New HBO site = More Viking?

Last week HBO unveiled their sparkly new website, full of bells and whistles and forum FAIL.

While it’s all very pretty and shiny and dazzling, I will not be distracted! The homepage for the cast piqued my attention. Let’s take a long hard look at this screenshot from the new site:

Does anything…anything at ALL stand out to you here?

Not feeling me? OK, I’ll elaborate.

The opening credits for season 1 and 2 ran in the following order:

Anna Paquin
Stephen Moyer
Sam Trammell
Ryan Kwanten
Rutina Wesley

These were the “core cast”. If any of you have read Bill forums and pro Bill sites, you’d be intimately familiar with the fact that this is the “core” cast, especially when it comes to any discussion about Eric/Skars taking a more prominent role at the expense of Bill/Stephen Moyer. Stephen Moyer is the “leading man”, you know.

So on the credits, the names of the core cast were followed by those of the supporting cast in alphabetical order. Alexander Skarskard was listed second last out of everyone, since his surname is at the end of the alphabet – just before Deborah Woll. Yes, Skars was “supporting” cast. As in supporting the WHOLE DAMN SHOW.

Look at the above screenshot again.

That list of “core cast” is fully represented in the top row above – and there is one notable addition.

Skars was given a big juicy raise and a revised contract just after the season 2 finale aired.

OH HAI! Season 3 Gravy Train.

So here we have Skars on the new site, in all his GQMF glory – right in the thick of the above mentioned core cast. Not only that, but he is trumping Sam Trammell, and Ryan Kwanten. Oh, and did I mention that he is also right up nice and cozy next to MR BILL COMPTON?

Eric is all up in your shit Bill, and you’d best take note.

I’m calling it. Season 3 opening credits will read as follows:

Anna Paquin
Stephen Moyer
Alexander Skarsgard
Sam Trammell
Ryan Kwanten
Rutina Wesley

And then the supporting cast in alpha order as usual.

Dare I believe that HBO actually have half a clue about what most of us want to see?

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44 Responses to “New HBO site = More Viking?”

  1. 1 sunnynala
    January 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Oh yeah, I called it on my LJ way back before the airing of “I Will Rise Up” (in the credits,lol) It’s taken a little too long by my lights but woot, here it is!

    But you’ve missed something HIGHLY interesting: Michelle Forbes.

    • January 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      You can’t see it in that shot but it actually has all the cast – dead and alive.
      Rene and Amy are there, and Daphne and Adele.

      • 3 sunnynala
        January 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm

        Well, that is kind of weird doncha think? Why put all the dead characters pics on the “New” HBO.com when they now have a ‘cast of 500’ and people might be curious about them?

        • 4 walgigi
          January 25, 2010 at 5:02 pm

          The ‘cast of 500′ HAHHAHA! I completely agree with you sunny. I can’t imagine the absurdity of adding ALL the 39 new character’s and actor’s BIO’s there, It’s completely nuts!!! LOL

  2. 5 Dar Long
    January 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Well seriously, HBO would be pretty foolish not to recognise the exponential growth in popularity and exposure that the last year brought to the well deserving Askars.

    In addition to his other work creating a kind of synergy, the S2 storyline was a perfect opportunity to flesh out the character and catapulted him from the under the radar status Ball assigned him at the start of S1.

    Good on ya, Skars.

  3. 6 walgigi
    January 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    “Dare I believe that HBO actually have half a clue about what most of us want to see?”

    Half a clue about that and a full one about where is the money LOL. AB also raised AS status to a regular! IT WAS OBVIOUS for everyone he should be one since the first season, but he didn’t wanted to do it until AS agent “apparently” push for it with the salary raise. Good for him, he deserves it because he is a STAR who came directly from starring such an amazing successful series as was Generation Kill (and not a star of a tv series who was cancelled due to low ratings as SM on “The Starter Wife”… meh).

    BTW, did you read the characters’ BIOs? (I really hate the fuc.. heroe/saint and cold/villain “covert” description of their personalities… *roll eyes*).

