Let’s all put our Time-Travel Balaclava’s on, and go all the way back to 2001 when the Dead Until Dark paperback was released. Let’s all turn to page
394 179, where we encounter the very first Bill/Sookie rape scene (cause it wasn’t in the trunk of that Lincoln).
*The Monroe vampires, plus a fourth vampire, the perpetually 15-year old boy Harlen (whom we met briefly in a very weirdly sexually-laced scene with Bill, whom Harlen just met and was staying with, and whom Sookie seemed convinced they were or would be fucking) have all just been burned. Sookie doesn’t know who the fourth man in the fire was yet, and goes to the graveyard in the rain, wearing only a sundress, to look for him, hoping he’s still not finally dead*
“Bill! Bill! Come out!”
I felt, rather than heard, movement to my right. I turned the beam of the flashlight in that direction. The ground was buckling. As I watched, a white hand shot up from the red soil. The dirt began to heave and crumble. A figure climed out of the ground.
It moved towards me. Covered in red streaks, his hair full of dirt, Bill took a hesitant step in my direction.
I couldn’t even go to him.
“Sookie,” he said, very close to me, “why are you here?” For once, he sounded disorientated and uncertain.
I had to tell him, but I couldn’t open my mouth.
I went down like a stone. I was abruptly on my knees in the sodden grass.
“What happened while I slept?” He was kneeling by me, bare and streaming with rain.
“You don’t have any clothes on,” I murmured.
“They’d just get dirty,” he said sensibly. “When I’m going to sleep in the soil, I take them off.”
“Now you have to tell me.”
“You have to not hate me.”
“What have you done?”
“Oh my God, it wasn’t me! But I could have warned you more, I could have grabbed you and made you listen. I tried to call you, Bill!”
“What has happened?”
I put one hand on either side of his face, touching his skin, realizing how much I would have lost, how much I might yet lose.
“They’re dead, Bill. The vampires from Monroe. And someone else with them.”
“Harlen,” he said tonelessly. “Harlen stayed over last night, he and Diane really hit it off.” He waited for me to finish, his eyes fixed on mine.
“They were burned.”
He squatted beside me in the rain, in the dark, his face not visible to me. The flashlight was gripped in my hand, and all my strength had ebbed away. I could feel his anger.
I could feel his cruelty.
I could feel his hunger.
He had never been more completely vampire. There wasn’t anything human in him.
He turned his face to the sky and howled.
I thought he might kill someone, the rage rolling off him was so great. And the nearest person was me.
As I comprehended my own danger, Bill gripped my upper arms. He pulled me to him, slowly. There was no point in struggling, in fact I sensed that would only excite Bill more. Bill held me an inch from him, I could almost smell his skin, and I could feel the turmoil in him, I could taste his rage.
Directing that energy in another way might save me. I leaned in that inch, put my mouth to his chest. I licked the rain off, rubbed my cheek against his nipple, pressed myself against him.
The next moment his teeth grazed my shoulder, and his body, hard and rigid and ready, shoved me so forcefully I was suddenly on my back in the mud. He slid directly into me as if he were trying to reach through me to the soil. I shrieked, and he growled in response, as though we were truly mud people, primitives from caves. My hands, gripping the flesh of his back, felt the rain pelting down and the blood under my nails, and his relentless movement. I thought I would be plowed into the mud, into my grave. His fangs sank into my neck.
Suddenly I came. Bill howled as he reached his own completion , and he collapsed on me, his fangs pulling out and his tongue cleaning the puncture marks.
I had thought he might kill me without even meaning to.
*Sookie is immobile afterward, Bill picks her up and takes her to his house. He bathes her, and they go to sleep. Sookie wakes up when she hears someone in the room (Bill), and blames her racing heart on a nightmare she assumes she had. She can hear the fear in her voice when she talks to Bill. She and Bill talk about the potential danger to both their lives, and Sookie says she has nothing to lose if she dies, and says she’s had the best time of her life since she met Bill (which is so fucking sad, and also inexplicable, considering nothing good has happened to her since meeting Bill, aside from a couple orgasms, she’s weirdly desperate in this aftermath scene, though if she’s desperate to convince herself or Bill is not certain). Then Bill says, romantically, “I want to enter you again”, and Sookie agrees, even though she feels battered after their graveyard encounter, but she gets aroused anyway, thinking that Bill has gotten her addicted to that feeling. She gets him to agree not to bite her, even though he says sex isn’t as good without it. They have sex.*
If a girl thinks that her only options are to either have sex or die, that’s rape. The fact that she makes the initial contact is irrelevant if the man makes it clear that if she doesn’t, he’ll kill her. And an orgasm is not a confirmation of consent. An orgasm is a physical sensation, it is not unheard of for a woman to orgasm during rape. It does not mean she wanted it.
Shit like this is why I really can’t ignore it when CH tries to write cutesy Bill/Sookie scenes, or attempts to rewrite history. It’s not just that Bill was a jerk, Bill was an abusive, raping jerk. I really do think that CH was going in a different direction than where she ended up with Bill when she first started the series. With scenes like this and all those bombs she laid in the garden, I do think she was writing Bill as more clearly (at least to the audience, if not always to Sookie) an abusive asshole. I think (I hope, anyway) she knew what she was writing here, that she didn’t accidentally write a rape scene. Sookie’s fear and desperate need to reassure and bargain with Bill afterward are, sadly, is how a woman in an abusive relationship (but hasn’t quite accepted/realized that she’s in one) might react, not a woman in love who just has some spectacular consensual rough sex with her honey. But somewhere along the line, she just abandoned her original plot, and tried to fluff up the monster. I don’t want to think that, but I can’t find any other logical explanation for her portrayal of Bill in later books. But the problem with that is, we can’t unread what she wrote, she can’t make it not happen. We know, we were there.
