Sunday, March 15, 2009

How Close Will True Blood Follow the Sookie Stackhouse Novels?

After finishing all the Sookie Stackhouse novels I can't help but wonder how close the HBO series is going to follow the novels. There are considerable differences so far in the first book to the first season of the show, how much will the two continue to differ?

Because I've read all the books, I'm hoping True Blood takes it's own path, if not, I've ruined the next 7 seasons of the show for myself by reading the novels.

A run down of the notable differences between Dead Until Dark and True Blood season 1 lead me to believe True Blood will not follow the Sookie Stackhouse series too closely:

  • Jason gets involved with the Church of the Sun in the end of the television series, not in the book.
  • Tara is not the same character in True Blood as she is in Dead Until Dark. In True Blood Tara is a very prominent character, not so much in the book.
  • Maryanne Forrester, better known as the lady with the pig, is a Maenad who roams the woods in the books, yet she owns what looks like a mansion in the television series and it looks like she will have a more important role in True Blood than she did in the book.
  • In the HBO Series, Sam knows Maryanne and seems to have some type of history with the Maenad, in the book he meets her for the first time when she comes to Bon Temps.
Did I forget anything significant? What are you thoughts?

Don't forget to participate in the Poll this week: Have you read the Sookie Stackhouse novels and potentially spoiled the next 7 seasons of True Blood for yourself?


mary said...

I work at Borders. We've created a page specifically for True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse fans -- Video content from HBO plus author pieces...a Q&A and essay from Charlaine Harris all to get fans excited for the release of the DVD May 19 and "Dead and Gone" May 5. Cool stuff.

Lee W. said...


talisa said...

I came across your blog through google...I was trying to find out why Maryanne is compared to the books...I am on book 7 and I can not recall a charater named Maryanne in the books? Have I missed something? Is she the one that in the books attacks sookie when she storms out of Bill's car??? Also...the new vampire that Bill she in the books later on? I was wondering since in the books it was Erik that killed longshadow rather than bill in the show.

Anonymous said...

I'm a rabid fan of the series, and I've been watching the TV show as well. There are a ton of differences.

In the first book, unlike the first season, Jason was never a V-junkie. Eric never went to Merlottes (which may not seem important, but it is when he get's amnesia in a later book). Bill never turned a teenage girl (she is totally made up by the HBO series writers), Eric killed Long Shadow, Chow (who replaced Long Shadow) is a young, fit Yakuza type (not dumpy and middle aged, Tara maybe get mentioned once in the entire first book, and her role in the rest of the books is fairly minimal (although she is mentioned more often from the second book on)and she's described in the books as olive skinned with long wavy black hair.

Bill wasn't back when Sookie was attacked by Rene, he was still away on his trip. And she was attacked at night, so no chance of him burning in the sun if he had been there. Also, there's the missing Bubba. *sigh* I could go on, but I won't.

The second season has started strange for me, because Lafayette was the body in the car in the second book. And I'm a bit weirded out by the fact that Eric had highlight foil in his hair at the end of the first episode. Oy. I'm assuming Maryanne is the maened, but she's described a lot differently in the book. Oh, and Jason, wow, part of the Church. I don't think so. He's way to self-centered to be introspective. We'll see what happens. I'm keeping an open mind and trying to separate the books from the TV show.

Megan said...

In the book Eggs is a vampire and has nothing to do with MaryAnn the Maenad. Also when Sookie gets attacked by the Maenad, Eric and the doctor at Fagntasia know the Maenad exists in the show they don't know what attacked Sookie.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but Eggs is Tara's fiancee and a friend of sookie and J.B. du Rone since High School days. This is in book two.
Sorry for my poor English I'm from Spain

Gabriel said...

Purists will be purists, especially when they like something. Coming from someone who only marginally liked the books, and only read the first three, I will say that I think the changes made to the series thus far IMPROVE the story. Each choice, so far, have met with added tension and, if you can believe, a tighter plot and story evolution. The inclusion of the teenage girl, as far as I'm concerned, is an A+.

I have friends that wonder if they should read the books. I tell them to wait until the whole series is done.

TRUE BLOOD is a lesson in how to PROPERLY do a tv adaptation: keep the essence of the story, make changes based on the needs of the medium, and make sure that any changes ENHANCES -- not derails -- the source material.

Anonymous said...

I think its not to early for eric and sookie to have a thing. It will give the show another juciy twist. Some still think its to early tho they sleep together in the fourth book. I think from experience watch the show before you read the series.

Anonymous said...

No, Eggs is not a vampire in the book. He is just a simple Caucasian man with a weak mind and a fondness for drink who gets engaged to Tara. They go to a sex party together but Tara later dumps him. He doesn't die either.

Sarah said...

I completely agree with the anonymous 'rabid fan' commenter above. I've read 10 of the books, and absolutely love them. I've just started watching the series on DVD. I did originally want to wait until I'd finished reading all of the books, but it seems I've caught up with Charlaine's writing and am now having to wait for book 11.

Anyway, I could just about cope with the differences between the book and Season 1...I tried to think of it in terms of the extra things being extra things that are going on that Sookie doesn't know about, and therefore we wouldn't know about as the reader because it's all told through Sookie's eyes. For example, she might not have known about Jason's V addiction, or Tara's mum getting an 'exorcism', and she might not have known about Tara and Sam's relationship...but this all kind of got ruined when she caught Tara and Sam and when Amy came into the story.

As I write this I've just watched the first episode of Season 2. Towards the end of Season 1 and now the beginning of Season 2, I'm starting to think this is getting just too different. I'm considering not even watching the rest of the DVD because I feel like it's ruining the books for me. Those characters are so set in my mind and I feel like the TV show is ruining them. I feel like the morality of Bill and Eric's characters (I know they're vampires but they do still have some level of morality in the books, especially Bill) are questioned by Bill having to turn Jessica which he doesn't do in the book (I know he was forced to do this but it still changes his character in my opinion), and by my recent discovery that Eric is trapping humans, including Lafayette who should actually be dead by now according to the books, in some sort of dungeon...and even worse he apparently dyes his hair with foils.

I've been trying to see the books and TV show as different things, but now that the characters themselves rather than just the story seems to be changing, I think watching the TV show might just make me annoyed and ruin the magical world of Sookie Stackhouse that Charlaine Harris has created in my mind.

Anonymous said...

^ like