Lilith, The Authority & True Blood

Who is Lilith, and what does she mean on True Blood?

Those are very good questions which deserve to have a closer, in-depth look. This post is to help explain who she is and what this might mean on the show. Although, we aren’t sure how Lilith will fit on True Blood exactly; this is our own theories and speculation(s) and if we are correct, it might contain spoilers too.

As Dieter explained in the second episode of True Blood, there are two vampire factions. One is the main-streamers, who are members of The Authority who (obviously) want to mainstream with humans and are responsible for making it known to the rest of the world that vampires exist. The other group are the Sanguinistas, who wished vampires had never come out of the coffin and look at humans as only a means to satisfy their blood lust, and carnal urges.

True Blood introduced us to the Vampire Bible – which dates even further back than the human’s Holy Bible. The two sides view the Bible very differently. The main-streamers look at the bible as only a metaphor for how vampires should live their lives. They believe that humans and vampires can live comfortably side-by-side. The Sanguinistas however; believe the Vampire Bible should be taken quite literally and think humans are nothing more than food for vampires, vampires are not allowed to fall in love or copulate with humans, and believe that vampires should have remained a secret from the rest of the world.

The Authority rules over vampires; making sure all of them adhere to the rules of the Authority. They have a Guardian named Roman, whose duty is to watch over (what is believed) to be the blood of Lilith. The first and original vampire, who they view as a God.

What’s interesting about this is Lilith is mentioned in the human Bible, of which Christianity (and many other religions) is based. The Vampire Bible reveals that Lilith was created in the image of God, which means…is God really a vampire? The vampires seem to think so.

Let’s take a closer look…

Who the hell is Lilith anyways?

This is a very good question to those who don’t know, don’t remember or are just plain lost and confused (like me). Let’s take a look at some of the myths surrounding her.

According to Judaic mythology; Lilith was a female demon of the night who supposedly flies around searching for newborn children either to kidnap or strangle them. She sleeps with men to seduce them into propagating demon sons. Legends told about Lilith are ancient. The rabbinical myths of Lilith being Adam’s first wife seem to relate to the Sumero-Babylonian Goddess Belit-ili, or Belili. To the Canaanites, Lilith was Baalat, the “Divine Lady.” On a tablet from Ur, ca. 2000 BCE, she was addressed as Lillake.

One story is that God created Adam and Lilith as twins joined together at the back. She demanded equality with Adam, failing to achieve it, she left him in anger. This is sometimes accompanied by a Muslim legend that after leaving Adam, Lilith slept with Satan, thus creating the demonic Djinn.

Adam complained to God who then sent three angels, Sanvi, Sansanvi and Semangelaf, to bring Lilith back to Eden. Lilith rebuffed the angels by cursing them. While by the Red Sea Lilith became a lover to demons and producing 100 babies a day. The angels said that God would take these demon children away from her unless she returned to Adam. When she did not return, she was punished accordingly. So God gave Adam the docile Eve.

Even though the story of Lilith disappeared from the canonical Bible, her daughters (the lilim) haunted men for over a thousand years. It was well into the Middle Ages that Jews still manufactured amulets to keep away the lilim. Supposedly they were lusty she-demons who copulated with men in all their dreams, causing nocturnal emissions.

(Excuse me for a moment…but is this where the idea of men’s wet dreams originally comes from? Hahahahaha. Sorry, had to laugh at this.)

The Greeks adopted the belief of the lilim, calling them Lamiae, Empusae (Forcers-In), or Daughters of Hecate. Likewise the Christians adopted the belief, calling them harlots of hell, or succubi, the counterpart of the incubi. Celebrant monks attempted to fend them off by sleeping with their hands over their genitals, clutching a crucifix.

(Hate to butt in here once more…but I wonder how well that worked out for the monks? Haha.)

Even though most of the Lilith legend is derived from Jewish folklore, descriptions of the Lilith demon appear in Iranian, Babylonian, Mexican, Greek, Arab, English, German, Oriental and Native American legends. She sometimes has been associated with legendary and mythological characters such as the Queen of Sheba and Helen of Troy. In medieval Europe she was proclaimed to be the wife, concubine or grandmother of Satan.

