Think the Underworld series is just another vampire vs. werewolf movie. Think again. The dark fantasy supernatural movie by Len Wiseman is more than an action franchise with deeply complex mythology.
In 2003, the first installment of the fantasy action film franchise, Underworld, presented complex creatures and unique mythos of Lycans (werewolves) and vampires.
Unlike vampires inspired by other franchises like Dracula and Twilight, Underworld’s vampires are combat specialists striving to protect their coven as the war between vampires and Lycans wages on.
In addition, the underworld’s family bloodlines and shifting political alliances help set this movie apart from other fantasy creature-based movies.
Before we continue, here’s the correct sequence for the underworld movies series to watch in Canada:
- Underworld (2003)
- Underworld: Evolution (2006)
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
- Underworld: Awakening (2012)
- Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)
- Underworld: Endless War (2011) is a short animated film leading to Underworld: Awakening.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Underworld franchise’s mythology.
Underworld’s immortal creatures go back as far as the 5th century starting with Alexander Corvinus. Corvinus, a Hungarian warlord, returns home from his campaign only to find out that the entire population of his village has succumbed to a plague.
After contracting the disease, Corvinus becomes an immortal thanks to a genetic mutation.
Corvinus fathers three sons: William, Marcus, and an unnamed child. William gets bitten by a wolf, transforming him into a werewolf. Marcus gets bitten by a bat, transforming him into a vampire.
Corvinus’s third son lives a normal life and passes his immortality to his offspring, creating generations of immortals.
Underworld vampires and other creatures are not found in books, shows, and movies like Dracula. They are immortal and feed on blood, but they don’t rely on humans to survive.
They can feed on animals and other vampires as well. However, these vampires cannot change into creatures like bats, and only Marcus can turn into a winged creature.
Underworld’s vampires don’t just sparkle under the sunlight as it can burn away their skin, and silver only affects Underworld’s werewolves, not vampires.
Also, you cannot be a werewolf and a vampire simultaneously, with some exceptions, and werewolf bites are fatal to vampires and the same way around.
For these vampires, drinking human blood is not only for survival, as they can also relive their victim’s memories. Finally, even though these vampires are dead, they can mate and have children.
Viktor didn’t approve of vampire and Lycan romances. But, as he became more and more abusive towards Lucians, the Lycan began a rebellion with his slave. Meanwhile, Sonja and Lucian planned to escape together as Sonja became pregnant.
Viktor was able to sense it, and by drinking his daughter’s blood, he discovered the deception. Everything crumbled quickly. Viktor tied his daughter to a rod and flooded the room with sunlight, causing her daughter and granddaughter to die right before Lucian.
Leaving Lucian alive and making the greatest mistake, as it was a full moon that night. Lucian gained his strength and stole Sonja’s pendant, and gathered with his forces. With the support of Lycans, Lucian destroyed the Vampire forces and took charge of their castle. And so began the Vampire-Lycan war.
As the war continued, Viktor tried to strengthen his power, and with the help of a vampire historian called Tanis, he framed Lucian for starting the war and making him the sworn enemy of the vampires.
He creates a new prison for William with the help of an architect. But, unfortunately, after its completion, he killed the architect’s entire family.
The same architect had a daughter named Selene, who Viktor spared because she reminded him of Sonja. Instead, he turned Selene into a vampire and told her lies about how the Lycans killed her family.
Tanis decides to reveal the truth due to a change of heart, but Viktor frames her for spreading lies and exiles him to a monastery far away. Selene quickly became Viktor’s most trusted and successful killer as she went on to kill hundreds of Lycans over 600 years.
Lycan-Vampire War End
Before Selene, one of Viktor’s original lieutenants, a vampire named Kraven, officially ended the Vampire-Lycan War.
During Lucian’s rebellion and the first underworld movie, Kraven entered Lucian’s castle in hopes of bringing the centuries-long war to an end. However, Lucian’s castle was burned to the ground after the battle ended, and Kraven emerged with Lucian’s skin as proof of Lycan’s death.
It was all a trick. Turns out Kraven and Lucian were working together all along. Lucian and his followers went into hiding, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He also selects Kraven as part of the Chain.
Lucian teamed up with Tanis and began searching for Hybrids. Mythical creatures that have combined powers of vampires, werewolves, and immortals.
By drinking this creature’s blood, he will increase his powers and remove his weakness. So what happens next? You will have to watch Underworld find out more.