Josef as the King/Dictator Archetype

Josef as the King/Dictator Archetype

Postby Cinemama » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:48 pm

(Please see the General Info post if you haven’t already) And remember, this is the original post from after Love Lasts Forever, so it doesn't include info about Josef that came after that - Simone for example

Let me just warn all of you: Josef is tough to analyze. We know nothing about him before he was turned, and have been told very little about his life since then. At first I wasn’t sure just where he fit. But as I wrote, I became convinced that Josef is The King.

I’ll start with our introduction to Josef. We see his fantastic home. We see gorgeous naked women lounging by the pool. We see a priceless view. And we hear the following phone conversation: “Any default and I would not be sleeping so snugly if I were you.” In an aside to Mick, “These people are unbelievable – no integrity.” He continues, “Oh, you don’t like veiled threats? Then how about this? You screw me, and I will personally come down there and cut your heart out. Okay?” Again, to Mick, “It’s the only thing they understand.” And he finishes with, “Well, that sounds good. Give my best to the family.” And he’s out, having obviously gotten his way. And we have been given a snapshot of Josef the King.

Josef dresses in very expensive, stylish clothing. Also, his home, his office, and his club are all very lavish. The king wants to project at all times an aura of power. ‘Living large’ in all aspects of his life is typical king-like behavior. Of course, Josef has become quite wealthy over the centuries. If he could not afford these luxuries, we can assume that he would be a very grumpy little king.

Josef keeps plenty of lovely ladies around. We know that they are his food supply. But it also seems that Josef is a very bad boy. We see the decadent club or party scene in “Out of the Past” with yummy little freshies all around. Then there is Josef’s party while he’s on lockdown in Mick’s apartment. What does Mick hear as he approaches his door? “Okay, we’re gonna play a little game here and the rules are…now you, kiss her.” Josef! And in “The Mortal Cure”, there is the massage scene. Josef, Josef, Josef. The king will frequently have multiple girlfriends, even while married. And he will not feel any guilt about it. Why should he? He’s The King.

His driving fear is being outed as a vampire. This is surely a result of surviving those ‘torch-bearing mobs’ he mentions in the first episode. We can’t know if it also flows from his true nature. Being outed as a vampire would destroy Josef’s world, and the king will do anything to maintain the success, position, and power he has created for himself.

Many of us have wondered if Josef is being secretive. This is not a trait of the king, per se. However, being guarded is a typical trait. Josef guards his mundane details as well as his secrets. Having too many people know too much about you can undermine your power. He reveals only as much information as is needed, and not one bit more. Of course the writers do this partly to enhance the storytelling. But the key is that there are things that even Mick doesn’t know about Josef after many years of close friendship.

He also spins things (okay, he lies) to keep from admitting certain things to Mick. In fact, he tells lies often enough that Mick frequently challenges him to tell him the truth. This is also not typical of the king. In “B.C.”, he lied to Mick several times about his relationship with Lola and how she got his money. The truth turned out to be that he cared enough for Lola to give her a million dollars because she asked. I think we can assume that Josef lied to Mick because he did not want to admit that he actually cared for Lola. So I think that his lying, rather than being part of his nature, is simply one of many tools he uses to maintain his image and to protect his position as king.

The king is the type who easily sacrifices others to achieve the overall goal. For Josef, the main goal is to remain safe by keeping vampires a secret. We see repeatedly that he doesn’t care who dies, so long as the secret is kept. In the first episode he asks why Mick hasn’t killed the suspect. Mick replies, “There’s more than one suspect.” Josef’s advice? “So, kill them all.” He’s willing to kill the innocent suspects as well as the guilty one, which comes from his villainous, dictator side.

At the end of “Doctor Feelgood” we see this trait again. Josef comments to Mick that “The bad guy was caught, justice was served, and you’re sitting there like someone died.” Mick responds, “Actually four people died.” Josef’s response, “It was collateral damage for a greater good,” is absolutely something the dictator would say.

Another glimpse we get of his dark side is the first time we meet him via the phone conversation I mentioned above. This is done in such a humorous way that we are able to embrace his dark side, and love him for it.

Is there anyone who doesn’t love Josef? Sure, but most of us seem to love him. I have to ask why that is, when he frequently insists that Mick just kill someone when Mick believes it isn’t necessary. Why aren’t we more upset with him for this? I think it is because he makes these judgments for the greater good, as any good king would. If his motives were purely selfish, I’m sure there would be a lot more ill will toward him.

This brings us to the major difference between the king archetype and the Messiah archetype: the king will focus on only the greater good, sacrificing individuals as collateral damage, as Josef put it. The Messiah will have a more omniscient view, and will weigh his decisions on the effect it has on everyone involved. The Messiah will leave very little collateral damage in his wake.

