Empowered. Brave. Strong.
These are adjectives that describe Melanippe Callis – Mel – from Carmilla, played by Nicole Stamp, who was first introduced to us during Season 2 of the webseries as the leader of the Summer Society. She’s assertive and fearless.
But Mel wasn’t always this way, as we learned in Season Zero. During the “flashback season,” we see that when Mel first came to Silas University, she had ambition, but not a lot of self-confidence. During the final episode, Tythia says that she can see Mel’s fondest desire – that she wishes to lead, and to be her mother’s daughter, herself a former Summer Society President. That’s exactly what Mel becomes – a fearless, righteous Amazon.
In Season 3, Mel is trapped in the Pit, along with several other students. They’re used by the Dean as forced labor to dig to to find the seals. Not only does she keep the students together in a stressful situation, but she is changed by the experience. She puts aside her antipathy toward the Zetas to form a resistance, and produces podcasts from the pit to coordinate with the others for rescue. Laura nicknames her the “Embedded Pit Correspondent,” a title that Mel doesn’t like at first, but eventually embraces.
The Pit is a crucible for Mel, tempering her brashness with empathy, and she emerges from her ordeal a stronger person and a better leader.
In the Carmilla Movie, we get to see more of Mel (and she looks darn good in a tux). She works as part of the integrated group, and also takes an emotional risk in connecting with the ghost of Charlotte Bronte. During the closing scene of the movie, she says “Okay, don’t give me pity eyes, Hollis. Like you never had a crush on a dead girl.” She refuses to wallow in what could have been.
The entirety of Mel’s arc throughout the Carmilla series is what we’re all about at Fangirl Shirts: finding your strength, becoming a leader, integrating compassion and empathy, and facing the future with optimism. We try to channel Mel in everything we do.