Posts Tagged ‘SVM Conspiracies

09
Apr
10

Who’s the Rat?

Time for a poll….simply because my brain is exploding with the possibilities!

According to Eric, we have a rat in the house. Someone tipped Victor off about the Fae war. And that someone gave him enough information that he ended up sitting in Fangtasia the night all hell broke loose, with his posse and his silver chains, just waiting for a phone call.

Who was it?

Vote in the poll and don’t forget to leave your conspiracy theory in the comments.

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26
Feb
10

Is Sookie a Magical Null?

[This is a modified version of a post I made on a forum a few months back – so some of you may have read it already.
Since the subject of Sookie being a null came up in discussion on the DITF post, I thought I’d respost it here.]

I recently read the short story, “Lucky” from A Touch of Dead, and was intrigued by Amelia’s explanation of a “magical null”. This is a concept we haven’t seen mentioned in the full length books at all, and it seemed particularly random to have Amelia raise it outside the framework of the main story.

Amelia describes a magical null in fairly simple terms, as an exceptionally rare human who is not affected by magic. While Amelia seems to imply that this refers to witch magic I wonder if we’re meant to be seeing that as usual, Amelia doesn’t quite have the full picture.

Throughout the series we’ve seen a number of instances where Sookie is either not affected, or able to put up a pretty decent fight against various types of magic.

– She is resistant to vampire glamour, but can also submit to it by choice (CD).

LDID: she didn’t go under with the maenad when every other human present did. In fact, Callisto implies that the reaction Sookie did have was in response to the other humans – and not her magic at all. “You were close.” She said to me. “You were very close. Maybe as close as you’ll ever come. Maybe not. I’ve never seen anyone maddened by the insanity of others. An entertaining thought”.

CD: she is very aware of the stay away spell around the outside of club, but she is still able to enter both times she visits.

DTTW: During the witch war, she is very aware of the spells the witches have cast around the abandoned building, and again she is able to overcome their influence and enter.

FDTW – Niall uses magic to deflect attention from the humans in the restaurant during his first meeting with Sookie. Sookie is aware of it, but she is not affected by it.

The Blood Bond: Eric has repeatedly insinuated that the BB is not working in the way he expected it would. For example, he seems surprised when he tells her that “the bond has worked both ways”.

“Gift Wrap”: When I first read this story I thought it completely blew a hole in the theory. Sookie is put under a spell by a fae posing as a were. But after some wider reading I found that in some faery mythology, the fae are immune to most types of magic but can be bewitched by other fae. Which of course, Preston is. Interestingly, Charlaine Harris is following established mythology regarding vampires, weres, shifters and the fae reasonably faithfully.

Charlaine Harris has said that Sookie won’t get any new abilities – but since this trait has actually been evident since the early books, it’s not new. It seems to have been there since the beginning, though it hasn’t received the attention in her writing that Sookie’s telepathy has. Although Sookie knows she can’t be glamoured, she doesn’t seem to have connected the dots with other types of magic yet either. Could that be coming down the line?

If Sookie is a magical null or some variation of this, it would seem to me that this trait is separate to her telepathy, and one that would make her even more valuable and special. Amelia makes a point of mentioning how rare this is and says in the story that she has only met one null before. She also notes that it takes an experienced witch to identify one. Perhaps CH is offering an explanation here for why Amelia herself hasn’t recognised it…yet?

I think this idea needs some refining – and that perhaps it may be a bit off the mark in some respects. Even so, given the examples above and the fact that this idea has been mentioned very specifically by another character, I think that eventually we will see some variation of it starting to play out. I think that definitely we are going to find out that there is something else going on with Sookie that is going make alot of these loose pieces fall into place.

I firmly believe that by the end of this series Sookie will have found her true place in the supe world, and some of us have speculated that it may turn out to be a more formalised, mediator type of role – rather than simply a telepath to be used purely for her unique abilities. She is already doing mediation type work in an informal capacity anyway, mainly because she can’t help getting involved in things she probably shouldn’t. A more developed ability to ward off the effects of different types of magic would be a valuable skill in this scenario – especially when combined with her telepathy.

08
Jan
10

Loved by a Vampire – The Act

In the first of three posts looking at Bill and Eric’s sexual behaviour and what it may reveal about their character and their vampiric nature, we took apart the MO used by each vampire to initiate sex and noted several stark differences in their approaches.

Today in the second post I’m getting down and dirty. It’s time to get these vampires between the sheets to see what they can do.

