Survey Says! Results from the True Blood Season 6 Fan Survey
Shortly after the True Blood season 6 finale, we asked you to let us know what you thought via our third annual True Blood fan survey. The results are in and we’ve taken some time to analyze what it all means within the context of the fandom. (Our first annual survey results can be found here; the second annual survey results are here.)
REMINDER: We are not HBO. These results reflect the opinions of those who took the survey, obviously.
Before we get to the meat of the survey, let’s look at who the respondents were. We had 2,154 people answer at least some of the questions on the survey with 1,566 answering every question. Those numbers easily fall within the +/- 3% error margin of total visitors to our site (105,131) during the 3 weeks the survey was open. Of those who took the survey, 88.5% were female, with men a slightly higher minority at 11.5%.
This year, because we thought it would be interesting to break out the minority male demo, we’re going to present both the overall results and the results from male survey takers for each question.
The age demo showed time marching on: 29.4% of survey takers were age 18-30 (compared to 36.2% last year) with another 33.9% falling in the 31-40 range (compared to 25.6% in 2012). Ah, birthdays! The 41-50 demo made up another 22.5% (18% last year) with the rest of respondents falling below 18 years old (1.7%) or older than 50 (11.6%, up from 7.3% in 2012).
What does this tell us? That Truebies who frequent True-Blood.net are primarily women under the age of 50. Now on to the content questions. Click the images to enlarge the graphs.
1. Which element of True Blood is the main reason you watch?
The number one ranked element shouldn’t be a surprise given the subject matter: 39.3% of you said that The Vampires are the main reason you watch True Blood, a jump from last year when 32.6% made vampires their number one. Love, Sex & Romance was once again your second choice, but just 21.8% of you selected it, compared to 31.3% after season 5. We didn’t see a lot of love, sex, or romance in season 6, while vampires were back in focus, as reflected by these numbers.
Mythology as seen through the lens of True Blood held on to third with 15.7%, compared to 14.3% last year, while at the bottom of the pack were the Fae (0.7%), the Weres & Shifters (0.4%), and The Humans (0.1%), all down from previous years.
Men: Their favorite element of the show is also The Vampires (32.8%) but The Mythology comes in a close second with 29.4% of the votes. The Horror and Love, Sex, and Romance tie for a distant third (7.8%). Their least favorite elements are the same – The Humans, Weres & Shifters, and the Fae.
Only one response was allowed to this question.
2. Rank the various elements of True Blood by MOST Favorite to LEAST favorite.
This was a difficult question for many, because we made you think really hard about what you like most and least about True Blood. The ranking questions are my favorite because they force a person to analyze where everything falls in their schema of entertainment and enjoyability.
In theory, when forced to rank the elements, the results should be almost identical to question 1, and this year that was the case. Vampires earned the most 10 rankings (10 was MOST and 1 was LEAST) with 37.4% of the votes, compared to 31.9% last year. Love, Sex, and Romance came in second with 23.5% (way down from 33.2% after season 5), and Mythology ranked a distant third with 14% of the votes, although that was an increase over last year’s 10.8%.
The bottom three categories : the least liked element was The Weres and Shifters with 21.9% of the 1 rankings (remember, 1 is the LEAST liked element). We were vocal on this site about our disconnect from the were and shifter storylines this season, so these numbers are no surprise. Coming in second for least liked were the Humans with 16.2% of the 1 rankings. Rounding out the bottom three were the Fae with 14.5% of you ranking them as your least liked element, although this is a slight improvement over last year when 17.2% of said the Fae were your least favorite.
Men: The rankings are the same for this question with the male demographic – The Vampires (31.1%), Mythology (28.3%), and Love, Sex, and Romance (10%).
3. Which season 6 development did you like most?
Another ranking question! This time we asked you to rank specific plot developments from MOST favorite (10) to LEAST favorite (1).
We didn’t have a resounding favorite in this category – first place went to Eric turning Willa with just 19.2% of you choosing that as your favorite development. Compared to last year when the Eric/Pam backstory came in with 38.2% of the most favorite votes, that’s quite a low number of votes to snag first place.
Second place went to Alcide and Sookie getting together, garnering 13.9% of your first place votes. In an interesting twist, this was also ranked the least favorite development, garnering 25.2% of the number 1 votes (remember, 1 means least favorite). Clearly this pairing is divisive.
Speaking of Sookie’s suitors, Warlow’s doomed quest for Sookie took third place with 12.8% of the votes.
Here’s what you didn’t like: As mentioned above, the Alcide/Sookie pairing was your least favorite development with 25.2% of your number 1 votes, followed by the return of Sarah Newlin (what? she’s awesome!) with 23.8% and Alcide leaving the Pack with 9.6% of the votes. Although the Alcide development ranked low, we suspect that has more to do with apathetic feelings about his storyline overall, compared to some decided feelings about other developments, rather than genuine despair that the Pack storyline appears to be finished.
