Eric Northman: HBOs Most Honorable Character

By Tara Mazzucca on May 1, 2012 to True Blood

I had never heard of The Sookie Stackhouse series before I began watching True Blood.  I was intrigued by the series because of the posters plastered everywhere in NYC in the summer of 2008 advertising “Vampires Were People Too”.  So when the premiere came around I sat myself down and enjoyed an entertaining hour of television. That went on for a couple of weeks every Sunday until the fourth episode when my entertainment became an obsession.  That was the night I was introduced to the 1000 year old Viking vampire, Eric Northman.  Alexander Skarsgard’s portrayal of Eric has been a joy to watch.  From the very first time seeing him on his throne, commanding respect, to this past season seeing Eric’s vulnerability during his amnesia, we have been subjected to the most intriguing honorable character on HBO.

It has been a process for the fans to see the true character of Eric.  We have been subjected to little bits and pieces which we couldn’t trust fully because Eric always has his guard up.  In Season 1 Eric was made out to be the villain, but from that first meeting I got the feeling that I wasn’t privy to some kind of information that was important.  Skarsgard was able to give the impression that Eric needed to be feared but also someone who wasn’t all they seemed.  There was a wealth of emotion coming off of him that made me want to know who Eric was.  I wanted to understand why Eric was so respected.

It was in Season 2 the fans got to understand Eric from the beginning.  We met his maker, Godric, who in his own right is a very honorable character who commands loyalty and respect.  Through his relationship with Godric, we learned that Eric would do anything for the people he loves, even put himself in harms way to protect them.  Eric was taught everything by Godric.  He was taught to be a vampire and also to remember and respect who he was when he was human, which is a very important trait that makes Eric stand out among vampires.  As a vampire grows older, they lose their human sensibilities and most vampires give the impression that being human is beneath them.  Eric plays that card very well, until Season 3 when he finds his father’s Viking crown in vampire Russell Edginton’s menagerie and realizes that Russell massacred his family a millennium before.  For 1000 years Eric Northman has held a personal vendetta against the one who massacred his human family and he did everything he could to get back at Russell.  The emotions that crossed Skarsgard’s face as he looks upon his father’s crown for the first time in 1000 years was like watching the massacre happen right then.  The pure surprise, then hatred, then calculation Skarsgard conveyed in only a few seconds time gave the viewers the understanding that this is the reason he agreed to be turned into a vampire.  He needed to avenge his family’s honor.  He needed to give their death some sort of meaning because of how much he cared for them.

Season 3 was a very difficult time for Eric since he was still grieving the death of Godric.  For the first time, we see Eric not fully confident in his abilities and his emotions.  He has no anchor anymore and his progeny, Pam isn’t the grounding presence that Godric was.  Eric has let his emotions get the better of him and now he has to work through a strategy to stay alive.   Godric once said to Eric, “A vampire is never at the mercy of his emotions.  He dominates them.”  Since Godric’s death Eric hasn’t been able to dominate his emotions.  He is led by them. It was a very telling moment when Sookie bursts into his office and wants to know why she shouldn’t trust Bill.  Eric is sitting in his office knowing he might die very soon and it is a revelation to see him take that in.  Eric the confident, cocky vampire we all love, is now trying to make sense of his imminent death.  There is a desperation and a need to show Sookie who he really is for just a moment.   Eric has again put his life on the line for people he loves, this time Sookie.  Eric would never tell Sookie he loves her, he is too cool for that, but his actions are always done to protect her from others in the supernatural community who might want to take her powers away.