    • 7 sunnynala
      January 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      ASkars agent had to “push” for the salary raise? The ratings for Timebomb and IWRU didn’t give HBO a clue?

      • 8 walgigi
        January 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm

        yeap… Askars agent had to negotiate with them after last season ended. IMO, they did have “the” clue, but apparently they were not willing to give him as much as he deserves. Don’t forget TV is a business as any other, and its purpose is to maximize profits at the lowest possible cost…

    • 9 ksr
      January 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      ‘“Dare I believe that HBO actually have half a clue about what most of us want to see?” Half a clue about that and a full one about where is the money LOL.’ Gigi! You took it from my mouth! I almost forgot how fast you are! LOL!!!!

  4. 10 cgpunker
    January 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Other than the obvious fact that Eric & Skars are the gravy train — he’s also the main Vampire in the rest of Charlaine’s books. I have no doubt Bill won’t disappear like he did in the books, I do fully expect to see Eric to take over.

  5. 11 Ckayed
    January 26, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Perhaps I am simply much too loyal to the cast and writers of the True Blood series but I think this article is attempting to stir up some very unnecessary controversy among the fans. What goes on behind the scenes with agents and contracts and salaries might make good comedy relief for the shows on late night and their recent wars but I really don’t like anything even remotely like that to be brought into the realm of Bon Temps. Even if you know all the ins and outs of what each person’s contract states and the intricacies of that legal world, don’t peddle those private dealings to the fans – it certainly doesn’t set well with this fan. My enjoyment of the series doesn’t hinge on who makes what and it feels very creepy for anyone to be bringing any of that type of information to the forefront.

    • January 26, 2010 at 1:27 am

      Ha, you give me too much credit. I don’t know a thing about who makes what, except for Skarsgard getting a raise last year, which is common knowledge.

      I call it how it I see it and I’m not afraid to criticise, or to lavish praise…when it’s warranted. That’s why this is a blog and not an official fan site. Let’s not get carried away, this is a TV show that people pay HBO their hard earned money to watch. I love it, but I don’t feel a sense of “disloyalty” at dishing out criticism occasionally. Nor should anyone. That’s kind of absurd and it’s precisely that kind of thinking that makes official fan sites so gushy and bland and…kinda boring.

      The post wasn’t about how much money anyone makes – it was about an actor who has done very big things for this show finally getting some long overdue recognition after a long time as a “glorified extra”. He deserves it, and it has been a long time coming. We are glad to see it happen. That’s it really.

      Sorry if it creeps you out but with respect, I think you totally missed the point. Lighten up 😉

    • 13 walgigi
      January 26, 2010 at 3:43 am

      Maybe you are right about being simply too much loyal to Bill and to Allan Ball, but also maybe you should have read first the description about this blog at the right upper corner of it. It reads:

      My ramblings on the Sookie Stackhouse books, and the HBO series True Blood. Everyone I know is already half crazed with my plot and character assassinations, conspiracy theories, theme explorations and general obsessing, so now I’m going to share it all with you. Spoilers and Viking worship are rampant…you have been warned!]

      As well explained there, this isn’t any official fan site or an unofficial blog dedicated to make covert publicity for TB. This is her own personal blog to express and discuss with others whatever she wants to think or say about the SVM, True Blood or any other theme she wants to propose or raise. Actually she kindly answered to make you clear what was her point because you totally missed it. But what I can’t understand (unless you’re paying the salaries or working for Allan Ball, and I definitely think that isn’t your case…) is why you felt it’s creepy and felt so offended IF it had been her intention to talk about the actors’ salaries. First, because this is a very commonly discussed theme about ANY tv show, and second and the most important, because I think it’s completely out of order to tell her what she can or can’t write about in her own blog.

      (…my two cents)

      • 14 walgigi
        January 26, 2010 at 4:35 am

        And BTW, being you so loyal to (ALL) the complete True Blood cast, I have never read your concern about why Pam and Chow are not included as part of the cast in the new official HBO/TB website. THAT is something that everyone can truly consider and call “creepy”…

  6. 15 vibrant1thing
    January 26, 2010 at 1:11 am

    New HBO site= more viking.. yes, and I am happy to see it!
    However, where is the rest of Fangtasia?! They’ve got the icky Malcolm, Diane, and Liam listed under the cast, along with the other truly dead.
    If I was Pam or Chow, I’d be pissed. Or even poor Ginger.

