what day does the strain come on



Biographical Information







Known Associate(s)

Pedigree Information



Other Relatives



Portrayed By

Doug Jones
Jack Kesy
Paul Aspland
Aaron Lazar
Jonathan Hyde
Corey Stoll
Robin Atkin Dowens (voice actor)


First Appearance


  • 1 Physical Appearance
  • 2 Powers
  • 3 Helpers/Assistants
  • 4 Ascendancy of The Vampire
  • 6 Trivia

Physical Appearance [ edit | edit source ]

By the time of his arrival in New York, he was inhabiting the body of Jusef Sardu, a Polish nobleman from the 19th century afflicted with gigantism, which explains his intimidating physique and height.

Apart from his stature, he retains the traits found in lesser Strigoi. From the six-foot-long apparatus used to transfer the disease as well as to swallow, the lack of a nose, clawed fingers, and completely hairless skin.

The graphic novel version of ‘The Night Eternal’ depicts the earliest date of the Master manifesting among humans as the 28th century BCE, which would place him around 3500 years old, possibly older. He was first documented as Thrax, a 15-year-old Roman slave, then a short, but strong legionnaire named Tacitus, and a tall, pale iron-worker. These are the Master’s hosts mentioned in the trilogy, although, throughout his millennia of walking the earth, he has undoubtedly assumed many more forms, including various indigenous peoples from the Americas in antiquity, whence he gave rise to wendigo lore before crossing over into the Old World to join the other Ancients.

Powers [ edit | edit source ]

There are several powers that are hinted to be reserved for only the original vampires. One of which, hinted at by Setrakian, is that they have the ability to see through the eyes of all lesser Strigoi. Another is their amazing strength. While many of the infected retain the physique they had in their former lives, the original vampires have the ability to effortlessly snap a neck or smash in a grown man’s skull. It’s also been shown that they can, for lack of a better term, “blink” through the shadows. Appearing from seemingly nowhere and just as easily disappearing, it’s impossible to physically track them. Consistent with the Season 1 finale, “The Master,” the Master has demonstrated that he is somewhat resistant to the sun’s deadly effects since he was able to survive much longer in the sunlight than a typical Strigoi could.

The Strain – Inside The Strain Old & New Masters

Assumption of the New Host.

Setrakian himself stated that he did not know the Master was capable of surviving extended exposure to sunlight, leading to his dreaded acceptance at the end of Book 1 of the trilogy that the Master was not of this earth. Setrakian did not understand the otherworldly nature of the Ancients, and so treated the Master as an earthly creature – even if an aberration – mistaking the host body the Master inhabited for his actual body and essence. It became clear that more powerful and occult methods would be needed to defeat the Master.

Helpers/Assistants [ edit | edit source ]

Throughout the series, The Master gains followers to assist him, offering promises that only he can fulfill, such as immortality. One of his closest lieutenants, Thomas Eichhorst, is generally the physical manifestation responsible for carrying out many of his orders. It is through him he recruits his other helpers.

In promising Eldritch Palmer, a successful billionaire, immortality, he has gained virtually limitless wealth and resources for his “New Order.” Through his contacts and infrastructure, he is able to gain the help of other mortals.

Kelly Goodweather is one of the few strigoi, to be given sentient access to her memories after being turned. She becomes one of his greatest assets, by using her bond with her son Zach to track him and by doing so also finding his father Ephraim, the Master’s nemesis Abraham Setrakian and his Group.

After the death of his mother, Zach has been willingly helping the master and attempts to gain information on nuclear bomb’s whereabouts from his father as part of a subterfuge mission given to him by The Master.

Ascendancy of The Vampire [ edit | edit source ]

Ever since the solar eclipse, the Master and his minions have tightened their grip on the City of New York, as it allowed them to move freely during the day, without fear of the sun for a time. This is only Step One in the Master’s plan for global domination. There is not one thing in these machinations that does not involve forethought and calculation, as evidenced when the Master had a school of blind children turned into “Feelers” in the hunt for Zack, as all of their senses would be unusually heightened and superior to any normal Strigoi, due to their lack of one sense. The primary, taken steps in the Master’s plan go as follows:

1) Catastrophic failure of the Public Internet.

2) Transport of his casket to midtown Manhattan, crossroads of the world.

3) Alliance to Eldritch Palmer.

4) Attempted acquisition of the Occido Lumen.

