SPOILERS: Bill and Sookie’s Fate

Whenever someone takes a book or book series and makes a movie out of it, or, as in the case of the Southern Vampire Series, a television series, you’re always going to have the conflict between what are called “bookies” and fans of the show/movie arguing pro’s and con’s. True Blood is no different. The bookies are split between being really happy with the show and angry that Alan Ball has taken such departures throughout season one.

By definition, “bookies” are the fans of the books that want things to remain exactly like the books were written. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, except when it comes down to parts that do not translate well to the screen. Bookies will be a lot happier and less frustrated if they could settle on that fact. They may even be able to enjoy the show a lot more. I mean no insult to bookies in any way. They deeply love the books and that’s a credit to Charlaine Harris’ writing. They are fierce defenders of their beloved author.

We here at True-Blood.net try to smooth the feathers of angry bookies to the best of our ability. We try to calm storms in our forums as well as on our radio show every week. We tell them to remember that the show is only based on the books by Charlaine Harris. We tell them that Alan Ball is as big a fan of the books as they are, and to trust in his talent as a story-teller. We tell them that Ms. Harris herself was happy with Alan Ball as being the one who would take Sookie’s world to television.

They are happy for a time, until something new turns up that departs from the books. New characters, different locations, different clothes, different hair color (or length), even rumors for season two. Matt Roush at TV Guide mentions this recently in answer to a reader’s question:

Question: Got two HBO questions; I understand that in the Sookie Stackhouse books that True Blood is based on, Bill doesn’t play as big a role and vampire Eric comes out as the major love interest. Will Bill continue to be Sookie’s gentleman caller, or will Eric shake that love story up in Season 2? And what’s on the horizon for Tara? It’s clear that Michelle Forbes’ Maryanne is up to no good in that mansion of hers. And what are your thoughts on The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency? I hear good things about the show, but I worry how the show will fare without Anthony Minghella at the helm. The clips I’ve seen look charming, and Botswana is beautiful.— Stephanie

Matt Roush: First off, I really liked Ladies Detective Agency (you can find my review from the magazine repurposed in the Daily Review column online), and I felt this coming Sunday’s first post-Minghella episode nicely lives up to the promise of the movie pilot. As for True Blood, your questions tread dangerously into spoiler territory, although I can appreciate how caught up you are in the story. So let me duck the what-will-happen-next stuff by saying that I’ve read five of the Sookie books so far—they’re a blast—and if season 2 holds true to the second novel (from what I remember), Bill will still play an important part in the story.

[SPOILER ALERT] It’s true that Bill and Sookie don’t remain together as the books progress, although he’s always lurking in the back of the stories and she never really gets over him. Where Eric is concerned, his storyline with Sookie takes such a great twist in one of the books that I can only hope the series will go there at some point. [END SPOILER ALERT]

But honestly, given the chemistry of Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, I expect Sookie and Bill will have plenty to do with each other as the series progresses, and I also hope that Alan Ball will develop the series so that it will find its own voice and not stick too closely to the letter of Charlaine Harris’s books (just as Dexter has wisely and smartly veered from Jeff Lindsay’s novels).

(Source)

I have to agree with Matt here. I have read all the books and eagerly await the next book, Dead and Gone, due out in May. However, should Alan Ball decide to depart even more from the books, that only means excitement and adventure for me. I would love it if True Blood evolved into something totally new. Charlaine Harris has filled her Stackhouse series with so many interesting characters that there are just so many stories to tell. The “what if’s” are endless! In Alan’s capable hands, even the bookies can be comfortable leaving behind the books and climbing aboard the roller coaster ride with us.

About Liz

Over-night fan (almost literally) of the Sookie Stackhouse series since early 2008. Co-owner of True-Blood.net. Anxiously anticipating season 6.

