17
Apr
10

Book Wars

It’s been a while since I had a rant. Alan Ball has been conspicuously quiet of late and my blood pressure is all the better for his absence. But this isn’t a True Blood diatribe…I’m saving those for June.

There’s something else I want to get off my chest.

Dead in the Family is due for release in early May and with the release date approaching, reviews are coming in as well as some major spoilers. Just last week the full first chapter appeared in the paperback edition of Dead and Gone – containing a surprise scene between key characters that is already wreaking havoc in the fandom before the new book even hits the shelves.

Advance reviews of Dead in the Family have been overwhelmingly positive. Yet from a small group of the readership, there has been nothing but bitching, whining and hate.

These readers have realised that Sookie is not going to treat Bill Compton in this book in the way they believe she should. And they are ridiculing and slagging off the author in any corner of the internet that will provide a forum for their vitriolic ranting.

I feel like I’m in the fucking Twilight Zone.

In the two years I’ve been immersed in this fandom, I have been accused of being unable to separate the Sookie books from True Blood more times than I care to count. Of course I am not alone here, many book readers have found themselves clobbered with similar accusations when they’ve expressed disappointment or otherwise with aspects of the show.

With the release of another Sookie book, it seems we are seeing the reverse side of the show versus books debate. On some fansites and blogs, book readers who prefer the show for it’s sympathetic treatment of Bill Compton are letting fly at Charlaine Harris for reasons I am not quite able to get my head around. These readers seem unable to get straight in their heads that the books are source material, and the show is an interpretation of the story and the characters.

I would like to explain something to these readers, if I may.

Charlaine Harris invented these characters. Sookie Stackhouse, her story, and every character within it germinated and grew from her imagination. She has nurtured each of them over the ten or so years she has been writing this series. Harris has overseen their journey from the fairly undeveloped, one dimensional characters we met in Dead Until Dark, to the complex and layered characters we have come to know and love in the later books of the series.

True Blood on the other hand, is Alan Ball’s interpretation of this source material. It is not the “correct” interpretation – there is no such thing as a correct interpretation; that is a complete oxymoron. Since True Blood is simply one person’s version of the books it is to be expected that Ball’s work will be criticised, and rightly so. Others have also read the source material, and they may view it through a different lens to the one he is using to bring his version to the screen. This happens any time a book is made for television or film, and I’m sure Mr Ball has his Big Boy Pants on and was fully prepared for a trouncing when he decided to make this show.

Charlaine Harris is allowing Alan Ball to play with her characters for a fee, but let’s be very clear. The destiny of these characters has always rested – will continue to rest – with the author who created them.

Harris has not “thrown Bill under a bus”. She does not “hate” him, nor is she “ignoring her most complex character.” If it suited Sookie’s story for Bill’s character to have more page time, he would have it. If she ever meant for Bill’s “complexity” to have more of an impact on Sookie, she would have written him that way. Charlaine Harris has not “lost the plot” of her own story – how does an author even do that and continue to have their books published? In fact, to the vast majority of readers (you know, the ones who have put this series on the NYT Bestseller List) Sookie’s story is following a perfectly logical arc that many of us identify with.

There is a reason Charlaine Harris has not explored the character of Bill in any real depth since the early books. There is a reason he is no longer at the forefront of the story. There is a reason we will not see Sookie run into Bill’s arms in book 10 after he risked his life for her, as these readers seem to think she should.

The reason is very simple. The author has determined – as is her right, being the author and all – that Bill’s proper place in Sookie’s life is exactly where he is, right now. And the evidence for the logic of this development is the fact that most readers are fully on board with it.

There’s a big difference between book readers ranting about Ball’s handling of the characters on the show, and Trubies and Book Bill fans ranting about what Charlaine Harris does with the characters in the books.

Alan Ball is interpreting a story that already exists. Charlaine Harris is writing that story.

By my estimation, that gives her the right to do whatever the hell she pleases. Without readers bashing her judgement, bashing her writing, or sulking off with their petticoats in a twist just because the author dares to presume that she knows her own characters better than they do. I am completely bewildered as to how fans of a version of her work could accuse her of having her own story arse about face and of not understanding her own characters.

I would like to respectfully offer those fans a slightly modified version of their own advice.

If you don’t like it…stop reading.

Or better still, go watch some TV.

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85 Responses to “Book Wars”


  1. April 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I like how you use your words. Great post!

  2. 2 MASpencer
    April 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you. Everything in that post really needed to be said… and I hope at least a couple of the guilty parties are reading.

    I have to ask, though: What exactly will this contingent do when Ball eviscerates Bill’s saintly image next season? Because you SO know it’s going to happen…

  3. 3 Susan
    April 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    You tell em. I started watching the shows first and then after S2 I started reading the books. I love the show and the books. I treat them sort of like parallel universes to each other. The books came first and TB is Alan Ball’s interpretation of the books.

    I don’t understand someone criticizing charlaine harris. After all the entire sookieverse is her creation. I for one can’t wait to read the new book. I’ve heard its really good from several sources.

  4. 4 Jo
    April 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    oh SVB excellent post! I agree 100% with you, you know me even a little like crying.
    the books came first, they are the base, the canon, this is a discussion I had some time ago with a trobie after the disclosure that CH wanted to kill BC in the book 9. Were the most incredible insults I have ever read. I was trying to argue just that: the books came first etc.. But the person, a man indeed, even had the audacity to say that CH could not differentiate the Bill of Eric. From that moment I finished the discussion with the fans and TB – Bill forever. I mean I’ve never been on BB sites.
    But to be fair I, like many others, were hurt by some statements of the CH about Eric, but I always had faith that she would continue in its path. Well some said they hoped that the book did not sell well, but I’ve always been against this attitude, and said he hoped to sell as much hoped it would be good, but it was after meeting her blog and the thoughts of all who come here I started to really believe. Well, I’m trying hard not to read any spoilers, which is very difficult.
    Just wanted to know if the site of CH are also OFED and letting offending his owner. I know it would hurt if CH would change radically, but as you said is your privilege as an author, I only hope when there is logic.

