Darren was originally blackmailed into being blooded into a half-vampire by Mr. Crepsley after stealing his performing spider, Madam Octa. Later on in thestory however he learns that vampires aren't evil, becomes a Vampire Prince and even saves the world.
Darren was always fascinated by spiders. When he was young, he used to bring spiders from the garden and let them loose in his house, and at the age of 9, he received the greatest gift of his life: a small tarantula. However, the joy of that gift was crushed when he, after watching a cartoon, killed the spider with a vacuum cleaner. For this reason, Darren makes the statement that life, unlike a cartoon, is naturally evil, doesn't care about happy endings, and is always out to kill you. You just have to be careful.
Before the Freak Show, Darren was a normal kid who enjoyed soccer and hanging out with his three best friends:
The four were soccer fans, and had a lot of fun together. Darren Shan lived a happy life with his Mum, Dad, and younger sister, Annie.
When Alan brings a paper advertising a Freak Show, Steve manages to raise the money to buy the tickets. However, they were only given two by the sales person, as if he had known what would happen. They decide to compete for the tickets, or rather ticket, as all of them agreed that Steve deserved a ticket for raising the money in the first place. Darren wins, catching the ticket by chance. They go to the freak show, but Steve finds out that one of the performers, the spider-wielding Mr. Crepsley, is a vampire. Shocked to know that Steve wants to be a vampire (and that Steve has evil blood), Darren flees home. That conflict is put aside, as Darren then realizes that he can in fact own Madam Octa, Mr. Crepsley's deadly performing spider.
Darren steals Madam Octa the spider from the Cirque du Freak and develops a telepathic connection with her. However, when he is demonstrating his control over her to his best friend Steve Leopard, his sister Annie startles him, and his control over her is lost, giving Madam Octa the chance to bite Steve. He goes to hospital but none of the doctors can figure out what type of poison it is. Darren goes to Mr. Crepsley for the cure and the vampire gives Darren an offer: Darren must become his assistant in order for him to give the antidote. Darren agrees and is blooded by Mr. Crepsley. He fakes his own death and leaves his hometown to follow his life as a vampire. After three days, paralyzed in a hospital bed and then in a grave, his actions to save his friend Steve backfires, and on his way he is ambushed by Steve, who is unwilling to kill Darren, and thinks that Darren plotted against him all along, and promises that he will someday find Darren and have vengeance (i.e. kill Darren)
Darren initially hates Mr. Crepsley for making him flee his home and loathes the fact that he must drink blood to survive. He slowly weakens throughout the second book. During this time, Mr. Crepsley notices that Darren is lonely, and sends him back to the Cirque Du Freak, where he befriends the snake boy Evra Von, meets an environmentalist called R.V., as well as a regular human, Sam Grest. However his friendships spiral out of control, first Sam Grest, who Darren is forced to frighten in fear of him discovering the truth. Then, R.V., who decides to free the aggressive werewolf in the cage. When Darren unintentionally reveals that he feeds the animal scraps and leftovers, R.V. becomes very angry at the fact that they mistreat the animal, and he decides to let the werewolf go. It then wreaks havoc, chewing R.V. to bits, and goes on a rampage, smelling human blood (Sam Grest). Darren, realizing this, comes to his aid, but it proves to be futile, as the werewolf corners them both, first inflicting fatal wounds on Sam, and then just when it is about to attack Darren, Mr. Crepsley comes to his aid, killing the werewolf easily. Mr. Crepsley then tells Darren that vampires can capture the personality and soul of whoever they drink from (which of course is true), and manages to convince Darren to drink Sam's blood. Thus, Darren overcomes his fear of drinking human blood, and at the end he is shown to have received Sam's liking for pickled onions.
