Selene was born to a Hungarian family sometime in the year 1383. Her father was a well-known architect who helped design a fortress for a Vampire general, Viktor. The fortress was a dungeon intended for the imprisonment of the WerewolfWilliam Corvinus, who was condemned for his bloody and destructive behaviour. As a child, Selene had roamed the halls of the dungeon along side her sister and drew on its walls.
To keep the location of William's prison secret, Viktor killed Selene's entire family. However, he could not kill Selene, because she reminded him of his deceased daughter Sonja. Instead, Viktor made her a Vampire. He lied to her, telling her a pack of Lycanshad killed her family. In retaliation, Selene became a Death Dealer, and began to hunt and kill Lycans, intending to drive them into extinction. According to the Underworld: Evolutionnovelization, Selene was still 19 years old when Viktor turned her.
Kraven, the Coven’s regent, was obsessed with her, although she did not return the feeling. He pursued her for years, but she constantly rejected him, bruising his massive but fragile ego. Under the orders of Viktor, Selene exiled Andreas Tanis, the Coven historian. Selene believed that Tanis was spreading lies, as Viktor claimed, though this was another false truth. For 600 years, Selene remained loyal to Viktor, never believing anything ill of him.
At the start of Underworld, Selene is seen sitting atop a building, lamenting the extinction of the Lycan species. She thinks to herself that her life will have no meaning once the species is completely wiped out, as she has dedicated herself to the extermination of Lycans since she first became a Vampire. Selene follows fellow Death Dealers Nathanieland Rigel into a subway station as they hunt two Lycans, Raze and Trix. There, Selene sees a man she immediately notes as being handsome, though she declines to speak to him. Before the Vampires can make a move on the Lycans, Raze senses their presence and starts shooting at Selene and Rigel. Rigel is killed instantly, but Selene is able to avoid the gunfire long enough to shoot Trix after he leans out to shoot an innocent woman. Selene notices that the man she had seen previously rushes to aid the woman, and she admires his bravery. Selene chases Trix as he flees into deeper parts of the subway. Though Trix is able to ambush her, she quickly kills him and discovers the ultraviolet ammunition he was using. While in the tunnels beneath the subway, Selene discovers what she thinks may be a Lycan lair.
She returns to Ordoghaz with news of the lair, but is promptly ignored by Kraven. Angered, Selene heads to the Elders Chamber, where she stares at Viktor's resting place to ease her mind. She confides to Erika, a curious servant sent by Kraven to watch after Selene, that she dislikes Kraven and that Viktor would have believed her. Erika tries to persuade Selene to get ready for the arrival of the Elder Amelia's envoy, but Selene ignores her and begins sifting through pictures from the night's hunt. She discovers that the Lycans were tracking the man she had noticed in the subway, though she doesn't understand why. Believing she may be able to find proof of the Lycan den, she finds the human's name and address, then sets out to interrogate him. In the process, she ignores Kraven's orders to be present when Amelia's envoy arrives, angering him.
Selene tracks down the human she believes the Lycans have an interest in: Michael Corvin. She kicks in his door and attacks him when he enters the apartment, demanding to know why the Lycans are searching for him. Before she can get her answers, Lycans attack the building and Michael runs off. Selene shoots her way to the bottom floor, where she rescues Michael from an unknown Lycan. Unbeknowst to Selene, the Lycan bites Michael, infecting him with the Lycanthropy virus. The Lycan attacks Selene as she drives off, stabbing her in the shoulder and severing an artery. Selene refuses to listen to Michael when he tries to point out her large amount of blood loss, causing her to pass out and drive her car off a pier. Michael saves Selene and performs CPR on her, clearing the water from her lungs. He then bandages her wound and passes out beside her.
When Selene awakens, she finds her wound has healed. She lays under the pier until night, then drives the unconcious Michael to Ordoghaz. There, Selene is berated by an enraged Kraven for staying out all day and for bringing Michael into the mansion. As Kraven yells at her, he mentions a Lycan named Lucian in the present tense, making Selene suspicious. She begins to suspect that Kraven never really killed Lucian as he claimed to have done, and breaks into the Coven's archives to find proof of her theory. In one of the books, she sees a drawing of Lucian, which depicts him wearing the same necklace she saw the Lycan who attacked her the previous night wearing. Selene realizes that Lucian is alive and well, and that she saw him just the night before.
