True Blood

Jace Lacob gets a taste of Season 3's True Blood as he visits the set of HBO’s smash hit vampire drama. Plus, VIEW OUR GALLERY of what’s coming for the show’s main characters.

HBO/John P. Johnson

HBO/John P. Johnson

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin)

Where we left off: Sookie was shocked to hear Bill’s unexpected marriage proposal and tearfully ran off to the restroom. When she returned, Bill had been kidnapped.

Where we find her: “It may be 35 seconds later, so she’s panicked and in a state of shock,” said Paquin. “It’s been a pretty intense half-hour of her life. She is desperately trying to figure out where he went and who has him.” Will her issues about marrying Bill carry over to Season 3? “She has issues she’s concerned about… and she quickly gets new issues,” teased Paquin.

Is there still a chance of happiness between Bill and Sookie? “Bill’s been pretty consistently well-motivated in what he’s done,” Paquin said. “It hasn’t always worked out well, but he always tries to protect her. So, that would be a very positive stroke in the Bill column. But things get revealed that contest that.”

Meanwhile, executive producer Alan Ball said the truth about Sookie’s powers and her heritage will come out “before the end of the season.”

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Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård)

Where we left off: Eric tricked Sookie into drinking his blood in Dallas and was revealed to be working the vampire blood-trade for Queen Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood).

Where we find him: Back at Fangtasia with Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten), but he’s also still intoxicated by Sookie—as well as an element of his past. “The connection with Sookie is obviously strong and we’ll definitely see more of that,” said Skarsgård. “Something very important happened a thousand years ago, and it’s something that Eric has carried in his heart for a thousand years. Now, suddenly, he gets an opportunity to let go of that.”

Does it have anything to do with Eric’s dead maker Godric (Allan Hyde)? “You’re going to see Godric,” said Skarsgård. “They were a tag team for almost a millennia.” Can Ball tell us any more? “We will see Godric twice,” said Ball. “Flashbacks are certainly one way we can see him but who knows what can happen.”

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Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer)

Where we left off: Bill proposed to Sookie… before a sterling silver chain was slipped around his throat by parties unknown.

Where we find him: The True Blood crew is keeping mum about just who grabbed Bill and why. “He doesn’t know why he’s been taken,” said Moyer. “In his mind, he’s thinking, ‘Is this something to do with Eric? Is this something to do with Lorena? Is this something to do with the queen?’ He’ll be playing over all of the culprits in his mind, but the truth is the audience is going to find out at exactly the same time that he does.”

“Bill has to do things that he would never think of doing, but has to do in order to protect Sookie,” said Moyer about his arc this season. “Ultimately, he has to let go of his humanity… It may mean that he may never see her again, but he will offer his life up to protect her.”

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Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare)

Season 3 introduces the 2,800-year-old King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington (O’Hare) and his royal consort Talbot (Theo Alexander). So how does Russell stack up next to the pantheon of immortal bloodsuckers we’ve seen so far? “He is planning to take over the world,” said O’Hare. “He goes about trying to acquire the things he needs to make that plan happen. Along the way, he is surprised and painful things happen.”

“A lot of what you see is not actually Russell, it’s Talbot,” O’Hare said. “Russell on his own would be more of a brutal warrior. But Talbot civilizes him. We have this running kind of joke on the show that anyone who ends up in [his] mansion ends up dressed by Talbot. As characters come in, their wardrobe changes, and it’s because Talbot’s gone, ‘No, no, no, I think you need to be in blue. I see you in blue.’”

HBO/John P. Johnson

Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell)

Where we left off: Sam was nearly killed by the vengeful maenad Maryann (Michelle Forbes), but thanks to some shifter-assisted subterfuge—and a sip of Bill’s blood—Sam was able to slay the ancient creature.

Where we find him: Sam has headed off in search of his birth family, who put him up for adoption as a baby, in an effort to track down the mysterious Mickens clan. Are they a family of shape-shifters like him? And just what will Sam encounter when he meets them? “I don’t know exactly what he expected,” said Ball. “I can tell you this: They’re not a model family. Once he meets them and finds out exactly what they’re capable of, I think he may question his original choice. Be careful what you look for.”

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Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley)

Where we left off: Tara had fallen for Eggs (Mehcad Brooks) in a bad way and accepted his dark past—and then he got shot to death by Jason Stackhouse and Tara was crying over Eggs’ body.

Where we find her: Tara will be drawn even deeper into the darkness this season and the fact that it was Sookie who told Eggs to confess to the police won’t go over well. “[Sookie] is going to have to have a really unpleasant conversation with her already fragile and distraught friend who has already been through a lot,” said Paquin. “You’ll see how well that goes.”

Still, the bond between the two best friends won’t be diminishing any time soon. “When you start losing people near to you like Sookie has, you really hold on to the people you do have,” said Paquin. “For better or worse, Tara is incredibly important to her.”

