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The Ending Of Interview With The Vampire Season 1 Explained

AMC's "Interview with the Vampire" adapts Anne Rice's famed novel of the same name, bringing the "Vampire Chronicles" series to television for the first time. The show starts with a bloody bang in Season 1, but all that sex and murder can get a bit distracting. Now that we've had a chance to consume all seven episodes, let's delve into the details. Who are the major players thus far, and who made an impact throughout Season 1 who's no longer with us? What are the biggest events of the season for each major character? Where are we leaving the story, what does it all mean, and what can we look forward to in what's sure to be a highly anticipated Season 2?

Today, we'll cover all that and more. If you're not caught up, spoilers are guaranteed, so enter at your own risk. With that out of the way, let's dive into the ending of "Interview with the Vampire" Season 1.

History of the interview

"Interview with the Vampire" came out as a novel in 1976 — the first entry in what would become Anne Rice's "The Vampire Chronicles." Although the film rights were acquired by Paramount way back before the book even made it onto shelves, the eventual movie languished for nearly 20 years before finally hitting the big screen. 

Aside from upping Claudia's age from five to somewhere in the tween range, the 1994 "Interview with the Vampire" film is fairly faithful to its source material. Louis (Brad Pitt) starts his immortality in 1791 and gives an account of his life for the entire 200 years thereafter. The AMC series, on the other hand, pushes events forward significantly, thus shortening that timeline by a fair margin. In Episode 7, "The Thing Lay Still," Louis (Jacob Anderson) says that on the night of their most infamous Mardi Gras in 1940, he was 61 years old. Claudia (Bailey Bass) was 36, stuck in the body of a 14-year-old girl. Only Lestat (Sam Reid) was of an otherworldly age, born in 1760 and set to turn 180 that year. 

The altering of the timeline allows the series to explore a more varied and nuanced racial landscape than that of the original novel's Antebellum South. By shifting the setting and casting Black actors in the roles of both Louis and Claudia, the AMC series opens up a more complex, modern, and respectful conversation about issues of race in America at the time.

An overt queer love story

Timelines and settings aren't the only things updated for AMC's "Interview with the Vampire" series. Additionally, the homoeroticism of the novel and the 1994 film has gone from implied to overt. The depiction of LGBTQ identities and relationships has become far more acceptable in media today than it was in the mid-1990s, and as a result, the AMC show gets to explore the subtext of Rice's novel in much more visible ways.

Through this more open and modern lens, the story of Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt is free to become what it was always implied to be: A multifaceted tale of an obsessive, dysfunctional love affair shot through with toxic power dynamics, warring allegiances, fiery passions, aching desire, and devastating conflict. The result is a series that's as captivating as it is at times horrifying, and one that makes the most of its source material. Brad and Tom could never.

The dark decline of Louis de Pointe du Lac

Good old Louie of Lakepoint is back, back, back again, trying to tell his story one more time to reporter Daniel Malloy (Eric Bogosian), whom he met in San Francisco some 50 years before. He's plagued with the idea of legacy, or so he says, but he's nothing if not an unreliable narrator. There's an agenda behind his words, and while he makes every attempt to come across as the generous host, there's a dangerous rage simmering just beneath the surface, ready to lash out at anyone unwise enough to question his story.

This Louis is not the whiner from the film; he commits enough savagery in seven episodes to earn his fearsome reputation. This Louis is haunted, yes, but also calculating. He's secretive, yet forthright. He's suffered the whims of Lestat's abuse, both physical and emotional, and bears both scars and open wounds from it. As a result, he exhibits love, shame, guilt, and hatred for Lestat in equal measure, damning the man he loved in the same breath that he defends him.

What does Louis really want?

Through Louis' stories in "Interview with the Vampire," we see the ways his relationship with Lestat polluted the man he once was. His treatment of Claudia is more wistful and full of regret. He seeks to keep her memory pure, or at least, as pure as it can be when attached to grisly murder.

When we leave Louis in the finale, he's angry again at being outmaneuvered by Malloy's questioning. When Rashid comes to his defense, Louis reveals him to be Armand, a key figure in Rice's "Chronicles" who's introduced by Louis in the AMC series as "the love of my life." The two undeniably share a bond, but whether it's one of true love or codependency is yet to be determined. Whichever it is, we can expect Louis' self-induced torment -– particularly over the fates of both Claudia and Lestat –- to carry into "Interview with the Vampire" Season 2.

