Thursday, February 9, 2012


Underworld, Underworld - Rise of the Lycans, Underworld - Evolution by Greg Cox

Since there is a new Underworld movie out, I decided to catch myself up to speed by reading the novelizations of the first three movies.

A novelization is where a writer is given the script and told to write it in novel form and it should be X number of pages long. This usually allows the writer to do a little extra character development but not much more action from what you would see in the screen version.

I loved these movies when I saw them. I am a sucker for a good romance (especially the secrect forbidden kind) and if vampires and werewolves are involved, count me in. The fact that the main character, a vampire named Selene, is completely badass just makes it that much better. Apparently the big Selene/Michael romance is non existent in the latest film so I might just wait for the dvd rather than trying to see it in the theater.

Anyway... I realize these were based on the screenplay (already written) but I'm wondering if Greg Cox noticed the 200 year flaw in the story line (to say the least) and tried to get the writers to somehow fix it and they wouldn't/couldn't or if he just figured that the readers/viewers wouldn't notice because Kate Beckinsale was wearing skin tight black vinyl on the screen and such inconsistencies wouldn't matter. I noticed the 200 year flaw when I saw the second movie, Rise of the Lycans, and it bugged me but I figured there would be some sort of "fix" in the novelization. Nope.

So here's how it goes. This is a spoiler, by the way, if you care.

First vampire, Marcus, is the twin brother to first werewolf, William. William is out of control making new werewolves all over the place and Marcus can't stop him or control him. Marcus makes a vampire out of a ruthless military leader, Viktor. They also turn all of Viktor's soldiers into vampires just so they can hunt down and kill all the werewolves and some how trap William. Unknown amounts of time pass. Finally, they trap William and Viktor imprisons him for all eternity and doesn't tell Marcus where said prison is.

William, Viktor and Amelia, the elders, begin taking turns being the ruling vampire. 100 years of rule and then 200 years of sleep.

Viktor commissions dungeons to be dug beneath his castle with a special oubliette where William will be imprisoned. A special key is made to open both the main door and the small cave where William is to be held. The key has two parts. The larger part, Viktor has implanted into his own body on his rib cage (ewwww) and the smaller part he puts on a chain and gives it to his daughter as a "priceless gift" for her to wear always.

Jump ahead 200 years and his daughter is dead and her lycan lover steals the necklace as a memento of their love. Shortly after this, Viktor "rescues" Selene from whatever killed her family and turns her into a vampire.

Jump ahead 600 years and you are now in the time of Underworld and Underworld-Evolution when Selene meets Michael.

Here's the inconsistency. Selene's dad is the one commissioned to dig the dungeon and make the keys for the oubliette. So, if we know that 600 years ago it was Viktor's turn to rule (because he turned Selene), then it would be Amelia, Marcus, Viktor, Amelia, Marcus, Viktor but in Underworld Amelia is at the end of her reign and is about to awaken Markus so this timeline is off. There's another timeline inconsistency in Rise of the Lycans since we are supposed to assume that Sonya and Lucian had 200 years of knowing each other and Lucian was about 8 or 10 when Sonya was born. Allegedly, Viktor branded Lucian with his brand and then both Markus and Amelia followed suit branding their own lycans with their initials (that would be 300+ years since Viktor is ruling when Sonya dies and Lucian escapes). Also, Viktor tells Selene that the elders have been leapfrogging through time for 1400 years. If this started after William was captured (all three elders were present for the capture) that gives us a gap of 600 years from William's initial capture until the alleged digging of the dungeons and imprisonment with the secret keys. Also, if the key was worn by Sonya for 200 years, how was Selene 6 years old when the key was made by her father and 20 years old when she was turned into a vampire shortly after the death of Sonya.
I've been trying to just enjoy the stories as I did when I first saw the movies but these are some pretty big holes that can't be filled easily. Especially the 14 mortal years of Selene's life that took 200 years in the vampire world.

I still like the basic forbidden love stories (Romeo and Juliet as vampire and lycan) but the timeline is super distracting. Aaaaargh!

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