I mean really, who is this guy! I’m going to Romania, should I be concerned? He is a gypsy or Roma? Will he whistle at me in the streets? Beg for money? Is he violent? IS DRACULA EVEN HIS REAL NAME?
WHATS THE DEAL!
If you are going to Romania, there’s a good chance your are thinking the exact same questions.
Dracula is REAL, just kidding, he’s not, but is almost real. Dracula is a fictional manifestation of the mind of author Bram Stoker from the UK in 1897. It was also the first name of the father of some pretty intense medieval lord in Romania, but we will get to that later.
In the book, Dracula is a melodramatic and questionably depressed character who rules over wolves, bats, Romanian Carpathia, and the un-dead bloodsuckers of the living world. He feeds on the necks of unsuspecting and unconscenting, mostly youth…..because their blood is better. He is also immortal, as long as he gets more blood….but he can be destroyed, not killed per se.
Dracula was based on Vlad the Impaler or Vlad III or Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Wallachia in the 15th century.
But was Vlad the Impaler a MONSTER? No, He was not a monster, just a really violent dude. One trained in math, sciences, and war. Talk about a potential multithreat Product Manager #SF #hiring #agile!
Why was Vlad so violent? Vlad’s father, named Dracul, was the King of Wallachia. Vlad and his brother Radu were captured and held hostage by the Ottomans during childhood. Then, when set free, Vlad consolidated power in his father’s region and established control over his Kingdom. Then, the Ottomans asked for tax for allowing his kingdom to exist. Vlad, who apparently had some severe enmity toward his captors, said no and instead impaled hundreds and hundreds of Ottoman soldiers who came to threaten him for money during his 6 years of rule. That’s right, only 6 years and apparently 600 impaled.
Quickly, Vlad built himself a reputation. He was first considered a punk when he said no to the Ottoman Empire, then he was considered a bloodthirsty monster after impaling a ton of people. But, he wasn’t bloodthirsty in that he wanted to drink blood, but more just kill people trying to mess with him.
So how related are Vlad the Impaler and Bram Stoker’s Dracula? A little. The first name is a strong connection, and the location of Romania, however Vlad was really a vampire and all the jazz. That connection is likely made by years of confusion connecting the various influences of Bram Stoker’s book.
Is Dracula’s castle located in Romania? Yes and no. There is a castle that tourist trappers and the publisher of the book have titled Dracula’s Castle. In reality, it is called Bran Castle and has little to no more significance to Vlad the Impaler or Dracula than any other castle in the Transylvania region of Romania. In fact, apparently Bram Stoker had never even been there, and its likely he had never heard of that castle.
Dracula is a great story, Vlad is an interesting piece of history, and Romania is a great country to visit. Enjoy them all! 🙂