True Blood: Vampire Politics and Contribution to the Vampire Myth
October 11, 2012 by Elizabeth Boone
The Fearless HBO Drama Adds to the Vampire Phenomena:
True Blood has touched almost every taboo topic from sex to voodoo. It’s no wonder they chose politics and religion for the premise of season five!
The complex vampire politics that dominated this most recent season were brought to life through the new character of Roman Zimojic played by Christopher Meloni. This terrifying Authority leader fiercely believed in a moral coexistence between the vampires and humans and carried out his belief through the vampire movement of “mainstreaming.”
The political aspect of the show seemed to come at an appropriate time for creator Alan Ball. He said:
“Some of the things being said by some people during the Republican primary were so horrifying to me that I thought, ‘What if vampires wanted a theocracy? What would that look like?’ Whenever anybody thinks they know what God wants and wants to apply that to government, whether Americans or the Taliban, it’s kind of a terrifying thing.”
Although religion had been touched on in past seasons, such as Steve Newlin’s (Michael McMillian) ardent Fellowship of the Sun religious group and Jesus’s (Kevin Alejandro) family voodoo, the vampire queen Lilith and her effects on the vampires of the show bring the fifth season to a whole new level.
True Blood continues to add to the vampire myth with its concept of vampires in a group as a race living among humans. Early myths portray vampires as simply humans under an evil possession, according to Mark Jenkins in his book Vampire Forensics. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the vampire is demonic, he abuses humans, and is quite sexual, preying on women. The myths seem to change and develop as they are passed down to other people and cultures.
In True Blood, however, as vampires suddenly “come out of the coffin” and live among humans in modern day society, they have broken the established order. Although the vampires of the show are not demonic as they have been portrayed to be in other vampire stories, they represent a mistreated, misunderstood race, especially when compared to other species (shape-shifters, fairies, and even humans) who have also shown how they cruel they can be.
As great as a concept as it is, the provocative HBO drama was not the first to introduce a vampire society. It’s also seen in Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire. In her Vampire Chronicles, readers drew parallels between the vampires and the gay community of real life. Rice retorted that her book was “bigger than any gay allegory, and so is any gay allegory,” going on to explain:
“Gender influences everything but determines nothing! Vampires transcend gender. We as a modern people transcend gender, though we can never escape it. Ours is a time for which there are no precedents with regard to gender and freedom. Look in vain to ancient Rome. Look in vain to the Middle Ages. There has never been so much affluence, scientific knowledge and so much common awareness of violence and injustice. There has never been so much real wealth for so many, combined with instantaneous media confrontation of poverty and suffering. Some of us see life as a horror story, but a horror story with great, great meaning.”
True Blood also draws similar parallels to real society roles, politics, and religion throughout all five of its seasons, sometimes conjuring up more mischief than the characters can manage! With all of this behind them, can’t wait to see what the upcoming sixth season will bring to them!
Source: Huffington Post