Men who experienced nocturnal emissions during their sleep believed they had been seduced by Lilith and said certain incantations to prevent the offspring from becoming demons. It was thought each time a pious Christian had a wet dream, Lilith laughed. It was believed that Lilith was assisted in her bloodthirsty nocturnal quests by succubi, who gathered with her near the “mountains of darkness” to frolic with her demon lover Samael, whole name means “poison of God” (sam-el). The Zohar, the principal work of the Kabbalah, describes Lilith’s powers at their height during the waning of the moon.

Still laughing over this. That’s too funny. Of course, it’s the woman’s fault. Men can’t be held accountable for having their own lusty thoughts and women are to blame. (rollseyes)

According to legend Lilith’s attraction for children comes from the belief that God took her demon children from her when she did not return to Adam. It was believed that she launched a reign of terror against women in childbirth and newborn infants, especially boys. However, it also was believed that the three angels who were sent to fetch her by the Red Sea forced her to swear that whenever she saw their names or images on amulets that she would leave the infants and mothers alone.

These beliefs continued for centuries. As late as the 18th century, it was a common practice in many cultures to protect new mothers and their infants with amulets against Lilith. Males were most vulnerable during the first week of life, girls during the first three weeks. Sometimes a magic circle was drawn around the lying-in-bed, with a charm inscribed with the names of the three angels, Adam and Eve and the words “barring Lilith” or “protect this newborn child from all harm.” Frequently amulets were place in the four corners and throughout the bedchamber. If a child laughed while sleeping, it was taken as a sign that Lilith was present. Tapping the child on the nose, it was believed, made her go away.

Wow…back in the day, people were very superstitious weren’t they?

She appears in the bible in Exodus 34: 14f;

Wildcats shall meet with hyenas,

goat-demons shall call to each other;

there too Lilith shall repose,

and find a place to rest.

There shall the owl nest

and lay and hatch and brood in its shadow.

In case you didn’t understand all of that…the gist of it is; Lilith was Adam’s first wife and someone who was created equal to Adam (unlike Eve). You could say that Lilith was the original advocate of womens’ liberation (women’s right to vote and work outside the home). When she would not submit to his (Adam’s) authority (interesting choice of words), she was kicked out of Eden, and turned over to the ‘dark side’. I find it interesting that instead of being created from Adam’s rib, like Eve was created, Lilith was created the same way as Adam and in God’s own image. Some pictures depict her as the serpent who convinced Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden before they were tossed out of the garden. While there are varying versions to the mythology of Lilith, one thing is abundantly clear – she was considered a “demon”, had hundreds of demon children, preyed on those when they were weak and at their most vulnerable. The name “Lilith” means “of the night” and is basically a female nisba from the word “LYL” that means, night. Literally translating to nocturnal “female night being/demon”.

What does this mean on True Blood?

Your guess is as good as mine, but I find it interesting that the writers are incorporating this mythology into the show. Could she be the original vampire on True Blood? I find it very plausible. Vampires have to originated from somewhere. Vampires have always been known as being “evil”, “demons” or “monsters”, and stalk their prey like menacing animals, just like Lilith preyed on newborns and on men while dreaming.

Why all-of-a-sudden in Season 5 of True Blood are we seeing this now? There are many TV shows, books and movies about vampires, where it was revealed how and where vampires originally came from. The Vampire Diaries, Underworld and the Anne Rice novels, just to name a few. So, why not on True Blood too? (insert sarcasm) Let’s all join in the fun. They are just copying what others have already done.

Just like with the examples I named, there are many differing variations on the origins too. It will be interesting to see how True Blood reveals the origins of vampires, something Charlaine Harris hasn’t actually done in the books.

How will Lilith ‘make an appearance’ on True Blood?

As you may know, there was a ‘sneaky’ casting call for episode 7 and some spoilers hinting that Lilith will be joining the show later on this season. Below, is from the casting call we posted for Episode 7.

