The Underworld franchise gives a modern twist to the war between Vampires and Werewolves, aka Lycans. Here, these species aren't "supernatural" in origin, but more a biological or evolutionary curiosity, stemming from a sole progenitor: the 5th century War Lord Alexander Corvinus, the "first true immortal". Due to some type of ancient virus that ransacked his home, thousands of humans died. Corvinus was infected, but his body somehow altered the virus, making him healthier, giving him great strength, possible limited regeneration and longevity or what we would know as "biological immortality".

His offspring, three sons, inherited his immortal gene; his twin sons Markus and William Corvinus would be bitten by a bat and wolf respectively, becoming the first Vampire and Werewolf. William was never able to return to his human form, and all those infected by him were transformed into Werewolves who lost their own humanity. It wasn't until sometime later that a human-form Werewolf was born to a female; this was Lucian, the first "true" Lycan who could shift his form and control his powers.

This was shown in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. It's there we learn that Lycans were then used as slaves to keep the Vampires safe during the day, and that feral, first-gen Werewolves were a threat to both humankind and Vampires, which the Vampire clans had to fight and hunt.

In most of the films, though, the Lycans seem to be the stronger, hardier immortal species; they can fully shift into new forms, and are stronger in their human forms, as well as capable of shifting at anytime they will in, and walking in the daylight.

This being the case, I wondered: What are the different abilities, and thus advantages to being a Vampire, compared to being a Lycan?

Markus had the ability of flight, but that does not seem present in most Vampires. Their senses and strength seem lesser than most lycans, as well, and they are weak to sunlight; only in terms of "relative agility" [they are generally smaller, thus easier to maneuver] do they seem to be somewhat superior to their Lycan foes.

Aside from immunity to silver, are there some other benefits to vampirism that Lycans do not possess?

For instance, do they need to drink less blood? Do they heal faster? And is there any canonical evidence to support this?

  • 1
    They seem to be less aggressive with better impulse control. Also, does dress sense count?
    – Valorum
    Sep 26, 2019 at 6:29
  • @Valorum Again....HA! I'd buy the impulse control based on ROTL showing their feral history, but not so much modern day lycans; there are enough impulsive Vampires who jump into battle the same way. Hell, Viktor was arguably more destructive when he cut lose than any of the lycans. Aggression, though.... I think that comes down more to personality, from what we have seen.
    – Russhiro
    Sep 26, 2019 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


It's shown in the first film that Lycans are prone to be more brutal and less controlled (see Lucian being disgusted that one form of amusement other Lycans were up to was transforming and ripping the hell out of each other), whereas the vampires tend to be more controlled and intellectual and capable of greater cooperation. That would inherently give the vampires an advantage.

The other one is weapons. Until they develop the UV round, the impression is that Lycans aren't usually prone for weapons use, while the vampires from the beginning, despite their own enhanced physical capabilities, had no problem armouring up and using weapons to give them the advantage.

It's also arguable if Lycans actually are stronger: Raze, Lucian's lieutenant, was huge in both human and Lycan form but Viktor one-handed him, held him by the throat, and almost casually killed him on the spot. What makes Lycans a threat to vampires in the film are numbers (Selene was always running while outnumbered) or using weapons, not necessarily one-on-one physical strength.

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