It was in Season 4 that we get to see the most vulnerable Eric.  Having been cast with amnesia from a witch’s spell all of Eric’s defenses have been knocked down and we get the true essence of who he is as a being.  I want to believe that this is what Godric saw on the battlefield that night 1000 years ago.  The true Eric is a scared young boy, who has a playful streak that is mixed with curiosity, wonder, a big heart and charm, but if provoked will push back the fear and fight for who he loves.  I know that Godric was the only person who got to see the true Eric, that is until Eric got his memories back.  As Eric’s memories flooded back to him it was amazing to watch Skarsgard convey that Eric was seeing and processing the man he was for the very first time.  Eric was able to see himself as he truly is and be confident in the vulnerability and fierceness he posesses in his soul.  When Eric talked to Sookie after getting his memories back there was a subtle shift in how Skarsgard played him.  It was the first time, we the fans really got to see the true Eric for ourselves.  He was still cool and collected but it was also the only time Eric put all the cards on the table and the shift that Alexander Skarsgard made in that scene was so minute, but we knew everything was riding on it.

Eric Northman may be guarded and calculating, but it is to protect the people he cares for the most.  Over the millenium, Eric has learned to adapt, play, and survive the perils of the world.  He has also been very intelligent in setting himself around others that will protect him.  It is a mutual agreement which doesn’t come easily.  Eric doesn’t have many friends, but the ones he has, will follow him where ever he goes.  Over the past five seasons, we have seen the evolution of a vampire that has had his world crushed with the death of his maker, his reason for being rectified momentarily by the entombment of Russell Edgington in a concrete grave, his heart broken by a human with faerie blood and somehow Eric finds within himself something to keep living for.  It has been an honor watching Alexander Skarsgard find that spark within Eric that enjoys life and craves for more.  I can’t help but think that Godric would be proud.

We’ve updated out True Blood cast page with Eric as our first entry for True Blood! We’ll be adding to it as the weeks roll on and we hope to focus in on all of the main characters eventually. Waiting sucks, I know!

  • Guest

    He’s the least honorable character. All he does is whine and cry and act like a hypocrite. He’s the biggest Mary Sue ever created for television!

    Unfortunately, he’s tall and blonde so preteen viewers flock to him. I just wish they made his character less of a crybaby. He acts like he’s the only vampire ever to feel pain and it’s frustrating because he caused so much pain to others.

  • Nicole

    I love Eric Northman!!!! Please let him be Sookie’s soul-mate at the end of the TV series~They’re perfect together.The beautiful sun fairy and the viking sex god ♥

  • April Murk

    Eric is probably one of the highlights of the entire series, books or show. He really came back to his true Eric this last season! Can’t wait til season 6!!

  • Definitely the sexiest part of the show…don’t get me wrong he pulls off this part better than I could imagine anyone else (which is sexy all on its own), but he isn’t too bad to look at ;D

  • Kelly

    He is really the star of the show and my favorite part of watching.

  • Sheldon

    Great commentary Tara – Love the Viking and love AS’ portrayal of him.

    • Tara

      Thank you Sheldon :)

  • Terrynn

    I loved the article…You summed it up with “Eric Northman may be guarded and calculating, but it is to protect the people he cares for the most. Over the millenium, Eric has learned to adapt, play, and survive the perils of the world.” I love the Viking Sex God that is Eric Northman but has opened my world to the likes of Mr. Alexander Skarsgard and have made sure to see everything out there that ha has starred in which only solidfies your point that he is one fine character actor!

  • @true2bill

    I must disagree wholeheartedly with the description of Bill not being honorable.
    Having said that, this is about ERIC and honor. It is not a comparison between Bill and Eric. So, to continue:

    It seems to me we need to see vampires as different than humans and operating from different motivations and toward goals that are not human goals ( in most cases).

    If we’re talking HONOR, we are talking about acting in a way that benefits others rather than just yourself. It is an absence of being untrustworthy, untruthful, and underhanded. One is honorable when one is above board, when one makes unselfish decisions and lives up to a code of conduct that is, by society’s standards, respected, admired, and emulated. In the military, honor is to sacrifice yourself if necessary for your comrades, to refrain from unseemly behavior toward civilians, the enemy, or anyone. It is living by the rules of the organization, for the good of all.