I would like to state for the record that writing these posts has given me the best excuse ever to pore all over the steamy bits of my books again…as if I really needed an excuse. I did, however, need to explain to my husband why my whole SVM series is sprawled around my desk with all the sex scenes dog eared and notes scrawled through them. Being a dirty perv in the name of research certainly sounds better than being…well, just a dirty perv.

And on that note, we shall begin. With an apology for the epic length.

THE ACT – BILL

Bill and Sookie have a number of sexual encounters during which the tone of Sookie’s narration is generally…well, harrowing.

Dead Until Dark (graveyard scene)

..I could feel the turmoil in him, I could taste his rage.
Directing that energy in another way might save me. I leaned that inch, put my mouth on his chest…
The next moment his teeth grazed my shoulder, and his body, hard and rigid and ready, shoved me so forcefully I was suddenly on my back in the mud. He slid directly into me as if he were trying to reach through me to the soil…
I had thought he might kill me without meaning to.

Living Dead in Dallas

His hands were under my sweater and my bra was in two pieces. He was relentless. I almost collapsed after the first time I came. “No” he growled when I was flagging, and he kept pounding. Then he increased the pace until I was almost sobbing, my sweater tore and his teeth found my shoulder. He made a deep, awful sound, and then, after long seconds, it was over.”

The first passage above from DUD is borderline rape. Sookie initiates sex with Bill sensing that he has completely lost control and that she is in immediate and serious danger. This scene is actually an interesting precursor to the trunk rape. In the trunk rape scenario, the defence centres around the fact that Bill had been tortured and starved and that he never would have done it in his right mind. I call bullshit. In this scene we see a well fed, untortured Bill in his right mind on the verge of raping Sookie or worse, because he cannot control his urges. Naturally a tortured and starved Bill can control them even less, however this scene demonstrates that the issue exists long before Sookie ends up locked in a trunk with him. Bill has self control issues and Harris deliberately points it out, over and over again.

In the second passage, Sookie almost sounds like she is relaying her grocery list rather than describing an intimate interaction with her boyfriend. Her voice is detached and I think that is meant to clue us into where she is mentally. What is noteworthy is not just the fact that this is rough sex – since there are other times that Sookie enjoys Bill’s “intensity” and what goes on between consenting adults is their business. But what I notice about some of these scenes is how at first Sookie is generally consenting and comfortable with what’s happening, as she is in this scene until she orgasms. Then Bill crosses a line, and Sookie often doesn’t speak up. I wonder whether this is a combination of her sexual inexperience in these earlier books, and her history of sexual abuse. Regardless, Bill crosses her line…and then he just keeps right on going.

A common coping mechanism adopted by victims of sexual abuse is to “leave their bodies” during the experience. As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, it’s reasonable to assume that as an adult, Sookie’s response to aggressive sexual behaviour is to just “mentally check out” – and this perhaps goes some way to explain her tone in these scenes, and also why she doesn’t put up more of a fight when Bill loses control. Her fear, or discomfort about what is happening is easily detected by the reader through her narration, even when she isn’t verbalising it to Bill.

The lack of dialogue noted between Sookie and Bill in the initiation stage continues through the act itself. Unless they’re communicating immediate physical needs, they use only their bodies to communicate during sex. The act is often brief, intense…and mostly silent. Kind of like Bill. Bill/Sookie sex involves very little eye contact, however Bill’s penchant for taking her from behind, bent over something or in darkened cars, porches and graveyards would seem to make eye contact a challenge.

Look behind you Sookie! He's BEHIND YOU! And what's with the arm grabbing? We CU Beel...

Screencap

Now I do realise that Sookie and Bill have a couple of sex scenes during which Bill manages to behave himself – they aren’t all as dark as the examples above. But even in their “lighter” scenes, I still feel a vibe from Bill that I just find unsettling. Witness his vengeful fit killing of Uncle Bartlett after Sookie shared something private with him in her post coital glow. Sookie is not very impressed with this and she dumps him. No sooner are the words out of her mouth and he’s trying to have sex with her. Again. Really, Bill?

It was at about this point I realised I was utterly and completely over Bill Compton.

Interestingly, there aren’t any dark sex scenes with Eric. Could it be that Harris doesn’t really want us to think he’s the bad guy, after all?

THE ACT – ERIC

Ladies, hold onto your panties. Gentlemen, you may wish to take notes.

Dead to the World

I was so on fire for him I was surprised that flames didn’t flicker out of my fingertips. I curled my fingers around him and stroked.
Suddenly Eric was on top of me, about to enter. I was exhilarated and very ready. I reached between us to put him at just the right spot, rubbing the tip of him over my nub as I did so.
“My lover,” he said hoarsely, and pushed.
Though I’d been sure I was prepared, and I ached with wanting him, I cried out with the shock of it.
After a moment, he said, “Don’t close your eyes. Look at me, lover.”
The way he said “lover” was like a caress, like he was calling me by a name no other man had ever used before or ever would after.
His fangs were completely extended and I stretched up to run my tongue over them.