29 comments

  1. I confess, I have a really hard time loving Vampire Bill on the show because of the way things went in the books. I’m not sure how to get over that. Plus Dead and Gone is my absolute favorite in the series, and is so central to the development of Eric (and Sookie, for that matter) if Ball skips over it completely, it’ll be a real shame.

    That being said, I have adored the show as done so far, so I’m psyched to see how things continue.

  2. First Sookie does get over Bill, let’s clear up that myth right off.
    Second as a show fan first turned “bookie” I found this blog entry insulting. Thanks for being so condescending to so many intelligent rational people who don’t think the show should be “just like” the book.

  3. I consider myself a “bookie” for I so love the book and my only concern is the alteration of the characters in Sookieverse (yes that what we call her world), especially Eric’s character. I know that the book and the show are two different entities, and to add characters or sub plots are okay too, after all the book tells the story from Sookie’s POV and the show does not.

    I was just surprised that in Season 1, they’ve altered a major plot, (the Long Shadow staking which we all know that it was Eric who staked him and not Bill. This is a major alteration and might have an effect in Book 5 (I’m hoping they’ll get there). But on the other hand, I’m curious how they’ll explain it.

    And one last thing, Eric’s long hair is very significant. He’s got long hair when he became a vampire and I don’t see continuity if he’ll have shorter hair in Season 2. Besides, Alexander Skarsgard best fit Eric’s description from the book, gorgeous, 6’4″ tall, with blue eyes and blond hair. So puhleese, give him a natural looking long wig (is that too much to ask)?

  4. If you wanna reassure the fans of the book, maybe not using the word ‘bookie’ so much might be a good start >.> Just a suggestion.

    The show is ‘based’ on the books and that’s something i think a lot of people DO in fact understand. They are not a direct translation from written word to screen and as a fan I’m largely greatful for that. I trust Alan Ball’s direction and vision and I think of anyone, he is a great captain to have at this helm. He’s just dark enough to give us what we need ;)

    I watched the TV show before i read the books, and after the end of season 1 i went out and purchased all the books and devoured them in just over a week, because they are told from the POV of one character it’s very important to flesh out other characters that might not have had much to do in the original material and as much as i love Sookie (And disliked book Tara) I’m glad for Tara and more Sam and Jason and other characters that have been given more life.

    Of course there are things i really want to see become a reality (The relationship between Eric and Sookie is just one of them – As well as her involvement in thinks like the lives of the Were’s and the development of Jason’s character also, I think that the deteriation of Sookie and Bill’s relationship is important also to the story) but as much as i want them, i trust that Alan Ball and the creative team behind True Blood can bring us a great TV show and stay true to the world that Charlaine Harris created.

  5. I consider myself a “bookie” because I so love the book. I know that the book and the show are two different entities, and to add characters or sub plots are okay too, after all the book is being told in Sookie’s POV and the show is not. However, my major concern is the alteration of characters in Sookieverse (yes that’s what we call her world) and actual events from the book.

    One major alteration in Season 1 is the Long Shadow staking, which we all know it was Eric who staked him and not Bill. This plot change might have major effect on Book 5 (I’m so hoping they get there) but on the other hand, I’m curious to find out how the show will explain it.

    One last thing, Eric’s hair is very significant. He’s got long hair when he became a vampire and I don’t see continuity if he’ll have shorter hair in Season 2. Besides Alexander Skarsgard best fit Eric’s description from the book, gorgeous, 6’4″ tall, with blue eyes and blond hair, so puhleeease, give him a natural looking long wig.

  6. Well, I appreciate the whole article, though I think I agree with some of the responders that Matt Roush is a little condescending, as if reader equals nut case.

    I do like the fact that the show is not a verbatim enactment of the books. I like the surprises and I like the way some of the peripheral charcters have been developed (Tara, Lafayette)

    The fact that there is a love triangle in the making makes for interesting and exciting debate. The fact that the two love interests in Sookie’s life, Bill and Eric (eventually), who are quite different on the show from the book makes the tension all the more delicious. And you have to pick a side. That’s what being a fan is all about. The point of the next book may be the fact that Sookie may have to pick a side. I think both Vampires in the story are equally good and bad for her. So, I will merrily cheer Bill on, curse him under my breath when he does things wrong (and boy, does he do things wrong) and hold my breath to see how it all turns out.

