Fangirl Fridays – Sookie Stackhouse


I first met Sookie Stackhouse in HBO’s True Blood. Soon after, I started reading the “Sookie books,” Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries, on which the show was based. And after that, the TV show just wasn’t good enough anymore.

The SVM was my first encounter with PNR/UF books, and I was glad I lost my cherry to a series that represented the style well. A series that introduced me to such a brave, spunky heroine — one whom I could enjoy cheering for and thoroughly fall in love with.

 

I hope you’ll click through to join me as I share a few of the reasons why Sookie is one of my favorite book characters.

WARNING: Possible SPOILERS ahead for those who have not finished reading all the SVM books.




Sookie Stackhouse is a young woman (26 years old when we meet her) who lives in the fictional Southern town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. She has one brother, Jason, and a grandmother, Adele, who dies in the first book. Her parents died when she was a child. She works in a bar called Merlotte’s, whose owner is her friend Sam.

Her grandmother is the only person who truly supports and understands Sookie. As for Jason — although Sookie knows he loves her, she’s also very aware that she can’t count on him in the same way that he can count on her.

Sookie is smart, quick-thinking, practical, independent, peaceful, caring, and loyal. She can be naïve, blunt, and gullible at times, and sometimes is a very strange young woman. You see, Sookie has the ability to hear people’s thoughts, and at times, it’s very hard to keep those thoughts at bay while she pretends to be “normal.” Sookie calls it a disability, but she stopped complaining about it a long time ago.

“My mother finally took me to a child psychologist, who knew exactly what I was, but she just couldn’t accept it and kept trying to tell my folks I was reading their body language and was very observant, so I had good reason to imagine I heard people’s thoughts. Of course, she couldn’t admit I was literally hearing people’s thoughts because that just didn’t fit into her world.”
~ Dead Until Dark

Even though she’s smart, she had some difficulty in finishing high school because of her disability. However, she loves to read, and compensates for some of the things she missed out on in school by actively seeking out all sorts of books.

The first thing I liked about Sookie was that she enjoys her simple life. She likes working as a barmaid, sunbathing, reading, and spending time with her friends. She never expects anyone to “buy” her love or affection with expensive gifts, which sometimes surprises her boyfriends. She just wants them to spend time with her.

She has never had a lasting relationship with a man, simply because it’s very difficult to maintain a relationship with someone whose every thought (flattering or unflattering, respectful or disrespectful) is at your disposal. So imagine her surprise when she meets Bill, a vampire, and discovers that she can’t hear his thoughts. This simple event changes her life completely.

Sookie is sexual; she enjoys sex, and she has a few sexual partners throughout the first 12 books. Bill is Sookie’s first lover, due only to the fact that she never could bring herself to sleep with her previous boyfriends, since she could hear their thoughts about her. This was a novelty, at least for me, because usually when you have a virginal heroine, she parts with her virginity for a man who she thinks (or later realises) is her soulmate, her destiny, and all the other blah blah blah. I loved the fact that Sookie sees sex as a healthy part of a growing relationship — an expression of their deeper feelings, but not necessarily their eternal undying love for each other or a wedding of sorts.

Through her relationships in the 12 books that have been released so far, Sookie learnt what she wanted out of life and love. Bill taught her not to be too trusting and loyal, to think of herself once in a while, and that love isn’t an excuse to do bad things to the person you claim to care for deeply. She was the strong one in that relationship. Sookie was the one to accept him as he was, find a place in her life for him, speak her mind in the presence of some pretty dangerous characters, solve a murder, kill Lorena, and save Bill’s deadbeat ass.

“The sweetest part of being a couple is sharing your life with someone else.

But my life, evidently, had not been good enough to share.”

~ Club Dead, Sookie’s thoughts on breaking up with Bill

“Every now and then I felt like I was Bill’s doll.”
~ Dead Until Dark

Alcide was the suitor I think she could have related to on many levels, but she soon realises she wants a peaceful life with a man she truly loves, and who loves her in return. She does not want to settle for a life with a man she is merely compatible with. She was never intimidated by Alcide, and wasn’t afraid to shoot him down with a sharp retort when he behaved inappropriately with her.