5) Transfer of his consciousness to the host, Bolivar.

6) Mass Murder of city’s high-level financial executives, which led to the run on the banks and the hoarding of precious metals (especially silver, the bane of vampires).

7) Build-out of the massive processing plants for the extraction of human blood.

The only reason that the Master succeeded so far is due to the fact that he is able to prey on human weaknesses, such as vanity and greed. If he can appease those weaknesses in a person, such as Eldritch Palmer (his thirst for immortality and power), he can convince them to do his bidding, even if only for a time.

Quotes [ edit | edit source ]

The Strain – Inside The Strain Vampire War

Expansion of The Vampire Sphere of Influence

Trivia [ edit | edit source ]

The deranged Renfield is known for declaring Dracula as “Master” in Hollywood renditions of the classic story. (See further trivia parallels with Renfield under the “Eldritch Palmer” page.)

The Master, also known as Sariel, is a main character and an antagonist. the youngest of the seven original vampires called the Ancients. He is responsible for the strain of vampirism that spreads in New York City. He serves as the main antagonist of the series. 1 Physical Appearance 2 Powers 3…

Vampire (Strigoi)

Common Strigoi/Concept Art/Season 2

Special emphasis is placed on Vampire — also referred to as Strigoi — biology as mirroring that of parasitic creatures as opposed to supernaturally immortal undead of pop culture (but nevertheless have supernatural origin since they essentially perverse creations of The Master, one of seven Ancients who in turn, splintered fragments of a fallen angel). The life cycle and physical adaptations of a human-turned-vampire are covered in detail. They serve as the universal antagonists of the series.

As of the events of the Eternal Night, they become officially extinct and turn into ashes after the Master’s strain is destroyed by a nuclear bomb.


  • 1 Becoming a Vampire
  • 2 Physiology
  • 3 Physical capabilities
  • 4 Senses
  • 5 Weaknesses
  • 6 Differences from the books
  • 7 Vampire Lore and The Strain

Becoming a Vampire [ edit | edit source ]

The vector for vampirism is a capillary worm known as Strain worms, which, once introduced into the human host’s bloodstream (either through a vampire’s feeding or direct invasion by the worm through a wound or orifice), introduces an incurable and fast-acting virus. By manipulating the host’s genes, the virus causes a human to undergo numerous, radical physical changes.

Physiology [ edit | edit source ]

The first and most distinct vampire adaptation is the development of a long, retractable proboscis beneath the host’s tongue, capable of extending up to six feet from the mouth. This “stinger” is both the vampire’s feeding and reproductive mechanism, shooting forth to latch onto human prey’s throat or thigh, both draining the victim’s blood for nutrition and infecting the human with capillary worms.

The vampire’s jaw is set at a lower hinge than a human, the mouth gaping like a snake’s when the stinger is deployed. As the structure of the stinger is modified tissue from the human lungs and throat, vampires are incapable of physical speech once the stinger is deployed; beforehand, grunts and rudimentary monosyllabic speech are still possible (words like mom, dad, love, help, cold etc.)

A vampire’s physical appearance is governed mainly by the host body shedding those human traits that are obsolete to its new life cycle. Hair and fingernails are gradually lost, while the external nose and ears atrophy, leaving a fully matured vampire’s skin as smooth and featureless as marble. The vampire’s complexion is extremely pale between feedings but appears a flushed red following a recent blood-meal. Eye coloration consists of a black pupil surrounded by a red sclera, with a white nictitating membrane sliding across for protection. Curiously despite losing appendages and organs that are of no use, vampires develop sharp fangs that replace their original teeth, these fangs would be redundant as their primary feeding method is through the use of their stinger.

The middle fingers of both hands grow and strengthen, and a thick talon develops in place of the lost fingernail. However, at least one vampire seems to lack the thick middle talon and indeed the rest of the claws despite being a Strigoi for over fifty years. As vampire reproduction is achieved through viral infection of hosts and not through any sexual mechanism, the human genitalia also atrophy, leaving a mature vampire with no discernible sex.

The digestive and circulatory systems of a vampire are simplified and fused, the vampire’s interior organs most resembling a series of connected sacs. Nutrition from blood feeding is transported throughout this system via a thick, viscous white fluid that forms the vampire equivalent of blood. This white fluid has very potent healing properties if administered orally to humans, in doing such one must be careful as not to ingest worms or risk becoming infected. The capillary worms are present in this fluid, swimming throughout the circulatory system and often visible beneath the vampire’s thin skin.

