Arthur Pete van Dyke is a veteran Shadow Slayer who was forced to take up the life he left behind in order to protect his family. He's a good, honorable man and dauntless in the face of danger or death. He's a skilled hunter of some renown, and was one of the last known Shadow Slayers before their order seemed to disappear. He is the husband of the late Vera van Dyke, the father of Claire Bridges, the grandfather of Erica Bridges and the great-grandfather of Bruce Bridges.
Arthur is good and honorable man who had been through much darkness in his life, yet somehow manages to still see the good in everything. Raised as a farmer, Arthur has a strong work ethic and high moral values. He believes everybody should be honest, ethical and up-front and sincere. While a bit of a rascal in his youth, Arthur always chose to do the right thing in the end and as he grew, he matured, especially once he became a father.
He's an all-American man who enjoys football, craft beer and mechanics, specifically classic cars. This helped guide his decision to open an auto-repair business in North Salem during his time there and then again in Mercy Reef, Florida. He's re-opened his old shop in North Salem now that the Final Battle is over, though he runs the shop in a managerial fashion now.
Arthur has a firm distrust of people who hide their true personalities or otherwise liars, especially vampires and demons. He expresses guilt in helping their kind and hates "making deals with the devil", i.e. forging an alliance with an enemy for mutual gain. As such, he greatly distrusted Alberto and was wary of his friendship with his granddaughter. The only vampire he trusts is Rowan Ford, a vampire who acted Erica's mentor and guardian for some time. Arthur and Rowan also tend to share many similar views of the world (as both were raised in the rural midwest) and a few favorite bands.
Arthur used to harbor a distrust of magic and those who wielded it (such as Sorcerers and Witches) but being married to Vera softened him to the concept, though he still prefers to solve problems with hard work, rather than a quick-fix.
Despite all of this, Arthur harbors no views that any particular creature is inherently better than another; he once said, "It's not about what you can do, it's about what you end up actually doing". He tries to live by that every day.
Arthur was once a Shadow Slayer, and in fact, was one of the most powerful members of that order and feared throughout the supernatural community; a slayer only whispered about by monsters in the dark. As a grandfather, Arthur is kind, supportive, honest and protective.
Powers & Abilities Edit
Arthur is a human in peak physical condition for a man his age who engages in regular exercise.
- Archery: As the bow was one of his primary hunting tools, Arthur is an Olympic-level archer, able to hit a moving target from the back of a moving truck.
- Driver: Arthur was a bootlegger in his youth. This has translated into excellent high-speed driving ability.
- Favored Enemy: Over the years, Arthur has gained considerable experience hunting demons and vampires.
- Mechanic: Arthur is an expert, professional mechanic.
- Sword Fighting: Arthur is a trained, talented swordsman, able to outfight most supernatural creatures. He taught Troy everything he knows.
Former Powers Edit
He was also "shadowtouched", which means that he's able to tap into the magic that naturally flows through him and use it against the supernatural. To this end, he was once a Shadow Slayer. However, since the Final Battle, all Shadow Slayers seem to have lost these abilities.
Arthur is a human and is vulnerable to all of the things a normal human is.
Early Life Edit
Arthur was born in 1955, the younger son of Chuck and Ruth VanDyke, farmers in the rural town of Alma, Nebraska. Alma being a primarily agricultural community, Arthur was raised on a farm, doing chores as young as five or six. He was very close to his father, who would often take Arthur and his older brother, Josiah, to football games and out hunting every autumn.
As children, Arthur and Josiah would often walk or bike several miles to the local reservoir and chase raccoons, fish, swim, crawl through old tunnels and storm drains and otherwise goof around like only a group of kids can do. He was fond of the outdoors growing up and would often get lost in daydreams in school. He wasn't an exceptional student but he also wasn't a dunce. He was liked by his peers and was considered handsome by the girls in his class. Arthur would sometimes get into scuffles with other boys and was a bit of a rascal in his teen years.
In 1968, when Arthur was thirteen, he and his father returned from a trip into town to sell some feed to find their house on fire. Arthur burst in and found his brother inside, screaming bloody murder. He dragged Josiah from the fire and was devastated to learn their mother was dead; consumed by the fire.
In the days after the fire, Josiah insisted that she didn't die in the fire, but that the fire erupted from her, like some kind of human bomb. Arthur disbelieved him, of course and the two had a falling out. Chuck, especially, screamed at Josiah to stop talking about it, their arguments turning violent, resulting in Josiah leaving and never speaking to Chuck again.