(And I really do hope I’m wrong about the direction CH is going in, I hope that she does have something up her sleeve and is gonna be all “HAHA! Fooled ya! Thought I was redeeming the rapist, did you? Oh ye of little faith…” and salvages her own series from exile to FuckedUpShitville. This would necessitate Sookie having actually suppressed her memories, that she really didn’t remember everything that happened to her. I’m doubtful, given the Companion’s creative interpretation of the events, but nothing’s impossible.)
Fellas, this is how to treat a lady good. Let Bill Compton show you how its done
Excepts from Club Dead, specifically the Trunk Scene and everything thereafter.
Then I was terrified.
Bill was moving. He stirred, made a pain noise. Then his body seemed to go tense. I knew he had smelled me.
“Bill,” I said hoarsely, my lips almost too stiff with cold to move. “Bill, it’s me, Sookie. Bill, are you okay? There’s some bottled blood in here. Drink it now.”
In his hunger, he made no attempt to spare me any thing, and it hurt like the six shades of hell.
“Bill, it’s me,” I said, starting to cry. “Bill, it’s me. Don’t do this, honey. Bill, it’s Sookie. There’s TrueBlood in here.” But he didn’t stop. I kept talking, and he kept sucking, and I was becoming even colder, and very weak. His arms were clamping me to him, and struggling was no use, it would only excite him more. His leg was slung over my legs.
Sookie used that exact turn of phrase (“it would only excite him more”) when describing the Graveyard Scene in DUD, where she feared for her life when Bill awoke in a rage.
“Bill,” I whispered, thinking it was already maybe too late. With the little strength I had left, I pinched his ear with the fingers of my right hand. “Please listen, Bill.”
“Ow,” he said. His voice sounded rough; his throat was sore. He had stopped taking blood. Now another need was on him, one closely related to feeding. His hands pulled down my sweatpants, and after a lot of fumbling and rearranging and contorting, he entered me with no preparation at all. I screamed, and he clapped a hand over my mouth. I was crying, sobbing, and my nose was all stopped up, and I needed to breathe through my mouth. All restraint left me and I began fighting like a wildcat. I bit and scratched and kicked, not caring about the air supply, not caring that I would enrage him. I just had to have air.
I didn’t think it was possible, but this scene is actually worse than I remember it, and far more damning against Bill. He didn’t rape Sookie in the midst of a feeding frenzy, mindlessly instinctively thrusting as he fed his hunger, he was done feeding, sated, he was able to register pain and react according. He spoke, and it took a lot of trouble to enter her, his parts weren’t just lined up with hers, there was ‘fumbling, rearranging and contorting’ required before he could actually penetrate her, and he clapped his hand over her mouth to silence her screams. He had the cognitive ability to be able to do all those things. He’s using problem-solving skills to be able to rut. When True Blood aired this scene, I said that Bill clapping his hand over Sookie’s mouth in the back of Alcide’s van was incredibly damning, because that wasn’t just beastial feeding, he was actually thinking about the problem in front of him (screaming victim) and finding a solution (clapping hand over mouth). I had forgotten he’d done the same thing here, along with the even worse rearranging of their bodies so he could penetrate her. Again, that’s thinking about the problem and finding a solution. That’s not indicative of someone who has lost complete control.
I really didn’t think my opinion of Bill could actually get any lower, but it has.
After a few seconds, his hand fell away. And he stopped moving. I drew air in with a deep, shuddering gasp. I was crying in earnest, one sob after another.
“Sookie?” Bill said uncertainly. “Sookie?”
I couldn’t answer.
“It’s you,” he said, his voice hoarse and wondering. “It’s you. You were really there in that room?” I tried to gather myself, but I felt very fuzzy and I was afraid I was going to faint. Finally, I was able to say, “Bill,” in a whisper.
“It is you. Are you all right?”
Well, gee Bill, considering you’re raping and draining her at the moment, I’m gonna go with NO.
“No,” I said almost apologetically. After all, it was Bill who’d been held prisoner and tortured.
Sookie, sweetheart, what do you think is happening to you right now?
“Did I…” He paused, and seemed to brace himself. “Have I taken more blood than I should?” I couldn’t answer. I laid my head on his arm. It seemed too much trouble to speak.
“I seem to be having sex with you in a closet,” Bill said in a subdued voice. “Did you, ah, volunteer?” I turned my head from side to side, then let it loll on his arm again.
“Oh, no,” he whispered. “Oh, no.” He pulled out of me and fumbled around a lot for the second time. He was putting me back to rights; himself, too, I guess. His hands patted our surroundings. “Car trunk,” he muttered.
“I need air,” I said, in a voice almost too soft to hear.
“Why didn’t you say so?” Bill punched a hole in the trunk. He was stronger. Good for him. Cold air rushed in and I sucked it deep. Beautiful, beautiful oxygen.
“Where are we?” he asked, after a moment.
“Parking garage,” I gasped. “Apartment building. Jackson.” I was so weak, I just wanted to let go and float away.
I tried to gather enough energy to answer him. “Alcide lives here,” I managed to mutter, eventually.
“Alcide who? What are we supposed to do now?”
“Eric’s … coming. Drink the bottled blood.”
“Sookie? Are you all right?”
I couldn’t answer. If I could have, I might have said, “Why do you care? You were going to leave me anyway.” I might have said, “I forgive you,” though that doesn’t seem real likely. Maybe I would have just told him that I’d missed him, and that his secret was still safe with me; faithful unto death, that was Sookie Stackhouse.
