|Lestat de Lioncourt|
|Birthdate|| November 7, 1760
|Place of birth||Auvergne, France|
|Fledglings|| Gabrielle de Lioncourt |
Nicolas de Lenfent
Louis de Pointe du Lac
|Paramours|| Nicolas de Lenfent|
Gabrielle de Lioncourt
Louis de Pointe du Lac
Lestat de Lioncourt is a prominent vampire in The Vampire Chronicles, appearing in most of them as the lead or to a lesser extent, as a supporting role. Depending on the reader's point of view, he is the villain or is an anti-hero of sorts known for his boldness.
The Vampire Lestat is Lestat's autobiography, following his exploits from his youth as a mortal in France, to his early years as a vampire fledgling.
Lestat epitomizes what it means to be an aristocratic vampire in 18th century Paris. A bold, enthusiastic and defiant being, who delights in his own arrogance and conceited attitude, Lestat carries himself with the aura of richness and entitlement that comes only from a privileged upbringing, gaining him the affectionate title "the Brat Prince" by his vampire elders, a title he takes great pleasure in. Egotistic, Lestat is greatly concerned with fashion, taking the time to pause mid-narrative merely to remind the reader what he is wearing, and as a singer and musician who plays both the piano and violin more than reasonably well, he relishes the attention that comes from performing on stage to a crowd, which began in his mortal life as an actor and continued into his formation of a rock band called The Vampire Lestat which he formed with a group of humans in the 1980s. However underneath this façade, he is a tortured soul scarred by the turmoil and betrayal of his past.
Having been illiterate as a human, after becoming a vampire Lestat learned how to read first in French and then in English, developing a great love of literature that made him quite the academic and a fondness for colloquialisms. He chooses to write his novels in English and notes that despite his French accent he speaks English "like a cross between a boatman and Sam Spade". As an academic, Lestat became a creature of great philosophical thinking, proposing the deep questions of ‘are my actions good or bad?’, ‘what makes a person happy?’, ‘Is there a God?’ and ‘Am I in His plan?’.
It could be argued that Lestat is far from being a monster, being painted first in Interview with the Vampire as somewhat of an anti-hero, quick to defend his behaviour in The Vampire Lestat when he repeatedly attempts to convince people that he is hardly the monster previous narrators have portrayed him to be, and in much of the book and its sequel The Queen of the Damned, he is presented as a fun-loving hero who even gallantly leads the charge against the vampire queen Akasha.Lestat is a creature capable of love, being first portrayed in the series as a bisexual who is attracted to whoever interests him. He spent most of his early experiences with male lovers and spending his time in the company of men, because as he admits men in the past centuries were more interesting than women and secondly he is frightened of women, finding them extremely distracting. Over time Lestat developed a greater love for humanity than ever before despite his savage relationship with mankind, and so viewed his life as "the Savage Garden", filled with beauty and death.
Lestat is capable of showing concern for the welfare of others, exhibiting a strong altruistic nature at several stages in the series, for instance, upon being made a vampire, he sent large gifts to his family and friends, purchased the theatre where he once worked and settled the debts of his old manager, Renaud. Later, following the murder of his brothers and family in the French Revolution, Lestat stepped forward to care for his ailing father, the only surviving member of his family, despite their hate filled relationship. Lestat also displays a moral inclination, frequently hunting evildoers instead of feeding from innocent victims, although he does not always abide by this rule.
His Early Mortal LifeEdit
Lestat de Lioncourt was born November 7, 1760, during the reign of Louis XVI, in Auvergne, France. He was the youngest of three sons although his mother had given birth to four other boys and one girl--none of whom survived childhood. His father was the Marquis as well as a blind man.