Like rodents, a vampire is unable to vomit, its suction-based digestive process functioning only one way. However, some vampires such as The Master have been able to regurgitate the worms from their body in order to possess another host body. All bodily waste is excreted from a single rectal orifice in the form of a pungent ammonia-based spray; a vampire will excrete for the entire duration of a feeding, purging old food as it consumes new blood.

The vampire’s body temperature runs extremely high, at 48.9 °C / 120 °F, and a human is able to feel their ambient heat from several feet away.

They do not sleep, at least not in the way that a human does or would understand. They will shut down for a brief time if they are sated. Too much blood digestion fatigues them, but never for long. They go underground during daylight hours solely to escape the sunlight.

Many of the physical changes from human to vampire occur gradually following the initial worm infection, and are accompanied by great pain. A newly “turned” human will lie in a state of suspended animation for an entire day, rising the next night as a nascent vampire. The stinger is present for the vampire’s first foray to facilitate feeding, but other traits (hair loss, talons on the mid-digit, lack of distinct internal organs) will develop within the first seven nights following infection.

The Strain Autopsy scene

The vampire’s mental state will also be confused at first, and its movements will be clumsy and awkward. As it matures, however, the vampire will become supremely agile, able to leap great distances and climb sheer surfaces with the aid of its talons. Full maturity, physically and mentally, occurs within the first thirty nights.

In spite of the vampire’s morbid biology stripping legend of its romance, the most famously admired trait of the undead remains intact: immortality. Unless slain by violence or sunlight, a vampire’s parasitic body structure will neither fade nor weaken with the passage of time, giving it an effectively endless “life”-span. Even in those cases where the host body is damaged beyond repair, a vampire of sufficient power can transfer its consciousness (via a torrential capillary worm transfer) from one human host to another.

If a vampire feeds on a pregnant woman, the baby will be turned into a creature similar to a vampire, but with a collection of very different traits. Known as “The Born,” these creatures are intelligent and have many of the traits of their mother’s infector, although they lack the worms in their blood. They also need to drink human blood. The preferred blood among all strigoi is B positive (Nora’s blood type), but of course, any blood will do.

Physical capabilities [ edit | edit source ]

While the appearance of the Strigoi suggests sickness or weakness, vampires are far from it as they capable of great strength and speed. They are strong enough to lift humans off their feet by their neck or even crush their skulls.

Vampires are fast enough to easily outrun their prey and even dodge bullets so long as they are intelligent enough to do so. To the human eye, their movements can only be seen as a blur.

Vampires are also physically more durable than humans and are able to take much more punishment than the human body can take, but they are still susceptible to being killed via broken necks and severe damage to the brain.

Vampires can also heal at a much faster rate than humans, though they cannot regenerate lost limbs.

Senses [ edit | edit source ]

The sensory apparatus of the vampire is highly adapted for its nocturnal life cycle. Sight becomes the vampire’s least acute of senses, with color vision gradually being replaced by-thermal imaging over the course of a week as the infected host undergoes biological metamorphosis. Once fully-turned, a vampire possesses the ability to read heat signatures as monochromatic halos.

Hearing is greatly enhanced, in spite of the loss of external ears, with a fully-turned vampire’s acute sense of hearing able to detect the sound of blood pulsing through the bodies of potential prey. Additionally, a fully-turned vampire can smell the carbon dioxide emitted by a human’s breath, thereby locating prey with minimal reliance on other senses.

Strigoi Featured In The Comics

The vampires’ greatest sensory asset, however, is the “hive mind”, which all vampires share with the “Ancient” that propagated them. Each vampire, through some undefined telepathic link, is able to send and receive thought and sensory information to and from its Ancient progenitor. In this manner, the Ancient vampires direct the actions of their individual spawn through mental communication, regardless of distance. Perhaps akin to its radiation shielding properties, the element lead has the effect of blocking this mental connection.

In spite of their biological inability to speak, vampires can communicate with humans through telepathy, transmitting thoughts directly into a person’s internal monologue. Those vampires seeking to pose as a human can train themselves to move their lips in a pantomime of speech, but the actual communication is still via thought-transference.