    I know for you to do a post about this thing must be ugly out there. I just hope that your true fans support the book.
    sorry if I wrote something wrong or incomprehensible, english is not my first language. But I needed to get this off my chest now.
    hugs.

  5. 5 Marielle
    April 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Very nice post I agreer totally.

  6. 6 Osterby
    April 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Here, here….well said.

  7. April 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I can’t ever get my thoughts and feelings in order — so thanks for doing it for me 😀 You are completely right. I’ve tried to have controlled and logical discussions with a lot of fans and some have been kind and others have been completely batshit. They seem to forget that the Bill on the show started off completely different in the beginning of the books. Sure, BookBill is slowly turning into TBBill but he wasn’t always so. Bill wasn’t the perfect person for Sookie and he certainly wasn’t the perfect boyfriend – on the show AND the books. We’ll see what CH and AB do, I’m sure both will have seperate results with the characters.

  8. 8 Karen
    April 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Agreed – on all points. Thanks for saying it so well.

  9. 9 Patty
    April 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Well said!

  10. 10 Holby
    April 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Oh, SVB, once again you have said what needed to be said with style! As someone who came to the books through the show, even with Ball’s interpretation, I fell in love with Eric from the start. He is the character in the show that intrigued me enough to read the books, so I just don’t get the BLs…but the fact that they somehow think the folks who bought the rights to the first books are now the authority on the Sookieverse is just beeeeeeeeezaaaare!!! Well said!

  11. April 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    YES. THIS.

    *banging my giant Viking mug on the computer desk in agreement*

  12. 12 KPMRSE
    April 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Amen, sister. As usual, your post/rank/comments are right on point, on target and incredibly well articulated.

  13. 13 Cheryl
    April 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    It has always blown my mind why some people post such nasty rude stuff about the author or books simply b/c of TB Bill and Book Bill. I watched season 1, got hooked and totally dug Bill. After a couple episodes of season 2 I started reading the books, thus becoming aware of the character differences. I certainly didnt think “wow TB sucks” or “wow the books suck”. I thought “well that’s certainly interesting how they differ”.

    I absolutely love Eric but should Charlaine write something that would make him a douchebag and make Sookie leave him, then so be it. As fans it is not something we can control and honestly it would bug me if an author wrote his/her books based on what fans want. This is her story and her characters, let her go in whatever direction she wants. I am just along for the ride! Same goes for Alan Ball’s version. Yes I do want Eric and Sookie together but if they aren’t in the end, that would never turn me against something I once thought was/is an amazingly entertaining series. I have no problem enjoying both mediums and giving props to both Charlaine and Alan.

  14. April 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I wonder if some of the confusion amongst SVM and TB followers can be attributed to the fantastic acting job SM
    is doing portraying Bill? I agree wholeheartedly that ranting about CH and her choices is misguided and
    immature. To wish her failure is unreasonable and hateful. As was said, wait till they see what AB does to the
    character (NOT REAL PERSON) in the coming season. SM has portrayed Bill with great subtlety and I look forward
    to S3. Can’t wait for Book 10 and some more Viking. SVB you are right….again.

  15. 15 VikingLover
    April 17, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Fantastic post! The BB’s are going to be sorely disappointed next season and beyond. They are so blind that I just can’t understand it.

  16. 16 Diana
    April 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I’m a BL but a logical and open minded one who disccovered Charlaine’s books after I started watching TB. I really believe that the extreme BL’s as well as the extreme Eric lovers are equal in their OCD behaviors toward these characters and each other. Disparaging remarks fly from both sides – I am delusional and deeply in denial because I love Bill and you guys are into arm/eyebrow porn, driveways, and only care about spandex… There are a number of us in the middle who enjoy Bill (maybe overly influenced by the wonderful Stephen Moyer) and who are equally intrigued by your Viking.

    Love the books and the multi-dimentional universe created by Charlaine but also love that universe as tweaked by Mr. Ball. Personally, I’m just enjoying the ride through these parallel worlds and can’t wait for both the next book as well as June’s premiere of season 3 of TB.

    • 19 Barbara
      April 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm

      Diana,

      There’s nothing wrong with being a Bill Lover and you’re the shining example of how one should love Bill, just as how one should love Eric … with a healthy dose of realism and common sense. Kudos to you!

      I’m like you – read the books after watching TB. I love both, just as I love hundreds of the fan fiction stories I have read online in the last 3-4 months. They all bring something special and unique to the table.

      *sits next to Diana on the couch, offers her the popcorn bowl, and impatiently awaits the new book and new TB season* =D

      • 20 Diana
        April 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm

        *accepts generously offered popcorn, adds shredded cheese to the bowl and hands Barbara a margarita. World peace ensues*;D

    • 21 Angie
      April 17, 2010 at 9:43 pm

      Ah, refreshing sanity!

      I’m not gonna lie, Eric is totally the type of character I adore, and I got into the show and the books mainly because of him and Askars. But, even though I don’t like Book!Bill much at all, I like SM and his portrayal of the character on the show. I adore TB and the SVM equally, even if they are slightly different universes. Frankly, having two different worlds to play with these characters in is double the fun for me. Even though I’ll always prefer Eric, it gets my panties in a twist to see how the fans on both sides feel they need to tear one character apart to defend the other – even if those characters are rivals. Those kind of shipper and character wars have downright ruined other fandoms for me, to the point where I’ve had to abandon series that I love. I don’t want anything to wreck my enjoyment of this world though. This ridiculous series means too much to me.