Selene awakens Viktor, then flees the mansion with Michael, whom she learns has been bitten by Lucian. The two hide in a Vampire safe house, but Selene abandons him there once dawn approaches. Before she leaves, she kisses him, then handcuffs him to a chair. She gives him a gun with silver bullets to use in case he starts to turn.
At the mansion, Viktor chastises Selene for awakening him a century ahead of schedule, and orders her to be judged by the council. Kraven leads Selene back to her room, where he locks her in. After closing the door, Kraven tells one of his men to keep a close eye on Selene, as she is his "future queen". Erika, who is desperately in love with Kraven, becomes angered by this. She uses the opportunity to shut down power to the mansion and to free Selene from her room.
As soon as she is released, Selene goes to Michael, but she is followed by a group of Lycans. The Lycans attack the pair, and are able to kidnap Michael. Selene finds one of the Lycans, Singe, still alive. She tortures him into confessing why the Lycans want Michael, then takes him back to the mansion to tell this to Viktor, clearing her name in the process. Upon hearing the Lycan's story and learning Lucian is indeed still alive, Viktor apologizes to Selene for doubting her. Before he leaves the room, he tells her that she must kill Michael.
Conflicted, Selene joins a group of Death Dealers led by Kahn in an assault on the Lycan den, but quickly splits from the group to find Michael. She releases Michael from his bonds, (in the extended version the two share a passionate kiss, while Lucian watches on) and learns from him the truth of how the war between the Vampires and Lycans really started.
As the duo try to escape, they are confronted by Kraven. Enraged at the sight of Selene with Michael, Kraven shoots Michael with silver nitrate bullets. Kraven then tells Selene that her place is by his side and offers her his hand, but she again refuses, looking longingly down at Michael. Angered, Kraven tells Selene about how her family really died and how the war really started. Selene initially doesn't believe him, but she begins to understand he's telling the truth. On Lucian's advice, Selene bites Michael, infecting him with the Vampire virus. The combination of the two viruses makes Michael a Hybrid, a creature containing the strongest elements of both the Lycan and Vampire species.
Selene confronts Viktor about her family and his actions that started the war after he throws Michael through a wall. Though he tries to explain his position, Selene clearly no longer trusts him. Viktor draws his sword and prepares to attack Michael, to which Selene cries out "No!". During Viktor's fight with Michael, Selene rushes to Michael's aid, killing Viktor's bodyguards in the process. Upon seeing Viktor strangling Michael to death, Selene grabs Viktor's sword and uses it to cut his head in half, saving Michael and avenging her family at the same time. Selene finds Sonja's pendant lying in the dirt and picks it up, recognizing that it is now a symbol of her love for Michael, as it had once symbolized the love between Sonja and Lucian.
After Viktor’s death, Selene and Michael go on the run from both Lycans and Vampires. Selene initially attempts to return to Ordoghaz, planning on awakening Markus, the remaining Vampire Elder, hoping to get to him before Kraven, inform him of the conspiracy, and to plead for Michael's life; but her plan is foiled when she realizes Marcus has somehow become a Hybrid. At the same time, she hears gunshots and sees that Michael has caught the attention of human police officers, who are now shooting at him. Selene quickly incapacitates the officers and saves a bullet-riddled Michael by feeding him her blood.
Immediately after, Selene is confronted by Marcus, who attacks her for reasons not immediately clear. Michael intervenes, giving the pair time to escape. After narrowly escaping Marcus and the coming sunlight, Selene and Michael take refuge in a warehouse. In the warehouse, Michael attempts to tend to Selene's burn wounds, only to discover they have already healed. While hiding in the warehouse, the two finally act upon and consumate their affections for each other.
To find out why Marcus was after the pendant, Selene seeks out Andreas Tanis. Tanis initially tries to kill Selene and Michael upon seeing them, but fails. Instead, Selene attacks and kills Tanis' twolovers, then confronts Tanis himself. Tanis explains to her why Viktor killed her family, and reveals that it was Marcus, not Viktor, who was the original Vampire. He then sets up a meeting for her and Michael with Alexander Corvinus, Marcus’ father and the first true Immortal.
Selene becomes angry with Alexander for not removing the threats his sons posed long ago, and hypocritically blames him for all the Lycans she murdered during her six century existence. Alexander then retorts by asking her if she would murder her own son, which she refuses to answer. An interruption by Marcus in which Michael is seemingly killed results in Selene’s memories of the fortress being taken by Marcus through her blood. Selene is torn apart by Michael's death, and tries desperately to revive him with her blood while sobbing. Realizing that she cannot save him, Selene returns to Alexander's ship, intent on finding and killing Marcus. Alexander tells Selene that the only way to defeat Marcus and William would be to drink his blood, adding that she would become the “Future”. Selene gains greater strength and new powers from Alexander’s blood, which she drinks from his slit wrist.