    There is not one vampire that we’ve met on TB that can be called, unconditionally, honorable, by that definition.
    But vampires do not put the same importance on honor as humans do. Vampires’ priorities are self-preservation, protection of those you are committed to, and secrecy. These do not always jive with ‘honor.’

    Eric is a great character. I enjoy him immensely. I have always felt, from first meeting him, that his long existence has cost him a great deal. He had been incredibly bored for a long time. Sitting on that ‘throne’ in that seedy vampire bar in Shreveport seemed like a sorry place for a 1000 yr old vampire who was a former Viking. He often remarks about his scorn for humans. He thinks Trueblood is an awful tasting ploy to placate humans.
    Even his progeny said “We’ve been together 100 years, killing, f*cking, and laughing.”
    Since meeting Eric, who has been portrayed so well by Alex Skarsgard, we have seen a vampire who was largely motivated by vengeance . He finally exacted his revenge in S3 (perhaps unsuccessfully..). He defied Godric’s spirit by not allowing RE to meet the true death and perhaps find peace in an afterlife.
    At this point he has lost Godric, his revenge has been achieved(as far as he knows), he felt love (we don’t know if he ever had before) and he’s made a rift between himself and his progeny, Pam.
    In this next season we will see some major occurrences that should give us more insight into Eric’s character, and his motivations.

    IMHO, Eric is the quintessential vampire. He is now going through a lot of turmoil, his egocentric nature has been challenged in several ways, and most likely will be even further next season.

    Eric is a more complicated character than originally seen. And that is a good thing. Alex Skarsgard brings him to us as someone with more ‘under the surface’ than initially thought. He does a great job being Eric.
    The title of this very enjoyable article refers to ‘honor’ and I think Eric’s vampire-based concept is quite different from mine.
    Whether Eric adopts the more human concept of honor, or relies on his ancient vampire nature remains to be seen.

    • Silver Hater

      Hi True2bill and thank you for your honest and thoughtful answer. I agree that the honour as a concept for the vampires is hugely stretched by our human standards and as such every vampire on TB can be challenged somewhere along the road about their motives or methods. There is a curious similarity between Bill and Eric (bear with me, LOL, this could actually be a great topic separately) which is how much they seemed to be motivated or defined by their human past. Where Eric’s family was brutally taken away from him in front of his eyes causing him to spend centuries looking for his family’s murderer and fulfil his oath, Bill’s years with Lorena were also a direct consequence of his human life being so brutally taken away from him which led him to a lot of nihilism, the years of despicable life with his maker. The way I saw S4, Bill, always so protective of every shred of humanity that he could hold onto, embraced his vampire side to a far greater extent which I think earned him the respect of Eric that was missing in the beginning; OTOH Eric was made (forced by the curse) to get back in touch with his own humanity, to actually perceive his own actions from a different point of view and take on board others point of view in fully realising how much his previous actions were hurting them. I really believe that both characters are growing up through challenges they face and both strive to become the ‘whole’. In those circumstances they will make mistakes because that is life: it’s fluid, changeable, difficult. They perhaps strive for different things too so they will always do things in the different way. Eric’s relationship with Pam can never be the same, not after what Eric’s been through (the discrepancy was shown clearly when Eric and Pam were in Bill’s jail-Pam wanted the old Eric back and her carefree life with her strong maker as her anchor, but Eric did not want that life even as AE, and my bet is that the new Eric doesn’t want it either). In fact, the S5 is bringing the danger, possibly deadlier than ever.
      In my mind, the S5 may hold some keys to the past, perhaps it would help us all understand the motivation of many characters with more clarity and as such we could readdress the issues of honour, right or wrong, maybe even bury some burning questions once and for all. I realise that we all have our favourite character but I think they are all very well studied and developed by AB. I really look forward to S5 to see where it takes them all.