    • 16 VikingLover
      January 26, 2010 at 1:59 am

      Holy crap you’re right. They forgot Pam! Ooops!

    • 17 VampirePamsGirl
      January 26, 2010 at 6:26 am

      That’s a lot of what bothered me about the old website and the new one as well. I mean I am happy that ASkars has moved up on the new site (though imho he should be in that first spot there!) but they leave off so many other great members of the cast, usually my personal favorites. And I too am scratching my head as to why the new site has all the ‘dead’ characters featured and I just wonder if they start adding characters to the page from Season 3 how long it will take to scroll down that page.

    • 18 walgigi
      January 26, 2010 at 7:54 am

      IMO The message is that Eric character was raised to be a regular, but not a LEAD. We can notice that most of the characters left out are directly related to Eric. Pam, Chow, Ginger, Godric, and even the same Sophie Ann who is supplying the V to Eric… none aren’t there. But others like Malcom, Diane, Liam, Amy, Daphne and Eggs (*roll eyes*) are because they are related to AB lead characters (Bill, Sookie, Tara, Jason and Sam)… pfff

    • 19 Kristen
      January 26, 2010 at 8:13 pm

      Okay, we shouldn’t panic (or get too excited) yet. All HBO has done, it seems like, is take Season 2 content and “re-skin” it the new design of the entire HBO site (though, ASKARS moving up in the cast is a legitimate change). This would explain why Kristin Bauer is not listed (ridiculously, she was not a series regular last season) and would explain why dead people, such as Michelle Forbes, are listed.

      I can guarantee this site will be changed a lot right before season 3… and then I hope the Viking and his crew get their due! =)

      • 20 walgigi
        January 26, 2010 at 9:57 pm

        Well Kristen… I’m not too excited, but this doesn’t really explain me then why Malcolm, Diane, Liam, Lorena, Daphne, Amy, Eggs and others who weren’t regulars were included there.

        And obviously it could change after all the people’s complaints, but not necesarily because it was their original intention to include them. Do you really think that HBO doesn’t have enough resources or money to make a full and well made website? I can understand a technical mistake, but this isn’t a technical issue…

        • January 26, 2010 at 11:27 pm

          I don’t know gigi you should see the catastrophic disaster they made of the new forum.

          I’ve never seen anything so bad, the complaints have been deafening. It looks like it cost alot of money, and it’s completely and utterly unusable as far as forums go.

          Speaking of which, I can’t get to the site today. Perhaps they’ve pulled it for a bit. It needs some major work, and Kristen I think you’re right, it is certainly a work in progress. I don’t think they’ve finished with it by a long shot.

        • 22 vibrant1thing
          January 27, 2010 at 3:02 am

          Exactly. It’s like some newbie it together, I expect more from a site with the HBO logo attached to it. They definitely need to do some damage control soon. If I was Kristin Bauer’s agent I’d be flippin’ a shit right now.

        • 23 walgigi
          January 27, 2010 at 8:03 am

          Aaine, at least for me, the site has been working fine all day. I read yesterday the TB fans complaints about the forum, but the fact is that they aparently discard the old “monster” one and make a new one called Talk Area that can be access directly from the individual minisites, or through the upper (right side) general menu under the “Talk” sub menu, where you can find the “Forums” section (they explain it on the “Help” sub menu). And apparently they didn’t make that only with the TB forum, but with all the minisites ones. I don’t think is fair for the people who wasted a lot of time there, but this type of network reserve all the rights over their communities and everything people write there and even reserves the right to discard anything they don’t want anymore. Yes, it’s completely insensitive on their part, and that’s why people should be wiser and read all their terms and disclaimers before invest their time and effort in their communities. That people don’t even care for their paying costumers, so imagine what they could care about the opinion of people that use their free services…