Fangs....so pretty....sigh...what was I saying? Oh yes - I hold some hope for True Blood watching the two dream sequences. They captured the spirit of E/S perfectly.

Dead and Gone

His jeans were off, and his shirt, too, and my panties vanished. His long cool body pressed full length against my warm one. He kissed me over and over in a kind of frenzy. He made a hungry noise, and I echoed it. His fingers probed me, fluttering against the hard nub in a way that made me squirm.
“Eric,” I said, trying to position myself underneath him. “Now.”
He said, “Oh, yes.” He slid inside as if he’d never been gone, as if we’d made love every night for the past year.
“This is best,” he whispered, and his voice had that accent I caught occasionally, that hint of a time and place that were so far distant I could not imagine them.
“This is best ,” he said again. “This is right .”

I rose and fell faster and faster, and then I took his wrist, and I bit with all my strength, sucked on the wound. He yelled, an incoherent sound of release and relief. That was enough to finish me, and I collapsed on top of him. I licked his wrist lazily, though I didn’t have the coagulant in my saliva that he possessed.
“Perfect,” he said. “Perfect.”

Let us take a moment to collect ourselves before continuing.
Because I am very fucking distracted.
.
.
.
Okay then.

The first thing I notice about Eric and Sookie’s sex scenes is the complete change of tone in Sookie’s narration. She is very much present, physically and emotionally in every scene and there is not a hint of the mental detachment so often evident with Bill. The Eric scenes are quite long – the DTTW scene runs for 8 pages, and the scene in DAG for 15 pages. In contrast to the Bill/Sookie scenes, none of which are anywhere near as lengthy, Sookie describes the actual events, what is said, what she’s thinking, how Eric is reacting, and her feelings in great detail. You certainly don’t feel as though she’s rattling off her grocery list when she’s relating sex with Eric. Sookie (*ahem* Charlaine) makes sure we get every…single…juicy…detail. I wonder why she thinks we’d need to know all of that about Eric, but not about Bill? Or Quinn for that matter.

Just as we saw in the initiation post, as they move onto the act itself E/S remain physically on level with each other, they are always face to face, always in eye contact, and they are talking to each other throughout. No one partner is ever dominant – in both scenes, they make love twice. The first time is more intense and Eric takes the lead. The second time is always slower, with Eric noticeably stepping back and encouraging Sookie to take things where she wants to. Sookie tends to play a wait and see game a little in bed with Eric. She takes her cues from him – then she responds fully when she’s confident she’s not misreading him. I think this springs from her still not understanding what he might see in her beyond her telepathy and fae blood, and her intimidation by the extent of his experience over hers – something she comments on often. He seems to be aware of these feelings, and appears to be trying to encourage her.

In Dead to the World, Sookie reflects on her first time with Eric: “It wasn’t just the dynamic sex that had given me so much pleasure (though that had contained moments I’d remember till the day I died); it was the companionship. Actually, the intimacy”. In contrast to Bill, Eric actually initiates a lot of the more intimate aspects of their encounters – asking her to look him at him rather than close her eyes, asking her to bite him just because it feels good, asking her to tell him about their history when he lost his memory. These behaviours indicate to me that Eric understands women. Not only does he understand them, but he genuinely likes women. He chose to turn a woman as his companion in Pam, after all. While I’m under no illusions that he doesn’t rate himself in the sack, I think it’s clear from these scenes that sex for him is as much about making Sookie happy as it is about his own satisfaction. I don’t feel this is necessarily the norm for him anymore – vampire that he is – which makes it even more fascinating to see this side of him reawakened through her.

Far beyond two people having sex, Eric and Sookie are most certainly making love.

VERBS AND ADJECTIVES

Eric scenes: fire, stroked, exhilarated, ready, lover, pushed, ached, wanting, shock, caress, stretched, kissed, frenzy, hungry, probed, fluttering, squirm, made love, best, right, whispered, release, relief, bit, kissed, licked, lazily, perfect.

Bill scenes: relentless, collapsed, growled, came, no, flagging, pounded, sobbing, tore, awful, turmoil, rage, grazed, hard, rigid, shoved, forcefully, slid, kill.

So are we seeing a pattern here yet?

NEXT POST: Loved by a Vampire – The Afterglow

04
Jan
10

Loved by a Vampire – The Initiation

For nine books now, most of us have probably argued the suitor pros and cons back and forth on forums, made lists, traded insults and experienced dark moments of doubt in the great “Suitor Debate”.