Selene and a squad of Alexander’s ‘Cleaners’ invade William’s dungeon, trying to stop Marcus from releasing his brother. They arrive too late, however, and Selene is forced to fight Marcus. Marcus is shocked to smell his father’s blood flowing through Selene’s veins. After locking Marcus in William’s dungeon, Selene discovers that William has infected all the Cleaners, who then become true Werewolves themselves. On the verge of being overwhelmed, she is saved by Michael, who has regenerated due to his Hybrid powers. Selene fights Marcus once more, and the Elder drives his wing talon through her chest. Empowered by Alexander’s blood, Selene tears away the talon and drives it into Marcus’ skull before throwing him into the helicopter blades, thus killing him.
After Marcus and William are killed, Selene discovers that she is able to stand in the sunlight due to the pure Corvinus Strain from Alexander Corvinus.
Selene narrates the begining of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, and at the end of the film, she can be seen in a flashback of the opening scene of the first film, during which Kraven is heard telling her the truth about Viktor, her family, and Sonja, followed by Selene's response of 'Lies'.
Underworld: Awakening begins six months after the events ofUnderworld: Evolution. Humanity has become aware of the Vampire and Lycan population and has taken drastic measures to exterminate them. Selene and Michael plan to escape the city via boat before they themselves become victims of The Purge, but Selene is apprehended before they can reach safety and Michael is shot, falling into the water. Selene jumps in after him but he is unresponsive. She is then knocked unconscious by a grenade which separates them before either can reach the surface.
Twelve years later, Selene awakes to find herself locked in a cryogenic suspension and escapes the facility. She soon discovers that the corporation Antigen, the same biotech company that held her captive for 12 years, is working on an antidote for the virus that creates Vampires and Lycans. Selene begins to experience visions after her escape which she follows, believing them to be a newly formed link to Michael. The visions lead her into a disused building where she meetsDavid, a fellow Vampire. He is suspicious of her arrival, but their conversation is interrupted by another vision that Selene quickly chases down, as the person in question is cornered by Lycans. Following the vision she discovers a young girl named Eve, and insists they can't leave her. David takes them to his Coven. On the way, they are attacked by lower level Lycans and Selene witnesses the girl morph into a Hybrid. The girl recognizes Selene, explaining that she was the one that freed Selene, and that she is in fact her daughter. They arrive at an underground refuge, where a large group of Vampires have been hiding since the Purge. David's father, Thomas, does not welcome Selene and Eve, claiming Michael died twelve years ago and Selene is the cause for the destruction of the Vampire clan.
Dr. Jacob Lane, director of Antigen, is revealed to be a Lycan alongside his son Quint; the antidote is actually to make Lycans immune to the deadly effects of silver. Unknown to Selene, Eve's Hybrid genetic code is required to achieve this, so Lane sends Quint with a small army of Lycans to the Vampire Coven. Selene tries to protect Eve, but they are once again separated when she comes face to face with Quint who transforms into a gigantic "super lycan", his body changed by injections using Eve's blood. Selene is defeated and knocked out, allowing Eve to be captured by the Lycans. She wakes up to find David is mortally wounded and his father in fact gave Eve over to them in exchange for a ceasefire. Selene is furious and revives David using her immortal blood, then leaves the coven to rescue her daughter.
Able to survive in sunlight, Selene enlists the help of Detective Sebastian, a human who has been trying to investigate Antigen. He agrees to help save Eve, admitting he was married to a Vampire until she committed suicide during the Purge. Selene storms her way into Antigen's headquarters with explosives, forcing Dr. Lane to move Eve out of the building to 'harvest' the antidote. All of the Lycan workers in the facility morph and attack Selene. During her escape, she stumbles upon Michael cryogenically frozen in a laboratory marked as "Subject 0", and damages his cell to let him out. Selene then runs out to intercept Lane's van before he can escape the parking lot and causes it to crash. Quint arrives, transforming into his super Lycan form, and fights Selene. He corners her and is forced to revert to his human form in order to reach her, only for Selene to shove an activated silver-based grenade into Quint's body, causing him to explode. Selene returns to Eve and Sebastian tells them he will redirect the authorities to give them time to escape. She leaves with Eve and David to find Michael, but finds the chamber already empty. Able to see through her parents' eyes, Eve learns he is on the roof. Selene, Eve and David run to the roof only to find Michael has gone. Selene concludes she will find Michael, and take back the world from the humans and Lycans so the Vampires can rebuild themselves.