Sookie even cuts her friend Amelia loose, because she is done with people making decisions for her — without even asking her what she wants.

Sookie’s break up with Quinn was the point at which she realises she wants someone to love her the most. She doesn’t want to be anyone’s number two.

Sookie is currently in a relationship with Eric, the sheriff of Area 5. And I don’t know if I can be objective here, because I’m a big fan of his. Sookie loves Eric, but she’s not imagining fairy tales about their love. She doesn’t appreciate his high-handed moves and interventions in her life. She questions her feelings for him because of the blood bond, and she doesn’t acknowledge their marriage because she didn’t have a say in it. Sookie often stands up to Eric, demands explanations, and wants to be kept in the loop. She is not unreasonable; she tries to understand things from his perspective. Their relationship is especially strained after the whole “Eric being engaged to some Oklahoman vampire-queen-person”... whatever... story line. Sookie wants a grand gesture from Eric. She wants him to choose her, even though she knows it would probably cost him his life. She knows it’s wrong, and she shouldn’t want it, but she does. She doesn’t want to be number two in his life.

“We came to wish you a happy day,” Eric said. “And I suppose, as usual, Bill will want to express his undying love that surpasses my love, as he’ll tell you—and Pam will want to say something sarcastic and nearly painful, while reminding you that she loves you, too.”

Bill and Pam looked decidedly miffed at Eric’s preemptive strike, but I wasn’t going to let anything dim my mood.

“And what about you, Eric?” I asked on counterattack. “Are you going to tell me that you love me just as much as Bill, but in a practical way, while finding some way to subtly threaten me and simultaneously remind me that you may be leaving with Freyda?”

~ Deadlocked

Sookie could have solved Eric’s problem with the Cluviel Dor, but she saved Sam instead. And I agreed with her. If she hadn’t saved him, she would have hated herself. That’s who she is, and she couldn’t do anything else. 

When it comes to Sookie navigating the supernatural world that she has found herself in since she met Bill, well she’s something else. She is afraid, but she speaks her mind. She’s often blunt and sarcastic. She’s not above asking for help. She often stands up for what she believes to be true and right. Sookie is extremely loyal to her friends, and sees most people around her as people worth fighting for. On one hand, that disposition earns her the respect and even friendship of some seemingly bad characters. On the other hand, it is sad that she sacrifices so much for people she cares about, yet she’s always left alone to bear the pain: physical, emotional, or mental. Sookie recognises the shortcomings in the characters around her and accepts them, but she no longer thinks of them in the same way she once did. At one point in the story, she even said that her goal was simply to not get beaten up for a while.

Bill said, “She is mine.”

I wondered if my hands would move. They would. I raised both of them, making an unmistakable one-fingered gesture. Eric laughed, and Bill said “Sookie!” in shocked admonishment.

“I think that Sookie is telling us she belongs to herself,” Eric said softly.

~ Club Dead

Even though she’s a Christian, Sookie makes difficult decisions that sometimes aren’t all that Christian. She struggles with them later, but still sees them as things that needed to be done. I love the fact that she’s not a whiner. She takes action and tries to find solutions to her problem. She gets herself out of some tight situations all by herself. She’s the one who killed most of her enemies and saved her own life. 

All in all, Sookie isn’t what most readers would consider a badass, but she isn’t helpless either. She might be gullible, but fool her once and she learns pretty quickly. She always lands on her feet and manages to stay true to herself. Maybe that’s why I like her so much!

Are you ready for Dead Ever After?

Comments

  1. Bwahaha Vale I love that gif!!

    And yes, these were all the reasons I was totally behind Sookie throughout the series. Great post Vale.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post! And like Zee said, these were all the reasons I loved Sookie so much.

    And LOL I love that gif too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We'll see if I continue to love her after the last book. But, so far, I'm team Sook! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the last gif Shau. Great post. I will let you know if I need alcohol tomorrow night.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG...when will my book arrive??? I can't wait!!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Want to Read...

Dani Mega O'Malley: Superstar

When The Music's Over

So Many Questions: The Fever Edition

A Tribute to The Fiery Cross

Fangirl Friday: Jensen Ackles