Being the youngest of three, Lestat had no prospects; any land or money that his father left behind after he died would likely go to his eldest brother, Augustin, and his family. At the age of twelve, Lestat was being educated in a monastery and decided he wished to enter the order as a brother. Of course, his father and brother completely dismissed the idea and not only dragged him away from the monastery, but ended his education. When Lestat reached the age of sixteen, a band of traveling Italian actors came to the village performing a play which involved two lovers--Isabella and Lelio. Lestat absolutely adored the play and took on the part of Lelio and loved performing so much that he decided to leave with the actors when they took leave of his village. Unfortunately, when he awoke not many days later, he found his brothers waiting for him and all the actors gone.
When Lestat was twenty he could only read and write his own name and a few prayers; at the age of twenty-one the villagers come to him complaining about wolves in the area. Lestat, feeling no fear, goes out to kill the wolves with his two mastiffs and mare. He succeeds in killing the eight wolves and as a consequence meets a young man named Nicolas de Lenfent, a violinist. Lestat's dying mother, Gabrielle, encourages Lestat to start a friendship with Nicolas and later she encourages Lestat to leave with Nicolas, who Lestat calls Nicki, and go to Paris, as she wants to die knowing her son is free.
Lestat gets a job in a theatre in Paris but not as an actor but as a backstage assistant. Months later, he is given the chance to go on stage and then offered a job as a professional actor, due to the audience's initial adoration of him. Lestat grows even more popular with both the audiences and the critics who describe him as, "the blond-haired rogue who steals the hearts of the ladies in the third and fourth acts." Lestat's life is going perfectly for him and he is utterly happy though he notices a mysterious white face in the audience that is continually watching him. Lestat is kidnapped by the mysterious face, a vampire named Magnus, and is held prisoner until Magnus concludes Lestat is the one he will make into a vampire, as his one and only fledgling.
His Life as a VampireEdit
Soon after Lestat is made into an immortal vampire, his maker commits suicide by throwing himself into a fire, leaving Lestat on his own with little knowledge of what he is and the powers he possesses. As his inheritance of being his only fledgling, Magnus left him riches of gold and other treasures to use as he wishes. With this money, Lestat bought the theatre where he performed and frequently sent money and gifts to Gabrielle and Nicki. He mostly avoids contact with Nicki and any other mortals he knew so they won't discover his changed nature until one night at the theatre he frightens the audience with his preternatural abilities so much that he decides to shut the theatre down. Lestat hunts the streets of Paris and the surrounding villages, learning as he goes, while occasionally sensing an unknown menacing "presence", which he chooses to ignore for the most part.Lestat continues in this way until his mother Gabrielle arrives in Paris, dying from consumption. Knowing he can save his mother from her imminent death, he makes her a vampire like himself, being his first fledgling. Once Gabrielle's health is restored as an immortal, he shares with her what little he knows of what they both are and the source of his new found wealth. Lestat soon discovers after making Gabrielle into his fledgling that he can no longer hear her thoughts.
For six months they hunt together through the night until "the presence" that has stalked them both attacks. They manage to fend them off and soon learn that "the presence" is no more than a group of other vampires but later find they have kidnapped Nicki. Lestat and Gabrielle rest in a church during the day because Lestat believes it's the safest place for them, as the vampires that attacked them appear to fear churches and and anything associated with Christianity. When they awake the next night, they hear there are mortals in the church and use their vampiric abilities to frighten them all away in order to escape unnoticed, only to be attacked again by the same vampires when they reach Paris. They take shelter in the church of Notre Dame where the other vampires dare not enter. To their surprise, a vampire young in appearance does enter and tries to convince them to come out. When they refuse, he forces them out by telling them he has Nicki and harm will come to him if Lestat and Gabrielle do no follow him. They are taken to the cemetery in Paris where Nicki is being held, where they are labeled by the coven of Satan worshipping vampires as outcasts and blasphemers for not living by their code.
Lestat attempts to convince the coven of vampires that their way of life living under a cemetery and worshiping the Devil is pointless. When Lestat's reasoning begins to resonate with the other vampires, Armand, the vampire young in appearance who stands as the leader of the coven, counters by questioning Lestat on his beliefs and his lifestyle. The two battle and Armand is startled by the strength of the newly made Lestat who defeats him, when Armand himself is hundreds of years old. Armand becomes devastated that Lestat has quickly destroyed the ideology he has governed his coven by for so long.