Personality flaws and attributes have been endlessly dissected in an effort to determine the best partner for Sookie. Sexual behaviour is a reflection of personality, and we can tell a great deal about a person – and a relationship – from what goes down in the bedroom.

With that in mind, I thought it could be interesting to compare Bill and Eric’s sexual behaviour and the way they relate to Sookie in bed. One way to do this is to break the sex scenes down into phases – the initiation, the act, and the afterglow.

INITIATION – BILL

As the younger vampire, Bill has more issues with self control [both in and out of bed] than Eric does, but I don’t think this is solely due to his age. His personality is generally dark, secretive and more introverted than Eric’s and I think this is expressed most clearly in the way he relates to Sookie sexually.

From the outset it is clear that Bill has alot of trouble reigning himself in when it comes to sex. His approach to initiating it is often intense and very physical:

Dead Until Dark:

He scooted across the seat towards me, his arms scooping me up before I could say anything else. Then his mouth was on mine and after a second his tongue began licking the blood from my face.
I was really scared. I was also really angry. I grabbed his ears and pulled his head away from mine using every ounce of strength I possessed…
His eyes were like caves with ghosts dwelling in their depths.
“Bill!” I shrieked. I shook him. “Snap out of it!”

Living Dead in Dallas:

“As I unlocked the front door, Bill came out of the darkness. Without a word he grabbed my arm and turned me to him…we stumbled into the house and he turned me to face the couch. I gripped it with my hands and, just as I’d imagined, he pulled down my pants and then he was in me.”

The Mood tends to take Bill quite suddenly, it overwhelms him often, and he really does have trouble controlling his urges. This would seem to be partly because he doesn’t really understand why he should have to. There is usually very little dialogue between him and Sookie – Bill is an Action Man – and sex is not usually preceeded by conversation or intimacy. A notable exception is the very first time when Bill shows up the evening of Gran’s funeral and proceeds to brush her hair like his dolly and talk with her a little about his human life. The time he chose to make his move, and the fact that Sookie gave it up to him that night makes the motivation for his sharing [which incidentally, never happens again] dubious. Although this scene appeared intimate on the surface I think it’s reasonable to question it, given that it doesn’t gel with his sexual behaviour thereafter.

Foreplay for Bill often includes a bit of underwear ripping and “manhandling”. I can think of at least three instances where Sookie’s underwear/clothing is ripped by Bill, and many more where he has physically handled her person. This happens both in and out of the bedroom.

And notice that I haven’t even mentioned the OTHER incident. Interestingly, it’s not even necessary to refer to that in order to flesh out Bill’s self control issues. They clearly still exist, even outside the gray area of the trunk.

Bill puts on his moves. On the porch, in the dark...as is his habit. Nice t-shirt Sook - that colour suits you very well...

INITIATION – ERIC

Eric approaches sex in a very different way to Bill, and his approach is consistent. Vampire he may be, but he demonstrates patience and self control that Bill either cannot muster, or has no desire to.

Club Dead

[Sookie wakes after the staking with Eric already in the bed beside her]
“Thank you Eric” I didn’t care for how shaky I sounded but an obligation was an obligation.
“For what?” His hand stroked my stomach.
“For standing by me in the club. For coming here with me. For not leaving me alone with all these people”.
“How grateful are you?” he whispered, his mouth hovering over mine. His eyes were very alert now, and his gaze was boring into mine….
“That kind of ruins it, when you say something like that,” I said, trying to keep my voice gentle. “You shouldn’t want me to have sex with you just because I owe you,”
“I don’t really care why you have sex with me, as long as you do it,” he said, equally gently.
…His mouth was on mine then…

Dead to the World:

“I’ll do that for you,” Eric said, pulling back the curtain to step into the shower with me…
…While I stood stock-still, paralyzed by conflicting waves of emotion, Eric took the soap out of my hands and lathered up his own…
“Have we ever made love?” he asked.
I shook my head, still unable to speak.
“Then I was a fool,” he said, moving one hand in a circular motion over my stomach. “Turn around, lover.”

Dead and Gone:

Then he got under the blanket with me and propped himself up on an elbow. He was looking down at me…
[Conversation about Quinn and Nevada]
“Then I am high handed.” Eric said with no shame whatsoever. “I’m also very . . .” He dipped his head and kissed me slowly, leisurely.
“Horny,” I said.
“Exactly,” he said, and kissed me again. …”It’s time I claimed what is mine.”

