True Blood vs. The Southern Vampire Mysteries

Books that turn are turned into movies or TV shows are always a hit or miss. It’s just a fact. (Please don’t even get me started on Eragon, Vampire Academy or Maximum Ride. Those are all horrible movies.) You read a book, you find out it’s going to be a movie or a TV show and you can’t help but be excited. I mean you’ve read the books, you have imagined how the characters look and everything. But what about the movies or shows that you watch and you didn’t know it was a book?

Take Mortal Engines for example. We watched it on Sling one day. It was. . .well, we were already past the dystopian young adult movies, so really, it came out at the wrong time. The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and the Divergent series had already been released and over and done with. (Not that the Divergent series went anywhere compared to The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner. Or you know, that the last book even got turned into a movie. Instead they just kind of left you standing there like “That’s it?” But of course I didn’t like the Divergent movies because they were boring as hell.)

Check out the trailer for Mortal Engines below.

The problem with Mortal Engines, besides it being released after the dystopian rage, was that it left you with too many questions that never got answered, and frankly, it was boring. Not even Hugo Weaving could save that move. And it’s Hugo. Weaving. You know the guy who has played Agent Smith in The Matrix, Megatron in the Transformers franchise, and you know Elrond in The Lord of the Rings. And due to how boring it was — seriously, there was no sense of urgency or like any connection to the characters — I now don’t want to read the book. Eventually, I’ll probably get to it. But today we aren’t discussing the movies or TV shows that made me not want to read the book. Instead, we are going to discuss a show that made me want to read the books. Today we are going to talk about True Blood.

True Blood was an HBO show that ran from September 7, 2008 to August 24, 2014. Much like with The Vampire Diaries, I actually watched a few episodes in high school but never watched it from the beginning. (Stay tuned for a blog post comparing True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Maybe. Eventually. If I get to it. I have a massive list.) We’d play it on the background while playing cards games and getting high. You know, the way high school students did.

The scene that I most vividly remember from True Blood is in the first season where Jason Stackhouse goes to the hospital and has to have his dick drained of blood because he stupidly took too much V (vampire blood which is like a drug in this universe) and they uh, did this by. . .stabbing his dick with a huge ass fucking needle.

Yeah, a scene like that would definitely stick with you, I imagine.

Around two years or so ago, I actually watched the entire show from start to finish. After I finished the show, I found out that it was based off The Southern Vampire Mysteries series. So fall 2018 while I was in Washington D.C. for an internship, I read all thirteen books while on my commute to and from my internship. And wow. Let me just say, HBO missed out by not following the books to the T.

Now here’s the thing.

The show isn’t bad. It’s not. I liked it. Sure, it totally lost me with the Billith thing in like season six and what even was that season finale for season seven. But it’s not a bad show. The problem is. . . .well a few things.

When it comes to True Blood, you aren’t in it for the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, played by Anna Paquin (who also played Rogue in the X-Men movies but my comments on her Rogue is best left unsaid. The whole if you have nothing nice to say thing. Though really, it’s not her fault as it’s the directors for that horrible depiction of my favorite X-Men.) Sookie, frankly, is annoying in the show. She’s grating, always needs saving and most of the time, causes more problems than she helps. In the books, she’s slightly more tolerable because she actually does something instead of just getting in everyone’s way. But again, only slightly.

You’re also not there for her love interest, Bill Compton played by Stephen Moyer (who is actually married to Anna Paquin and they have kids). Stephen Moyer also played the dad, Reed Strucker, in the short-lived show (which was tragic because it’s great), The Gifted which was about mutants. How funny is it that his wife played a mutant and he ended up playing one too?

The point is that when you compare Bill fucking Compton to Eric fucking Northman. . .there really is no competition. Bill is boring. He’s Boring Bill. Seriously. No woman in her right mind would choose Bill Compton over Eric Northman. (Or you know Bill Compton over Alcide Herveaux but we’ll get to him in a minute.) And this isn’t just because he’s played by Alexander Skarsgard (known for The Legend of Tarzan, Big Little Lies, The Stand and a Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” video. Seriously, he’s in it. Who are we more jealous of? Lady Gaga or Alexander Skarsgard? Probably both.) Okay. That’s a lie. Maybe a little bit (a lot), but watch the show and tell me that you wouldn’t chose Eric Northman. Even in the books, Eric is so superior to Bill Compton.

Compare the two below.

Bill vs. Eric

See what I mean?

And it’s not just their looks, I promise.

