In the early 15th century, the Turkish Sultan invaded Transylvania to amass an army from 1,000 boys. As his soldiers attacked the kingdom, the young prince Vlad Tepes, also known as "Vlad The Impaler, Son of the Dragon" (Luke Evans), me forth and slaughtered the Turks one by one. Soon, he would become known to the world as Dracula.
Vlad and his comrades come across a helmet from a Turkish scout near a river. He fears that the Turks are advancing toward Transylvania once more. Captain Petru (Noah Huntley) notices the helmet has claw marks on it.
With two other men, Vlad climbs the Broken Tooth Mountain to find a cave where many other pieces of armor with slash marks are thrown all over the place, surrounded by the bones of other men. From the shadows, a creature stalks the men and then attacks the two men before trying to get Vlad. Vlad slashes at the creature with his sword, holding it back. The creature growls at Vlad, showing its soulless yellow eyes before retreating into the shadows.
Vlad consults a friend, Brother Lucian (Paul Kaye), over the nature of this beast. Lucian tells Vlad this particular creature is a vampire. It was said to have been a man that made a deal with a creature like itself, turning it into a monster that lures men and feeds on them, waiting for the one that will set him free.
Vlad returns home to Castle Dracula to his wife Mirena (Sarah Gadon) and son Ingeras (Art Parkinson). Both of them are happy to see him and are glad he continues to keep their family and the kingdom safe.
During a feast, a Turkish emissary, Hamza Bey (Ferdinand Kingsley), arrives with a message from the Sultan Mehmed II. Vlad gives Hamza and his men many silver coins and sends them away. Before leaving, Hamza tells Vlad and everyone else that Mehmed has demanded 1,000 boys for his own army. Everyone is outraged, and Mirena fears her own boy will be among those chosen. The other Turks taunt the Transylvanians with this.
Vlad goes to the Turkish camp to negotiate with Mehmed (Dominic Cooper). Vlad offers to hand himself over, believing himself to be worth more than 1,000 boys, but Mehmed refuses and orders the boys to come to him, along with Vlad's own son.
Vlad and his family are escorted to meet with Hamza and other Turks to hand Ingeras over. Vlad walks with his boy over to Hamza, seemingly ready to surrender, but Vlad whispers to Ingeras, "Run to your mother. NOW." Ingeras runs, and Vlad grabs his sword, chopping off Hamza's arms and then slashing his face. With ease and rapid movement, Vlad kills the rest of the Turks.
Fearing a brutal retaliation from Mehmed, Vlad returns to Broken Tooth to seek out the creature. This Master Vampire (Charles Dance) presents himself to Vlad, sensing that he has come with hope, and asks why he would do that. Vlad says he is desperate and that he wants to become a monster to fight back against his enemies. The Master Vampire warns Vlad that he can grant him this power, but he must resist the urge to feed off blood for three days, and then he will regain his mortality. He sinks his teeth into his wrist, pouring his blood into a shell for Vlad to drink. Vlad downs it, and then asks "What now?" The Master Vampire tells him, "Now you die." Vlad collapses and later wakes up lying on rocks by the river. He sees his skin starting to burn off. Then he presses down on a rock and crushes it. He now has heightened senses and is able to sense the motions of all the creatures in the woods. Vlad also finds that he is able to fly away in the form of a flock of bats.
Sure enough, the Turks begin launching their attack on Transylvania. Vlad returns to the castle and dons a black cloak. The soldier begin marching ahead, and Vlad takes them all on one by one. Now moving faster and stronger than before, he is able to lay waste to the entire army, leaving them all dead in the dirt.
Vlad orders his people to leave the kingdom and move toward a monastery where they may find sanctuary. He later begins to feel an intense thirst for blood. He leaves the sight of his men to avoid turning on them. He joins Mirena in a tent, and they begin to kiss. Vlad takes his shirt off, and Mirena feels his back and notices Vlad's battle scars are no longer there. The thirst only builds as Vlad senses Mirena's jugular vein, forcing him to pull back from the intimacy. He leaves her again. Later at night, while walking through the woods, a man comes by Vlad with a knife. The man knows what kind of creature Vlad has become, and he cuts his hand, spilling his blood in a cup for Vlad to drink. Vlad throws the cup out of his hands. The man retreats, referring to Vlad as his master. Vlad sees the blood on the ground and kneels as though he will drink it, but he holds back yet again.
Mehmed and his men move closer to reaching the Transylvanians. They come across the battlefield to find Mehmed's captain laying before the corpses of the Turkish soldiers mounted on spears.
