True Blood (2008–2014)
Frequently Asked Questions
True Blood is based on a series of books by Charlaine Harris. This series is called the Southern Vampire Series.
In the show, Tru Blood (spelled without an "e") is a synthetic blood substance sold in bottles for vampires to consume. It was invented in Japan by Yakonomo Corporation from a business deal with The Vampire Authority made back in 1986 and was one of the major factors in why vampires decided to reveal themselves to the world 20 years later when Tru Blood was finally released.
The vampires "came out of the coffin" in an event called The Great Revelation. The exact date of this has not been mentioned on the show, but it was about two years before the events of the first episode. One major step for vampires to decide to come out was when Tru Blood was invented, since it would help the human public understand that the vampires were not a threat. Although a vampire can live on Tru Blood, it is kept secret that Tru Blood doesn't taste as good as real blood nor does it give vampires a sense of fufillment like feeding on humans. As such, some vampires feed from willing human mates (called "fangbangers") and others secretly hypnotize unwilling victims into forgetting they've been feed on. Still there are other vampires who opposed the Great Revelation continue to feed on and kill human victims who society will not miss. This keeps the world from knowing that not all vampires are friendly. Even though vampires are public knowledge other supernatural creatures like shape-shifters, were-animals, witches, and faeries are still hidden from the world. Vampires have been shown to dominate over most other supernatural creatures. This is likely because vampires are the only creature shown to organize societies on the scale of humans, integrate extensively with human history, and because they appear to be the most physically powerful of supernatural beings.
Some but not all. Vampires have spread disinformation about their race to protect themselves from humans. The myth about vampires not having a reflection is false because, in 'True Blood', they actually do have a reflection when they look into a mirror (Bill states that vampires spread this rumour in case someone tried to reveal a vampire by putting them in front of a mirror). Garlic is unpleasant for vampires and gives them somewhat of an allergic reaction, but is not life-threatening. They are unaffected by crosses (as they are simply a form of geometry) or any other holy symbol, including holy water. Vampires do not burst into flames upon being exposed to sunlight. They actually begin to burn or smolder and can be consumed by flames slowly if they do not get to cover quickly. The older a vampire is, the more quickly they are consumed by the sun and a 2,000 year old vampire was shown to be immediately dissolved by sun contact. When burnt by the sun, a vampire must be temporarily buried in earth and then feed on blood to recover.
Vampires have no heartbeat, no body heat, no need for oxygen, cannot impregnate or become pregnant, do not need to go the bathroom (they cannot urinate or defecate). They can grow and cut their hair just like humans. They do not age and cannot lose or gain weight from the moment they turned from human to vampire. Their only obvious inhuman feature is their fangs, which are retractable, and take weeks to regrow if they are pulled out.
They cannot eat or drink any human food, although they have been seen to pretending to disguise their true nature. They only get nourishment from human blood (including Tru Blood). New vampires need to feed about once a night; older vampires only have to feed infrequently and may feed regularly as an indulgence. It has been implied that the ethnic background, health and lifestyle of a human may differentiate the way their blood tastes to vampires.
Vampires have super-strength, super-speed, and greatly enhanced senses. Vampires seldom use their super-speed continuously, normally only in short bursts. The older they get, the more powerful a vampire's supernatural abilities become and in physical conflicts an older vampire will always win, unless a trick is used (i.e. silver spray, silver handcuffs, guns with wooden bullets). Older vampires may develop the ability to fly. The youngest vampire being shown with this ability so far is 1,000 years old, although a vampire under 200 years old was shown to be able to hover and fly a short distance in the air. Mention has been made of vampires being able to shapeshift into animals, although this has not been seen on the show. When excited (sexually, by violence, or by feeding) their fangs come out instinctively, although older, seasoned vampires may be able to control this.
A human can be charmed or hypnotized (called "glamouring") by a vampire. Some other supernaturals cannot be glamoured (it doesn't work on a telepath but it does on a Werewolf in one incident). Vampires can use their glamour to give false memories, control actions, extract truths or erase memories.
Vampires have difficulty being awake during the day, even when protected from daylight. They can force themselves to stay awake but suffer from "The Bleeds" which is a type of fatigue that results in them bleeding uncontrollably but slightly from their bodies (usually from mouth, nose, eyes and ears) and grow weaker from the damage. It has also been shown that vampires can dream while sleeping during the day and nightmares can cause momentary insomnia for them.
Vampires cannot enter a human home without an invitation. This invitation does not always need to be from the resident but an human inside. The invitation may be revoked, at which point the vampire is immediately repelled out of the residence (as if by magic). Yet, vampires can reach their arms into houses they are not invited into, and can glamour humans into inviting them in. Vampire homes offer no protection against other vampires for an invitation into any vampire lair, or vampire-owned house or apartment is not necessary for vampires.