Lestat, Gabrielle and Nicki return to the tower left by Magnus and the next night Lestat makes Nicki into a vampire, ignoring the warnings of Gabrielle. Lestat can no longer hear Nicki's thoughts just the way it happened with Gabrielle. Nicki refuses to speak, so in order to try to draw Nicki out of his silence Lestat goes back to Paris to look for the violin that Nicki loved so much. In Paris Lestat finds four vampires from Armand's coven who ask for his help as Armand has started burning members of the coven. Lestat is reluctant to help but agrees when they ask if they can use his theatre. Lestat then goes to the flat where Nicki lived and finds Armand there, gathering all the information he can from the flat.
Lestat leaves the flat, disgusted with what he has seen and returns to the tower where Gabrielle and Nicki are. He tell's Gabrielle what has happened then he takes her and Nicki with him as he goes to talk to his solicitor, Roget. Whilst Lestat is talking with Roget, Gabrielle and Nicki wait outside and Nicki runs away. Lestat and Gabrielle find him at the old theatre and also there, Lestat finds the violin which he gives to Nicki.Nicki begins playing the violin and soon the other vampires who Lestat gave the theatre to arrive and begin singing and dancing as Nicki plays the violin and it is Nicki who gives it the name "Theatre of the vampires". Nicki tells Lestat that he hates him and then Lestat agrees to leave Nicki and the other vampires at the theatre and let them do what they want with it.
Soon after when Lestat is out one night he sees Armand who acts as though he would be friends with Lestat but when Lestat gets close enough, Armand tries to drink his blood and Lestat in a fury starts beating Armand and only stops when he realizes how helpless and alone Armand is at this moment in time. He takes Armand back to the tower with the help of Gabrielle. Here Lestat is told the story of how Armand came to be what he is and after the story, Lestat becomes obsessed with the idea of Marius. Gabrielle manages to convince Armand to join the other vampires at the theatre and Lestat writes the first of his messages to Marius in stone, asking Marius to contact him in some way.
Gabrielle and Lestat travel together for a total of 10 years but soon after leaving Paris Gabrielle starts leaving Lestat on his own for months at a time. Gabrielle conceals a letter from Paris telling Lestat that his family has all died save his father who waits for him in New Orleans. Lestat is furious with Gabrielle for hiding this and begins screaming at her to leave. She leaves him whilst they are in Cairo and soon after this Lestat buries himself deep in the ground until Marius comes for him.
Marius gives Lestat some of his ancient blood which gives Lestat back his strength and then takes him to the island where he lives. Lestat is in awe of Marius and shortly afterwards Marius shows him Those Who Must Be Kept. These are Akasha and Enkil, the first vampires and rulers of their kind. Akasha and Enkil rest innanimate, appearing as living statues, a sight which horrifies Lestat. He is then told by Marius his understanding of how vampires came into being and how Marius himself was made. Marius has to leave Lestat the next night and Lestat decides to go to Akasha and Enkil himself to try and wake them by playing the violin despite Marius' warning not to go into their sanctuary alone. To his surprise, Lestat's plan works and Akasha allows him to drink her blood as she drinks his until Enkil rouses and attacks Lestat in a jealous rage. Before Enkil crushes Lestat to death, he is saved by Marius who begs Enkil for mercy and threatens to take Akasha away from him if he doesn't stop.
Marius tells Lestat to leave the island the next night to give Enkil time to calm down and forget about hurting him. Lestat leaves the island reluctantly and heads for New Orleans to join his dying father.Lestat arrives in New Orleans and soon falls in love with Louis de Pointe du Lac, a young plantation owner who reminds Lestat of Nicolas. Lestat makes Louis into a vampire and moves into the plantation outside of New Orleans along with his dying father. Lestat's fathers condition worsens but Lestat refuses to spend time with him until he is near death at which point he says he forgives his father after being pressured from Louis. Lestat tells Louis to kill his father which Louis does reluctantly. The slaves of the plantation gradually get suspicious of Lestat and Louis and are eventually driven out of the plantation, much to Lestat's disgust. Lestat flees with Louis to the Freniere plantation which is being run by the Freniere's eldest sister as Lestat killed their brother who was its previous operator. They soon leave the Freniere plantation and move on to New Orleans.
