If I recall correctly, Rice describes revenants as vampires that become "brain damaged" (I am not sure if that was the term) due to them being bitten and entombed or buried and not being able to feed for a long time but I may have this wrong -- I definitely do not remember exactly what she said about how they came about.

This was intriguing but at least in Interview with the Vampire, it is mentioned only once. Did she explain further in other books? I know the word is not her invention, but does the idea of an insane vampire being called this occur elsewhere? I do recall that in the book I Am Legend, "insane" vampires were those that died and were reanimate rather than living people who had been infected.

Clarifications: I don't think Rice used the term "brain damaged" -- I am interested in more than one thing here:

  1. What term did she use instead of brain damaged?
  2. Does she explain revenants in later books?
  3. What causes the damage to vampires who become revenants?
  4. Do other writers than Rice and Matheson have "smart" and "dumb" vampires?
  • 3
    This question needs a lot of clarification to be answerable. Do you mean is she the first person to portray vampires using the word "brain damaged"? Or do you mean the first to create the concept of a brain damaged vampire? Or the first to create the system of vampires becoming mentally impaired by being unable to feed? Or the system of vampires regularly becoming impaired due to premature burial? – GGMG-he-him Nov 22 '17 at 7:17
  • How many questions are you going to put in there? – JohnP Nov 22 '17 at 14:34
  • @JohnP: the overarching question is a general description of the term "revenant" and its usage in Rice and elsewhere. – Jeff Nov 22 '17 at 14:55

Does the idea of an insane vampire being called this occur elsewhere? Yes.

In the Angel episode "Tomorrow" (and then later in "Deep Down"). Connor imprisons Angel in a coffin beneath the sea. Wesley explains that without feeding Vampires will not die, however they will slowly go mad (you see the first signs of this in the episodes).

However after he's rescued (and fed) Angel does appear to recover fairly quickly.

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  • My sense in Rice is the brain damage is permanent and maybe something that occurs before becoming a vampire entirely -- if it happened after, at least in Rice vampires are very resilient. – Jeff Nov 22 '17 at 14:54
  • @Jeff I was trying to answer your question about vampires going mad from lack of food but to be honest your question is REALLY confusing! – Liath Nov 22 '17 at 14:56

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