Arthur stuck around for a few years, helping his father rebuild and maintain the farm. They grew distant as Chuck became an alcoholic and Arthur began to resent his father's behavior. Chuck eventually shot himself in 1970. Josiah attended the funeral and, afterward, spoke with Arthur about proof that what he said happened in the fire was real. He presented newspaper clippings about similar incidents around the world. Arthur was intrigued, asking what it all meant. Josiah insisted that a demon was responsible for the murder of their mother; demons are chaotic, evil and destroy for the sake of destruction. Josiah offered Arthur the chance to leave the farm and the bad memories and join him to hunt the demon that ruined their lives.
It was barely a choice.
Hunter of Monsters Edit
Arthur and Josiah hunted monsters together for many years. They traveled around the country, and even to Canada and Mexico a few times, on the trail of all kinds of monsters. They helped all those that they could and Arthur became almost addicted to the rush.
In the winter of 1973, Josiah was killed while hunting a werewolf in the Appalachian Mountains. In his rage, Arthur botched the hunt and the monster got away. Arthur was devastated and continued to stalk the monster for two weeks, until he finally caught up with it as it was terrorizing a small family in an isolated cabin. Arthur saved the surviving victims after managing to stab the werewolf in the heart with a silver serving spoon.
After he had a Hunter's funeral for his brother, he sank into a depression, binge drinking and fighting, and on hunts he grew more reckless. During the hunt for a Necromancer who creating a rash of Flesh Golems in Connecticut, he stumbled on a small group of Witches who were doing the same, including Vera Clarke. She thought him a drunk and found him a bit intolerable, though she admired his courage and his good heart. After the hunt, the two kept in touch.
Vera was exotic for Arthur; beautiful, intelligent, brave, bluntly honest and mysterious. Needless to say, he fell in love with her almost instantly. Through their friendship, Arthur was introduced to Christopher Beck, a Shadow Slayer who was an old friend of Vera's family. Christopher took Arthur as an apprentice and taught him how to tap into the Shadow and use it against Shadowkind. Arthur proved a talented student and quickly excelled at it. Through the art of the Shadow Slayer, Arthur found peace about his brother's death and finally came down from the life of self-destruction he was living at the time. In 1976, Arthur and Vera reconnected and started hunting together.
During one of these hunts, a college-aged, crazed cultist following the tenants of the Elder God Ithaqua held a young woman hostage. As Vera was busy dealing with the Yuan-Ti half-bloods that were converting college students to the snake god's cult, Arthur was forced to shoot the young cultist, killing him in order to protect the other students around them. This would haunt Arthur for years.
On another hunt, Arthur, Vera and a friend of theirs were on the trail of a Werebear and tracked him onto a plane bound for Chicago. The problem was that the Werebear was an afflicted and would only change on the half-moon, which meant a forced transformation at 30,000 feet. They eventually found the lycan and in order to protect the other passengers, took him into the plane's bathroom and killed him. Vera made the body invisible and they were never implicated in the murder. Arthur felt guilty about that for decades and to this day regrets the decision; there must have been another way.
Arthur proposed to Vera on the Fourth of July, right after they had finished hunting a particularly nasty Doppleganger nest. On Christmas day in 1977, the two married. Arthur found out on their wedding night that Vera was almost three months pregnant.
Domestic Life Edit
With their first child on the way, Arthur and Vera settled down in Vera's hometown of North Salem, New York. Arthur continued to hunt during Vera's pregnancy.
The birth of his first daughter, Claire, changed everything. Arthur discovered what it was to be a father and he instantly felt the responsibility to support his family. To accomplish this, Arthur opened an auto-repair shop in North Salem and worked there between hunts. Arthur cared for his daughter, spending as much time with her as he could whenever he was home.
As a mother, Vera had begun to hunt less to focus on raising their daughter and Arthur briefly considered leaving the life of the Shadow Slayer behind. But, every time he tried, he was pulled right back in. He began to set up a series of safe-houses for his family, in case anything he hunted wanted payback. During this time, he met Bentham, an Inevitable and assisted him in an undisclosed way. According to the rules, he was not allowed to speak of it.
Over the next several years, he and Vera had two more children: Rita in 1981 and Eric in 1984. As Claire grew older, Arthur noted that she began to develop powers like her mother, while Rita seemed to not have inherited the powers. Arthur never discovered whether Eric was powered or not, however, as he died tragically of leukemia in 1989. Vera was absolutely devastated and Arthur retired from hunting to support his family through the tragedy. Rita became sullen in the wake of Eric's death but Claire managed to handle it better; she'd always had a sort of inner light that gave strength to those around her.