[LIL] Female, early to late 20s, Caucasian. She’s supermodel beautiful. Strong and ethereal…no lines in the first episode. FULL FRONTAL NUDITY REQUIRED. SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES. RECURRING

Is this Lilith? It could be. Supermodel beautiful = check. Strong and ethereal = check. Full Frontal Nudity Required = check (weren’t Adam and Eve naked too?). Recurring = check. Lastly, [LIL] = check (Lil is short for Lillian or Lilith, right?)

This seems ever more likely, because Lilith has already been shown as a vampire once before in the Book of Nod, which is written from Lilith’s perspective, as depicted in the image below.

She comes to Cain as a succubus who seduces him to live life in darkness without God.

My guess is True Blood is taking this mythology of Lilith and are going to be translating it onscreen, as the first original vampire.

Our theories and speculations:

As you know, Russell is coming back this season. He is over 3000 years old. Quite possibly, Lilith was the one who turned Russell so many years ago. Nobody else (that we know of) could have turned him, because even Salome is only 2000 years old. Everyone knows that Russell would be considered a Sanguinista and will be out for blood. Since The Authority wants to main-stream, that’s not really part of Lilith’s or Russell’s agenda is it? From what we’ve written here, it looks like following the Authority will be the last thing Lilith will want to do or be involved with. And we already know Russell will want revenge on Eric, Sookie and anyone else who was involved in his burial.

Let’s not forget, Dieter explained that God made Lilith first in his own image, then created Adam and Eve to be her source for food. I think it’s interesting that he would reveal so many details about the Vampire Bible this soon in the season. It has to mean more than just showing us the rituals and ceremonies The Authority performs. Foreshadowing much?

I, for one, am very intrigued that True Blood has decided to look into the origins of vampires. Is God really a vampire? I (personally) don’t think this is true, since vampires don’t really exist in our world. But it does make for great drama – if written well.

How did the vampires originate on True Blood?

My guess is that each of the demon children Lilith birthed – are really vampires and not demons or succubi, as the various mythologies allude to. They each turned numerous of humans into vampires, and so on until now. Are there more original vampires out there, and will they ever appear on True Blood? We’ll have to wait and see…

In closing:

Lilith will be the villain to end all villains. Who could beat someone who is so old, powerful and ‘God-like’? Even though Roman said that humans still out-number vampires, their strength will be insignificant to be able to fight Russell or Lilith on their own without the help of members of The Authority and the vampires we’ve come to know and love.

Nymerias will be writing Part 2 in this in-depth look – focusing on The Authority soon!

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts and speculations below!

About Erika

The owner/administrator of Eric & Sookie Lovers and All About Vikings. A writer, blogger and avid reader. Favorite shows and books include; True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Sons of Anarchy, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the Night Huntress series, Once Upon A Time, Vikings and Game of Thrones. Motto is: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)! Most people tell me I have a way with words. My second language is "sarcasm". Hope you enjoy your visit!

14 comments on “Lilith, The Authority & True Blood

  1. Boy oh Boy Erika, this could really open a can of worms here. As I was reading this article that you so wonderfully have written. I have gotten several thoughts that I’d like to share. First of all, yes, there will be new supes this season and they will be demons. I’ve thought since that CH had them in the books that the show might also use them. Also, when I read that previous post regarding an interview with Sam Tramell about the supes he had said that they were dragons and then Michael McMillan tweeted that they were dragons, I get the impression that they are a creature like that out of Chinese mythology, which were half human (top half) and half dragon (bottom half).

    After reading this article that you wrote, maybe my thought will wind up being right???
    Can’t wait to see what transpires from here on out………….

  2. That’s a wonderful article Erika. Lilith is an intriguing character and I always like a woman who had a mind of her own and just wouldn’t do what she was told! Original Girl Power!

    I think it’s going to be really tough for any actress to come in and play such a powerful and legendary figure and be able to pull it off. I guess we’ll wait and see, but I’m pretty much excited and worried it will be completely naff all at the same time.

  3. Here is another myth about Lilith that perhaps even fits True Blood better:

    Goddess Queen Lilith is the regent of the fairy world. In ancient more denser times it was taboo to have a feminine ruler validated for their role thus many myths of Lilith show her of darkness, separating her from mankind as a rebel to inequality.

