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Was Lilith a Vampire?: Jewish Mythology on HBO's True Blood

By June 18, 2012

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True Blood - LilithLast night's episode of HBO's "True Blood" brought viewers into the highly secretive enclave of The Authority - a powerful group of vampires that has dominion over all vampires in existence. It also introduced viewers to some of the The Authority's religious views, specifically: that all vampires are descended from Lilith, Adam's first wife.

This revelation occurs in Season 5 Episode 2 ("The Authority Always Wins"), about 45 minutes into the episode. The vampire who founded The Authority, Roman Zimojic, places a drop of his blood on the tongues of each vampire on the council while reciting a prayer that the show translates as:

"The blood of Lilith. The first, the last, the Eternal. We are born of Lilith, who was created in God's image. The first, the last, the Eternal. We swear fealty to the blood and to the Progenitor. The first, the last, the Eternal. Lord and Lilith, Father and Mother, protect as was we protect you. From this day until the hour of the true death. And in the Lord and Lilith's name we say: Vampyr."

This scene of course has prompted many viewers to ask: who was Lilith? And: was she a vampire? In answer to the first question please check out my series of articles on Lilith, which are noted below and trace the evolution of the Lilith legend in both ancient and modern texts.

As to whether Lilith was a vampire: it depends on which aspects of her story you want to emphasize.

The legend of Lilith began when the ancient rabbis noticed that there were two contradictory accounts of Creation in the biblical Book of Genesis. One of the ways they resolved this discrepancy was to say that the first story referred to Adam's first wife, while the second referred to Eve. Eventually this concept of a "First Eve" was merged with Sumerian myths about female vampires called "Lillu" and Mesopotamian myths about succubae called "lilin." Hence, the character of Lilith was born.

Though Lilith herself is not described as a vampire in Jewish texts, the fact that her name and many of her nefarious characteristics are derived from Sumerian vampire mythology makes her an ideal choice for an original vampire mother. Indeed, in "True Blood" a member of the authority (Dieter Braun) maintains that Lilith was not only the vampire mother but that humans were created afterwards to serve as a food source for vampires.

Visit HBO's website for more information about The Authority and how Lilith fits into their worldview.

More about the Legend of Lilith:

Comments
June 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm
(1) Miss Patricia says:

This is abomination to even read into creation in Torah! In the first account, Father created spirit first and then in the second, took Adam’s rib and created body 2nd time. Eve was Adam’s only wife.

June 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm
(2) judaism says:

@Miss Patricia – The legend of Lilith is a well established part of Jewish mythology and is one of a few different interpretations developed in response to conflicting Creation stories in the Torah.

July 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm
(3) The abomination says:

Abomination…a struck nerve because of a different version of a story?

July 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm
(4) DP says:

You people do realize that all organized religion is myth to one extent or another, right?

August 18, 2012 at 12:11 am
(5) The idealist says:

Listen guys, all myths and legends derive from some form of truth. We do not know exactly what takes place and what does not. I know the bible i have read the creation. Only god truly knows what happens. As for Vampires being real. They don’t, not the way it has been depicted over the years in movies and books. However, the act of drinking blood is nothing more than a person who iron deprived. Ask any doctor. Geesh, why worry about stuff and just enjoy the movies and shows..

August 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm
(6) keep it real says:

Look vamps wolves witches they all come from some where but as long as spiritually not religiously but spiritually sound and in tune with The Savior you don’t need to sweat the bull.

October 9, 2012 at 11:37 am
(7) shannon says:

i believe in the legend of Lilth it makes more sence then ya think but in my opinion lilth is in the image of god not adam or eve….there human and demand power when lilth was already powerful nd the real queen of darkness and light

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