          Well, even though I consider myself a computer impaired and think computers only reasons to exist are for work, type some documents, make new friends, watch videos in YT and Skars pics throught internet (LOL), I know some basic concepts about web design because my boyfriend (ok, he is really my husband but I call him my boyfriend unless I’m angry with him haha) is a computer engineer and his company also works with web design, multimedia blah blah. As far as I can see, the website looks like it cost a lot like you said and doesn’t seems to have any area still under construction. I visited most of the series minisites (Entourage, Generation Kill, Curb your Enthusiasm, Big Love) and all seems to share the same format, the same amount of pics by episodes (between 4 and 6), flash player is working fine, all links are working (itunes to download episodes, pics sharing and emailing, videos, etc). What we don’t really know is if the series producers are allowed to edit later any area of their minisites after all the work is done. At least I hope they can, because TB cast area is an insult for a lot of the viewers because all the reasons already stated here.

          Anyway, after I watched all pictures by epi, I have to agree with morrisa. This show is all about Bill. I watched over 125 pics and besides Eric’s cast pic, I could only find from him:
          1- S1:04 Escape from Dragon’s House – Eric and Pam escaping by Fangtasia’s back door
          2- S1:09 Plaisir D’Amour – Bill with Eric, Pam and Chow at his house (its the worst quality pic in all the whole HBO site)
          3- S1:09 Plaisir D’Amour – Bill and Sookie outside at Merlott’s with blurry Eric, Pam and Chow at their background
          4- S1:11 To Love is to Bury – Jessica at the door with COMPLETELY blurry Bill and Eric at the background
          5- S2:16 Shake and Fingerpop – Eric leaned on Lafayette’s window (I can swear with my hand over a Bible it’s the worst pic I ever see of him, and in fact, it is the only one where he is alone)
          6- S2:20 Timebomb – Eric and Sookie in the middle of the FoTS hall
          7- S2:21 I Will Rise Up – Eric and Godric at the roof with blury Sookie at their

          Discarding the ones where he is blurry at the background, you can find 5 pics of him. No pic of Eric in Fangtasia when Sookie saw him for the first time, no pic of Eric when Sookie was making the investigation in Fangtasia, not an Eric pic from “Scratches”, the bullet sucking, or the dreams, not even a single close up. NADA. And when I could find there at least 3 pics of LongShadow alone, 2 of the magister, 3 of Hugo, 3 of Karl!?!?!, and like 8 of Eggs (*roll eyes), I have to admit that True Blood (using their own Nan Flannagan’s words) is a fucking fiasco.

  7. 25 Miladyryts
    January 26, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Hi Sookieverseblog!

    I am so glad that I was told to come to this site!! You are on the same page as I am when it comes to our Viking vampire – Eric. It was really exciting to see that Alex’s name has been moved up to where he is in the top three. I would still like to see him in the top two, as this whole series rides on him. Think about it, what would happen if he deceided to walk off the show? It would implode, because while some of the guys are nice to look at, they have little or no meaning to the books at all. And all of the straight or same on same sex in the world does not an entertaining show make, they have other channels for that.

    From the moment in the episode Escape From Dragon House, the camera found Eric sitting on his throne in Fangtasia, he owned that series! It made me sit up and notice, saying, whoa, I want that! lol.

    Alex had said in two inteviews about making a movie out of the Sookie Stackhouse novels. One inteviewer asked, “Who do you think are the stronger men? The men from Twilight or the men from True Blood. Alex said, “Let’s make a movie and find out.” I had been saying that all of last season right up until now, make the damn movie. CH should sign over the movie rights to a really good producer, like the one who did Twilight or Harry Potter, or Lord of The Rings. It could be 3 or 4 movies and actually follow the storyline. The books after all are a vampire romance, between Sookie and Eric. Bill more or less fades into the woodwork. I love the interaction between Eric and Sookie, it’s why we all fell in love with the Book Eric! But Eric just walked out of the pages of the books into reality in the form of Alexander Skarsgard, and he was just made for that role! AB is reversing Bill and Eric’s roles and I hate that. Alex has read the books and he knows now what his fans want and expect out of him regarding his role as Eric. He may have sounded like he was joking, as many say he was, but I felt that he was dead serious when he said, “A cast of 500 with 45 plotlines.” With all of the characters that will be on Season 3, how much screen time will Alex have? How will the story progress to Dead To The World? If only another producer got the tv rights from CH, we would all be in heaven right now, but no, she had to sign off with AB. His tv show on HBO, Six Feet Under, got rave reviews for the first season, the second season went downhill, there was no third season. I would really hate for HBO to cancel True Blood because AB is just getting out of hand as far as the extremes that he is taking this series! Just my opinion folks!


