{Story Diary} Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Feb 7, 2014

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Setting + Places

St. Vladimir

Image Source: Yahoo
Image Source: Vampire Academy trailer
"Sprawling and gothic. The buildings boasted elaborate, almost churchlike architecture, with high peaks and stone carvings. Wrought iron gates enclosed small gardens and doorways here and there. Each [campus] was built around a large open quadrangle decorated with stone paths and enormous, century-old trees."

Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy (pg. 16-17)

Located in the backwoods of Montana.

Image Source: Yahoo
 St. Vladimir is a boarding school where Moroi and Dhampir are educated. Where Dhampir's are trained to become Guardian's to Moroi. The grounds of the campus and dorms are protected with charmed Wards (more info on that later).  

Missoula, Missouri



There are three different types of vampires in this series. There are the mortal (Moroi and Dhampir) and there is the immortal (Strigoi). These vampires actually are based off of Romanian and Eastern European mythology.


In the Vampire Academy series, the Moroi are mortal, living vampires -- born, not made. They are taller and leaner than Moroi, Dhampir, and humans. Have pale skin and are weakened by too much exposure of sunlight. Specializes in elemental magic: fire, air, water, earth, and spirit. Also, can use compulsion. The origin of the Romanian term Moroi may be unclear, but may be connected to:

  • Old Slavic mora, meaning "nightmare" (Middle English as well, mare), or mer-, meaning "to harm"
  • Old English mare, meaning "goblin" or "incubus"
  • Latin morbus, meaning "disease", or mors meaning "a corpse"

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In Romanian Mythology, the Moroi are known as vampires, only mortal. Much like the VA Moroi. The female counterpart of the Moroi is called Moroaica. However, Moroi are considered in the folklore to be the offspring of two Strigoi.

Moroi are mostly associated with the Strigoi, varcolac, or pricolici (the last two of which are considered werewolves in Romanian Mythology).

In some myths, a Moroi is a phantom of a dead person which leaves the grave to draw energy from the living.


In Vampire Academy, Dhampirs are originally offsprings of Moroi and humans, but since retreating from humans, they are now mixed of Moroi and Dhampir -- a mix that still produces a half-human/half-vampire Dhampir.

Image Source: Tumblr
The word dhampir derives from the Albanian language where pire means "to drink", and dham or dhembe means "teeth", thus dhampir means "to drink with teeth."

In Balkan folklore, Dhampir is an offspring of a vampire father and a human mother. A hybrid. Possible indications include being very dirty, having a soft body, no nails or bones, and "a deep mark on the back, like a tail." A pronounced nose, large ears, teeth or eyes were often other signs.

Albania legends state they have untamed dark hair and lack of shadow.


In Vampire Academy, Stigoi are the evil, immortal vampires and cannot withstand sunlight. They have very pale, ashy skin, and red eyes. They are faster, stronger, have keen sense and reflexes.

The word strigoi derived from a Romanian word which translates to "scream" or "barn owl", along with the Italian word strega, which means "witch", and descends from the Latin word strix, for a shrieking vampiric bird.

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Another Romanian mythology legend states that Strigoi often have red hair, blue eyes, and two hearts.

Popularly, Strigoi are known as the immortal vampires, as opposed to a Moroi.

There are three ways to kill a Strigoi:
  1. Silver stake through the heart
  2. Decapitation
  3. Set on fire


Image Source: Vampire Academy trailer

Creatures resembling wolves, apart from brown fur and glowing orange eyes; travel in packs, share psychic communication and only answer to Moroi.

from the Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide


Silver stakes

Contrary to the movie, Rose didn't train or use stakes in the first book. It wasn't until Frostbite (VA #2) that Dimitri finally relented and trained her with the stakes.

Elemental abilities

Yes, even the magic abilities the Moroi have can be used as weapons.

Tattoos / Marks

Image Source: Vampire Academy Wiki

Molnija (Russian for Lightning): a mark tattooed on the back of a Dhampir's neck to show how many Strigoi they have killed. Rose counted that Dimitri already adorned six marks the first time they meet. Rose doesn't receive hers until the end of Frostbite (book 2), in which she received two for killing two Strigoi.

Rose described the mark as:
". . .six tiny symbols tattooed on the back of his [Dimitri] neck. . .They looked like two streaks of jagged lightning crossing in an X symbol."

--Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy (pg. 15)
Image Source: Vampire Academy Wiki

Promise: After novices graduate, they receive a Promise mark that signifies that their training is complete.

In Spirit Bound (book 5), Rose describes her Promise mark as:
"a stretched out S in the middle of the back of my neck with curling ends that wrap around my Molnija marks like an embrace."

Image Source: Vampire Academy Wiki

Zvezda (Russian for Star): the Zvezda mark indicates that the bearer has killed too many Strigoi to count, usually after a large battle. The mark is placed at the base of the back of the neck, next to the Molnija mark. Rose doesn't receive one until after the battle at the Academy in Shadow Kiss (book three).

Book Trailer

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47DVrh8gFqY&w=360&h=215]

Movie Trailer

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLdfjcmzDAA&w=360&h=215]

About the Author

Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.
A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.

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