Trope Tuesday is a meme/series created by yours truly. On Tuesdays, the goal is to discuss one trope that you dislike, love, are indifferent to, hate, currently annoyed by, think is problematic, want to kill with fire, or throw out the moon door (a la Petyr Baelish). You can learn more about Trope Tuesday here.
There’s a rule in vampire folklore that vampires cannot have children. They can make other vampire to continue their vampiric line, but their biological line ends with them. Vampires being unable to have children is a universal part of their mythos, and sometimes, it even exists in books that take out characteristics that are so well known for being vampiric like being killed by sunlight or only being able to drink blood.
Vampires can’t have babies… Until they do.
The Freaky Vampire Baby trope runs rampant in paranormal romance. It is defined by the universe mythos stating that vampires reproducing is impossible until the main couple made up of one vampire and either a human or another supernatural creature, has one.
The existence of this trope itself poses some interesting questions. For decades, having children has been seen as just something that everyone does. Romance is a genre widely known for following the traditional, nuclear family model. Hell, I’ve seen people complain that the couple should’ve had more children in the epilogue (like a genuine complaint. They were not joking. I almost cried). The production of the Nuclear family is seen as such a vital part of the Happily Ever After, that in paranormal romance, it even has the power to override well established mythos. I think it is fascinating that out of all the options the paranormal aspect of paranormal romance introduces to the story, that a supernatural couple having children is still the route that so many authors take.
One of the most well known examples of the Freaky Vampire Baby trope is in Twilight. The trope name itself comes from Twilight because fake baby Renesmee in the Breaking Dawn movie gives me the creeps.
I honestly have nightmares thinking about it. Not only was my reading of Twilight the first book I willingly read (which I always love mentioning any chance I get), it was the first book I read with the Freaky Vampire Baby trope. It is one of the more classic examples of this trope: a human and a vampire have a baby and then major drama starts once the big bad vampire authorities find out.
Other examples of Freaky Vampire Babies can be found in the Night Huntress Universe and the All Souls Trilogy, which I will refrain from talking about because spoilers.
My verdict: If the story diverges from the traditional Freaky Vampire Baby model found in Twilight, like in Night Huntress and All Souls then I’ll go with it. I don’t totally hate this trope, but its existence and persistence has greater implications and says more about the romance genre as a whole. I am interested to see how this trope evolves, especially since paranormal romances/vampires are no longer at the height of popularity like they were during the 2000s.
What do you think of Freaky Vampire Babies? Read any other books with them in it? Do they also remind you of those horrifying scenes in Breaking Dawn?