    • 26 VikingLover
      January 26, 2010 at 1:42 am

      I agree with you 100% Victoria. Eric really did walk off the page into reality in the form of AS. He IS Eric. It’s amazing to watch. I did not know that AS had mentioned “a cast of 500 with a plot of 45” in an interview. Hmmm, that can’t be good – that he made an off-handed comment like that I mean.

      • 27 Kealeagh
        January 26, 2010 at 2:30 am

        Yeah, he totally made that comment and I cheered him for it. It was in a television interview and he was joking, but seriously, he knew it, we knew it: it’s true.

      • 28 ksr
        January 26, 2010 at 7:14 am

        ‘He may have sounded like he was joking, as many say he was, but I felt that he was dead serious when he said, “A cast of 500 with 45 plotlines.”’
        Many a true word is spoken in jest.

    • 29 Kealeagh
      January 26, 2010 at 2:29 am

      Six Feet Under went on for 5 seasons. And it was consistently good, in my opinion. Alan Ball just goes batshit when its out of the realm of reality.

    • 30 walgigi
      January 26, 2010 at 2:45 am

      @Kealeagh – “Yeah, he totally made that comment and I cheered him for it. It was in a television interview and he was joking, but seriously, he knew it, we knew it: it’s true.”

      I completely agree with you about that.

      Here’s the interview with Access Hollywood at the Golden Globes red carpet:

      • 31 Kealeagh
        January 26, 2010 at 2:55 am

        In a newer interview he talked about Eric killing off the new cast members. ASkars is amazing, but I’m worried about what he’s saying – AB is evil and might kill him off for it (who knows how that man thinks).

        • 32 VikingLover
          January 26, 2010 at 3:04 am

          Thanks for posting that! I was trying to find it online. OMG He’s sooo adorable! I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in an interview before. I usually don’t like to watch them because it ruins my view of the characters they play on the show. I don’t know – I’m weird like that. LOL

          Oh okay, what he said (and how he said it) didn’t sound as bad I thought. Considering they gave him such a huge pay raise and we’re hearing so much about him, I’m sure he will have lots of screen time. I hope? *sigh*

        • 33 Stef
          January 26, 2010 at 10:34 am

          AB better NOT kill Eric off, or I will be royally pissed! There will be some Viking wenches on his ass! Give me the VIKING or give me DEATH! That’s my motto!:)

    • 34 VampirePamsGirl
      January 26, 2010 at 6:39 am

      Really enjoyed your post, Victoria, it set me to thinking and hypothesizing. I have to agree with all your points about our beloved Viking. It’s funny that even in his interviews he seems to be more on the same wavelength as the fans; I don’t know how many times myself and others here have complained/worried about the amount of new characters being added to the show.

      You bring up an interesting point too about the TB movie. I, for one, would love it as long as it was done right. Of course, it’d have to be quite a few movies to complete the story as they couldn’t fit it all into just one, not to mention that the story isn’t really complete yet. That could bring up a good question though, if TB were a movie who would you want to direct it? You mentioned a couple above. I think Peter Jackson did an AMAZING job adapting The Lord of the Rings movies from the book, but I don’t know about Catherine Hardwicke. There were parts that she did okay on and other things not so much. Chris Weitz maybe a good candidate. As for the Harry Potter directors, well the first two movies were fairly good, but after that they started going downhill for me, so I don’t think I’d like to see any of the other directors there taking on yet another book series that I love. BTW- I know I’m an uber-geek, there’s no need to tell me, lol. 🙂

