Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

The Vampires of True Blood *Spoilery Things*

with 69 comments

I am interested in vampires in literature and the media. Anyone I know can tell you this about me…It’s one of the quirks that makes me who I am. So, I think that it’s only appropriate that I discuss the vampires of True Blood a little. What makes them tick and what differentiates them from the other “vampires” that exist in fiction today.

1) They exist on synthetic blood that was produced by the Japanese. It wasn’t until I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse Series or watching True Blood on HBO that I had remotely heard of this idea. I honestly think that it’s kind of brilliant. Why? The overarching idea that now vampires can exist without feeding on other living beings is actually a fun issue to tackle within the framework of any narrative.

They can potentially live off of the stuff. However, for the ones that are thousands of years old, will they actually make the change or continue to be the thief in the night? It also brings up a new level of discrimination amongst species (I don’t particularly see the vampire in fiction or folklore as “human” anymore while they still do have human likeness and tendencies). Even though they are more powerful physically and evolutionarily, the people in the books and the show have an immense hatred of the undead.

I think this is interesting because it brings up these political and social issues that still exist in the world today. However, it makes it easier to deal with the ideas and emotions because we are dealing with something that has never lived…er…been dead….or whatever.

2) The structure of the vampire political system is quite interesting. While in the television show they have dumbed it down significantly to make things less confusing for the masses, the vampire hierarchy is fairly well thought out. In the books, it is made clear that there are vampires who are more and less politically powerful. A sheriff is the lowest form of the ruling body, and they rule over sectors of the fiefs that they live in. There are kings and queens who rule over vampire populated areas. Now, in the show, they have shown all this but what they have not discussed is the fact that the kings/queens may rule over something as small as a city or sections of a state depending on vampire saturation. For example, the city of New York would have its own king/queen whereas New York state would still have a ruler.

I also like that the kings/queens while they rule over the sheriffs have to go through them before they conduct business in the sheriffs’ areas. This is why in the books Sophie-Anne is actually Queen of Louisiana and is the sheriff of the area in which she resides. This way she doesn’t have ask anyone before she does anything in her area. While the show doesn’t make this sort of thing clear, I believe that they have done a fairly decent job thus far of showing the powers of the kings and queens as with them requiring other vampires to stay (Eric the end of season 2) or kidnapping another vampire (Russell with Bill at the end of Season 2/Beginning of Season 3).

3) The detachment of the vampires from the natural world. Even the shape shifters and weres are still considered human in the grand scheme of things. Why? Because they aren’t “walking dead people” as Arlene so eloquently puts it in the series. They are able to blend in and completely be assimilated (other than the fact that they have higher temps than humans and heal faster).

The vampires now cannot fully appear human. Why? People are looking for them. When they were only superstition (Stevie Wonder songs pops into my head immediately…for no real reason…just because of the word mention), humanity laughed at the shadows and feared what they saw in horror films. With the “Great Revelation” of the vampires, it opened them up to the world. In the books and show, they constantly use the term “coming out of the coffin.” This event has complicated their existence of the shadows. Now, the light of some flickering fluorescent lamp has exposed them. Still, vampires like Bill (although he is trying to appear more human and less vampire like) have tried to matriculate into mainstream society and make humans less afraid.

In the series, characters like Nan Flanagan try to show the world that the vampires are not wicked or corrupt that they can peacefully coexist with mortals. However, even Nan has her own scary face that she shows to only the vampire world. This face that she puts up proves that vampires can’t truly be themselves around the human populous but must maintain that distance of looking better and more friendly than they are in reality.

69 Responses

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  1. Hey this is interesting.


    August 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    • I think vampires are very interesting.


      October 13, 2010 at 9:26 am

  2. I really like your post, so glad Freshly Pressed featured you. Btw, I am a vampire fan as well. As an ex-librarian I have been reading various vampire universes for years.


    August 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm

  3. Thank You For That i wanted to more about True Blood since i have never seen it and i love vampires. Its funny how i say i love them like if they were real. =) I Find It intresting That they are feeding off of synthetic blood that made the japanese. & I Think That the vampires that have been living way before they made synthetic blood will not change their ways. To me they will probably not be satisfied & thats a carateristic that makes who they are. If they do change better.


