Lestat Lesson #4
“I don’t believe in anything, and that makes me stronger than you think.”
No Hope = No Fear
I think one of the qualities most Lestat fans treasure most about the object of their admiration is his ability to be completely fearless, even in situations that would elicit enormous amounts of fear in the strongest of men, mortal or not.
That being said, we might wonder exactly why Lestat is as fearless as he is. Here Lestat admits that it is his lack of belief in anything that makes him so strong. However, for anyone that has read The Vampire Chronicles, and of Lestat’s adventures therein, can see that he does have a very strong belief system, it’s just not a conventional one, atleast not in mere human standards.
As humans, we have much to fear – disease, death, pain, loss, etc.
As a vampire, Lestat is outside of the normal human boundries of fear.
Vampire existence does have some rules, and as such provides several things for the undead to be afraid of (such as fire and the sun).
Being who he is however, Lestat has shown that even some vampire rules can be broken, and so he has little left to fear.
It must be an imposing thing indeed to know that you can live until the end of all existence and that the things and situations that have conventionally been said to be harmful to you (things which probably seem like nothing compared all the things humans have to be afraid of) just don’t apply anymore.
Lestat is truly fearless. Still, I don’t think he does not believe in anything (he holds true to the values of loyalty and love, and he most certainly does believe in himself and his own ability, if nothing else); that fact is more obvious than ever after the events that had occurred in “Memnoch the Devil.”
In MtD, Lestat’s entire belief system was challenged, and ever strong, Lestat once again emerged triumphant, and with a whole new system of belief.
In anycase, I think it’s pretty obvious that Lestat does have his own belief system, even though as a vampire he tends to play by different rules.
When Lestat says that the fact that he does not believe in anything is what makes him as strong as he is, one might think that he saying “I don’t believe in anything so I don’t have anything to worry about, therefore I can just throw convention out the window and do whatever I want.”
While that may in some ways be true, I don’t think that’s entirely what he means, and I don’t think that’s where the importance of the quote itself is coming from, especially looking at it from a mortal perspective, such as we poor mortal readers are doing.
When Lestat says that he doesn’t believe in anything, I think what he’s saying is that he doesn’t believe in convention, or rules, or following a plan that has been layed out by anyone other than himself.
Lestat believes in being true to himself above all else, and if he must do that at the expense of breaking a couple of rules, so be it.
Perhaps when Lestat declares that he doesn’t believe in anything, he’s saying “I don’t believe in anything you believe in”, or “I don’t believe in all the silly things I’ve been told I should believe in.”
In believing in nothing but himself, Lestat has the unique ability to just let go, and do pretty much whatever he wants.
He doesn’t believe in the old conventions, and so the normal boundries of fear are not for him what they are for regular humans, or even other vampires.
The crux of Lestat’s statement is this:
Lestat’s ability to not believe in any conventions or rules, to believe in nothing but himself, affords him an enormous amount of strength and thus garners him the envy of all boundry-laden humans.
The subheading for this lesson, No Hope= No Fear, is a statement from the liner notes of the Type O Negative album “Bloody Kisses.”
I’ve always believed that if we hope for nothing, not the best outcome of a situation or the worst outcome, than we truly have nothing to fear.
If you go in with no expectations, than surely you can come out with no dissappointments.
I see Lestat as really not being hindered by expectations per se….He is all about spontaneity and just acting; he truly lives in the moment, and because of that fear holds nothing for him.