Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Now, this not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media.. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for kids to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers for Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire up to the season one finale. Proceed with caution.
When it comes to vampires, no one sparkles like Claudia from Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Played by Bailey Bass, Claudia is trapped in eternal youth, yet is the most mature and ruthless of them all. This teen’s afterlife started out rocky, but Claudia quickly became a savvy vampire. She is the best of her vampire fathers, Louis (Jacob Anderson) and Lestat (Sam Reid). She has empathy and compassion like Louis. And is just as cunning and smart as Lestat.
Louis heard Claudia scream for help while trapped in a house fire. Saving her was Louis’ redemption for killing mortals. Lestat gave Claudia the gift of immortality to appease Louis, though he never wanted her. Claudia and Louis find themselves being controlled by a narcissist. When Claudia’s back against the wall, Claudia finds the courage and strength to save herself and protect the one she loves.
The Real Deal:
Claudia was only 14 when Lestat turned her into a vampire. Being a teenage vampire was messy and Claudia made many mistakes. And like most teenagers, Claudia was in a hurry to grow up. She changed the way she dressed and started turning heads; including a carriage driver who would become the love of her life. Claudia’s inability to control her hunger caused his death and her grief left dozens dead in the river. Her first years as a vampire were chaos.
Claudia forgot all about love and focused on her adventurous side. She had questions about her vampiric roots; questions that Lestat would not answer. She left New Orleans to find those answers, despite Lestat’s warning of the cruelty of vampires. A lesson Claudia had to experience for herself. She found evidence of vampires in Europe and was ready to sail across the ocean. She returned to New Orleans to ask Louis to go with her. Lestat’s fear of abandonment caused him to brutally beat up Louis, showing them what he is capable of.
Claudia’s love for Louis is the reason she stayed in New Orleans. Even after Louis and Lestat reconciled, she stayed to protect her vampire brother. Louis told her to find her own path, but Lestat did not want to see Louis fall into a depression again. Claudia was forced to tolerate Lestat once more, locked in hate and bound by love. This time around, she decided to learn from her maker instead of questioning his every move. She learned how he played with people; how he got away with lying to Louis, and how to outsmart a killer. It’s through Claudia that we see how selfish and manipulative Lestat truly is.
It was Claudia’s keen eyes and excellent hearing that exposed Lestat’s darkest secret. Claudia wasted no time telling Louis that Lestat had another lover, Antoinette (Maura Grace Athari). She knew whatever plan she devised against Lestat, she would have to factor in Antoinette. She also had to contend with Louis’ deep love for Lestat, knowing he would reveal any plans she had. In the end, Claudia keep a deep secret from Louis that was the determining factor in Lestat’s demise. All those chess lessons from Lestat paid off. The only thing she couldn’t do was burn Lestat’s body, because Louis wouldn’t let her.
Why Does She Matter:
Claudia did not chose to be immortal. She realizes early on that she could’ve had a normal life, but Louis chose the vampire life for her. She learned that it was up to her to break the cycle of abuse they were both in. Claudia’s love for Louis made her want a better life for him. And her thirst for knowledge gave her the drive to break free. In the end, she fought for herself and her freedom, with Louis along for the ride.
Claudia matters because she loves deeply despite feeling lonely. She took the initiative to leave home to explore the world and make up her own mind about who she is. Claudia eventually realizes that the only person she can save is herself. Not only from a life of tyranny, but also from becoming just like her vampire parents. So be like Claudia, find your own path to a good life and take a big bite.