Mr. Crepsley then has to leave on a mission, and takes Darren and Evra Von with him. They arrive at a city, apparently the city from which Mr. Crepsley was born and raised. While Darren and Evra explore the city on their escapades, Mr. Crepsley is secretly busy on his mission. Darren quickly befriends a human named Debbie, and they develop relationship. Darren has less and less time, even more so when he finds on the news that bodies had been found in the city completely drained of blood, to which Darren is horrified, jumping to the conclusion that Mr. Crepsley is behind it. Like most plots in the Darren Shan series, the situation quickly spirals out of control, ending up with Darren ambushing Mr. Crepsley just as he was about to capture a Vampaneze, injuring Mr. Crepsley and greatly agitating him. When Darren finds out what is really going on, he quickly forgives Mr. Crepsley, and starts helping him. Darren, now having even less time for Debbie, is worried. Debbie invites Darren to her Christmas party, but Darren, excepting the inevitable, that he will have to leave eventually, decides to tell them he is moving again. Debbie, greatly disappointed, tries to convince him to stay just that one day, but Darren disagrees. Finally, Darren decides to tell Mr. Crepsley, about Debbie, to which he surprisingly finds that Mr. Crepsley is not mad, even delighted that he brought up the topic. After a brief talk with him, they both resume tracking down the Vampanzee. However, they meet some bumps along the road, to which Darren and Mr. Crepsley get into another argument, and go their separate ways. The Vampaneze then finds Darren on his way home, and informs him that he has captured Evra Von and that he is now chained up, ready to be eaten. The vampaneze turns out to be insane, and as he chains up Darren as well, a series of negotiations results in Darren convincing the Vampanzee to take Debbie instead of them. The Vampanzee then agrees, and says that if they do not hand over Debbie, Evra dies. Darren then goes to Debbie's house, and they have a great evening. Then Darren goes upstairs and finds the crazed Vampaneze, who is waiting for his "prize" Debbie to come upstairs. Then, Mr. Crepsley ambushes him from the window, and they manage to overpower the Vampaneze. They kill the Vampaneze, drag him out of the building, and they tuck in the drugged family members, including Debbie, into their beds. Darren says a last goodbye and they leave, picking up Evra on their way. What the reader does not know until the climax is that the argument with Mr. Crepsley and everything thereafter was all part of the plan to lure the Vampaneze and kill him. However, Darren admits that there were certain parts that were left to chance, and that the plan could have failed at anytime.
Darren begins to like Vampires, and does not hate Mr. Crepsley so much anymore. Together, he, Mr. Crepsley, Gavner Purl(an old student of Mr. Crepsley) and two little people travel to Vampire Mountain. On the way, they meet a pack of wolves, who are naturally drawn to vampires, and they develop a friendship. In particular, the friendship between the feisty wolf cub Rudi and Darren Shan. While Mr. Crepsley and Gavner Purl were away hunting, they are suddenly attacked by an insane bear, and although at first Rudi fends off the bear, he is injured by it and becomes frightened, hiding in a tree for the rest of the battle, although Darren notes that were it not for Rudi, they would all be dead. Then, the other wolves arrive, but they are unable to defeat the bear, being knocked back. They then stay back to comfort Rudi, leaving Darren and the two little people. One of the little people tries to fight the bear, but the bear kills it gruesomely. The other little person is unable to make a difference in the fight, so it is up to Darren. He takes the bones of the dead little person and manages to severely injure and/or kill the bear. When the two other vampires return, Darren tells them about the bear, and Mr. Crepsley reveals that the bear had consumed the blood of a Vampaneze. Darren then finds that the other little person can speak, and that his name is Harkat Mulds. He reveals that he does not remember much, but remembers that Mr. Tiny revived him from the dead, in exchange for his service for an indefined period of time. When they reach the mountain summit, Darren is introduced to the many aspects of Vampire life that he was not aware of, and finally gets a grip on the Vampire Honour Code. He is introduced to many gruesome rooms, including a group of pale-faced humanoid creatures. He also learned about the oldest vampire alive, Paris Skyle, who resides at the mountain as a prince. He also learns that Mr. Crepsley was once a vampire general, until he quit in search of more interesting things to do. He posed many questions, such as how human blood was collected in these regions, to which was not answered. He then becomes even more famous when he faces off on the bars against the undefeated champion Arra Sails, and did not admit defeat until he was completely knocked out and received a handshake from Arra Sails for his courage, something that is very hard to come by. At the next meeting, they discuss Mr. Crepsley's decision to blood a child, something that has not been done in centuries. Mr. Crepsley cannot come up with a legitimate reason, and after a series of arguments and negotiations, the Princes try to find a suitable punishment. Surprisingly, the punishment given was to initiate Darren Shan in the trials. Thus, Darren decides to take the Trials.