  7. I was a series fan first who devoured the books after the season finale so I guess I can’t really be classified as a “bookie”. I don’t know. Anyway, I loved season 1 and eagerly wait for season 2. Alan Ball brought so much more to season 1 and I’m thankful he is the producer. He’s a great fan of the books which is completely understandable because the books are amazing. A big part of the books is about Sookie’s growth, and it would be a shame if we didn’t get to see that. Bill’s betrayal, Eric and Sookie’s relationship, Alcide, Quinn, all the weres…They are important to the story and should not be ignored. We all need to remember that Eric, Quinn, Sam, etc fans are eagerly waiting to see those relationships on screen. The books are NOT all about Bill and Sookie and neither should the tv series be, IMO.

  8. I’ve read the books and love them but people need to understand that not everyone can be fully satisfied with film/TV show adaptations of books. I like to look at True Blood and the books as two seperate entities. I enjoy both of them. As far as Sookie never being over Bill, somtimes she had Bill on the brain. I’m excited to see how far the show will deviate and veer away from thee books.

  9. Well, don’t pigeonhole me, please. I love both apples and oranges. I’m in awe of the no-holds-barred creative talents of both Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball and look forward eagerly to seeing them both on display May 9th and June 14th respectively when the latest book and season 2 will be released. Sure I’d change some stuff in both book and show if I could, but I’m not the writer or the director, so tough luck on me.

    Paradoxically, the Ladies No I Detective Agency show is a much more literal treatment of the Alexander McCall book and I found it to be bloated, draggy and two dimensional.

  10. I’ve never read the books and never will, because I’m not a big fan of books, and if I ever read books, they are either classic novels or academic books. haha…
    BUT, as fan of the TV series, I simply cannot imagine (or accept as a matter of fact) that Sookie will one day stop loving Bill and start things up with that other vampire. Why would the creators of the series get so many of us all hooked on these 2 and then leave us in the middle of the road, all hungry and wanting more?? It makes no sense… I hope Alan Ball has more taste than that…

  11. SickofBookiesvsTBShowbies

    *Yawn* Here we go again. I’m a bookie and I find another site where we have to read that the show is only BASED on CH’s Southern Vampire Mysteries series. We know already. That fact has been fed to us over and over, especially by Vampire Bill Compton fans who don’t wish to see the soldier vampire’s role diminish as it supposedly has in the book series.

    I am very happy that CH is giving Vampire Bill a bigger role in Dead and Gone so they can have more to talk about other than CH hating his character and favoring Eric Northman’s character much more.

    I enjoy Alan Ball’s previous works and I am sure he is vastly aware of how popular both Bill Compton and Eric Northman are in the series. I do think we will see the romantic triangle take place on the show, but it won’t come about exactly the same way as it did in the books. The show needs to have a romantic triangle or else it can get blase very quickly. Season 2 is only a few months away so let’s see how many more of these types of articles will be appearing on sites following it.

    • I don’t think Charlaine Harris likes one over the other. But I think the fans definitely have drawn a line in the sand so to speak over which romantic lead they prefer.

      The thing I would like to mention about Dead and Gone, and none of us have read it except maybe the first chapter posted on Charlaine Harris’ website, is the choice may not be Sookie’s. The choice may be between the two Vampires and the choice may be “Gee whiz Sook, get over yourself already, you are just not worth all the trouble,” which is something I tend to say outloud when she complains about how damned complicated it is to have a relationship with any of the men in her supernatural world.