    • Tara

      True2Bill and Silver Hater I loved what you two said! Those are such thoughtful, insightful answers to the world of True Blood and Eric and Bill. Eric and Bill are similar and the lines are blurred, but for me Eric stands out. He is the quintessential vampire to me and Eric’s relationship with Godric really resonates with me. I am excited to see this “bromance” they keep talking about with Bill and Eric because now that they are fighting for the same cause and Eric is behind Bill maybe the two of them will learn from each other and become even more true to who they are…

      • Silver Hater

        Hey Tara, for me too, Eric stands out. The way his story was presented was so extraordinary and to actually see this ancient vampire being moved, emotional and letting his guards down is spectacular. I will never forget the moment when he cried for his maker, on his knees. Having lost his human father before, he was losing his vampire one too. That was unknown to us then, but the powerful scene with Godric and Sookie certainly led me to believe that there was so much more hidden underneath his cool exterior (Sookie alludes to that in her dream 1 of Eric and also in FOTS). I just find Eric’s character to be absolutely magnetic. I think he will have a difficult season ahead, reconciling the changes he’s been through and the new reality, maybe even building a wall around himself but I truly think that he will prevail and be better for all the trials he’s been put through, all the personal loss. Eric is strong and smart.
        And Alex-just amazing, amazing work.

  • Lilu

    OMG!! Amen to all that!!!! Alexander is an amazing actor and we are so lucky to see him portraying Eric Northman!! You said it all!!!

  • Silver Hater

    But why do we have to make every discussion into Eric v Bill debate? The topic is Eric and Alexander who brings him to life, progression of Eric as a character, analysis of his personality. Also, I find the notion “are we watching the same show” somewhat childish in a matter of opinions. We are watching the same show, but we may perceive it differently, no harm in that. I do ask that question if I see someone misquoting the dialogue or disregarding the facts but otherwise it’s really just everyone’s perception. I think that AB created multilayered characters in any case and not caricatures or simple heroes and villains.

    • Tara

      Very well said Silver Hater. I love Bill as a character too and I for one am looking forward to the “bromance” coming up on Season 5 between Eric and Bill just because of their history together. It is just going to make the characters even more interesting and obsessive to watch :)

  • True Blood

    Ok, a question to the plenary: Why is not Bill honorable? I think he was an exelent King ….

    • Tara

      I am not sure that Bill has the best reputation within the vampire community. We didn’t really see Bill be King. He was taking orders from Nan. Knowing now that Bill hired the dead beat couple to beat her up so Sookie would drink his blood and also everyone knowing that he was doing what he was told from the Queen. Bill IMHO always plays the victim which isn’t very honorable. I think Bill has to earn the respect of his peers, he definitely doesn’t have Eric or Pam’s respect. Eric went to the witches because he has actual memories of what the witches could do to the vampires and he is probably the strongest within Bill’s territory. It will be interesting to see how Bill is seen within the vampire community this year. Will Bill be respected for who he is or will he be respected because he has Eric by his side?

      • @true2bill

        Yes, Bill showed himself to be an effective, smart, decisive, and quick-thinking monarch. He had to maneuver with the road-blocks of Eric being under a witch’s spell, Nan being up his *ss with complaint after complaint, while never taking him or the necromancer threat seriously, and Pam and Sookie alternately lying to him about Eric’s whereabouts.
        He really had every reason to have Eric meet the true death, and yet he pardoned him. He devised the plan to put his remaining subjects under silver to prevent them from meeting the sun.
        He went after the necromancer, defying Nan, without knowing she could spell a protection field.
        He and Eric killed Nan and the stormtroopers when she found out what Sookie was and let them know.
        As we saw, by the end of S4, Eric showed Bill the respect he deserved, realizing that he had acted smartly and compassionately as King.

