Sookieverse Blog nails it. What am I saying? Of course Sookieverse Blog nails it.
From now on, if someone asks my thoughts on Dead After Ever, I will point to this review and say, “This.”
Dead Ever After is here. My feelings are: “All that for this?” Feel free to discuss, and beware of spoilers in the comments, obviously.
In this week’s episode of Dead Air, Tiffany and I were joined by Tina (SVB) of Sookieverse Blog to discuss Deadlocked. Want to hear Tina say “essential spark” in her awesome accent one more time? Want to know why everyone wants Tiffany to lose $20 next year? Listen – or listen again – to the episode!
Please use the comments section on this post to discuss your reactions to book 12! And beware of spoilers, obviously.
We’ll be talking about the book on Dead Air next Monday night, May 7. You can join us in the chat room or on the phone to gush, rant, theorize, and fangirl to your heart’s content. We want to hear from you!Tags: Book 12
Not that I need to remind any of you, I’m sure (grin), but book 12 comes out next Tuesday, May 1! We’re all going to have a lot to say, so be sure to join us for Dead Air on Monday night, May 7. Tell us your thoughts – the good, the bad, and the fangirly – on the phone or in the chat room.
Update: Tiffany and I are going to be joined by SVB from Sookieverse. We’re so excited to have her for this episode!Tags: Book 12, Dead Air
Charlaine Harris has updated her official site with our long-awaited preview chapter of book 12, Deadlocked.
Slight spoilers follow!
I’m extremely encouraged by the fact that Eric and Sookie are still together as this book opens. In fact, Sookie says, “I love Eric and I should only bunk down with him.” I was half-expecting this book to start off with Eric and Sooks kind of separated. Best of all is this message that Pam delivers to Sookie through Eric’s day man, Mustapha: “Tell Sookie that this is the hard time that will show what she is made of.”
Hear, hear! I think Charlaine is setting things in motion to do exactly what I hope and predict in this old post: Sookie will have to fight for Eric. I can’t wait!
One blog you might want to add to your bookmarks is this one by peppermintyrose. She posts lengthy, detailed articles about Sookie and her suitors, almost all book-based. While she supports Eric as the “happily” ever after, she’s also very frank and up-front about his faults. I don’t agree with everything she writes, but I definitely agree that we as a fandom are way too quick to blame Sookie for everything. Anyway, this blog is great food for thought.Tags: Fans
In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, here’s a quote from book 5, where Eric and Sookie are talking about the pirate vampire, Charles Twining. It also happens to be one of my very favorite E/S passages. Eric is essentially telling Sookie that he cares about her deeply, and Sookie (as usual) misses the point entirely. *grins*
Of course, we’ll never see anything like this in season 5, since Bill killed Long Shadow in Alan Ball Land. Hmph.
Tags: Gratuitous Quotage
“When Hot Rain was dissatisfied with Long Shadow’s death, he sent Charles to exact payment for the debt he felt was owed.”
“Why would killing me cancel the debt?”
“Because he decided after listening to gossip and much reconnoitering that you were important to me, and that your death would wound me the way Long Shadow’s had him.”
“Ah.” I could not think of one thing to say. Not one thing. At last I asked, “So Hot Rain and Long Shadow were doing the deed, once upon a time?”
Eric said, “Yes, but it wasn’t the sexual connection, it was the… the affection. That was the valuable part of the bond.”
The Washington Post hosted a live chat with Charlaine Harris today, and fans were invited to submit questions. You can read the questions and answers here. Some excerpts:
Q: How do you feel about Alan Ball’s wanting to keep putting Bill and Sookie back together? It just seems that Sookie and Eric’s relationship is so central to the books, that if Ball does what he wants, the show will become unrecognizable from the books.
CH: I’m not sure Alan is aiming for that, myself. Bill is pretty essential to the story, too, all the way through the books AND the show. I’ll be interested to see his conclusion, which may be different from mine.