      • Okay, we’re just repeating here. I am a “bookie”. I take no offense to that. I read a lot and am proud of it. I read all the books before I ever watched the show and I find them separate entities as do so many others. They are different and the same. It’s all good. I am a huge Bill fan and getting caught up in both the books and the show just hope to see him around a lot longer than he was in the books, with a larger role to play. But as it’s been said, it would be boring if everything was just “wonderful” in Bon Temps between Bill and Sookie all the time. The other characters are wonderful too and fun to watch and learn about. Sookie, after all, is the lead character and she has to have some adventures beyond just Bill. I know I would be as disappointed in the show if Bill were pushed into the background as I was with the books. But I continued because the books were fun and different and well written and I enjoy reading. It’s not as creatively limiting as watching a show is. But Stephen Moyer makes it all worth while! My opinion.

  12. Yes, yes I was one of those fans who saw the series first and read all the books later. I am not a big fan of Sookie in the books anyways, so I have to say I love the series better so far. I am hoping that Bill will always play an important role in Alan Ball’s world. There should be obstacles for love to overcome, such as love triangles and sacrifices,etc., that makes for great stories. If it is just Bill and Sookie and they have no issues, how long can that stay alive in the show? Eric should play a major role, similar to the book, and if there happens to be a fight scene for Sookie, who would complain? Who would not want two beautiful men, vampires or not, fighting over them. And yes, Were’s are invited too.
    As to the development of the other characters such as Sam, Tara and Lafayette to name a few, I think the show did a wonderful job with them. Made them so real and so much fun. Lafayette was a riot and losing him is such a shame.
    Alan Ball, thank you for True Blood, similar or not similar to the books, it has been a wild ride and I (and so many others) do not want to end. I am a great Bill fan, so the more Bill in any capacity the better. Stay “True”

  13. If they are going to continue the relationship between bill and sookie a lot of fans are going to be very disappointed including myself. We all know Mr. Alan will not do the show exactly like the books because then we (bookies) will all know what will happen next which is understanding but I really do hope he includes the relationship between Eric and Sookie in the future!
    Ohh yes I too am a little peeved at the changes & alterations they made on the show one major alteration in Season 1 is the Long Shadow staking, which we all know it was Eric who staked him and not Bill.
    That being said someone mention that the books are NOT all about Bill & Sookie and I agree if it is it will eventually get boring. I’m more excited to see some scenes (Meanad, Weres, WerePanters & oh and the orgie scene lol) from the book come to life on the screen.

  14. I think it would no longer be based on the books if Eric isn’t a major character and love interest of Sookie’s. It would be a new completely different story with some of the same characters. I don’t mind deviation from the plot but his character and their relationship is fascinating. Truly one of the reasons I continued to read the series without I am not sure I would have went on to book three.

  15. As an avid book reader and Sookie fan I am not surprised by the artistic liberties being taken with True Blood, although I am confused. I can only thing of one book that was created on film in the exact same manner the book was written and the movie lasted 5 hours so I get it.
    What I don’t get is how these decisions are made. Why have Bill stake Long Shadow? Eric staked him in the book this was your first glance into Eric’s mind and his obsession with Sookie that he would not stand by and watch her die. In the book Bill would. I’m assuming this means True Blood is leaning toward the Bill/Sookie love story. Not sure this will really have much impact on book 5 given Charles could still want to kill Sookie because Bill, not Eric, loves her.
    Also I think elaborating in depth on some of the other characters, like Tara and next season a waitress, not named Tanya, is boring. I get the Jason thing in the first season although not sure I like the plot as much but oh well.
    I wonder, have the screen writers, directors, and actors read the books? I know the series is “based on” the books, but wouldn’t you agree that you should read the foundation of the art? I recently read an interview with one of the actors that indicated season two is based on the story in the book and they travel to Dallas to rescue Eric’s sire??? Eric’s sire isn’t even mentioned until book 9, Dean and Gone. If it weren’t for the books, the series wouldn’t exist, right? Right!!

