Sookie Stackhouse, Faery Protagonist

For this week’s Femme Fatale Friday, I will be focusing on the main character in a popular book series that spawned an even more iconic television series.   I am going to be discussing Sookie Stackhouse and her role as a Faery protagonist!   Sookie Stackhouse was the lead character in True Blood, which was based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries (sometimes simply referred to as the Sookie Stackhouse Books).

When we first are introduced to Sookie in both the novels and series, we see her as a barmaid working in Merlotte’s, which is located in the small fictional Louisiana town of Bon Temps.   That is right she lives in a town that literally is named Good Times!    The novels give us the unique opportunity of getting into her head and heart because they are written entirely in the first person from Sookie’s perspective.   In contrast, the series is told focusing on mainly Sookie’s story but also that of some of the other primary characters, giving the narrative more depth.

In the first book, which is what the first season of the show is directly based upon, Sookie meets and falls in love with a vampire named Bill Compton.    While this is one of the primary relationships Sookie has in the series, the books did not have it that way.    Bill is rarely even mentioned past book three (out of a thirteen-book series) and he and Sookie are fully over once the events of that book unfold.   The fourth season of the show is the last one that really takes inspiration from the book’s storylines, as having Sookie and Eric connect when he has amnesia is a plot point in both the fourth book and the fourth season!

In truth, the main romantic relationship the reader sees Sookie engage in is with Eric, as they date on and off from books four through thirteen.   In the end, we do not have Sookie and Eric end up together because she wants to stay human and live a normal life (by normal I simply mean mortal), but we do not have her end up with a random stranger like in the television series.    The novels have her end up with Sam, who has been her best friend by her side through it all.   Plus being a shifter, he is more equipped to deal with being married to a part Faery woman with telepathic abilities!

Now that leads us to what makes Sookie a unique character.   You see, despite her assertions that she is “just a waitress,”   Sookie is truly a telepathic woman because she has Faery blood.    This is explained beginning in the third season (and book) but the reasoning is different in each.   In the series, they said that Sookie’s grandfather had been descended from the Fae.   However, in the books, Sookie’s grandmother had a liaison with a Faery man and he was the one who sired her children!   This made Sookie’s father half-Faery and her a quarter-Faery.    I presume the change was made in order to not have her grandmother be an adulterer, but I actually think the book’s explanation was better.   It is rooted in true Faery lore, in that it was common to have Faery beings mate with humans to sire half-Faery bloodlines!

Sookie’s Faery blood explains her telepathy, but also another aspect of her character, her attraction to vampires.   Faeries and vampires are drawn together often, but Faeries know that vampires are dangerous to them.   Vampires find no blood to be sweeter than that of a Faery.    That means that part of Sookie’s allure to her vampire lovers was her Faery blood!   In the series, we even see her lament this wondering if the only reason Bill and Eric loved her was because of it.    I do want to note that Sookie has other suitors who never appeared in the series, but I did not mind that they chose to focus on her relationships with Eric and Alcide in later seasons rather than bringing in many other paramours.   I personally wish that they had kept the original ending and had Sookie and Sam end up together, as they were a good fit and were acknowledged to have an attraction throughout the series and it would have been an excellent friends-to-lovers plot!    In that way, amongst others, I believe that the series failed in the way they chose to end things.

Sookie has an immense amount of Faery power, which not everyone with Faery blood has.   This makes her a bit more Faery than human.    That is why she is seen with growth in her abilities, as she is able to use light magic later.  It is also what deeply connects her to the realms of Faery.   I loved seeing her travel to Faery in the series.    It showed a darker nature to Faery, but also showed the lighter side of how Faeries acted in the human world!    The Faery plot points are a favorite for me because I adore all Faery content.   As a bonus, they also gave us one of my favorite lines when Sookie tells Eric “You ate my Faery Godmother!”    The Whorlo storyline in season six of the series never happened in the books, but I have to say I found it intriguing.   I suppose I just really love the idea of a vampire Faery hybrid and even the complexity of fated love!

While the ending of the books far surpassed the series in quality, I love both of the plots for their own merits.    Sookie is a fun and interesting character who is stronger than she believes, making her a powerhouse of a figure!    What is your favorite thing about Sookie Stackhouse?   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Further Reading

  • The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris
  • True Blood (2008)