The king may actively avoid feeling emotions. And when on rare occasion he does feel something, he is not prone to sharing those feelings. Josef’s little party scene in “Sleeping Beauty” is a great example. Josef really couldn’t bear to sit alone in Mick’s apartment dwelling on his feelings. He had to distract himself, even if it meant putting himself or Mick in danger. And then, even though Mick is so angry with him, all he can say is that he got lonely. We can clearly see from the tears in his eyes that he is feeling something very deeply, but he is unable to discuss it with Mick.

It might seem that Josef has no moral code, especially when he says things to Mick such as, “I know you have morals and scruples and that’s fine. Sort of.” But in his kingly way, he actually does have a code. Lola verifies this when she tells Mick, “So self-righteous. Like Josef. Both of you with your rules and laws.” We all remember the touching scene when Mick tells Josef that he had to kill Lola. And then he tells him what Lola said, but tells him not to worry, because he’s 100% vampire. Mick knows that Josef really does have a moral code that he sticks to. It’s not the same code as Mick’s, yet it is still a code. But Josef would never want to admit that, because it might imply that he felt something, or was weak in some way.

Probably the noblest thing we see about Josef is his loyalty to Mick. The king is not the most sociable type, in that he doesn’t spend (waste?) his time or energy with just anyone. But for those that he considers part of his group, he will be completely loyal. He is the ‘go to’ guy for any of his friends who may be in trouble.

We see this repeatedly when Mick shows up at Josef’s to vent about something, or to ask his advice. We also see Josef waiting for Mick in “Out of the Past”, because he knows Mick will be upset about Lee J. being released from prison. Josef is who Mick calls after Lee J. sets him up for the shooting. Mick knows without doubt that he can depend on Josef.

I think another important scene is in “Fleur de Lis” when Josef allows the visit from Beth (I’m sure she had to get past a receptionist of some sort). This tells me that he has accepted her as one of his own. And after Beth gave him Sarah’s diary, she is probably very dear to him. I think that Beth can count on Josef as a very close ally at this point, and the king makes a very good ally, indeed.

It’s tough for the King to fall in love. In “Sleeping Beauty”, Josef said that he thought the only reason he became a vampire was so he could live long enough to meet Sarah, and that it took him 350 years to find her. He says to Mick, “Love can show you a part of yourself that you never knew existed.” The implication is that he lived for 350 years without ever feeling love. This makes Josef’s love for Sarah even more precious, because for him, she may very well be the only one he’ll ever love. I think this is exactly what Josef means with his comment to Mick that, “I guess who I am is who I’m supposed to be.” In other words, he thinks he is not meant to be in love.

For Josef to share with Mick and Beth that he is in love with Sarah is a very big step for him. As I said above, feeling an emotion as deep as love is rare for the king, but sharing that with someone is even more rare. This is why he had never told Mick, his very best friend, about Sarah for all of these years. He was only able to tell both of them about Sarah because there was no way to avoid it. But then he went on to talk about it with them, and even encouraged Mick to make things work with Beth. For the king, this is a sign of real growth in character. But don’t expect to hear him talking about it again any time soon.
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Archetypically speaking, of course...

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Re: Josef as the King/Dictator Archetype

Postby Josefismysire » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:38 pm

Excellent synopsis, Cinemama!! Completely agree with your observations!! Thank you for sharing... :hearts:
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Re: Josef as the King/Dictator Archetype

Postby Cinemama » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:34 am

Josefismysire wrote:Excellent synopsis, Cinemama!! Completely agree with your observations!! Thank you for sharing... :hearts:


Thanks! Just sorry I didn't have all of the stuff that got added after these original posts. This is making me miss these characters all over again.
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Re: Josef as the King/Dictator Archetype

Postby Catmoon » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:34 am

It's great to see you back with us, and you brought your archetypes too! :woohoo: This one is especially of interest for me now, because at the time when you first posted them I didn't have a Josef Muse. ;) I didn't start taking notice of Josef till Sleeping Beauty, and it wasn't until after TMC that I developed my obsession. :whistle: So it's wonderful to read them again, now! Of course we all know now that Josef is the King! :notworthy: :worship:

What do you think of the idea of creative muses as archetypes? I think you might find the Josef Muse Support Thread very interesting... :snicker: Feel free to stop by and have a look. Our ML writers have a variety of muses, some of them ML characters or OC's, others just general muses. Some of us work with several. But none of them really needs a support group the way our JM does. Probably many of the people who worship Josef had never read your archetypes, yet it's interesting how Josef and his muse developed quite a following of loyal subjects, and this is his favorite smilie: :worship:

