Last night's (Oct. 14) episode of "American Horror Story" confirmed what its blood-soaked season premiere group sex scene had only heavily implied: The penthouse suite at the Hotel Cortez is occupied by a couple of actual vampires.
So of course, the Countess and her boy toy must be bulletproof, prone to biting, and extremely sparkly in the light of day -- right?
Turns out, as with all "American Horror Story" archetypes, the vampires of "Hotel" play by their own rules, which were laid out both explicitly and by implication in "Chutes and Ladders." Here's everything we know so far about how vampirism works in the AHS world.
1. No biting.
"We don't bite. We cut," says the Countess, which explains both her conspicuous lack of fangs and her epic collection of bladed accessories.
2. Vampirism is a virus.
Drink from a vampire's veins -- as Tristan did last night -- and you'll become one of them. There may be other methods of infecting new vamps as well, but based on what we've seen so far, it's a fair bet that this is a blood-borne virus, and definitely not a sexually transmitted disease.
3. You're immortal, not invincible.
The vampire virus supercharges your immune system and keeps you permanently ageless, but that doesn't mean you can't be killed. As the Countess says, "You're only immortal if you're smart."
4. Snobby drinking habits are a must.
Feeding from the dead is a no-no -- and less-than-pure sources of blood ("the diseased, feeble, and polluted") are to be avoided. However, drinking from fellow vampires seems to be okay, considering that the Countess seems to be using her cadre of vampire kids as a personal blood-filtration system.
5. A little diet diversity won't hurt you.
Or so we assume, since the vampire kiddies get juice and cookies after donating blood to their mistress.
6. Coffins are optional.
The Countess prefers blackout curtains to keep her sleeping area tightly sealed, but if you want to bed down in a deathbox at the bottom of a drained indoor pool, then hey, you do you.
7. Wear sunscreen.
The sun won't kill the vampires of "Hotel," but it saps their vitality, so they tend to avoid it.
8. Immortality is no protection from bad investments.
Unlike certain vampire families we've met elsewhere (*cough*The Cullens*cough*), the Countess doesn't have an infinite supply of cash to fund her lifestyle -- or even enough to buy a new piece of modern art.
9. Stakes and bullets can end your life, but nothing hurts worse than heartbreak.
Despite their differences, the vampires of "American Horror Story" are tragic figures in the same way as your archetypal immortal blood-drinkers: The longer they live, the more people they lose. Which is why the Countess, who has been around since the dawn of the 20th century, insists that her boy toys are permitted to fall in love only with her... so that she can crush their hearts and give them a taste of the grief that has apparently defined her life.