    August 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm

  4. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read the Southern Vampire Mysteries yet, but have been highly engrossed in the series since the first season. I’ve always been fascinated by the vampire mythos, and appreciate the minor variations to what is generally considered to be canonical. I’m particularly fond of the politics of the show, and based on what you’ve said, I’ll certainly have to read the books to learn more of this aspect of the story. My husband enjoys trying to determine what generation of vampire or clan they’d be considered in The Masquerade. Very much appreciate this post…love the story!


    August 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm

  5. Love True Blood, love vampire lore, love reading other people’s blogs. Nice job.


    August 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adriana Amaral, Barry Rich. Barry Rich said: The Vampires of True Blood *Spoilery Things*: […]

  7. Good analysis of the series. Have you ever read ‘The Monster With A Thousand Faces?’ It chronicles vampires in literature.


    August 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm

  8. Nice info. I just love it. Great!!

    Amesi Chika

    August 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm

  9. Good, I am interested in vampires .


    August 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    • I think vampires are cool and amazing. I have a thing for blood drinking myself.


      October 13, 2010 at 9:28 am

  10. My people at work are in love with True Blood, and talk about the most recent episodes all the time while I just stand there and stare at them blank faced. It sounds like an interesting show and I’d give it a go if I had HBO, maybe I’ll check out some episodes online.


    August 19, 2010 at 9:27 pm

  11. i need to have my friend read this post…I think you might be the first person I’ve seen be more obsessed that her over this phenonmenon! hahahha


    August 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    • It’s not really an obsession over the phenomenon. I have like vampire folklore for years. Vampire fiction is intriguing to me from Dracula to Carmilla to Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles to many others. I like them because of what they symbolize.


      August 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm

  12. Hi there! Interesting post. Interesting to me as a fan of TB and also an author who is currently writing an urban fantasy novel that has vampires in it. I like the way vampires have evolved in fiction over the years, but the ‘real’ hard-core vamp fans seem to be displeased with losing some of their original traits (like being able to come out in the day light) and obviously, drinking synthetic blood.
    All of this makes it difficult to know how to tackle it in fiction, but fun nonetheless! Great blog, lots of interesting stuff! Saffy. xx


    August 19, 2010 at 11:12 pm

  13. Never saw vampires on TV, thanks.


    August 20, 2010 at 3:26 am

  14. I’ve recently written about the lack of sexiness in vampires these days. I’m just not as keen on them as I used to be. I’m finding myself casting an envious glance at werewolves now.

    Madam Becky x

    Madam Becky

    August 20, 2010 at 3:30 am

  15. Vampires, interesting subject, im a big fan of vampires, they are so real. No one can determin that they never existed.


    August 20, 2010 at 4:00 am

  16. the stroy of Black Boy & Ballons has lessons we should learn


    August 20, 2010 at 4:12 am

  17. great post- i recently watched the first episode of true blood and really loved it. Once I’ve got he money I want to buy the first few series to really get into it. Sounds amazing!


    August 20, 2010 at 4:38 am

  18. I like Vampire Blood for being different and ofcourse for all the reasons that you mentioned. =D With the pelothra of Vampire stuff everywhere, I found True Blood the most refreshing. =D oh and congrats on being freshly pressed!


    August 20, 2010 at 5:33 am

  19. I love that show, haven’t read the books nor have i seen the new season since i don’t have HBO anymore, but I am definetly one who has always been intrigued by Vampire movies, books, and just the Idea of Vampires, it’s always peeked my interest. I really like how you broke it down on the politcal side of the series too, and basically the show itself tells the story of the struggles we see today still. Racism, Descrimination, politcal motives, insecurities, the unknown, and etc. Good Post 🙂



    August 20, 2010 at 6:32 am

  20. Its really interesting. I am always eager to know about vampires. I am fascinated by the love story of vampire Edward and Bella from Twilight. Twilight series is my favorite. Well really interesting stuff. Keep it up, good work!


