(SPOILER ALERT: There are HUGE spoilers here for the Vampire Academy series from Book 3, Shadow Kiss, on, so do NOT read this if you haven’t gotten there yet. Just gaze into Ben Barnes's eyes for an uncomfortably long time, then look away!)
(aka Dimka, Comrade, Badass Guardian God)
Dimitri is half-vampire, half-human (also known as dhampir) and he is the ultimate badass Strigoi-slaying Guardian. Which is saying something, because all of the dhampir Guardians are well-trained ass-kicking machines, who dedicate their lives to protecting delicate full-blooded Moroi vamps from nasty, uber evil red-eyed Strigoi vamps.
Dimitri has a tightly controlled, stoic ferocity that goes nearly unchallenged in the world of Guardian fighting and defense. Until he is assigned to train Rose Hathaway. Rose challenges him in every possible way, and it is so smexy to watch them clash. Given Dimitri’s incredible hotness, Russian accent, and intensity, is it any surprise that she is totally hot for teacher?
From the moment he sweeps into book one, cowboy duster swinging, as he brings Rose and Lissa, kicking and snarkily screaming, back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, he dominates EVERY scene he’s in. He is completely irresistible to read about, even when, SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER EXPLOSION - he becomes the thing he hates the most - a Strigoi. Dimitri utterly nails the tortured, “been to the dark side and back” vibe. Reading about him is so addictive, that in nearly every scene of the series there’s a little bullhorn in the back of my mind squawking “What’s going on with Dimitri, how will this affect Dimitri?” The guy is simply irresistible.
So just WHY is Dimitri so irresistible?
1. Um, would you just LOOK at him?
He’s rocking the Tall Dark and Deadly vibe - complete with bottomless black eyes, longish brown hair, a hulking 6’7 frame, and lean muscle. Dimka gets called “a God” nearly as often as “Dimitri” by Dhampirs and Moroi alike. Is it because of his looks or his fighting? Who cares, it FITS.
Though no mere mortal could do him justice, I have selected Ben Barnes, because he’s my fave choice for the movie. But don’t let my choice for Movie Dimitri sway you. Let me know what you think! Make your opinion known in my Vampire Academy Casting Poll here:
2. Forbidden fruit is SUH-freaking-EXY - and Dimitri has a big fat “HANDS OFF” stamped on his forehead for much of the series
Not only is Dimitri 7 years older than Rose, he is her teacher/mentor. His ridiculously strong sense of honor and moral compass makes their relationship a sexually charged adventure in impulse control, as they roll around on top of each other, training to kill Strigoi. Then the poor guy goes and becomes the thing he hates more than anything in the world - a red-eyed vicious Strigoi. I know I’m not supposed to think he’s sexy, I’m supposed to run away screaming “monster! monster! hide your children!” but I was transfixed. So yeah, being attracted to a soulless Strigoi is as illicit as it gets for Rose, but boy do I understand it - the girl just can’t help herself.
Even when Lissa cures "Strig-itri," returning him to the Dimka we know and love, he’s STILL off limits. He’s horrified by his past Strigoi crimes that he goes through the whole “don’t look at me, I’m a horrible, hideous, unloveable thing!” routine. When Dimitri FINALLY starts to see that he isn’t the world’s biggest monster, that there is beauty in the world, and in him, OF COURSE Rose is dating Adrian. Damnit Dimitri!
3. He is the king of sweet-nothings
You never expect a strong, warrior type to suddenly say toe curling, melty things like “You’re so beautiful, it hurts sometimes.” or “I was worried about you- so, so worried. You have no idea. And it became useless to try to act like I could ever put any Moroi life above yours. Its not going to happen; no matter how wrong others say it is.” or "If I could dream, I know I'd dream about you.I'd dream about the way you smell and how your dark hair feels like silk between my fingers. I'd dream about the smoothness of your skin and the fierceness of your lips when we kiss. Without dreams,I have to be content with my own imagination—which is almost as good. I can picture all those things perfectly."
*SIGH* It’s always so much more pleasurable to see someone with the ultimate control have all resolve melt in the face of love. Which is exactly what happens to Dimitri in the face of Rose.
4. He has a good sense of humor.
It is quite a feat to be able to trade blows, with fists or with words, with Rose Hathaway, but Dimitri more than holds his own. Their training sessions are full of smoking hot physical combat, but what makes their chemistry really smolder are the words! Dimitri is perpetually amused by Rose, and gives her a hard time as much as he can. He’s so intense and serious and Guardian-like most of the time, that it’s always a pleasant surprise when he rattles off something wry and funny, and you’re reminded, hey, this guy likes to flirt!
5. He’s a hot foreigner from a strange, strange land.
He hails from Siberia, which is, as far as Rose is concerned, Antarctica. His accent is crazy sexy, and when he’s about to say something sweet, he slips into his Russian nickname for Rose, “Roza.”
Every time a sentence begins with “Roza,” it ends with swooning.
6. Dimitri is a closet dork and it’s adorable.
He has seriously questionable taste in music (in his defense, the stuff he’s listening to his probably hot somewhere in the world right now, maybe Eastern Europe), and is obsessed with westerns and cowboys. But in a quiet, minds-his-own-business kind of way.
