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Werewolf (BBC)

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For the remake SyFy series' version of werewolves, see Werewolf (Syfy)
BBCwerewolf
Werewolf
Species information
Sentience
  • Sentient (in Human form)
  • Semi- or non-sentient (in wolf form)
Eye colour
  • Varies (in Human form)
  • Yellow (in wolf form)
Skin colour
  • Varies (in Human form)
  • Dark (in wolf form)
Hair colour
  • Varies (in Human form)
  • Brown (in wolf form)
Related to
Native range

Worldwide

Alternative names
  • Type 3
  • Dog (racist term used by vampires)
  • Lyco (racist term used by vampires)
Height of average adult

Varies

Distinction(s)

Transform into large, wolf-like monsters during the full moon

"But it won't kill him and that's the thing I find most remarkable. It drags him through the fire and keeps him alive and even conscious to endure every second. Nothing like this could just evolve. It's the fingerprint of God. An impossible lethal curse spread by tooth and claw, victim begets victim begets victim. It's so cruel, it's perfect."
―The vampire John Mitchell on his friend George Sands' condition.

Werewolves (classified Type 3) are a post-human supernatural species who, during the full moon every month, transform into fearsome, wolf-like monsters. In their human form, a werewolf cannot be distinguished from normal humans, although their senses of smell and hearing seem to sharpen before and after the full moon. During the full moon, werewolves become savage beasts with great strength and ferocity over which they have no control. The werewolf curse is normally passed on when a human is scratched by a transformed or partially transformed werewolf. The only known method of curing lycanthropy is by destroying the Devil, and even so, the only example of this "cure" was shown to be an illusion.

HistoryEdit

According to Hal Yorke, the werewolf curse, like vampires' and ghosts' respective curses, originates from the Devil. (The Last Broadcast) It is implied that werewolves have existed as long as vampires have. They can be found throughout history, any gender, any ethnicity, or any race.

Werewolves are apparently a rarer and more scattered supernatural species than ghosts and vampires, and have long since had a very negative relationship with vampires due to the latter species' cruel and brutal treatment of werewolves and their views of werewolves as an inferior species.

In 1911, a full-scale war erupted between the werewolves, led by Lady Catherine Glass, and the vampires, due to the Devil's influence. The war lasted for seven years, until in 1918, the vampire and werewolf armies called a truce to find and destroy the Devil. (The Trinity)

Alternate timelineEdit

In an alternative timeline where the Old Ones weren't killed in 2012 and their plans for a global vampire takeover weren't stopped, werewolves were oppressed and subjugated by the vampire regime alongside humans, and were put into concentration camps and forced into Werewolf Fights. (Making History)

A few years before 2037, the human resistance initiated a werewolf recruitment drive, in which werewolves and humans fought together as equals against the vampire regime. (Eve of the War)

CharacteristicsEdit

InfectionEdit

Each werewolf was originally human, before becoming infected with the werewolf curse when they were scratched or bitten by a transformed or transforming werewolf. Werewolves are not as common as vampires or ghosts due to the fact that werewolves, while in their wolf form, will attack to kill rather to infect, unlike other similar creatures such as vampires. A werewolf will leave a lifelong scar after infecting a victim. This makes werewolves relatively easy to identify whilst in their human state.

Werewolves can have children, but this is extremely rare, with Eve Sands being the only known example. Eve was apparently human as she did not transform during the full moon, which Griffin believed was due to the two werewolf genes from her parents cancelling each other out; however, it would appear that Eve did inherit at least some supernatural ability from her werewolf parents, as she was able to see ghosts. (Eve of the War)

TransformationEdit

"There aren't words."
George Sands when asked to describe the pain that is felt whilst transforming.

On every full moon, a werewolf will excruciatingly transform from their human to wolf form, then revert to human form by the next morning. It seems that the gravitational pull of the full moon triggers the transformation in an identical manner to how it causes sea tides to rise. (Cure and Contagion)

Pre-transformationEdit

The werewolf may undress before transforming to avoid destroying their clothes. It is also known that as the full moon approaches, werewolves' senses of smell and hearing are enhanced. They remain enhanced even after reversion to human form, probably returning to baseline human levels as the time goes on until the cycle begins again.

