Winter was a human minion of the master vampire Nikolaos based at the Circus of the Damned. He appeared in Anita Blake's debut novel Guilty Pleasures.

History[edit | edit source]

Given his muscular physique and apparel it seems like that he may also have worked as a strongman within the carnival when not working on behalf of Nikolaos. Though a willing and unswerving lackey of the vampires he lacked any sign of vampire bites, suggesting he might have been under consideration to become a human servant, similar to Nikolaos' unaging manservant Burchard for whom Winter sometimes worked with as an assistant, or perhaps apprentice.

Guilty Pleasures[edit | edit source]

Shortly after a string of vampires were murdered in St. Louis, Nikolaos coerced the vampire executioner Anita Blake into investigating the killings. At their first meeting, Anita provoked Nikolaos into a rage with her sarcasm and defiance and while Jean-Claude tried to hold Nikolaos back, Anita fled her wrath alongside the animator Zachary, another of Nikolaos’ servants. On the stairs leading up from Nikolaos’ lair to the Circus of the Damned, they ran into Winter; informed by Zachary of Anita's identity, Winter treated with dubious amusement the revelation that the petite woman, a good toot shorter than him, was the “Executioner" feared by so many of the city's undead. Having been instructed by an unknown party to check on Nikolaos’ well-being, Winter realized it would not be wise to interrupt her confrontation with Jean-Claude, and instead he escorted Anita and Zachary back to the surface.

However, at the exit, they were stopped by Valentine, one of Nikolaos’ vampire servants who had an old grudge against Anita. Aware his master wanted Anita unharmed to hunt the killer, Winter placed himself between her and Valentine, much to the vampire's amusement. Reminded of Nikolaos’ orders. Valentine made it clear he did not intend to harm Anita that night but threatened to kill Winter it Anita did not show him the scars he had given her in their last encounter; Anita acquiesced, and Valentine let her depart. Winter stayed behind, seemingly to guard Anita’s back.

A ten days later Nikolaos had one at Jean-Claude's people, Phillip, kidnapped, threatening him as a way of punishing Anita's continued defiance. Told to come to the Circus, Anita was met by Winter and Burchard; the elder man instructed Winter to check Anita tor concealed weapons and remove them before they entered Nikolaos‘ presence. Winter did so, but missed a knife in an ankle sheath. Accompanying them down into Nikolaos’ dungeon, Winter restrained Anita while Nikolaos bit Phillip in front of them, and then joined them in Nikolaos' throne room where Nikolaos explained to Anita what was expected of her in the future.

Though Anita was cooperating, Nikolaos ordered Phillip’s death anyway, as a message to Jean-Claude‘s other followers; anticipating Anita would try to intervene, Winter restrained her again, but she pretended to faint, and when he let her go, she snatched the blade from her ankle, rammed it into Winter's groin, then pulled the blade out and tried to assist Phillip, leaving Winter to bleed to death.

Description[edit | edit source]

Winter was at least 6'3'' tall and exceptionally muscular, with enormous biceps, bulging neck muscles and no excess fat whatsoever. He had no hint of tan, cotton-white hair shaved close to his head and icy blue eyes, giving the overall impression of being virtually colorless. He wore minimal and tight clothing, designed to display his physique to its maximum potential.

Personality & Traits[edit | edit source]

Winter was proud of his strength, his bodybuilder physique requiring a lot of work to maintain, his clothing chosen to show that off as much as possible, and clearly enjoying the impressed reaction of those he met. He also seemed to enjoy letting others presume he was a vampire, deliberately smiling without showing his teeth; this may also explain his lack of tan, a necessary part of the deception. A willing servant of Nikolaos, he was smart enough to be afraid of dealing with her anger, but seemed unafraid of the danger of fighting other vampires, knowing that he had no choice but to protect Anita, as he would be punished if he allowed her to be harmed.

Notable Skills [edit | edit source]

Exceptionally strong, Winter claims he can bench press 400 lbs.However, it seems he relied overly on his strength, as his lack of fighting experience and over confidence against the much smaller Anita Blake eventually proved fatal.

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