Reading these passages together, a pattern emerges. Eric has always initiated with Sookie in the same way. First, he makes his physical presence equal to hers [lying down in bed with her, lying down on the floor, getting into the shower with her]. This might be to make himself less physically threatening, or perhaps just a reflection of his desire for them to be on an even footing. It’s an interesting contrast to Bill – rather than using his body to put her at ease as Eric does, Bill uses his physical strength to dominate her and maneuver her body for his satisfaction. I always get the sense that Bill’s determination to satisfy Sookie is rooted in the desire to satisfy himself.

Eric’s next move is to emotionally engage through conversation. The talking leads into the sex and even though Eric initiates, Sookie is always in control of how far it goes. When she says stop, he does – without hesitation or sulking [recall CD when they are interrupted by Bubba, and LDID – “Yield to me, Sookie” and she says no.] He always initiates in a slow, non threatening way. He always makes sure that she knows she is in control. He always makes sure that she can see him coming.

He behaves as though he knows about Sookie’s childhood sexual abuse. But he doesn’t know. We also have no evidence that he knows about the rape – they have never discussed it on the page and while he would have seen that she’d been drained after getting her out of the trunk, it would not have been obvious that she had been raped. So we can only assume that Eric’s behaviour speaks of the man, rather than the circumstances.

From the small taste we’ve had of Dead in the Family, Sookie is physically battered and psychologically traumatised. Eric is continuing to show an awareness that Sookie needs to be the one to set the parameters of their sexual relationship. Sookie tells Amelia he had asked her several times if she was sure she wanted to engage in sex.

Compare Eric’s self restraint to this Bill/Sookie exchange in LDID:

He was ready again, and he was rough with it, as if he were trying to prove something.
“Be sweet,” I said, the first time I had spoken.
“I can’t. It’s been too long, next time I’ll be sweet, I swear”.

This is one of a number of examples of Sookie telling Bill no, slow down, stop, or be gentle and he is unable or unwilling to comply. He is VAMPIRE. He relishes his nature because it gives him an excuse to behave like an oaf. He constantly uses it to defend himself when his self control is lacking.

Eric makes a move. And look! They're holding hands and smiling! There's connection, there's intimacy...there's talking! OK it's a dream, but we all know that this was major foreshadowing. This is how Real Eric rolls.

It’s also interesting to compare the verbs and adjectives used in the selection of passages above, which are taken from different scenes and books.

Bill scenes: scooted, scooping, licking, scared, angry, grabbed, pulled, shrieked, shook, snap, stumble, gripped.

Eric scenes: stroked, whispered, hovering, gaze, gently, emotion, made love, lover, kissed, slowly, leisurely, mine.

CH’s choice of words sets the tone of the scenes, and sheds light on the nature of the relationships. Bill’s words convey the physicality and urgency of the sex and are a reflection of the essentially physical nature of he and Sookie’s relationship, and Bill’s lack of self control. Eric’s words are “relationship” words. They are words you find in love scenes, as opposed to sex scenes – and this is the case even as far back as Club Dead, before love was ever part of the equation for either of them.

Next: Loved by a Vampire – The Act
Screencaps

29
Dec
09

Sookie, Eric and the Colour Red – Symbolism in Sookieverse

This is a completely random post…but I’m on holidays and my mind tends to wandering!

Have you ever noticed that the Viking has a pretty serious red fetish? Eric and the colour red are associated so strongly in these books I find it hard to believe that it’s not deliberate.

  • His car is red
  • The decor of his bar is themed red
  • DUD – He sends Sookie flowers and the “sexually suggestive” feature flower is red.
  • DUD – Sookie wears a dress with “bright red flowers ” and “red high heeled screw me shoes” the first time she meets him at Fangtasia
  • FDTW – He sends Sookie a new cellphone, it’s red
  • DTTW – He sends Sookie a new winter coat, it’s red
  • DITF – A red rose is prominent between them on the cover.
  • So this got me to thinking. I’ve always felt that Charlaine uses symbolism and motif very deliberately in these books, and it’s especially interesting that for every gift Eric has sent Sookie, when he has been able to choose the colour (new driveway and front door obviously being exceptions), he has chosen red. A colour that Charlaine has strongly associated with his character through the car and the bar.

    Red - the colour of love and lusty vikings?

    Now depending on which side of the fence you sit, the red-out could be a really good thing…or it could be a really bad thing.

    Symbolically, the colour red is obviously associated with love. In the context of vampires it is also the colour of blood, so it’s not really surprising that a vampire would prefer it.

