True Blood’s Scene-Stealing Supporting Characters
By Marissa Blanchard
Because there’s more to the show than Sookie, Bill and Eric. (Spoilers follow.)
At the core of a series revolving around a fairy stuck in a love triangle with two vampires are the secondary characters who navigated their supernatural world and grounded the show in humanity. In honor of True Blood’s 10th anniversary, revisit their big moments, the ones that made the monsters seem so human, and gave us humans, all the feels.
Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis)
Merlotte’s fabulous fry cook and resident medium who definitely is not taking any of your bulllllsh*t.
Girlfriend, you know we’re starting with the best in Bon Temps. Nelsan Ellis’ performance had such an impact on the show, it led to one of the series’ first major departures from the source material: Lafayette’s survival. Among silencing homophobic Merlotte’s patrons, fiercely defending his loved ones, and discovering his powers — there are too many incredible Lafayette moments to choose just one. However, Lafayette’s beautifully tragic relationship with Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) is quintessential to the series.
Heart-staking scene: Lafayette is forced to kill the only man he ever loved.
Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley)
Sookie’s abrasive best friend and Lafayette’s cousin, Tara wears her emotions — mostly rage — on her sleeve.
Tara never had it easy: Her alcoholic mother (Adina Porter) subjects her to an exorcism; she’s captured by a vampire, infiltrates a witch coven and sacrifices herself to save her best friend from a werewolf. And yes, is then turned into a vampire.
Heart-staking scene: Even with all the above, Tara’s biggest moment — and her most vulnerable one — takes place in Season 2 when she discovers, ahm, post-orgy, her boyfriend Eggs (Mehcad Brooks) has been murdered.
Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten)
Bon Temps’ dim but complicated player.
Jason’s greatest vice is usually his main source of trouble: hot women with dark secrets. Amy (Lizzy Caplan), a hippie seemingly passing through Bon Temps, takes their relationship to new levels when she seduces Jason to engage in sexy V-fueled trips and an outright abduction. Eager for a pure source of V, Amy enlists Jason to capture a vampire.
Heart-staking scene: Jason risks his relationship with Amy to set Eddie (Stephen Root), the vamp, free — but puts Eddie in danger instead.
Pam Swynford De Beaufort (Kristin Bauer van Straten)
Eric’s (Alexander Skarsgård) progeny, business partner, closest confidant, and former lover. (It’s really complicated.)
Aside from Lafayette, Pam serves the coldest shade in the series. It’s not until Season 5 when Pam unwillingly becomes a maker that we learn how she was turned — and her love for Eric is more than just gratitude.
Heart-staking scene: Before Eric leaves on a dangerous mission to take down Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare), he does something even harder: He releases Pam to protect her.
Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello)
Strong, silent — and shirtless — werewolf.
Alcide is a protector: he fiercely defends Sookie, his pack, and even his psycho-ex, Debbie (and there’s nothing to like about her). The loyal werewolf is roped into one final Sookie scheme when she devises a risky plan to use herself as “vampire bait” to lure the H-vamps, with only Bill (Stephen Moyer) to protect her. Classic Sook-eh.
Heart-staking scene: Alcide is forced, yet again, to save Sookie’s life; however, this time it costs him his own life.
Arlene Fowler (Carrie Preston)
Merlotte’s only reliable waitress, except when it comes to men.
As if dating a serial killer weren’t enough, poor Arlene ends up pregnant with Rene’s (Michael Raymond-James) baby after falling for sweet Terry Bellefleur. Her fears subside when Terry insists on raising the child with her — but baby Mikey’s arrival changes that.
Heart-staking scene: Convinced Rene is haunting her, Arlene’s fears are validated when her house mysteriously goes up in flames.
Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe)
Merlotte’s (less fabulous) fry cook and Bon Temps’ unlikely hometown hero.
Terry is just trying to return to a life of normalcy after serving in Iraq. He finds peace with Arlene — minus the above bit about the demon baby, until the return of his former platoon leader, Patrick Devins (Scott Foley). Patrick’s presence not only reignites Terry’s PTSD, Terry is roped into a mission that leads to the mysterious Ifrit smoke-demon.
Heart-staking scene: Arlene resorts to having Terry glamoured into forgetting about the war, but it’s not enough to save him from himself.
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