Archive for the 'Character Rants' Category

02
May
10

Eric’s hair and my fragile grip on reality – Pt 2

A few weeks ago I was bitten by some sort of weird OCD bug. I spent half a day trawling the internet, attempting to piece together the process by which Alan Ball stole Eric’s hair before proceeding to tell us a bare faced lie about how he actually did no such thing.

I wasn’t going to post any more about this, because I feel like I go on about it obsessively. Obsessive? Me?

Hardly.

But the new promo pic today has sent me into Hair Meltdown yet again. So screw it, I’m posting.

In this week’s edition of “Eric’s Hair Makes Me A Raving Fucking Lunatic”, I want to share with you all why it matters so much to me that the crowning glory of this most revered book character has gone from this…

To THIS.

From my previous rants on this subject, it’s evident that there’s a proportion of people who aren’t bothered by Eric’s unfortunate encounter with a Clairol bottle, as long as he still looks hot and badass. To those people, I admire your ability to just go along for the ride with Ball – really I do. And I can do that too, at least to some degree. When the story of Eric’s maker was changed so radically on True Blood, I was cool with that. Alot of book fans were, and why was that? Because the changes didn’t betray the essence of Eric’s character. Book readers know Eric as intensely loyal and protective of those he cares about, and the Eric we saw in those episodes was one that we all recognised. Even though the storyline itself wasn’t canon, the Eric/Godric arc on True Blood was faithful to the spirit of the book character. So we were happy to go along for the ride.

But so help me Alan Ball, I am drawing a fucking line in the sand with this season 3 hair. RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW.

My objections to a dark haired Eric are not about what Alexander Skarsgard looks like on screen when he is playing the part.

It’s not about a personal preference for blonde hair; I have never had a blonde partner and blondes don’t normally attract me. It’s not based on some anal retentive, Misery-style purism that causes me to want every detail of True Blood to mirror the books. And it most definitely is not about a fondness for the season 1 wig that looked like roadkill peeled off a Louisiana backroad in 99 degree heat.

Eric’s hair is sending me off the deep end for one reason:

Eric’s long blonde hair is integral to the spirit of his character, and it is symbolic of his connection to Sookie. Take that long blonde hair away, and it feels too much like a symbolic severing of the potential for that connection. And I am deeply suspicious as to why Mr Ball would want us to feel that way.

The fact that Sookie and Eric’s hair is the “exact same colour” is referenced multiple times in the books, and references to Eric’s blond hair specifically are more numerous than I care to count. Harris doesn’t emphasise the similarity between Eric and Sookie’s hair colour because she wants us to suspect that they are distantly related, or that there is some accident of genetics at play to be revealed further down the line. She makes a point of it because it is a metaphor for their spiritual connection – for the fact that whatever Eric and Sookie are made of at their core, it is the same.

Since time immemorial, hair – its colour, its length and its style – has held symbolic meaning in stories. From Rapunzel in fairy tales to the biblical Samson, hair is a physical manifestation of both emotional states and character traits.

Long hair on men has long been a symbol of strength, virility, and romanticism. Fabio lookalikes don’t adorn the cover of those Harlequin romances by accident – the image of a muscular, virile man with long flowing hair speaks to a romantic ideal that women recognise right down to their ovaries, whether they want to admit it or not. Hair is a strong sexual emblem, and in western cultures we tend to assign certain personality traits to the man who wears it long and unrestrained. Subconciously, we see these men as operating outside the normal social constraints. We perceive them as free thinking, rebellious and in control of their own destiny. Sound like anyone we know?

Let’s be clear – True Blood and the SVM are nothing more than contemporary fairy tales. And in fairy tales and myth, blond hair has always been synonymous with goodness and purity. I am not going to sit here and tell you that I think Eric is a force for all that is right and good in the world. The vampire is a vampire, not a saint.

While Eric doesn’t quite embody the conventional “white knight” so often seen in the black and white morality of the fairy tale world, he is turning out to be a force for positive growth and change in Sookie’s world. Against the dark-haired Bill, whose presence in her life ultimately brought her a great deal of undeserved pain and hard learned lessons, Eric is unwittingly teaching Sookie about mature love and trust even as he learns about these things himself. Sookie has trusted Eric with her body for a long time. She’s trusted him to protect it from harm, to heal it, and to make love to it. Yet she has always found it much more difficult to trust him with her heart. Ever so slowly, that seems to be changing.

Eric’s long, blond hair is a subtle clue to us about his benevolence in Sookie’s world – against the more maelevolent, dark (haired) character of Bill. Compare and contrast. Darkness and light. Do I need to fill in the blanks here? Can you even imagine Bill Compton with blond hair? It’s just as wrong.

