Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman: What Is In Store For Them?

March 31, 2009 by  

sookieinbarSookie Stackhouse is the unbelievably popular bar maid heroine of Charlaine Harris’s series: Southern Vampire Series. The book compilation (currently nine books) has become more popular recently. The best thing to come out of her works has been the show True Blood. Because of this blazing hot HBO show, more people are grabbing her books to read up on Sookie, the back story and the future of Bon Temps.

Outward appearances can be deceiving, Bon Temps seems to be just your average town, housing average people who do average things. Sookie Stackhouse is a young woman who resides in Bon Temps and is anything but average. Sookie Stackhouse is in her twenties, sports luscious long blonde hair, a large chest, and a spit fire personality all rolled into one tanned package. She works as a bar maid at Merlottes, the local lunch eatery and bar. She enjoys her job there , but it comes with it’s own set of obstacles for her to overcome.

Sookie was blessed, or as she would think cursed, with an ability to hear other peoples minds. She can actually tap into the mind and listen to what they think, in their own voice . She knows this is an intrusive ability and tires to control it, especially around her loved ones. Sookie has learned to harness her power when she is around people like her brother Jason, or her dear friend Sam Merlotte.

In book one, Dead Until Dark, we meet Sookie and explore the relationship between her and the Vampire Bill. Sookie is a virgin, and it doesn‘t bother her one bit. She considers her self a proper lady and a bit prudish. When she meets Bill, it is the first time she starts to explore her own sexuality and what it means to her. She’s never been able to be interested in human men before because their thoughts were always to human for her. While out on dates she could hear how interested they were in her, what they thought about her body, and other private, rude thoughts. When she meets Bill, she’s shocked to learn that because he’s dead his mind doesn’t emit a signal and therefore she can hear nothing with him. It is her quiet time, her peace. Bill becomes Sookie’s hunky, vampire solace.

Being in love with a vampire really has its issues for a human. In Dead Until Dark we learn about Bill’s allegiance to Eric Northman, the sheriff of their area in Louisiana. In further books the relationship between Sookie and Eric is explored and this really becomes the heart of the series. Fans who have not read the books, may not understand that element yet, but it really is the heart of the entire story thus far.

Eric Northman is a stunning, beautiful, ancient and powerful vampire. In the world of the living dead the older you are the more powerful, stronger and revered you are. As a vampire ages, it also needs less blood to sustain. Speaking of blood, in this world that Sookie inhabits there is a prosthetic blood. Yes, vampires no longer have to feed off of humans, they can use an engineered blood that is provided at most bars and restaurants, and local stores. It doesn’t satiate the vampires at all, really. It is like feeding them beef stock when what they really need is a big steak. However, many vampires, including Bill, choose to mainstream it and use this synthetic blood and not feed on humans. Eric, on the other hand, he needs such little blood it is not made quite clear what he chooses to use. The rebel vampires in the series often still use humans who, some are willing, are often not willing.

Sookie is first introduced to Eric in Dead Until Dark. She notices him immediately not because of his gorgeous looks, but because everyone at Eric’s club Fangtasia, seems to worship him. Bill explains to her the attraction that Eric has to these patrons and she soon realizes that his power is immense. And soon, like others, Sookie finds herself obligated to do work for Eric.

By the end of book one we see that Eric has a thing for Sookie. It isn’t anything in a major way yet, but he is interested in this toy that Bill has and wants to play with it himself. Bill is protective over Sookie and knows that if Eric really wanted Sookie he could take her, and so they must do what they can to help Eric and keep him happy. Bill and Sookie end up doing a lot of telepathic work for Eric, and this gives Eric an excuse to be around her even more. He uses this to his advantage and begins to get to know Sookie a bit more.

Dead Until Dark really provides this blank canvas for Sookie and Eric’s relationship. We see at the end of the book he sends her flowers when she is hurt and checks on her outside the hospital window. Is there something that Eric knows, that Sookie doesn’t? Why does he care?

Book nine of the series, Dead and Gone, is to be released May, 2009. So what has happened with Eric and Sookie in the last eight books? The best question to ask is what hasn’t happened! Eric is a rock for Sookie when she finds out that Bill has abandoned her for the vampire who turned him, a past lover. Seriously flirting ensues from Eric through the entire series, as he tries to sway Sookie from Bill, and fails. But when Bill disappears and Eric has to tell Sookie that he’s left her for another woman, you can see the relationship change in dynamic ways. Bill has gone missing, Sookie is determined to find him. Sookie realizes she can’t do this on her own (even though she would try) and learns to trust Eric with her life.