    Some positive connotations of red:

  • Romantic love, sexuality and passion
  • Life – due to its association with blood. Eric certainly has a sense of joie de vivre, and even Sookie notes his chemistry is pretty lively for a dead guy.
  • Courage – this is interesting, as courage is something we associate with Eric as a warrior, and also with Sookie as she has developed throughout the story.
  • Eroticism – needs no explanation really. The sex is hot. Duh.
  • In a metaphysical sense, red is associated with the first chakra. This chakra is linked to a sense of grounding and security, and the basics of survival. Eric and Sookie are both survivalists, if nothing else.
  • Negative connotations of red:

  • Danger – it can certainly be argued that as a vampire he is dangerous to Sookie.
  • Death – well, he is dead. No arguing that really.
  • Anger, rage and aggression – Eric is certainly not immune to these emotions, though he does have the self control that comes with age, and he isn’t prone to giving in to them easily.
  • I just think the way Charlaine has wound this colour into Sookie and Eric’s relationship is really quite clever…and quite sneaky of her. As usual, she’s given nothing away – as an Eric lover I can see the red motif as a positive sign in his favour. But if I didn’t like Eric’s character, a good case could also be made that Charlaine is sending a subtle message that he’s not to be trusted.

    While Eric is tied to the colour red and described throughout the books in terms of his exuberance, life force and passion, Bill has also been given his own themes in a similar way. Bill’s voice is “cool” or “cold” and ice and glass are often used as metaphors for his character. If Eric’s colour is red, Bill’s is most definitely blue. Bill’s only gift to Sookie was a pair of topaz earrings. Topaz is – you guessed it – blue.

    I love these books, there’s so much between the lines.

    12
    Dec
    09

    Eric & Quinn: “A” is for Alpha – Round #2

    My last ramble about Eric and Quinn looked at how these two play off against eachother as romantic rivals, and the impact that Quinn’s presence in the story has on Eric’s actions and his emotional responses to Sookie.

    That is one facet of the Quinn/Eric dynamic, and this post will look at another – Quinn’s political ties and his intentions towards Sookie.

    As we touched on previously, Eric’s suspicion of Quinn is palpable from the outset. While on the surface it would be easy to chalk this up to good old fashioned jealousy, their first meeting leaves us feeling that Eric’s dislike of Quinn runs much deeper than this. The very first mention Eric makes of Quinn, even before their meeting on Sookie’s porch indicates that their paths have crossed before:

    Eric’s eyes widened. “So the contest was today. I’d heard Quinn was in town. Usually, he keeps transgressions to a minimum.” – Dead as a Doornail

    In All Together Dead, Eric corners Sookie in the parking lot at Merlotte’s and grills her about her feelings for Quinn, not for the first time:

    “Eric,” I said, and my voice was shaking. “I don’t know why you’re here, and I don’t know why we’re having all this drama.”
    “Are you Quinn’s now?” His eyes narrowed.
    “I’m my own,” I said. “I choose.”
    “And have you chosen?”
    “Eric, this is beyond gall. You haven’t been dating me. You haven’t given me any sign that was on your mind. You haven’t treated me as though I had any significance in your life. I’m not saying I would have been open to those things, but I’m saying in their absence I’ve been free to find another, ah, companion. And so far, I like Quinn just fine.”
    “You don’t know him any more than you really knew Bill.”
    That sliced down where it hurt.
    “At least I’m pretty damn sure he wasn’t ordered to get me in bed so I’d be a political asset!”

    Hump...hump...hump...watch out for splinters there, Tiger.

    Eric is right to be suspicious of Quinn. He was sent to secure Sookie by Sophie Anne, just as Bill was – the only difference being that Quinn was open about who he worked for from the beginning. But just like Bill, he was feeding Sookie a line about why he was really there. Recruiting Sookie to her employ for the vampire conference was only one of the reasons the Queen sent Quinn to her. Remember that Sophie-Anne had already tried to secure Sookie on a more permanent basis once already and failed (or more precisely Bill failed) – and she wasn’t the type to give up easily. There’s a theory that says Sophie Anne’s long term plans for Sookie involved a blood bond and possibly turning her, as she did with Hadley. This certainly makes sense for Sophie-Anne’s goals, as she would have far more control over Sookie through a blood bond and then eventually as her maker. She may even have intended Andre to undertake that role, after his actions in Rhodes. Either way it doesn’t seem that SA intended to simply keep a little human on her payroll. There’s no doubt that the clever, conniving queen would have wanted a more secure arrangement over the long term. Given what Sookie knew about Sophie Anne, Hadley and Bill by the time All Together Dead rolled around, she should have been suspicious as hell of Quinn by then. Except for briefly entertaining an idea much earlier that he’d been involved with Hadley’s murder, she is not – “At least I’m pretty damn sure he wasn’t ordered to get me into bed so I’d be a political asset.” WTF Sookie! For an intelligent girl I really don’t understand why you are so utterly stupid when it comes to men.