Men: Here we see a major difference of opinion. The men’s favorite development of season 6 was meeting Niall and learning more about the Fae (16.7%), followed by Warlow’s quest for Sookie (16.1%) and Eric turning Willa (13.9%). What didn’t they like? The same things the women didn’t like – Alcide and Sookie getting together earned the most 1 votes (25%), followed by the return of Sarah Newlin (22.2%) and Alcide leaving the Pack (15.6%).
4. Whose season 6 character arc did you like most?
Here we had to sit and think about the season and try to see it from other points of view. This was another ranking question, specifically focusing on character arcs – meaning the storyline of a individual characters. For the third year in a row, Eric took first place with 53.8% of you MOST favorite votes, down from 60.9% last year. Our last glimpse of him in season 6 left some viewers questioning his fate, which we suspect accounts in part for the decline in votes.
Sookie returns to the list in second place with 11.3% of your 10 rankings and 16.8% of your 9 rankings, after not ranking in season 5. Third place goes to Bill with 10.9% of your 10 rankings and 14% of your 9 rankings.
Battling it out for least favorite character arc were Alcide with 20.9% of your 1 rankings; Willa with 18.7%; and Warlow with 16.6%. Poor Alcide.
Men: Eric topped the list for the men as well, but with just 39.7% of the votes. Warlow came in second (15.6%), followed by Bill (15%). Least favorite character arcs for the men were Alcide (27.2%), Terry (15.9%), and Willa (14%). Clearly the men relate more to the alpha males than the other characters.
5. Which character who left/died in season 6 will you miss most?
These results shouldn’t come as a surprise: Terry Bellefleur earned a massive 43.7% of your votes for the character you’ll miss most. Sometimes you don’t know how much you miss someone until they’re gone.
Steve Newlin took second place with 15.3% of your votes, and 14.6% of you will mourn Warlow.
Who won’t be missed? Governor Burrell who only .4% of you say you’ll miss; Luna with 3% of your votes; and Sarah Newlin with 4.6% of you saying you’ll miss her.
Write-ins were allowed on this question, but even though we stipulated (twice!) that Eric and Pam weren’t gone for good, which was later confirmed by showrunner Brian Buckner, most of the write-ins were angry/despairing pleas for those characters. Niall, Godric, Jesus, and Lorena each had one write-in vote.
Men: The guys are going to miss Terry the most (32.8%), but in second place they put Nora (21.7%), who died in Eric’s arms. Warlow came in third with 18.9% of the votes. They won’t miss Governor Burrell (1.1%), Andy’s faerie daughters (3.9%), or Luna (5.%)
Only one response was allowed on this question.
6. Which couple(s) are you rooting for?
Love and romance weren’t at the forefront of True Blood this season, but fans still had several couples to root for as the season drew to a close. We allowed respondents to choose more than one response here since there are a variety of romances on the show.
Once again leading the pack was Sookie/Eric with a commanding 58.8% of the votes, although that number is down sharply from 76.1% at the end of season 5. We didn’t include a Sookie/Warlow option, what with him being dead and all, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that impacted your votes. In second place were Andy/Holly with 33.1% of the votes, followed by Pam/Tara with 28.2%, down significantly from last year when they had a 45.4% approval rating.
What of Sookie’s other suitors? Sookie/Bill jumped from 9.8% in 2012 to 19.7%, the highest since we started these survey. It looks like Bill is on the path to redemption, at least with viewers. Sookie/Alcide, now an official couple on the show, also rose significantly, improving from 9.6% in 2012 to 17.2% in 2013. Sookie/Sam ticked up a bit to 2.5% versus 2.2% last year, although this pairing is still your least favorite overall. You also aren’t feeling Sam/Nicole (11.3%) or Jason/Violet (12.3%).
Men: It shouldn’t be a surprise that the men have a different outlook on this question. Their number one couple? Pam/Tara with 40% of the votes. [insert knowing looks here] In second place is Sookie/Eric (38.3%) followed by Andy/Holly (32.2%). Their least favorite couple is Sookie/Sam, although they gave that pair a few more votes than the overall average (3.9% vs 2.5%). They’re more into Jason/Violet than the average (28.9% vs 12.3%) and slightly more interested in Sam/Nicole (13.3% vs 11.3%).
7. Who do you think should be named season 6′s Most Valuable Player?
Once again, Alexander Skarsgard (Eric) easily took the crown here with 54% of the votes, down slightly from last year’s 59.1%. In a distant second was Stephen Moyer (Bill) with 11.2% of your votes and Robet Kazinsky (Ben/Warlow) rounds out the top three with 5.3% of your votes. If Warlow hadn’t met his fate in the season finale, would those numbers be different?
Ranking at the bottom of the MVP list were Rutina Wesley (Tara) with 1 vote, Jessica Clark (Lilith) with 2 votes, and Lauren Bowles (Holly) with 3 votes.
We did allow write-ins on this question as well, and Bailey Noble (Adilynn) received a write-in because “She was incredibly helpful for the everyone!” Only one response was allowed on this question.