    In truth Lilith sits on the right hand of the Divine Feminine and is an amazing being of the light who represents the truth of the world of Soul. Lilith never had a human body thus never was tainted with the density of our human third dimension.

    She rules star systems that operate within our galaxy, and works through our reality to ensure the elemental’s serve our Earth and has been the bridge between humanity and the fairy world since the beginning of time. In denser times she created the division between the worlds until humanity could return to the light within the heart.

    Lilith speaks profoundly, loudly, and very visibly to humanity. She reaches those who have the slightest memory of the enchantment of who we truly are. She is more than a goddess, she is a leader working behind the veil with the love of the creator at her side at all times.

    In the now one of Lilith’s greatest joys is in seeing you break down the barrier of the veil. To truly know and see her, gifts you the certainty in your awakening as you know you have come home to living in the light, when she is visible to you in your world, you are able to see hers.

    • I never even heard of that myth, pbt! LOL I do see some similarities though…as being separated from mankind, and a rebel to inequality and darkness. That’s very interesting, thanks! :) I’m not sure how that would work on TB, but that would be an interesting way to have her on the show too.

    • Good to see your comment on Lilith pbartteacher. I have just come across this site .. I did not know that there are movies and TV shows about her portraying Lilith in the way that I assess she is being portrayed. I’m writing from Johannesburg South Africa. I write about Lilith from a psychological point of view on http://www.gardenofedenblog.com if you care to check it out.

  4. This is all very interesting and thanks as always for the time you put into the article and research! I also find it interesting how much crossover there is between all the supernatural shows and their choice of material. Succubus demons have been covered in Charmed. Lilith was a demon on Supernatural…but not a vampire. I also wanted to mention your reference to the Muslim demon djinn. I read someones tumblr that they believe the drawings in the room Terry and Patrick found represent a djinn so perhaps there is some connection with Lilith, the djinn, and that storyline? Seems unlikely but it is TB so who knows!

  5. Ugh, sorry. Every time I see the story of Lilith I want to get stabby. It’s so entirely misogynistic- obviously and horrifyingly so – and yet writers still keep pulling it out and using it.

  6. There is no Lilith in Islam and Djinn existed looooooooooooooooong before Adam and Eve as per the Quran. There is NO muslim legend that you speak off that even remotely mentions Lilith. Djinn are NOT a demonic race according to Quran only Satan is. Satan is a Djinn but he didn’t create the Djinn. He was their Leader who refused to bow down to Adam. He was the only Djinn to do so, the rest bowed down to Adam according to the Quran.

    I know you don’t believe in the Quran, but what youre saying is completely not what muslims believe. There might be some minority sect in Islam that has some remote notion of Lilith but I don’t know of any such sect.

  7. I assure you just because it is not in the Quran, there are villages and towns where people (older) will tell you of lilith. The story of lilith predates every one of 3 Abrahamic religions. Not every detail is put in a book when it is wrote, some are considered not of use or for whatever other reason of the time. Either way, you should not dismiss part of your culture just because you have not read about it in one book. There are many more books about each religion that may not be ‘canon’ but could be considered just as legitimate. Food for thought, just to prove it to you, Islam came after Christianity which came after Judaism each incorporating additional beliefs from each other, so by proxy of this writers’ sources it is indeed part of Islam.

  8. Hello, I have been writing about Lilith as first wife of Adam in the creation story. She is much maligned sadly. As you may know she was cast out of Eden for her refusal to be subordinate to Adam and when she requested G.d’s help and was refused, she blasphemed and was this exile. We all face exile in many ways in today’s world. The wound needs healing. Do check out my blog if you care to: http//:www.gardenofeden.blog.com
    It takes a psychological look at Lilith as symbol for the dark, earthy feminine.

  9. The Qran was written more than 600 years after christ, so I wouldn’t look in there for information about Lilith. The Torah is 1200 years older than that, so it’s probably more precise on the old stuff:P Anyways Lilith was a babylonian godess before the Jews named her and all the other Babylonian gods as demons.

  10. Your quote from the Jewish Bible is incorrect. The correct citation is Isaiah 34:14: Wildcats shall meet with desert beasts,

    satyrs shall call to one another;

    There shall the lilith repose,

    and find for herself a place to rest.

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