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Vampire-footer Spoilers: Serpentine
This article or section contains spoilers for 2018 novel Serpentine.
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Serpentine
"He was not an imposing man, not frightening, if you didn't know him. But if I was The Executioner, he was Death itself."
Anita Blake[src]

Edward, aka Theodore "Ted" Magnus Forrester, is a recurring supporting character in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. He usually helps Anita Blake on preternatural hunts or calls Anita in to help him. Anita considers herself to be possibly Edward's only true friend, and since Affliction they are referred to as best friends.

Edward is a hitman and is extremely dangerous. He now specializes in assassinating supernatural targets, because humans were too easy. He particularly hunts vampires and lycanthropes, and taught Anita most of her combat skills.

He is known to the monsters as Death, seemingly because he has had so many kills. He gained this nickname as Edward, but he also gained it separately under his Ted persona. He is part of the group of US Marshal vampire executioners known to the vampires as The Four Horsemen: He (as Ted) is Death, Anita is War, Bernardo Spotted Horse is Hunger, and Otto Jeffries (Olaf) is Pestilence.

Appearance Edit

Edward is 5' 8" with blond hair and blue eyes. Anita describes Edward as "not an imposing man", appearance-wise. She also describes his eyes - "as cold and as distant as wintery skies". In Serpentine Anita sees him shirtless for the first time in years, and is surprised to discover that his worry about aging has got him to work himself into a good enough shape to have a six-pack. Anita thinks he looks like he's in his early thirties at most, despite being forty.

HistoryEdit

Edward's past is shrouded in mystery, however we do know that he once worked and was trained by a man named Van Cleef, with the suggestion of a military connection. He is recognized by others who trained under Van Cleef who call him "The Undertaker" a name he apparently acquired due to having the highest kill count of any of Van Cleef's trainees. Edward tells Anita that he was allowed to leave on Van Cleef's troop on the condition that he never spoke about it.

According to Anita's account in Guilty Pleasures, approximately two years before the start of the series, Edward and Anita collaborated in the hunt for Valentine and his nest of vampires. Ultimately, Edward used a flamethrower, burning a house down around himself and Anita. This story is told in a 2 issue comic book "The First Death".

Edward is a sociopath alongside Anita. Sociopathy plays a big part in the series. Between Anita and Edward's relationships, they often talk about how effortlessly they can kill, without feeling anything, without caring for the ones they kill. Another topic that they openly discuss, have discussed, many times, is "who would be better". Edward says that his greatest fantasy is to go against Anita, and see who is better. Edward claims to have dreamed about it. Anita can see the excitement in his eyes and believes him. Edward acts like he doesn't really care about anything, but we see in Obsidian Butterfly he shoots through a whole gang of baddies, to save his girlfriend Donna's children, Becca and Peter. "I always thought Edward killed emotionless, his eyes cold." Anita said, in Obsidian Butterfly, "But when I looked into his baby blues, they were filled with fire. I had always thought Edward was scariest at his most cold. I was wrong. Edward the family man was downright terrifying."

Edward leads a double life; Edward as an assassin is the true Edward (as far as we know). He has an alias, his only legal identity (as far as we know) called Ted Forrester. Ted is a licensed bounty hunter, and "good ol' boy" operating out of Santa Fe; like Anita, he becomes "grandfathered" in as a Federal Marshall. Ted is engaged to a widow, Donna Parnell, with two kids, Peter and Becca (aged 14 and 6 in Obsidian Butterfly), not to mention the two maltese Peeka and Boo. He appears to have a close relationship with them, and Anita almost thinks that Edward could be in love. However, in The Harlequin, it is clear that Donna and Becca do not know "Edward", only "Ted". Anita is surprised to learn that Peter knows "Edward" - and wants to follow in Edward's and Anita's footsteps.

In Skin Trade, Edward under the guise of Ted Forrester comes to Las Vegas to help Anita hunt for the vampire serial killer Vittorio. He brings with him Olaf and Bernardo. Edward acts a little like a boyfriend to Anita to keep Olaf at bay, since no one else that Anita dates or loves is dominant enough. Yet Anita says she could never feed off Edward in any way because it would be like doing a family member. Edward admits to have been contacted as Death to take out the Mother of All Darkness and he turned down the contract. The price was right, but he admits that he has commitments now, his alter-ego Ted has people who love him and Edward would prefer to return home to them than to fight something potentially more dangerous than he is.

In Hit List, Edward reveals to Anita that Theodore 'Ted' Forrester is indeed his original name and is the name he went in the Military with. This was done to comfort her since she was still upset about killing Haven. He also tells her that he himself has been forced to kill a lover, though he didn't love her.