Lestat sees Louis feeding on a young girl who Lestat later makes into a vampire, naming her Claudia. With Claudia, Lestat manages to keep Louis with him. Lestat, Louis and Claudia remain together for 60 years until Claudia turns against him and attempts to murder him. They take Lestat to the swamp and dump his body there unaware that he is still alive.
Lestat manages to get out of the swamp and after this it is assumed that he made a vampire of a young man and all that is known of this man is that he was a musician and Lestat had befriended him sometime before Claudia tried to kill him. Lestat goes to the flat where Claudia and Louis still reside whereupon he is attacked again and left behind when the flat catches fire. Lestat, scarred from both attempts on his life goes to Paris to seek help from Armand who is still in charge of the Theatre. Here he discovers that Louis and Claudia are also in Paris. Lestat is forced into admitting it was Claudia who attempted to kill him which leads to Claudia's execution by the vampires of the theatre. Lestat is then told by Armand that Louis is also dead. Armand accuses Lestat of ruining his life and pushes Lestat from the top of a very high tower.
Two years pass until Lestat is healed enough to return to America. Lestat spends the rest of the nineteenth century alone in a house in New Orleans, feeding on rats. Lestat is then visited by Armand several times in the twentieth century who tells him that Louis isn't really dead at all. Lestat in general ignores Armand until one night he pushes him from the top of a roof. Armand doesn't visit Lestat anymore although Lestat still hears him outside.After a long time in isolation Lestat finds himself with the desire to become the vampire he once was. He comes across a band who play in a home near where he was resting called Satan's Night Out. Lestat tells them exactly who he is and is stunned to find they've already heard of him through a novel called Interview With The Vampire. Lestat reads the novel and becomes more determined to carry on with his plan. He takes charge of the band and renames it to "The Vampire Lestat" which will also be the name of the autobiography he is writing. It isn't long before the band become popular and a live show is scheduled to take place in San Francisco. Not too long before the day of the concert Lestat is reunited with Louis who begs him not to go ahead with it as Lestat has angered many of the other vampire by revealing all the secret of their existence to the entire world. Lestat dismisses this and decides to go ahead as planned and takes Louis to San Francisco with him. The concert goes pretty well until the end where vampires start being killed off by an unseen force. Lestat and Louis have to run to escape the crowd at the concert. They are "saved" by Gabrielle who drives them away much to Lestat's dismay as he assumes that the "unseen force" is Marius. The car is followed by vampires who are annoyed at Lestat causing the car to crash. No-one is hurt (except Louis' clothes) and the vampires who were chasing them also end up burned up by the same unseen force.
Lestat, Gabrielle and Louis discuss it and both Gabrielle and Louis agree that the force they felt seemed wild and uncivilized which does not match the description of Marius. Gabrielle and Louis go to rest, and Lestat calls to Marius with his mind and Lestat discovers that Akasha has risen and has also killed Enkil, absorbing his power. Just as the sun rises Akasha comes to Lestat and takes him away.
Lestat has dreams of two red haired twins but forgets it soon after. Lestat awakes to find himself in the castle where he was born. Akasha tells him that many vampires all over the world have been destroyed but the people he cares for have been spared. Akasha then teaches him how to use his greater vampiric powers that he now has after drinking from her again.