  17. 22 Gigi
    April 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    [In the two years I’ve been immersed in this fandom, I have been accused of being unable to separate the Sookie books from True Blood more times than I care to count. Of course I am not alone here, many book readers have found themselves clobbered with similar accusations when they’ve expressed disappointment or otherwise with aspects of the show.

    There’s a big difference between book readers ranting about Ball’s handling of the characters on the show, and Trubies and Book Bill fans ranting about what Charlaine Harris does with the characters in the books.

    Alan Ball is interpreting a story that already exists. Charlaine Harris is writing that story.

    If you don’t like it…stop reading.]

    Thanks for this words Aaine, because there has been moments when I have percieved that TB fans critize her a lot and also forget to give her the credit she deserves for the story and the characters she created. She might not be Shakespeare, but the fact that the readers put her books on the NYT Bestseller List clearly shows that they not only love her story, but also enjoy and like her writing style as it is. And it is, indeed, more deeper and complex than it meets the eye.

  18. 23 sunnynala
    April 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Well, you guys know I’m a Truebie through and through, but I agree with you SVB in that the BL’s are being completely RIDONCULOUS to criticize CH for her treatment, or lack thereof, of their hero Bill. As you say, these characters are HER original creation and she can do whatever she wants with them.

    I used to argue with BL’s and try to point out the errors in their interpretation of TRUE BLOOD but it’s a useless, stressfull endeavor in that they have decided Alan Ball is Bill’s champion and he will right all the wrongs CH has committed against him. NOTHING will sway them from their faith. “I BELIEVE IN ALAN BALL”. Well so do I but the BL’s are STUPID to believe he is making a high quality Harlequin Romance for the screen and they are in for a series of shocking disappointments, one right after the other. (They can never say they weren’t warned.) Their interpretations are as far removed from Alan Ball’s artistic vision and modus operandi as I can possibly imagine.

    We’ve discussed this before but I feel it needs to be stressed as often as possible: AB is taking the limited pov of Sookie and expanding on the world CH has created through her eyes only. He is NOT taking this story to a drastically different end point, he’s just taking a different route to get there, all the while amping up the dramatic possibilities that are naturally limited with a first person narration. It has been my contention all along, AND I WILL STAND BY IT UNTIL MY DEATH, lol, that AB is going to make Bill a million times worse than book Bill just by the simple fact that we will get to see him, and have already done so, in situations that book Sookie could not possibly be aware of.

    • April 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      You know I love you.

      I really, really do.

      Fucking WORD.

      • 25 sunnynala
        April 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm

        I love you too! and..

        I BELIEVE IN ALAN BALL.

        tee hee. I’m going to usurp the BB battle cry and turn it against them.

      • 26 sunnynala
        April 17, 2010 at 4:38 pm

        Oh, I forgot to ask: Can you link us to some of the more egregious comments they’ve made against CH?

        • 27 Sarah
          April 18, 2010 at 11:30 am

          I loved your comment, too. And i also would like to see these comments.

        • 28 sajast
          April 18, 2010 at 6:33 pm

          I’ve seen at least one post (either on the TB wiki forum or some other forum I cannot remember) where someone was saying how they strongly disapproved of CH’s treatment of Bill – she abandoned him, abused him, etc. Basically everything covered in this blog post 🙂 But I, too, am wondering where the Bill extremists are hiding ’cause I’m not seeing them on the interwebs…The other “Bill Lover” posts I’ve seen are mostly bashing Eric or starting fights with the pro-Eric contingent on pro-Eric threads >_<

          • 29 sunnynala
            April 18, 2010 at 6:53 pm

            They mainly stay at The Nest and The Vault.

          • April 18, 2010 at 8:52 pm

            I’m not going to post links because all it does is draw them here.

            Most of the larger fansites have made posts in the last week or so about the first chapter of Dead in the Family – check the comments on the sites with a pro-Bill slant.

            • 31 Eowyn
              April 18, 2010 at 11:17 pm

              Well, here is one from the HBO TB forums under the BC thread..

              “I am glad to see that I am not alone in being totaly enraged at the way Bills character was completely transformed in the books. It was not even remotely believable. So obvious that the author decided to make the reader dislike him to make way for the far less exciting Eric. Well it did not work for me. After reading the first book I bought all of the others together. As the books went on I could have cried. What a fraud to make us think we are reading a love story then destroy it.”

              CH then says that Sookie begins to realize things about Bill that she hadn’t here-to-fore noticed. In my opinion, Sookie had to be made into a very shallow heroine to accomodate her sacrifice of Bill in favor of Eric.

              and another one:
              —–I quit reading the books after CH sold Bill to me one way in the first two books and then tries to sell him to me another way in the 3rd. It simply didn’t fit with the character that I knew in my mind, I couldn’t buy it and as a result never finished reading book 3.

              a different web site: Actually, how I would put it is “she should be kissing Bill’s feet for what he’s done for her” . Her books didn’t sell cuz she’s such a great writer (cuz she ain’t) or because Sookie is such an amazing protagonist (cuz she ain’t but she’s better than Bella) . They sold cuz of Bill.

              I could just keep copying them and pasting them here…but that would be a waste of this wonderful space!