Since Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris has used contrasting language in her descriptions of Bill and Eric to prompt the reader to think about differences in their character. We examined this in detail in the Loved by a Vampire posts a few months back. Harris draws a stark physical contrast between Bill and Eric – Bill is dark haired, dark eyed and broody; Eric is fair haired, blue eyed and lively – while at the same time drawing strong physical parallels between Eric and Sookie. Blond haired, blue eyed Sookie shares a similar lust for life as the viking vampire with whom she has such a complicated relationship. It’s a simple device used to further highlight the fact that Eric and Sookie are similar, and Bill and Sookie are worlds apart.

Eric and Bill are archetypes – symbols that a lifetime of fairytales and storytelling and cultural identification have taught us to recognise.

Archetypes are sacrosanct when you are telling (or reinterpreting) a story. Even if you’re putting your own spin on things, there are some things that you just do not fuck with. In the reinterpreting of this story, there has been too much messing with archetypes already.

Aah, season 3 is going to be a blast.

Advertisements
20
Apr
10

Eric’s hair and my fragile grip on reality – Pt 1

I freely admit I’m like a dog with a bone on this subject – but we are going there, yet again.

Yes, it’s Eric’s hair.

Eric’s season three hair – a subject which has been sending us (ok ME) into random conniptions since February – was once again a hot topic in the comments of yesterday’s Webisode Promo post.

So for the sake of my sanity we are going to get to the bottom of this hair issue, once and for all. But to do that, we need to do some snooping.

And I’m on it.

27 June 2009

True Blood is just about to wrap up season 2 filming. Alexander attends the Bruno premiere in LA with 100% Verified Viking Hair.

Early August 2009

Filming for Straw Dogs begins. Set photos show his highlights cut out and his hair back to his natural dirty blond. It’s cut quite short for his role – including through the front.

Early October 2009

Filming ends for Straw Dogs, according to the Vault and various other sources. As of October 11th, the film is listed on IMDb as being in “Post Production”.

November, 2009

Alex goes to Stockholm to film extra scenes for the indie production, Puss. He wore a wig for these additional scenes, therefore nothing was done to his real hair.

In the wig:

Returning from Stockholm in mid-November after Puss shoot – hair is still very short, and dirty blonde:

January 5, 2010

Production has just started on season 3 of True Blood, and the paps catch Skars alone at the movies. Wait! There is definitely much more length than there was just six weeks before. And still dirty blond.

Now since Alex’s hair was longish in early January, the Eric minisode we saw a glimpse of yesterday was filmed in early January. Why? Because the hair in the screencap below is NOT the same hair we have been seeing in other season 3 promos (pics further down for comparison purposes!), but it is very similar in length and colour to the pic above. And it is parted and slicked back like season 2, though it’s a little shorter. It definitely has not been attacked with the auburn rinse yet, which makes sense if this scene is meant to occur between season 2 and 3:

[I realise my obsessive, stalkerish behaviour is freaking some of you right out at this point…but bear with me. I’m going somewhere with this, really I AM!]

January 18, 2010

Moving just over a week forward from the sad, lonely guy at the movies alone pic on Jan 5. Remember True Blood has started filming – and Alex shows up at the Golden Globes with his hair like THIS. I thought it was odd, but it was just this image that looked really obviously dyed, so I blamed the lighting.

February 17 and 18, 2010

These images come out, a day apart. We realise something is definitely up, and I let it rip…you can read it here (beware, much swearing). If you can’t see that hair has dye in it of an auburn persuasion, you need to adjust your monitor or your glasses. Because that is NOT his natural colour. And it is not the lighting either. He’s been under lights plenty of times in the last few years and his hair has never appeared that colour.

14 & 21 March, 2010

True Blood promos are released, and for the first time we see Season 3 Eric.

WHAT THE FUCK HAVE THEY DONE?

And I rant again.

31 March, 2010

Alan Ball feeds this gem to Ausiello when asked about the obvious change to Eric’s hair colour:

“Alexander made a movie during his hiatus and his hair was darker when he returned,” explains Ball with a laugh. “It wasn’t a choice [we made].”

REALLY?

Straw Dogs finished filming in October. His hair was NOT dyed for his part in that film – in the set pics above you can see it is his natural colour. Nor was it dyed for the Puss reshoot, in which he wore a wig. His hair was clearly still his natural colour and beginning to grow out lengthwise in early January as can be seen above. A deliberate grow out to film the Eric minisode – which has to fit into the end of season 2 timeline. By mid January, his hair has been cut shorter again and an auburn rinse put through it that clearly was not there even two weeks before – let alone MONTHS before when he was filming other projects. An auburn rinse and cut that conspicuously appeared right when True Blood began filming.