  16. i have to say that i think the Sookie books are horribly written. i do not understand how anyone can say that these books are “impossible to put down.” even though the story is wonderful, the writing is absolute crap! and for me, if the writing is crap, i can’t keep reading. it’s too disturbing to read bad writing.

    the show, however, is incredibly brilliant. and now that i have read spoilers of what happens in the books, i cannot imagine sookie being with eric. i also cannot imagine bill cheating on sookie either. omg this is just too much! maybe i will have to slog through the books after all.

    does anyone have a link to a web site that has DETAILED summaries of each book?

  17. I have been a fan of the books for quite some time. I was excited when I saw that they were going to make a series from one of my favorite book series. And I was somewhat disappointed when I watched and saw how much the show departed from the books.

    Then I started thinking about it differently. Watching the show is almost like watching an alternate ending of the books. And I like that.

  18. I am usually a bookie but for this series I love the change and I love Bill. I agree there should be some twists and love triangles butt with this series I hope Bill and Sookie end up together it makes great TV!! I re-fell in love with Bill & Sookie as a couple and want them to stay together

  19. okkay im sorry but i’m soo hooked on bill and sookie. im not saying they have to be together the entire show but they should end up together. they just built such a strong relationship and to people who didn’t read the book they NEED bill and sookie to stay together!!!!

    plus so many tv series dont follow books word by word it just doesnt work

  20. As the books move forward Eric does have a strange and unusual bond with Sookie. But not by fair game, more like through a lot of trickery and sabotaging. The only rare true moment was when he was under that witches spell and had no recollection of who he was. Bill and Sookie’s love was and is genuine. Eric loves Sookie but he loves himself more. Bill loves Sookie more than he loves himself. That is a huge difference. And at the big battle at the end of Dead and Gone where was Eric? Why did he not answer to Sookie’s call even though they are bonded? He came at the very end. But who stood firm protecting Sookie to the end Bill.

  21. First of all, the people that felt slighted or insulted need to take some time off from their fantasy world and get a gripe.

    While the books are great, they have made it quite clear the series are only based from the books. Enjoy each for what they are or just stop watching.

  22. I’ve read all the books so far and I loved Bill, then hated him, and now I love him again. I love the way Stephen Moyer portrays Bill and I think Sookie and Bill are great together. I don’t like Eric very much because he scares me! :(

  23. People who have read the books almost always prefer Eric, as he gets a more rounded, sympathetic treatment than in the series.

    I have only seen the series and have been addicted to it from the beginning. Alan Ball’s Bill never puts a foot wrong. He puts Sookie’s interests above his own and proves this by ‘dying’ for her at the end of Season 1. By contrast, Eric (in the show) seems motivated by selfish reasons and has no love for Sookie at all. He tricks Sookie into drinking his blood, after summoning Lorena to detain Bill so that HE can be the one to rescue her. Then you have that incident with Lafayette in the basement of Fangtasia. Are we supposed to forget that this is how he behaves? Added to that, he forces Lafayette, who is already traumatised by him, to continue to sell V.

    Without Sookie, Bill would be bereft and he would miss her for the rest of his existence on earth. With Eric, losing Sookie would not exactly break his heart, he wants her because she interests him, like a plaything. And once he finds out what she really is, he’ll have more uses for her I have no doubt.

    If Sookie does not end up with Bill on the show, I will feel heartsore. I have invested emotionally in the relationship because of the writing/direction of Alan Ball and the chemistry between Moyer and Paquin.

    I read somewhere that Alan Ball has said that the relationship between Sookie and Bill will be at the core the show. This would indicate that the show will not follow the books too faithfully. I do hope so.

    • I totally agree with u! If Bill and Sookie don’t end up together in the show I am going to stop watching and I think that Alan realizes that a lot of people like them together as well and that’s why he is keeping them the core of the show.

  24. Thanks a lot for this, I appreciate the info

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