Charles Brady 002
Aliases: Changing Breeds
Sub-groups: Werewolves; Werepanthers; Ananasi; Bastet; Corax; Gurahl; Mokolé; Nuwisha; Rokea
Films: Sleepwalkers
Programs: True Blood

Weres are a type of shape-shifter. The term applies to any individual or group of individuals who have the ability to transform from their regular human shape into that of a specific type of animal. Weres who can transform into a variety of animal are just referred to as shape-shifters or changelings. The most well-known breed of were are werewolves who, as the term implies, are men and women who, under certain conditions, develop physical and mental attributes akin to that of a wolf. In supernatural fiction, there are many different types of weres aside from just werewolves. There are werelizards, werecats, wererodents and so on.

The White Wolf, Inc. roleplaying game Werewolf the Apocalypse refers to their werewolf race as Garou, but the game also provides information on many other types of were-animals as well. Collectively, these groups are known as the Changing Breeds, so named because of their ability to alter their form. Other members of the Changing Breed races featured in the various game supplements include the Ananasi (werespiders), the Bastet (werecats), the Corax (werecrows), the Gurahl (werebears), the Mokolé (weregators), the Nuwisha (werecoyotes) and the Rokea (weresharks).
Charles Brady 003

Charles Brady from Sleepwalkers in mid-shift.

Each of these breeds comes with it's own unique history, sub-sects, abilities, culture, customs and prejudices. All members of the Changing Breeds, regardless of species, can assume any one at least 3-5 different forms, depending upon certain predetermined circumstances, such as time of day, lunar phase and so forth. With the exception of one tribe of Garou, all other breeds begin life as a normal human. They can also assume at least two more intermediate levels of form, each one more animalistic than the last - none of which can ever be construed as something that exists in nature. The final form that a Changing Breed may assume is that of the full animal form itself, albeit usually bigger than a normal animal.

Weres have also been seen in television shows such as the HBO series True Blood. Weres in True Blood can only assume the full bodily shape of a particular animal and cannot shift into an intermediary form. In addition to the standard shape-shifters and werewolves, there have also been a species of werepanther, who believe in keeping their bloodline pure by interbreeding. Unfortunately for the panthers, this has actually proven to be their downfall as the lack of genetic drift through generations of inbreeding have rendered them virtually extinct. In the fictional town of Hotshot, a group of werepanthers abducted a human named Jason Stackhouse in the hopes of turning him into a werepanther that could serve as their "Ghost Daddy" - a paternal figure that they falsely believed might help them to propagate their numbers. While Jason never became a werepanther in the series, he did become one in the "Southern Vampire Mysteries" series of novels by Charlaine Harris from which the TV show is based.

True Blood logo
This article relates to the True Blood television series.

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