That bolded line? That is the second and last time Bill indicates concern for her afterwards. And his concern is limited her physical well-being, which he really doesn’t get credit for, considering he was only holding her for the Queen of Louisiana, who would be mighty pissed with him should her telepath end up dead.
Sookie wakes up in Alcide’s apartment a while later. She can barely speak, her throat looks like it has been cut. She has a manic moment of giggling when she sees Bill, Eric, and Alcide watching her. She tells them the Mississippi vamps are going to kill Bubba, and they come up with a way to save him with a phone call. Debbie shows up, and Bill, Eric, and Sookie hid in the adjacent apartment.
Bill scooped me up, blanket and all. We were out the door and Eric was breaking the lock on the apartment next to Alcide’s before you could say “Jack Daniels.” I heard the slow grumble of the elevator arriving on the | fifth floor as Bill closed the door behind us.
We stood stock-still in the empty cold living room of the barren apartment. The vampires were listening intently to what was going on next door. I began to shiver in Bill’s arms.
To tell the truth, it felt great to be held by him, no matter how angry I had been at him, no matter how many issues we had to settle. To tell the truth, I had a dismayingly wonderful sense of homecoming. To tell the truth, no matter how battered my body was—and battered at his hands, or rather, his fangs—that body could hardly wait to meet up with his body again, buck naked, despite the terrible incident in the trunk. I sighed. I was disappointed in myself. I would have to stand up for my psyche, because my body was ready to betray me, big time. It seemed to be blacking out Bill’s mindless attack.
Sookie is actually watching herself repressing the memory of what just happened (and also at the same time, attempting to rationalize it by referring to it as mindless, even though Harris showed us it was not as mindless as Sookie would like it to be). This is totally not a healthy reaction to have to your rapist, even if it is the boyfriend that you love. Stockholm Syndrome is a bitch.
Bill laid me on the floor in the smaller guest bedroom of this apartment as carefully as if I’d cost him a million dollars, and he swaddled me securely in the blanket. He and Eric listened at the wall, which was shared with Alcide’s bedroom.
“What a bitch,” Eric murmured. Oh. Debbie was back.
I closed my eyes. Eric made a little noise of surprise and I opened them again. He was looking at me, and there was that disconcerting amusement in his face again.
“Debbie stopped by his sister’s house last night to grill her about you. Alcide’s sister likes you very much,” Eric said in a tiny whisper. “This angers the shape-shifter Debbie. She is insulting his sister in front of him.”
Bill’s face showed he was not so thrilled.
Suddenly every line in Bill’s body became tense, as if someone had jammed Bill’s finger in an electric socket. Eric’s jaw dropped and he looked at me with an unreadable expression. There was the unmistakable sound of a slap—even I could hear it—from the next room.
“Leave us for a moment,” Bill said to Eric. I didn’t like the sound of his voice. I closed my eyes. I didn’t think I was up to whatever would come next. I didn’t want to argue with Bill, or upbraid him for his unfaithfulness. I didn’t want to listen to explanations and excuses. I heard the whisper of movement as Bill knelt beside me on the carpet. Bill stretched out beside me, turned on his side, and laid his arm across me.
Bill is about to become even more fabulous. I bet you didn’t think he could get any more fabulous, but he does. Prepare yourselves, ladies, cause your panties are about to explode.
“He just told this woman how good you are in bed,” Bill murmured gently. I came up from my prone position so fast that it tore my healing neck and gave me a twinge in my nearly healed side.
YES. YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY. BILL IS QUESTIONING THE FIDELITY OF THE GIRLFRIEND HE JUST RAPED.
LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN, JUST IN CASE THE MAGNITUDE OF BILL’S AWESOMENESS DIDN’T SINK IN.
HE JUST QUESTIONED THE FIDELITY OF THE GIRLFRIEND HE JUST RAPED AN HOUR AGO.
GOD, SOMEDAY I HOPE TO FIND A MAN WHO WILL TREAT ME THAT GOOD.
I clapped my hand to my neck and gritted my teeth so I wouldn’t moan. When I could talk, I could only say, “He what? He what?” I was almost incoherent with anger. Bill gave me a piercing look, put his finger over his lips to remind me to be quiet.
“I never did,” I whispered furiously. “But even if I had, you know what? It would serve you right, you betraying son of a bitch.” I caught his eyes with mine and stared right into them. Okay, we were going to do this now.
“You’re right,” he murmured. “Lie down, Sookie. You are hurting.”
“Of course I’m hurting,” I whispered, and burst into tears. “And to have the others tell me, to hear that you were just going to pension me off and go live with her without even having the courage to talk to me about it yourself! Bill, how could you be capable of such a thing! I was idiot enough to think you really loved me!” With a savagery I could scarcely believe was coming from inside me, I tossed off the blanket and threw myself on him, my fingers scrabbling for his throat.
And to hell with the pain.
My hands could not circle his neck, but I dug in as hard as I could and I felt a red rage carry me away. I wanted to kill him.
If Bill had fought back, I could have kept it up, but the longer I squeezed, the more the fine rage ebbed away, leaving me cold and empty. I was straddling Bill, and he was prone on the floor, lying passively with his hands at his sides. My hands eased off of his neck and I used them to cover my face.
That…is actually reminiscent of the Horrible Scene Which Shall Not Be Named From A Night On The Sun…just without the vile sex.
