Mina Harker

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Mina Harker
Dracula character
Mina Murray.jpg
Created by Bram Stoker
Portrayed by Greta Schröder (Nosferatu)
Helen Chandler (Dracula)
Melissa Stribling (Horror of Dracula)
Maria Rohm (Count Dracula)
Penelope Horner (Bram Stoker's Dracula)
Judi Bowker (Count Dracula)
Isabelle Adjani (Nosferatu the Vampyre)
Winona Ryder (Bram Stoker's Dracula)
Amy Yasbeck (Dracula: Dead and Loving It)
CindyMarie Small (Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary)
Stefania Rocca (Dracula)
Peta Wilson (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
Alexandra Kamp (Dracula 3000)
Stephanie Leonidas (Dracula)
Zoe Tapper (Demons)
Nathalie Fauquette (Dracula, l'amour plus fort que la mort)
Victoria Summer (Dracula Reborn)
Marta Gastini (Dracula 3D)
Jessica De Gouw (Dracula)
Olivia Llewellyn (Penny Dreadful)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold)
Information
Aliases Miss Mina Murray
Madam Mina
Species Human
Vampire
Gender Female
Occupation Schoolteacher
Spouse(s) Jonathan Harker
Children Quincey Harker
Nationality British

Wilhelmina "Mina" Harker (née Murray) is a fictional character in Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula.

In the novel[edit]

She begins the story as Miss Mina Murray, a young school mistress who is engaged to Jonathan Harker, and best friends with Lucy Westenra. She visits Lucy in Whitby on July 24 of that year, when schools would have closed for the summer.

After her fiancé Jonathan escapes from Count Dracula's castle, Mina travels to Budapest and joins him there. Mina cares for him during his recovery from his traumatic encounter with the vampire and his brides, and the two return to England as husband and wife. Back home, they learn that Lucy has died from a mysterious illness stemming from severe blood loss as the result of repeated attacks by an unknown, blood-drinking animal. The animal, they learn, was none other than Dracula taking a different shape.

It is because of Mina that the party learn of the Count's plans, as she is the one who collects the journals, letters, and newspaper clippings. She assembles all of the relevant information regarding the Count, places it in chronological order, and types out multiple copies, giving them to each of the other protagonists. The end result is the epistolary novel itself. Mina and Jonathan then join the coalition around Abraham Van Helsing, and turn their attention toward destroying the Count. The party uses this information to discover clues about Dracula's plans and further investigate the locations of the various residences he purchases as a means to track him and destroy him. Each subsequent action the party takes is recorded by the various members and added to the collection of events surrounding Dracula.

After Dracula learns of this plot against him, he takes revenge by visiting — and biting — Mina at least three times. Dracula also feeds Mina his blood, dooming her to become a vampire should she die. Afterwards, he kills Renfield and destroys all of the copies of their epistolary except for one, which Dr. Seward kept in a safe. The rest of the novel deals with the group's efforts to spare Mina a vampiric fate by tracking and attempting to kill Dracula. When Van Helsing attempts to bless her by placing a wafer of sacramental bread against her forehead it burns her flesh, leaving a scar, thus proving that Dracula has made her unholy. Mina slowly succumbs to the blood of the vampire that flows through her veins, switching back and forth from a state of consciousness to one of semi-trance, during which she is telepathically connected with Dracula. Mina then uses her inherent telepathic abilities to track Dracula's movements under the hypnotism of Van Helsing. Dracula later flees back to his castle in Transylvania, followed by the entire group who split up. As Van Helsing takes Mina with him on his journey to Dracula's castle to slay the brides of Dracula, the rest of the party attempt to locate and raid the ship Dracula is using, to ambush him. As time goes on, Helsing's ability to hypnotize Mina to obtain intelligence on the whereabouts of Count Dracula diminishes significantly. Her appearance and manner become more vampire-like, to the point where she even loses her appetite as well as her ability to stay awake during the day despite multiple attempts by Van Helsing to wake her.

