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Janette DuCharme

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For the fan author writing under the name "Janette DuCharme", please see Janette DuCharme (author).
Janette DuCharme
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Brought Across 1070-1100 (Paris)
Vampire Death 1995 (disputed)
Master LaCroix
Nick Knight
Vampires Made Sophia Jurgen (disputed)
Portrayed By Deborah Duchêne
Cec Verrell
Fan Factions Ravenettes, Ravens
Immortal Beloveds
Dark Trinity
Seducers
Nanettes
Vachonettas


Janette (who sometimes uses the surname DuCharme) is the vampire daughter of Lucien LaCroix, who is also Nick Knight's master. She has remained close to both down the centuries, though they have not always travelled together.

In present-day Toronto, Janette is the proprietor of a nightclub, the Raven, which caters to a mixed human and vampire clientele.


CharacterEdit

Mortal LifeEdit

Note: The vast majority of the original information in this article first appeared in Amy Rambow's The Janette FAQ originally written in 1996 and updated many times since then.
Janette was born in the eleventh century in France, and worked in Paris as a prostitute for a pimp named Daviau. Her background is uncertain: although he told clients that she was "of noble blood", Janette equally told them that she would be whatever they desired, thus casting some doubt on Daviau's advertisements.
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As a prostitute, Janette was fair game for any man.

She resented the conditions of her life: the pimp who sold her body, the men who used and abused her, and the loss of her friend Anna, a fellow prostitute who was sold into prostitution by her husband for failing to produce children for him and then killed by Daviau when she became pregnant.[1] Janette was ripe for the change in her existence offered by Lucien LaCroix.

Conversion to VampirismEdit

One evening, when her pimp sent her out to find a client, Janette was accosted by a soldier who attempted to rape her. Her resistance caught the interest of Lacroix, who saved her by killing the man. When he investigated her, he discovered that she was a prostitute with an abusive pimp. He then offered to bring her across, promising that no mortal would ever touch her again without her consent. He assured her that she could be "so much more than mere nobility".[2] Janette promptly avenged her mortal life by draining and killing Daviau.

LaCroix's FamilyEdit

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Janette and Nick were lovers for about a century in the late Renaissance.

Janette subsequently travelled with LaCroix as his companion and daughter. In Paris some two centuries later, she met and seduced Nicolas de Brabant, a young crusader back from the Holy Land. She immediately introduced him to Lacroix, who brought him across.[3] Nick travelled with Janette and Lacroix for the rest of the Middle Ages. For almost a century, she and Nick were lovers, during which time she had Leonardo paint her portrait as a present for Nick.[4]

Upon their separation in the Renaissance,[5] Janette left her vampire family for a time; and thereafter spent at least a portion of her time apart from them, though she returned frequently. Her relationship with Nick has flared and cooled over the centuries, but they have rarely been together without an intimate attitude.

Janette in TorontoEdit

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As owner of the Raven, Janette has to deal with the paperwork required by human laws.

Janette moved to Toronto around 1975,[6] according to Lacroix. (There is no independent confirmation of this, and Lacroix may have had reason to lie or exaggerate.). During some or all of this period, she operated a night club, the Raven, which catered to both a human and vampire clientele. Certainly, she was operating the club for at least three years before the start of the series.

As a former prostitute herself, Janette had great sympathy for their difficult life, and permitted the women to spend time at the Raven. Indeed, the club operated as something of a sanctuary, since she did not allow entrance to their pimps.[7] Similar refuge was offered to transient vampires, who were provided with sleeping quarters in the basement of the club.[8]

Subsequent EventsEdit

Main article: The controversy about Janette's fate
In 1995, Janette left Toronto for Montreal. While there, she fell in love with a mortal, Robert McDonagh, and they became lovers.
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When in Montreal, Janette found herself part of a human family.

When he was killed, she somehow became mortal herself. Despite becoming guardian to Robert's son, Patrick, she determined to seek revenge for her lover's murder. For this reason, she returned to Toronto in the episode "The Human Factor", where she was shot and mortally injured.