    As Eric quite correctly pointed out, since when does the Queen send a shifter to conduct her business? After Bill made such a monumental screw up of his mission, it would have been pointless to send another vampire covertly. So did Sophie Anne send Bill off to Peru to get his screwy-up-arse well out of the way, while she sent in a shifter to try again? I think there is some evidence for this. Having observed Sookie directly and through Bill for quite some time by this point, Sophie Anne knows her well enough to understand how Sookie reacts to lying and deception, so she changes tactics. This time, instead of outright deception Bill-style, Quinn’s strategy is to be open about his connection to the Queen. This openness seems to throw Sookie off the scent but Eric discerns Quinn’s game early. Which makes his readiness to rip Quinn’s throat out the first time they come face to face a little more feasible. Eric knows Sookie has to work Quinn out for herself, since she would only put it down to jealousy if he openly questioned his motives. In the Merlotte’s parking lot scene in ATD, he is once again trying to lead Sookie to reach her own conclusions about what is bleedingly obvious to him.

    Let myself in. Naked in ur tub. But don't call me Alpha.

    Quinn’s ties to Sophie Anne aren’t the only reason Eric doesn’t trust him. If we grant that originally Quinn was sent by Sophie Anne to finish what Bill began, the queen’s death during the takeover should have been the end of that. But oh no. Then we find out that Quinn happens to be under the thumb of the new regime as well due to a debt he incurred to them while protecting his mother. The new regime are just as interested in having a telepath as the old one – with the additional agenda of kicking Eric in the nuts to keep him in line as the only surviving sheriff of Sophie-Anne’s regime. Quinn continues to hang around after Sophie-Anne’s death and the takeover of Louisianna, and if his intentions looked suspicious before – now they just outright REEK. Yet again, Quinn is in a position where he can be easily manipulated via threat to his family into giving those who control him access to Sookie. It’s probable that Quinn’s return to Area 5 in defiance of Eric’s orders and his desperate, last ditch effort to win Sookie back was actually at the behest of Felipe de Castro himself. FDC would surely rather see Sookie involved with Quinn – who he can threaten and manipulate with ease, than see her blood bonded to Eric who is showing an increasing willingness to defy and out-maneuver him where Sookie is concerned. Looking back, it seems that Eric saw trouble in Quinn from the beginning and put the pieces together a long time before Sookie did – “You don’t know him any more than you knew Bill’.

    Why, of course he did. He is smart that way and THIS IS WHY WE LOVE HIM.

    I do feel that Quinn cares for Sookie, and that perhaps he even loves her. But the most sensible thing Sookie ever did was give him the boot over his mommy issues. His feelings about his family lead him to make the most unbelievably stupid mistakes. While Quinn is indebted to vampires, Sookie will never be safe with him.

    I feel like there’s a major showdown on the wind for Eric and Quinn. Not only do they want the same woman, but there is definitely something political going down between the two of them as well. They seem to have a history going back before Sookie, and Eric totally smells a rat around Quinn and his dubious associations. With Quinn having to align with Nevada to protect his mother and sister, and Eric looking more and more like he’s about to move against Nevada to become King (this is another one of my conspiracy theories – I told you have more than I can poke a stick at), I’m betting we haven’t seen the last of the alpha posturing between these two by a long shot.

    28
    Nov
    09

    Eric and Quinn: “A” is for Alpha

    One of my favourite things to mull over in the Sookie books is the interaction between Eric, Sookie and Quinn.  In a series of posts over the next week or two I thought it’d be cool to look at this in more detail – Quinn as Eric’s main rival for Sookie, and how the personal and political undercurrents between Quinn and Eric might play out later in the series.

    ****

    I know Quinn isn’t a popular suitor, and I count myself in the camp that doesn’t want him near Sookie with a bargepole. Let’s face it, the tiger has issues and his creepy habit of calling strange women “babe” is only the start of them.  Quinn tends to be pigeon holed as just another suitor that doesn’t really have a chance and I know, alot of us wish he’d just disappear.  But he won’t!  Now that Bill has found his place in Sookie’s life and it’s not a romantic one, it’s becoming clearer that Quinn is meant to be Eric’s main threat and Sookie’s alternative love interest for the remainder of the series.

    I hear you groan. But bear with me here people, this may not be a bad thing. The dynamic between His Purple Pansyness and Eric is really fascinating.