In the non-canon novel Blood Enemy, Selene is responsible for the death of renegade Lycan Leyba, tracking her down after Leyba's forces attack a Lycan weapons deal and are responsible for the deaths of both the Lycans and another member of Selene's team. During the confrontation with Leyba, Leyba briefly reflects that Selene's eyes are like 'hers' (Sonja's), but Selene never learns the meaning of this comment before she kills Leyba. Leyba's goals remain a mystery to Selene.
After the slaughter of her human family, Selene looks to Viktor as a replacement parent, idealizing him and looking to him when she believes the Coven is in trouble. Viktor claims at one point to love Selene "like a daughter," calling her "my child." Kraven claims that Viktor turned Selene into a Vampire to replace Sonja, his own executed daughter. There seems to be some social expectations of Selene within the Coven due to her status as Viktor's favorite; for instance, she is expected to attend the party welcoming Amelia.
Selene seems to have no other close relationships within the Coven, being friendly but not overly social with the other Death Dealers. She seems to have a bit of contempt for the civilian members of the Coven, and in return, they do not seem to like her either.
The 'relationship' that Kraven fancies himself to be in with Selene is is purely fictitious, and they spend much of the time fighting, and Selene has only disdain for him. Kraven's desire for Selene seems to be based as much out of power, (she is, in a sense, a Princess of the Coven) as out of lust. In a conversation between Selene and Viktor, Kraven's fixiation with Selene is observed to be based on Selene's status as the only female in the Coven who does not desire Kraven's affections. Thus, the more Selene refused Kraven, the more he wanted her.
Despite her aversion to becoming overly close to others, the Underworld: Evolution novelization states that Selene had infrequently shared her bed with a few men during her six century existance, but that she was careful never to share her heart.
Her relationship with Michael is rather more complicated. Her feelings toward him seem to evolve very quickly.
In her first sighting of him during a subway shoot-out with the Lycans, Selene is immediately attracted to Michael, and is impressed at his bravery in diving out to help a woman who has been injured in the crossfire. She later feels gratitude for him for saving her life after she passed out from heavy blood loss while driving and crashed into the river. She is also sympathetic when he tells her about his fiancèe's death.
When she learns that he has been marked by a Lycan, she is hesitant to kill him, not only because of her attraction to him, but because of how he has helped her and others. When he lies dying of silver nitrate poisoning, she only bites him in order to save his life by making him a Hybrid. He later thanks her, much to both of their embarrassment.
It is presumed that they may have become lovers very quickly because neither of them thought they would survive Marcus hunting them. Despite her apparent detachment, Selene is highly distraught when she comes to believe Michael is dead, and becomes even more deadly and vengeful as a result. When she discovers that Michael is alive and that she can withstand sunlight without burning due to Corvinus' blood, she narrates that she looks to the future "with new hope."
After her escape from Antigen, Selene's immediate priority is to learn what had happened to Michael, whom she had last seen injured and drowning before her capture and twelve years in cryogenic suspension, only to learn that the Hybrid she had been tracking was her and Michael's daughter, Eve. Although initially emotionally distant from Eve due to her grief over Michael's loss, Selene nevertheless assures her daughter that she will do everything in her power to take care of her, breaking into Antigen to save her and embracing Eve with obvious affection after they are reunited.
Although most other Vampires regard her as a traitor for her role in Viktor and Marcus's deaths, few others recognise that she only betrayed the Vampires because the Elders had betrayed her first.
Selene is extremely proficient with many kinds of weapons, both medieval and modern, including the Walther-P99 and a variety of automatic machine pistols. She is also a resourceful combatant, displaying a regular talent for improvisation when faced with particularly challenging situations or opponents: shooting out the floor that she was standing on to escape attacking Lycans, breaking Marcus's wing-talon to stab him with it, and exploiting the increased healing of Quint to defeat him by leaving a silver grenade inside him after punching into his chest.
Superhuman Endurance - She is seen jumping from a ledge at least 100 feet (approx. 30 meters) high and landing without injury. She can leap to high places with ease, seen when jumping over large fences. She can take a shotgun blast to the abdomen without flinching. She is able to perform amazing feats of strength without fatigue and can withstand the crushing depths of the ocean without a wetsuit or breathing aparatus.