Bill is so. . .I already said boring. He’s that but I need another word. He’s like. . .cardboard. He’s a cardboard cutout. He has no use. No purpose. He’s just there, and you kind of hope there will be more to him but you dig and dig and dig so more but. . . .there’s. . . . Yeah, I was trying to think of something that Boring Bill brings, but I got nothing. There’s nothing to him. Nothing but boring, bland cardboard cutout-ness. Not to mention a dash of creepy. Okay. More than a dash. He’s creepy from the get go, come on. Because he’s not just boring and bland, oh no.

He’s a creeper.

He’s a creeper stalker type. He intentionally lets Sookie get attacked by the Rats so he has to give her his blood. He’s all “Sookeh! I must protect you!” But also. . .he’s so controlling and demanding. He treats her like she’s stupid, And yeah, okay, sometimes she is, but while I don’t necessarily like her character all that much, she can more or less take care of herself. My theory is that Bill is used to the women he grew up with when he was human during the Civil War era. You know, the perfect wives who did everything their husbands told them to do. And like. . .that’s so not Sookie? She does what she wants, and when she wants. Which is why I never got the whole so in love thing with Bill Compton. Like, ew. No.

Also, what is up with the main chick going for the creepy stalker dude? Like why? No, baby, no. That is not a healthy relationship, and yes, I get it’s fiction, but come on. Show some reality here. (*coughs* Twilight. But that is another blog post.)

Bill Compton came to Bon Temps to seduce Sookie because his Queen, Sophie Ann wanted a telepath. There’s also the manner of Sookie being part fairy which gives her magical powers and blood that is like crack to vampires. It can make a vampire a Daylighter for like a few hours but then it fades. Everything Bill does is because he’s trying to earn Sookie’s trust. He wants to be her knight in shining armor. How does he do that? By lying and manipulating her. Then he claims to love her. Like no, dude. No. Fuck you.

That’s not to say Sookie’s other love interest is like the best guy for her, because honestly, he’s not. (We’ll get to who the like best guy is in a moment.) And really, Eric Northman, though definitely better than Boring Bill, probably wouldn’t make the best boyfriend. But at least he’s honest.

More or less.

He finds out Sookie is a telepath and he uses her, yes, but at least he’s honest about it, you know. Which I can appreciate it. Eric doesn’t try to be anything he’s not, and I like that in a man. (Apparently. Read: Damon Salvatore. Oh god, I have a type. In fictional guys at least. When it comes to in real life guys, I date gamers.)

Now, look, I love me some Eric Northman. Eric is an all around badass. Seriously, he gets you from the first time you see him. Even before you hear him talk, and you only see him, I swear your eyebrows go way, way, way up and you’re like “Oh, heellllloooo. Who are you?” Sure, Eric does a lot of bad things, let’s not sugarcoat it. I wouldn’t say he was a ‘good’ guy. (I mean, neither is Bill, honestly.) He does what he wants that hopefully benefit him and the people he cares about. He does a lot of horrible things. Such as: dismember a human in front of Lafayette, torture Lafayette, (just. . .poor Lafayette), uses Sookie because of her telepathy, lets Russell Edington drink from Sookie to get his (Eric’s) revenge, buys Sookie’s house in a stalker-y way because he wants her, and the list goes on. And on.

But here’s the thing (I swear that’s my catch phrase. Like Kim Possible’s “What’s the stitch?”), Eric at least respects Sookie, more or less. Yes, he wants to keep her safe. . .after he starts to care about her and eventually love her. He does. Eric is loyal. Completely. For like eternity. Once he’s in, he’s in, even if he’s being petulant and says he’s done.

In the books, unlike in the show, Eric and Sookie actually date for a while. In fact, they sort of get married. Now, yes, Eric in the books does some heavy-handed bullshit so she will marry him. But he did it to keep her safe. You’re totally routing for Eric and Sookie. But then his damn Maker, Ocella (not Godric, like in the show) arranges a marriage to the Queen of Oklahoma for Eric and since that’s his Maker, Eric can’t say no. (Ocella is a fucking creep. He basically turned Eric because he thought Eric was pretty then used him that whole time as his own personal sex toy. I hate Ocella.) Then Sookie uses this thing called a cluviel dor which is like some fairy object thing that grants wishes. Anyways, she uses it to bring back Sam Merlotte after his bitch of a girlfriend kills him. Due to that, the Sookie and the Eric in the books end up breaking up and that’s that.

Speaking of fairies, they are way more involved in the books. That Billith and tainted True Blood and Warlow bullshit does not happen. The fairies are not weaklings. Nah, man, they are badasses. They get Sookie into more trouble than the vampires do, which is saying something.