              • 32 Jo
                April 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm

                arghh, who sold a false image of her of Bill was AB, they will complain to him (poor are on the verge of a big disappointment), the books came before. it is useless to argue with these people, just reading these comments already makes you want to explode! I really can not go to those places. I do not understand Bill has always been very boring for me in the books even when I was with Sookie never felt anything for him, from Book 3 onwards he barely appears and never missed. I saw many argue that they stopped reading after book 3 then how can they judge the work of CH was not read all the books?
                as was said most fans of the books that put them among the bestsellers, and I hope it continues on track. Not to mention that I have lost count of people who read the books and fell in love with them.

              • 33 KLE
                April 19, 2010 at 4:13 am

                Oh my gosh. The ardent BBs make no sense whatsoever. How the fuck does a person believe or actually think the argument makes sense that the books sold “cuz of Bill”. ALL of the books in CH’s Sookie Stackhouse Series have been on the NYT bestseller list. If the books only sold because of Bill, Books 1 and 2 would be the only ones on the bestseller list but this is not the case. The rest of the series he has a diminished role (to put it mildly) and yet people still bought the books (you know they are on the bestseller lists after all). This indicates the MAJORITY of book readers are just fine with Bill having a diminished role as evidenced by the fact that they keep buying the books. Yet, someone is actually trying to make the argument the books sold “cuz of Bill”. That is just ridiculous. To quote Sarah Newlin “Grow a brain cell”

              • 35 Ashley
                April 19, 2010 at 6:00 am

                This is so utterly ridiculous it makes me want to scream! CH did not write the books for people to fall completely in love with Bill and never get out of it. She wrote Bill as Sookies first relationship, one in which she was naive and too trusting. She couldnt read his mind. This handicapped her to the extent that she couldnt know what he was doing and thinking at every moment. Bill’s lies and betrayals woke Sookie up out of the dreamworld that she was in with Bill. CH did not write Bill as the great love story of the books. The Sookie books are not even love stories! CH has said so. CH wrote Bill as a completely flawed character that redeems himself to Sookie in book 9, but i no longer see him as a love interest. The problem is, many read the books and the Bill and Sookie relationship that started in book 1 and just assumed that the books were going to focus on them as a couple. Well, this was obviously not CHs intention. Eric is the so called “epic” romance in the books, even if he is not Sookie’s HEA. Eric has been Sookie’s real love interest since Book 3, and it has contined from there, even in spite of Quinn. CH would not spend 8 books on Eric and Sookie’s back and forth relationship if it was not the forefront relationship of the books. That would be pointless. CH sold the readers Sookies false image of Bill in the first two books. Its not her fault that so many bought into it and latched onto it and refused to let go. I love her books and think she does a great job. I agree so much with everything you said SVB.

  19. 36 Barbara
    April 17, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    If anyone has to try and justify Charlaine’s work because the other person is depending on True Blood to be the canon needs to be send that person to this post = this post is now the canon! LOL

    Seriously, how silly is someone’s thinking that the TV show True Blood trumps the original author’s work? Why can’t someone understand the simple fact that Alan Ball’s True Blood is fan fiction. Like SVB said in this post, it’s his version of the original story from Charlaine Harris. Just because one likes the True Blood version of the story (mainly because you can see actors portraying the characters, thus things seem more “real”) better than the books doesn’t mean Charlaine MUST change her story and characterizations to kowtow to those people’s preferences.

    Well, I guess that means, since the Lord of the Rings trilogy on film was such a success, Tolkein’s estate (his grandson I believe) must change the books to suit the changes that were reflected in the wildly popular movies. What do you think? Fair is only fair, right?

    *rolls her eyes*

    I swear. I mean, I thoroughly enjoy a good fiction (Star Wars, True Blood, Lord of the Rings, etc etc). But I tend to remember that this are works of FICTION! The characters are NOT REAL! Why do people, adults especially it seems, get so worked up about how fictional characters are being portrayed by the original authors of those characters?

    It’s good to be surrounded by those here at SVB who have their heads screwed on right and understand the writing process, who’s work is truly canon, and knows how to separate reality from fiction. =)

    Disclaimer – Sorry if it seems like I am PMSing, but my boss decided to tell me today, after I called him asking for some money, that he didn’t have any. I work website design work for him. So, great … no money for the weekend, meaning no food for me, hubby, and the dog and cat. No blood pressure pills for hubby either (supposed to pick up today). I mean … really! PFFFTTTFFF! 😛

    • 37 Eowyn
      April 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      I swear. I mean, I thoroughly enjoy a good fiction (Star Wars, True Blood, Lord of the Rings, etc etc).

      What..*sputter*..you mean my father (God rest his drunken soul) named me after a fictional character..and..and..*sputter* I’ve been told the FORCE is strong in me!

      Does this mean there is not such place as Bon Temps? LOL Great Post!

  20. 39 locket
    April 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Fantastic post!!!

  21. 40 kelly
    April 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    oh don’t even mention the hobbits *shudder*

    why can’t people accept these as seperate entities, alan ball is doing a version, fan fiction does a version, but CH is the story weaver that started it and deserves all the credit.

    but to be honest, i’ve only ever seen 1 movie made from a book that didn’t anger me. the rest always seem to miss the point the book was trying to make.

    much love and respect to CH and all the bloggers

  22. 41 Dee
    April 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    There have only been 2 seasons and on the show I think the timeline has just been two months. Do people not realize that things are going to change drastically, do they think they know all there is to know about a character in just 2 months. It’s funny because so many people hope S/B will stay together forever on the show and some who truly believe that. If you try to tell them any different they always point out the books are different and AB will not split them up. Do they know what AB is like? even if not do they see that this show is not that type of show lol. AB has stated that happy and stable relationships are great in real life but on tv it’s boring. Causing problems in relationships is what makes it interesting and brings the drama to a uhmmm drama show lol. Even Stephen Moyer himself has stated that nobody wants to just see a couple stay together happy and have a great relationship, people will get bored.