Confidence and even a tendency towards aggression may be evident, given the occasion. Although most of the time they are only as strong as a normal human, when nearing a transformation, a werewolf will be in possession of extreme strength far beyond that of a human, and in their wolf form are known to be capable of killing vampires single-handedly. There also appears to be an increased appetite for sex, as is seen in the werewolf George Sands when he ravished a nurse, Nina Pickering, whilst on the cusp of a transformation. Indeed, George was later shown to be concerned that he may not be able to reach the same levels of performance later and feared Nina would lose interest in him if that happened. In human form, even when not near a transformation, a werewolf possesses physical toughness and strength beyond a normal human's, due to the repeated organ failures and broken bones and subsequent healing endured during the transformations.

TransformationEdit

A werewolf's transformation itself would kill a normal human within thirty seconds. The heart stops and shrinks by one-third, whilst the werewolf also experiences liver and kidney failure as all other organs must change size as well. The werewolf's bones then break and begin to reshape and reform. The werewolf's throat and vocal cords will begin to tear and reform, which in turn will for a while leave the werewolf unable to talk or scream. The pituitary glands will then attempt to ease the pain by flooding the body with endorphines, however it will have shut down by this time too.

George mid-transformation

George Sands transforming.

Once the internal changes have taken place, the external changes begin. Fangs grow in, and the fingernails and toenails grow out to form claws, whilst the face and skull reform to form a snout. The spine enlarges and the vertebrae push out on the skin, whilst long hair begins to sprout from all over the body. The skin under this hair also seems to become much darker as well. The eyes change from their normal colour to a yellow, more animalistic form. The body becomes hunched over, although the werewolf retains the ability to walk upright on two legs. By this stage, the werewolf will have lost their human mind and have fully transformed into their bestial state. Upon completion of the transformation, the wolf usually lets out a long howl.

While mid-transformation, a werewolf retains some degree of control over the wolf even if they cannot stop it, such as when George managed to go from a school to his flat while mid-transformation; or when McNair later passed over John Mitchell to attack another vampire, as even his feral state recognised that Mitchell himself wasn't a threat, even if he was still slightly hostile to McNair.

While in wolf form, werewolves lose the ability to think like humans and become savage monsters, incapable of any empathy or thought, and highly aggressive towards any creature that comes within their reach. Some werewolves have been known to attack humans in wolf form that they would love in their human form, (The Greater Good) but others have been known to instead become calm around humans, (Bad Moon Rising) and/or to refrain from attacking loved ones. (The Greater Good) Also, although werewolves will attack most other creatures they encounter while transformed, they will not attack other werewolves with which they have a close relationship. Although George Sands attacked Lee Tully when the two were in wolf form after learning that Tully was the werewolf that had infected him, the first time he and Nina transformed in close proximity to each other the two had sex in wolf form. (Lia (episode)) Anthony McNair and his adopted son Tom's respective wolves also demonstrating a pack-like attitude towards each other due to their connection in human form despite the lack of a biological connection between them. On another occasion, Tom in his wolf form, after hearing before transforming that Bobby's wolf was about to attack the Barry Grand Hotel, returned to the Hotel and tried to contain Bobby without killing him, and did not harm Bobby after being sealed in a room with him.

Post-transformationEdit

After reverting to human form the morning after the night of the full moon, a werewolf will not retain any memory of their time in wolf form, although they may be able to remember some of the emotions that they felt. For instance, George Sands remembered that he felt good after he killed vampire William Herrick in his wolf form, and also remembered that his blood was cold. (Bad Moon Rising, Cure and Contagion) Any recollection of a night in wolf form is very rare, as werewolves may travel hundreds of miles during the night and not know where they are when they awake.

Although werewolves naturally only transform during a full moon, they can trick their body into a partial transformation without a full moon; however, doing so is fatal for the werewolf in question, as their liver, heart and kidney do not heal afterwards as they would following a complete transformation. (Eve of the War)

AppearanceEdit

Werewolves are heavily built and very muscular with particularly powerful arms. In wolf form, a werewolf's pectoral muscles are very developed and the abdominal area is also very well built.

WeaknessesEdit

Werewolves are unable to cross running water. It is not known if silver has any effect on werewolves. McNair managed to kill a transformed werewolf in a dogfight by stabbing it in the neck with a knife and slitting its throat, and McNair himself was killed when Herrick stabbed his wolf in the eye with a blade. This shows that a werewolf in wolf form can be killed by cutting the eye or throat with a knife. If a werewolf suffers a fatal injury in wolf form, it will not recover in human form, although their ability to heal in both states is still far above a human's.

