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Baron Afanas is a fearsome member of vampire royalty, and a recurring figure in What We Do in the Shadows (TV series).


Biography[]

Early life[]

Afanas was a vampire supremacist who firmly believed vampires should overpower the human population, an opinion that divided many other vampires.[2] Unlike most vampires, he has a more monstrous appearance, possibly due to his age. According to Laszlo Cravensworth, it was the Baron who turned Nadja into a vampire.[3] Afanas lacked genitals, but was still a good lover according to Laszlo and Nadja, who both had affairs with the Baron. Afanas told both vampires to take over the new world of America (or just Staten Island or New York, they were not sure) while intimate with them, taking them both by surprise and confusion.[4]

Television series[]

Shortly after the documentary crew arrived, the Staten Island vampires received a letter from Baron Afanas, saying that he will visit them soon. Afanas was brought in a stone coffin to the vampires’ attic. He emerged from the coffin and immediately ate Laszlo and Nadja’s familiar, June. He lamented the vampires not having taken over New York, and threatened them with death if they did not do so by the time he woke up again.[2]

The Baron remained sleeping in the coffin while his familiar stayed in the house, silently observing and sneaking up on the residents. The vampires made two attempts to dominate New York, first they tried to take over Staten Island Borough Council,[4] and then they tried to join forces with Simon the Devious, the leader of the Manhattan vampires.[5] Both plans failed.

To please the Baron, Nandor requested Guillermo get red roses for him. Colin Robinson sensed angry energy from the attic and realised the Baron was awakening again. Afanas emerged from his coffin, saying he wanted to experience a "night on the town" in the new world and attacked the sound recorder from the documentary crew. Laszlo, Nadja and Nandor suspected their lives may be at risk and contemplated killing Afanas, which his familiar secretly overheard. Needing to fit in, Afanas borrowed clothes from Colin.[6]

On the streets, Afanas attempted to eat Shaun, shoplifted a stress toy from a shop and drank the blood of a drunken man, which made him become intoxicated. Laszlo attempted to impale him with a stake, but failed. Afanas then requested “shots” at another bar and killed another man, encouraging the other vampires to join in. As the vampires bonded, Afanas revealed that his ‘baron’ status was actually a pun on ‘barren’; he was unable to have children due to his lack of genitals. The roommates suggested that they could be his children instead.[6]

The vampires became increasingly under the influence from consuming drunken humans. At the next bar, Afanas admitted he had considered killing all of them earlier that night. Nandor admitted they were thinking of doing the same and laughed as Nadja and Laszlo join in. The Baron appeared to be furious, causing the vampires to claim they were only joking, but he eventually burst out laughing himself.[6]

Afanas then decided he wanted to eat a pizza pie to see if it tastes as good as he had heard. He bit into a pie containing garlic, which made him vomit so explosively that it sent him flying into the air. He fell at the vampires’ feet unharmed as his familiar watched from a distance on a rooftop. The vampires then headed into a rave and ate several people on drugs, making them even more intoxicated. They then went into a karaoke bar, but the Baron insisted they leave when Nadja started singing acapella very badly.[6]

The vampires returned to the house as dawn approached. An extremely drunken and drugged Baron dodged all the sunlight shining through the attic roof, only to fall down the stairs and off the balcony into the hall. As he stood up, he was burned to death by sunlight as Guillermo opened the front door with the roses, to the horror of his familiar and all the house vampires.[6] The roommates were too intoxicated to handle the situation and Nadja broke his body in half trying to pick him up.[1]

That night, the vampires, with no memory of the previous night, buried Afanas in the garden between Laszlo’s topiaries representing Nadja and his mother. As they poured a final sip of blood into the Baron’s mouth, his eyes glowed, indicating that he may still be undead.[1]

Post-mortem[]

