I crack jokes about my affinity for all things Alexander Skarsgard, but I’m going to admit something to you: He’s not the reason I love Eric Northman.
I’d be falling all over myself for the Viking vampire regardless of who portrayed him on the hit HBO show True Blood. Sure, the Swedish actor is a bonus, but from the first time Eric appeared on the page, then on screen, he piqued my interest.
He’s dark and forbidden. Eric is more akin to what we expect from a vampire. Whether you came to meet him through Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels or on True Blood, there was a clear distinction: Eric is not like Bill.
Bill mainstreams. He plays human. Not Eric. Not ever. Eric is manipulative, which means he can work within the human world without losing part of himself. There’s no mistaking his vampiric nature. He doesn’t think of relationships to others, love, friendship, loyalty in the same terms we do. How could he?
Eric thinks little of humans, but still is intrigued by Sookie. This isn’t insulting, but insightful. Time moves differently for vampires. If you’ve been alive for more than 1,000 years, the blip of a human lifespan is less noteworthy. It’s hard for him to understand how a connection to someone for such a short time could be life altering. It also adds to our understanding of his relationship with Pam. They’ve been together for a long time, and she understands loyalty the way he does. You’re in or you’re out with Eric, but once he puts you under his protection there is not an end point.
It’s a good thing to be his.
I often hear others say that Eric doesn’t really love Sookie or that he’s controlling. This is the real beauty to Eric Northman; he loves completely and fully, but in a way that is entirely other. His love is more about protection. He’d do drastic, violent things on Sookie’s behalf. He’ll rip out hearts, kill superiors and generally cut a swath through the supernatural community if it keeps those he loves, especially Sookie, safe.
He also makes decisions he thinks will best protect her, even if he isn’t exactly forthright about it. He may not comprehend why his taking action to care for Sookie – without talking to her first – rankles the petite blonde, but there’s no question his behavior is spurred by sincere emotion.
Eric doesn’t understand the human female mind so much, but he does know how to play her body. Let’s be honest, a thousand years of practice and all the oral skills that coincide will feeding the sanguine way make Eric a coveted lover. And, really, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention those skills.
With Eric we get fierce protection, dedicated loyalty, ancient love and toe-curling bedroom skills.
I plan on spending the next couple months waiting to find out where his and Sookie’s relationship progresses in the May release of Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) and then seeing him get conniving and ruthless (and probably naked) in season five of True Blood premiering in June.
While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. (Her husband often reminds her that she’s taken.) And, yes, she will tweet you pictures of ASkars, if you ask her nicely at @VampBookClub.