Q: Ms. Harris, You’ve continually said that the SSN are not romance novels, and I would add that Eric Northman is a bit of an anti-hero. Are you surprised by the reader response to his character and the intense interest in Sookie’s HEA [happily ever after]?
CH: Yes, very surprised. Some readers are sure they see a traditional romance hero in Eric, but he’s anything but that. He’s a murderer, many times over, and pragmatic. But he does love Sookie. However, romance novels always end with everyone happy except really bad guys, and that’s not the way I write.
I think one of the reasons Eric is so popular is BECAUSE he’s not a “traditional romance hero.”
Q: I’ve always wanted to ask you about the scene in the books when it’s revealed that Bill had been sent by the Queen to get close to Sookie. Had you been planning that for Bill all along? Or did it occur to you closer to writing Definitely Dead? Thanks!
CH: I knew there was an awful secret in Bill’s past, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. When I was writing the book, I suddenly realized what he’d done, and it was an amazing writing day for me.
(Great question! Glad to have it answered!)
Q: Your character Eric Northman is hugely popular in the books and the show. Can you tell us in yoiur own words, how Eric has evolved emotionally over the last 11 books?
CH: I don’t know that Eric is evolving so much as that the reader is getting to see more and more of his layers acquired over a thousand years of existence. Eric always watches out for Eric, and secondly his child Pam. He does have another child we haven’t met. He is very practical. But he does love Sookie. Obviously, this is a huge conflict for him.
Q: Where did Eric hide Debbie Pelt’s car? [this was one of mine!]
CH: I believe it’s at the bottom of a pond way back on someone else’s property. But that’s just a rumor.
Q: What do you think is the most important quality that Sookie wants and/or needs in a romantic partner? [another of mine]
CH: Gosh, I think Sookie wants what most women want: stability, companionship, and she’d like to have children. She’s used to adventure now, though, and that may be a factor in her relationships.
Q: Claudine was always a favorite character of mine; I missed her presence after her death in the book. What are your thoughts about the Fae within the show? Do you think they gave Claudine the justice she deserved?
CH: Claudine is so very different in the show that you can’t really compare the two characters. I’ve always been sorry I killed her in the books; a mistake, I think now.
Q: Earlier in this chat, someone asked about your thoughts on Eric. I was wondering why you always seem surprised by the amount of love fans have for him, since he’s a “ruthless anti-hero murderer” and all?
CH: I’m not surprised that people find him attractive. I certainly tried to make him so! I am surprised that people seem to sometimes see him as a typical romance hero… which he’s not.
Q: Do you foresee Sookie coming to her senses and realizing that dating a vampire is not a smart thing to do? Will she ever realize that she has the perfect guy in Sam, who she seems to only view as her best friend right now?
CH: The forthcoming books will have your answer.
*cue ominous music*Tags: Charlaine Harris, Interviews
You’re the target of a lot of hate from True Blood and Southern Vampire Mysteries fans alike. While I don’t think the show does your character justice, you’re still an amazing woman both in the books and on the show. I almost wrote you this letter several weeks ago when I noticed that my fanfiction reviews contained a lot of vitriol towards you, but I never got around to it. This recent increase in the hate, though, pushed me to do it.
To be honest, Sooks, I think we get so blinded by Team Eric or Team Bill or Team Whatever that we forget the person we all should root for: you! I know I’m guilty of this. But you should know that when I say I’m on Team Eric, it doesn’t mean that I root for Eric over you. It means that I root for Eric over your other suitors. It means that I think Eric is the best man in this story, and that I root for you to have him. And that’s because I love you. I disagree with those who say that you don’t deserve Eric. You absolutely deserve him (and he deserves you, but that’s only my opinion).
“You are smart, and you are loyal… You have a sense of fun and adventure… You’re brave… You’re responsible and hardworking…”
I stole those words from Eric, but he put it so well in so few words, it was the best way to say it, really. He summed you up perfectly after knowing you for only a few days. That’s because he gets you (you once said so yourself) and loves everything about you. But I’m getting off the subject, aren’t I?