    August 20, 2010 at 6:41 am

  21. Thank you for your insightful comments about the world of vampires. As a (children’s) writer of vampire stories I have also tried to put a new spin on an old genre.

    In my vampire world the fanged ones are the “normal” people while the humans are mostly the bad guys. This is partly due to my pet hate of village life with its hypocracy and particular evil which breeds in small, isolated communities. Another part of me sees vampires as just another species of predators trying to survive in a hostile world dominated by destructive mankind.

    I haven’t read the Sookie Stackhouse series yet, but your review has convinced me it is about high time that I did.

    Best wishes

    Maria Thermann

    August 20, 2010 at 6:53 am

  22. splendid stuff


    August 20, 2010 at 7:21 am

  23. I loved the latest episode, with the way they deal with rape, homosexuality, and just the two-faced world of the Vampires. They really can’t live peacefully with humans. They are the top of the food-chain, and we are the prey. It makes me think about the way we treat animals, and our perception of them. I also loved the way that even in the “terrible” Vampire world, there are evils there you shouldn’t commit. I loved how even the cold Eric and his progeny winced at the old tale of his family being massacred, and yet they act like they don’t care. It’s all very fascinating, and thought provoking =)


    August 20, 2010 at 7:29 am

  24. I can’t believe people actually watch this show. It’s so cheesy.


    August 20, 2010 at 7:46 am

  25. big theme is this whole sense of “vampires will be vampires”

    while flannigan claims true blood as this middle ground she’s obviously seen feasting on the naked woman in her motorcade.

    real good episode, and a clearly established arc


    August 20, 2010 at 9:27 am

  26. nice


    August 20, 2010 at 11:49 am

  27. Just started re-watching this series. Season 1 was sooo funny


    August 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm

  28. Whoa.. A lot to wrap my head around lol

    Diamond Blades

    August 20, 2010 at 2:30 pm

  29. I think the concept of synthetic blood is fabulous because it takes away the crux of most vampire shows/literature: being discovered. Once vampires are known to exist, then what? Only True Blood addresses this question!


    August 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm

  30. I laughed so hard, I gotta go find new dirt for my coffin. If only I hadn’t had that Mexican . . .


    August 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm

  31. Very cool post…like the show & what you have put down here!…Jason


    August 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm

  32. good stuff. i’ve been hit and miss in checking out the series, but this makes it that much more interesting and appealing to look into.


    August 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm

  33. This season has been FREAKING awesome! lol! Great post! Congrats on FP!


    August 20, 2010 at 7:09 pm

  34. “True Blood” sucks.


    August 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm

  35. Te topic and the research- are so interesting. I stay steer clear of horror; your post is far from being spooky. I would still not know if they do exist. But the Hierarchy and the details that you have put here reflects upon your immense knowledge about the subject or the living deads..
    I not only enjoyed reading it but now have that curiosity to find out at least one of them. Is there a way that we could talk to them through Telepathy and call one??



    August 20, 2010 at 10:03 pm

  36. 🙂


    August 20, 2010 at 10:56 pm

  37. Great Post! I am a fan of vampire novels and stories, but some stories are exaggerated and destroy the whole concept.


    August 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm

  38. You sure know your vampires!


    August 21, 2010 at 2:54 am

  39. Just got in my hand season 1, feeling interested in this too much.. 🙂


    August 21, 2010 at 4:33 am

  40. Congrats on FP! I really enjoy True Blood and, like you, I think that the author/creator has come up with some new and interesting twists on the vampire novel.


    August 21, 2010 at 4:41 am

  41. twilight ruined vampires.