In Kiss the Dead, Edward is mentioned briefly as liking guns the way Fredo likes knives.[1]

In Affliction, Edward immediately flies out to Colorado after seeing Anita injured on the news. She wakes up to find him waiting with her in the hospital, and he helps keep an eye on her as the ardeur threatens to make her misbehave with the doctor. He tells Anita that Donna believes he and Anita are having sex and that Donna "forgives them" for it, and he has stopped bothering trying to convince Donna of the truth. He also reveals that for Edward sex with another woman is still an option, even if Ted is strictly monogamous. Edward expects that Donna would be okay with it if she ever learned about it, as she seems to understand that Ted and Edward are different personalities and has already accepted the imaginary affair with Anita, but Anita isn't convinced. However, Donna has finally accepted Edward's proposal, so he asks Anita as his best man, with an additional request from Donna that one of Anita's men will be on Donna's side of the aisle in turn. Micah calls Edward and Anita best friends in this novel, and neither of them disagrees with the assessment. In the final battle against Morte D'Amour, Anita traps him into a circle of power and Edward burns him to death with a flamethrower.

In Crimson Death, Edward calls Anita to get her involved in a case in Ireland. He is able to convince local law enforcement to finally allow Anita to offer assistance, and Anita braves a flight to join him. A bit about Edward's past with Nolan and Van Cleef is revealed, and Edward and Nolan become friends again after Edward learns that Nolan is a born werewolf. Edward joins Anita in the final battle against Moroven, although most of the battle is magical. Throughout the book we also hear more about Edward's personal life and wedding plans, and he surprises Anita by being on Nathaniel's side about Anita maybe getting a kid some day. Edward states he just wants his best friend to be happy, no matter how that comes about.

In Serpentine, Edward/Ted's wedding to Donna is going forward at an island location in Florida. Right after Anita gets there she notes that Edward seems to have trouble staying in his Ted personality, and keeps slipping back into Edward, even in public. Donna in turn continues to struggle with her insecurities about Edward's other life and his close friendship with Anita. It's revealed that Edward even got Anita to lie for him at some point and tell Donna that he and Anita were indeed having an affair, just long enough to convince Donna to go to couples therapy with him so they could work out the truth. Donna knows now that there is no affair, but the lie has spread and it's causing problems and a strain at their relationship, as Edward is afraid that if the kids hear the claims they might believe the lie and stop considering him their father figure. Things get especially heated when Donna learns that Edward has been married before, but she calms down when term 'dependapotamus' is explained to her and that Edward was eighteen at the time, the relationship lasted less than six months, and she cleaned out his coffers. He refuses to call her an ex-wife, and never mentioned her to Anita either. However, further strain is caused when a local murder pulls Edward, Anita, Bernardo, and Olaf into an investigation, but when one of Donna's bridesmaids gets kidnapped as well Donna stops complaining about Edward putting work above their wedding, and they manage to save the rest of the intended victims and take down the snake monster with the help of Edward's borrowed flamethrower and all the bullets they thought to bring with them. The wedding ends up getting postponed due to Peter's injury and the bridesmaid's recovery, but once both are well enough to attend Edward and Donna finally do get married on the island, and seem deliriously happy about the fact and determined to keep working on their issues. Anita is his best man at the wedding as planned, and he states again in this novel that she is his best friend.

AbilitiesEdit

Edward is a deadly fighter, and expert with multiple varieties of weapons, from knives to small caliber firearms, through rifles and up to flamethrowers. He is also a skilled lock pick, and has contacts who can get him illegal weapons at short notice. He has the chameleon like ability to blend into situations and adopt many disguises. He is "just" a human, but Anita would rather take him as a backup into most fights than any of the preternatural beings in her life, and would bet on him against most opponents as well.

EquipmentEdit

Edward is a gun freak, knowing a lot about every brand of gun. He commonly carries multiple firearms and knives concealed about his person, and more if he expected to fight; Anita saying that, "He carries more firepower than Rambo". He has given Anita several "toys" (as he calls his weapons), at various times including a Mini-Uzi and a sawed-off shotgun, a derringer that 'kicks like a son-of-a-bitch', and she was envious of his custom Seecamp auto. He uses any sort of firepower, regardless of any innocent bystanders. Edward has been known to use a flamethrower on vampires and other creatures. He also customizes his bullets, filling the silver hollow points with holy water and mercury, sealed with wax. He also carries vials of silver-nitrate, which can be be injected into sleeping vampires to kill them swiftly and noiselessly.

References Edit

  1. Kiss the Dead, chapter 12.