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Photographs are so ironically impermanent, they capture one moment in time to perfection. A painting can capture eternity.
— Dorian to Vanessa[src]

Dorian Gray is a wealthy gentleman who has gained immortality by having his soul trapped within a painting. He is well known for his extravagance and debauchery.

Appearance and Personality[]

Dorian Gray is a fabulously wealthy young gentleman who is almost unnerving in his beauty. Aesthete with reckless abandon, his devil-may-care attitude borders on the dangerous. He has attained an exceptional level of knowledge through his many travels and exploits, yet continues to seek further challenges, driven by an insatiable hunger for new experiences and feelings. Nothing seems to faze him, nor are any risks too great. In fact, he is unnaturally drawn to them. He also has a particular interest in Vanessa Ives, perhaps sensing their shared immersion into the supernatural.


Dorian Gray introduces himself as a wealthy and bored gentleman when he hires Brona Croft for a pornographic photo session. When even the orgies organised in his great mansion begin to lose their charm on him, the young man begins to look around in search of new stimuli. At a soiree organized by Ferdinand Lyle, Dorian's attention is captured by Vanessa Ives, with whom he flirts throughout the evening.[1] Intrigued by the woman, Dorian begins to woo her after they met several times by accident, as when they both attended a performance at the Grand Guignol Theatre.[2]

Following an evening of gambling in an illegal den, Dorian, and Ethan Chandler share a drink of absinthe at Dorian's mansion and seduce each other. A later night of passion between Dorian and Vanessa Ives triggers the monstrosity dormant inside her[3]. After her recovery from the ordeal, she ends the budding relationship, leaving him heartbroken. It was perhaps his first heartbreak.[4]

Intent on forgetting Vanessa, Dorian begins to woo Angelique, a mysterious woman who is a true and proper companion for a transgressive liaison. This love is however destined to end prematurely when Dorian lays eyes on Lily Frankenstein and the two decide to wet the streets of London with the blood of shady and mean men who take advantage of women.[5] The dangerous couple is soon joined by Justine, a young woman full of resentment towards men who abused her, saved from certain death by Dorian and Lily.[6]

Eventually, the army of women Lily unites in order to do a revolution starts to bother Dorian, as he has lived long enough to see many revolutions and how they all end badly. Not wanting to repeat this again and feeling abandoned by Lily, he calls for Victor, who tried to "cure" her, in order to end his problems.[7]

Powers and Abilities[]

  • Immortality: After having his soul trapped within a painting, Dorian gained immortality. He does not age and seems to be immune to all conventional illnesses, diseases, viruses and infections.
  • Regeneration: Dorian heals quickly, but still feels the pain of a wound before it heals. He has been seen to fully recover from stab wounds. It seems he needs to be in the presence of this painting for it to absorb his affliction.
  • Marksmanship: Dorian proves to be an impressive shot, able to casually shoot multiple men in the head, in under a minute.


Memorable Quotes[]

Dorian Gray (to Brona Croft): I've never fucked a dying creature before. Do you feel things more deeply, I wonder?

- Séance

Dorian Gray: I suppose we all play parts.

Ethan Chandler: What’s yours?

Dorian Gray: Human.

- Demimonde

Vanessa Ives: Is it poisonous?

Dorian Gray: Like all beautiful things, I hope so.

- Demimonde

Dorian Gray (to Vanessa Ives): To be different. To be powerful. Is that not a divine gift?

- What Death Can Join Together

Vanessa Ives: They're all portraits. You have no landscapes or still lives.

Dorian Gray: Are not people the most mysterious things?

- What Death Can Join Together

Dorian Gray (to Angelique): You're not fighting alone, Angelique. [...] I care for who you are, not what you wear.

- Above the Vaulted Sky

Dorian Gray (to Justine): In the Dark Ages, in certain parts of Europe, novitiate nuns were asked to pledge themselves to God in blood. They would cut off their own breasts and make them an offering to the Almighty. Much as soldiers in Ancient Rome would have to prove themselves by killing an enemy. You were not a legionnaire unless painted with blood. We're all tested in one way or another, are we not?

- Good and Evil Braided Be

Dorian Gray (to Justine): Listen, child. I can toss you out like the baggage you are whenever it pleases me. And don't think for one moment your tiresome sapphic escapades shock me. You think you're bold? You think you know sin? You're still learning the language. I wrote the bloody book.

- Ebb Tide

Lily: You're not jealous?

Dorian Gray: Sadly, no. What I am is bored. I've lived through so many revolutions, you see. It's all so familiar to me. The wild eyes and zealous ardor, the irresponsibility and the clatter. The noise of it all, Lily. From the tumbrils on the way to the guillotine to the roaring mobs sacking the temples of Byzantium. So much noise in anarchy. And in the end, it's all so disappointing.

- Ebb Tide

Dorian Gray (to Lily): We're at the ebb tide, my darling. One of us needs to change our ways. And I think it should be you.

- Ebb Tide




  • Dorian Gray is based on the protagonist of Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Although they share hedonism and the ability to look younger than they actually are, there are also significant differences. Foremost Penny Dreadful's Dorian Gray heals supernaturally fast from injuries, while in the novel he is just eternally young as it is his portrait image that ages in place of him. His physical appearance differs also, as in the novel Dorian is described as blond.