An Ancient vampire is also able to use this telepathic ability as a weapon; known as the “murmur,” this mental shock-wave has the ability to completely overwhelm the minds of surrounding human beings, rendering them unconscious.

Vampires also experience an overwhelming compulsion to infect family members and those they cared about as humans (their “dear ones”). They possess a unique ability to locate such targets, this sense being likened to a pigeon’s homing instinct.

Weaknesses [ edit | edit source ]

Many of the traditional vampire “weaknesses” of common folklore remain effective, although their potency is explained in terms of specific effects on vampire biology.

  • Sunlight is the vampire’s ultimate destroyer, specifically ultraviolet light in the UVC range (Ultraviolet C-rays, are the short wavelength variety, which has the ability to destroy the DNA machinery which allows organisms to heal and multiply. This includes micro-organisms such as bacteria & viruses). This is due to the germicidal properties of the wavelength, as it breaks down the virus-laden tissues of the vampire’s body. A localized source of UVC light, such as a fluorescent lamp, can be used to repel a vampire, much as a burning torch can repel an animal. Complete exposure to either direct sunlight or a powerful UVC source will result in complete desiccation of the vampire’s body, leaving behind nothing but ashes.
  • Silver, in the form of a metal weapon or even a fine chemical mist, can also wound or kill a vampire. Much like sunlight, this is due to the disinfecting properties of the element damaging the vampire’s viral biology (It has been known to interfere with sulfur bonds in bacteria). While conventional weapons (lead bullets, steel blades) can cause physical damage, they will not repel a vampire. Silver causes vampires both debilitating pain and a certain amount of fear; binding a vampire in silver will completely incapacitate it.
  • Despite conventional weapons being unable to repel a vampire, they can kill be killed by severe brain trauma. This can be achieved through shooting them in the head with firearms or smashing the brain (typically with a close combat, or melee weapon).
  • Severing the spinal column through any method is another effective way to destroy a vampire. While the vampire’s simplified internal organ structure makes it difficult to harm it with attacks on the body, decapitation will result in the vampire’s death.
  • Warfarin and possibly other pharmaceuticals that reduce blood clogging, colloquially thinning, have toxic potency on vampires. For instance, Eichhorst was rendered immobile after feeding on Setrakian, who had taken a large dose of warfarin prior, and this was coupled with his inability to vomit the toxic blood. Setrakian was able to exploit this situation and behead him. It is unclear if the poisoning alone would have killed Eichhorst but the poisoning of a partnership blood harvesting truck led to the massive kill of vampires in Philadelphia by a poison cocktail designed by Ephraim Goodweather.
  • Strigoi are typically feral and lack of sentience unless it is granted by their Master. This lack of sentience can be exploited to lead them into traps or kill them in far more efficient ways than a toe to toe fight. Without sentience or direction from their Master, a vampire’s attack will be uncoordinated and lack strategy.

Through the wonders of genetic engineering, it is possible to mate select micro-organism to produce offspring with desirable characteristics: 1) Minimal deleterious effects to Humans 2) Fatal to Strigoi yet transmissible to the rest of its cohort population. In this case, a bio-weapon which is neurotoxic, that is, it was created to feed on cerebrospinal fluid, which prevents cells from communicating with each other, as well as other strigoi.

Although there appears to be no biological imperative behind it, vampires cannot cross running water. This is alluded to as having something to do with the origin of the Ancients, but no further explanation is given. This aversion to water can be overcome, however, if the vampire is assisted (or “invited”) by a human.

Traditional religious protections against vampires, such as a crucifix or holy water, display no practical effect. Garlic, another common folk defense, has no noticeable use in repelling vampires.

Silver-backed mirrors, while they will not harm a vampire, will reveal its presence. While a vampire does indeed cast a reflection, it is blurred and distorted, akin to an image vibrating at an impossible speed. Modern chrome-backed mirrors, however, will not have this effect, and the vampire will appear normally in such a looking-glass.

Differences from the books [ edit | edit source ]

  • In the books, the strigoi will lose their external ears in addition to their nose. This doesn’t happen in the show; in fact, the ears will grow larger and more pointed. The physical changes also progress much more slowly in the TV show, as the Master is shown to still have a nose in his Jusef host after around hundred years of possessing him.
  • In the books, Strigoi cannot speak but simply mimic speech by moving their lips while telepathically communicating with someone. However, this is not the case for the Strigoi in the tv series, in which the only trouble a strigoi can have is to speak in their original voice.
  • In the books, Strigoi die out after the death of the Master. In the series, they just became feral and unorganized.