    It’s ridiculous that people criticize CH for her own story, she created that whole world and all the characters and she knows better than anybody else in what direction it should go. If CH thinks Sookie should not be with Bill then there are reasons for it, she even said in an interview that Bill betrayed her and she didn’t forgive him and get back with him and she shouldn’t have.

    Can’t wait for S3 to see what people will think after they find out the truth and see that AB is going in that direction. It has been made very obvious and from the first season has hinted at that, well those who read the books would realize it right away. From the moment he went to Diane and Malcolm’s apt,Bill, said that Sookie must be protected or else. Malcolm said he is not afraid of Eric Northman and Bill said not him and then the Queen was mentioned and Bill didn’t say no. So from the very beginning AB has planned on Bill’s fall, the evidence is there.

    • 42 Ashley
      May 7, 2010 at 3:46 am

      I think its been even less the two months. More like six weeks. The BLs seem to conveniently ignore this face. Because Season 1 took place over about a month, and season 2 was only two weeks. So it only been 6-7 weeks, and they think they know who Bill is. Its ridiculous and stupid. Who knows everyhing about a person in 6 weeks, no-one!! They are in for a rude awakening, just like those people who get married too fast and expect it to work out.

  23. April 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Season 1, the DVD collection, section Features, ep1. AB narrates the features section of Ep.1 and spells out
    the direction he intends to go. There will no doubt be his take on certain plot lines, but he also mentions
    and gives a nod to SVM readers. If he changes his mind, so what. It’s fun to watch and the eye candy ain’t
    shabby either.

  24. 44 lkc
    April 17, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Aaine I love when you rant. If you lived in the states I’d send you a case of wine so you could rant more often! Everything you said is spot on.

  25. April 17, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Took a quick look at CH site and found this on a post “Congratulations…”
    NYT April 16/2010, Mass-Market Paperback-Fiction #2DAG.

  26. 46 callie
    April 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Alan Ball wants to keep Sookie and Bill together though, he has stated it numerous times in interviews. Not that there won’t be tension between them. I think AB is going to keep Eric the Bad Boy throughout True Blood’s run.
    I started reading the books after watching True Blood. I keep the books and TB seperate as well, but I often wonder how the denouements are bound to collide in a weird way. That should be interesting…

    • 47 VikingLover
      April 17, 2010 at 11:12 pm

      I think he was saying that last summer because he didn’t want to give anything away about the shows future direction. He would never say, Sookie will be with Eric. He’s starting to change his tune a little bit, I’ve noticed. But based on all we have seen so far in S1 and S2, it seems to me that he’s blowing smoke and the show is indeed moving in the direction of the books. Eric is not the “bad boy” of the show – not at all.

    • 48 Dee
      April 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm

      I read an interview with AB and he said that they will break up. When asked for how long he said “longer than bill fans would like”

      Stephen Moyer even commented that you’ll probably see both Bill and Sookie with other love interests.

    • 49 LLE
      April 18, 2010 at 12:11 am

      AB mention that the Bill’s fans are not going to be happy. AB is planning to break up Bill and Sookie and keep them apart for long time.

    • 50 Angie
      April 18, 2010 at 12:51 am

      I’ve seen AB mention a number of times that Eric and Sookie are going to be together (to cite a specific source, there was an article from Entertainment Weekly from last summer that I am looking at right now). Trust me, it’s gonna happen.

      • 51 KittyKat
        April 18, 2010 at 10:56 am

        The good part is that if it’s like in the books, it’s never a permanent thing but they are never completely broken off either. So we always have that progression, seeing a real thing develop over time instead of the B/S crash and burn. Athough AB might/likely will toss in random B/S kisses in some moments, like there were in the books or fantasies (since he’s so keen on that, as we saw, putting Eric and Sookie together without doing so in the storyline). The fantasy angles are not my cup of tea, but in any story w/e. I guess he has to play up to the various factions.

  27. 52 Belle
    April 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Great Post. Hits the nail on the head…. or stake in the heart!!!

  28. April 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Here here!!
    You are of course right, and I am glad that you have said it, too many people seem to think that something they are a fan of belongs to them in some way, (I personally blame the culture of the celebrity etc, but that rant is for another day) and that they should therefore have an influence over it, unfortunately I don’t see everyone coming to their senses but it is nice to read someone spell it out 😀

  29. 54 Imagine
    April 18, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Hi all, I have been reading this blog for a while and am overjoyed there are people just as obsessed (Ahem..with Eric)as I am! I agree with you all, Harris has given us a wonderful and engaging story to enjoy and it is appalling that “fans” could be so cruel to her. I think the differences in TB Bill & Eric and SVM Bill & Eric are a necessity. For one thing, TB Bill’s upcoming dirty secret exposure will seem more devastating on screen if AB makes him look like a “perfect southern gentleman”. Since in the books we get a first hand account of Sookie’s feelings we knew how devastated she was, but on screen it will not be so apparent. That is my reasoning that they made Bill so “perfect” in TB. That way we can project what we would feel in that situation onto Sookie and AB can achieve relatively the same emotional effects from the book on screen(I knew I majored in PSY for a reason!). The same with making Eric seem like such a major jerk compared to the books.By making him really “bad” viewers will fall in love with the extreme changes he undergoes throughout the series. Not to mention by creating such extremes AB can gradually change E & B compared to the books depending on how many seasons TB will sign for. Oh, and I just wanted to let everyone know how nice it is to go to a site where everyone is polite and respectful and not to mention lots of Viking love, Thanx. 🙂

    • 55 Gigi
      April 18, 2010 at 2:40 am

      Welcome Imagine!!! Come on in and share our “obsession” HAHHAHAHAHAHA. The group therapy seesions are still in agenda, but will begin soon! LMAO 🙂

  30. April 18, 2010 at 2:45 am

    WORD to your whole post!! I COMPLETELY agree with everything you said! CH is the writer, AB is basically writing fanfiction, like another poster mentioned. You’ve hit the nail on the head. I only wish that everybody would believe you, like we do!