*sideeyes Alan Ball*
There’s really no point in me quoting the whole rest of their conversation, except just to show how long of a conversation they did have where Bill does not ask how she is (aside from the redundant question of whether it hurt when she got staked), explained who Lorena was, or focused on Sookie at all. It was all about him. In fact, he never seems to show any remorse for raping and draining her, just leaving her and taking up with Lorena again. He imposes himself upon her only about a week or two after, and asks for a kiss before he leaves to become one with the llamas in Peru. If you want, you can just scroll past it to where I continued bitching about Bill, which is always good fun.
“I hope that hurt like hell,” I said, my voice choking but clear enough.
“Yes,” he said. “It hurt like hell.”
Bill pulled me down to the floor by him, covered us both with the blanket. He gently pushed my head into the notch of his neck and shoulder.
We lay there in silence for what seemed like a long time, though maybe it was only minutes. My body nestled into his out of habit and out of a deep need; though I didn’t know if the need was for Bill specifically, or the intimacy I’d only shared with him. I hated him. I loved him.
“Sookie,” he said, against my hair, “I’m—”
“Hush,” I said. “Hush.” I huddled closer against him. I relaxed. It was like taking off an Ace bandage, one that had been wrapped too tight.
“You’re wearing someone else’s clothes,” he whispered, after a minute or two.
“Yes, a vampire named Bernard. He gave me clothes to wear after my dress got ruined at the bar.”
“How did your dress get ruined?”
“I got staked.”
Everything about him went still. “Where? Did it hurt?” He folded down the blanket. “Show me.”
“Of course it hurt,” I said deliberately. “It hurt like hell.” I lifted the hem of the sweatshirt carefully.
His fingers stroked the shiny skin. I would not heal like Bill. It might take a night or two more for him to become as smooth and perfect as he had been, but he would look just as before, despite a week of torture. I would have a scar the rest of my life, vampire blood or no vampire blood. The scar might not be as severe, and it was certainly forming at a phenomenal rate, but it was undeniably red and ugly, the flesh underneath it still tender, the whole area sore.
“Who did this to you?”
“A man. A fanatic. It’s a long story.”
“Is he dead?”
“Yeah. Betty Joe Pickard killed him with two big blows of her fist. It kind of reminded me of a story I read in elementary school, about Paul Bunyan.”
“I don’t know that story.” His dark eyes caught mine.
“As long as he’s dead now.” Bill had a good grip on that idea.
“Lots of people are dead now. All because of your program.” There was a long moment of silence.
Bill cast a glance at the door Eric had tactfully closed behind him. Of course, he was probably listening right outside, and like all vampires, Eric had excellent hearing. “It’s safe?”
Bill’s mouth was right by my ear. It tickled when he whispered, “Did they search my house?”
“I don’t know. Maybe the vamps from Mississippi went in. I never had a chance to get over there after Eric and Pam and Chow came to tell me you’d been snatched.”
“And they told you … ?”
“That you were planning on leaving me. Yes. They told me.”
“I already got paid back for that piece of madness,” Bill said.
“You might have been paid back enough to suit you” I said, “but I don’t know if you’ve been paid back enough to suit me.”
There was a long silence in the cold, empty room. It was quiet out in the living room, too. I hoped Eric had worked out what we were going to do next, and I hoped it involved going home. No matter what happened between Bill and me, I needed to be home in Bon Temps. I needed to go back to my job and my friends and I needed to see my brother. He might not be much, but he was what I had. I wondered what was happening in the next apartment.
“When the queen came to me and said she’d heard I was working on a program that had never been attempted before, I was flattered,” Bill told me. ‘The money she offered was very good, and she would have been within her rights not to offer any, since I am her subject.” I could feel my mouth twisting at hearing yet another reminder of how different Bill’s world was from mine.
“Who do you think told her?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t really want to,” Bill said. His voice sounded offhand, even gentle, but I knew better.
“You know I had been working on it for some time,” Bill said, when he figured I wasn’t going to say anything.
“Why?” He sounded oddly disconcerted. “Well, because it seemed like a good idea to me. Having a list of all America’s vampires, and at least some of the rest of the world’s? That was a valuable project, and actually, it was kind of fun to compile. And once I started doing research, I thought of including pictures. And aliases. And histories. It just grew.”
“So you’ve been, urn, compiling a—like a directory? Of vampires?”
“Exactly.” Bill’s glowing face lit up even brighter. “I just started one night, thinking how many other vampires I’d come across in my travels over the past century, and I started making a list, and then I started adding a drawing I’d done or a photograph I’d taken.”
“So vampires do photograph? I mean, they show up in pictures?”
“Sure. We never liked to have our picture made, when photography became a common thing in America, because a picture was proof we’d been in a particular place at a particular time, and if we showed up looking exactly the same twenty years later, well, it was obvious what we were. But since we have admitted our existence, there is no point clinging to the old ways.”
“I’ll bet some vampires still do.”
“Of course. There are some who still hide in the shadows and sleep in crypts every night.” (This from a guy who slept in the soil of the cemetery from time to time.)
“And other vampires helped you with this?”
“Yes,” he said, sounding surprised. “Yes, a few did. Some enjoyed the exercise of memory … some used it as a reason to search for old acquaintances, travel to old haunts. I am sure that I don’t have all the vampires in America, especially the recent immigrants, but I think I have probably eighty percent of them.”
“Okay, so why is the queen so anxious to have this program? Why would the other vampires want it, once they learned about it? They could assemble all the same information, right?”
“Yes,” he said. “But it would be far easier to take it from me. And as for why it’s so desirable to have this program… wouldn’t you like to have a booklet that listed all the other telepaths in the United States?”
“Oh, sure,” I said. “I could get lots of tips on how to handle my problem, or maybe how to use it better.”
