Study Guide

Armand in Interview with the Vampire

By Anne Rice

Armand

Kiss of the Vampire

Armand is one of a few characters who also has his own book. We'll have to read it because he's a little too mysterious for his own good in this book. Here's what we do know:

  • He's the leader of the Théâtre des Vampires, but he pretends he isn't: "'Not in the way you mean leader,' he answered. 'But if there were a leader here, I would be that one'" (3.131). To decode the Armand-speak: he's a leader when it benefits him to be.
  • He's a real vamp's vamp. As Claudia says, "He draws life out of me into himself" (3.246). He has some weird influence over other vampires, which sets him apart from all the others. This makes Claudia uncomfortable, because she doesn't like being on the receiving end of the draining, and she knows that he'll eventually lure Louis away from her. Louis tells her, "[Armand] alone can give me the strength to be what I am. I can't continue to live divided and consumed with misery. Either I go with him, or I die" (3.493).
  • He is not to be trusted. Louis goes on and on about how he trusts Armand—"Knowledge would never be withheld by Armand, I knew it" (3.275)—and how he trusts him and only him out of all the vampires at the Théâtre des Vampires. It turns out, though, that Armand was the one who killed Claudia. Um, that's quite a large bit of information to withhold.
  • He is the poster boy for "vampire detachment" (3.263), and despite criticizing Louis for not valuing vampire detachment, that lack of detachment is the main reason he loves Louis: Louis is in touch with his emotions, and he helps Armand connect with these feelings of love, hate, and sorrow, if only vicariously.

Okay, we guess we don't really know anything about him, after all, but that's sort of the point. Everything we know is conflicted and canceled out by some sort of opposing trait. It's this opposition that spells doom for his and Louis's relationship. Armand tells Louis: "Loathe me, not yourself" (3.456). He tries to convince Louis that he, Armand, is the epitome of evil vampiredom. Ironically, when he finally does convince Louis he's evil—by admitting that it was he who toasted Claudia—that's when Louis lets him go.

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