If you are unfamiliar with the HBO series True Blood, you don’t know what you are missing. It’s a series about supernatural creatures caught up in mysteries in the deep south. The series is based off of a series of books by Charlaine Harris, known as the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Don’t be fooled by the series title, though. There are more than just vampires in this world. It’s filled with all sorts of creatures – each with their own social structures and abilities. Warning: If you haven’t seen season three of True Blood, there are some spoilers below.
This is the first supernatural creature we meet in True Blood. He is Vampire Bill, or Bill Compton (played by Stephen Moyer). He becomes the boyfriend of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who is a telepath – more on her below! Vampires have just recently “come out” of their centuries-old hiding with the introduction of a synthetic blood, known as True Blood (available in all blood types). The new blood can keep them alive without having to feed on people. Many vampires take up on the new drink, but some out there still crave blood from the tap! Vampires in True Blood have many abilities. They have amazing speed and strength. All of their other senses are also heightened. They heal very fast and some of them can even fly. Their main flaw – if any – is that they are very susceptible to silver and sunlight. Silver can penetrate their tough skin and sunlight will burn them to a crisp. Vampires have a strict hierarchy consisting of Kings and Queens, Sheriffs, ad Magistrates. The older a vampire is, the stronger they are – such as in the case of Eric Northman (played by Alexander Skarsgård) – a thousand year old Viking who is Sheriff of Area 5.
The next supernatural creature we meet are shapeshifters. These creatures look human, but they have the ability to change into an animal. Most of them can only turn into one type of animal – such as a wolf (known as Weres), panthers, or even tigers! The first Shifter (as they are known in the books by Charlaine Harris) we meet is Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammel), the owner of Merlotte’s, where Sookie Stackhouse works as a bar maid. He is a very special Shifter. He can change into any animal he sees, however, his favorite is a collie. There are other Shifters in True Blood, though. Sookie will come across a pack of Weres and befriend Alcide Herveaux (played by Pittsburgh-native, Joe Manganiello). Weres are extremely tough and consider themselves the king of the Shifter community. There is also the small town of Hot Shot, filled with Panthers, that Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) comes across. In the future, look for other characters such as Were-Tiger, John Quinn (who hasn’t appeared yet in the True Blood series), who is one of Sookie’s love interests. Shifters aren’t as powerful as vampires, though, when hunting in packs, they can be deadly.
The witch is something that was just introduced at the end of True Blood, season three. There are two types of witches in True Blood. The first is the Wiccan. These witches aren’t as powerful as a full witch, though they are more numerous. Wiccans can perform ritualistic magic which is most often nature oriented. In True Blood, we’ve come across only one – Arlene Fowler’s (Carrie Preston) friend, Holly Cleary, who started working at Merlotte’s as a bar maid. She tried helping Arlene get rid of her “satanic” child that she’s having with her deceased, serial killer boyfriend, Rene. The other type of witches found in True Blood (which we will meet in Season 4) are true witches. These creatures – who appear human – are MUCH tougher than their Wiccan counterparts. They have power over vampires and shifters, alike. These true witches are extremely powerful as we will see in the upcoming season of True Blood.
Most people have never heard of a Maenad. Only one has appeared in True Blood. She was Maryann Forrester (played by Michelle Forbes) in the second season who went after Sookie Stackhouse and took over her grandmother’s house. The Maenad is an extremely powerful creature from Greek mythology. They are the followers of Dionysus. She has the ability to control people’s minds, is as strong as a vampire and is immortal. She controls people through sex, wine, and partying (and who couldn’t, really?) In True Blood, Sookie first met her on a quiet road at night. She attacked Sookie and almost killed her if it hadn’t been for Bill Compton coming to her rescue. Maryann went on to take over the town of Bon Temps and almost destroyed Sam Merlotte in the process.
Faeries are the last creatures we see in True Blood. Fairies are the complete opposite of vampires and vampires seek them out. The first faerie that we see (that we know of) is Claudine (Lara Pulver). She is Sookie’s faerie godmother. We also learn that Sookie is part faerie at the end of last season and that’s why all of the vampires like her. Vampires have “a thing” for faeries. Their blood does some freaky things to them – like letting them walk out into the sun, which is the goal of every bloodsucker. On the series, Sookie is spirited away to the land of Faeries through a pool of water. This is to protect her from the other vampires who want to drain her for her blood’s affect on them. It is also why she can read minds. I am sure we’ll learn a lot about faeries this season on True Blood now that the sprite is out of the bag.