And, bestill my heart, he’s kind of a bookworm. Defiantly, he tells Rose, “Some people read books for fun.” Yes, and some people read books about YOU for fun, Dimka.
7. He loves his family, and he’s a legend in Baia, his hometown, for being a standup guy.
When he was a wee little dhampir, he beat up his Moroi father for abusing his mother. (Even before he grew into his godlike body, he was delivering godlike justice.) He’s always been affectionate and loving with his many sisters, and his neighbors in Baia regaled Rose with countless good stories about his kindness, generosity, and willingness to stick his neck out for others.
So, there are categories up for grabs in Amber’s fantastic Bachelor Lovefest, and I would like to strongly lobby for Dimitri to not just be nominated for, but to WIN, (utterly demolishing the competition), in the following categories:
Best Bad Boy
Strigoi Dimitri is as bad as it comes. Not only does he capture and torment Rose when she comes after him, he has no remorse for killing, and has adopted the Strigoi thirst for power. He’s so villainous, his new goal is to annihilate all Moroi Royals, including Lissa. This is not the sweet, honorable, overprotective Dimitri who said things like, "You and I will both be Lissa's guardians someday. I need to protect her at all costs. If a pack of Strigoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her. If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you.” Now he’s leading that pack of Strigoi.
Almost no Strigoi was a match for Dimitri when he was a dhampir, and that goes double when he gains their insane strength and speed. So it’s no surprise that he instantly rises through Strigoi ranks to be a head-cracking big wig. He strikes fear into the heart of every Strigoi that hears his name. Even when he's back to his dhampir self, all he has to do is utter the name “Belikov” in a fake deep-Strigoi voice over the phone, and Strigois halfway around the world soil themselves.
Does this monstrous behavior/demeanor make him less sexy? No. MORE SEXY.
Sweetest Nice Guy - When Dimitri is a dhampir, he always looks out for others first, particularly if those others are Rose and Lissa. Even if he has to stick his neck out and risk getting arrested/killed, no problem, he’s game.
Though he is driven wild by his attraction for Rose, he holds off for as long as he can, because he doesn’t want to “interfere” with her while she is underage. (His sense of honor and morality is frankly a HUGE source of frustration for both Rose and me.) As Rose’s mentor/teacher, Dimitri is hard on her only when there is a lesson to be learned, but he is humble and actually loves it when she outshines him. He is genuinely proud of her, and you can tell he prefers to compliment her rather than scold her.
When Rose is dating Adrian in Last Sacrifice, he really, REALLY tries to keep his hands off Rose, even though her skin is like Dimitri catnip, because it would be wrong, and he respects Adrian.
Favorite Supernatural Being - Supernaturals have it SO good - they usually have crazy powers/strength and uncanny good looks, but Dimka never abuses his when he has his Dhampir wits about him.
When he’s a Strigoi, yeah, he uses them to overpower everybody. And it’s HAWT.
Sexiest - As Rose says, "He's hot-like, the kind of hot that makes you stopwalking on the street and get hit by traffic." His intensity and ferocity on the battlefield translate oh so sexily well in his love life.
He doesn’t even need to use words to make turn a girl into a puddle. “It had been Dimitri’s gentleness and thoughtfulness mixed with that deadliness that made him so wonderful. The same hands that wielded stakes with such precision would carefully brush the hair out of my face. The eyes that could astutely spot any danger in the area would regard me wonderingly and worshipfully, like I was the most beautiful and amazing woman in the world.”
Best One-Liner- “I'll do things that'll make you lose control within seconds.”
Best Fighter - Whether he’s a Dhampir or a Strigoi, he is fierce and nearly indestructible in battle. And the competition knows it.
Rose Hathaway said it best: “Alive or undead, the love of my life was a badass.”
It takes an absolute mob of Strigoi to overpower him, and rather than making him lunch, they turn him, because he is freaking brick house and he’s more valuable to them intimidating and alive than non-threatening and dead.
Change My Mind- Because you know I have!
Overall Favorite - He’s a lover, he’s a fighter (if Rose Hathaway is involved, sometimes he’s both at once). Dimitri is an unbelievably strong, uncannily intelligent, sexy, charming, intense, Russian, loveable, self-sacrificing Dhampir cowboy with a heart of gold. Even though he’s not technicallysingle, could there be a better Bachelor?
Related side note - I wouldn’t cross Rose when it comes to Dimitri. This is an eyewitness account of what will happen if you do:
OUCH. Ok, we’ll look but won’t touch.
To entice you to vote for Dimka for all of the above, I’m sweetening the deal with a giveaway - I have a SIGNED copy ofVampire Academy (where the Dimitri drooling begins), and a Vampire Academy/Bloodlines tote bag. How do you win this?
Head over here and leave me a comment letting me know what YOU love about Dimitri! And vote for Dimitri here on July 30th!
Make sure to tune in for the rest of the Bachelors. These guys have all turned my head at one point or another (but none have inflicted the prolonged neck pain of ogling Dimitri).
A big thanks to Alice of Alice Marvels for hosting Dimitri! Make sure you stop back when voting opens and cast your votes! The more categories you vote for, the more entries you'll get for a chance to win one the voter's giveaway at the end of this entire event. For the schedule and more info, check out The Master Poster here!