    Quinn has similar status in the shifter hierarchy to Eric’s status amongst the vampires. Both of them hold influence amongst their kind. They are very similar in some respects – both “alpha” males, both charming, good looking, and powerful. And they are both completely accustomed to getting what they want. It’s very clear from the first time they interact in the books that Eric views Quinn as his only real competition for Sookie – and that he considers him a far more serious threat than Bill.  In fact, it’s pretty obvious from the outset that both of these men recognise each other – not Bill, not Alcide and certainly not Sam – as the main rival for Sookie.  Both of them have uncharacteristically big emotional reactions to interference from the other.

    The first time we ever see Eric and Quinn interact sparks fly.  In Definitely Dead, Quinn arrives to take Sookie on their first date. Eric is already at the house, already in a foul mood, and he comes about as close to completely losing his shit as we ever see him get. He goes straight for Quinn the second he arrives, demanding to know what he has been telling Sookie about her role at the vampire conference. Sookie says he has “fang showing”, and he is so angry his eyes are “throwing sparks”. She also notes that “something lay underneath this”, and that she is a symptom but not the source of their animosity. It is clear from this scene that Quinn and Eric knew each other before their cockfight on Sookie’s porch – so what’s the backstory with these two?  

    In FDTW, Eric is so threatened by Quinn that when the opportunity arises to ban him outright from Area 5, he does it without hesitation after he is satisfied that Sookie is done with him. He has never taken such measures against any of Sookie’s other love interests, even though it is well within the scope of his authority to do so.

    Eric asks Sookie multiple times if she loves Quinn, or else confronts her about her feelings after almost every scene involving the three of them.  He never asks her how she feels about anyone else, not even Bill. Eric tells Sookie she is “his lover – not Quinn’s, not Bill’s, not Sam’s” – and it’s no coincidence whose name is mentioned here first. When Quinn ignores Eric’s ban and comes back into Area 5 in DAG, Sookie says “I could feel rage on the wind. It wasn’t my rage.” Eric knows Quinn has defied him and come back to see Sookie, and she feels his rage through the blood bond. Not long afterwards, Eric shows up on her doorstep. Five books pass after DTTW with no Eric sexy time – and all it takes is for Quinn to show Eric he is willing to defy him, and suddenly he can’t get Sookie back in the sack fast enough. When the blood bond is forged in Rhodes, Eric deliberately flaunts his obvious pleasure in the process purely for Quinn’s benefit.  Marking territory takes on a whole new dimension for Eric when Quinn is around. Yet he has never felt the same compulsion to taunt Bill with the details of his physical relationship with Sookie, even though Bill knows damn well that they’re having one.  Why?  Because he didn’t need to assert himself over someone he didn’t consider a true threat.

    In one of the few moments I ever liked him, the cocky tiger had the balls to tell Bill to his face that he “isn’t even on the list” where Sookie is concerned in DAG. So it’s clear that Quinn, like Eric, sees this as a two man battle now as well.  Quinn’s emotional responses to Eric are volatile and often show him as emotionally stunted (which he is but he is usually good at hiding).  His tantrums over Eric are too numerous to list – but who could forget him telling Sookie in DAG that “Eric loves his little piece of Louisiana more than he’ll ever love you”.  Hands up if you wanted to stab him in the eye? Oh me.

    Quinn has no problem killing for Sookie – he has already killed Andre and freed her from what was, at the time,  a very dangerous threat. He’s also sounded Sookie out about killing Eric much to her horror, and I get the feeling that regardless of her objections he would take out Eric in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself.  Eric killed Longshadow in defence of Sookie, as well as a few others along the way – but he won’t kill Quinn unless it’s in self defence. He has certainly had opportunities, and in DAG Quinn gave him a free shot when he defied his orders yet Eric still showed restraint. Aside from knowing that it would hurt Sookie, Eric wants her to choose him because she wants him, not because there’s no one else left. This is what stops him killing or interfering with her other love interests…and just one more reason why Eric is awesome and Quinn is a tool. Quinn went from mildly irritating to the very top of my shit list when he started talking about killing Eric.

    Part of Quinn’s function as a romantic interest for Sookie is to give her an opportunity to recognise another Bill – albeit in a slightly different disguise, but that’s for the next post. For Eric, he provides another alpha to square off against – worthy competition if you like.  Quinn forces him to confront how he feels and act on it, and he does it quite successfully.  Quinn is due back in the book after DITF apparently, and I can’t wait. I hate him as a love interest, but I LOVE how he is the only character in the whole series that can send our usually unflappable viking totally off the rails and bring out his insecure streak. When he does show up again, you can bet it’s going to be ugly for all concerned…and not the least for Eric.




    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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