Vampires have a strict hierarchy and authority, which can resemble the feudal systems of older human cultures. In America, there are kingdoms with Kings and Queens, corresponding to the states. Each kingdom is then subdivided with various Sheriffs in charge of a subdivision. Technically above that is an international vampire "authority" represented in America by the AVL (American Vampire League), whose head is Nan Flanagan. There is a lengthy list of vampire laws, which forbids among other things the selling of vampire blood, the killing of other vampires or humans and being recorded on video feeding on humans. The penalty for all these crimes is often the "true death", although in one case a guilty vampire was required to make another vampire in retribution for his crime. Penalties for less serious vampire crimes are usually to have their fangs pulled out (they eventually grow back within a few months) or be buried in a silver chained coffin for a number of years. In the vampire political system, there is a comparable amount of conflict, convolution and corruption to human politics and many vampires break the laws or outright rebel against them as did King Russell Edgington of Mississippi.
First, the person has to be completely drained. Then they have to ingest vampire blood. A "Maker" must spend the day buried with the body to create a vampire, as Bill had to be forced to stay with Jessica's body in order for him to create a vampire.
Vampires refer to their own destructions as "the true death". This can happen by a wooden stake through the heart, beheading, or direct prolonged contact with the sun. The younger the vampire the longer they can survive in the sun, though they begin to burn immediately. Older vampires burst into dust faster with sunlight. In this series, vampires killed by beheading or a stake through the heart melt and sometimes explode into a gory and often sickening mass of blood and entrails which has to be literally scooped up with shovels to clean. Vampires can be physically harmed like humans, but they heal almost instantly. Regular bullets cannot kill vampires regardless of where they are shot, although they can "hurt like hell". Their bodies physically push out bullets, knifes, and other small objects when they heal. Vampires must feed regularly to heal and feed on more blood when they regenerate large amounts of damage. Vampires are burned by silver, and can be constrained with it. In spite of their superhuman strength, they appear unable to break free or even struggle against silver chains. Silver bullets or metal fragments like knifes or spears can cause more harm to a vampire than normal metals, but are not certain to kill. Vampires push silver bullets out of their body when they heal in the same way they do regular bullets, however, apparently more slowly. However, when hit in the heart with a wooden bullet it will kill them.
"V" is a street drug derived from vampire blood. It is highly illegal to human and vampire law. Humans treat it like any controlled substance, but vampire consider it a travesty to their kind and will use their own vigilantism to killed human users and willing vampire suppliers of the drug. Vampire blood straight from the source gives humans the healing and powers of a vampire on a smaller scale. It also bonds the human and vampire mentally. This will cause the human to have sexual dreams about the vampire. This is common knowledge and there are people who process vampire blood to sell as "V." As a drug, "V" lacks the direct connection to the vampire of origin though the user may feel some "understanding" of who it came from. And while vampire blood gives a fraction of power to a human, the drug "V" only gives even a fraction of that.
[in Swedish] Eric: "Our little zoo is starting to grow." Pam: "I know."
Before premiering on HBO, True Blood had a pilot which was never aired on television. There were some noteable differences with the first aired episode. The episode has not be officially released in any capacity. Actress Brook Kerr played the character of Tara in the original pilot. Critics who reviewed the pilot were generally negative of Brook Kerr's performance. They didn't think that she was right for the part so it went to Rutina Wesley. The Internet Movie Database lists Brook Kerr as "Uncredited" in the true first episode, but this is an error. Also a mysterious woman appears in the bushes in the unaired pilot. This woman might have been Sookie's faerie-godmother, Claudine. This scene may have been removed from the real first episode because the producers chose not to touch on Sookie's faerie origins until later seasons.
He said, "Åh, du ljuva frihet!", Swedish for "Oh, sweet freedom!"
Although Season 1 follows the first book fairly closely in many respects, later seasons will apparently not be following any specific book. Many characters may still appear, but they may or may not be different than in the books. Powers and rules may also change.
Vampires don't get "the bleeds" in the books. During the day they are simply very lethargic or weak, almost appearing under the effect of a tranquilizer. It also appears that the maker may not need to lie with their "child" to turn someone, as some vampires have been mentioned who woke up alone and never had a teacher.
There are many more "Supes" mentioned in the book as well. Different shifters (always called the two-natured) are mentioned: other Weres that aren't wolves: Werefox, Werebat, Werepanther (touched on in the T.V. series), Weretiger. There are also "True shifters" who may take the form of any animal - like one of the main characters. Debbie Pelt is a Werefox, not a Werewolf.