You are all of those things, Sookie, and I’ll add some more. You’re a fighter. You take care of yourself and the people you love without expecting that the world owes you anything. You survived torture. Your “voice” and expressions are endearing. Not only do you have a moral compass, but you question it and calibrate it often. You are kind, a trait that’s surprisingly rare when you think about it.
Like any real person, you are flawed. You’re stubborn. You have a tendency to misread or misinterpret people, Eric most of all. You have a temper. Though you value openness, you keep parts of yourself very closed off. There’s more I could say about your character as it’s written on the show, but I won’t focus on that.
But you know you’re not perfect, and you’re always maturing and trying to become a better person. You acknowledge flaws in the people you love, but you’re able to deal with them without trying to change them. That’s a truly admirable quality.
You’re such a smart, funny, brave, hardworking, loyal, kickass, passionate, and kind woman – such a worthy and lovable heroine – that it’s hard for me to understand why people trash you the way they do. For what it’s worth, Sookie, I adore you. I want you to find the happiness and love you have earned. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s what I really mean when I say I’m on Team Eric.
Every now and then, I like to look back at Eric passages from books two and three. I fell in love with the Viking in book two, and there are so many wonderful Eric moments. So here’s some quotage, just because. If only True Blood had retained this affection, trust, and humor between them… *sad sigh*
“Angelic Sookie, vision of love and beauty, I am prostrate that the wicked evil maenad violated your smooth and voluptuous body, in an attempt to deliver a message to me.”
I began crying. I looked so awful; it just broke what was left of my spirit.
To his credit, Eric didn’t laugh, though he may have wanted to. “Sookie, a bath and clean clothes and you will be put to rights,” he said as if he were talking to a child. To tell you the truth, I didn’t feel much older at the moment.
“The werewolf thought you were cute,” I said, and sobbed some more. We stepped out of the elevator.
“The werewolf? Sookie, you have had adventures tonight.” He gathered me up like an armful of clothes and held me to him. I got his lovely suit jacket wet and snotty, and his pristine white shirt was spotless no more.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” I held back and looked at his ensemble. I swabbed it with the scarf.
“Don’t cry again,” he said hastily. “Just don’t start crying again, and I won’t mind taking this to the cleaners. I won’t even mind getting a whole new suit.”
I thought it was pretty amusing that Eric, the dread master vampire, was afraid of weeping women.
There was a small desk by one wall. Eric moved it over to the right side of my chair, lifted my arm, and laid it over the top of the desk. He switched on the lamp. After swabbing off my arm with a wet washcloth, Eric began removing the lumps. They were tiny pieces of glass from Luna’s Outback’s window. “If you were an ordinary girl, I could glamour you and you wouldn’t feel this,” he commented. “Be brave.”
“Do you think from now on, you could just let me stay at home, and leave me and Bill alone?” I asked.
“No. You are too useful,” he said. “Besides, I’m hoping that the more you see me, the more I’ll grow on you.”
“Like a fungus?”
He laughed, but his eyes were fixed on me in a way that meant business. Oh, hell.
Instinctively, I shut my eyes while the blasting lasted. Glass shattered, vampires roared, humans screamed. The noise battered at me, just as the tidal wave of scores of brains at high gear washed over me. When it began to taper off, I looked up into Eric’s eyes. Incredibly, he was excited. He smiled at me. “I knew I’d get on top of you somehow,” he said.
“Are you trying to make me mad so I’ll forget how scared I am?”
“No, I’m just opportunistic.”
I wiggled, trying to get out from under him, and he said, “Oh, do that again. It felt great.”
“This room reeks of blood,” he whispered.
“Well, there,” I said, and looked up. “That was the grossest—”
“Your lips are bloody.” He seized my face in both hands and kissed me.