Daniel Malloy's search for the truth

The character traits that make someone a good reporter can also make it hard for them to turn away from intriguing tales. At the start of AMC's "Interview with the Vampire," Daniel Malloy is contacted by Louis, and he can't resist the invitation despite the dangers. There's also the matter of his advanced Parkinson's disease. This is his last shot to get the story of a dozen lifetimes; his last chance to do it right. 

Daniel is succinctly characterized in the first moments of Episode 1, as the show opens with what appears to be an authentic Masterclass ad starring Daniel. The course is investigative journalism, and the ad firmly establishes that Daniel has had an exemplary career. Having first met Louis as a cocky young writer with a debilitating drug addiction, Daniel neither appreciated the weight of the story he was given nor sorted the obvious lies from the less obvious ones. Now, however, he's more in control of the interview and unintimidated by Louis. Even as his illness takes over and he's forced to intake IV medication, Daniel never loses his resolve to push Louis toward the truth. 

However, his cockiness still blindsides him in ways. Although he sees through Louis' hedging fabrications, Daniel isn't prepared to be visited by a memory of Rashid. He'd never recalled the full details of that long-ago night in San Francisco, and the revelation leaves him shaken. Rashid is clearly unhappy with Daniel's line of questioning and how he's been treating Louis. Now that Rashid has been revealed, is he a threat? Time will tell.

The fate of Lestat de Lioncourt

Lestat was a man, we must assume, who epitomized the old-world idea of a dandy with his fashionable clothes, love of art, and layabout philosophies. But as a vampire, he uses these characteristics to hide his unmatched cruelty, ruthlessness, and power. When he sees Louis threatening his own brother to stay out of his business, he fixates on him instantly. From that point on, everything Lestat does is meant to entice, threaten, and control him.

From the power play with Lily (Najah Bradley) to Lestat's decision to turn Claudia, it's all to keep Louis tethered to him. Thus, even his torment and torture of Claudia and his refusal to let her get away — while meant to control — ultimately leads to Lestat's own downfall at her hands. That downfall would've been permanent, too, if Claudia had been the only one with a say. Louis overrules her, however, and places Lestat above himself yet again, allowing him the chance to survive. 

As he tells these highly redacted tales to Daniel, Louis is clearly still in the throes of anger, guilt, and anguish over the fates of both Lestat and Claudia. Will his actions at the end of Season 1 directly lead to the reason for the state he's still in 80 years later? How will Lestat reemerge, and in what terrifying new form? What toll will he exact for the crimes committed against him, and what new crimes will he commit? These are key plot points to look for in Season 2.

What becomes of Claudia?

Just as ruthless and calculating as Lestat, Claudia is a fascinating character. Like Lestat, she wasn't given a choice in becoming a vampire, and her turning is all the crueler because of her age. She develops mentally and emotionally into a seasoned killer and a fully realized woman, but her physical form remains stuck in adolescence. 

Whereas her companions can blend in among men, Claudia is forever regulated to an inferior status in society because she's a child. Nothing changes in her body over the decades, and in Episode 4, her diary entry rails against her "flat-chested, hairless-crotched ... baby doll body." It doesn't help that Lestat is naturally withholding and Louis doesn't know enough to share with her, so she's kept sheltered like a little girl as well. 

This inexperience and naiveté costs her dearly, but by the end of Season 1, she seems to be fully in charge of her life. She's angry and frustrated with Louis for his continued submission to Lestat, and all that's left of her in Louis and Daniel's present are her exhaustive diaries, which Louis maintains like priceless relics. It's unclear where she goes or what her fate is, but given that Louis has excised certain events from her records and only wants her shown in the most favorable light, her vengeful actions in Episode 7 will likely catch up to her. Claudia isn't a girl who goes down without a fight, though, and she's learned to outsmart even Lestat. So what could possibly bring her down?

Rashid's true identity

We first meet Rashid in "Interview with the Vampire" in the Dubai "coffin" apartment of Louis de Pointe du Lac, acting as something of a manservant. He's a mysterious figure throughout and quite clearly protective of Louis, but all evidence points to him being a trusted human in the service of his vampire employer. In Episode 6, Daniel has a dream about his first run-in with Louis in which Rashid shows up at the end. This startles Daniel awake and makes him instantly suspicious. Did he simply insert the vision of a current figure into an old memory, or was Rashid actually there? And if he was there, how? Rashid has stood in the sunlight and therefore must be human, right? 

