the master from the strain



Biographical Information







Known Associate(s)

Pedigree Information



Other Relatives



Portrayed By

Doug Jones
Jack Kesy
Paul Aspland
Aaron Lazar
Jonathan Hyde
Corey Stoll
Robin Atkin Dowens (voice actor)


First Appearance


  • 1 Physical Appearance
  • 2 Powers
  • 3 Helpers/Assistants
  • 4 Ascendancy of The Vampire
  • 6 Trivia

Physical Appearance [ edit | edit source ]

By the time of his arrival in New York, he was inhabiting the body of Jusef Sardu, a Polish nobleman from the 19th century afflicted with gigantism, which explains his intimidating physique and height.

Apart from his stature, he retains the traits found in lesser Strigoi. From the six-foot-long apparatus used to transfer the disease as well as to swallow, the lack of a nose, clawed fingers, and completely hairless skin.

The graphic novel version of ‘The Night Eternal’ depicts the earliest date of the Master manifesting among humans as the 28th century BCE, which would place him around 3500 years old, possibly older. He was first documented as Thrax, a 15-year-old Roman slave, then a short, but strong legionnaire named Tacitus, and a tall, pale iron-worker. These are the Master’s hosts mentioned in the trilogy, although, throughout his millennia of walking the earth, he has undoubtedly assumed many more forms, including various indigenous peoples from the Americas in antiquity, whence he gave rise to wendigo lore before crossing over into the Old World to join the other Ancients.

Powers [ edit | edit source ]

There are several powers that are hinted to be reserved for only the original vampires. One of which, hinted at by Setrakian, is that they have the ability to see through the eyes of all lesser Strigoi. Another is their amazing strength. While many of the infected retain the physique they had in their former lives, the original vampires have the ability to effortlessly snap a neck or smash in a grown man’s skull. It’s also been shown that they can, for lack of a better term, “blink” through the shadows. Appearing from seemingly nowhere and just as easily disappearing, it’s impossible to physically track them. Consistent with the Season 1 finale, “The Master,” the Master has demonstrated that he is somewhat resistant to the sun’s deadly effects since he was able to survive much longer in the sunlight than a typical Strigoi could.

The Strain – Inside The Strain Old & New Masters

Assumption of the New Host.

Setrakian himself stated that he did not know the Master was capable of surviving extended exposure to sunlight, leading to his dreaded acceptance at the end of Book 1 of the trilogy that the Master was not of this earth. Setrakian did not understand the otherworldly nature of the Ancients, and so treated the Master as an earthly creature – even if an aberration – mistaking the host body the Master inhabited for his actual body and essence. It became clear that more powerful and occult methods would be needed to defeat the Master.

Helpers/Assistants [ edit | edit source ]

Throughout the series, The Master gains followers to assist him, offering promises that only he can fulfill, such as immortality. One of his closest lieutenants, Thomas Eichhorst, is generally the physical manifestation responsible for carrying out many of his orders. It is through him he recruits his other helpers.

In promising Eldritch Palmer, a successful billionaire, immortality, he has gained virtually limitless wealth and resources for his “New Order.” Through his contacts and infrastructure, he is able to gain the help of other mortals.

Kelly Goodweather is one of the few strigoi, to be given sentient access to her memories after being turned. She becomes one of his greatest assets, by using her bond with her son Zach to track him and by doing so also finding his father Ephraim, the Master’s nemesis Abraham Setrakian and his Group.

After the death of his mother, Zach has been willingly helping the master and attempts to gain information on nuclear bomb’s whereabouts from his father as part of a subterfuge mission given to him by The Master.

Ascendancy of The Vampire [ edit | edit source ]

Ever since the solar eclipse, the Master and his minions have tightened their grip on the City of New York, as it allowed them to move freely during the day, without fear of the sun for a time. This is only Step One in the Master’s plan for global domination. There is not one thing in these machinations that does not involve forethought and calculation, as evidenced when the Master had a school of blind children turned into “Feelers” in the hunt for Zack, as all of their senses would be unusually heightened and superior to any normal Strigoi, due to their lack of one sense. The primary, taken steps in the Master’s plan go as follows:

1) Catastrophic failure of the Public Internet.

2) Transport of his casket to midtown Manhattan, crossroads of the world.

3) Alliance to Eldritch Palmer.

4) Attempted acquisition of the Occido Lumen.

5) Transfer of his consciousness to the host, Bolivar.

6) Mass Murder of city’s high-level financial executives, which led to the run on the banks and the hoarding of precious metals (especially silver, the bane of vampires).

7) Build-out of the massive processing plants for the extraction of human blood.

The only reason that the Master succeeded so far is due to the fact that he is able to prey on human weaknesses, such as vanity and greed. If he can appease those weaknesses in a person, such as Eldritch Palmer (his thirst for immortality and power), he can convince them to do his bidding, even if only for a time.

Quotes [ edit | edit source ]

The Strain – Inside The Strain Vampire War

Expansion of The Vampire Sphere of Influence

Trivia [ edit | edit source ]

The deranged Renfield is known for declaring Dracula as “Master” in Hollywood renditions of the classic story. (See further trivia parallels with Renfield under the “Eldritch Palmer” page.)