Akasha takes Lestat to the temple that was created by another vampire (named Azim) to be worshipped by the humans that live there. Akasha kills this vampire and then proceeds to start killing all the men in the temple. She asks for Lestat's help in this task and although Lestat is very reluctant to do so, he eventually joins in with the massacre and finds that he enjoys it. Akasha takes Lestat to other cities and repeats the killings but Lestat doesn't join in this time. Lestat tries to reason with Akasha and persuade her against killing almost the entire male population but she doesn't listen to him.Akasha then goes with Lestat to see the remaining vampires who have gathered with one of the red haired twins (Maharet) who he has dreamt about. Akasha tries to get these vampires (who include all the people Lestat loves) to side with her and help her in her in the massacre because it will supposedly make the world a better place. Lestat and the other vampires once more try and reason with her, telling her that this is impossible to do and also an insane thing to try. Akasha refuses to accept this and when the other twin arrives (the sister of Maharet, named Mekare) Akasha is killed by the twins.
Lestat then goes with the rest of the vampires to an island bought by Armand the "Night Island" near Miami. Lestat stays in his room for a month writing the story of the "Queen of The Damned". Lestat eventually leaves the island to find Louis who has returned to New Orleans. Lestat finds Louis and then takes him to the Talamasca offices in London, where they meet David Talbot and Lestat gives him his phone number.
In Tale of the Body Thief, Lestat is now good friends with David Talbot (who is in his late sixties and the superior general of the Talamasca order) who he visits quite a lot. Lestat is also being haunted by dreams and visions of Claudia. Lestat is now weary with life and plans to kill himself. He goes to David to tell him this and despite David's protests Lestat flies to the desert. In the desert when the sun is rising Lestat rises as high as he can so that he burns quicker. Lestat, however, does not die and after a few nights in the desert he manages to lift himself into the air and fly to David's home. Lestat is severely burned and sleeps in David's home for a while until he is almost completely healed. Lestat is now slightly tanned from the ordeal, but not really hurt anymore. Lestat realises he is being followed by a man who likes to hand him novels and videotapes for some odd reason. Lestat meets David to talk about this and David points out that the novels and videotapes are all about the same thing; body switching. Lestat catches hold of the man who tells him to meet him in New Orleans the next night. This mans name is Raglan James. Lestat eventually switches bodies with this man, despite warnings from both David and Louis. Lestat then finds himself in a human body which is great until he finds he has no money and then becomes quite sick. Lestat is taken to hospital where a nun/nurse called Gretchen takes care of him and then takes him home to take care of him better. Lestat tell's Gretchen all about who he really is and how he came to be in this mess but she doesn't really believe it so he promises to come back to her when he is in his own body again.
Lestat goes to David who teaches him how to take possession of another person's body. They manage to track down Lestat's body to a boat where Lestat confronts Raglan James and pushes him out of the body just before sunset. Lestat awakes the next night to find David waiting for him. David tell's him that Raglan James is now gone. David also says he wants to be a vampire now. Lestat drinks David's blood only to find that it isn't David at all, but Raglan James in David's body. Lestat in a rage kills him in David's body. Lestat then finds the real David in the body Lestat had possessed only a few nights ago. David is quite happy in his new body but Lestat decides to force him into being a vampire anyway. David then leaves Lestat on his own. Lestat returns to New Orleans to see Louis and to his surprise finds David waiting for him. David is no longer angry and suggests that he, Louis and Lestat should travel together. They all agree although this doesn't last long because before long Lestat is back in New Orleans on his own.Lestat kills a man called Roger who is an evil-doer only to be haunted by the mans ghost. Lestat is then being stalked by something that he can't see and eventually confronted by the Devil himself. The Devil (Memnoch) takes Lestat from this earth and takes him through time and to both Heaven and Hell. Lestat watches all this in complete shock and confusion. The devil then takes Lestat to the time of the crucifixion where Christ himself tells Lestat to take the veil which Veronica wiped his face with. So Lestat has possession of the veil with the face of Christ on it . The Devil pursues Lestat and also pulls out one of his eyes. Lestat manages to run away and explains this story to David and Armand who both believe him completely. Lestat also tells the story to Dora, the daughter of Roger (the ghost). Lestat also gives her the veil which she takes to the church and drives many vampires to kill themselves (including Armand). Maharet comes and gives Lestat a letter with his eye in from Memnoch saying thank you for what Lestat has done. This drives Lestat slightly mad and he has to be restrained by mystical chains made by Maharet. Lestat is eventually released once he has calmed down.