It’s hard not to respond when a master of the art of kissing is laying one on you. And I might have let myself enjoy it – well, enjoy it more – if I hadn’t been so worried about Bill; because let’s face it, brushes with death have that effect. You want to reaffirm the fact that you’re alive. Though vampires actually aren’t, it seems they are no more immune to that syndrome than humans, and Eric’s libido was up because of the blood in the room.
But I was worried about Bill, and I was shocked by the violence, so after a long hot moment of forgetting the horror around me, I pulled away. Eric’s lips were bloody now. He licked them slowly. “Go look for Bill,” he said in a thick voice.
I glanced at his shoulder again, to see the hole had begun to close. I picked up the bullet off the carpet, tacky as it was with blood, and wrapped it in a scrap from Eric’s shirt. It seemed like a good memento, at the time. I really don’t know what I was thinking.
“I am here,” Eric said.
“And I am here.” I was a little amused at Eric’s phone answering technique.
“Sookie, my little bullet-sucker,” he said, sounding fond and warm.
“Eric, my big bullshitter.”
“You want something, my darling?”
“So you want me to go to a human orgy, where I will not be welcome, and you want us to leave before I get to enjoy myself?”
“Yes,” I said, almost squeaking in my anxiety. In for a penny, in for a pound. “And… do you think you could pretend to be gay?”
There was a long silence. “What time do I need to be there?” Eric asked softly.
Normally, Eric was a blue-jeans-and-T-shirt kind of guy. Tonight, he wore a pink tank top and Lycra leggings. I don’t know
where he got them; I didn’t know any company made Lycra leggings in Men’s X-tra Large Tall. They were pink and aqua, like the swirls down the sides of Jason’s truck.
“Wow,” I said, since it was all I could think of to say. “Wow. That’s some outfit.”
I couldn’t find anything more informally sexy than shorts and a tee shirt. However, the shorts were some I had left over from my junior high days, and they encased me “like a caterpillar embraces a butterfly,” Eric said poetically.
“Hey, our hair’s the same color,” I said, eyeing us side by side in the mirror.
“Sure is, girlfriend.” Eric grinned at me. “But are you blond all the way down?”
“Don’t you wish you knew?”
“Yes,” he said simply.
“Well, you’ll just have to wonder.”
“I am,” he said. “Blond everywhere.”
“Don’t let anything happen to me, okay?” I said to Eric directly. [...]
“You trust me?” Eric sounded surprised.
“That’s… crazy, Sookie.”
“I don’t think so.” Where that surety had come from, I didn’t know, but it was there.
“You are happy,” Eric said.
“Yes. I am.”
“You will be safe.”
“Thanks. I know I will.”
“Sookie,” Eric said in my ear, so low that I don’t think another person in the room could’ve heard him. “Sookie, relax. I have you.”
Tags: Gratuitous Quotage
Then, bless Eric, we were out the door and he laid me out on the hood of the Corvette… “Sookie,” Eric said. I didn’t think he’d heard a word. “Yield to me.”
Eric & Sookie Lovers got some questions answered by Charlaine Harris at Polaris 25 – click here to read them!
Tags: Charlaine Harris, Interviews
Currently, you’re writing Sookie book 12…at this point of the book, what would you title it, if you had the final say?
CH: Dead Locked. Possibly the last book would be Dead End.
Book-based; spoilers for book 11.
After reading Dead Reckoning, I had even more hope for Eric and Sookie than I did before. It made me sad to see so many E/S shippers predicting doom and gloom for our favorite couple, but I completely understand why they did. As it stands, I think E/S has about a 50% chance. The other side of that coin? Sam and Sookie. I do believe it’s entirely between Eric and Sam at this point. But here’s why I have every faith that Eric and Sookie can find happiness at the end of this series.
1) The blood bond had to go.
Let me be clear: I loved the blood bond. It was a romantic idea, and it gave me happy little goosebumps, and I hated that Sookie broke it without telling Eric or even considering his feelings. But when she broke it, I thought, “Eric and Sookie have a real chance now!” Yep, you read that correctly.
