Who would win in a fight between a vampire and a werewolf?

If a werewolf battled a vampire, who would win? World Book Senior Editor Christine Sullivan explains the history of animosity between the supernatural characters.

Learn more about vampires by visiting World Book's Content Spotlight: Vampires and Dracula: A Short History

If a werewolf battled a vampire, who would win?

I suppose we need to start with the idea of why would a vampire and a werewolf battle one another?

In modern works, vampires and werewolves are portrayed as natural and mortal enemies, so of course they would fight. But, in ancient and medieval folklore, no mention is made of this hatred between supernatural beings. In fact, in some regions of medieval Europe, there was a belief that when a werewolf died, he or she must be cremated in order to prevent the werewolf from rising as a vampire. At that time at least, vampire and werewolf were closely connected kin.

Hollywood films, such as House of Dracula from 1945, show Dracula fighting the Wolf Man (a werewolf), but it is not stated that they are natural enemies. Dracula also fights Frankenstein and the Mummy in these movies, so it’s nothing personal. The idea that these two species of creatures are in a long-time feud is more recent. Some people who are knowledgeable about fantasy literature believe the idea entered into popular culture through a series of role-playing games (RPG’s) from the early 1990’s. The first of these RPG’s was called Vampire: The Masquerade. There were other types of supernaturals that could be played in this game series, including werewolves. In this fantasy world, werewolves and vampires were enemies, and it seems possible this is the source of the idea of natural animosity between vampires and werewolves. The idea has some logic--if you see werewolves as an expression of life and the life force, then by their nature vampires represent death.

Some of the books and films in popular culture that have included the idea that vampires and werewolves naturally hate one another are The Vampire Diaries book series; the film series Underworld; and the Twilight film and book series. In the last series, Twilight, the human-wolves are not truly werewolves and may more accurately be called shapeshifters. Unlike werewolves, these characters are able to choose when to change from human to animal; full moons do not affect them or force them to change. Their story has more in common with Indian stories of shapeshifting than werewolf mythology. Still, they are special enemies of vampires.

At any rate, who would win if a werewolf fought with a vampire? Vampires are frequently too savvy to be caught out by werewolves, so the fight might often be avoided. But if there was a fight, vampires are almost indestructible. Further, werewolves live a normal human life span, but vampires can live for thousands of years and they grow more powerful with the centuries, so a very old vampire could be very powerful indeed. But, in a fight of one young vampire--not counting the newly made vampires in the first year, who in Twilight are said to have incredible strength even for vampires--and one strong werewolf, it seems likely the werewolf would win. A more powerful vampire might be defeated by an entire pack of werewolves. A really old vampire would probably be hard to beat.

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This information is from The World Book Encyclopedia.

Last Updated: July 31, 2012

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