Vampire Lore and The Strain [ edit | edit source ]

According to a 2014 ComicCon Interview, Guillermo del Toro said that his rendition of the Vampire is an actually a composite of two creatures: the Aswang and the Strigoi. The Aswang is a creature found in the Philippine Islands, which attacks its prey by projecting its tongue. The Strigoi, of Eastern European fame, on the other hand, has a stinger under its tongue.

The following is a transcription of select portions of said interview:

I collect and know a lot of vampiric lore, not fiction; I read all the fiction but I collected lore. When I was a child of the 1970’s, it was an explosion of myth, re-evaluation, occultism, post-hippie occultism, recuperation. People were re-evaluating, Charles Fort, Colin Wilson was coming out with beautiful essays about not only about the outsider but fringe science, and paranormal. You had Jacques Verger, he. [unintelligible]. the UFO. There was a real interest. There was a book called Passport to the Supernatural by Bernhardt Hurwood the collected lore from India, the Middle East, the Far East, Europe, The Americas about Vampirism. And. That was my first time when I started realizing how the Vampire that interested me was not the Vampire that was romantic but the hollow corpse that was inhabited by an unholy will.

The Strigoi particularly in Eastern Europe. Everytime, the body was possessed, it would resurrect and go and drink the blood of the family first, and then would propagate the disease all over the world. I was fascinated by many of the Eastern European lore, like for example lores about cemetery and not the sedentary corpse came out of a vampiric tale in Europe that was called the shroud eaters. It was because the corpse foamed a bloody discharge full of bacteria that ate the shroud. They open the coffin and saw the teeth and they thought the corpses got up and ate people throught the shroud.

I have been fascinated by fringe vampiric lore mythology. I read one of these things “Mad” Montague Summers . Every single essay ever done on Vampiric folklore and genealogy

The vampire when it was birthed by John W Polidori in the English language with the story of the Vampire, he was birthed as a romantic hero and a monster at the same time. So either obsession was correct. No one was doing the brutal vampire.

. I been a morbidly biologically obsessed kid. The metabolism is so hard, so quick, they become really hot, their hair falls off. My rationale is also their lungs dry off, so they don’t need to breathe because they don’t need the oxygen to produce erythrocytes, to produce red cells, their bones becomes brittle. if touched by silver they can break. The idea of them not having a breathe, makes them non-human, they develop a parasitic heart.

In terms of mythology, I borrow from a vampire [tale] in the Philippines called an Aswang, which projects a tongue. He drinks the blood of a baby inside the mother. The idea of the tongue also connects with the Strigoi, the Eastern European Vampire, who has stinger under the tongue, and again goes to drink the blood of the family.

The only time I have seen the vampire the way I like it is on a tv series that The Strain is very very influenced by which is Kolcheck the Night Stalker. I wanted to go back to you know horror being first and foremost brutal and fun. Its not about. it makes you reflect about the loneliness. Its like a perfect summer horror series.

The Strain can take liberties with vampiric lore because it is not adopting a novel.

Interviewer: What is the challenges to taking your idea and bringing it to screen. Del Toro: The way I wanted to design the show. All the episodes you see, every effect goes to me, every single makeup effects go through me of all the episodes.I do a final color correction on the cinemaphotography of all the episodes myself. Its because I want to give a uniformity in the look. The way I tried to design the look, was supersaturated colors that almost felt comic-book like. I color coded the show with everyone saying we have basically two colors cyan or blueish and gold. If you watch the episodes, I wanted to say no reds except if there in the real world like a fire extinguisher or siren of a patrol car. yes. but no reds, so we can reserve the red for the blood. That way we have a stringent color code and even if you don’t notice it, the show has a style, you know, and thats the first thing. The second thing I tried to do was to try to give it a cinematic look and give it scope. We did for the budget, we did it for the schedule, but we wanted to make it ambitious. So those were the challenges, to try to do a spectacle, and big effects,big visual effects within the budget and schedule.

Special emphasis is placed on Vampire — also referred to as Strigoi — biology as mirroring that of parasitic creatures as opposed to supernaturally immortal undead of pop culture (but nevertheless have supernatural origin since they essentially perverse creations of The Master, one of seven…