To Live and Die in Romania
One of the more unique aspects of Bram Stoker's Dracula, aside from the preternatural pretentiousness of his immortal fiend, is the format in which he chose to tell the tale.
In Dracula, Stoker relied on the literary device of presenting excerpts from the journals and diaries of his key players (excluding Dracula), interspersed with other bits of crucial information such as letters, newspaper articles, phonograph recordings and the like, which gives Dracula the distinct advantage of portraying fictional firsthand accounts of the drama and horror as it takes place from Transylvania to Victorian London.
What follows are descriptions of the major characters in the novel, each immortal in their own right as over the decades they've been used outright or adapted as characters throughout the vampiric genres of fiction and film. While it's unlikely that Stoker could've ever dreamed of such longevity for his creations, it's certain he'd be overwhelmed in the knowing that all of them have withstood the test of time. We begin with their origins as created by Bram Stoker.
Actor Edward Van Sloan gave us our first film portrayal of Van Helsing in the 1931 Dracula and again in 1936 in Dracula's Daughter. From there, the king of all vampire hunters became commensurate with legendary actor Peter Cushing, who played Van Helsing in many films, bringing new intelligence and physical capacities to the character. In 1992, Sir Anthony Hopkins gave a memorable turn as Van Helsing in Bram Stoker's Dracula, as did Hugh Jackman in the 2004 film Van Helsing.