“So, wouldn’t it be good to have a directory of vampires in the United States, what they’re good at, where their gifts lie?”
“But surely some vampires really wouldn’t want to be in such a book,” I said. “You’ve told me that some vamps don’t want to come out, that they want to stay in the darkness and hunt secretly.”
“Those vamps are in there, too?”
“Do you want to get yourself staked?”
“I never realized how tempting this project would be to anyone else. I never thought of how much power it would give to the one who owned it, until others began trying to steal it.” Bill looked glum.
The sound of shouting in the apartment next door drew our attention. Alcide and Debbie were at it again. They were really bad for each other. But some mutual attraction kept them ricocheting back to each other. Maybe, away from Alcide, Debbie was a nice person. Nah, I couldn’t bring myself to believe that. But maybe she was at least tolerable when Alcide’s affections weren’t an issue.
Of course they should separate. They should never be in the same room again. And I had to take this to heart.
Look at me. Mangled, drained, staked, battered. Lying in a cold apartment in a strange city with a vampire who had betrayed me.
A big decision was standing right in front of my face, waiting to be recognized and enacted. I shoved Bill away, and wobbled to my feet. I pulled on my stolen jacket. With his silence heavy at my back, I opened the door to the living room . Eric was listening with some amusement to the battle going on in the next apartment.
“Take me home,” I said.
“Of course,” he said. “Now?”
A point that I always found irritating about Club Dead was that no one ever mentioned Lorena was Bill’s maker. Bill never did, and though Eric seemed familiar with her (enough to call her a she-demon anyway), he made no mention of it. Bill never said he was forced to leave Bon Temps because his maker called him. It’s not until the next book that he tells Sookie Lorena was his maker and he was forced to leave. In fact, he indicates twice in Club Dead that he left voluntarily; once when he says, referring to running off with Lorena, “I already got paid back for that piece of madness,” and a second time where he says “I haven’t been faithful in other ways,” referring to cheating on her with Lorena. He also doesn’t dispute Eric’s claim that his actions nearly caused him to lose everything, and that he was a fool to take up with Lorena again. None of those statements are indicative of a child forced by their maker to do their bidding. They’re indicative of someone who voluntarily did something stupid.
When he came to Sookie in DTTW and said “My Mommy Made Me Do It” I thought he was making shit up and lying, and until Judith came along and that Tire Fire of a Companion book rewrote his history, I still thought he was lying 6 books later. Or that CH just made up the stuff about Lorena being his maker after the fact.
And if you’re thinking, well, that’s just Bill be all noble and shit, he doesn’t want to make excuses, or burden Sookie at this delicate time, he sacrifice and let her hate him for now, may I remind you that this is the same man who questioned her fidelity about an hour after he raped her.
I really hate that companion book, for so very many reasons. The Secret Dialogs of Eric and Bill for Club Dead don’t even correlate with what the hell actually happened, because the “author” (not Charlaine Harris) was bending over backward to paint Bill in a good light, take any blame off of him. In the dialogs, Bill tells Eric Lorena summoned him and he must go (and only Sheriffs, Monarchs, or Makers can summon, not ex-Lovers with no power as Lorena was depicted as in Club Dead, she can ask). And Eric is quite familiar with their history. So Eric had to have known she was his maker. And Eric, with his maker and his history, is not going to ream a vampire out for being forced to do something by their maker’s will. Even fucking Bill Compton.
Anyway, the moral of the story is that Raping, Lying, Procuring, Draining = Loving and treating someone good; Not Raping, Not Procuring, Not Draining, and Only Very Occasionally Lying But Is Usually Pretty Honest = Abuse and treating someone like shit.
I totally disagree.
Charlaine is the one who makes Bill rape Sookie two times and even that way he is still a hero always looming in Sookie’s life.
People just don’t pay attention enough to True Blood. I don’t see exactly where Alan Ball loves Bill Compton… He made his character WAY MORE vicious than in the books, and now he is a puppet king. Is this love? In the same time Eric has a absolute beautiful arc in the show.
But i don’t argue with, if you don’t see it, it’s no way i will help somehow because you’ve already made your mind.
Oh, Anon, Anon….NO.
Firstly, don’t believe a word out of Alan Ball’s mouth. I know he says Sookie and Bill are soulmates, and he loves Bill and he is so noble and principled, blah blah blah…the man loves to troll, nothing excites him more than sending his audience into a frothing rage. He plays so dumb at conventions that its unbelievable. He can’t not know how popular Eric is, and how very much reviled Bill is by all but a super crazy subset of the fandom. You don’t decide Bill and Sookie are soulmates, and then have scenes like SexNarnia or Eric’s Daydream That Wasn’t A Daydream. Ball is telling us one thing, and showing us another. He’s trying to fuck with our heads.
(Confession time: I only believe that 90% of the time. The other 10% I’m all like WHAT THE FUCK ALAN BALL WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR HEAD YOU ARE RUINING MY LIFE WHY IS SOOKIE ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS OH GOD IT BURNS!!!)
Secondly, Charlaine Harris…ug, look, in the last book this woman had Sookie running naked and wet into the arms of her rapist who began fondling her, and played it off for laughs. Really, what the fuck, Charlaine? That is a line of unforgivable fuckery. There was no fucking reason for that hot mess, I know Sookie has repressed her memories of the trauma for the most part, but that scene was too fucking much. It was disgusting and unnecessary and did I mention disgusting.
