it, his religious fervour revived, and he went into the sun in an attempt to destroy and redeem himself. He did not only survive, however, but managed miraculously to save the girl Sybelle from her abusive brother. Sybelle and her protector, the boy Benji, restored Armand with the blood of a drug dealer, and grew very affectionate towards him, just as Armand did towards them. When Armand dictated the book The Vampire Armand to David Talbot, former head of the Talamasca and by then Lestat's fledgling, he left Sybelle and Benji in Marius's care, who turned them into vampires. This greatly shocked Armand and left him deeply angry and confused.
|Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles tree|
Portrayal in other media
In the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire, Armand was portrayed by Antonio Banderas. Contrary to his book description, this version of Armand was a fully-grown adult (of Spanish origin instead of Russian) when he was turned into a vampire.
In the 2006 musical, Lestat, Armand was first portrayed by Jack Noseworthy, who left the role a week after the pre-Broadway performance began, and was then replaced by his understudy Drew Sarich, who went with the production onto Broadway.
- Rice, Anne (10 October 1998). The Vampire Armand. The Vampire Chronicles. United States of America: Alfred A Knopf. ISBN 978-0-679-45447-2.
- Rice, Anne (16 October 2001). Blood and Gold. The Vampire Chronicles. United States of America: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-45449-7.
- Rice, Anne (1985). The Vampire Lestat. The Vampire Chronicles. United States of America: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-345-31386-0.
- "Armand (Character)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- "Jack Noseworthy Departs B'way-Bound Lestat; Understudy Sarich to Go On". Broadway.com. 22 December 2005. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- "Former Lestat Understudy Drew Sarich Assumes Role of Armand Full-Time". Broadway.com. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-25.