It has also been shown that as a werewolf gets older, their transformations become more dangerous and damaging to their health; as Hal Yorke and Pearl believed that if werewolf Leo had transformed one more time before his death in 2012, then he would not have survived it. (Eve of the War)

TreatmentEdit

There is no confirmed means of curing lycanthropy. In a dream reality engineered by Captain Hatch, destroying the Devil would cause the werewolf curse to die with him and thus render werewolves human again; but as this world was an illusion, it is unknown if it would have worked in reality or if lycanthropy is at all curable. (The Last Broadcast)

An increase in air pressure will prevent a werewolf from transforming during the full moon, theorised to be because the increase in pressure cancels out the moon's gravitational pull. However, the air pressure increase will also result in the werewolf's veins increasing in size to the point that they burst, causing the werewolf to die of blood loss. (Cure and Contagion)

Werewolves can attempt to prevent themselves from harming others by creating a scent trail using a meat carcass, leading to an isolated location where they know no one will find them. They can there create another scent trail in the shape of a circle, hoping that they will in their wolf form attempt to follow the trail all night rather than hunt for live prey.

Taking sleeping pills before transforming will put the werewolf into a deep sleep all night and is a safer option than allowing themselves to be free in their wolf form. However, it seems that anger that is built up during the month is let out on the full moon, and thus if the werewolf does not allow this anger out, they will adopt a much more aggressive persona while in their human form, and may find it uncontrollable to swear or be violent towards people.

Other characteristicsEdit

Werewolf blood is highly toxic to vampires, burning vampires' bodily tissues like acid, and can kill a vampire if the said vampire ingests or is exposed to a great enough amount of werewolf blood. Due to this, vampire-hunting werewolves commonly use vials of their blood as weapons against vampires. (Eve of the War onwards)

It is also known that werewolves such as Tom McNair can sense the wolf inside of them even when in human form. (The Last Broadcast)

Supernatural relationshipsEdit

VampiresEdit

Werewolves have a very hostile relationship with vampires. As supernatural beings can identify one-another, werewolves can be spotted immediately by vampires, even in their human form. Some vampires will immediately attack a werewolf (in human form only, as an attack on a werewolf in wolf form would be suicidal for a vampire) upon seeing them, while others trick them into coming with them to a private location where they can attack. Werewolves are often considered little more than dogs and wild beasts by vampires, and it is a very rare when a vampire and werewolf coexist peacefully; at one point, a full-scale war even erupted between werewolf and vampire armies in the 1910s.

Originally, it was believed that vampires loathed werewolves because they saw them as savage and inferior creatures; Herrick seemed especially fond of demeaning werewolves like this. However the true basis for the hatred has been suggested to be fear; as werewolf blood is toxic to vampires, and when fully transformed into their wolf forms, werewolves are much stronger than vampires and can easily overpower and kill them. One particular vampire, Nick Cutler, believed that humans would find werewolves more intimidating than vampires if the human public became aware of the supernatural world, and even tried to reveal the existence of werewolves to humans so that they would unite against them with the vampires.

Vampires' disgust and hatred towards werewolves seems to be more fundamental and instinctive than personality-wise, seeing as one new vampire showed a hint of repulse at the very first werewolf he met upon learning what the werewolf was. It would also appear that the vicious and prejudiced tendencies vampires exhibit towards werewolves is partly linked to the vampires' killer instincts and whether or not they're drinking blood, seeing as vampires seem completely devoid of their hatred and disgust towards werewolves when they're clean of blood and not killing.

ZombiesEdit

Werewolves find zombies' stench of decay repulsive, but wolves such as George Sands seem to otherwise be willing to tolerate zombies.

Known WerewolvesEdit

According to Dominic Rook of the Department of Domestic Defence, in 2013 there were around thirty-five 'registered' werewolves in the UK, with approximately the same number of werewolves unknown to official registration.

Image GalleryEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The scientific word used for werewolves by human organisations aware of the supernatural is Type 3, presumably the third type of supernatural being discovered.
  • In the first three series of Being Human, werewolves' bodies did not bleed when transforming; but in Series 4 and 5, they did.
  • The concept of running water acting as an impenetrable barrier has never been applied to werewolves in the mythology of any culture. In fact, it was said that vampires were unable to cross running water.
  • The scenes of George and Nina transforming were created by using animatronics and CGI, whilst fur suits were used for other shots of them in their wolf form.
  • Dominic Rook mentioned in The Greater Good that there are thirty-five werewolves in the UK known to the Department of Domestic Defence, and approximately the same number unregistered by them.

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