By mid January, Alex’s only filming commitment was True Blood – Puss and Straw Dogs were long since done.

And of course, none of the above even takes into account the fact that actors who are contracted to a television series have clauses restricting what they can do to their appearance. This is precisely so that they don’t return to the set after a hiatus looking like a FUCKING FRAT BOY WHO CAME OFF SECOND BEST IN A BRAWL WITH HIS MOTHER’S HAIR DYE.

The fact that Ball is feeding us a line – and he is feeding us a line, no doubt in my mind – is making me very suspicious of his intentions in season 3. If Ball is telling porkies, there has to be a reason. A reason he doesn’t want us to know about yet.

And don’t tell me that it’s for the Leif storyline, it just does not wash now. That doesn’t explain why his hair has been dark since they started filming episode one, and it doesn’t explain why it is still dark now, almost five months later. This is a season long change and our blond Viking is GONE.

I was going to finish this post with a rational discussion about why this assault on Eric’s hair is practically giving me a stroke, instead of just ranting about it. But it’s already too long.

I’ll save that for tomorrow. I need a shot of something alcoholic and a good lie down before I blog about this subject again.

Eric’s Hair and my fragile grip on reality – Part II

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.

18
Dec
09

Five Minutes with Book Sook – Some Words of Advice

I spend more of my time on forums ranting and raving about Sookie than I really should. As the main character of this story, I love her alot – she’s feisty, smart when it counts, independent and funny. Yet sometimes I could happily wring her neck. Reading these books I find myself cursing and yelling at her more than any other character. Even more than Bill.

This is only because I love her and I just want what’s best for her. And she clearly has no idea most of the time about what that is.

So in the name of some cathartic release, if I had five minutes alone with Book Sookie this is what I would most like to tell her.

1. SEE A SHRINK
And put their number on speedial. Seriously honey, you are obviously suffering from PTSD and no one blames you for this one little bit. Now you need to own it and you need to deal with it. In a few short years you’ve had your grandmother murdered, your house half burnt down, your brother go missing and then turned into a werepanther, your boss get shot and one of your best friends try to kill you. You’ve blown someone to hell with a shotgun, staked your boyfriend’s vampire ex, disposed of dead bodies, been bashed more times than I can count, shot, poisoned, bitten, staked and kidnapped. Your first love screwed around on you, attempted to rape and drain you, and then sold you out in the worst possible way. Your rebound guys after this horrible betrayal were a snobby werewolf and a tiger with mommy issues.

None of this is normal honey. Normal people don’t live like this. You really need to talk with someone.

2. TAKE A SELF DEFENCE CLASS
Okay, you’ve done pretty well to survive thus far and at a pinch, you can certainly hold your own in a fight. But I’d really feel so much better if you’d let the experts teach you how to take care of yourself. Your propensity for attracting trouble means your luck is only going to hold out for so long. While we’re on the subject of your personal safety, you might also think about moving into town. Your yard seems to have become a supernatural freeway of late, and those woods aren’t so great either. If nothing else, you’ll make it harder for Bill to lurk outside listening while you’re having the hottest sex of your life. If he tries that in town, someone will surely call the cops on his creeper arse.

3. AVOID MERLOTTE’S PARKING LOT
Nothing good ever happens there. Your boyfriend got attacked and drained. You got bashed to within an inch of your life. Your boss got shot. Your other boyfriend and his King got attacked and you had to go back and save them by yourself. NOTHING GOOD. Stay away. Go into work through the front entrance or something.

4. DITCH YOUR BROTHER
I know he’s all you’ve got, and I strongly suspect he’s trying to work his way back into your good graces as we speak. You don’t need him. He’s a selfish, immature, impulsive, unreliable, stupid man-whore. Have I made that clear enough? Every man that cares about you – Niall, Eric, Sam…hell, even Bill – can’t stand him. That should tell you everything you need to know, right there.

5. GET CHOOSIER ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS
Let’s talk about Tara, Arlene and Amelia. We all know Arlene is a complete bust, and I don’t think you’re going to argue with me there. Tara is self absorbed, vain and quite frankly a bit dim. Amelia…we need to talk about Amelia another time. I don’t think you should trust her as much as you do, and I’m even more suspicious of her daddy. Suffice to say, you suck at picking friends.

