The Vampire Academy movie came out over two years ago, but with a fandom as loyal as the #VAFamily it's never too late to revisit both the series and movie. We knew as it was going into production that there'd be a few changes along the way, but just how many were there? Sure the film held a little more humour than the books, and sure minor details like hair and eye colours were amended, but there were much bigger changes that, so let's take a look at a few of them!
1. Lissa's Spirit Magic
In the books, Lissa specialises in "Spirit", a rare type of Moroi magic that normally doesn't manifest itself for a while. Spirit users have the ability to bring back life, can dream walk (appear in the dreams of others), have stronger compulsion abiities and can therefore create illusions etc.
In the movie, Lissa's spirit magic manifested itself in her ability to control all the elements. Something she demonstrated at a party, trying to impress the other royals. This control over all the elements, wasn't something present in the book series with Lissa, and was an addition made simply for the film, to better explain the affects of Spirit.
Check out Lissa's mastery of the elements below!
2. Natalie - Everything
Movie Natalie was played by Modern Family actress, Sarah Hyland. In character for the movie, Hyland donned short, curly, dirty blonde hair and thick-framed glasses to play school gossip and Moroi, Natalie Dashkov. Completely different to book Natalie's long dark locs.
In the books, Natalie was described as "dull" and "boring" - a Moroi who felt largely left out of the Royal Moroi Social Clique at St Vladimir's and essentially had no friends. Movie Natalie however, was anything but. She was completely in the loop with all things social at St Vlad's. She had all the latest gossip, and kept Rose and Lissa up-to-date on St Vlad's gush throughout the movie, in addition to essentially being their tag-along despite her secret tormenting of Lissa. (You'll remember Natalie was the one responsible for all the dead animals left in Lissa's dorm, in an effort to get her to reveal her Spirit Magic - something which, given Movie Lissa's openness regarding her magic, seems slightly redundant)
Bye, bye Ralfie
Movie Natalie, in her efforts to become Strigoi, killed her crush, Ray (Ralf in the books) instead of Mr Nagy (the sacrifice in the books), in order to become the evil undead. She did so presumably after having sex with him, and on the night of the Equinox Dance too. Talk about cold-blooded, Miss Dashkov.
Check out Natalie's scene!
3. Dimitri's Badass Dhamphir Skills + Personality
Book Dimitri gives us a whirlwhind of feels with his every move. A man who bought Rose her fav lipgloss when she was in Hospital just to make her feel better, and who fervently denied his growing love for her, even as we could see it happening. He's intelligent, resourceful, one of the best goddamn Guardian's out there and a total badass. His dark hair, slight Russian accent, love for Western Novels and classic music aren't things he reveals easily about himself, choosing to remain stoic most of the time, but those are his traits.
Movie Dimitri was....well he was a little different. Quiet and reserved, movie Dimitri didn't have many interests beyond training and Rose. He was stoic to a fault, and extremely guarded, really only showing any personality in scenes with Rose - which, to be fair, canon kind of dictates he does. Though he's a fierce fighter, his skills appeared toned down for the movie, as he became more "average fighter" and less "badass".
Check out this interview with Danila Kozlovsky about the character!
4. Sonya Karp's Strigoi Army
Book fans know how important a character Sonya Karp is, and what a big role she plays in later books, but for the movie, what we saw of Sonya was only the beginning. In the books,
Sonya Karp goes all kinds of cray cray from using Spirit, and in a desperate bid to stop the madness, willingly turns herself Strigoi.
Now we don't see her do this in the first book, rather we are told via Rose's interaction with other Guardians. She leaves St Vlad's to do so and doesn't return. Movie Sonya takes a slightly different route, so that by the end of the movie we see her essentially leading an army. Watching and waiting for the opportune moment to strike at St Vlad's. Again, book readers will know that the second book in the series Frostbite,
Deals with multiple attacks on Moroi
None of which Sonya Karp is responsible for.
