True Blood: Finally Hacking off the Excess Characters


True Blood: Finally Hacking off the Excess Characters
[SPOILER ALERT] – Do not read if you’re behind in the TV series.
For the past six seasons, fans of True Blood have watched anxiously as werewolves, shifters, fairies and vampires have all become hopelessly entangled in each other’s lives within the town of Bon Temps. Although each new character has added to the storyline, especially those of Reverend Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian), Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) and the somewhat regular Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello), at times it seemed like the continuous addition of new characters had taken away from the show’s focus on the main cast and popular fan favorites – mainly Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) and their close friends and family.
Fans of the books may realize that these never ending plots are far more distracting within the show than the novels, likely because while Sookie may be the center of the series’ written world, she most definitely does not drive the narrative voice of the television series. The show has also taken liberties by keeping characters that audiences responded well to. Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), who is mercilessly killed off in the second book of Charlaine Harris’s series, is still around sharing his psychic abilities with all who ask. Likewise, Arlene Fowler (Carrie Preston) takes a more prominent role than she was ever given in the book series, and is now rich and running the bar that acts as one of the show’s main settings. Many of these changes have been beneficial. I, for one, would hate to have seen Lafayette killed off. In the small Southern town, Lafayette often works as as an integral presence to determine who audiences should like and dislike. Every cast member is expected to become a killer at some point – the show and novels both raise the anti-hero trope to a new level – but if you’re prejudiced against Lafayette, you’d better get out of Bon Temps before someone drives a stake through your heart.
On the other hand, some characters simply seem like added weight, and it’s relieving to see them gradually disposed of. Reverend Steve Newlin, for example, had become fairly predictable. His pitiful and obvious motivations were beginning to make his character a weak spot for the show. Similarly, the “Big Bads” Lilith (Jessica Clark) and Warlow (Rob Kazinsky), and even the single shifter mother with werewolf baby plotline involving little Emma Garza (Chloe Noelle) and Luna Garza (Janina Gavankar) were just too much to carry on top of the core theme of the show. Both storylines detracted from the ultimate question: can humans and supernaturals get along?
I’ll admit I shed more than a few tears watching Terry’s (Todd Lowe) funeral, but he, too, had grown into a cancerous spot whose tale no longer included True Blood’s main cast. And could anyone have handled four more glittering, giggly fairies for long, or even the annoyingly temperamental, unsurprising werewolf pack? Flame-haired vamp Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) did us a favor by murdering three of the fairies, and humanizing the fourth with a healthy dose of reality, while grizzly Alcide did the same by leaving his unruly pack behind.
Unsurprisingly, the writers and producer Brian Buckner have realized the necessity of ridding the show of extra plotlines and did so purposefully, looking to simplify things for the next season, which will likely be one of the last. Brian Buckner told Entertainment Weekly, “Here’s my sincere hope: that we get to see more of everybody we love, because everybody is under the banner of fewer stories.” He also added, “There’s a lesser need for separate plot and separate story development for every single character that we have, we’re actually going to get to spend more time with them.” As for Eric Northman fans, no fear; though Brian refused to confirm Eric Northman was alive, he did insist audiences would be seeing more of him.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Eckhart is a entertainment and television blogger for She has watched all of the True Blood series, and read the entire collection of books. The show is one of the few television series she regards more highly than the original novels.