Men: Alexander Skarsgard is their number 1 MVP as well (42.2%), followed by Stephen Moyer (12.2%) and Robert Kazinsky (7.2%). Tied for last place with 0 votes apiece are Joe Manganiello, Michael McMillian, Rutina Wesley, and Jessica Clark. Keep it real, guys!
8. Which storyline are you most anticipating in season 7?
Turning our attention ahead, we asked which of the storylines we know about from season 7 were getting you excited already. Forefront on most of your minds is Eric’s whereabouts, garnering a whopping 72.2% of your votes. Comparatively, in 2011, how Eric and Sookie would handle Billith received 58.3% of your votes, while in 2010, the most anticipated storyline was the return of Russell Edgington with 31.9% of your votes.
Coming in a distant second, 13.1% of you can’t wait to see how our heroes battle the Hep-V infected vampires, while Bill’s attempt to redeem himself comes in third with 5.2% of your votes.
The storylines that aren’t flipping many switches are Mayor Sam Merlotte (.6%), Lettie Mae and Tara reconnecting (1%), and Jason and Violet’s relationship (1.2%).
Write-ins were also allowed here to allow you to add predicted storylines we may have missed. Several were interested in the various human/vampire match ups as part of Mayor Merlotte and Bill’s plans to prevent Hep-V infection, many of you want more Lafayette (yes, please!), and several ranted that we screwed up the show so badly that they won’t be watching season 7. While we’re flattered you think we’re HBO, we aren’t and we have no control over the show.
Men: The guys are on the same page with this question – they’re most eager to find out Eric’s whereabouts (55%), fighting the Hep-V infected vampires (17.8%), and Bill’s attempt at redemption (8.9%). They are not losing any sleep over Mayor Sam Merlotte (1.7%), Alcide and Sookie’s relationship (3.3%), or Pam’s whereabouts (3.9%). (Wow, guys, you are NOT happy about this Sookie/Alcide development.)
9. How do you feel about spoilers?
With such a long wait between seasons, and the popularity of our spoiler posts, the results to this question aren’t much of a surprise. A whopping 65.9% of you said that you love spoilers with another 20.5% saying that you don’t seek them out but you do read them. These numbers are down slightly over last year, and tell us that about 86% of True Blood fans appreciate a good spoiler. Only 7.5% said they didn’t want to know anything about the show in advance and 6.1% said they just plain don’t trust spoilers (up from 4.9% last year).
Men: 60% of the men who took the survey love spoilers with an additional 23.3% reading spoilers if they come across them. A slightly higher percentage of men than the average dislike spoilers – 10.6% – with 6.1% also saying they don’t trust them.
Note: Questions 10 and 11 were demographic questions, covered in the first section of this report.
12. Are you a Bookie? Truebie? Hybrid?
With the final book published shortly before True Blood season 6 premiered, we noticed a shift in attitude toward the series. Many, many fans who demanded that the show follow the books more closely suddenly changed their minds. We were curious if that would impact the results of this question. It did.
A full 70.4% of you said you view yourself as a hybrid, someone who likes both the books and the TV series for what they are. This is fairly steady from the previous years (69.7% in 2012, 71.9% in 2011).
Here’s here we see fluctuation: 26.1% of you responded that you’re a series purist, meaning you want the TV series to create its own stories and not follow the books closely, up sharply from 17.6% last year. Losing significant votes year-to-year, only 3.5% of respondents consider themselves book purists, meaning that you want everything from the books to be in the show the way that Charlaine Harris wrote them. That is a major drop from last year’s 13% who identified as book purists. Either a lot more people who have never read the books voted this year, or a significant number of viewers who expected a certain conclusion to the book series are now hoping for an alternate ending on the show.
Men: Only 2.8% of men identify themselves as book purists, while the remainder of the respondents were pretty evenly split between show purists (48.9%) and hybrids (48.3%).
What can we learn from these numbers? The online True Blood fandom, at least those who visit True-Blood.net which has the most traffic of any True Blood fansite, skews young and female. Eric was by far the most popular character and storyline in season 6, although people are very concerned about his prospects in season 7. The majority of fans are still rooting for Sookie and Eric as a couple, but Alcide is gaining back some ground in our hearts (and Sookie’s), and we really like Andy and Holly together. Terry will be deeply missed, as will Steve Newlin, but no tears were shed for Governor Burrell. We’d like to see more vampires, more romance, and we’re glad the Pack storyline is over. Bill’s return to himself was welcomed. The Hep-V infected vampires are interesting from the perspective of how our favorite humans and vampires will be paired up to fight them. Most fans appreciate the TV series and books as separate entities, and the majority are hungry for spoilers to ease the wait between seasons.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our third annual fan survey! We will be discussing these results in more detail in our next podcast, and welcome your comments as well. This site has always been a place where fans of every character should feel comfortable posting their comments without drawing heat. Please be respectful of others.
This survey was conducted by True-Blood.net and measured opinions of fans who visit our site. It was not endorsed, sponsored, or affiliated with HBO or anyone associated with True Blood.