As you already know, Deadlocked – the penultimate and twelfth instalment of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, has been released. Many of us were looking forward to reading more about our favorite couple, Eric and Sookie. Well, there were a number of things which happened in this novel that some Eric and Sookie lovers have found disappointing – myself and my staff – not included. We rather enjoyed this book…in fact, we loved it and can’t wait for the last one!
However, we’ve noticed a number of people online who are reacting very strongly to this novel. Some are even going so far as to mention how they are planning to not read the last book in the series to find out how it all ends. You should read this first before making this decision. Speaking on behalf of my staff, I would like to share a few things with you that might change your mind. Although, everyone is entitled to their own opinion(s) of course. I would like you to just hear me out, and after you read it, you can make your own decision(s).
(This post is not a review of the book, because we already shared our thoughts.)
If you haven’t read the book yet, this might contain spoilers. Read on, if you want to read our thoughts.
I believe those of you who are bothered by what happens (especially the ending) need to step back…take a few deep breaths (inhale/exhale…do this three times)…relax and try to look at this novel from a different perspective. Try to look at Deadlocked as part of the series as a whole. Starting from Dead And Gone to Deadlocked (in particular); these last few books have focused mainly on the relationship between Eric and Sookie.
Eric and Sookie’s main obstacle is the binding marriage arrangement Eric’s maker Appius made before his final death between Eric and the Queen of Oklahoma. If that’s not all…King Felipe de Castro – the King of Nevada, comes to visit to find out what happened to Victor, his representative of Louisiana. They don’t want Felipe to find out they planned Victor’s death, because the punishment could be very severe.
Eric and Sookie are being pulled in so many different directions, it’s hard to keep track of everything. But it’s also Charlaine’s way of trying to confuse you to keep you guessing and to keep any issues between them from being explored, communicated and/or resolved. It’s merely a way to prolong the inevitable.
Who will Sookie choose?
The suitor question has always been “THE” question. I think Charlaine makes it pretty clear in Deadlocked; Sam and Bill are in the “friend-zone”, while Alcide and Quinn have been permanently eliminated. Charlaine is as guilty of playing the “teams” thing as much as Alan Ball does on True Blood. If you look at Sookie’s point of view – which is the most important one to pay attention to – then you know Sookie only cares for them as friends.
Bill, as you know was Sookie’s first taste of “love”. I put love in quotations because I don’t think she was ever really in love with him. He’s a liar, douche bag, betrayer, and stalker. Sookie has moved past everything between them. She may forgive, but she will never forget how he betrayed, raped and lied to her.
“there’s nothing I can do about it but be his friend though. I used to love him back, and I gotta say there are moments when I feel the old attraction, but I’m not in love with Bill. Not anymore.” ~Sookie Stackhouse, Deadlocked.
CASE CLOSED. You don’t need to waste your time worrying about Bill any longer. In Sookie’s own words, she spells out how she really feels about Bill.
Sam “Red Herring” Merlotte:
Sam, sweetly boring Sam. I really have no idea how some of you could even consider the shifter as a possible suitor when there has been no backstory, no buildup, no…nothing between Sam and Sookie. It’s too late in the series to all of a sudden make Sam her one true love. Those who have read Deadlocked know that Sookie used the cluviel dor on him. Not on Eric, not on Jason…but Sam. I know many of you are disappointed Sookie didn’t use it on Eric…but to me, it makes perfect sense. Would I prefer she used it on Eric? Yes, but now that Sookie has used it on Sam, it looks like this red herring is going to become one of the problems between Eric and Sookie in the last book, Dead Ever After.
Here’s the definition of what a red herring is (in case you don’t know the meaning): something that distracts attention from the real issue.
As you can see…Sam, the red herring is trying to take the focus off Eric as Sookie’s HEA. Otherwise it’s too predictable, uninteresting and unsurprising in the end. I would prefer to read a story that keeps me guessing.
For those wondering why she used it on Sam in the first place, please read below.
The reasons why Sookie used the cluviel dor on Sam instead of Eric: He almost died. It was completely unexpected. Everyone was in shock. Nobody knew what to do. Sookie did the only thing she could do in that split second. She had the cluviel dor in her pocket and she knew it was the means to save his life. She loved him enough to get the cluviel dor to work. Why wouldn’t she use it to save a friend? He’s someone she cares for, her partner in Merlotte’s. It’s who Sookie is as a person. There was nothing romantic about it. Sookie sees Sam as more like a brother or a friend, than anything else. Why else would she be bothered by who he dates? Because anyone who has friends or a sibling know that sometimes you don’t like who your friend or family member dates, and might even tell your loved one about your feelings.
As you can see, the use of the cluviel dor on Sam, is only a way to prolong the inevitable.