    August 21, 2010 at 5:17 am

  42. ill read it 🙂


    August 21, 2010 at 5:57 am

  43. yeah… the first season was good. and i kinda like the theme song… its like a ganja track. vampires are random… i would believe it if you said they lived in a complete sense of ‘high’ all their ‘lives’… mythical creatures of all kinds are mind blowing… the fact that someone thought up every single detail about a beings existence, and especially in the case of vampires, so clear, almost a cult belief…


    August 21, 2010 at 7:15 am

  44. Congrats on being freshly pressed. Its nicely put, with a lot of sense and minus all the nonsense from the Twilight series. I like.However it does come across that you patronize True Blood, and hence any other particular take on vampires is not really taken into consideration. Would love it even more, if you could take reference from other Vampire-centric shows such as Buffy, Angel, Vampire Diaries and Supernatural.


    August 21, 2010 at 8:17 am

  45. Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    Never watched True Blood, but it sounds really interesting. Politics, social and cultural issues? A bit like the West Wing of the Vampire Realm, eh? I’ve manage to avoid the Twilight hoopla so far, but I will be sure to check this show out. I’m guessing season 1, episode 1 is the best place to start? Thanks for the recommendation!



    August 21, 2010 at 11:17 am

  46. I’ve read all the books. Or maybe nine out of ten, but that’s close to being all of them. And I really like the thoughts you put up here. Thanks. I’ll read through them again tomorrow, it’s way too late here for me to be able to post a decent comment, at least one making any sort of sense. But thanks.

    A Dreamer's Thoughts

    August 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm

  47. Oh, and I saw season 1 and 2. They’re good 🙂 Started season 3, don’t remember why i quit. Guess I just got too busy.

    A Dreamer's Thoughts

    August 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm

  48. i love the show!!! i live in Uruguay and the book are not even close from arriving, it sucks, because i enjoy more reading. Nice work!!!


    August 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

  49. Hello
    Great work!

    Rahul Vemulkar

    August 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm

  50. Love True Blood, love vampire lore, love reading other people’s blogs. Nice job.


    August 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm

  51. I so love “TRUE BLOOD” and I cant wait to see it on tv too. Hope the German TV shows it soon. Thanks for posting Barry! 🙂 It was fun reading.

    Linn Graves

    August 22, 2010 at 4:58 am

  52. black blood? blue blood? or red blood? cause my blood is blue


    August 22, 2010 at 7:30 am

  53. Great Post !!


    August 22, 2010 at 8:15 am

  54. I love True Blood and I love when Godric was on and talking about vampire evolution and how they have not changed, but humans (lack of a better term) have.


    August 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

  55. i love vampres


    August 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

  56. Like your entry here. I had watch few of true blood myself but did not follow it much since got no time. I had always been a vampire fan ever since in primary school. One of my earliest favorite would be Buffy the vampire slayer and Angel. Afterward, I had started to like reading the books about the vampire world, werewolf, shape shifter, witches and etc. One of my favorite books until today would probably from L.J. Smith. I like to read her night world books and the vampire diaries. Quite addicted to read more of it.


    August 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm

  57. Intruiging. Good work! 🙂


    August 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm

  58. great post 🙂 I’m a big fan of True Blood, can’t get enough of the show 🙂 interesting points here 🙂


    August 22, 2010 at 7:24 pm

  59. this is nice i like true blood and you have an interesting perception of vampires


    August 23, 2010 at 12:27 am

  60. A myth about the vampire is an autistism compulsive attacs, that’s degraded of human tendeces. And we must be make a strongly attitude for having look the bloodies complex syndrome case.

    keong ratjun

    August 23, 2010 at 4:04 am

  61. correct, correct, correct


    August 23, 2010 at 4:04 am

  62. what do you mean about “Great Revelation” of the vampires ?

    brain globe

    August 23, 2010 at 4:10 am

    • It’s what they call their revealing themselves to the human populous.


      August 23, 2010 at 7:53 am

  63. great post.. I love it


    August 23, 2010 at 4:30 am

  64. Wonderful post. What Russell did at the end of episode 9 would have mad Nan crap her pants, if she ate food. The tension between them is interesting. Not only does Russell not want equality (he seeks dominion over humans), he is like the vampiric bin Laden. He wants to terrorise, and he succeeds.

    Blipsterfarian Logic

    August 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

  65. This is Extremely Brilliant

    Online Television

    Muhammad Inam

    August 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm

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