        Let’s agree the Rattray argument is a dead horse that’s been beaten too long. Sookie has forgiven him. He didn’t know her or love her when that happened. It’s water under the bridge.
        I won’t bring up Eric not making a move to help Sookie when LongShadow was attacking her if you (all) won’t bring up the Rattrays again. Both events are too old to consider anymore.
        Thanks, I enjoyed your article.
        This is just a reply to a comment, not to your article. That’s below.

    • Kerry

      I don’t disagree that Bill was excellent King I thought. He did a great job as King my ownly hangup with him was he kept throwing it up in their faces that he was king of louisiana ok they know this next topic.

      • True Blood

        If you think about it, Eric was also controlled by Autority who told him what he should do and not do, set or what? The only vampirers who did not show respectability for Bill was Pam and Eric before Eric got amnesia ..f

    • NJ

      I don’t even think beehl or the writers would say that he was portrayed as a great king. His reign was riddled with missteps and subsequent damage control.

  • LOVE this post! You nailed the character of Eric Northman with every word written. He is by FAR the most honorable and interesting character on the show. Those who think he is selfish are only looking at the surface and not bothering to look inside for the depth within. Eric Northman is my entire reason for watching True Blood.

    • Tara

      Thanks Tiffany! That is what I love about Eric and Alexander Skarsgard’s portrayal, the depth. Eric is a 1000 year old vampire that hasn’t lived this long because he is shallow and cocky and I think that is what a lot of people see and don’t move past that. I know Bill feels that way, so it will be interesting to see how these two vampires deal with each other. We know Eric doesn’t trust Bill, but if working with Bill will protect Pam and Sookie, then Eric is all for it…can’t wait for the new season to begin!

    • Kerry

      I agree with you Tiffany AS/EN is the only reason I watch the show also he’s a very deep and complex person on the show my favorite character and actor of all time.

  • Loved this article, although I wouldn’t say Eric has always been honorable or is THE most honorable character in Bon Temps. Is he the most interesting and far more honorable than he was perceived to be the first two seasons? Absolultely! I think the “real” Eric is coming out more and more (just as the real Bill — who I think is more villainous than he is perceived to be) is coming to the fore. But I can’t give him the characterization of totally honorable (at least, outside of fanfic.)

    I have agree with you in giving high props to Alexander Skarsgard for his role in creating the depth of his character. The first season, I wasn’t sold on him as Eric because my mental image from the books was so different, but ASkars completely sold me by the end of season 2 and his work in seasons 3 and 4 was AMAZING. His body language and expressions tell you what is really going on with Eric, no matter what his mouth may be saying or what Sookie thinks. It’s a great portrayal.

    Thanks for an interesting look at the development of Eric’s character. I’m hoping we will see Whole Eric really take on some new (and definitely HONORABLE) dimensions in season 5.

    • Tara

      Thanks MyVikingBoyfriend! I define honorable as someone who commands respect and loyalty, which I think Eric does in spades. He has the leadership skills and know how to be King of Louisiana if he wanted, but he doesn’t. Instead he uses his position as Sheriff of Area 5 to be in the loop of vampire politics so that he can lead the life he wants and protect the ones he loves.

      Honorable to me doesn’t necessary mean he is “good” in that Hoyt or Terry kind of way. Honorable to me means that he makes difficult decisions to protect the ones he loves at any cost, even his own life. Eric has put his life on the line multiple times for Sookie, which I can’t say Bill or any other vampire has done for anyone.

      I am really excited to see in what direction Eric is going to go this season, just from the little promo we saw earlier this week, Eric feels very alone and I think that is going to be a very vulnerable Eric. I wonder if we are going to see Godric come back to him as his conscience as Eric figures out how to deal with Russell…

      • True Blood

        Tara, help me, how multiple times? You do not mean when have caused russel afären himself because of his selfishness, and then had to use Sookie as bait, and almost killed her. Bill had to “ask” Pam to release him so he can rescue her … How an honorable vanmpire can expose all vampirer for Russell’s hatred because of his revange? It was not he thought of their well-being …. and then when he would take care of him so he failed again and NOT kill him … because of his weakness? or what??? HOW honorable is that?? He exposed all the vampires in incredible danger!

