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September 21, 2010

Vampire Legal Issues: "Brave New World"

TV: The Vampire Diaries

Katie: Okay, first things first: How the heck did Caroline get into her house? This has been bothering me. I want answers.

Christine: I don't know! She can't just have invited herself in, because she's dead and therefore no longer has the right to reside there, or something like that, right? Maybe her mom was home and let her in and then left? This is really bothering me too, because with Vicki and Logan Fell it was very clear that once you've vamped you need an invite into your own house.

Katie: She said her mother wasn't home yet. My completely crazy theory is that her mother IS NOT HUMAN EITHER, so no one needs to be invited in now that Caroline's dead. I don't think her mom's a vampire, but she could be . . . something else?

Christine: Oooh! That IS completely crazy, but I like it! I can't think of how she'd have gotten in - she lives alone with her mother, right? Anyone other than her mother being able to let her in would come in from left field. Unless her mother left her a "welcome home, honey, come on in" note on the door?

Katie: They've certainly never mentioned anyone else being there. I'm going to assume that Sheriff Mom isn't human, just because it amuses me.

Christine: I haven't got a lot from this week, other than that. But I was thinking about the Gilberts' Magical Life-Protecting Rings some more, because I don't get the supernatural death thing. I mean, having your neck snapped isn't supernatural, unless, apparently, Damon does it. So then I thought - aha! This is all but-for causation!

Katie: And what's that?

Christine: It's criminal law. Before you can convict someone of murder, for example, you need to establish that they caused the death. So say I push you into a pool and you drown.

Katie: Um, okay.

Christine: This is hypothetical, of course. But HYPOTHETICALLY, you wouldn't have drowned BUT FOR my action in pushing you into the pool. I pushed you, so I caused your death. Ergo, if your death is caused by a supernatural being, even in a non-supernatural way, the Gilberts' Magical Life-Protecting Rings will save you. The supernatural being must be a but-for cause of your death for the rings to work. QED.

Katie: I had assumed that about the rings as a matter of common sense, but it's good to know there's actually a legal basis! Next week, Alaric's taking Damon and Elena on a road trip, so I'm going to be asking you all sorts of stuff about in loco parentis. Not that any of the actual parents act parental on this show, but whatever. Get researching!

Posted by Kat at September 21, 2010 05:00 PM

Haha! We totally discussed the latter issue on our TVD podcast. I like that phrasing:"This is all but-for causation!" Ha! But yeah, the supernatural death thing makes one woozy when you start to pick it apart. Hmmmm ...

Oh, and I'm glad you brought up the note idea. I'm curious about that. Should people throw away their welcome mats?

Posted by: heroine_tv at September 21, 2010 06:13 PM
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