Interview with the Vampire ended its first seven-episode season at roughly the halfway point of the novel, although things played out in very different ways. But there was one twist that should resonate loudly with readers of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. And it answers the question of when we’d see one of the series’ major book characters on the show. Turns out, that character has been there in the margins all along, ever since the very first episode. In the season one finale of Interview With the Vampire, Rashid reveals himself to be the vampire Armand. But who is Armand? Let’s find out.
Louis’ Servant Rashid
From episode one of Interview With the Vampire, we’ve seen a mysterious character named Rashid (Assad Zaman) at the vampire Louis’ beck and call. Seemingly a human servant, we’ve even seen Rashid in direct sunlight. Well, at least directly coming through windows. He also fed Louis animal blood. We also saw Louis feed on him directly, suggesting he was a human blood bank for him. He was seemingly a devout Muslim who nevertheless called Louis “a god.” He didn’t speak much in episodes one through six, appearing as a protective human familiar. Kind of like a less neurotic version of Guillermo from What We Do in the Shadows. And since there was no Rashid in the novels, viewers assumed he was an all-new character invented for television. Little could anyone have suspected that on Interview With the Vampire, Rashid was really a well-known character from the books called Armand.
Rashid Is Really the Vampire Armand
In episode seven, however, Louis revealed to Daniel the truth about Rashid. A truth Daniel suspected when he remembered that Rashid was with Louis in the San Francisco bar they first met at in 1973. And that Rashid looked exactly the same now as then. This could only mean that Rashid was a vampire himself. And it turns out his real name is Armand. The vampire Armand has been a principal vampire character since the very start. As to how he survived sunlight in Interview With the Vampire, Armand explains to Daniel in Interview With the Vampire that more ancient vampires can survive small amounts of solar exposure. This was something also established by Rice herself.
Who Is Armand in Interview with the Vampire?
So who is Interview With the Vampire‘s Armand? In the book, Louis and Claudia met Armand in 19th-century Paris, years after they escape Lestat. He was 400 years old at that point and the master of a large coven of the undead. Armand’s coven posed as human actors only pretending to be vampires and performed for human audiences in the Theatre des Vampires. In the novel, Armand became a vampire in Renaissance Italy at age 17. Clearly, Armand was a full-grown adult upon his siring here. (This was like the film version too.) Armand fell for Louis and tried to lure him away from his obligations to his undead daughter Claudia. Essentially, so he could have him all to himself with no familial distractions.
When he realized that the metaphorical umbilical cord couldn’t be cut, he secretly allowed his coven to execute Claudia, for the crime of trying to kill her maker Lestat. When Louis unleashed his revenge and slaughtered that coven, Armand allowed it to happen, seeing himself as free from the dead weight. He and Louis left Paris together as a couple, and it’s only decades later that Louis admitted to Armand that he allowed Claudia to die. It was only then that Louis left him behind. By the time Louis gave his interview in the book version of Interview With the Vampire, he and Armand had long since parted ways.
Armand, Reinvented for the Interview with the Vampire TV Show
Clearly, none of this happened in the TV series continuity. Armand and Louis are not only together in Interview With the Vampire, it seems they never parted. And the much older and more powerful Armand was subservient to Louis, despite that never being the case in the novels. In the books, the two maintained some affection for each other in the modern day but are not together in any real sense. Season two will no doubt give us their backstory and how it differs from the book. But the implication here is that Armand didn’t take part in Claudia’s death in the Interview With the Vampire series. (And for all we know, perhaps Claudia is even still alive). Not only that, but Armand seemed fixated on being Louis’ caretaker.
All of these things are fundamental differences in the Louis and Armand relationship, and it piques our curiosity as to how the creators of Interview with the Vampire will address these divergences. Louis revealed Armand’s true name as if Daniel should know it. But there is no reason why he should. Will they explain this? Much like Claudia, it may be that this Armand is just a really different character altogether. He just shares a name with Rice’s version. We’ll find out more about Armand and the rest of the vampires when Interview with the Vampire season two drops in 2023 on AMC.