In 1995, Claire joined the Hoffman Institue, a thinktank of monster hunters and scientists, after being kicked out of college. The Institute had tried to recruit both Arthur and Vera before but they had declined the offer. Vera was adamant against Claire's joining, and Arthur didn't like it either, but in the end Claire made the decision.
That Christmas, Claire introduced them to her fiancee, Clive Talbot, a psychic and teammate of hers at the Institute. Clive was charming, polite, humble and seemed to genuinely love Claire. Plus, he won over Vera and that took skill. In the end, Arthur took Clive aside and gave his blessing for the marriage. In the summer of 1996, the two married. Watching his daughter walk down the aisle was one of the proudest, happiest moments of his life.
Only months later, Arthur received a phone call from a friend of Claire's, Jonathan, who was worried because Clive had been acting strange for weeks and just vanished. Arthur agreed to look into it and made a few calls. After only a few days, Arthur got a hit; an old hunter friend of his had found Clive in India and followed him to Tibet, where he lost him. Arthur sent the pictures to Jonathan and tried to call Claire several times but was unable to reach her.
Tragically, Clive was arrested by the Institute soon after for murder and a month later was killed by Jonathan after he freaked out and started killing people. Arthur mourned for his daughter's loss, but Vera was truly heartbroken; she had lost both a son and a friend. Arthur offered Claire to come stay with him and Vera in New York for awhile but Claire declined the offer. Arthur and Vera traveled to Portland to attend the funeral and comfort their daughter. They ended up staying with Claire for a little more than a month, during which time they got to know her friend Jonathan a little better, considering how often he was around.
Arthur was present when Claire discovered her baby would be a girl. Everyone was ecstatic about it and Arthur asked what Claire was going to name the baby. She had no idea, so Arthur suggested "Margaret". He and Vera were both touched when Claire decided on the name "Erica", after her little brother.
Arthur and Vera flew out to visit their granddaughter on her first birthday and they both absolutely fell in love with the baby girl (she looked so cute in her little cat costume). Vera was more than annoyed (try homicidally inclined) that Jonathan was not only there but was apparently living with Claire now. While Arthur didn't exactly agree with their relationship, he respected Jonathan for being a good man, a provider and a sort of father to Erica. In fact, the more he observed Jonathan with the baby, the more Arthur understood what his daughter saw in the man.
In 1998, Clair announced her engagement to Jonathan and that the wedding would be in February of '99. Vera was furious and swore to boycott the wedding. That caused tension in the family, leading to several heated shouting matches between Vera and Claire that Arthur did his best to clean up afterward. Arthur was the only van Dyke to attend Claire's wedding to Jonathan (and was, in fact, one of only twelve in attendance). He held little Erica on his lap throughout the ceremony and bounced her on his knee when she started to get antsy during the vows. Arthur was happy to see his daughter had moved on from her tragedy and told her as much. He later told Jonathan that he knew he was a good man, and despite what the rest of his family thought, Jonathan always had a friend in him.
A year or so later, Arthur and Vera decided to leave North Salem and move to one of Vera's family's estates, a condo in Mercy Reef, Florida. When they left, they gave the house in North Salem to Jonathan and Claire, who accepted it gratefully.
In Florida, Arthur and Vera lived a normal life, free from the influence of the shadow. Arthur opened a specialty repair shop for motorcycles and classic cars. He enjoyed the work and enjoyed his new life. He invited the Bridges down to celebrate Erica's fifth birthday at Disney World, but Claire unexpectedly refused. She had decided it would be best if Arthur and Vera remove themselves from Erica's life for awhile; Claire didn't want Erica exposed to the shadow yet and felt that being around them, it would inevitably come out. Arthur and Vera were heartbroken and pleaded for Claire to change her mind, but she wouldn't budge. It was what was best for Erica, she said.
Periodically, Clair sent them packages periodically containing pictures of Erica and letters, report cards and other memorabilia. Arthur put together a scrapbook but Vera became resentful of the situation, believing Jonathan responsible for their not being able to see their granddaughter.
In 2010, the packages stopped.
In late 2012, Claire unexpectedly showed up, terrified. She wouldn't tell them what was happening but told them that she needed to hide out awhile. Arthur and Vera obliged. Claire left just as quickly only days later. Arthur called Jonathan to ask about it, but he had no clue. In fact, Jonathan hadn't seen his wife in almost three years at that point.
Mental - Season 1 Edit
Arthur tried to find Claire but all of his contacts came up with nothing. In February of 2013, Arthur received an unexpected surprise: Erica showed up at his door, along with a small group of her friends who had all survived an ordeal and fled to them for awhile.
