|Trope · Genre|
|Related:||Sire Bond, Vampire, Mating|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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Claiming is a trope that arose in Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom, and in that fandom it refers to the vampiric version of mating for life.
More recently the trope has migrated to other fandoms, and it appears frequently in Omegaverse fanfiction.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This process often involves a vampire biting but not killing, and/or sharing blood with a human. It sometimes involves ritual words spoken by the vampire making the claim. The claimed human may be called the vampire's Consort or Mate, and may have to wear a particular piece of jewellery or an item demonstrating their claimed status to other vampires.
In some works, a claim is used to protect a human character from other vampires, or it serves as a show of commitment between two characters already in a romantic/sexual relationship. In other cases claiming occurs under the influence of a spell or from accidental biting/blood-sharing. There are also cases where the claim is non-consensual, and/or there may be dub con interactions between the vampire and claimed human.
A master vampire may also claim a newly turned vampire whose sire is incapable of raising their Childe, due to mental incapacity or death. Similarly two (or more) master vampires may share similar rituals when mating for eternity, but this process is not always referred to as claiming. It may be described as a reaffirming of the Sire Bond or a Mating ritual.
The specifics of claiming vary greatly across fics, and this trope arose in fandom with little or no basis in canon.
Honestly, I don’t know who started it. I believe that the concept was taken from the Vampire: the Masquerade roleplaying game, which in turn borrowed heavily from Anne Rice. But as to who introduced it to Buffy fic, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure it got popular around Season 2-3, and that was before I got involved in online fandom. I’ve heard people say that it was early Spander writers who used it first, (Te’s name came up) but I don’t think they provided any evidence. And any evidence there was probably disappeared when Geocities went down, and most of the early fanfic went poof.
Claim fics sometimes examine the hierarchy of vampiric society, with claimed humans and newly turned vampires having to adapt to the rules of that society.
In Omegaverse fics, claiming bites are also used as a form of mating bond. This is usually done during sex or knotting, where the Alpha will bite the Omega and leave a mark on their skin. In some fics Omegas mark their Alpha’s with a biting claim as well.
In some works, the bond can become stronger with repeated bites, or can fade if claiming does not occur regularly.
- Beloved in Blood by Ameeya, aka Holly, Spike returns to Sunnydale to kill the Slayer. He’s just too drunk to do it properly, and ends up getting himself into the deep without even realizing it. Perhaps worst of all, he has no memory of his actions the next day. (2003)
Archives & Fannish Links
- On how the claim ritual came to be a thing in Spuffy fics post by rahirah, 2017.