Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Robert Pattinson Distantly Related to Dracula??

According to genealogical researchers at, Robert Pattison, famed for playing Edward Cullen in the Twilight series of films isn't the only famous individual known for blood lust in his family tree.

Researchers say Pattison is distantly related to Vlad the Impaler through the relationship both men have to the British royal family.  Pattinson is distant cousins with Princes William and Harry.  Vlad the Impaler is the distant uncle to the Princes.

According to Anastasia Tyler, an genealogist, it was difficult work tracing Pattinson's family back to the 15th century Wallachian prince.  "Without any myth or magic, we find royalty and vampires lurking in Pattinson's life--making his history just as supernatural as the one he's playing on screen."

As much as I hate to burst Ms. Tyler's bubble, I must disagree with her.  History disagrees with her.  Research may prove the distant relation between Vlad and Pattinson, but hundreds of years of history proves that Vlad the Impaler was not a vampire.  So, no, just because he is distantly related to Vlad the Impaler there aren't any vampires lurking in Pattinson's ancestry making his life somehow supernatural. 

Vlad the Impaler was born in 1431 in Sighisoara, Transylvania.  He was the third son of Vlad II Dracul, the future voivode of Wallachia.  (Wallachia is a historical region of the country now known as Romania.  It was located north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathian mountains.)  Vlad II Dracul was a member of the religious chivalric order The Order of the Dragon.  Vlad III received his iconic surname due to the fact he was the "son of Dracul" or "the Son of the Dragon".

Vlad III first ruled as prince of Wallachia on three separate occasions.  First in 1443, again in 1456-1462 and finally in 1476.  During his time on the throne, Vlad ruled with an iron fist.  He believed it better for a prince to be feared than loved. 

While Vlad was known to have committed many cruelties during his reign that shed the blood of thousands of individuals, Vlad the Impaler didn't have fangs, wasn't a vampire and, I'm pretty darned certain he didn't "sparkle" when he went out during the day.

The world at large perhaps might not have even given second thought to Prince Vlad had Bram Stoker not taken the rulers surname and used it for his most famous literary creation:  Count Dracula.  Stoker knew little about the Wallachian prince but he knew he liked the name.  And thanks to the vampire legends that have lived for centuries in Romania, Count Dracula and the legacy left behind by Prince Vlad Dracula are forever intertwined.

I can respect the pleasure of escaping into a fiction world, and I love a good vampire story as much as the next person.  I have for a while.  While this may make great fodder for the Twilight machine, as someone who has a great respect for history I think Ms. Tyler's comments have a slight 'fangirlish' quality to them. 

Enough said by me, I think. 

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