I really was with CH for a while there, even with Bill raping Sookie on multiple occasions and never having to answer for it, because I thought I understood where CH was going with this, that Sookie’s coping mechanisms of denial and repression (that she learned at an early age) were responsible for the twisting of the past, that she was an unreliable narrator to an extent. I thought CH was so clever at manipulating the audience into remembering what happened to Sookie the way Sookie wanted to remember it, and not how it actually happened. For when I reread the early books and saw how vicious and abusive Bill really was, I realized that I had been thinking of Bill the way Sookie wanted him to be, not how he really was. But that he was still the same abusive raping asshole he always was.
But now, after the Naked Basement Tickle Fight and the creative interpretation of Bill’s past crimes in the Companion book, now I’m not so sure. I’m afraid CH really has drunk the Bill Kool-Aide, that she no longer gives a shit that he’s a rapist who raped Sookie, or worse, that she no longer thinks he is. I don’t understand the reason for the scene otherwise. And no, I can’t just laugh it off as being a ridiculous bone thrown to the Bill-Lovers. You don’t degrade a rape victim to stroke the ego of her rapist.
I mean, there’s still two more books, but I don’t think I’ll ever get past the Naked Basement Tickle Fight. Even if she writes Bill as evil incarnate and Sookie stakes him and accepts Eric and herself and spends the last book having nothing but hot monkey sex with Eric all over the Stackhouse farm, it won’t make up for having a rape victim crawl to her rapist for safety, naked and wet, in a situation mirroring the second rape, and her rapist begins to fondle her, and its all played off very lightly and for lulz. Unforgiveable Fuckery.
Bill was NEVER meant to be Eric’s equal in any way- including his position in Sookie’s heart! You never see Sookie having this internal battle of who she loves more. The closest thing we get to Sookie even being involved with both of them would be in Club Dead when Eric and Sookie almost have sex (“thank God for Bubba”, as Sook would say). Even then- or in LDiD at the orgy- Sookie isn’t thinking “well, Eric is better than Bill so I’m going to hook up with him”. Eric makes his move, it works, then either Bill shows up, Sookie remembers Bill/reality, or Bubba intrudes.
Then Sookie and Bill’s relationship ENDS FOR GOOD, and 6 books later(?) Sookie and Eric are together (not counting DttW for obvious reasons).
I don’t have that much of a problem with a Bill vs Eric plot for the show because 1) we all know “winner” is spelled E-R-I-C and 2) It’s going to make our victory 10x sweeter
But it’s just been done before. Stefan vs. Damon? Edward vs. Jacob? Come on! We’re better than TWILIGHT, at least!
I do not agree at all.
It’s not a Bill x Eric so why in the fuck heaven Sookie run NAKED on top of Bill’s sleeping corpse? So why Bill is in the next book sinopse?
She doesn’t fool me.
CH may talk about not putting Bill up as a romantic rival, but Sookie spends at least 3 books still pining for the guy and feeling jealous of his relationships. And then, after you think it’s finally done with, there’s a completely narratively unnecessary and gratuitous naked tickle-fight with the rapist! And Bill the Rapist giving romantic advice, and Sookie TAKING it! Bill the Rapist who is now a dear friend with all the insight protecting Sookie from Eric’s biting? The rapist protecting the rape victim from another rape victim…
I am sorry, but I’ll TB version any day. Because there, when Sookie is torn, when she is conflicted, when she doesn’t know which feelings are real, you know it comes from manipulation, blood influence, and misinformation.
I don’t believe for a second that CH plans on restarting a relationship between Bill and Sookie. But she is being coy when she says that Bill isn’t hanging around for the reason to tease that exact possibility. Because that is what he is still around for. Otherwise she’d have killed him off in book 9. He has served his purpose 3 books ago. If not earlier.
I have such a problem with the way CH handles rape and rapists in her books. And its not just Bill. Sookie blames Tara for being abused and raped by Mickey, that she didn’t rebuff him hard enough, he made his intentions clear and she didn’t stop him, she was a gold-digger, etc etc etc. At the time, I took it to be Sookie projecting her own shame and guilt over what happened to her with Bill, that she didn’t say no hard enough, that she deserved to have what happened to her happen to her, she ‘had it coming’. But after the fuckery of the last book (Naked Basement Tickle Fight, Relationship-Advice From Your Friendly Neighborhood Rapist, The Rapist Reigning In The Rape Victim) and the creative interpretation/reinvention of Bill’s history in the companion book, I have to wonder if maybe I was wrong, maybe CH really meant that Tara bore some of the blame for her own rape.
Charlaine Harris has her female heroine to interact in a friendly manner with her rapist, willingly seeking him out for chit-chats, for protection, for sage advice, for naked tickle fights. That’s not okay. That’s not ‘throwing a bone to the Bill fans’. You can’t even argue that the Naked Basement Tickle Fight is part of some larger plan, since she was originally going to kill Bill off in Dead and Gone. How important could it have been to the overall plot and character arcs if it was never supposed to happen in the first place? I am not okay with not only giving a rapist a free pass, but forcing his victim to interact with him all the fucking time and the narrative treating him like he’s really not that bad of a guy. I am well aware of CH’s own personal history, but that doesn’t give her carte blanche to write some really fucked-up shit about rape. And I find what Charlaine has done with Bill, especially in the last book, far more offensive and insulting to women than anything Alan Ball has ever done.
I’m not willing to totally write off the series yet, but that doesn’t mean I think what CH has done (in regards to rape/rapists) is okay, I just have a (potentially delusional) hope that she’ll do…something that will take the bitter taste of rape-culture bullshit out of my mouth. Really, even if it turns out that Bill has been a Big Bad all along and has been trying to destroy Sookie’s life from behind the scenes and Charlaine actually explodes some of his bombs she planted, instead of just ignoring them, and Sookie stakes his ass and she and Eric spend the last book have 500 pages of sex, it still wouldn’t be able to justify that scene in my eyes.