        • Tara

          This is where I use the quote from Godric “A vampire is never at the mercy of his emotions. He dominates them.” It is a lesson that Godric has been trying to teach Eric for 1000 years. The whole point of Eric becoming a vampire was to avenge the death of his human family. For 1000 years Eric has held onto the love he has for them and when he finally gets the chance to avenge what has been driving him for the millenium he goes in headfirst without thinking. It is that love that gets Eric in trouble and he knows it is his weakness and he does everything he can to rectify his actions when he realizes that everyone he loves is in danger.

          The multiple times: Eric gave himself to the Fellowship of the Sun, he was willing to take the fall for his actions with Russell and he was willing to have Bill kill him to release Sookie from the witches.

        • True Blood

          Tara,,,only one itmes he offered to protect people and vampires and it was at FOS. Russel it was his fault and Nan did say to him do it !! Because it was done of his selfishness…. AND he USED Sookie for it…HOW honorable it was???????
          It was Bill who said yes to offer him self first….do protect Sookie at Marnie house…
          Bill had saved life of Sookie at Fangtasia, tryed to protect her at cementery and outside the Marnies house.. But still is bill evil and not honorable? If you count thing like this as honorable at Erics case why not at Bill case??

    • Tara

      I know True Blood that we are going to be disagreeing all day about this. My article is about Eric and I don’t compare him to anyone. This is why I love the show because all the characters are complex, intriguing character where the lines are blurred and each of us has our favorites that stand out. Eric is the one for me that stands out and that I love to talk about the character. I perceive Eric as an honorable character and I love that you perceive Bill as one also, but this isn’t a Eric vs Bill piece. I never said Bill was all out evil or dishonorable at every turn, I just don’t perceive him in an honorable way. I will say that Season 4 made me like Bill even more, he seemed to be in his element and at peace and Season 5 is going to be so interesting to watch how he is perceived in the vampire community and how he handles himself with vampires that are much more powerful and older than him. I can’t wait for it!!!

      • CD76

        I think we have to point out that Bill has seemingly NEVER acted with any sense of honor, considering the reason he sought Sookie out in the first place. Their meeting was not by chance, but according to plans to aquire just exactly who and WHAT Sookie is. In my opinion, no one, be it human, vampire, or any other preternatural creature ever acts with sincere honor. There is ALWAYS something something to gain in the end. Eric is honorable in some form simply because he has never lied about who he was. He always put his true self out there, no apologies. He always admits that everything he does is, and always will be, for his benefit. By acting in this fashion, he is honoring not only himself, but all those who come in contact with him. Honor doesn’t always have to mean you are doing something good, just that you approach it with deep and heartfelt sincerity. Eric embodies that in all he does.

  • Anyezke

    I love Eric in the books, I love Eric in the show, I loved the article, it kinda said what I’ve felt about the character. And our wonderful Eric – I think – actually made way for Alex Skarsgard who found Eric and Eric launched his career. An actor who fits the role, who has given life to the role, and that proves his merit.

    • Tara

      Anyezke I never read the books before I watched True Blood. I just finished Book 4 recently and I love Eric in the books. And it is so great that when I am reading I picture Alexander Skarsgard as Eric because of the way he was able to embody what Charlaine Harris wrote. There is a part of me that wishes I had known about the books before the series and followed along with the transformation Skarsgard was able to bring to the character of Eric. I am just glad that Alexander Skarsgard has turned me onto the books, because they are so different, but wonderful in their own way and I am glad I can enjoy the books just as much as the show :)

  • True Blood

    I dont know, but a honorable man is – in my head- a man who do thing without selfish thoughts. And Eric is pure selfishness .. So many bad thing happend in TB because of his selfishness…

    Yes, I think we are watching a different show…lol…
    What about Hoyt????

