8 Major Book-to-Series Changes in ‘Interview With the Vampire’

Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid in 'Interview with the Vampire'
Spoiler Alert
Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

If you know a Vampire Chronicles fan, chances are good they have strong feelings about the first season of AMC’s adaptation, Interview with the Vampire.

Overall the reception seems to have been overwhelmingly positive, both among fans of Anne Rice’s novels and for show-only viewers. But in the lead-up to the series premiere, plenty of book readers noticed significant changes to the source material (Louis’ [Jacob Anderson] race, Claudia’s [Bailey Bass] age, the time period shift). While the general consensus seems to be that those differences worked out well, as with any adaptation, they weren’t the only adjustments made to the source material.

Now that Season 1 has concluded, we’re taking a look at a few other significant modifications — and Easter eggs — from the show’s first seven episodes.

Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, Season 1, Now Streaming, AMC+

Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt in Interview with the Vampire
Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Lestat’s Past

On the show, we’re given a glimpse at Lestat’s (Sam Reid) past as he tells Louis and Claudia about the vampire who created him — and about Nicki, his first love. (And first heartbreak. Poor Nicki.) There’s also a throwaway mention of “Those Who Must Be Kept,” a subject certain to perk many book fans’ ears. While these topics are explored in the second installment in the book series, The Vampire Lestat, Louis never finds out about Lestat’s history during the events of the book version of Interview with the Vampire.

Bailey Bass as Claudia in 'Interview with the Vampire' Episode 4
Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Claudia’s Transformation

On the show, Claudia becomes a vampire after getting trapped in a building set aflame during a riot Louis (indirectly) started. The source material sees Claudia take a different path to vampirism — after finding her with the corpse of her dead mother, Louis feeds on her but doesn’t kill her. Later on, Lestat finds her and changes her of his own free will; Louis doesn’t beg him to save her as he did in the series.

Bailey Bass as Claudia, Interview with the Vampire

Claudia Leaves

The show added a controversial plot point when it sent Claudia off on a brief voyage of self-discovery that ended with (trigger warning) an implied sexual assault. In the book, Claudia never leaves. Thus, she doesn’t try to leave for a second time, with Lestat then threatening her and dragging her back home. (Oh, and she’s much younger in the books — a 5-year-old, instead of a teenager.)

Bailey Bass as Claudia , Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt and Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac

The Fateful Fight

Another controversial plot point in the first season broke many a “Loustat” fan’s heart: Lestat and Louis’ violent fight at the end of Episode 5. Part of the reason the harrowing, heartbreaking sequence garnered a strong fan reaction is that it never happened in the book. While Louis and Lestat did disagree often in the source materia, and Lestat was definitely verbally abusive, the strife between them never grew physical.

Eric Bogosian as Daniel Molloy and Assad Zaman as Rashid

The Whole “Rashid” Thing

One of the biggest departures from the source material is the Rashid (Assad Zaman) character. We find out in the finale that he’s actually Armand, a fellow vampire whom Louis claims is his “true love.” That’s definitely not how it happened in the book! While Armand does exist in the novel, he’s not involved in the interview process and he’s certainly not messing with Louis’ head throughout. He doesn’t even appear in the story until after Claudia and Louis kill Lestat. Speaking of which…

Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt, Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt

The Last Dance

Lestat’s death on the show differs greatly from the novel. In the book he dies the same way, drinking “tainted” blood, but not from guests at an elaborate Mardi Gras ball like on the show. And he doesn’t wind up wrapped in a carpet and thrown in the dump. In the source material, Claudia and Louis also have to kill him twice; he returns after their first attempt. The second time, they lock him in their house as it burns.

Maura Grace Athari as Antoinette Brown

Antoinette

A version of Antoinette (Maura Grace Athari) exists in the book, albeit far removed from the character on-screen. Book-Antoinette is a male musician in whom Lestat takes a marked interest, and just as on the show, he does make him a vampire. But he never deceives Louis about the nature of their relationship, nor does he pretend to kill him. He, unlike Antoinette, plays no part in Lestat’s death and survives the book’s events.

Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt

Lestat’s Song

This, as with “Those Who Must Be Kept,” seemed like an Easter egg just for book readers. In the book, Lestat never tries to win Louis back by giving him a recording of a song written and sung for him. But in The Vampire Lestat, Lestat eventually rises to become a rock star in the ‘80s. It’s possible the show doesn’t mean to adapt that plotline for Lestat, but it decided to nod to it with the song. Or… it does intend to adapt Lestat’s rockstar days, and this was foreshadowing…