When it comes to paranormal world building there are two major philosophies on how a character can have lycanthropy. Both, depending on the author, have some connection with the moon.
The first theory is that it can be caught. This makes it a disease. Catching lycanthropy is usually caused from a bite of a were-creature. Disease based lycanthropy is tied strictly to the moon. It will cause them to turn into the animal and they can’t stop it.
The second theory goes with the idea that it is a part of who they are from the beginning. This makes it genetics and some people can become a were-creature and some cannot. The genetic lycanthropes most likely have control over their shifting and can do so by a combination of willpower and control.
The most prevalent were-creature is of course the werewolf; though some authors have gone on to include other animal types, including predator and prey species.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some major players dealing with lycanthropy:
- Anita Blake, Laurel K. Hamilton
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon
- Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling
- Catching Midnight, Emma Holly
- Shiver & Linger, Maggie Stiefvater
- Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer
- Awaiting Series, Donna Lea Simpson
- Westfield Brothers Series, Lydia Dare
- Werewolf Series, Terry Spear
What other series or authors can you add and where do they fall in the break down?
Photo credits: Jörg Dickmann