In any case, yes, Josef is most definitely the King -- you were spot on. :thumbs:

Josef Muse Support Thread:

http://www.moonlightaholics.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=19

Edited to add PS: The Josef-centric fanfic index is called "Josef Kostan's world domination." ;)
Click here for link to my HB series story index

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Re: Josef as the King/Dictator Archetype

Postby Cinemama » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:48 pm

Catmoon wrote:It's great to see you back with us, and you brought your archetypes too! :woohoo: This one is especially of interest for me now, because at the time when you first posted them I didn't have a Josef Muse. ;) I didn't start taking notice of Josef till Sleeping Beauty, and it wasn't until after TMC that I developed my obsession. :whistle: So it's wonderful to read them again, now! Of course we all know now that Josef is the King! :notworthy: :worship:

What do you think of the idea of creative muses as archetypes? I think you might find the Josef Muse Support Thread very interesting... :snicker: Feel free to stop by and have a look. Our ML writers have a variety of muses, some of them ML characters or OC's, others just general muses. Some of us work with several. But none of them really needs a support group the way our JM does. Probably many of the people who worship Josef had never read your archetypes, yet it's interesting how Josef and his muse developed quite a following of loyal subjects, and this is his favorite smilie: :worship:

In any case, yes, Josef is most definitely the King -- you were spot on. :thumbs:

Josef Muse Support Thread:

http://www.moonlightaholics.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=19

Edited to add PS: The Josef-centric fanfic index is called "Josef Kostan's world domination." ;)


I'll tell you, I've been jumping from one topic to another in a sort of feeding frenzy...but one thing that caught my eye right away was the Josef Muse thread. I didn't have time to read ALL of the posts :dizzy: , but was really caught up in it. I love the idea of Josef the Muse with his subjects. :hearts:

You know, I hadn't thought about creative muses as archetypes, but I think you've got something there. Some of us feel called (compelled?) to write because of our characters...which would make our characters our muses...and since I believe every character is some sort of archetype, then yeah, creative muses can be archetypes. That's a great thought.

I haven't spent much time thinking about having a muse...but I do know that when I've got that writing flow (sorry for the rhyme!) it's always because I'm so caught up in the character of the moment that I do feel guided. Anyone who writes has had that feeling...when you write something and then think where did THAT come from... There's nothing quite like it!

So here's to our muses, whether they be "princes or kings or clowns that caper in sawdust rings"*

*from an old poem that my Grandpa loved...sorry, don't know the author...
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Re: Josef as the King/Dictator Archetype

Postby news » Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:32 pm

Cinemama wrote:Another glimpse we get of his dark side is the first time we meet him via the phone conversation I mentioned above. This is done in such a humorous way that we are able to embrace his dark side, and love him for it.


Ah yes..Josef. Love hearing Mick call his name. When I first started watching Moonlight, I'm going to be quite candid here. I did not like Josef, at all! :lol: As Beth told Mick about Talbot: He's starting to grow on me. After a while, I was able to grasp the concept of Josef, and why he personally handled everything and everybody the way he does. He's very elusive, so much so that even Mick was fooled by his notions of vamps and humans mingling. He's quite the interesting character, and very mischievous to say the least. I think this is why I grew to love Josef. He is who he is, no doubt about it. As he stated, "who doesn't like me?" ;)
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Re: Josef as the King/Dictator Archetype

Postby Cinemama » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:07 pm

news wrote:
Cinemama wrote:Another glimpse we get of his dark side is the first time we meet him via the phone conversation I mentioned above. This is done in such a humorous way that we are able to embrace his dark side, and love him for it.


Ah yes..Josef. Love hearing Mick call his name. When I first started watching Moonlight, I'm going to be quite candid here. I did not like Josef, at all! :lol: As Beth told Mick about Talbot: He's starting to grow on me. After a while, I was able to grasp the concept of Josef, and why he personally handled everything and everybody the way he does. He's very elusive, so much so that even Mick was fooled by his notions of vamps and humans mingling. He's quite the interesting character, and very mischievous to say the least. I think this is why I grew to love Josef. He is who he is, no doubt about it. As he stated, "who doesn't like me?" ;)


Your post made me hear Mick calling "Josef!" in Sleeping Beauty... :ysmile: ...which made me think about how no one but Mick could behave this way with The King!

I do remember a lot of discussion after the first few episodes about Josef and how so many people didn't trust him. I had my own doubts about him. Until Sleeping Beauty... :hankie:
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Re: Josef as the King/Dictator Archetype

Postby librarian_7 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:21 am

I read this originally so long ago, and I do think it has influenced my depiction of Josef in fic since. It's spot on for him. Just...spot on.

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