- For the remake SyFy series' version of werewolves, see Werewolf (Syfy)
- "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."
- ―John Mitchell on his friend George Sands' condition.[src]
Werewolves (classified Type 3) are a post-human supernatural species which, during the full moon every month, transform into fearsome, monstrous, wolf-like beasts. 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. The werewolf curse is normally passed on when a human is scratched by a transformed or transforming werewolf.
History and society
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.
Werewolves can be found throughout history; any gender, any ethnicity, or any race. Werewolves are not as common as vampires or ghosts, due to the fact that transformed werewolves will attack to kill rather than to infect. Werewolves have long 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.
The werewolves apparently had some clan and army organisation in the 1910s. 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, leading to Lady Catherine's death. (The Trinity)
In the 21st century, werewolves are apparently a rarer and more scattered supernatural species than ghosts and vampires, and their species has little - no solid society or community of their own. Werewolves also sometimes live away from people in the woods, or other isolated places, and they tend to have a less stable social life; due to the strain that their condition, containing it and keeping it a secret puts on their social lives and standards of living (in the form of having to contain their transformed selves and of fearing the harm they could cause to innocent people and loved ones in their wolf form, every full moon). However, Hal Yorke once argued that it doesn't have to be this way for all werewolves, since they're only dangerous and inhuman supernatural monsters once a month. (Pie and Prejudice)
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 dogfights. (Making History)
A few years before 2037, the human resistance initiated a werewolf recruitment drive, and werewolves and humans fought together as equals against the vampire regime. (Eve of the War)
Each werewolf was originally human, before becoming infected with the werewolf curse when they were scratched or bitten by a transformed or transforming werewolf. Upon being infected, the person will be left with a lifelong scar.
Werewolves can have children with each-other, 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, Eve did inherit at least some supernatural ability from her werewolf parents, as she was able to see ghosts. (Eve of the War)
- "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. The transformation is apparently triggered by the gravitational pull of the full moon, in an identical manner to sea tides rising. (Cure and Contagion)
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. There also appears to be an increased appetite for sex, as was seen in George Sands when he ravished 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.
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 attempt to ease the pain by flooding the body with endorphines, however, it will have shut down by this time too.
Once the internal changes have taken place, the external changes begin. Fangs grow in, the fingernails and toenails grow out to form claws, and the eyes change from their normal human appearance to a yellow, more animalistic colour. The spine enlarges and the vertebrae push out on the skin, causing the body to become hunched over, although the werewolf retains the ability to walk upright on two legs. The face and skull reform and extend to form a snout, whilst long hair begins to sprout from all over the body. The skin under this hair also seems to become much darker. 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; (In The Morning) 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. (The Pack)
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 - animal, human or vampire - 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) while others have been known to instead become calm around human loved ones (Bad Moon Rising) and/or to refrain from attacking them. (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 attacked Lee Tully when the two were transforming 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) 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. (The Greater Good)
Werewolves, when fully transformed, possess bestial strength, being capable of smashing through doors and windows with ease and overpowering and killing vampires single-handed. This strength, coupled with the wolf's intense appetite for flesh, makes survivors of werewolf attacks a rarity.
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 remembered that he felt good upon killing vampire William Herrick while transformed, and also remembered that Herrick's vampire 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 real 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)
In human form, werewolves' appearance is entirely indistinguishable from humans', although they can be identified by a scar left from the werewolf attack that infected them. Werewolves also seem to tend to be muscularly-built in human form, most likely due to their bodies adapting to the massive physical trauma and healing it goes through during the werewolf's monthly transformation.
In their wolf form, werewolves are large, bipedal, powerfully-built, wolf-like monsters; with yellow eyes, dark skin, long brown-grey hair, particularly powerful arms, wolf-like heads, and a hunched stance.
Werewolves are unable to cross running water while in wolf form. It is not known if silver has any effect on werewolves. A werewolf in wolf form can be killed by cutting the eye or throat with a knife, as seen when McNair killed the werewolf that infected him, and when Herrick killed a transformed McNair. 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 been shown that as a werewolf gets older, their transformations become more damaging to their health; as seen with Leo, with Hal Yorke and Pearl believing that he wouldn't have survived another transformation before his death in 2012. (Eve of the War)
Lycanthropy is believed among the supernatural community to be incurable. A virtual dream reality engineered by Captain Hatch depicted that since lycanthropy originates from the Devil, destroying him would cause werewolves to become human again; but as this world was an illusion, it is unknown whether or not killing the Devil would have cured lycanthropy in reality. (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 miles-wide 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, thus using this option will cause the werewolf to adopt a much more aggressive persona and uncontrollably swear or be violent in their human form.
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)
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 occurrence for a vampire and werewolf coexist peacefully. At one point, a full-scale war even erupted between werewolf and vampire clans in the 1910s.
Outwardly, it appears that vampires loathe werewolves because they see 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. Indeed, vampires such as Ian Cram, Herrick and Richard Hargreaves have been shown to be rightfully terrified by transformed werewolves.
Vampires' disgust and hatred towards werewolves seems to be more fundamental and instinctive than personality-wise, seeing as Crumb, when a new vampire, showed a hint of repulsion 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 are completely devoid of their cruel and prejudiced attitude towards werewolves when they're clean of blood and not killing, but immediately regain it when they've drank blood recently. According to Adam Jacobs, the vampires' hatred of werewolves is also linked to a feeling of jealousy, as the wolves are considered part timers and only transform once a month while vampires have to deal with their condition all the time or 24/7 as Adam termed it.
Werewolves and ghosts are generally shown to have a very polite and friendly relationship with each other, though their relationship stems from the personalities of each as opposed to their species. Generally, the two species find it easy to get along and live alongside each other, thought more aggressive werewolves and ghosts are quick to hate each other like with Lady Mary and Larry.
Werewolves arguably have the hardest time putting up with zombies in comparison to vampires and ghosts, as their sense of smell is more sensitive to zombies' repulsive stench of decay. However, it is possible that werewolves eventually get used to the smell, as neither George or Nina had any problems being near Sasha hours after meeting her, as opposed when they covered their noses when they first met her.
List of known werewolves
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.
- Christa Stammers
- George Sands (deceased)
- Anthony McNair (deceased)
- Nina Pickering (deceased)
- Thomas McNair
- Lee Tully (deceased)
- Amy McBride (deceased)
- Craig Ford (deceased)
- Richard Galvin (deceased)
- Leo (deceased)
- Richard Marriott
- Allison Larkin
- Milo (unknown)
- Lady Catherine Glass (deceased)
- Larry Chrysler (deceased)
- Bobby (deceased)
- Alan (deceased)
- Drifter (presumably)
- Approximately 70+ other Werewolves
Behind the scenes
- 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.