    • Tara

      Honorable to me is someone who commands respect and loyalty and Eric to me does that. Hoyt on the other hand, doesn’t have a person behind him at all at the moment and is a “good” man. He does what is right but it could be at the expense of the ones he loves the most.

      Eric I think will put his life on the line for the ones he loves the most. Eric pushes back the fear and goes head first into the fire. Hoyt, in my opinion will not do that out of fear of what others will think of him and even though he is good doesn’t mean he commands respect and loyalty. Eric doesn’t have to broadcast his intentions or wear his heart on his sleeve but his actions toward protecting the ones he loves speak volumes. I totally agree that Eric can be selfish, so can Hoyt, that is what makes them so complex and enjoyable to watch.

      • True Blood

        Tara, thin only HOW he was using sookie for his sellfishness …and he had a feelings for her…

  • Lori

    Great article I agree with every word, Eric Northman is so complex and fascinating to watch, so many layers, Charlaine really did create a wonderful deep rich character and I’m not suprised he’s the most popular on the show.

  • bad2thebone

    We must most certainly be watching a different series. No way is Eric Northman “honorable”. I disagree with almost everything you’ve written above. Eric is an interesting character as the entire ensemble cast is, but honorable he is not.

    • Jefd

      That is a welcomed opinion Bad2thebone. I would wish however that you wouldn’t just leave it at that simple post.

      Care to elaborate on what Eric Northman is to you if not honorable?

    • Im wondering wheather or not becoming “good” for a season has changed him permanently. I’d say the “Good” Eric was one of the most honorable characters for sure!

      • Tara

        That is what I am really interested in knowing Jacob. I wonder if Eric’s amnesia has a lasting affect on how he conducts himself from now on, especially with the ones he cares about like Sookie, and Pam. I wonder if he is going to go back to being the cool and collected Eric we knew for 3 seasons or will he be the Eric we got to see talking to Sookie honestly on the couch right after he got his memories back…

    • Tara

      Bad2thebone I would love to hear your take on Eric Northman! Let the friendly debate begin…

    • @true2bill

      I have to agree with your assessment, Bad2thebone. As I commented below, I think vampires do not aspire to what we humans call honor, at least not most of them.
      Eric is manipulating, egocentric, and extremely bloodthirsty.
      But Eric does have loyalty. And he has shown courage. So he is, like most TB characters, complex and interesting.

      BTW, I love your username!

  • Silver Hater

    Thank you for this wonderful article highlighting the complexity of my favourite character Eric Northman & an amazing job that Alex does in bringing this character to life. Eric’s progression in the show has been palpable and every time one layer is peeled I find yet another reason to love him.There is a great sense of innate loyalty and nobility that Alex brings out in Eric, in his understated yet mesmerising and sophisticated manner, but there is also humour and a tremendous sense that this old vampire is pure fire under ice. I followed Eric’s story with great care and dedication and I can not wait to find out more about his journey in the show and the final instalment in the book series. All the credit to Alexander who can convey with his face so many emotions, a rare charisma that is so much more than just spectacular physique.

    • Tara

      Wonderfully said Silver Hater! Totally agree with every word!

      • Silver Hater

        Thanks Tara. I think we have to remember that it’s truly a task to portray the emotional setting of someone who is 1000 years old, what it realistically entails, whether it is from a writer’s or an actor’s point of view. One of the best achievements of the show IMO was to create characters in a certain way in the beginning, however, those characters, through present challenges as well as the past flashbacks reveal many hidden depths and that is certainly the case with Eric. That is possibly why the Dallas hotel roof scene remains one of the most defining and iconic moments of the series. None of the characters in AB’s world is one dimensional and they are all made of both light and darkness; I would also add that the creators are intent to challenge our own perceptions at every step and pose ethical questions that could easily reflect our own dilemmas. If we objectively look at Eric’s journey since episode 4 S1 and where he is now it is an amazing character study. Eric is constantly challenged by what he fears most: being perceived weak if he shows emotions such as love but AB constantly throws that issue at the Viking: love for his maker, his human family, his progeny, Sookie. This is where Eric’s carefully built walls crumble and it’s spectacular to watch.