Also shifters can be "made/turned" not just born unlike in the show, but they are not as powerful as the shifter who did the turning. For example a person may be bitten multiple times by a Werepanther and actually become a weaker version who cannot totally transform into the panther, but more of an anthropomorphized version.
So far, Sam, Bill, Sookie, Pam, Gran, Eric, Sheriff Bud Dearborn, Detective Andy Bellefleur and his cousin Terry Bellfleur, as well as the bar and the other waitresses and various other town folk, are pretty much the same.
Tara is not in the first book, and she is very different from the Tara character in the series. She is not African-American in the books. She is merely Sookie's friend from school, who owns a clothing store.
Jason is very different in the books and the series. He played a much more prominent role in the series than he does in the first book, although in both he is the main murder suspect. There is no V subplot in the first book, nor in other books for the most part.
Lafayette is similar in the first book and the series, except that in the books he is not a V dealer and is slightly more flamboyant. In the books, he meets an untimely demise fairly early (though not in the first book). His character on the series appears to be sticking around longer.
Sookie's powers are almost the same in the books as in the series although in the books she does get glimpses of Vampire thoughts (when they are particularly angry, mostly) which she tells no one. In the books and series, Gran is one of the victims of the murderer. In the book, Eric kills the vampire who attacked Sookie rather than Bill, and there is no trial nor does anyone force Bill to make a new vampire, meaning Jessica does not exist. Eric pays the penalty in a later book.
Godric is not Eric's maker and Nora is not mentioned. We do later meet Eric's maker and sibling.
The authority is not mentioned in the books. The vampires hold Summits every few years to deal with wrong-doers' trials that cannot be completed within a Kingdom, ie: inter-kingdom disputes and accusations.
Fairies. Too many differences to begin, almost. Though "Fae" the fairy world is mentioned, we don't see it. It's a place for fairies only.
If a vampire stays up during the day they will suffer from what is called "the bleeds". They will become weaker and eventually die because they have not rested
You can find every song from the series, with scene descriptions, here.
There are eleven full-length novels published so far, and seven short stories. The novels are typically released May of each year.
1. Dead Until Dark (2001), 2. Living Dead in Dallas (2002), 3. Club Dead (2003), 4. Dead to the World (2004), 5. Dead as a Doornail (2005), 6. Definitely Dead (2006), 7. All Together Dead (2007), 8. From Dead to Worse (2008), 9. Dead and Gone (2009), 10. Dead in the Family (2010), 11. Dead Reckoning (2012)
SHORT STORIES (in Anthologies):
1. Powers of Detection ["Fairy Dust"] Edited by Dana Stabenow; stories by Anne Perry, Michael Armstrong, Anne Bishop, Laura Anne Gilman, Simon R. Green, Jay Caselberg, John Straley, Mike Doogan, Donna Andrews, Sharon Shinn, Dana Stabenow, Charlaine Harris (2004)
2. Bite ["One Word Answer"] Stories by Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Vickie Taylor, Angela Knight (2005)
3. My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding ["Tacky"] Edited by P.N. Elrod; stories written by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Charlaine Harris, L. A. Banks, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Esther M. Friesner, Lori Handeland, Susan Krinard (2006)
4. Many Bloody Returns ["Dracula Night"] Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner; stories written by Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Bill Crider, Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, P.N. Elrod, Rachel Caine, Jeanne C. Stein, Tanya Huff, Carolyn Haines, Tate Hallaway, Elaine Viets, Toni L.P. Kelner (2007)
5. Wolfsbane and Mistletoe ["Giftwrap"] Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner; stories written by Donna Andrews, Keri Arthur, Patricia Briggs, Dana Cameron, Karen Chance, Alan Gordon, Simon R. Green, Charlaine Harris, Toni L. P. Kelner, J. A. Konrath, Nancy Pickard, Kat Richardson, Dana Stabenow, Rob Thurman, Carrie Vaughn (2008)
6. Blood Lite ["An Evening with Al Gore"] Edited by Kevin J. Anderson; stories written by Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kelley Armstrong, Janet Berliner, Don D'Ammassa, Nancy Holder, Nancy Kilpatrick, J. A. Konrath and F. Paul Wilson, Joe R. Lansdale, Will Ludwigsen, Sharyn McCrumb, Mark Onspaugh, Mike Resnick, Steven Savile, D. L. Snell, Eric James Stone, Jeff Strand, Lucien Soulban, Matt Venne, Christopher Welch (2008)
7. Usual Suspects [""] Edited by Dana Stabenow (2008)
ANTHOLOGY with all "Sookie Stackhouse" short stories: A Touch of Dead (2009)