Henry Fitzroy (character)
Henry Fitzroy is a character in the Blood novels: (Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, and Blood Debt) and the Smoke novels: (Smoke and Shadows, Smoke and Mirrors, and Smoke and Ashes) by Tanya Huff.
Brief character history
Henry Fitzroy was a real person, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England and Elizabeth Blount, born in 1519 and died of what appeared to be consumption in 1536. He was Henry VIII's only acknowledged illegitimate child. (The surname prefix "Fitz-" means son, and "-roy" is an anglicization of the French "roi", or king.) The premise of this series is that the real cause of his illness and "death" was a vampire bite, and he rose from his grave to live on as a vampire, aging very slowly. He now lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he earns a living writing romance novels (in the books)/graphic novels (in the TV series). He is the author of the graphic novel "Blood Price", which is the title of the first novel of the series and of the pilot episode of the TV series. Henry has a complicated relationship with Vicki Nelson.
Unlike most 'heroic' vampires in fiction, who reject their blood-drinking instincts and try to avoid drinking from humans, Henry is comfortable with who and what he is, but he maintains a regular policy of never killing his victims (he has killed on a few occasions, but attributes this to vampire instinct and has been shown to turn at least one victim when he took too much) and only drinking from the 'willing', with his primary food source being his lovers, who he feeds from during their liaisons, taking just enough to sustain himself without them noticing the loss. Henry's 'breed' of vampire possess a strong territorial instinct that prevents them from interacting with others of their kind on a regular basis after the teaching period of the first year of vampiric life has passed, with the result that vampires generally part ways after the older vampire has taught the new vampire how to survive undetected in humanity to avoid the conflict that would be inspired if they remained together; while this urge can be resisted, the effort required makes a long-term relationship impractical. Aside from this, Henry retains the traditional vampire powers of superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and healing, with a vulnerability to sunlight and stakes, although garlic and holy relics have no effect on him and his reflection can still be seen in mirrors.
In the novels, Henry has a much more elaborate background, as there is more space in novels for background information. However, all of Henry's life before he met Vicki is seen only in flashbacks (and the odd short story), so it is rather sketchy. Henry was married to Lord Surrey's sister at age seventeen, but he met an intriguing woman named Christina, who turned out to be a vampire. Henry, wishing to spend his life (and more) with Christina, asked that she change him. She did, and Henry spent a year with her, whereupon their territorial natures forced them to split company. Unlike most nobles, Henry was buried in a pine box in an unmarked grave, instead of a tomb that is "easier to walk out of".
Henry lived in Venice for some while (as Enrico), and fell in love with a woman named Ginevra Treschi. Ginevra was a young widow, with whom Henry had a year-long affair. Ginevra eventually had to choose between remarriage and a convent, and she chose the convent. She was tortured and murdered by the Inquisition in Venice, and Henry went on a rampage and killed everyone he could think of who was connected with her death.
Henry returned to England in the nineteenth century, where he lived as a fashionable young man of leisure. One of his adventures in "What Manner of Man" involved stopping traitors from assisting France to invade England. At some point while living in England, Henry visited Egypt with a wealthy lady, where he climbed a pyramid (it was all the rage at the time) and was approached by several Egyptians who informed him that they knew he was an afreet, and told him to be gone. Henry also assisted in the Resistance during World War Two. He met Peter Heerkens while running in the Netherlands.
He ended up in Toronto, where he eventually met Vicki Nelson, an ex-cop turned private investigator when she began to lose her sight due to retinitis pigmentosa. When Vicki began ending up with supernatural crimes, Henry assisted her. In Blood Price, they dealt with a college student who was summoning a demon. While fighting the demon, Henry lost too much blood to be revived by feeding solely on Vicki without taking her life. Vicki then brought in a former street kid, Tony Foster, to help. Henry became Tony's benefactor and lover and helped him get his own place to live and a job. In Blood Trail, Henry took Vicki out to London, Ontario to assist his werewolf friends with finding out who was trying to kill them, as they couldn't approach the police.
Blood Lines involved an ancient Egyptian mummy, and Blood Pact had Vicki and Henry chasing after zombies in a non-traditional sense. Vicki was mortally wounded and Henry was forced to turn her into a vampire to save her life. Henry took Vicki and Tony and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. At the end of their year together, Vicki returned to her mortal lover, Mike Celluci, in Toronto.
However, in Blood Debt Henry was then haunted by a ghost, and Vicki risked venturing onto Henry's territory to help him with the ghosts. It was difficult due to their constant urges to fight because of their predator instinct, but they managed.
The Smoke novels focus on Tony Foster, but Henry is still a large part of his life, even though Tony moved out of Henry's apartment. In Smoke and Shadows, Tony, who works at a TV studio, discovered that the special effects technician was in fact a wizard from another world and that the Shadowlord from her world was invading Vancouver. With Henry's help, they defeated the Shadowlord.
In Smoke and Mirrors, Tony became trapped in a haunted house, and Henry was unable to help.
In Smoke and Ashes, Tony ran into a woman who was a demongate, and Henry stepped in again with knowledge of demons and his grimoire.
In the television adaption of the series, Henry isn't a writer, but a graphic novel artist, and he assists Vicki in her various supernatural requests. One difference from the book version of the series is that Henry was originally 5'6", being about four inches shorter than Vicki; in Blood Ties, Vicki is 5'6', Henry is 5'10", and Mike is 6'2" (essentially, Henry and Vicki have exchanged heights). In addition, the book describes Henry as having goldish-red hair, while the TV series depicts him with brown hair. Another difference is Henry's bisexual nature; though it's expressed somewhat periodically in the books, the TV series makes few, if any, references, with Henry's depicted romantic liaisons all being female. Finally, Tony Foster, Vicki's assistant in the books, has been replaced by Coreen Fennel, a client with ties to the Goth community who becomes Vicki's assistant after the second episode. Unlike Tony, with whom Henry is involved, Henry does not feed from Coreen (although he does feed from both Vicki and Mike, even if Mike was only because he was half-mad with hunger and pain), perhaps in part because of her fascination with magic, which he abhors due to his religious upbringing (although he still possesses a fair knowledge of various types of magic, allowing him to perform basic tracking spells and identify certain charms, even if outside expertise is required in more complex cases).
During the 1700s, Henry was captured by the Spanish Inquisition, but was able to escape after he convinced a nun that he wasn't evil, although he was forced to turn her when he fed on her while starving. In the 1920s a woman he was involved with was killed and resurrected by a voodoo priest because Henry underestimated the power of the voodoo-animated zombies. He was involved with the mob in the 1960s, which resulted in him being left in a dump until he was able to drink enough blood from the inhabitants to heal.
Henry- and other vampires in the series- possess the ability to give humans basic orders, such as telling one of his partners to leave after he has fed from her, although strong-willed individuals like Vicki can resist his control.
Other details about his past are also provided, such as an artist who Henry remains in contact with due to his close relationship with the artist's mother (Although he was forced to use his mesmeric influence on her when she tried to flirt with him as he still saw her as a daughter); one case involves a priest who tortured Henry in the past and subsequently used diluted vampire blood to keep himself alive until the chance came to confront Henry again. On another occasion, Christina came to the city when a new vampire turned against her, Henry expressing disgust at her for having turned someone against their will and then abandoning him when he proved too difficult to control; Henry was finally forced to kill the new vampire when he proved unwilling to accept that he could be more than a monster.