6. STOP SEEING YOURSELF AS A FREAK
Embrace your ability, and stop berating yourself and your talents. You’ve done some rather amazing things in the last two years, young lady. Yes, you’ve killed people or been indirectly responsible for people being killed – but you have also saved many lives and done alot of good things with this gift you seem to loathe so much. If you’re nothing special, then why is half the supernatural community of North America practically killing eachother over you huh? Haven’t got an answer for that, have you?

and finally…

7. AVOIDANCE IS NOT A RELATIONSHIP STRATEGY
You knew this was going to come up. He might let you dodge this conversation over and over, but I will not. We are going there and it’s for your own good.

Here is what you need to do.

Get in that piece of crap car of yours and drive straight to Shreveport. Try not to kill anyone or get in any fights along the way. Can you do that? Of course you can.

March straight through the front door of that club and tell Pam he’s not taking any calls on your way past. Head for his office and slam the door shut behind you. Haul him out from behind that desk, shove him up against the nearest wall (all that vampire blood should come in handy here) and HAVE YOUR FUCKING WAY WITH HIM.

He will love it.

Stop thinking so much and just DO IT.

Got all that? Good. Now for the really important part. When you’re done, you sit your arse down and let the man talk. He’s been trying to tell you for at least two books now how he feels about you, and you keep shooting him down in flames. I know you’re scared of hearing it. I know you think you can’t measure up or you aren’t good enough for him or whatever else. I know you don’t want to go there again after Bill and we sure don’t blame you for that – Bill was an arsehole and that’s public knowledge. But honey, it’s too late. You’re there, whether you like it or not. You had it for him bad before the blood bond ever happened so stop questioning everything you feel for him, and just start trusting. You let him get all up close and personal before the curse and before the blood bond…and you liked it. Just quit the angst, it’s getting old. Let him tell you how he feels. Let him hear how you feel – how you really feel. Just do that one little thing for me and see what happens ok?

I have a feeling it might be something beautiful.

Got anything to add? We could probably keep her here for another five minutes if I’ve missed something…

09
Dec
09

Fashion Hell Poll Results!

The results are in!

And the winner of the most hideous, cringe-worthy fashion crime in Sookieverse with almost HALF the total vote is…..
.
.
.
His Purple Pansyness in Genie pants!

Quinn = Fashion FAIL.

I’m actually surprised – I thought Sookie would take the crown. But considering Quinn’s popularity around here *cough*, his victory might have been a tad predictable.

Eric came in second in his lycra teamed with a trenchcoat travesty.

The rest of the results are below.

That was lots of fun, I had such a giggle finding the pics and writing the posts.

Thanks for voting!

07
Dec
09

Last Day! Fashion Hell in Sookieverse – #6

It’s the final day of Fashion Hell, and we’ve saved the best for last.

Don’t forget to vote at the end of this post!

Eric – The Infamous Orgy Scene (Living Dead in Dallas)
This is the stuff of Sookieverse legend and it really needs no explanation. But what the hell, we can never go here too many times right?

Hot pink spandex pants, complete with aqua swirls and a trenchcoat…on a 6″4 viking. I realise this will be a controversial inclusion. I know most of you love this scene. And I know he was playing dress-ups for a reason. But what we love about this outfit is what it says about Eric’s personality. The outfit itself? Admit it – no matter how hot he looks in your imagination dressed like that, you are deluding yourself. You are.

Although, I will admit that this outfit does do justice to the GP.
Oh yes.

Look at me with a straight face and tell me you fantasise about this.

Vote away and leave your reasons in the comments. Results will be up in a few days.

06
Dec
09

Fashion Hell in Sookieverse – #5

On the second last day of Fashion Hell in Sookieverse, let’s take a walk down memory lane….and pull up a spot on the corner.

Sookie Does Josephine’s (Club Dead)

Sookie the Hooker strikes again with a fire engine red mini dress that barely covers her backside, with detachable long sleeves and red stillettos. Yes, you did read that right. Trying to find an image of something vaguely resembling this outfit on Google was hilarious – the search terms “red dress detachable sleeves” returned pages of forum posts of Sookie readers howling about this dress. That, and many, many sites peddling outfits for strippers. It seems Sookie’s hooker dress is quite versatile – I’ve now seen some very creative versions in mesh, lycra, sequins, vinyl, and leather.

One of the things I love about Sookie is how she can go from all class to trailer trash and back again, in the blink of an eye.

~ One of the women thought I looked like a high-priced whore. I decided that was a compliment. At least she thought I was expensive ~ Oh Sook, you make me LOL

Tomorrow: The Final Victim – Eric

Previous Noms
#1 Sookie – When Maenads Attack
#2 Bill – Grateful Gran’s Dead
#3 Eric – Amnesia Tell-All
#4 Quinn – Oops I thought this was an Arabian Nights costume party…




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!

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2 other followers

find me

Archives

tweet tweet!

Recent Comments

Blog Stats

  • 525,388 hits since October 2009