While Mina and Van Helsing are at camp, Helsing crumbles sacramental bread in a circle around Mina as she sleeps during the daytime. Upon waking, she is unable to cross the circle at all. Van Helsing does this as a test; if Mina is unable to exit the circle, he reasons that vampires would be unable to enter, as well. This is confirmed when, later in the night, the brides come to the camp, but are unable to cross the ring around Mina and Van Helsing. The brides beckon her to join them but fail, and fly back to Dracula's castle before sunrise.

When the party kills Dracula just before sunset, Dracula's vampiric spell is lifted and Mina is freed from the curse.

The book closes with a note written seven years after these events about Mina's and Jonathan's married life and the birth of their first-born son, whom they name Quincey in remembrance of their American friend Quincey Morris, who was killed by Dracula's Szgany minions during the final confrontation. The birth of Jonathan and Mina's son signifies hope and renewal of life as the close of the novel ushers in the 20th century.[1]

In other media[edit]

Mina (or a similar character) has appeared in most film adaptations of Stoker's novel.

In Stoker's original novel, Mina Harker recovers from the vampire's curse upon Dracula's death and lives on to marry Jonathan. However, in some media, Mina is killed at some point in the story, while in others, she becomes a full vampire and keeps her powers after the death of Dracula.

Books[edit]

In Dracula the Un-dead, (2009) co-written by Dacre Stoker, a great-nephew of the original author, Mina's son, Quincey, is claimed to be a product of rape and Dracula's biologically human son, conceived at some point when Dracula was attacking Mina.[2]

In From the Pages of Bram Stoker's Dracula: Harker, written by Tony Lee and endorsed by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt, Mina becomes bound to Dracula's spirit as his remaining allies attempt to use her unborn child as his new body.

In Anno Dracula, a 1992 novel by Kim Newman, the first in the Anno Dracula series, Mina Harker became a vampire and Dracula's bride. The novel tells an alternate history in which Dracula marries Queen Victoria and rules England as her consort, and vampirism is widespread.

Mina Murray (returning to her maiden name after having divorced her husband) is one of the lead characters of Alan Moore's and Kevin O'Neill's comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. She is a bisexual suffragist and leader of the titular team, and is involved in a romantic relationship with Allan Quatermain. She and Allan are the only remaining members of the initial League after a Martian invasion and subsequently becomes immortal, remaining young even in the year 2009. She is in a polyamorous relationship with the gender-changing omnisexual Orlando. It is implied that she still feels trauma over her encounter with Dracula and has disfiguring scars on her neck, which she covers with a red scarf.

In A Betrayal in Blood by Mark A. Latham, Mina is portrayed as a more ruthless, calculating individual, going so far as to adopt an appearance that subtly resembles the deceased wife of Dr. Watson to colour his views during her first interview with Sherlock Holmes. In the course of his investigation into the truth about Dracula's death (Dracula simply a reclusive count in this version of events rather than a true vampire), Holmes realizes that the Harkers actually collaborated to kill Jonathan's former boss, Peter Hawkins, so that they could inherit control of the firm, with Van Helsing using this information to blackmail them into assisting his efforts against Dracula. They are subsequently arrested after a confrontation with Holmes and Watson at Carfax when it is revealed that they have stolen Holmes' notes on the case.

Film[edit]

