Fangirl Fridays – Eric Northman
As you might already know (from Kathi's post), most of the Saucy Wenches originally met and got to know each other because of our mutual love of the Southern Vampire Mysteries. And more specifically, our
Eric Northman, the Sheriff of Area 5, is the oldest, sexiest, and most powerful vampire in the great state of Louisiana, and he perfectly personifies all that we expect and long for in our alpha males. He knows what he wants and is ruthless in his attempts at getting it. He is extraordinarily confident, and not only does he not make excuses for his nature, he relishes it. He is 100% sure of himself in every situation. He is protective and sexy as hell, and he always gets what he wants, every time, without exception.
But don’t let this BAMF fool you. He has a playful heart, and can be thoughtful and kind as well. I’m not talking about merely paying attention and taking notes on the girl he wants to hit the sheets with — he gets to know Sookie, what makes her tick, who she is, and what she is all about. All that wrapped up in a 6’5”, blond-haired, blue-eyed, Nordic god of a man? How could you NOT love him!
So I hope you'll join me in my shameless fangirling after the jump!!
Maybe it is because I started reading romance novels at a very young and impressionable age, but I have always loved a man who protects his woman at all costs. I’m a sucker for the hero who is always there when needed, who always saves the day. Eric was always there for Sookie — way before they became a couple. He was her rock so many times, especially when her first boyfriend — a drab, tired, boring, flaccid, ridiculous vampire, whose name I won’t mention because I wouldn’t dare dirty up my post by speaking it — was off doing whatever he was asked to do as an errand boy to the queen. Eric was always there. He tended to her injuries in Dallas; he held her and allowed her to inflict pain upon him as the stake was yanked out of her bloody body in Club Dead. There are numerous instances in the series where we see Eric protecting Sookie, and loving her from a distance.
Eric was holding my hands and I was digging my nails into him like we were doing something else. He won’t mind, I thought, as I realized I’d drawn blood. And sure enough, he didn’t. “Let go,” he advised me, and I loosened my grip on his hands. “No, not of me,” he said smiling. “You can hold on to me as long as you want.” ~~Club Dead
The words we read next from Sookie’s perspective are these...
It was the first time I had relinquished my will to someone else. As I looked at him, it became easy, and I retreated from the suffering and uncertainty of this strange place. ~~Club Dead
She retreated and let herself drift because she trusted Eric. That level of understanding can be achieved only when someone gets you, fundamentally, and that usually happens when you let someone into your heart. Trust comes from knowing someone well enough to realize what it is they are not saying, not telling you. And even without having shared many intimate moments with Eric, Sookie knew, fundamentally, that he would protect her. So while he is a ruthless bastard with everyone else in the world, at least for the woman he wanted, the woman that he came to love, for her, he relinquished a piece of his heart. I swoon every time I read those lines.
Another thing that drives me wild about Eric is that he knows Sookie. He gets her. He doesn’t bother with flowers, or dramatic and empty expressions of love. Nope. He procures for her what she needs and wants, without her ever having to mention a word. Her coat gets destroyed by blood and gore? A new one is delivered to her doorstep the following morning. Her driveway is full of holes and is hell to drive through? He has it repaired to perfection the next day. He knows that flowers might be nice, but he also knows that Sookie would be more appreciative of a practical gift, and one that would require thought.
“In fact,” Eric said, as he went to the front door, “I'd throw it away entirely. Maybe burn it.”
He left, closing the door behind him very quietly. I knew, as sure as I knew my name, that tomorrow he would send me another coat, in a big fancy box, with a big bow on it. It would be the right size, it would be a top brand, and it would be warm.
It was cranberry red, with a removable liner, a detachable hood and tortoiseshell buttons.” ~~Dead to the World
Eric worms his way into Sookie’s tough little nugget of a heart because he takes the time to know what she needs... and he delivers. How can you not love a man who knows exactly what would most help you out, or what your heart most desires, without you having to utter a single syllable? That is just incredibly sexy to me.
And speaking of sexy... (Jeez, can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to the looks part of my raving!) Have I mentioned that he is 6’5” tall, has lived over 1000 years, and possesses unparalleled sexual prowess and stamina? Silly me. There are no words, so here are the pictures. I’ll wait while you pull yourselves together again, but before you take a look, just imagine the face in these photos speaking the following line... And yeah, maybe I’ll give you more than a few minutes to regroup! ;-)
“When you smell like that, I just want to fuck you and bite you and rub myself all over you.” ~~From Dead to Worse
So... looks, trust, protective instinct, intimate knowledge that comes from hours of reflection... What else can I add to his list of wonderful attributes? Oh, I know. He’s FUNNY! Maybe a sense of humor is not a typical alpha male quality, but let’s be honest, we all love a man who can make us laugh and laugh with us. Honestly, one of the biggest reasons why Eric stands out from all the other alphas I’ve met is that he is so much FUN! He is the only male character in the series who actually laughs with Sookie. He gets her, he understands her humor, and there is nothing sexier than a man who laughs at your jokes.