Check out this interview with actress Claire Foy about VA! (Skip to around the 2:01 minute mark)
5. Headmistress Ellen Kirova - Everything
In the books, Ellen Kirova, headmistress of St Vladimir's is a no-nonsense, graying "vulture" looking woman, who rules with an iron fist. She's cruel, mean, and doesn't care much for Rose's attitude. Movie Kirova is worlds away from the character we came to know in the series. With dark-haired beauty Olga Kurylenko taking on the role of Kirova, we got an undeniably gorgeous Kirova with better fashion sense than anyone and everyone at St Vlad's. She was young - much younger than her book counterpart, devoid of her graying her or vulture like features, and seemed more like a jealous classmate than the headmistress of St Vlad's.
Check out her opening scene here with Rose and the gang!
6. Humour - Lots of Humour, ALL the Humour.
A small aspect of the Vampire Academy books, is the humour. Richelle Mead, the author of the six book series, and it's six book spin-off, is an amazing writer. A writer who created a bevvy of humourous moments over the series through characters like Rose, Christian and Adrian. Here's the thing, the series had elements of humour, but was never a comedy. Sure, Rose has a smart ass mouth and some damn good one-liners to go with that, but she's not in training to be a comedian. She's in training to become a Guardian.
Movie Rose, in an effort to distance herself from the overdone genre of Vampires, amped up her humour to 2000, to the point where her character, shrouded in "funny" one liners, was almost unrecognisable. Lissa - a character who remains wholly dull in the series (I don't like Lissa go figure lol), even had her fair share of humourous lines in the film. As did Natalie, Christian, Kirova, Mia, Viktor, Jesse and every extra and side character ever.
You'll recall the infamous Lust Charm Scene from the books in which Rose knocks frantically on Dimitri's door late at night to tell him she can sense Lissa's hurt and in trouble. When he opens the door however, and that little necklace Viktor gave her starts trouble-making and sh*t stirring, the pair find themselves...somewhat distracted. Book Rose isn't shy when it comes to her sexuality, she's had a tons of boyfriends and relationships, but you'll recall she remains a virgin until book 3. Her heavily induced Lust Coma with Dimitri, was some pretty serious stuff, both because we shipped the hell out of it and kind of forgot Lissa was in trouble, and because lil' stoic Guardian Dimitri was super into it until he realised what was going on.
What I'm getting at here, is that this wasn't a humourous scene. Rose and Dimitri were acting on impulse through the charm, and doing a hell of a lot of rule breaking considering Dimka is her mentor and all and she's he's student. Movie Rose equated this all to a school girl crush and invited herself in to Dimka's room (girl, how did you even get in!?) only to utter the words that would haunt myself and other VA Fans for life.
Check out the full scene below!
Other Minor Changes
- St Vlad's doesn't actually have a uniform, though the one's for the movie were pretty cool!
- Rose has much longer hair, down to her waist in the books, and is slightly curvier than Zoey Deutch.
- Christian Ozera is a little more rough around the edges than his movie counterpart, and not so clean cut.
- Dimitri only has a slight Russian accent, not a full one.
- The students of St Vlad's aren't generally as socially aware and active on social media as they are in the movie. St Vlad's sits in the outback of Montana, far, far away from all that.
- A relationship between Rose & Dimitri is MUCH more taboo than it appears in the film. Especially as they were both assigned to be Lissa's Guardians.
- "Blood Whore" is more than a petty childish slur. It's not used lightly in the world of VA.
- Eddie Castille exists. (i.e one of the best characters you will come across in this series)
- Mia has long ringlet curls to go along with her snide attitude. Hence Rose repeatedly mocks her youthful looks in the books.
Of course, there were a TON more changes to adapt the heavily-laden world of VA to the big screen, but these are just a few of the most recognisable one's. Some were for the better, (seriously, where can i get those uniforms!?) and some for the not so better, but adapting Young Adult Fantasy's is risky business, people.