The Master, also known as Sariel, is a main character and an antagonist. the youngest of the seven original vampires called the Ancients. He is responsible for the strain of vampirism that spreads in New York City. He serves as the main antagonist of the series. 1 Physical Appearance 2 Powers 3…

The Master (The Strain)

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Villain Overview
  • Fourth Host
  • Third Host
  • Second Host
  • Original Form

Full Name




Master of the NYC Strain
Leader of The Partnership


Strigoi anatomy
Superhuman strength
Superhuman speed


Tormenting Setrakian.
Mentoring Zach.



Type of Villain

Sariel, also known as The Master, is the main antagonist of the FX’s Horror-Thriller The Strain.

He is one of the seven original ancients and the youngest among them. He is also the mastermind behind the strain virus that spread in New York City.

He was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. He was also portrayed by Robert Maillet in Season 1 and 2, Doug Jones in Season 2, Jack Kesy in Season 2 and 3, and Jonathan Hyde in Season 4.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Past
    • 1.2 Season 1
    • 1.3 Season 2
    • 1.4 Season 3
    • 1.5 Season 4
  • 2 Trivia
  • 3 Navigation


Sariel is one of the Ancients, seven eldritch beings that have existed since biblical times, they being the spawn of the Archangel of Death Ozryel, who, unknown to God, secretly reveled in blood and carnage.

When God sent Ozryel and two other angels to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Angel of Death could not contain his excitement in killing all he could, being enthralled by the blood spilled.

Soon after, a crazed Ozryel attacked fellow angel Micheal in an attempt to drink his blood. Horrified and disgusted, God captured Ozryel and had his body dismembered, the seven pieces were then scattered across the globe.

However, over time, the blood that leaked from Ozryel’s body parts took form inside the soil of their tombs, becoming the Ancients. Sariel is the youngest of them, created from the blood of Ozryel’s severed head.

In 1873, a man named Jusef Sardu, along with several uncles and cousins went on a hunting trip in Romania. During the expedition, all of the Sardu men disappeared mysteriously, though sometimes their mutilated bodies were found.

Eventually, Sardu was the only one left, vowing to kill the monster or die trying. He tracked and found Sariel feeding on a hunter within a cave. Sariel taunts Sardu, using his stinger to subdue the man before taking his body as his new host.

After Sariel took Sardu’s body, he came to Sardu’s village and presumably began turning the children into strigoi, making the villagers abandoned their home.

Eventually, during World War 2, Sariel met German Officer Thomas Eichorst, who became his second in command, Eichorst allowing Sariel to feed on prisoners of the concentration camp he worked at.

There, he encounters Abraham Setrakian, who attempts to stab Sariel with a silver knife. Quickly overpowering him, Sariel mocks Strakian’s call to God before breaking every bone in his hands.

By the end of the war, with the Allies victory near, Thomas Eichorst flees into the woods and arrives at a secret bunker. There Sariel transfuses a worm into his body, triggering Eichorst’s rebirth as a strigoi.

Season 1

Years later, Sariel hid on a plane arriving at New York, attacking and infecting everyone onboard. An airport official, Peter Bishop, comes across Sariel and drained of his blood by Sariel before having his skull smashed in.

After Sariel killed Bishop, he returned to his coffin, which was then smuggled past airport security and delivered to Eldritch Palmer, who kneels in terror upon seeing The Master.

Later, a fully turned Kelly Goodweather is summoned Sariel, who meets her face-to-face and tells her to “rejoice.”

Meanwhile, Eph and the others locate Sariel’s lair only to find it littered with resting strigoi. Eph hears Kelly’s voice crying out for help, but Setrakian knows it is a trap leading them to Sariel. The voice leads Eph into a large chamber containing Sariel’s coffin, only to be surrounded by strigoi.

After arriving and finally meeting Eph face to face, Sariel attempts to kill him, but Fet, Setrakian, and Nora arrive and set off a home-made UV light bomb, killing some strigoi and repelling Sariel. Setrakian wants to pursue his old foe but is forced to retreat when the group come upon hundreds of newly turned strigoi inside a cavern.

Later, after his battle and face to face with Eph, Sariel rejuvenates a dying Eldritch Palmer by giving him a drop of his white blood.

Following another battle, the Strigoi Hunter’s enter the theater Sariel is using as a lair and fight past his strigoi, including Bolivar and Eichorst. Upstairs, Setrakian and Eph confront Sariel and drive him into the daylight where he is severely burned, but escapes. Setrakian and the others are stunned that sunlight failed to kill the Master.

Season 2

After his battle, Sariel, whose body is dying after exposure to sunlight, orders Eichorst to retrieve blind children who are converted into a new type of strigoi called Feelers, imbued with psychic abilities and used as trackers. By the Master and Eichorst’s command, the Feelers are given to Kelly, whose memory has been restored.

