Armand (The Vampire Chronicles)
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|The Vampire Chronicles character|
Antonio Banderas as Armand (1994)
|First appearance||Interview with the Vampire (1976)|
|Portrayed by||Antonio Banderas (1994)|
|Alias||The "vagabond angel child of Satan"|
|Religion||Orthodox (as a human)|
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, 5’6, with curly auburn hair, large 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 has the ability to paint vivid pictures of Jesus Christ, Madonna, and the Eastern Orthodox Saints. His astonished parents eventually reveal his gift to the monks in the Monastery of the Caves, who live an ascetic life buried beneath earth, sustained only by water and small amounts of food. Both the monks and Andrei believe he is destined to live such a life, while his father is appalled by the idea. When their ruler, Prince Michael, orders Andrei to paint an icon and bring it to the castle of his brother, the supposedly dead Prince Feodor, Andrei is captured by Tartars and brought as a slave to Constantinople and subsequently sold to a Venetian brothel. There, he is subjected to horrific sexual abuse and develops amnesia.
Marius, a 1500-year-old vampire then living as a painter in Venice, rescues Andrei, giving him an education and a luxurious life. Marius renames him Amadeo. Marius is in love with a courtesan named Bianca Solderini, yet cannot bring himself to turn her into a vampire. Instead, he chooses 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 loves Marius single-mindedly and is eager to become a vampire. He does not understand Marius' hesitation to turn him, and in an act of rebellion and anger he seduces an English Lord, whom he eventually abandons after a few nights. However, the English Lord becomes obsessed with Amadeo and enraged by his betrayal, wounds him with a poisoned blade. In doing this, he forces Marius to turn Amadeo into a vampire to save his life. Amadeo is 17 years old at the time of his transformation.
As a vampire
Shortly after Amadeo becomes a vampire, Marius' Palazzo is attacked by a Satanic cult of vampires, led by the vampire Santino. They set Marius on fire and kidnap Amadeo and the other children at the Palazzo and take them to Rome. Santino tortures Amadeo by burning his friends to death right in front of him and starving him in a cellar until he is forced to feed on his best friend and innocent children. After five months of such psychological torture, Amadeo is ready to believe everything the cult said in exchange for their love and to forget all he has known before. Because of his strength, he is 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.
Roughly two hundred years later the coven tries to capture Lestat (turned vampire by Magnus, another old target of the coven) and considers destroying him, but Lestat is stronger than Armand, and declares them ridiculous and unfit for the times in which they lived. He disproves their beliefs that they could not look upon crosses, walk into churches, or live in places of light. Realizing that Lestat is right about the coven's obsolescence, Armand falls into despair and destroys most of his own followers. He tries to persuade Lestat to take him along on his journeys, but Lestat refuses. Instead, Armand joins the Théâtre des Vampires and learns to move among mortals.
In the late 19th century, Lestat's fledglings Claudia and Louis happen upon the theater. Armand sees Louis as a new possibility of integrating into the modern world. When he cannot persuade Louis to leave Claudia, he manages to get rid of her by burning her to death in the sun, and then lets Louis burn the theater with the vampires in it so they can leave together. They stay together until around the 1920s, then part because Louis has never fully recovered from the loss of Claudia, and knows that Armand is at least partly responsible for her death.
After the incidents in Interview with the Vampire, Daniel Molloy tries to find Lestat, but is instead found by Armand. Daniel provides a link for Armand to the new time, and they form a relationship. However, Daniel grows more and more impatient, longing to be turned to a vampire, and he and Armand become estranged. By 1985, Daniel manages to destroy his health to such a degree that he is near death, so Armand finally turns him into a vampire. Daniel is Armand's only fledgling to date, and they can no longer stay together afterward.
When Lestat brings back Veronica's Veil from his journey in Memnoch the Devil, Armand is struck by the sight of it; his religious fervor revived, he goes into the sun in an attempt to destroy and redeem himself. He not only survives, however, but manages miraculously to save a girl named Sybelle from her abusive brother. Sybelle and her protector, Benji, restore Armand with the blood of a drug dealer, and the three of them become very close. When Armand dictates the book The Vampire Armand to David Talbot, former head of the Talamasca and by then Lestat's fledgling, he leaves Sybelle and Benji in Marius' care. The latter then turns them into vampires.
|Vampire Chronicles family 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.