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Ian Somerhalder in V Wars

For eight seasons, Ian Somerhalder played Damon Salvatore on the hit CW series The Vampire Diaries. Damon was the reckless, dangerous, semi-psychopathic, and passionate brother of Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). Ian Somerhalder left a vampire and teen show legacy by creating an iconic TV character as Damon. With The Vampire Diaries being over, the days of playing a vampire seem well behind the actor. Ian Somerhalder now wants to make a new TV splash as a human on Netflix’s V Wars. The TV drama is based on a comic series from Jonathan Maberry.

V Wars and The Vampire Diaries are both vampire series, but the Netflix original adds a new spin on the vampire genre. In V Wars, an ancient virus creates vampires. V Wars blends the idea of the paranormal with sci-fi, so in many ways it’s more like The Walking Dead meets the cancelled-too-soon The Passage. Despite being grounded in different vampire mythologies, V Wars shares many similarities with The Vampire Diaries.

Adrian Holmes and Ian Somerhalder in V Wars

The Vampire Diaries And V Wars Both Focus On Brotherly Love

Some would argue that the greatest love story of The Vampire Diaries wasn’t between Damon and Elena (Nina Dobrev), nor between Stefan and Elena, but between Stefan and Damon. The brothers shared a deep familial bond that made them both threatening and hasty when trying to protect each other. The Vampire Diaries’ conclusion had one of the Salvatore boys sacrificing himself so that the other one could live a full and happy life, but the true happy ending for the brothers came when they met again in the afterlife.

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In V Wars, Luther Swann (Ian Somerhalder) and Michael Fayne (Adrian Holmes) aren’t blood brothers, but they have a brotherly bond. V Wars star Adrian Holmes mentioned to CinemaBlend that Michael doesn’t have a family, so he’s a bit envious of Luther’s family life. However, in the V Wars trailer, Luther calls Michael his brother, signifying that their bond goes beyond just best friends and that Luther is Michael’s surrogate family. Luther’s desire to save Michael from vampirism is one of the leading forces that propels him to find a cure.

Adrian Holmes in V Wars

The Vampire Diaries And V Wars Deal With Vampire Origin Stories

The story of how Stefan and Damon became vampires unfolds throughout The Vampire Diaries Season 1. Stories of other vampires and their vampire beginnings play out over the course of the series. Most of these stories have the classic tale of someone being bitten and turning into a vampire, usually around the 1800s.

V Wars takes a completely different approach to the usual bitten and turned tale. Instead, vampires are made through a virus, but it’s even more complicated. The virus doesn’t turn everyone into a vampire, only those who carry a certain kind of gene. The type of vampire someone becomes also depends on their culture and background. Vampire Diaries fans interested in the vampire genre in general should be intrigued to see how V Wars adds its own spin on the creation of vampires.

Ian Somerhalder as Dr.Luther Swann in V Wars

V Wars Is A Passion Project For Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder stars in V Wars but he is also one of the series’ producers, and he directs one of the episodes. Somerhalder sat in the director’s chair a few times for The Vampire Diaries, but for V Wars, the actor gave a lot of time and energy to ensure the show’s success. Ian Somerhalder even mentioned getting up at 6 a.m. to tackle the hundred or so to-do list items for V Wars. His co-star Adrian Holmes shared how “impressive and inspiring” he thought it was to watch Somerhalder act and direct an episode of V Wars.

Along with taking on different production duties, Somerhalder plays a very different character than Damon Salvatore, which allows him to stretch his acting range. In V Wars, Luther has a wife and child, and he’s a respected and loved young scientist. Luther is a much more stable and moral character than Damon. The Vampire Diaries fans that are huge fans of Ian Somerhalder get to witness and support the actor taking on a whole new challenge.

Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder in V Wars

Romance Plays A Factor In The Vampire Diaries And V Wars

Most Vampire Diaries fans tuned in each week to see who would Elena end up with: Damon or Stefan? After the show picked a team and stuck with it, The Vampire Diaries offered a wide range of couple possibilities for fans to obsess over, everything from Klaroline to Steroline. Many Vampire Diaries fans found the romantic elements to be the most appealing parts of the show.

V Wars won’t have the same romantic undertones. It’s less about love and romance, and more about the war between two different societal fractions. V Wars will definitely have darker, more mature subject matter than The Vampire Diaries, but the trailer does hint at some steamy scenes.

In the V Wars trailer, there are a few glimpses of characters hooking up. There is also a close-up shot of Luther with Rachel (played by Somerhalder’s real-life wife Nikki Reed).The scene seems to suggest that they’re comforting each other in a loving way, possibly like husband and wife. It’s unclear yet how these relationships will unfold on V Wars Season 1, but there will at least be a few moments of romance during the series’ first ten episodes.

Ian Somerhalder as Dr. Luther Swann in V Wars

V Wars And Vampire Diaries Show The Blurred Lines Between Good And Evil

In early renditions of vampires, they were always the bad guys. More modern ideas of vampires have made them more sympathetic, even sparkly, creatures who have a blood addiction. This addiction doesn’t necessarily define them as evil or soulless monsters. The Vampire Diaries often turned the villains into the heroes, and the heroes into the villains, and the eight seasons featured a ping-pong of characters being good, then going bad, and then back to good again. The Vampire Diaries writers always blurred the lines of who were the heroes and who were the villains on the series.

V Wars is following a similar trajectory. The vampires and humans are at war, and both sides believe that the other side is the problem. V Wars also showcases that, like humans, the vampires’ beliefs vary based on certain factors like upbringing, society, and genetics. V Wars is grounded in modern times and current issues, so the series addresses polarizing topics like racism, global warming, border patrol, and politics.

V Wars is definitely a different world and project for Ian Somerhalder, but it’s not a complete departure from some of the elements that made The Vampire Diaries so special. Netflix releases all ten episodes of V Wars on December 5, and all eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries are currently available to stream on Netflix as well.

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