There is new competition in town and she goes by the name of Freyja, the Queen of Oklahoma. What’s different about this is she and Sookie are fighting over the same man (for once). I think it’s extremely refreshing to see Sookie’s green-eyed monster coming out to play. Freyja is someone who seems perfect for Eric and vice versa on the outside, but it’s obvious Eric truly loves Sookie. Who will win? Who will be denied? Will true love conquer all? Or will Eric have to accept his fate? I think Sookie will win this fight!
My guess is Felipe will be the only one to drag out a welcome mat for Freyja, because I’m sure Sookie won’t be serving her Tru Blood anytime soon unless it’s laced with something poisonous for vampires. Freyja and Felipe are another example of a red herring…they are only prolonging the inevitable.
Eric Viking Vampire Northman (aka. Sex God):
At the end of the book, Eric witnessed Sookie using the cluviel dor not on himself, like he’d hoped, but on Sam. Sookie’s boss, friend and a shifter. That had to hurt. Not only is Sam a shifter (a supernatural species he has no respect for), but he had wanted Sookie to use it to help him get out of his marriage arrangement to Freyja. He was shocked, disappointed, angry, and hurt that Sookie didn’t use it on him. I’m sure the reason why he walked away, without speaking, was because he didn’t want to say anything he might regret later on to Sookie.
How many times have you been so angry with your significant other, you had to leave? Have you ever been so angry, you said things you regretted? I’m pretty sure Eric felt this way at the end of the book.
Eric hasn’t been himself lately. He’s getting pulled in so many different directions. He’s being forced to marry someone he does not love. He has Felipe de Castro breathing down his neck. He was accused and framed for a murder outside his own house. Not to mention, the day-to-day operations at Fangtasia and the normal responsibilities as Sheriff of Area 5. No wonder he’s stressed and not acting himself.
He sees no way out of the marriage arrangement in a way where both he and Sookie will make it out of situation alive. If he does what Sookie wants, which is to tell Freyja, simply ‘no’ – then there’s no telling how Freyja will react. Will she kill Sookie for holding the keys to Eric’s heart? Will she kill Eric thereby causing Sookie to mourn and live without Eric for the rest of her short life? Or, will she kill both of them? It’s not a very easy situation. As Charlaine has said before, the way Eric and Sookie find themselves dealing with circumstances and their relationship is very much a key element to the rest of the series.
As you can see…he is very, very stressed, and is reacting in ways we aren’t used to seeing. We are seeing all of the multiple layers of Eric’s personality, and Charlaine is ripping them off like a bandaid before us, so we really get the feel of how much of a toll it’s taking on him.
Sookie “OSM” Stackhouse:
Sookie knows the kind of man Eric is. She’s confident he can get himself out of this marriage arrangement on his own, because past history has proven he can do it. He has always been there when she needed him. But now it’s her turn to return the favor. The question is…will she? I happen to think so – after a lot of debating in her own mind about it first.
What Sookie wants most is for Eric to stand up and tell Freyja he loves her, once and for all. To Sookie, Eric would be making his choice loud and clear, and she would no longer doubt his feelings. They are living without their blood bond, which really is new territory for them. They are both learning as they go. But she doesn’t see that much of him anymore, so she really has no idea how much stress Eric is under. She’s hurt because it seems like the only time she sees him, is when they are having sex. She’s disappointed because she misses the relationship they once had and never seems to spend any time with him, just for fun.
While things certainly aren’t perfect between Eric and Sookie, I have not lost hope either. Sam won’t be the HEA because if you’ve read any of Charlaine’s other novels…she tends to keep you guessing until the very last page of the very last book.
The first nine books dealt with the build-up of Eric and Sookie’s relationship. These last four books (D&G, DITF, DR and DL) are dealing with Eric and Sookie’s relationship and bringing issues and potential problems to light. The last book, DEA will be all about resolving these conflicts between them.
The bad news is – if you expect things between Eric and Sookie to be full of rainbows and unicorns, with lots of lazy nights spent having wild vampire/telepath sex, and full of blissful happiness…then you should probably stick to reading the wonderful fanfictions in our fandom. I believe in a way…fanfiction has ruined the Southern Vampire Mysteries series for many of us. (I’m a fanfic writer, so I can’t believe I’m actually writing this.) But I’m beginning to believe it’s true, while fanfics do fill a much needed void – it leads you to expect something similar in the books – which you are never going to get. Charlaine doesn’t write that way, sorry.
The good news is – the conflicts between Eric and Sookie are created from forces outside their relationship or beyond their control. The issues are not caused internally and that’s a good foundation to build upon. They still love each other. They just have to figure out a way to solve these problems…together. I firmly believe Eric and Sookie will live on happily in Dead Ever After.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts below!