First of all a quick note about my purpose: This post is purely to give some love to Eric Northman and his (almost) epic journey throughout True Blood Season 6. I’m not going to compare him to Bill or add up the amount of “Sookie points” anyone earned, I’m not going to weep about the direction in which
Sookie certain other characters are heading, and it’s certainly not an attempt to find deep and hidden meanings in the storylines from Bon Temps. I’m going to talk about Eric and why he is still so completely f*cking awesome!
GOODNIGHT MISS STACKHOUSE
Eric and Sookie’s interactions this season were fleeting but I think still deserve a mention. In the opening episode he gave her back her home and agreed to leave her alone so she could attempt to get back to living a normal life. (A promise he kept throughout the season despite having one golden opportunity to interfere with her in the cemetery just after Nora had died). If this was indeed their goodbye, then our Viking handled it with grace and style.
But Season 6 for real started at episode 2, and Eric’s chilling response to Pam’s concerns, that if the humans want war he’ll give them one, and he did, and although there were the inevitable casualties along the way, he won. He’s good at winning.
THE GOVERNOR’S DAUGHTER
Eric needs a good adversary otherwise it is boringly easy for him to quickly get his own way. And like Russell Edgington in previous seasons, Governor Burrell provided just that. Cue a classic Northman scene, the plight of the Whooping Crane, and my first big tick for the writers this season having Eric impersonate another human, the fans have been waiting for that one and were duly rewarded. The Governor had a daughter who likes vampires, especially blonde Viking ones, and this gave the writers a chance to take True Blood to a place it rarely goes, back to the old style creatures of the night and the original dark lord. Eric was acting like a proper vampire and it was wonderful to see. Throw in (another) classic Northman scene with Eric calling on Ginger and declaring they won’t be having sex tonight, and then it was onto the tantalisingly sexy coffin sharing moment. (too many ticks to count up for episode 3).
But even Eric’s vampiric shenanigans in Mark Hudis’s episode didn’t prepare me for what would go down the following week. Alexander Woo is my favourite writer left on the show and it’s no surprise that his episode 4 was my favorite this year. Just like Pam before her, Willa Burrell made her own choice to leave behind the world she knew to walk the earth forever with Eric Northman. It is official and I will never be dissuaded from it – Willa Burrell’s turning scene was the sexiest and most awe-inspiring turning scene ever in the history of anywhere! It was HOT and it was a moment of true vampire greatness. Time and circumstances meant we didn’t get to see Eric and his new progeny bond, but that story is unfinished (or at least it better be………….)
I admit I was worried that Eric in Vamp Camp would end up going the same way as the seemingly endless time he was trapped at the Authority last year. But my worries were unwarranted as the writers didn’t even attempt to take the Viking out of the vampire. From his “f*ck you” attitude towards his captors to his steely determination to punish each one of them for their crimes against him and those he loves, and from his bewilderment that the governor had imprisoned his own daughter to his aggression and helplessness at Nora’s cruel fate ( her only crime was being his vampire sister), Eric was Eric and Alexander Skarsgard was having a ball. His daring escape with the ailing Nora was one of True Blood’s greatest ever pre-title segments. (Lots of big ticks for Vamp Camp).
DEATH IN THE FAMILY………AND REVENGE
Not too many viewers gave Nora much chance of survival but Eric will never give up on those he loves, and Alexander Skarsgard earned his money and many plaudits, in the heart-wrenching scene when Nora finally succumbed to her true death. FACT: Eric does heartbreak better than anyone else on True Blood. Later the same night, this season’s big bad, Ben Warlow, had the privilege of finally meeting Eric Northman, and no doubt learnt very quickly that there is only going to be room for one alpha-male to be large and in charge on this show.
Eric’s triumphant return to Vamp Camp was the stuff of legends, and every move he made, with a vicious relish, meant that the majority of Brian Buckner’s episode 9 was a Viking lovers dream come true. A big tick for Eric being the one to end Steve Newlin’s miserable life, not least as he was the catalyst to Godric’s Season 2 demise, a big tick for Eric picking up Jason Stackhouse (and Ginger) along the way, and another one for saving the therapist for Pam.
Real heroes don’t do it for the applause and Eric Northman certainly doesn’t.
Kristin Bauer van Straten has often remarked that Pam represents the True Blood audience, and I’m pretty sure most of us felt exactly the same way Pam did, as Eric headed off into the blue beyond. It was all fantastic television, and all we needed now was a killer ending………….
It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish, and whilst I appreciate that True Blood and Eric’s story are far from finished, that was no excuse for how they decided to end the season. For some “behind the scenes” reason Alexander Skarsgard was unavailable during the majority of the finale filming and someone, somewhere, came up with a great idea to appease his multitude of fans – show him naked, set him on fire! They might just about have got away with it if the season had ended right there and then. But no, there was more to come – 6 months later Alcide has written a book, Bill has hooked up with Arlene, Jason has became Mayor, and Bon Temps has been invaded by a swarm of hungry killer bees, or something a bit like that, because as Brian Buckner has already admitted during an interview, the HBO viewers were hardly able to take any notice anymore. It’s not that no one cares about any other characters on the show, it’s that generally they care the most about Eric, and thus spent the final 30 minutes of the season wondering what the f*ck had happened to him and why none of the remaining characters seemed to even give a crap.
It’s a shame it had to end like that because Eric has had a wonderful season. They gave him drama, action, horror, seduction, tragedy, heartbreak, and comedy, and it was all carried off with his trademark sexy confidence and aplomb by Alexander Skarsgard, who seemed much rejuvenated after a more weary season 5. The team at HBO will have to come up with some pretty amazing stuff next year, if they want to have any chance of topping it. (I’m already looking forward to hopefully witnessing his epic return to Bon Temps. And a genuine love interest would be good).
As for the rumors about a possible and dreaded GHOST ERIC. I’m afraid Pam and I don’t have any time for that shit!
Miss Swynford De Beaufort and I will never give up on Eric Northman. and now that the ancient has-been Warlow has met his demise, and the gruesome twosome of Lilith and Bilith have parted ways, going into Season 7, a certain tall, blonde Viking is now the oldest and most powerful vampire on the show. And I’m absolutely fine with that.
(Eric pics from screencapped.net)