Eichorst and Bolivar prepare for the Master’s transfer to a new body. However, Eichorst is shocked and dismayed when the Master transfers his essence into Bolivar’s body rather than his. The Master then demands that Eichorst swear fealty to him in his new form.

After Sariel transfers into Bolivar’s body, Setrakian and Quinlan confront Sariel, who is nesting in a factory, and also Eichorst. When Fet dynamites the building, Sariel escapes in the explosion. Quinlan angrily blames Setrakian and Fet for thwarting his opportunity to destroy the Master, then warns them to abandon the hunt to him. Following a failed assassination attempt by Eph on Palmer that leaves the businessman lover Coco in critical condition, Eldritch refuses to help Sariel anymore until he saves her. Begrudgingly, The Master complies.

After Eichorst loses an auction for Occido Lumen’, an ancient tome apparently containing the secret to killing Sariel due to Palmer cutting off the money in an attempt to convince Sariel to treat him as an equal, Sariel infects Coco in retaliation, forcing Palmer to kill her.

Season 3

After Nora’s death and Zach’s kidnapping, Eph drinks more heavily but continues working on the anti-strigoi bioweapon for Feraldo. She says its fatality rate has dropped from 100% to 75% due to their quick adaptation and Sariel becoming more aware of it. Fet assists the Navy SEALs in eliminating vampire nests and searching for Sariel; however, Eichorst lures the SEALS into a trap and Sariel infects nearly the entire team.

Eph and Sariel then bargain with each other, Eph would give him the Lumen if the Strigoi Leader returned Zach, the two meeting in person at a park. During the exchange, Kelly uses a Feeler disguised as Zach to steal the Lumen, although the silver cover severely burns her hands when she attempts to take it. During the fight, Quinlan kills the Navy Seals Sariel infected.

First stunning him with a grenade filled with silver, Quinlan beheads Sariel, although his true form, a large, crimson worm, manages to escape.

Palmer and Setrakian devise a plan to lure Sariel to Stoneheart headquarters so that Eph, Fet, Dutch, Setrakian, and Quinlan can entrap him in the silver-lined sarcophagus. However, Sariel, who has taken a new body, ambushes Palmer and transfers his essence into him, gaining Palmer’s memories. Sariel retrieves the remaining nuclear bomb from Palmer’s vault and revives the mortally wounded Eichorst.

Eph and Setrakian meet with Palmer, but quickly realize it is Sariel and battle him. Dutch activates the strigoi disruption device, crippling Sariel; Quinlan, Fet, Eph, and Setrakian seal Sariel into the silver-lined sarcophagus. As Setrakian, Quinlan, Fet, and Dutch take the sarcophagus that had Sariel in it to dump it into the Atlantic. Enraged over his mother’s death, Zach vengefully detonates the bomb. The explosion’s shockwave frees Sariel from the sarcophagus, and the resulting nuclear debris obscures the sun, allowing the strigoi to walk freely in daylight. Eichorst leaves with Zach, while Setrakian’s group is forced underground to avoid nuclear fallout and rampaging strigoi.

Season 4

Nine months have passed since “Illumination Day”, the day the bomb was detonated, leading to a nuclear war that created a nuclear winter. The strigoi, now freely roaming the streets in the dim daylight, have enslaved humanity and established a dictatorship called “The Partnership”, aided by human collaborators.

Sariel, whose was fully strigoi since he took over Palmer’s body, mentoring Zach and telling him has dark potential. Sariel, suspecting Zach’s allegiance is faltering, tells him he can either support his cause or leave and live hand-to-mouth like other humans. Zach reaffirms his loyalty to the Master.

When Eph and Alex travels to the countryside to continuing on their investigating about Sariel’s New Horizon’s “farms”, they discover these are concentration camps to using humans as livestocks for the strigoi consumption. When Sariel speaking through a newly-turned strigoi, he taunts Eph, saying Zach is alive and has dark potential.

When Eichorst stings Setrakian, Sariel speaking through Eichorst as he listens to Setrakian warning that Sariel’s defeat is inevitable, he behead Eichorst. When Sariel tries to found Quinlan than the others, Desai falsely accuses his wife of betraying Sariel. However, Sariel knows he’s lying and kills them both. The team sets off to detonate the nuke at the Empire State Building.

During the final battle, Sariel orders a final purge of Manhattan to flush out the team, When Eph and Fet lure the Master and a strigoi horde to their hideout, Sariel is trapped below ground with the Zach and Quinlan.

Sariel battles and injures Quinlan, he tells Zach to kill his father, but when Sariel attempts to transfer his essence into Zach, Eph attacks him and instead becomes possessed. Before that, Eph was able to arm the bomb. Sariel believes he won, However, Zach triggers the bomb, destroying him along with Sariel. Five years later, the nuclear winter is subsiding, humanity has recovered and destroyed all but a few strigoi that are kept captive.

Sariel, also known as The Master, is the main antagonist of the FX's Horror-ThrillerThe Strain. He is one of the seven original ancients and the youngest among them. He is also the mastermind behind the strain virus that spread in New York City. He was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. He was also…