The Vampires of ISIS: Archer Characters as V:tM Clans

Some months ago, friend-of-the-game Seth made an offhand comment here on the blog identifying the main characters of Archer as various Vampire clans. You know, as one does. Many of his points were so spot-on that over time they have sort of evolved into head-canon in my mind and others. I decided to elaborate on this brilliance in an effort to spread the meme.

And it also gave me a great excuse to go trolling for Archer gifs.


Sterling Archer: Brujah

He’s pretty, he’s dumb, he’s full of sarcasm and bravado, but at the end of the day, he is actually very, very good at what he does. Throughout the show, the phrase “the world’s greatest secret agent” gets thrown around a lot, but over time you see enough to actually start to believe it.  For all that the rest of him is a mess, spywork is easy for Archer, and he revels in opportunities to use his skills at their full power. Usually, when problems arise for him, the answer is simply to be even more Archer.

Like a good Brujah, if solving a problem by firepowering your way through isn’t working, he can always force a frenzy.

Lana Kane: Lasombra 

Permanent frenemy-with-benefits to Archer is Lana, who is also a hyper-elite and effective agent, though her strategy tends slightly more toward subtlety than her partner. Still, her abilities lend herself well to the clan that considers itself the best of the best.

However, underneath her skill lurks demons, sprung from her unconscious rather than the Abyss. Lana is driven to be a leader, wants to take the helm of ISIS, but she can’t as long as she’s trapped under the Archer dynasty. Adding insult to injury is the fact that she’s always outshined by Archer himself. Any good Lasombra knows that they’re better than most, but they also need to be the best. Every single day, Lana is faced with the reality that, despite his bullshit, Archer is actually the better agent. As much as she hates it, because of her feelings for him, she will be held back and trapped in second place forever.


Pam Poovey: Gangrel

As great as Archer and Lana are, in a down-and-out brawl, the person you want on your side is Pam. Her job may be HR, but like the wild-roaming Gangrel, it’s clear she has basically no fucks given about societal expectations for her. She does what she wants, and is probably the only person on ISIS staff who can kill someone with her bare hands.

Her Protean forms, by the way, are dolphin and cow.


Krieger: Tremere

This is hopefully one of the more self-explanatory ones. Krieger’s continuous drive for…whatever the hell he’s up to…has clear parallels to some of the more interesting Tremere experimentations. The Nazi connections don’t hurt the metaphor either. The only thing more impressive than the scope of his interests is his ability to avoid answering direct questions about them, even from his superiors.

It also helps that he has his own mini-empire within the ISIS facilities where his work is secret and his secrets are law.


Ray Gillette: Toreador

You may think I am simply playing to stereotype by assigning Toreador to the gay guy, but it is so much more than that. He’s always the best dressed person of any gender in the office, for example. Any asshole can throw on a tactical turtleneck, but it takes real art to have the foresight to get yourself fitted for a crisis vest.

And, as many people can forget about Toreadors, he’s not just a wilting flower only good for hiding around the office. He’ll go out in the field and throw down when he has to, often complementing Archer’s brute force with some social grace.

But of course, like any true Toreador, he knows beauty when he sees it.


Cheryl/Carol Tunt: Malkavian

No explanation needed.


Cyril Figgis: Ventrue neonate

This one’s a little bit of a stretch, I’ll admit, but bear with me. Cyril’s problem is that his character is kind of defined by its very lack of character. He’s there, he does things, he bumbles around, he’s kinda walked on by the other members of ISIS, all of which don’t really seem to be defining characteristics of Ventrue. But if you view him as a neonate spending his time at the bottom rungs of the totem pole, then it starts to come together.

Like anyone on this list, he is good at what he does, it’s just that what he does best is accounting and bureaucratic business. He’s the guy you want around to get things done around the office.

But the moment you take him out of his natural environment and put him in a situation where physical skills will be more important than mental, well…you’re on your own.


Malory Archer: Giovanni

“What? Nooo, Malory is totally the Ventrue,” I can hear you saying. And I’m not gonna lie, that works too. She’s a leader and skilled manipulator who has fought her way into becoming a grande dame of the international spy world.

But I think there’s much more to it than that.

For starters, when you think about it, you realize that she is the most cold-blooded threat on the entire staff, sometimes risking everything to kill for no other reason than her own personal vendettas.

More to the point, besides Krieger, she’s one of the most secretive characters on the show. New details of her past and the complex milieu of her agendas are slowly revealed over the show, and with each piece you see just how far her resources and connections spread, many of them into realms completely unexpected.

But most importantly–and this is point that seals the deal–is the fact that for good or bad, through hate and malice, Malory still likes to keep things in the family.

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8 Responses to The Vampires of ISIS: Archer Characters as V:tM Clans

  1. Seth says:

    I have no idea how I missed this until now, but it is beautiful! Thank you for helping expand my bizarre little headcannon.

  2. Seth says:

    Mallory: You learned Celerity? Great, now you can prance double time. *sips her top shelf blood*

    Ray: You knowwwwwwww!

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