The vampires were subsequently summoned to the Vampiric Council to be tried for Afanas’ murder. At the trial, his familiar finally spoke and testified against the vampires, causing the council members to all admit that they didn’t like the Baron and understood any motives for killing him. Guillermo admitted to the murder, but the Council did not believe him, perceiving him as either too weak or lying to protect his master. Fearing the Council were going to eat him, Nandor confessed instead. The vampires were found guilty of premeditated vampicide and were sentenced to death by exposure to sunlight in a well. They were however saved by Colin shielding them with a beach umbrella, and Guillermo smuggling them out in their bat forms in a cardboard box.[1]

When the Council discovered that the accused vampires had escaped, they sent at least twelve vampire assassins to the Staten Island residence to kill them, but Guillermo secretly disposed of all of them.[7]

Eventually, the Council invited the vampires (including Colin) to the exclusive Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires event. When the vampires arrived, they were bound to their chairs and forced to watch re-enactments of their supposed crimes, including Afanas’ murder. They were then led onto the stage to be executed, but Guillermo arrived and killed most of the cast and audience.[8]

Exhumation[]

The Baron remained undead in his grave, surviving on the blood-soaked soil of the yard. He regained some strength and tried to dig his way out, but was unable to do so as his only remaining limb was his left arm. His cries for help were heard by Colin, who didn't realise that it was the Baron.

In 2021, the Staten Island vampires were promoted to the Vampiric Council of the Eastern Seaboard of the New World. They inadvertently caused the Sire, the progenitor of all vampires in the world, to escape his cell. This caused panic among the Council due to the superstition that when a vampire dies, any vampires they created will also expire. Laszlo suddenly realized that if the Baron was dead, Nadja should have also died too. He, Colin and Guillermo raced home to exhume Afanas.

The group eventually found the Baron's burial site and dug him up. Having no memory of how he was killed, he was in surprisingly good spirits. He was pleased to hear that the roommates had taken over the Council and volunteered to help find the Sire. The Council chiefs traced him to a supermarket, with the Baron riding on the back of the hellhound Aspen. In the store, the Baron was the only person able to communicate with the Sire due to his ancient language. The Baron negotiated with the Sire, reassuring him that the Council were not trying to kill him and were not going to lock him up again. The two vampires decided to move in together with Aspen in a house in Nutley, New Jersey, feeding off unsuspecting visitors from AirBnb.[3]

The Baron poses for a portrait with his new roommate, the Sire.

When Colin Robinson died of natural causes shortly afterwards, the Baron and his new roommates posed for his memorial portrait painting.[9]

Trivia[]

  • Similar to Petyr, the Baron is significantly older and more monstrous-looking than other vampires.
  • The Baron is bisexual, having had affairs with both Laszlo and Nadja.
  • The Baron is from Belarus.
  • His first phrase when he came out from his coffin in the first episode is a line in Italian from the hymn "A Satana" by Giosuè Carducci ("Ne la Materia. Che mai non dorme.")

Appearances[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Clement, Jemaine (writer) & Waititi, Taika (director) (May 8, 2019). "The Trial". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 7. FX.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Clement, Jemaine (writer) & Waititi, Taika (director) (March 27, 2019). "Pilot". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 1. FX.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bender, Jake & Dunn, Zach (writers) & Gorskaya, Yana (director) (September 30, 2021). "The Escape". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 26. FX.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Simms, Paul (writer) & Clement, Jemaine (director) (April 3, 2019). "City Council". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 2. FX.
  5. Scharpling, Tom (writer) & Clement, Jemaine (director) (April 17, 2019). "Manhattan Night Club". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 3. FX.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Morris, Iain (writer) & van Beek, Jackie (director) (May 1, 2019). "Baron's Night Out". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 6. FX.
  7. Sawyer, Marika (writer) & Newacheck, Kyle (director) (April 15, 2020). "Resurrection". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 11. FX.
  8. Johnson, Sam, Robinson, Stefani & Simms, Paul (writers) & Newacheck, Kyle (director) (June 10, 2020). "Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 20. FX.
  9. Johnson, Sam, Robinson, Stefani & Simms, Paul & Wells, Lauren (writers) & Gorskaya, Yana (director) (October 28, 2021). "The Portrait". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 30. FX.
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