As Janette lay dying in Nick's arms, he pleaded with her to let him bring her back across. She refused. Crying out in anguish, Nick faced making an instantaneous decision. He could lose her forever by letting her die as a mortal—the fate she wanted, and the one he sought for himself. Or alternatively, he could save her against her own choice by bringing her back across.

"The Human Factor" remains among the most controversial and discussed episodes in the series. Its ambiguity has caused several heated debates, with great passion on all sides.

PersonalityEdit

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Janette in Partners of the Month.

Janette is the most enigmatic of the major Forever Knight characters, in part because of her lack of screen time, and in part because of an apparently reticent nature; she does not often talk about herself, and we have seen Nick still strangely uninformed[9] about her past after eight centuries. Until "The Human Factor", Janette enthusiastically embraced her vampirism—"I like what I am"—and mortality was never something she actively sought. Janette has also always embraced her own sense of justice through vengeance, from Daviau (her pimp when she was mortal) to Larouche (Robert's murderer).[10]

In the present day, Janette has virtually created a society around her through the patrons, employees, and inhabitants of the Raven. While she has often been seen by fans as the very soul of the vampire community, concerning herself with that community more than any other character,
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Janette befriends a prostitute in A Fate Worse than Death.

she has also been kind not only to Nick's mortal friends, but to the mortal prostitutes she has sheltered at the Raven (though she tries to keep her kindnesses firmly behind the scenes). In fact, Janette has almost never been seen alone. She has also expressed a desire to cling to her "homes," once she finds them.[11]

Despite mocking Nick's involvement in the mortal world, she interacts with it herself as necessary in the course of her business: thus Janette supervises the Raven nightly instead of hiring a manager, does her own taxes when she has an accountant,[12] reads newspapers and tracks her competition,[13] worries about inspections and has come to an understanding with the local organized crime group.[14] Janette has shown herself supremely adaptable to the circumstances in which she has found herself through the centuries. Indeed, she seems to consider herself practical and extremely realistic. Above all, Janette is a survivor.

Personal relationshipsEdit

In discussing the relationships that Janette has with other characters, one needs to distinguish familial relationships from friends and acquaintances, and professional associates. Nothing is known about Janette's mortal family. However, she has several quasi-familial bonds with other vampires.

Vampire FamilyEdit

Janette was originally brought across by LaCroix, making her a vampire sister to Nick Knight and all other of LaCroix's progeny. The controversy surrounding the conclusion of "The Human Factor", however, creates ambiguity about Janette's current family status. Assuming her to be alive, then Janette's new vampire master is Nick Knight (formerly her vampiric brother and lover). Through him she is related to his only other known, living vampire "child," Serena.[15]

Many fans believe that it was Janette who brought over the Baroness Sophia in "If Looks Could Kill", making her Sophia's master. This has been disputed based on Janette's comments about being a glutton and unable to stop prior to death.[16]

Friends and AcquaintancesEdit

Janette first met Dr. Natalie Lambert in person in the episode "Cherry Blossoms". Although she claims Natalie is not her "friend", she admires her as a "surgeon" and is solicitous of her.[17]

Janette met Nick's first partner, Don Schanke, in "For I Have Sinned", when he came to the Raven to pick Nick up and take him to a crime scene. When he later returned to the Raven and was nearly killed by one of its vampire patrons, she ordered him never to return. Nevertheless, at Nick's request, she offered Schanke shelter in "Hunters", when he was threatened by an unknown killer. Furthermore, in "Partners of the Month", she commiserated with him when he briefly decided to leave his wife, and was instrumental in persuading him to return to her.

Other personal relationships include:

Professional AssociatesEdit

In her position as the owner of the Raven, Janette's relationships include customer and decorator Alma,[20] bartender Miklos,[21] customer Mirah,[22] and employee Briana[23]. Janette's other contacts include Larry Merlin, vampire computer expert,[24] and Aristotle, who creates false lives for relocating vampires[25]. A number of vampires live in the basement of the Raven.[26]

Age and appearanceEdit

Judging from Deborah Duchêne's appearance, Janette was perhaps 26-30 when brought across in the eleventh century. However, the life of a prostitute was a hard one and may have been responsible for her slightly older appearances. She was probably well under 25 at the time she met LaCroix and was brought across.
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Janette wearing a fashionable ruff.