    The only problem is…the BL’s will never believe it or they will just say that you’re wrong. No matter what proof you have to back up what you’re saying. I’m sorry, I’ve dealt with a psycho fanbase before (not that I’m saying that all BL’s are crazy, it’s just the few who are the source of your rant). They’re all just plain crazy! LOL There is no reasoning with them and if you try to say something different, they will just come up with more mumble-jumble to make you angry, upset and feel like lashing out again! Not that I don’t love your rants, but I thought I would mention this just to save your own sanity! LOL We EL’s do have to stick together! *hugs* But you are right. I really don’t understand how the BL’s could think differently and I don’t think I’ll ever understand it! LOL

    BTW, love your blogs!! 🙂

  31. 57 vampirenerd
    April 18, 2010 at 3:50 am

    this, SO MUCH THIS!

    excellent post 🙂

  32. 58 Dan
    April 18, 2010 at 5:03 am

    I’ll fight those MoFos, SVB. Where they at?

  33. 60 Mia
    April 18, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I haven’t seen the comments concerning CH, but hopefully if she sees or hears about them, she can spin it in a positive way; that is, she has created a world of characters that people are very passionate about even if it does produce rude or insulting behavior from her readers.

    On the other hand, it’s not fair to string the fans along and not expect some anger. If I remember correctly since I haven’t read DAG since last May, at the end, Sookie thought that she loved Bill again and she didn’t know which vampire GGP Niall was referencing when he said the vampire loves you. I took the “love” for Bill as finally forgiving him and maybe having some closure, but then the not knowing who GGP Niall meant made me want to give up on Sookie’s love life altogether so I can understand the frustration.

    • 61 Dee
      April 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

      I personally think when she said she loved him again, it wasn’t “OMG i am in love with Bill again and want to be with him” it was a new love she had for him. What I mean by that is in the books they start a relationship and she falls in love with him and wants to be with him. Then he betrays her and goes from being hurt, betrayed, even at times wanting to act like he doesn’t exist. But after some time they do begin a friendship and he proves to be a better friend than boyfriend. Then seeing that he helped rescue her showed how much she appreciated having him in her life. She looks at him and loves him but I think its a friendship type of love, the type of love you have for someone close to you in your life but doesn’t mean you want to be in a relationship.

      I understand some people get frustrated with her love life and want her to decide already but I like that it’s taking some time. Bill was her first and she still had a lot to learn, she thought she knew what she wanted and still needed to learn a lot more about relationships. Each experience was a new lesson, and if she would’ve settled with someone too early i would’ve felt she still was a bit too naive. I like that if she does finally settle down, she will do so with much more knowledge about who she is, what she wants in a relationship and who is right for her. Plus I believe in life experiences and growing as a person before settling down, so I like this direction. But everyone is different and everyone is entitled to their own opinion so it’s ok if everyone doesn’t agree on what Sookie should do with her life.

  34. 62 Eowyn
    April 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I will be the 1st to admit that I have stopped reading some authors because the storyline has gone to places that I have found well, boring. I have never done this with the SVB’s but I did it with LK Hamiltons Anita Blake series…when I find a book that is so full of sex, boring..I know it is time for me to move on..This is not the authors fault..It is mine, I have placed too many of MY expectations on the writer, when in fact, the writer has no idea, nor really cares what my expectations are. I have not done this with CH yet.

    I was critical of the last book, yup, I got bored with the fae storyline. Now don’t throw stones..that was just me.. a lover of good ole’ bad ass vampire behavior. But I never said “well, I’ll never buy one of her books again because she is focusing too much on other things.” I just changed MY expectations of what is to come. I will not stop reading if she kills off Eric or Bill (I might just cause a revolt if she kills off Sam tho!)..

    With TB I had huge expectations..and fucking AB throws a curve..he makes the egg, just an egg and the statue, just a statue..I am constantly finding myself saying WTF..So that’s my goal for this season..NO expectations..(yeah right!) make Bill the hero and make Eric the big bad viking….cuz I so luuuuvvvvv bad!…

    • April 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      I agree with changing expectations. I’m at peace with TB now. However, I will cheer if Sam dies (in the books). Because then he’s gone. He annoys me.

      • 64 kelly
        April 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm

        i have changed my expectations too. no all i expect is to see alexander skarsgard on tv looking fab, acting wonderfully and being eric to the best of his ability.

        that is all

        • 65 Kristen
          April 18, 2010 at 10:55 pm

          And honestly, despite the show, scripting, characters, costumes etc, I would still watch just for that! God, my man Askars could carry that entire show! And it’s just icing on the cake that I am a true Eric fan, at heart.

  35. 66 Trae
    April 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I have read all of the Sookie books, and I have my opinions about the MANY changes… but I’m not coming down on either side on this… I’m just gonna say this… Lafayette is DEAD… This happened at the end of the first book… the feet in the car? Those were Lafayette’s…
    And yet nobody’s bitchin’ about keeping him around… It was an actual important plotline of the second story and the MYSTERY that Sookie has to solve, but he’s popular, so its okay to totally change the source material to keep him around…
    If you want your favorites to stay around… deal with Ball changing it to keep it that way… As for Bill and his saintly whatever… He’s no saint… Never has been… READ THE BOOKS… It’s like Hollywood… READ THE BOOK… He has motives other than LOVE… he was SENT to find Sookie… to make her an ally of the vamps… BOOM DONE…
    Again, I’m not 100% happy with the changes… I’m 100% happy with a few castings (there’s nobody who could play Eric better quite frankly) and 100% unhappy with casting on some (really… Paquin? Sookie don’t whine like that… the only thing she got right, quite frankly, was the kitchen scene after her grandmother’s death… but please understand this… the books are, again, SOURCE MATERIAL… It’s already been turned 180 from the original books, but we devotees of the books aren’t whining. I love several characters enough to keep watching… If you’re not happy with something… STOP WATCHING. If ratings fall, maybe they’ll change things BACK

  36. 67 Davida
    April 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Well said!