“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink,” I said, and Eric laughed out loud. That was why I liked him, I thought rosily, he “got” me. ~~Club Dead
A man with whom you can laugh is a man you can love. Life is tough enough as it is, and in Sookie’s world, it’s even tougher. Someone is always gunning for her, and throughout it all, she manages to hold onto the spunk and zest for life that are such a fundamental part of her personality. The male she is with (and I hope, dear God, will remain with forever) must be be able to see the joy in life. Eric Northman is that male. I mean, good Lord, a 1000-year-old vampire who still can laugh? That’s remarkable! I like to think I have a fantastic sense of humor, and I’m a bit of a smart ass, so my heart melts every time Eric tosses out one of his playful little one liners.
“Sookie, my little bullet sucker.” ~~Living Dead in Dallas
“Sookie, Sookie. My bullshit meter is reading that as a ‘false.’ ” ~~Dead as a Doornail
Every time I read his words, I find myself chuckling and smirking along with him. I absolutely adore his passionate joie de vivre. Another one of my all-time favorite lines begins here.
“Eric,” I breathed, “someone’s watching us.” “Where?” His posture didn’t change, but Eric had shifted from a mood that was definitely dangerous to me to one that was dangerous to someone else... “It’s a vampire,” I told Eric in the tiniest whisper I could manage, and he put his arms around me and pulled me into him. “You’re so much trouble,” Eric said, and yet he didn’t sound exasperated. He sounded excited. Eric loved the action moments.” ~~Dead as a Doornail
Yes, Charlaine!! Perfect words! How can you not get hot and bothered when you see him mid-battle, grabbing Sookie and kissing her until she’s breathless? He has lived so long and seen so much, but he still wakes up eager to enjoy each and every day. All that, and he is fun, too? It’s almost too much! But wait! There’s more! He can also poke fun at himself without a worry about his pride. That is a male full of confidence. Anyone remember his orgy outfit? Hilarious and confident! Yum!
Confidence is a powerful aphrodisiac, people. Even a mildly good-looking guy with confidence and a bit of charm can successfully woo the majority of girls he’s after. Sometimes the ease with which a man who isn't nervous, who is sure he’ll get what he wants, converses — well, it makes that bit of difference required to get a girl’s attention... and man, is it a turn on! Now combine that confidence with the face of Eric Northman, and you can see why women all over the world are in lust with him! Before Sookie had any real thoughts in her head about a possible HEA with Eric, he knew that he would wind up with the girl. He wasn’t sweating it (not that he could as a vampire!), because he was always sure that she would be his.
“You are speaking of my future lover. Be more respectful.” ~~Club Dead
And he was right. Trust the Viking!
I’ve now mentioned several qualities shared by many of our alpha male boyfriends, but there is one that most try hard to hide. I’m talking about their sweet and vulnerable side. So often we are left to infer from our reading and rereading that the male characters have insecurities, a softer side filled with vulnerability and sweetness. It’s especially hard to find in characters who are pretending it doesn’t exist whenever the opportunity arises for it to show itself. But Charlaine Harris resolves this beautifully when she gives Eric amnesia. He doesn’t know who he is or how he came to be by Sookie’s side, and because he is so unguarded, we get to know what is really at the heart of this male.
"What's your name?"
"Sookie. Sookie Stackhouse."
"Thank you, Sookie."
"Welcome, Eric.” ~~Dead to the World
He is grateful and kind, meek and unblemished, unfazed by the thousand years that had jaded him until the moment he was struck with amnesia. You see what he would have been like without all the baggage he has accumulated throughout his long life. In Dead to the World, we are treated to a glimpse of who Eric Northman is underneath all the armor, and it’s refreshing and sweet. Aww, Eric. I keep falling over and over again!
As you might surmise, I could continue to sing the praises of Eric Northman for another dozen pages or so. But by that point you’d be asleep, or cursing me for having forced you to start rereading the Southern Vampire Mysteries from the beginning again so that you can fall in love once more with Eric. So I’ll stop here and ask you, dear readers, to tell me whether I am wrong to have lusted after this man for weeks, months, and yes, years. Tell me I’m not alone! Sound off below and join me in my insanity! :-)