  8. 35 morrissa
    January 26, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I don’t think HBO has a clue, considering the rest of the site. The fact that Eric now has that place in the cast list, is the only good thing I can see. People have already pointed out the blatant lack of Eric related people in the cast list. He is also not featured in any of the pictures representing season two episodes. The crackfic/badfic like description of Billy Sue Compton makes me think this is a soap, and the women…well, hello misogyny! Neither Lorena nor Jessica are individuals in their own rights, noooo, they’re only important relative Billy. Sookie is a person who reacts, not acts. Billy is her designated driver into destiny. Sookie is helpless without him.

    I abandoned HBO early in my search for show related info because of their apparent bias and that hasn’t changed at all. They don’t respect their fans but they seem really keen on giving Alan Ball everything he wants. Is this normal? Is this how it works with every show and every network? That they take sides and alienate big parts of the fandom if it collides with what the writers and/or producers like? I’m baffled. If it were me, I’d maximize the potential fandom by being as neutral and objective as possible.

    This show is about BILL. Not Sookie. I actually don’t have a problem visualising Alan Ball killing off Eric as well as Sookie. It’s all about Bill. AB follows a path he’s been on before here, where Bill is Nate (Six Feet Under) is Lester (American Beauty). They’re all pretty much the same and it’s basically the same story. Don’t get your hopes up regarding season three. It is a clusterfuck now and everything points to an even bigger clusterfuck to come.

    If Charlaine hasn’t completely lost her mind and signed those rights to AB too, there is hope in the future for movies – that revolve around Sookie, as they should.

    • 36 Kealeagh
      January 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm

      Oh My God. You just opened my eyes – Nate! Of course! GAH!

    • 37 caratstick
      January 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm

      Very good insights; I had had similar thoughts. It’s plain that AB finds the tormented, lost man struggling to find his path, his humanity, his blah blah blah way more interesting than any story of a strong, independent (but still, let’s be frank, damaged) young woman. This really shouldn’t be surprising, I guess, given AB’s personal outlook.

      The problem is, AB didn’t realize that Eric is the male character who actually changes the most (becomes more human) in the story as his feelings for Sookie grow and evolve. If he wanted to focus on a male storyline, Eric’s is really the one that is transformational.

      • 38 vibrant1thing
        January 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm

        That is a very good point, morrissa & carastick. It’s just so frustrating that this show is written from his preference, a storyline he’s obviously familiar with.

        I just hope he comes around or someone steps in to help Sookie’s true story to be told.

      • 39 walgigi
        January 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm

        “The problem is, AB didn’t realize that Eric is the male character who actually changes the most (becomes more human) in the story as his feelings for Sookie grow and evolve. If he wanted to focus on a male storyline, Eric’s is really the one that is transformational.”

        He actually knows it perfectly cara. That’s why in TB he is “transferring” to Bill all the personality traits and actions that synthesise book Eric’s identity. The only reason he is doing that now is precisely with the purpose to achieve later that transformation in his Saint Billy Sue.

  9. 40 Kristen
    January 26, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Btw, the Sookieverse is really hoppin’ these days! Love all the great responses! Maybe Facebook pages are a legitimate form of marketing, after all??

  10. 41 Pogonip
    January 26, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    For truth in media, HBO should change the wording from “based on the novels” to “inspired by the novels.”

  11. January 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I think I’ve maybe actually visited the HBO site once…I don’t even really remember that. It just seemed so Cliff-Notes style, compared to some of the more comprehensive fansites that actually gave you something to be interested in. Not to mention I just most like reading spoilers and behind-the-scenes-today stuff, which HBO wouldn’t really put out there. 🙂

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My ramblings on the Sookie Stackhouse books, and the HBO series True Blood. Everyone I know is already half crazed with my plot and character assassinations, conspiracy theories, theme explorations and general obsessing, so now I'm going to share it all with you. Spoilers and Viking worship are rampant...you have been warned!

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