        • Tara

          I wholeheartedly agree with you! I just saw Eric and Pam’s snippet for Season 5 and from the dialogue and actions of Eric he is terrified that Russell is back and he doesn’t trust anyone, even Pam. I think this is a by product of Godric committing suicide because Eric says, “I trust no one anymore and so should you.” It is a powerful statement and a telling moment, that Eric even has lost faith in his abilities to trust the ones he loves. They have disappointed him greatly in the past and it makes Eric a very lonely character for Season 5 if he pushes Pam away, because she has his back always…

  • Carona

    Alexander Skarsgard is so good at Eric . I love him wonderful actor. Can’t wait to see season 5

    • Tara

      Totally agree Carona!!! So excited! Is it June yet? LOL!

  • helen

    I can’t discern who I love the most Eric or Alexander Skarsgard but I’m sure I began to love Alex because his great performance of Eric. Please preserve this wonderfull character I’m really excited to see his evolution next season. My preferences are he getting Sookie’s love because he deserves it and Pam by his side too, I know I’m going to suffer a bit at least at the beginning of Season Five

    • Tara

      I totally agree with you Helen on the suffering a bit in the beginning of Season 5 but I am excited to see what direction they take Eric in and what Alexander Skarsgard does with the material. I have a feeling we are just going to love Eric even more with his choices considering Skarsgard’s record for the past 4 seasons :)

  • NJ

    Well done, Tara. Alexander deserves all the accolades, as does the author for creating such a compelling character. Eric Northman, book and show, has inspired many a sonnet, article and fan fiction. What I love most about Skarsgard is that he understands the role and is the epitome of everything the Sheriff of Area 5 was meant to be, IMHO.

    • Tara

      Thank you NJ. I just started reading the Sookie Stackhouse series and Charlaine Harris gives us a wonderful character, but Alexander Skarsgard just runs with what Charlaine has on the page and gives us such a wonderfully complex, dare I say human character with much more depth than I imagine from the books IMHO

  • Millarca

    What a delightful post about my favourite True Blood character, and the outstanding actor who portrays him. Thank you.

    • Tara

      Thanks Millarca! I am so excited for the new season to see what Alexander Skarsgard brings to the table!!!!

    • Dark Phoenyx

      Alexander Skarsgård: superb actor!!

      • Tara

        Totally agree Dark Phoenyx! Can’t wait to see how Eric’s storyline progresses this upcoming season! So excited!!!!!

  • Mony

    Great post! It has been “an Eric week”!
    Thank you! :)

    • Tara

      Yes it has Mony!!! Thank you for the support. June can’t come soon enough :)

  • Leif


    Summed up to perfection.


    • Tara

      Thank You Leif!!!!

  • Evie

    That’s a great article, I felt exactly the same way and it was episode 4 and Eric that really got me hooked. We have already seen so many different sides to this complex and highly addictive character and I can’t wait to see where they take him in season 5.

    • Tara

      I’m really excited about Season 5 because I want to see who Eric has become and how he turned Pam. I am also excited to see how Eric deals with Bill and if they do have this “bromance” they are hinting about because I just can’t see Eric giving Bill the time of day, but if it is to protect Pam, Sookie or Nora I know Eric will tolerate him LOL!

  • Margaux

    Love this!! Thank you!

    • Tara

      Your welcome! I love when I can share in my love of Eric Northman!

  • Dark Phoenyx

    Alexander Skarsgård is a superb actor and the character of Eric Northman captivated me since the first time I saw him. I still remember when I reffered to me as the Viking from True Blood (el Vikingo de True Blood) without knowing who was the actor and about the books.

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