His first trial was the Aquatic Maze, for which Darren had to find his way out of the maze carrying a heavy bag half his weight before the constantly pouring water filled up the maze and drowned him. After a day of training, Darren still struggled to complete the trial, almost drowning in the process, but making it out. The next day, he was assigned his second trial, in which he has to walk through a cave filled with sharp, heavy stalactites. After prolonged training, Darren again struggled to complete the event, impaling himself several times. When he was done, he passed out and was transferred to a hospital. Luckily, the Festivals were the same day, and so he got a three day break from the trials. His third event, arguably his most difficult, was the Wall of Fire, in which he had to stay alive in a room filled with holes, which erupted into searing hot flames. The aftermath of this competition meant that Darren was in serious condition, barely able to stand let alone handle his fourth trial, the Blooded boars, having to kill two crazed boars who had injested Vampire blood. Kurda managed to convince the Princes to postpone the trials, and after three days Darren faced his fourth trial. He was fighting the boars and seemed to have the upper hand when an injured boar squashed him in place, leaving the other boar to charge at him. At the last moment, it seemed hopeless, but Harkat Mulds, the little person, inadvertently rescuded him, thereby disqualifying him from the Trial, and deemed the same as failing. Although many argued that it was not Darren's fault, and the trial should be redone, the Princes were unable to disobey tradition, and they seemed to be leaning toward execution at the pits. He is forced to flee the Mountain. As he escapes, he learns that one of the Vampires Kurda Smahlt(who is about to become a Vampire Prince) is plotting to betray the Vampires to the vampire's blood cousins called the Vampaneze, in the hopes that he can organize a peace between the species(to try to stop The War of Scars).
Darren returns to the Mountain and warns the Vampires of the Vampaneze attack. The attack is successfully halted and the treacherous Prince is executed as a traitor. To save him from having his previous sentence carried out, the Vampires decide to make Darren a Prince, which is a position that is above the Vampire law. Later, Darren becomes one of the Vampaneze Lord Hunters. In the end he faces Steve in battle and they both mortally wound each other, both dying shortly after. Darren is brought back by Mr. Tiny as a Little Person. He is sent back in time and sees his younger self at the Cirque with Steve. He scares himself off so that he doesn't see Steve and Crepsley, cutting off the original chain of events that made Darren a Vampire. He then gives his diary entries to Mr. Tall, unravels, and dies peacefully.Half Vampire
When Darren became a Vampire, he started out like every other person who had been blooded, as a Half-Vampire. Being a Half-Vampire meant that Darren had the powers of a Vampire but much weaker. Also this meant that Darren was able to be in the sun without fear of harm. One thing that troubled Darren at first with being a Half-Vampire is that he needed blood, but he still lived with his family and the urge to feed on his first blood was far too strong. Darren is also the first ever Vampire Prince to be only a Half-Vampire, along with being the youngest. Along with being a Half-Vampire, Darren was also subjected to the purge, a process where Half-Vampires slowly turn into a full Vampire. The purges gave Darren an older, more teenage like appearance, unnatural hair growth, and random headaches.Blooding
This term refers to when Darren was first given vampire blood by Mr. Crepsley. The vampire suggested that they exchange blood via their finger tips, because it was the simplest and least painful. This suggests that there are other ways to exchange blood from a vampire to a human, and the only other mentioned way is by injection (mentioned in the final book). During Vampire Prince, Darren becomes three-quarters Vampire after Arrow and Mika re-blood him and offer his blood to the Stone of Blood.
Darren himself has only given vampire blood to one person, Darius, who is his nephew. Darius had been already blooded by his father Steve (who is half vampaneze himself and also the lord of the vampaneze) so reblooding his nephew could have killed both of them because vampire blood is deadly to vampaneze and vise versa. This means that the transferred blood could have killed the receiver. This is apparently only the second or third succseful attempt at turning a vampaneze into a vampire where both participents survived, this is according to Mr March who underwent this procedure himself to become a vampire.Powers and Abilities