When Daniel pushes Louis' whitewashed recollection of the night he and Claudia turned on Lestat, Rashid finally reveals himself. He was in fact there in San Francisco, and he protected Daniel from Louis then. He's actually much older than Louis –- so old that the sun feels like nothing more than a slight sting against his skin — and his name is Armand. Louis introduces him as the love of his life, but the look on Daniel's face remains one of incredulity. Without a doubt, Season 2 will heavily feature Armand's relationship with Louis, and we'll come to see if Louis really loves him or if he merely finds him useful. Of course, there could instead be another, more sinister deception taking place with Armand in "Interview with The Vampire," as some fans have speculated.

Out of the family

When we first meet the living Louis in "Interview with the Vampire," he's the head of his family. His father died five years before, and Louis was tasked with taking care of his mother Florence (Rae Dawn Chong), sister Grace (Kalyne Coleman), and brother Paul (Steven G. Norfleet). It's a heavy burden he sometimes resents, but he remains devoted to them. Not even his budding romance with the mysterious new man about town, Lestat de Lioncourt, can dampen his familial loyalty. However, after Paul dies under suspicious circumstances, Louis winds up lost, miserable, and eventually a vampire. He still doesn't abandon his family, though, despite only being able to see them at night and when fully sated with blood. Still, his sister notices the changes (and certain lack of changes) in her brother over the years, so she makes an executive decision. 

In Episode 5, Louis is called to the family tomb to meet her, where she explains that he won't be part of their living family anymore. She points to the tomb, where his name and life dates have already been etched, and leaves. This is the last vestige of connection Louis had to his human life, and he weeps openly at the loss of it, but the scene can also be viewed as a metaphor for families that disown their LGBTQ kin and the despair that kind of abandonment leaves. There's no expectation that we'll see Grace or any of her clan again in the show, but this moment is a huge one for Louis.

The end of Antoinette

Antoinette catches Lestat's eye –- or rather, his ear –- with her melodic voice when she comes to work as a singer in Louis's club in "Interview with the Vampire" Episode 3. They became lovers, and she turns into something of an open secret in the household. Every time Lestat promises to kill her, he always goes back, and Louis finds out in the most painful way. After the horrific events of "Interview with the Vampire" Episode 5, Louis seems poised to actually move on, until a record arrives from Lestat -– an original recording of a song he wrote for Louis, sung by Antoinette. 

The gesture is both romantic and insulting, and Louis stakes his claim by kicking Antoinette out of her own house so he and Lestat can reconcile. Lestat, overjoyed and ready to come home, promises to kill Antoinette this time for real, and he does. What's left unsaid is that he turns her and then uses her to spy on Claudia, whom he considers an adversary for Louis' affections. In the stunning finale, Antoinette reveals what's sure to be Lestat's coup de grace over Claudia and Louis, only it's Claudia who gets the last laugh, and Antoinette gets burned in a kiln. Claudia wants to deliver the same fate to Lestat's body, but Louis won't let her. "Interview with the Vampire" Season 2 is sure to explore how these decisions will come back to bite both of them, but Antoinette's fangs seem to be dulled for good.

What's next?

"Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire" is confirmed to be getting a Season 2, with the renewal being secured prior to any of Season 1 even hitting the air, according to Variety. It will be set primarily in Europe, which makes sense since that's where Louis and Claudia are headed at the end of the epic Season 1 finale. However, there will no doubt still be a few visits to the San Francisco meeting of the original interview attempt and the Dubai location of the current one. 

The ultimate hope is that Season 2 will premiere in October of 2023, but until filming begins, it's far too soon to even consider that timeline. What's certain is that AMC is very invested in the show and fully supports the work of its writers and producers. They hope to keep "Interview with the Vampire" going for some years to come, and for as long as it continues, expect it to keep exploring the nature of identity, alienation, and self-actualization. And of course, there will probably be lots more blood and murder too. As long as the core cast of "Interview with the Vampire" returns, Season 2 is sure to be a captivating ride.