Sookie has other love interests as well. Such as Alcide Herveaux, a werewolf whom I actually like better in the show than in the books. In the book, he’s very controlling and thinks he knows best. Then like Bill he does some shady stuff that gets Sookie into trouble. He lies to her, and she’s not into that lying thing. Sookie does not end up with Eric, Bill or Alcide in the show nor the books. In the show she ends up with some off-the-wall guy that you see briefly and don’t even know his name. In the books, she ends up with Sam Merlotte. But yeah, we’ll explain Sam Merlotte later. I like his character way better in the books, just saying.

But in the show. Alcide Herveaux is the winner. Like he is the best. He is loyal, kind, brave. He’s simply a really good guy, and he remains as such. Even when he becomes Alpha, he’s still oh so good and leaves because he realizes that the pack life ain’t for him. Also he’s played by this guy.

Joe Manganiello as Alcide Herveaux from True Blood

Casting choice was damn near perfect for Alcide Herveaux. Seriously, in the books he’s described as a tall man with an olive complexion, an aquiline nose, green eyes, and thick, tousled hair. Hello, casting. Damn. Two thumbs way way up for this casting choice.

Unlike in the show, in the books Sookie and Alcide never actually get together. In the show, they date for a bit and are super cute and we love them. You think everything is all perfectly fine. . . .until he dies in like the first episode of season seven along with Tara Thornton. Both of their deaths were pointless. They did nothing for the show. Also, considering who Sookie ends up with in the show (a random dude we see maybe once and know nothing about), the showrunners never should’ve killed off Alcide. If Sookie wasn’t going to end up with Eric or I guess, Bill (yuck) then she should’ve ended up with Alcide.

In the books, Sookie ends up with Sam Merlotte, which admittedly, was a twist. I did not see that coming. I hoped that Sookie in the books would end up with either Eric or Quinn.

It’s kind of like this.

  • Guy A (Bill) first love, blah, blah, blah.
  • Guy B (Eric) bad boy, don’t want to love him but you totally do.
  • Guy C (Alcide) mostly steady guy, has issues, could be a thing but never is a thing
  • Guy D (Quinn) came out of nowhere and you’re like wait what there’s a fourth choice
  • Guy E (Sam) best dude friend, never thought he was an option (until he was).

So you think okay, she’s not gonna end up with Guy A. But maybe she’ll end up with Guy B, you know, how typical things go (such as The Vampire Diaries. Stefan would be Guy A and Damon Guy B. Elena ended up with Damon in the end).

Now Quinn is a character that we never see on True Blood. Quinn is a tall huge man with a bald head. . . .that happens to be a weretiger. One of the last weretigers. He runs a business for supernatural parties, weddings, etc. It’s a cute job. He and Sookie meet and it’s like sparks fly.

Quinn, most of the time, is a great guy. He has issues with vampires but that could be because vampires tortured his mother so she’s crazy and he was forced to fight in like gladiator fights. He and Sookie argue the most about well, his crazy mother and his sister, who are always getting him in trouble. Sookie ends up getting in trouble and hurt because of Quinn’s family, and due to that, he and Sookie end things. Quinn is always going to put his family first, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, honorable even, but his family gets him in danger which then puts Sookie in danger, and she can’t handle that.

I understand that.

As much as I loved Quinn (other than his blatant hatred of vampires which put him and Sookie at odds but they got over that), his family was always going to cause problems for him. That’s a fact of life. Is it honorable that he loves his family that much? Yes, I can appreciate that. So can Sookie. But the fact of the matter is, his mother and sister indirectly cause Sookie to get kidnapped and she gets hurt. She’s done with that. However, they parted ways more or less amicably.

Quinn is never mentioned in the show. Weretigers don’t exist. There are werepanthers, of course, and they are more or less the same in the books as in the show. Though in the books they aren’t crackheads (I think?). Is there incest? Yes. To keep the blood pure. Oh, and Calvin Norris is a gentle old panther who has the hots for Sookie and wanted her to be his breeding mare. (There’s also the thing were Jason actually does become a werepanther, sort of, but not a ‘pure’ one. Like a werepanther-man thing. He marries Crystal who gets pregnant and she’s then murdered by someone something in other.) I guess he’d be Guy F. Not that he had a chance in hell with Sookie. Sookie ain’t about to sit on a couch eating bon-bons and popping out kids every ten months. Just saying. That’s not her.

Instead she marries some random guy

I think HBO missed out by not following the books to the T. Seriously, there was so much content, and honestly, had they followed the books more and not the first like three books, the show would’ve been much better. That’s not to say the show isn’t worth watch. Just keep in mind that you aren’t in it for Sookie or Bill. The side characters such as Eric, Pam, Tara, etc., that’s who you’re there for.

I’d like to challenge you to watch all of True Blood. Then read the Southern Vampire Mysteries series. You’ll see what I mean.

Until next time!

-K

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