‘Dampyr’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: What Happens To Harlan?

You must have surely heard about vampires, but have you got any idea what a ‘Dampyr’ is? I certainly had no clue that characters like Blade belonged to the Dampyr category. Riccardo Chemello, the director of the 2022 film Dampyr has tried to bring the legendary creature into popular culture with vigor, and his effort doesn’t entirely miss the mark. The film is a story about Harlan Draka, who doesn’t know that his birth is the result of the union between a vampire and a human. In the Balkans, war is raging, and when the army is attacked by a bunch of vampires, Commander Kurjack brings in Harlan to see if he is a dampyr, a vampire hunter.


Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

Many moons ago, a woman gave birth to Harlan after she had been impregnated by a ‘Master of the Night’ named Draka. Vampires were known to finish off their human-borne offspring, as they were the ones who would later become ‘dampyrs’—the vampire hunters. But here, Draka couldn’t kill Harlan as he was stopped by three protectors, as Harlan’s fate could only be decided after he made a ‘choice’. Harlan grew up to be oblivious to the fact that he was a dampyr. Ironically, he tried to act as one in Balkan villages with his friend Yuri, and they both ran a scam trying to rid the region of vampires in exchange for money and simpletons’ goodwill. The Balkan cities were war-ravaged, and the army had come to Harlan’s village to take cognizance of a massacre. Before Commander Kurjack could assess what was happening and who was behind the mass murders, his unit was attacked by vampires. 


How Did Harlan Meet Kurjack?

Kurjack was skeptical at first that the creatures that attacked the unit were indeed vampires. One of the injured men told Kurjack that the creatures survived gunshots. Kurjack was getting frustrated at the fact that he was fighting what he thought were only mythical creatures. But they were real, and evidence mounted up to support that fact. One of the men, Lazar, told Kurjack that what they needed was a man who specialized in dealing with vampires. Harlan and Yuri were picked up during one of their scamming sessions. Harlan and Lazar had known each other for a long time, and while Lazar had aged, Harlan had remained like someone in his late twenties. When he brought Harlan to meet Kurjack, he made it obvious that Harlan was not a normal human being. He had made a reputation for masquerading around as a vampire hunter, and now it was time to be put to the test. However, Harlan frustrated Kurjack by reiterating the fact that vampires weren’t real, and Kurjack was a fool to fall for the tricks that he did to scam the villagers.

Why Did Tesla Help The Duo?

Kurjack didn’t hesitate to attack the church where they had been last attacked, thinking that Harlan would be tested there, and sure he was. Several creatures attacked Harlan, but they stopped suddenly, sensing he wasn’t a human. Actually, they were the slaves of another Master of the Night named Gorka. He could control them at will. He warned the vampires not to mess with Harlan, as he was the lineage of a powerful vampire. He commanded everyone to run away, except Tesla. She was a vampire as well, but she hated being controlled by Gorka. She was ordered to risk her life by being near Harlan and Kurjack. Gorka wanted to keep an eye on Harlan, and the only way was to have Tesla near them at all times. When Yuri, Harlan’s best friend and ‘manager,’ was taken away by the vampires, Tesla came forward in order to help the duo find Gorka and save Yuri. This way she made herself indispensable and played the dual game of making it look like she was a loyal slave working for Gorka, but her real plan was to get Harlan closer to him so he could kill Gorka and release her from his bondage.


Why Did Stefan And Others Leave Kurjack?

Stefan was always a livewire in the group. He didn’t believe in the myth of the vampires, but when they were proven to be real, his primary instinct was to run away. He blamed the deaths of the unit’s men on Kurjack, who had brought them into vampire-infested territory. He convinced the other men, who thought that running away was a safer option, that Kurjack was ordering them to move further into combat with the vampires. Afraid they might end up infected or dead, the men followed Stefan, leaving Kurjack alone with Harlan and Tesla.

What Choice Did Harlan Make In The End?

The trio were alone, and soon the slaves would come back to attack them, better equipped this time. Stefan and others had already been made into loyal slaves by Gorka himself, who had found himself another mission. He was shocked to find that Harlan was alive and blamed it on Draka’s inability to kill his half-human offspring. Harlan was a stain on the vampire’s legacy, and Gorka took it upon himself to wipe it off. He kept an eye on Harlan through Tesla and figured that he was growing stronger and believing in his powers as a dampyr. His blood could finish off a vampire in a matter of seconds. One of the slaves had succumbed to his touch. Seeing all this, Gorka had decided to fight him himself, but first, he needed to deal with Tesla.


Gorka must have realized that Tesla was just acting to be on his side while her heart was with Harlan. When she begs Harlan to save her from Gorka, she isn’t just trying to gain his trust; she is actually asking Harlan to kill Gorka. When Gorka controlled her and tried to kill Harlan, she resisted, making it clear that she didn’t actually want to kill Harlan. Gorka had to come to catch her himself when she went on a killing rampage, killing members of her vampire race. Kurjack and Harlan had their jobs cut out for them. They had to save Yuri and Tesla. Harlan, who had never truly believed that he was a dampyr, became convinced that his fate was that of a vampire hunter and that he had to kill Gorka. He survived Tesla’s assault and went with Kurjack to hunt for Gorka. All throughout his life, Harlan had had nightmares where Draka was seen asking him to make a ‘choice’: the same choice the three protectors had saved him for at his birth. 

While Stefan was dealing with Kurjack, his previous boss, Harlan was off to fight Gorka. It seemed that he was not mature enough to fight a ‘Master of the Night’. But after the nightmare turned into a vision, Draka asked Harlan to remember who he was and what he was capable of. Harlan galvanized all his strength, fought Gorka with real self-belief, and managed to kill him. He couldn’t save Yuri, though, which must have added to his fury. Kurjack saved Tesla, who managed to kill Stefan and the other slaves. Gorka was dead, and the trio decided to hunt the remaining ‘Master of the Night’ who were causing mayhem all over the world.

During Dampyr‘s ending, Draka is seen resolving to wage his own war against humanity. The ‘choice’ that Harlan had to make was between the vampire world and the human world. He had decided on the latter, which meant he wouldn’t stop at killing Draka himself, who was one of the Masters. There could be a sequel, where Harlan would go against Draka and Kurjack, and Tesla would fight the three protectors, who seemed to be vampires themselves.

Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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