    I read the books after loving both seasons of True Blood. While reading I thought, “Oh… that’s what really happened.” (ie. Eric killed Longshadow instead of Bill, Lafayette was killed, Jessica never existed, Godric wasn’t Eric’s maker, Tara wasn’t really black or Lafayette’s cousin, etc.) I’m a fan of both, including fanfiction, knowing CH has the authority on what really happens.

    • 68 VampirePamsGirl
      April 19, 2010 at 12:26 am

      Your post is exactly what I was like too. I watched TB S1 first and then I got the books and after I read the first book, I even was telling my mom (who had watched TB but hadn’t yet read the books then) that “True Blood got it wrong. Eric staked Longshadow, not Bill!”

      For me, in this and in anything, the books are what really happens.

      And I do completely agree with SVB here and I get frustrated quite often with things I hear, so I really appreciate the rant. However, I don’t guess I can really say a whole lot about it, because I understand (to a degree) where they are coming from. Honestly, if CH suddenly made Eric evil or killed Eric off or something like that, I would probably be one of the first ones bitching and moaning and screaming about CH. I know it’s her story and she’s going to tell it as she sees the story happening (as it should be). Rationally I understand and agree with all that’s been said. Emotionally however I feel sure that I am not a good enough (or a sane enough) person that I could refrain from lashing out if I felt like my favorite fictional character was wronged, even if he was wronged by the person that created him and had every right to do with him as she wished. I guess it’s one of those many things where I am wrong and I know am wrong, but it’s still not gonna change how I feel, lol. 🙂

      • 69 PrettyVikingChains
        April 20, 2010 at 12:38 am

        First of all, SVB, I completely agree with your rant. This is CH’s material, & just because we feel so connected to the story does not mean that we get any say in how it progresses. If nothing else, AB has taught us that, lol!

        VPG, I agree that I would be upset if CH suddenly decided that Eric was the bad guy & “destroyed” his character, but (even though it’s her prerogative to do whatever she wants with these characters) that’s mainly because it would seem so OOC. Yes, I love Eric, but that’s mainly because she wrote him that way! Since book 1 she has written him in a way that absolutely encourages readers to fall in love with him. He is attentive, honest (“I may not tell you everything, but what I tell you, it’s true”), & always takes care of Sookie (whether it’s a driveway or staying with her after an attack). So, yes, I would be upset (& confused) if his character suddenly changed.

        However, the same cannot be said about Bill. When we first met Bill, we, like Sookie, were naive & assumed that he was a “good guy” because he was exciting & courted Sookie. I would assume that most of us were shocked when we found out his real agenda & felt somewhat betrayed, as did Sookie. But Bill’s character was ruined in book 3. There have been 6 books since then, BLs!!! 6 books that support the fact that Bill is not the guy you met in DUD. If you are suddenly disappointed in CH, it’s YOUR FAULT for not seeing what she has consistently presented.

        OK, rant over 😉

        • 70 VampirePamsGirl
          April 20, 2010 at 1:37 am

          No, I definitely agree with what you are saying. That’s why I said I could understand only to a degree where they are coming from. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the love for Book Bill, I really don’t. Like you said, his character was ruined for me by Book 3. I actually started to dislike him by Book 2. It baffles me that some people read the books and still love that character so much, but…eh, to each their own I suppose. I just don’t think I can say a whole lot though on this issue (ranting at CH) because I doubt I’d act any different from them, sadly. That whole rot about people in glass houses throwing stones, right? 😛 Lol.

          Like somebody else said, I just hope that CH is able to take all the criticism in a good way. It does say a lot about her writing and her story that people get so into it and so passionate about it that they react like this to her characters. I really hope she takes it all as flattering, and not insulting. It is after all kind of a tribute to her writing.

          • 71 PrettyVikingChains
            April 20, 2010 at 3:45 am

            That’s true. I’m still sticking to my theory that all BLs are just crazy though 😉

            That’s a good point. Few authors can create this amount of passion for their characters, so CH should definitely take all of the crazy fandom as an odd sort of compliment. Even most authors who do have this level of support don’t turn out as many books as she has. DITF is already Barnes & Noble’s #2 bestselling book, & it’s still in pre-sale! That’s impressive.

  37. 72 Janofarc
    April 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Well said. The source material is what counts, AB may diverge and expand on minor plot points and characters, but this has given a lot of shippers reason to expect him to keep B&S together indefinitely, personally I think that would be very boring – it’s not a dramatic tale of romance and people finding their soul-mate, it’s a show about a young woman being thrown into a violent world.

    At this point in the books there isn’t much chance of Sookie falling into Bill’s arms without a majority of readers thinking ‘WTF?’ so I don’t know exactly what these Bill-extremists are expecting for the 10th book. It’s a little insulting to CH to say her books are naff because the heroine isn’t dropping her knickers for their preferred male character.

  38. 73 Kristen
    April 18, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Preach it, SVB! Too true…

    That being said – does anyone understand the BLs over at CH’s website?? They don’t seem to be True Blood originating fans who have since read the books… they seem to be diehard bookies, yet SO many of them luuurrrvvve Bill to the point of insanity. I. don’t. get. it.