The real binding element between Eric and Sookie is the fact that they have exchanged blood several times through the series of books. Everytime Eric and Sookie exchange blood (but for once) they are doing it to save Sookie’s life . After exchanging blood with a vampire you become connected. Although their blood heals any and all injuries and makes you stronger than you can imagine, it ties you the vampire from who it came. When Eric and Sookie find Bill and Sookie saves the day, Bill re-enters Sookie’s life. He doesn’t fulfill the capacity of a lover or boyfriend anymore. He desperately wants her back, but Sookie is one smart cookie, and keeps him as far away as she can. She remains pretty bitter about the whole situation.

Dead to the World is a pivotal book for the relationship between Eric and Sookie. This is the book where Sookie finds Eric running down the road, with his memory erased. He has no idea who he is, who she is or what is going on. He doesn’t have any knowledge that he is the owner of Fangtasia, or the most powerful vampire in the entire area. Sookie Stackhouse brings him back to her home and what she finds out is that Eric is really old fashioned at his core, and that she could love this man. This book shows the vulnerable side of Eric and definitely not the arrogant side of Eric. Without his memory Eric is unsure, needs Sookie around to feel safe and humble. Sookie begins to fall in love with him, which leads to a steamy love making scene in the shower. As with all good things, it does come to an end when Eric regains his memory. He eventually (books later) does find out that they did make love. He becomes quiet towards her and doesn’t know how to act around her. Many fans hope that Dead and Gone, book nine, will shed light on if Eric regains memory of what happened at Sookie’s while he was incapacitated. Could that be why he acts almost shy around her? Eric has never put anyone first in his life, but himself. Could this be his battle ? Falling in love with Sookie would mean putting her first in his life. He has never been the type of man who would give his life for another, could Sookie Stackhouse turn Eric Northman into a better man?

The relationship between Sookie and Eric takes another interesting turn when they attend a very important vampire convention and gathering together. Though Sookie is there to serve the Queen of Louisiana, she is near Eric the entire time because he serves the Queen, too. This is where some are speculating that Eric and Sookie may have the equivalent of a marital bond with vampires. Eric was performing a vampire marriage ceremony where you each use a knife to let blood into a cup and exchange the blood orally, at the convention. The Queen’s side kick decides that he will force Sookie to take his blood so he can be connected to her at all times, because she has been such a valuable tool for them. He wants that strong bond to her so he can be in control. Just at the right moment Eric enters and convinces him that she and he have exchanged blood and it would be best for them to do it because then the bond would be stronger. After all, Eric owed the Queen fealty so if it made Sookie happy, why not? He uses the same ceremonial knife to cut himself and then her so they can exchange the blood quickly and efficiently. This really tightens their bond and even in book eight, she is feeling the bond stronger. The bond is so strong that when the hotel is about to explode she can’t help but save him, instead of just saving herself. She had her chance to run away and let him die in the sun and rubble, but she doesn’t. He feels extremely strong and tied to her, and he doesn’t handle it well. Eric portrays some awkwardness in this book.

Eric and Sookie don’t have relations again, because Sookie does have a short romance with a Were-Tiger named Quinn. By book eight, From Dead to Worse, Sookie realizes that a relationship with Quinn isn’t going to materialize. Eric steps in and shows a softer side when Sookie finds out she has a relative . This is a huge shock for Sookie, and a huge turn in the series. Sookie’s only relative, that she knows about, is her brother, Jason Stackhouse. Her family is all dead. But, this new relative isn’t an easy one to introduce and almost leaves Eric speechless. Niall is her great grandfather and has known Eric for years. He is full blooded fairy and perhaps one of the most powerful other worldly beings in the world. Even more powerful than a vampire. If Eric is scared of him, you know he’s got some clout.

Book nine, Dead and Gone, will be interesting, because we are promised that there will be major changes for Bill and Sookie. He has been a bit absent in the latest books, however in this book Charlaine has promised there will be a lot of Bill. She also said that we would learn more Eric and Sookie’s relationship in Dead and Gone. Who will Sookie end up with? Will it be either of them or will we be surprised with someone new? Speculations have been heated that Sookie and Bill will end up together while other fans want to know if Dead and Gone means that Eric or Bill will die. I just know that I can’t wait for May so that I can dog ear each page that Eric Northman makes an appearance on!

Sarah Woods is an author on TrueBloodNet and regularly contributes to the Editorial and Review pages.  Please visit her website at http://greyblood.com/ to view more of her articles.

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