And, in Alan Ball’s defense, Sookie ‘forgetting’ the Rattrays is clearly taken from the books, where Sookie blocks out the fact that Bill rapes her. She’s never mad at him for raping her, she’s mad at him for cheating on her, when she thinks about why they broke up, it’s always ‘he betrayed me for his vampire maker ho Lorena’ not the fact that he raped her (multiple times with full cognitive function).
And ‘it was never supposed to be Bill v. Eric situation’…I have a little trouble believing that, only because Bill and Eric are set up to be complete and total opposites, physically and personality-wise, which naturally lends itself to comparison. Bill is dark-haired, dark-eyed, cold, serious, young, a liar, a rapist, parasitically feeds off Sookie, stalks Sookie, never gives Sookie anything she needs, hates Sam, responds to jealousy with violence, controlling, judgmental, has a female maker and a sister, no vamp-children, left his wife a widow, was a conscripted soldier. Eric is pale-haired, pale-eyed, warm, funny, ancient, truthful, a rape victim, only feeds sporadically on Sookie, gives Sookie too much space, constantly gives Sookie things she needs, gets along well enough with Sam, responds to jealousy with reason, not controlling, open-minded, has a male maker and a brother, multiple vamp-children, was a widower, is a warrior.
A friend who bleeds is better: exitpursuedbyasloth: SNIP FOR BREVITY I have such a problem with the…
SNIP FOR BREVITY
I have such a problem with the way CH handles rape and rapists in her books. And its not just Bill. Sookie blames Tara for being abused and raped by Mickey, that she didn’t rebuff him hard enough, he made his intentions clear and she didn’t stop him,…
I may be missing something, but are we told in the books that Tara was raped? I remember her being ‘passed’ to another vampire when the one she was with was ‘done’ with her, but I don’t remember them saying she was raped.
She didn’t say outright that she was raped, but she shouldn’t have to, it’s heavily implied. She is being treated like property, like a thing to be owned, given to Mickey so Franklin could work off a debt. You think Mickey expected Tara to work off that debt by knitting him socks? She didn’t want to be with him, she was forced to be with him (human authorities couldn’t help her and she knew merry little about vampire authorities), she was afraid of him, and he wanted sex from her. Under the circumstances, she had no recourse to say no. It doesn’t matter if she ‘let him’ fuck her, or if it was a violent struggle. She was essentially his hostage, and afraid, she had no ability to fully consent.
From Dead as a Doornail:
*Tara describes how Franklin introduced Mickey to her as an escort to a concert he couldn’t attend, she doesn’t know yet she’s to be gifted to Mickey, and then Franklin goes out of town again and Mickey stops by to check up on her while he’s gone, and comes with a gift, and Tara thinks its like a vassal paying tribute to his lord’s lady.*
“So I took it, and we [Tara and Mickey] went out, and when we came back that night he started making advances. And I broke that off.” She gave me a calm and regal face.
She may have repulsed his advances that night, but she hadn’t done it instantly and decisively.
Even Tara forgot I could read her mind.
“So that time, he left,” she said. She took a deep breath. “The next time, he didn’t.” (Ed: As in, the next time he didn’t stop and leave when I told him no.)
He’d given plenty of advance warning of his intentions.
“He’s real rough,” Tara said very quietly. “He’s going to kill me someday.”
*Later, Mickey stops by for a cup of
sugar rape. Sookie comments that that’s a card all male bullies played. Sookie decides she’s sick of being scared of the bogeyman’s dick, and rescinds his invitation before he can do anything.*
It’s on the reader to read the scene, and to be able to determine that Tara was being raped. Much like it was up to the reader in Dead Until Dark to see that Sookie was being raped by Bill in the graveyard, even though she (the narrator) didn’t say that was happening, and didn’t recognize it as rape (though that doesn’t mean it wasn’t, Sookie thought if she didn’t have sex with Bill he would kill her, and that can’t be anything other than rape).
Looking for anything about rape in book 5, I did find this nugget:
“She let you get raped,” Alcide said harshly.
Him saying it like that, flat out, shocked me. “Hey, Bill didn’t know it was me,” I said. “He hadn’t had anything to eat for days and days, and the impulses are so closely related. I mean, he stopped, you know? He stopped, when he knew it was me.” I couldn’t put it like that to myself; I couldn’t say that word. I knew beyond a doubt that Bill would rather have chewed off his own hand than done that to me
if he’d been in his right mind. At that time, he’d been the only sex partner I’d ever had. My feelings about the incident were so confused that I couldn’t even bear to try to pick through them. When I’d thought of rape before, when other girls had told me what had happened to them or I’d read it in their brains, I hadn’t had the ambiguity I felt over my own short, awful time in the trunk.
In book 6, the only mention of rape comes when the Queen remembers before she was turned.
Book 7 has Quinn’s mom getting raped…
Book 8, she hopes Fintan raped Gran instead of imagining she had cheated on her husband…
Point being, Sookie clearly has issues. Poor kid.
I’ve talked about it before, but that quote is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. Read that, and then reread the trunk rape scene, and see how clearly the two don’t match up. Bill was much more in control than Sookie wants to think he was, how she remembers him being.
Just read the synopsis for Dead Locked from Amazon UK at Sookieverse Blog. I need to stop reading these things! Now I am going to be thinking about Sookie and Eric all day when I should be studying sepsis and shock and stuff like that for my test tomorrow!