HBO/John P. Johnson

Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis)

Where we left off: Lafayette was terrorized by Eric into returning to his vampire blood-dealing ways… and then, attempting to free his cousin Tara, also fell under Maryann’s frenzy.

Where we find him: Lafayette is slated to get a love interest this season (Kevin Alejandro’s Jesus Velasquez) and we’ll be meeting his mother Ruby Jean (Alfre Woodard), who might just be True Blood’s best cautionary tale.

Plus, Eric might change his approach with Lafayette, who just so happens to be his very best V dealer. “Eric’s job that he was given by his queen is basically to push the V,” said Skarsgård. “Lafayette is perfect for that. He knows that Lafayette won’t try to f--- with him and he has great connections.” So why might Eric change his tune with Lafayette now? “Eric is a smart guy,” teased Skarsgård. “He’s both the stick and the carrot.”

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Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten)

Where we left off: Post-Fellowship of the Sun, Jason formed an odd couple partnership with boozy local cop Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) and inadvertently killed Eggs when he thought he was going to hurt Andy.

Where we find him: Directionless once again, Jason is going to ponder his future and, like it or not, his actions at the end of Season 2 bind him together with Andy in a conspiracy of silence. Eggs’ murder will have some pretty serious repercussions for everyone.

“It’s definitely going to affect all those people pretty deeply and it’s certainly not something that we just sweep under the carpet,” said Ball. “I think Tara is pretty devastated. I think Andy and Jason have to deal with the fact that they tampered with evidence and they covered up a crime.”

Meanwhile, who’s that mysterious woman lurking about?

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Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll)

Where we left off: Baby vamp Jessica discovered that she would eternally be a virgin as she was turned into a vampire before she had sex as a mortal. Despite the support of boyfriend Hoyt (Jim Parrack), Jessica turned to a stranger… for dinner.

Where we find her: Paying the price for her inescapable hunger… and forging a friendship with an older and wiser vampire. Still, one can’t help but hope for any chance that Bon Temps’ resident Romeo and Juliet couple can heal their fractured relationship.

“The last time we saw Jessica she was savagely attacking a guy,” said Ball. “Jessica really has only been a vampire for about a month and I think she’s still coming to terms with what that means and what she’s capable of… She probably is going to question whether she is worthy of Hoyt. It’s not an easy road for them this season.”

HBO/John P. Johnson

Werewolves

Season 3 introduces a whole other creature to True Blood’s mythology with the arrival of the werewolves and a potential new love interest for Sookie in the form of Alcide (Joe Manganiello) and his psychotic ex-girlfriend Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan). “We have two different packs in the show,” said Ball. “One is more of a crazy biker, substance-abusing group and the other one is more likely to play by the rules and pass as normal.”

There’s also bad blood between the wolves and Eric. “There’s a deep hatred there,” said Skarsgård. “You’ll find out after a while in Season 3. At the beginning you just think he finds them disgusting but it’s deeper than that.”

Meanwhile, Ball says that the wolves aren’t the only weres appearing this season.

“There are other were-creatures besides wolves and we will meet them this year,” said Ball cryptically. “One of our main characters will become romantically involved with one, unbeknownst to him or her.”

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Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten)

Where we left off: Amid frequent costume changes, the stylish Pam was Eric’s right-hand woman at Fangtasia, even though they argued like cats and dogs.

Where we find her: Still working for her maker at Fangtasia, but now Kristin Bauer van Straten has been promoted to series regular. “[Pam] was such an important part of the world and it is definitely due to the work that Kristin was doing,” said Ball. “It seemed like a really organic thing.”

“The Eric and Pam relationship grows this season and you get to know them better as a couple,” said Skarsgård. “It’s been great to take that to a different level. He’s always kind of stern and hard and like, 'Get out of my way, Pam.’ But you’ll see a different side this season as well. There’s a very, very strong connection between the two of them, with a strong loyalty and lots of affection.”

HBO/John P. Johnson

Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood)

Where we left off: Sophie-Anne was supplying the vampire blood that Eric is forcing Lafayette to sell. She ordered that Bill—the only one aware of the connection—be taken by force. But was she behind his disappearance?

Where we find her: The audience will learn why she’s behind the V-trade. “She’s very unreliable, unpredictable, and a little crazy,” said Skarsgård of the Queen of Louisiana. “Eric wants to be a loyal subject and do his duty. But it’s complicated when your boss is losing it.”

So just how does Queen Sophie-Anne fit into the vampire hierarchy? Is she operating at cross-purposes to the neighboring king? “Sophie-Anne has her agenda and I have mine,” said Denis O’Hare. “There are alliances to be made, but there are times those alliances will no longer be fruitful and so they’re put to an end.”

“We will discover a deeper level of the vampire bureaucracy/power structure,” teased Ball.