  • In F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922), the character is renamed Ellen, due to the copyright issues surrounding this film. In a significant deviation from the original novel, she sacrifices herself to Count Orlok (the film's version of Dracula) so he will be destroyed by the rising sun.
  • Helen Chandler played her in Universal Pictures' Dracula (1931), directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as the count. In this adaptation, Mina was Dr. John Seward's daughter and so it is implied that her name was Mina Seward. This connection was incorporated into Mel Brooks' parody Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), in which she is portrayed by Amy Yasbeck.
  • In Hammer Horror's Dracula (1958), Mina was portrayed by Melissa Stribling and was married to Arthur Holmwood instead of Jonathan Harker.
  • In a 1970 Spanish-Italian-German horror film Count Dracula, Mina was portrayed by Maria Rohm and Christopher Lee played the title role, though it was not a Hammer production like his other Dracula films. This adaptation tried to stay faithful to the novel.
  • Mina was played by Jan Francis in the 1979 film Dracula directed by John Badham, in which she is Van Helsing's daughter. This adaptation also switches Mina's role and makes Lucy — who here is the daughter of Dr. Seward — Jonathan Harker's fiancée and Dracula's primary victim.
  • Mina was portrayed by American actress Winona Ryder in Bram Stoker's Dracula, the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola film adaptation of the book, in which she is the reincarnation of Dracula's centuries-dead wife, Elisabeta.
  • In the 2003 film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mina Harker was portrayed by Peta Wilson. In a deviation from the comic the film was based on, the film has Mina remain a vampire after Dracula's death, and she keeps the surname Harker, having outlived her husband Jonathan rather than divorced him. Unlike the comic, there is no relationship between her and Allan Quatermain, but she attracts some interest from Doctor Henry Jekyll and Special Agent Tom Sawyer, and a past relationship with Dorian Gray is hinted at before he is revealed to be a double agent working for their enemy.
  • A woman named Mina appears at the end of Dracula Untold (2014), portrayed by Sarah Gadon. Following the film's climax, the movie (which mostly takes place in the fifteenth century) flashes forward to the present day, when a woman named Mina, who strongly resembles Dracula's long-dead wife Mirena, is approached by Dracula himself. After Dracula compliments Mina and recites Mirena's favourite piece of poetry, which turns out to be Mina's favourite poem as well, the movie ends with the two departing together.

TV[edit]

  • The BBC produced a version entitled Count Dracula in 1977. Mina was played by Judi Bowker. The film was fairly faithful to Stoker's original novel, except that it portrayed Mina and Lucy as sisters.
  • In the 2002 Italian two-part TV miniseries Dracula, Mina is portrayed by Stefania Rocca. This adaptation updates the events of the novel to the present day and takes place entirely in Budapest.
  • In 2006 a British television film entitled Dracula aired, with Stephanie Leonidas in the role of Mina. She is depicted as a Roman Catholic.
  • Zoe Tapper portrayed Mina in Demons (2009) as a half-vampire whose full powers came out when she ingested some of Dracula's blood, which still flows in her veins. Her 'default' state leaves her blind, with psychic abilities that she can use to sense the nature of the demons the main characters are presently facing.
  • Jessica De Gouw portrayed Mina Murray in the TV series Dracula (2013). In this role, she is a medical student who is engaged to Jonathan Harker, and is said to be a reincarnation of Dracula's deceased wife.[citation needed]
  • Olivia Llewellyn portrays Mina Murray in the TV series, Penny Dreadful (2014-2016) as the daughter of Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton). In this continuity, she is transformed into a vampire by Dracula, and her father shoots her to save Vanessa Ives.[3]

Animation[edit]

A character based on Mina appears in an American animated television series called Mina and the Count about a seven-year-old girl named Mina Harper (voiced by Tara Strong) and her encounters with Vlad the Count, a 700-year-old vampire (voiced by Mark Hamill).

Music[edit]

Japanese media[edit]

In the light novels (also later adapted into two anime films and a manga series) Vampire Hunter D, the ancient vampire Count Magnus Lee refers to a "Mina the Fair" who was pursued by the "Sacred Ancestor" (revealed in the English dub of the first film to be "our sire Count Dracula"). It is implied that she may be the mother of D (the son of the Sacred Ancestor).

In the 1997 manga series Hellsing, a character referred to only as "She" is eventually revealed to be Mina Harker's corpse. She died before Dracula (later Alucard) could be defeated, but because he did not die, the curse was still active in her, which the Doctor exploited to create Millennium's vampires.

In the 2005 manga series Dance in the Vampire Bund, the central female vampire protagonist is named "Mina Țepeș", a reference to Vlad Țepeș, one of the inspirations for Dracula.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Experts Milhousen and Frytopen.
  2. ^ Dracula: The Un-dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt
  3. ^ "Penny Dreadful recap: "Terrible Wonders"".