Thus, she is around 900-1000 years old. She appears to stand 5'8" and weigh around 135 lbs. She has blue eyes and black hair, which she wears in accordance with contemporary trends. However, it has never been seen shorter than shoulder-length.[27]

In flashbacks, Janette always dressed at the height of the era's fashion. In the present, her choices may be explained as appropriate for her situation: she dressed as a "goth" while owner of the Raven and dressed "contemporary casual" when she moved to Montreal. In the first season, Janette wore black almost exclusively. In the second season, she frequently wore red dresses with gold accents. The only exceptions occur when she appears in white in "Dark Knight" during the flashback scenes, in brown in "A Fate Worse than Death", in grey in "Near Death", and in white in "The Human Factor".

Janette almost always wore earrings, frequently wore chokers as owner of the Raven (throughout first season), and was once seen getting a tattoo.[28]

Names and AliasesEdit

"Janette" is an anglicization of the French name Jeannette, which is a diminutive of Jean (John). She uses the French pronunciation of the name, zha-NET.

There are two ways that Jeannette has been anglicized: "Janette" and "Jeanette". In the scripts and credits for Forever Knight, the spelling used is the former. However, many fans, especially in the early days when few people had tapes of the show, mistakenly used the more common anglicization "Jeanette", which therefore turns up frequently in fan fiction and discussion. Note, though, that "Jeanette" is still an anglicized spelling, not the original French spelling, which has two Ns.

Since Jeannette is a diminutive, it is likely that, if Janette was christened, it was with the name Jeanne (Jane).

"Janette" is the only personal name that she is known to have used; and she is usually referred to simply by this name. However, in present day Toronto, she uses the name "Janette DuCharme". Indeed, she used this surname as early as 1228;[29] but this does not necessarily bear any relation to her mortal origin. In "The Human Factor", Janette uses the surname "de Brabant", which is Nick Knight's original mortal surname.

Series InformationEdit

In the original 1989 pilot movie, Janette was played by actor Cec Verrell. In the television series Forever Knight, the character was portrayed by Deborah Duchêne, who appeared in most episodes in the first two seasons. Duchêne then left the show; but she did return as a guest star in the third season episode, "The Human Factor". The character was also mentioned in two other episodes in Season Three.

Episodes of SignificanceEdit

The following is a list of those episodes in which Janette DuCharme plays a role beyond the norm, deepening our understanding of her character. For a full discussion of her role in each episode in which she appears, see Janette's episodes of importance.

Season One:

  • "For I Have Sinned" - Janette chides Nick for refusing to admit his vampire nature, but saves Schanke from becoming a victim of one of the vampires at the Raven.
  • "Dance by the Light of the Moon" - Janette seduces Nicolas de Brabant and delivers him to LaCroix.
  • "Cherry Blossoms" - Janette and Natalie meet for the first time.
  • "Hunters" - When Janette provides refuge for Schanke, she explains to Nick that she houses transient vampires in the basement of her club.

Season Two:

  • "A Fate Worse than Death" - Janette reveals to Nick her history as a prostitute, and how she was brought over by LaCroix.
  • "Crazy Love" - When Nick is aroused by memories during an investigation, he turns to Janette for relief.
  • "Partners of the Month" - The end of the century-long love affair Janette had with Nick in the late Renaissance.

Season Three:

Fan ActivitiesEdit

FactionsEdit

Followers of Janette are referred to as Ravenettes. The etymology of this word usually derives it from a portmanteau of "Raven" and "Janette". Its apparently feminine ending has, however, led some male followers to prefer to call themselves Ravens, instead.

In addition, the following factions are devoted to relationships involving Janette in conjunction with one or more other Forever Knight characters:

Fan FictionEdit

The following works of fan fiction feature Janette prominently among their characters:

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

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