Hesitant to check out Vampire Academy on Peacock, book lovers? Been burned before? Never fear, Julie Plec is here! The former Vampire Diaries showrunner teamed up with Marguerite MacIntyre, who played Sheriff Forbes on TVD and was a staff writer on The Originals, to adapt Richelle Mead’s novel series for Peacock. But even though it is in good hands, there are a few differences between the Vampire Academy books and TV series. They’re not crazy though. Some of them allow for a lot more fun!
It’s pretty clear to fans of the books that the show is a better adaptation than the 2014 movie — no disrespect to Zoey Deutch, Sara Hyland, and the cast but FULL disrespect to some of those choices. The Peacock series goes into way more detail, bringing in all sorts of characters and elements from the novel series. There are some small changes in the show. For example, Dmitri is not seven years older than Rose. As for the more significant departures, here’s what the show does differently.
The book & show start in different places
One thing that actually is more close to the book is the beginning. The book starts with Rose and Lissa on the run together after leaving school two years prior. They get dragged back to school and our story begins. It introduces us to the world, Rose and Lissa’s friendship, and the codependent nature of Moroi royals and Dhampir guardians.
The series, however, is lowkey a prequel in the first season. It begins with the car crash that killed all of Lissa Dragomir’s family. After that, Lissa goes back to school and the Queen chooses her as her pick for the Moroi throne. It’s like Bridgerton meets House of the Dragon plus vampires.
They’re also set in different places
The books take place in the United States, with St. Vlad’s in Montana and another major location in Pennsylvania. The show, however, is set in an unspecified location in Europe. That allows for a few things: the cast and accents are more diverse, and the teenage characters don’t have to deal with being under the drinking age for their pub crawls and club nights. That said, St. Vlad’s is part of a whole hidden community called the Dominion, which isn’t really a thing in the books. When and if Rose and Lissa do run away it’s going to be much more difficult!
Mia is a totally different character
Mia Renaldi from the book is now Mia Karp. She’s related to an older student named Sonya Karp who, in the books, was a teacher at St. Vladimir’s simply named Ms. Karp.
So are the Strigoi
There are many different kinds of vampires in The Vampire Academy. The strigoi are the most traditional. They’re easy on the eyes. They’re killers. They don’t do sunlight. But in the show they’re kinda like zombies. Or, at least, that’s what the Moroi and the Dhampir have been lead to believe. Because…
Revolution is in the air
The series’ intro makes it clear that revolution is on the rise — but at the beginning of the books, at least, Rose and Lissa are more teenage rebels than revolutionaries. While the strigoi are still the biggest visible threat to the world our heroes live in, it’s clear that there are political issues in their world too. The patriarchal elements of Dhampir and Moroi society are also underlined in the series, edging in Handmaid’s Tale territory. There are a lot of rules and lore to learn that even book readers won’t know right off the bat.
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