Eric Northman

Here there be spoilers…

He’s a hot topic of conversation these days. The tall, blonde Swede that has captured the hearts… and other things… of men and women throughout the world. Most people claim that this phenomenon is because of his magnetic attraction, but it is apparent to me that it is his role as Eric Northman in True Blood which has bolstered Alexander Skarsgård’s fame and fortune.

When we first met Eric in of the one of the most outrageous and rating-ridden series ever aired, True Blood, he was a quiet, smug Viking, 1, 000 years old and aware of his powers, abusing his sway over women to his own ends, be those sexual or cruel amusement. I remember feeling that the character was somewhat carbon-copied stereotype. Far too one-dimensional and predictable to be a main antagonist, or hero, for that matter. He kept his ruthless demeanour throughout the few episodes he appeared in in the first season, which I found to be a disappointment, but I accepted him faults and all, as one usually requires a bad boy in all vampire stories (it’s a thing, all women love them… insert eye roll here).

However, as is to be expected from the ‘bad boy’ as he has been dubbed in pop culture, Eric followed the typical changes. With season two we saw a depth to him we would never have expected. Now some may attribute it to Sookie. I’d rather not because I’m not exactly Sookie’s biggest fan. She reminds me far too vividly of Anita Blake, but without the guns to back her up. Although, I will admit, she gives us oodles of entertainment in season five when she gets roaringly smashed and imagines Bill, Eric and Alcide barking at each other – priceless. But I digress. Eric quite unexpectedly gains depth we could not have seen coming (at least, this is what the writer’s believe of their audience) with the introduction of his maker, Godric – Yet another vampire I have mass levels of love and adoration for. Another time maybe.

Skarsgård’s portrayal of the bond between Maker and Child was heart-wrenching, and immediately drove Richard and I to rethink our approach to such delicate matters while working on Bought in Blood. His devotion was believable to say the least, but more convincing was his anguish when Godric chose to meet the sun. I must have watched that episode five or six times, but it still brings me to tears.

But wait. His growth as a character does not simply end there! In season three, Eric gives us a glimpse of his short time as a man, a human boy living on his father’s land. He’s not that different to the Eric we know of today, but the coldness is lacking somewhat. Here we are given an entirely new side of Eric, one we wouldn’t really expect as we have come to regard him as playful, if somewhat aggressive from time to time. No one would have guessed his driving force for over 1, 000 years has been revenge. A deep, carving desire to end the vampire that slaughtered his family.

What I find difficult to come to terms with then, is the fact that Eric is so willing, after a millennium of obsession, to side with Russell Edgington in season five. Oh yes, I understand that the chances of his winning against such a man are little to absolutely none, but surely his turn over to Edgington acquaintance was too rapid? Some angst perhaps? A bit of furious furniture smashing? Bring on the table flip guy!

Regardless, Skarsgård does a sterling job in portraying a firmly written character. And succeeds in confusing us as to his true agenda – villain or hero? Only time will tell.

 

Print Friendly

10 Comments

  • Reply Suzanne van Rooyen August 8, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I think his best on screen character was as a marine sergeant in Generation Kill – based on the real experiences of First Recon Marines in Iraq. Brilliant, stoic character and he had tattoos 🙂

    • Reply Lafaeyette August 8, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Haven’t watched it yet, but I’ll make a plan to. Thanks for the heads up 😀

  • Reply Kerrie February 25, 2013 at 12:23 am

    I’m a fan of Eric from True Blood but more so from Eric from the Southern Vampire Mysteries. In the book series he is completely different and the fans of the book series were quick to pick up on him. The TV show is so different from the book so the character is completely different especially after season 2 (Godric is not his maker in the book, Eric’s maker is no introduced until late in the series).

    • Reply Lafaeyette February 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      I must concur with you there, Kerrie. But I am not really a fan of the books at all. I strongly feel that Alan Ball saved what would otherwise have been a boring series.

  • Reply seer kennel (@seerkennel) April 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Ah, the Norseman.. it would have been interesting to see what Alexander might have done as Lestat. Depths there that haven’t been plumbed yet.. and I have the suspicion that all is not as Edgington believes it to be.. all is not well in his world and will not end well either me thinks. And don’t get me started on Sookie – she’s passable (nothing away from Anna P) but I will say that I am completely puzzled that so many otherwise intelligently intriguing males find her so fascinating.. it’s got to be the Fae blood :D.

    • Reply Lafaeyette April 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Hahaha, yes. I suspect that Sookie Stackhouse has Anita Blake syndrome. Regardless of how tiresome she can be, people still seem to love her.

  • Reply rozy March 11, 2014 at 3:57 am

    They could not have chosen a more cliche surname for a Nordic person. “Northman” smirk.

    • Reply Carmen Dominique March 11, 2014 at 7:22 am

      Oh yes! Ugh, always a matter of aggravation for me.

      • Reply Hook in Mouth May 23, 2014 at 10:18 am

        Do they really think their audience is that dense that they couldn’t repeat a Nordic surname if they heard it? If Metalocalyse fans can, anyone can.

  • Reply seer kennel May 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Perhaps Northman is not so much a surname as it is a designation of origin?

  • Leave a Reply