    • 74 Janofarc
      April 18, 2010 at 11:11 pm

      I don’t understand it either, I wonder if they’ve really read the books y’know. Did they miss all of the negative emotions Sookie described when she talked about her relationship with Bill? Did they miss all of the signs that he was manipulating her feelings so she would feel insecure and lean on him for support? Did they miss the fact that he used her sexual inexperience to dominate her, claim her and use her under the guise of ‘passionate rough sex’? I guess they did …

      • 75 Ashley
        April 19, 2010 at 6:13 am

        And did they completely miss the two times that Sookie actually questioned whether or not she was even in love with Bill?! I think it was books 2 and 3. CH said she doesnt write extraneous material, so her questioning her love for Bill had to be for a reason. Sookie depended on Bill for love and companionship, but she didnt even KNOW if she was in love with him, or just loved him. Its not the same thing. Its like some people just completely ignored this, along witht the complete and utter betrayal.

        • 76 LLE
          April 19, 2010 at 10:21 pm

          Sookie mention in book 1 and 2 that she loved Bill but was not in love with him. I don’t think the Bill’s fans care about the abusive relationship of Bill and Sookie.

      • 77 LLE
        April 19, 2010 at 10:23 pm

        Bill’s fans don’t care about the abusive relationship of Bill and Sookie. CH made it clear in book 1 that Bill was an abusive and control freak.

  39. 78 isilyastar
    April 19, 2010 at 2:03 am

    two thumbs up girl! one way to look at this is that True Blood is like another fan fiction story of the Sookie Stackhouse series. it just so happened that he was given the chance to air it on TV. Charlaine Harris will always be the mastermind of the series.

  40. 79 Dee
    April 20, 2010 at 2:28 am

    I never understood it either, and actually would like to know what was it about him that they loved. Not even in to ask in a smart ass way but seriously. For me, it wasn’t just starting a relationship bc he was sent by QSA, even leaving her for Lorena which in book 3 he didnt seem too sad to leave Sookie behind. She starts crying and goes to leave his house and instead of hugging her or comforting her somehow he just tells her he’s going to seattle and if anything happens to him to get his comp and bring it to her place. At that point he knew he might never come back and be with her but i didnt see any regret from him. He didn’t hug her or kiss her goodbye or say anything for her to remember him by. He then rapes her, ok fine he was starved but why no apology? that pissed me off. But despite all that, my main reason she shouldn’t get back with him was bc of their relationship. Arlene actually makes her realize he never did anything for her and thats when Sookie realizes it’s true and when she decides to move on.

    He was never romantic like many claim, did i miss something in the books. Basically telling her to buy herself a gift from him is not romantic. People say theyre both old fashioned which shows how ppl got it all wrong. Sookie is not old fashioned at all, and that was another problem in their relationship. They were just too different too, he didnt get her jokes or her zest for life. Even in DAD Bill points out to sookie how her and Eric are similar so even Bill agrees to that. He is no gentleman either, she asked him during sex to slow down, he was being too rough and he said NO. I really am curious as to what was so great about their relationship.

    • 80 PrettyVikingChains
      April 20, 2010 at 4:32 am

      I agree. I never saw anything of Bill in the books that made him remotely appealing. But I did see a lot that made me despise his character.

    • 81 Ashley
      April 21, 2010 at 2:40 am

      I soo agree. Bill in the books is cold, humorless, self-centered, and controlling. I didnt see anything good about him. The way CH wrote his character, she kind of wrote it so that people didnt really know much about him. He was always distant. He didnt have a true intimate relationship with Sookie, beside satisfying her sexually. Their bedroom scenes were always cut short. They didnt have the long intimate convos like Sookie and Eric. We only saw a tiny bit of who Bill was. He was closed off. And after learning about Lorena and the edict, it all made sense. Bill had his chance to tell Sookie about the edict. He betrayed her bad enough once, and made it a million times worse by continuing to win her back without telling her the truth. What are his redeeming qualities? I have no clue. He wasnt written as the epic romance in Sookie’s life. He was written as the learning relationship, the guy that breaks your heart and that you learn to heal from and move on.

  41. 82 Charlotte
    April 20, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Everything that has to be said I’m sure has been said about this post/rant and I just want to throw my 2 cents in!

    I started reading the series about 2 months ago. I finished about 3 weeks ago. I loved the show and prior to it I had absolutely no idea the books were even in existence. To be completely honest the only reason I watched the show was because I loved….and I dare to say it…Twilight…and my mom told me it was similar. If I had only known then what I know now…

    I love the show, I enjoy the plot and the acting and I think Alan Ball has a vision and he’s going with it which I respect. I’m curious as to how he’s going to work with some of the later developments in the book storyline but whatever…

    That being said…nothing compares to how I feel about the books. I was instantly sucked (haha) into Charlaine Harris’ world. I have friends who watch the show who haven’t read the books, and I can just laugh when they go off on their ‘Bill and Sookie are perfect’ tangents. I myself have always been an Eric fan and the books solidified that.

    I guess my point is that I could be considered a ‘bandwagon’ fan. But I would never think of complaining about the books. Bill was never an honest character and that alone makes me question what people see in him. Maybe I’m just biased because I prefer vikings…..

    • 83 Ashley
      April 21, 2010 at 2:43 am

      No you are not biased. CH wrote the character for people to question him, and all his betrayals. Some just dont get it, or are confusing what theyve seen on the show so far with the books. Sorry, but two completely different scenarios, at least right now. That will change though.


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ABOUT SOOKIEVERSE

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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