Secrets Behind True Blood Season 3 (Spoilers)

“I’m not somebody who sits down and says, ‘OK, the theme for this season is X, let’s build everything around that,” said Ball. “I try to tell a good story that is constantly surprising and emotionally involving.”

Having said that, True Blood’s storylines are insane. Last season alone, there was a frenzy-feeding ancient maenad (Michelle Forbes) who possessed the town and attempted to sacrifice shifter Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) to her god; fundamentalist Christian sect The Fellowship of the Sun—led by the psychotic Steve and Sarah Newlin (Michael McMillian and Anna Camp)—launching suicide attacks against the vamps; world-weary 2,000-year-old vampire Godric (Allan Hyde) committing suicide; and a baby vampire (Deborah Ann Woll), who discovered, horrifically, her eternal virginity.

The show’s center is a love triangle between telepathic waitress Sookie (Anna Paquin) and vampire paramours Bill (Paquin’s real-life fiancé Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård). Many of the show’s rabid fans align themselves according to each of these love interests (you’re either on Team Bill or Team Eric), but that central relationship looks to get even more complicated, as Bill proposed to Sookie at the end of Season 2, seconds before he was kidnapped by persons—or creatures—unknown.

As whiplash-inducing as the plot twists were last season, things only get crazier in Season 3, as the writers layer in more dark humor and burning pathos to the mix, and top themselves in terms of sheer narrative madness.

“It’s more intense,” said Paquin, slipping in and out of her New Zealand accent. “The characters are in more emotional trouble and physical peril. Everything is taken up a notch… It’s scarier, it’s creepier, it’s weirder—if that’s possible—in all of those fabulous True Blood ways.”

When Season 3 begins, Sookie will attempt to solve the mystery of Bill’s disappearance as well as that of her own past, something she has in common with several of True Blood’s characters—including Bill, Sam, and Eric.

“Pretty much every single character on the show is wrestling with some sort of identity issue,” said Ball, “whether they are learning about their past, learning what they’re truly capable of, or finding out what they are.”

Moyer said that Season 3 will tackle “the source of Bill’s darkness and torture,” as well as his relationships with Sookie and the sadistic vampire who turned him, Lorena (Marina Klaveno), the latter of which Moyer promised will get “pretty f—— gnarly.”

And while viewers have learned a bit about Skarsgård’s breakout character, Eric, the show will delve even deeper into his past as well.

“Season 3, for Eric, is about vengeance,” said Skarsgård on the set, between bites of an apple, underneath a tree in the near-pitch darkness of the woods. “The audience will find out that something happened a thousand years ago when Eric was still a human and he lost someone. He gets presented with an opportunity to avenge that person early on in the season.”

“[His humanity] is something that Eric always tries to suppress and fight and hold back,” he said. “After Godric died [in Season 2], which was the greatest loss of his life, Eric once again just suppressed it… Sometimes you see a softer side, but he always pulls it back. He hates it when he shows weakness.”

It will also become clear that Sookie, the heroine of the show and the Charlaine Harris novels on which it’s based, has changed over the course of the last three seasons. Those romantic entanglements that bind her to both Bill and Eric will get even more complicated—Sookie has grown up considerably since the pilot.

Paquin said, “She is a lot more aware of what the real world really entails for her, which of course in vampire-land is all kinds of really crazy shit.”

So should viewers be rooting for Sookie to end up with the raven-haired gentleman Bill or the vicious bad boy Eric? Or even with newcomer werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello)?

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