From Twlight to The Vampire Diaries, Gen Z was practically raised on stories of hot vampires and their various folktales. Now, another vampire tale is entering the fold: Netflix’s First Kill, an LGBTQ+ teen romance series, and it has one very interesting detail about the ancestry of ancient blood-suckers. So, what exactly is a Legacy vampire in First Kill?
Warning: Spoilers for First Kill follow. In this updated vampire romance, one half of the central couple is Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook), a Legacy vampire who must soon commit her first kill or else disrupt the flow of vampiric inheritance to her and her sister, Elinor (Gracie Dzienny). Calliope (Imani Lewis) is a legacy of another kind — her entire family prides themselves on being monster hunters, which includes the unwieldy task of killing vampires. Of course, in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, the two children of these warring families fall in love, and chaos ensues.
What angers Juliette’s family so much about her infatuation with Cal is that the stakes couldn’t be higher for their status as Legacies. The show explains it like this: Juliette and Elinor are the granddaughters of the keeper of the emerald malkia, a snake that holds all the vampire powers in its bite. Through dream sequences, audiences see a setting very similar to the Garden of Eden wherein a snake bites what audiences can assume is meant to be one of Juliette’s ancient ancestors and forever condemns her family to being Legacy vampires.
Juliette and Elinor’s family isn’t the only Legacy family, though. There is a collective of Legacy vampires, much like the Volturi in Twilight, who come together early on in the season to celebrate Juliette’s first kill, which will formally induct her into the powerful lineage. In order for the ceremony to happen, the emerald malkia has to bite Juliette — but the snake won’t bite her unless she has, in fact, had her first kill.
Tensions rise as Juliette continuously refuses to kill anyone and Elinor tries to make her do it. Elinor and her mother are terrified of losing the power of holding the emerald malkia, meaning they’ll do just about anything to try and keep it — Elinor even attempts to marry into the family of a sworn enemy just to keep their status as Legacies.
Beyond the glamour and wealth that seems to come from being an ancient vampire, being a Legacy also means that they are much harder to kill ,which Cal’s family finds out the hard way when their murderous mission proves unsuccessful. Like most vampires, they must be killed in a very specific way, but even the classic stake through the heart won’t kill a Legacy.
Most of these details come from the show’s source material, author V.E. Schwab’s short story of the same name, but the show greatly expanded on Schwab’s material. Although the idea of a Legacy vampire seems to be Schwab’s making (there is no obvious mention of Legacy vampires in historical vampire folklore), the general idea has been used before in another TV show. The ongoing joint CW spinoff of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals called The Legacies doesn’t have all of the same details about Legacy vampires, but it does deal with a similar idea: that descendants of powerful vampire lineages are different than just regular ol’ vampires.
For more details on the traits of First Kill’s Legacy vampires, fans will just have to wait and see if that cliffhanger of an ending earns the show a second season.