Lestat then takes to resting on the chapel floor in an unconscious-like state. No-one, not even his mother can rouse him from this state. Lestat remains this way and many vampires come to see him in this state including the vampires who care for him as well as many vampires who've never even met him. Lestat remains this way until Armand returns alive from his suicide attempt. Armand drinks Lestat's blood and whilst Lestat himself doesn't respond something pushes Armand away. Lestat is eventually awakened by Sybelle, Marius' fledgling and gift to Armand, playing the piano. After this Lestat helps Armand in ridding New Orleans of the many vampires who came to see him by burning them with his mind. Most vampires then leave so that only Lestat, Louis and David remain in New Orleans. Lestat still falls into his unconscious state for most of the time, while sometimes Louis reads to him, or with music playing. Lestat sometimes sleeps at the flat in the Rue Royale which David and Louis also live in now. Lestat eventually is awakened properly to heal Louis who tried to kill himself. Lestat heals Louis with the help of David and Louis' new fledgling, Merrick Mayfair (who is also a witch and member of the Talamasca). Lestat receives a letter asking that Merrick be returned to the Talamasca which of course Lestat says will never happen.
In Blackwood Farm, Lestat returns to his flat in New Orleans one night, to find a vampire, Quinn, feeding on a member of the Talamasca, Stirling Oliver. Lestat pulls Quinn away and warns Stirling Oliver and all other members of the Talamasca to stay away from the vampires. When Stirling leaves, Lestat turns his attention to Quinn, a young vampire who in fact broke into his home. Quinn explains that he is seeking Lestat's help with a spirit who has followed him since birth but who has recently become violent towards Quinn.Lestat takes Quinn hunting where they kill two women. Lestat witnesses something invisible drain Quinn of the blood he had just taken from the women. Lestat goes with Quinn to Blackwood Manor where Quinn lives. Quinn is attacked by the invisible spirit again but this time Lestat burns him with his mind. Lestat meets Quinn's Aunt Queen who is an elderly woman and quite fond of cameos, which Lestat just happens to be wearing. Lestat then goes with Quinn to his room where Quinn tells him his life story. After Quinn is done talking, Aunt Queen is murdered by the spirit Goblin who pushes her over, killing her. Lestat agrees to help Quinn and goes to get the help of Merrick Mayfair (Louis' fledgling). Lestat and Merrick return to Quinn and even attend the funeral of Aunt Queen which is held at night. That very same night they confront Quinn's mother who then admits that Quinn was born with a twin and the ghost of that twin is in fact Goblin, the spirit who has been haunting him.
Lestat, Merrick and Quinn then take part in a ceremony (involving the dead twins corpse) to get rid of the spirit Goblin. Merrick throws herself into a fire with the corpse, getting rid of the spirit but also killing herself. Lestat pulls Merrick out but she cannot be revived. Lestat is upset to say the least but he goes to The Talamasca (where she used to be a member) and tells them she is dead so that they know what happened to her. The next night, Lestat makes Mona Mayfair who is dying into a vampire because Quinn loves her.
In Blood Canticle, the final novel of The Vampires Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches, Lestat falls in love with a witch of the Mayfair clan named Rowan Mayfair, who shares the same feelings towards him. Rowan, eventually asks Lestat to turn her a vampire, but, despite their feelings toward one another, he painfully chooses not to, because she is a guiding figure in a Mayfair family and he cannot take her away from it or from her faithful and loving husband, Michael Curry. Yet he promises one day to return to her.
In the moviesEditIn Interview with the vampire, Lestat was portrayed by Tom Cruise. Anne Rice was initially displeased by this casting, but then changed her mind and was pleased with his portrayal.
In Queen of the Damned (film), Lestat was played by Irish actor Stuart Townsend. The film was very loosely based on the novel, which brought on negative reactions from fans of "The Queen of the Damned" novel.