Jonathan and Vera took them in, giving them shelter for about a month while teaching and training them in various methods of Hunting. It was Jonathan who, while taking Weezy out for a walk with Erica, revealed that Clive was Erica's biological father--a fact that Arthur hadn't known was kept from Erica.
In early April, while Erica, Troy and Sam were away in Seattle looking for a vital piece of the puzzle in stopping Clive, Arthur's home was attacked by Dante Bianchi, Jakob Dumont and an assortment of terrifying monsters under Clive's control. Arthur managed to get young Holly Corrigan to safety. He didn't find out his wife had been killed, along with Erica's best friend Carrie, for weeks.
In the wake of this attack, Arthur and Holly went to a safehouse in Texas for a few weeks while Arthur tried to determine exactly what the hell was going on. One of his contacts eventually got word of Jonathan's presence; he was in Canada, going to Alaska. The two eventually spoke and Jonathan assured Arthur that things were bad but he had a lead on Erica. They arranged to meet in Idaho on a specific date.
When the day came, Arthur and Holly met with Jonathan, Rowan and Troy, though Erica and Sam were both missing. Jonathan explained that they had been attacked by a Warlock and they vanished--teleported somewhere, though Jonathan was sure they were alive.
They would look for them and until either they found her or Erica contacted them, they would have to continue the fight against Clive.
The War Begins Edit
Arthur acted as one of the "generals" in the war against Clive, alongside Jonathan. Together with Rowan, Holly and Troy, they drove around the country trying to stop various schemes enacted by Clive. They met with both successes and failure throughout their campaign, though by the autumn, things were starting to look bleak.
At some point in early October, Arthur received a terrible injury to his leg, which forced him to sit out the active hunts for the next two months while he healed.
Mental - Season 3 Edit
Arthur was still with the group when Erica and the others returned from their adventures in 1881. Arthur proved very important to the effort to stop Clive. See the Episode Guide for more information.
After the Final Battle, Arthur was making plans to move down to Lawrence, Kansas with Erica and the others until her abrupt disappearance. Since then, Arthur has settled in North Salem once again, to be close to Claire and Jonathan. He has never stopped looking for Erica, though his contacts have turned up nothing concrete.
Major Relationships Edit
Erica Bridges Edit
Arthur's granddaughter is one of the most important people in his world. He couldn't be more proud of her and his heart breaks for everything she's lost. He'd do anything to protect her and to make her happy, and since her disappearance, his hear broke all over again. He hasn't stopped trying to find her in the three years since the Final Battle.
Claire Bridges Edit
Claire is Arthur's world. He fought hard in the war against Clive to rescue Claire from Clive and suffered a horrible injury to his leg in the process. He'd do it again if it meant keeping his baby girl safe.
Bruce Bridges Edit
Arthur didn't get to know Bruce too well, having only been with him a few days before Erica disappeared. That kid better prepare to get spoiled once he meets Great-Grandpa.
Jonathan Bridges Edit
Arthur respects and admires Jonathan more than almost anyone else he knows. Jonathan showed tenacity, intelligence, integrity and courage during the war with Clive. Arthur has always liked Jonathan but the war showed him what kind of man Jonathan really is. He could not be more proud of the man his daughter married.
Troy Whitman Edit
Troy was Arthur's protegee for a short time. He admires the young man's ferocity and bravery in the face of even certain defeat. He's proud to have been such a big part of Troy's development from high school jock to full-fledged hero.
Arthur carried a number of items with him when he hunted, both mundane and magical:
- Brass Knuckles: These knuckles are inscribed with various runes and sigils to empower his attacks against certain creatures.
- Bow: One of Arthur's primary weapon, it is one of stealth and precision.
- Consecrated Iron: He always has a number of arrows with arrowheads made of consecrated iron.
- Silver Arrows: Arthur's got a number of silver arrows to use against shapeshifters and other creatures weak to silver.
- Hatchet: This hatchet is useful for many uses.
- Witch Hazle
- Hunting Rifle
- Silver Bullets
- Pistol: This WWII-era pistol was used by his father in the war.
- Silver Bullets
- Sword: This sword was forged specifically for Arthur by his mentor. Even after Arthur lost his Shadow Slayer abilities, his sword has retained its enchantments and able to harm most supernatural creatures.
- UV Flashlight: This flashlight has a UV bulb, which can burn vampires and other creatures vulnerable to UV light. It also emits a high-pitched shriek and can flash rapidly, both to disorient creatures with sensitive ears and/or eyes.
- Wooden Stake
- His favorite band is Creedance Clearwater Revival and his favorite song is "Bad Moon Rising".
- Arthur never graduated from high school, nor did he attend college.