It was absolutely necessary for Sookie to decide that she loved Eric without it. I understand why the breaking of the bond made people depressed, but didn’t the porch scene make up for that times a million? It did for me! The moment when Sookie tells Eric that she does love him – all on her own – was one of my favorites in the whole series. Judging by the porch swing sex that followed, Eric was pretty happy about it, too. That was a pivotal moment for Eric and Sookie. They could never be together for good without it.
And hey, blood bonds can be re-formed. The important thing was for Sookie to realize that she didn’t need it. And for Eric to learn that Sookie didn’t need it. It was an obstacle and a crutch, and it’s gone for now. If they ever recreate the bond, it will be purely because they both want to. And that’s even more romantic.
2) Sookie will have to fight for Eric.
Throughout this series, it’s always been Eric seducing, wooing, and fighting for Sookie. Not once has Sookie fought for him or for any other relationship. Yes, she goes to Jackson to help Bill, but that’s to save his life, not to save their relationship. That’s a serious problem in the narrative and with Sookie’s character. Eric notices it as early as Club Dead:
“Had it occurred to you,” he said, after we’d rolled out of the city’s center, “that you tend to walk away when things between you and Bill become rocky? Not that I mind, necessarily, since I would be glad for you two to sever your association. But if this is the pattern you follow in your romantic attachments, I want to know now.”
Oh, Eric, honey, just wait.
It’s essential for the growth and maturation of Sookie’s character for her to step into the ring and beat a relationship problem to a bloody pulp. With this arranged marriage being dumped on Eric, Charlaine Harris is offering that chance to Sookie on a silver platter. It’s time for our Sookie to step up, gloves off. I love Sookie, and I believe that she can and will.
If she doesn’t? She doesn’t deserve Eric, and Sam can have her.
When we learned about the arranged marriage in book eleven, I didn’t see curtains for Eric and Sookie. The first thing I thought was, “Finally! We’re going to see her fight for him!” For their relationship to have any hope, it has to happen. Dead Reckoning opened the door for it to happen.
3) The cluviel dor.
The most obvious use for the cluviel dor is to get Eric out of his arranged marriage. Maybe that’s why it never crossed Sookie’s mind in Dead Reckoning when she seemed to think of every other possible use for it – and then some (which I found completely unbelievable, by the way, but never mind). She didn’t think of it because Charlaine is saving it for a future book.
The cluviel dor is Charlaine’s deux ex machina. It’s going to be used to solve some otherwise unsolvable problem for a person Sookie loves. If Sookie’s one true love is Sam, there’s no use for the cluviel dor.
Unless Charlaine is a fantastically bad writer (which she isn’t), the cluviel dor has to be there for a reason. That reason is Eric.
4) Eric evolves.
More than any other character in the series, possibly including even Sookie, Eric evolves. Bill never changes. Sam never changes. Quinn isn’t there enough to change. Only Eric follows the pattern of a true male lead. Only Eric has an actual journey in this series; he is the only male character in eleven books in whose fate the reader and the heroine are continually invested.
Again, unless Charlaine is a fantastically bad writer, she wouldn’t build up Eric so much only to have him fall by the wayside as Sookie takes the easy way out with Sam. Eric’s character has earned more than that. Sookie’s character has earned more than that.
5) Let’s be honest.
That bite that Eric gave Sookie at the end of book eleven… that was hard for me to swallow. But I made my peace with it and even came to understand and accept the reasoning behind it. It’s Eric forcing them both to be honest about the way things are. I see this now as a step in a positive direction. He’s not trying to hide the dark and ugly aspects of himself from her anymore. He’s saying, “This is what I am, Sookie. Take it or leave it.”
Charlaine left us with a cliffhanger: will Eric call or not? I think we all know that he will. The real cliffhanger is whether Sookie will answer the call – and I don’t just mean the phone call.Tags: Book 11