Superhuman Strength - She grabs Michael by the throat and holds him against a wall several feet off the ground, performs spectacular leaps, and strikes her enemies with tremendous force. She is able to kill younger Vampires with just a few blows and manhandles four police officers with ease. She is shown to be able to engage Lycans in close quarter combat without being harmed, even before becoming infected with the Corvinus Strain. She is also shown to be able to ram her arm through a Lycan in battle. In Awakening, she uses the greatest extent of her strength seen to date when she flips a van which has a momentum equal to 180 tons.
Healing Factor - She can heal rapidly from any wound in just minutes, including sunlight burns and a shotgun blast to the abdomen. After becoming a Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrid, her healing powers were increased to the point where she could withstand Marcus' wing talon being impaled through her chest without suffering any visible effects and survive after being shot in the head and other parts of her body. She is also seen to be able to force bullets out of her body.
Superhuman Speed - The full extent of her speed before absorbing the active Corvinus Strain is unknown. In Underworld she could run fast enough to evade a injuried Raze in werewolf form. In Awakening, she is shown speeding through two lines of armed guards while slitting their throats with a scalpel in the process, and then disappear in an instant. She also demonstrated the speed akin to teleportation when she breaks into a scientist's apartment and moved right next to him in an instant, similar to what Michael did inUnderworld.
Superhuman Agility - Selene is able to perform athletic moves, such as doing a back-flip into a hole in a bridge, and leaping from tree to tree in an instant. In Awakening, she is able to do a spinning headscissors to a Lycan, and is seen jumping over three cars with one hand. Selene's agility has proven to support her lack of strength compared to the Lycans, allowing her to take on multiple Lycans at once.
Blood Sorting - In Awakening, Selene demonstrated the ability similar to that of a Vampire Elder to absorb and read another immortal's blood memories by drinking the blood of her daughter, Eve.
Immunity to UV light - Due to her nature as a Vampire-Corvinus Strain hybrid, Selene possesses a pure immortal's immunity to UV light
Sensory Synchronization - She and her daughter can perceive through each other psychically.
At the end of Underworld: Evolution, her eyes are shown to temporarily turn all white but for the pupils, and she is now able to walk in the sunlight, signaling she has become a Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrid.
"For centuries I served as a Death Dealer, but now I've been captured. In the 5th century an immortal named Alexander Corvinus had two sons: Marcus, bitten by bat and William, bitten by wolf. For hundreds of years William ravaged entire villages, turning everyone into Werewolves, who later evolved into a species known as Lycans. A vampire resistance was born. We were called Death Dealers, trained to hunt and kill all Lycans. Then everything changed. His name was Michael. And when he was bitten by a Lycan, I saved him. Together Michael and I defeated those who betrayed us. The battle had not ended there. A new enemy has emerged, this is a new war, and its only the beginning."
Selene is loosely based on Selene Gallio in the X-Men comics.
Promotional materials for the first movie put Selene's age at 121 years in Underworld, though that was later changed to 620 in Evolution, with her final age being 632 in Awakening.
Selene speaks Hungarian, English, Russian and French.
The role of Selene was written for actress Kate Beckinsale right from the beginning.
Viktor's deceased daughter Sonja is seen to having strikingly similar characteristics to that of Selene, both in physical attribiutes and personality traits. This is because she was purposefully based heavily on Selene by the writers.
The child version of Selene is played by Lily Sheen, the daughter of Kate Beckinsale, Selene's adult actress. Lily's father is Michael Sheen, the actor who plays Lucian, although he and Beckinsale had an amicable split in 2003. Beckinsale later married the director of the first two films, Len Wiseman.
The official website for Awakening refers to Selene as "The Original Death Dealer". This may be a reference to her being the first Death Dealer to appear in the series, or it may be a goof, as the original group of Death Dealers were created almost 1,000 years before Selene's birth.
A pendant that had previously belonged to Sonja was used as a toy by Selene when she was a child, though it was given to Sonja almost two hundred years before Selene's birth. This may be a goof, or it may suggest that Viktor lent the pendant to Selene's father to use as a key before returning it to his daughter.
Selene and Michael's relationship has been touted by the creators as "Romeo and Juliet for Vampires and Werewolves". Their romance is also similar to Beasuty and the Beast'. Selene is a beautiful vampire that falls in love with Michael who is turned into a werewolf and later becomes a hybrid beast. Kraven is a jealous suitor who tried to kill Michael like Gaston.
By the end of Underworld Awakening, Selene has demonstrated all powers and abilities equal to, if not superior to the Vampire Elders.