I mean I love angst and all, but I had enough of that in the first 11 books, right? I am usually optimistic, but its hard not jumping to conclusions when you read these things.
Anyone want to discuss?
I try to not get too worked up over synopsis. They tend to be misleading, and their job is to whip people into frenzy so they can’t wait to spend their money on the thing.
Having said that, if the synopsis are in any way accurate, I am not happy. It’s not the fact that Eric is clearly being set up once again, it’s that they make it sound like Sookie is STILL doubting whether she loves him or not. And that she doesn’t trust him. After all that’s happened? After everything that the previous 11 books have been establishing? That makes no sense at all, no matter what the context.
Add to it that she will be investigating Eric’s “crime” with her friendly neighborhood rapist and occasional area investigator Bill Compton (with whom she now has naked tickle fights and from whom she takes sage relationship advice — the mind bobbles!), and I am just … ugh … I don’t know what to think.
I told myself I will reserve judgement until I read the book. That’s all any of us can do.
Yes to the above, but I will say, after reading the synopsis, any anticipation I had about book 11 has now taken a nose dive. I don’t mind being surprised, taking dramatic turns, and going through the angst. What I don’t like is having the rug pulled out from under me and landing on my face, which is what it will feel like if the Sookie and Eric parts of that synopsis are correct. The “who her heart’s desire is” screams in the face of CH’s admonition that it’s never been an Eric vs. Bill thing for her. Seems like someone in her camp is quite happy exploiting the love triangle. :(
For what it’s worth, this wording can be coming entirely from the marketing department, and not from CH.
Again, for what it’s worth, I don’t think at all that Sookie will be entertaining any romantic feelings toward Bill ever again.
That’s not what I’m dreading. What I find really troubling is not some artificial triangle — that is a time-honored and tested tension-builder in a lot of narratives. Obviously, there WAS an Eric vs. Bill in the books, no matter what CH says. They are designed as polar opposites, in physical description and personality-vise. Eric vs. Bill was pretty clearly indicated for at least 3 of the first 4 books.
And then it became Eric vs. Quinn. Same difference. One clearly wrong choice vs. One clearly right one that the heroine just cannot accept due to various narrative obstacles until the last possible moment.
Again, if that were the deal, I wouldn’t blink. It’s not the romantic triangulation (or even romantic indecisiveness where Eric is concerned) that I find so unsavory. It’s not Bill as a possible romantic detour. It’s Bill in conjunction with Sookie, period.
If Bill were a different person in the books. If his transgressions were confined to cheating or conspiring with QSA. If he weren’t a rapist. If he were removed. If he were “abjured” by Sookie. If he weren’t now a friend and a confidant, and an investigative buddy to boot.
I don’t care if he regrets his “loss of control.” I don’t give a shit about his whys and whereofs. He raped her. It happened. Whether she dealt with it, processed it, or pushed it into the recesses of her subconscious, I cannot in all conscience accept that she is hanging out with this guy as if that didn’t happen. As if anything he could do or say ever can reverse what he did.
I don’t think at all that Sookie still loves him or even has a shred of attraction left. The very fact that she can lie on top of him naked and not feel anything is telling. But the very fact that she CAN lie on top of him naked?!!!!! Or would?! Makes me want to throw up.
This is fucked up. There’s no human, logical, decent explanation or justification for it. None. This is where CH lost me.
And it took a while, too. The whole scene is written so off-hand, it didn’t even register properly as anything but a mild caper. It was played for laughs. Which, in retrospect, makes it worse, more insidious. When I first read Dead Reckoning, it didn’t even make a dent. I was concentrating on other things and other occurrances, thinking them through and finding motivation. I even liked the book.
But then I re-read it. And it hit me. The whole scene, and then add to that the fact that it’s fucking BILL! who actually admonishes Eric! into stopping the bite?! And then talks Sookie through her romantic dillema? And she LISTENS to him?!
I don’t know if two more books are enough to unfuck this situation. Right now, I cannot see it.
What makes it all the more worse is when you remember that CH was going to kill Bill off in the ninth book, and then didn’t. So how very integral is anything Bill does to the plot, when it was never supposed to happen in the first place? So that scene of Unforgiveable Fuckery was just CH’s idea of filler crap.
Thinking about the apparent plot of Deadlocked, it would seem that the dead girl’s blood was spiked with something to entice Eric into feeding from her, based on the synopsis and the cover with a phial of something being added to the blood. And it’s has to be faerie-blood the girl was spiked with, that’s the only established vampire catnip.
But the thing is, Eric has been around faerie blood, pure faerie blood, before, and has neither lost his shit nor been unable to resist it. Not only has he been around a bleeding Sookie half-a-dozen times or more. He was surrounded with Faerie Blood when they killed several faeries at Ludwig’s hospital, and ignored it all to check on Sookie (and lick her face). He and Pam held the faerie-doped glasses at Victor’s club, and weren’t compelled to chew on the glass. He drank a whole Faerie in Sookie’s front yard, and yet it didn’t make him go crazy, or attack Claude or Dermot or Sookie, he just got all melancholy and pointed at Sookie saying “You’re my boo!” and then broke out. He’s been in the same house as Claude and not lost his shit.
But now, suddenly, he can’t resist the smell of faerie blood? Some strange girl walks up to him stinking of faerie, offering herself to him, and despite the many enemies who would like to fuck with his shit, he is not at all suspicious of this too-good-to-be-true free lunch, and in fact, can’t resist the alluring smell (despite 11 books of resisting the alluring smell)? And how did a girl stinking of faerie blood manage to walk through a party full of vampires without getting tackled?