The Transylvanians walk through the woods again, only to get ambushed by another group of Turks. Vlad morphs into his bat form and swoops in to attack the Turks. Petru protects Mirena and Ingeras. Two Turks corner them by the edge of a cliff. Petru stands before Mirena and Ingeras to defend them, but he is slashed in the stomach. Vlad comes in just in time to push that Turk over the edge. He goes to his comrade's side as he dies.
Mirena becomes suspicious about what Vlad has become. He cuts open the tent to bring in sunlight and show his skin burning to her. He assures her that he made this deal to protect her and their son. She accepts this.
The people also begin to talk and spread word of what they fear that Vlad has become. Some men go to confront him, followed by Lucian, holding a sword and offering to kill Vlad and spare him his eventual fate. Vlad refuses, and Lucian cuts the tent open to let in the sunlight. Vlad's skin begins to burn off again, exposing him to the Transylvanians, who run away in fear. The men begin to throw fire at the tent with Vlad still inside, even as Mirena screams for them to realize he is trying to help them. Moments later, Vlad emerges from the flames with his skin healing. He yells to the people that he did what he did to protect them, and that is why they are beating the Turks.
An even larger number of Turks begin marching toward the Transylvanians, just as the dawn begins to rise before Vlad loses his power. With the people now standing behind him, Vlad summons an enormous flock of bats and manipulates them to fly in and attack the Turks. With a wave of his hand, he delivers a powerful blow to the soldiers. He clenches his fist and slams down onto the concrete, sending another pounding to the Turks. Vlad flies in himself to finish off Mehmed, while a couple of soldiers infiltrate his sanctuary. Vlad throws one man off his horse, thinking him to be Mehmed, but it isn't. The soldiers find Mirena and Ingeras. One man punches Mirena in the stomach and pushes her over the edge, leaving her hanging while they abduct Ingeras. Hearing Mirena's call, Vlad flies back to rescue her. The one soldier that took Ingeras gets away, but Vlad kills the other. However, he is too late to save Mirena as she falls over the edge. Vlad jumps after her, but fails to rescue her. She hits the ground before Ingeras' eyes. Vlad tries to revive her, but, knowing her time is up, Mirena allows Vlad to drink her blood so that he may have a chance to save their son. Vlad reluctantly bites into Mirena's neck and drinks, ensuring his power is now permanent. Vlad then finds the remaining Transylvanians and allows them to drink his blood. He then takes out an armor that he hoped to never bring out again - one with a dragon image engraved in it.
At the Turkish army camp, Ingeras is brought to Mehmed. Vlad and the now vampirized Transylvanians attack the forces, feeding on their blood and massacring them. Vlad makes his way into Mehmed's tent, where silver coins are spread everywhere to play on Vlad's weakness to silver. Vlad takes out his sword and fights Mehmed man-to-man. Mehmed proves to be tough to beat as he keeps throwing silver coins in Vlad's face. He overpowers him and throws him hard to the ground. Mehmed grabs a stake and gets ready to stab Vlad through the heart, saying this is an unfortunate end for Vlad The Impaler. They struggle as the stake is right over Vlad's heart, but Vlad morphs into his bat form and takes the stake from Mehmed, turning it on him and impaling him. He says he is no longer Vlad The Impaler, but Dracula, Son of the Devil. He bites into Mehmed's neck and drains him of his blood. Ingeras runs to his father.
Although the Turks are now vanquished, the Transylvanians plot to finish their thirst by taking Ingeras. One man, Cazan (William Houston), tries to make the first move against the boy. Dracula grabs a wooden stake and impales Cazan, causing him to rot and decay into nothing but a skeleton. The other Transylvanians advance toward Dracula and Ingeras, until Lucian intervenes and holds a cross against them. Dracula lets Lucian take Ingeras to be safe, and telling his boy he loves him. Ingeras hugs his father one last time as Dracula parts the clouds and lets the sun hit him and the Transylvanians, burning them until they are all dead, including himself.
Ingeras is crowned the new prince of Transylvania. Elsewhere, the man from the woods revives Dracula by feeding him his own blood. Ingeras senses that his father may yet still be out there somewhere.
We jump to the present day. Dracula is able to walk among the people. He sees a woman in town that looks exactly like Mirena. Dracula introduces himself as Vlad, and the woman says her name is Mina. The two walk away together, unaware that the Master Vampire, now reverted to his human form, is watching from afar. He gets up and follows them, muttering to himself, "Let the games begin."
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