This post contains many, many spoilers. If you haven’t finished True Blood yet, turn back now.
While there was a fair share of vampires, fairies, and supernatural orgies, the heart of True Blood was definitely the relationships. Even when they were fighting for their lives on an unusually frequent basis, the residents of Bon Temps still managed to find bedfellows and build friendships. Sure, a shadow demon or a coven of witches may be plaguing your hamlet, but that doesn’t mean that life can stop, now does it?
It certainly wasn’t all sunshine and roses with bonds forged on True Blood, as some of these relationships will demonstrate, but they certainly kept things interesting. Let’s take a look back at some of the best and worst relationships (romantic and otherwise) on the HBO camp classic (which you can stream on HBO Now) and those that will make you jealous that you don’t have a strapping Viking at your sexual beck and call and relieved that your real life relationships require a lot less death and destruction. Probably. I don’t know your life.
15. Jason and Romantic Relationships
Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) was usually a well-meaning guy, but the choices that he made regarding love and sex were always catastrophic. Multiple sexual partners murdered? Check. The wife of a preacher? Check. Best friend’s girlfriend? Check. Ending up as a sexual prisoner of a supernatural entity? Double check. While the younger Stackhouse may have gotten a happy ending by the finale, every other bout of romance always took a very dark turn. Someone with better impulse control than Jason would have checked themselves out of the dating game long ago.
14. Sookie and Her Future Husband
Listen, I was as happy as anyone that Sookie (Anna Paquin) got her shot at normalcy in the end, but they just stick her with some brunette rando at the end? She could have easily had a nice life with Alcide (Joe Manganiello) or even Sam (Sam Trammell), but no. Unnamed McBeardson was who ended up with our intrepid heroine. Maybe it was functional, but it was first and foremost boring, which is a cardinal sin on a show like True Blood.
13. Steve and Sarah Newlin
It’s important for couples to have the same interests in order to build camaraderie and intimacy, but if your only common interest is that you both desperately want to bang Jason Stackhouse, things are definitely going to go south in a hurry. Steve (Michael McMillian) and Sarah (Anna Camp) may have started their quest for power together, but his homosexuality and eventual vampirism was a little too much for their relationship to weather. Steve could never have kept up with her increasingly blood thirsty agenda in the long run, anyway.
12. Bill and Power
Bill (Stephen Moyer) always positioned himself as The Good Guy but tended to get power-drunk when given any kind of authority. Never forget the rise of Billith.
11.Hoyt and Jessica
These two may have had an adorable start and a lovey-dovey ending, but things got pretty bleak in the middle. It’s easy to forget, but Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) wanted really different things out of life, and that tore them apart in a brutal way. Plus, Hoyt became a raging vampire racist and Jessica repeatedly slept with his best friend. So, they may have found each other again in the end, but Hoyt literally had to have their entire past relationship erased from his memory for them to work out.
10. Sookie and Bill
Yes, their will-they-won’t-they dance was the heart of True Blood, but Bill and Sookie were just never meant to be (at least on-camera). Between their own misgivings and the never ending stream of terrible circumstances keeping them apart, they probably should have just taken a hint from the universe and realized that they were never going to make it long before Sookie sent Bill to the true death.
9. Russell and Talbot
These two had been together for centuries, but there was always a sense that Russell (Denis O’Hare) was just placating Talbot (Theo Alexander) with most of his actions and had simply grown accustomed to having him around. Plus, Talbot was pretty quick to succumb to Eric’s (Alexander Skarsgård) advances (but honestly, can you blame him?). Either way, this was definitely a couple that had been phoning it in for a long time and neither was going to be the first to admit it.
8. Russell and Talbot’s Remains
However, Russell was reminded of his love for Talbot after Eric murdered him in cold blood, becoming more devoted than ever. Sure, it was ghoulish devotion to a jar of his viscera, but devotion none the less. It’s not #relationshipgoals, but it’s not not that.
7. Tara and Pam
Tara (Rutina Wesley) suffered more than almost every other character on True Blood. The girl just couldn’t seem to catch a break, especially when she was turned into a vampire, the thing she hated most. However, at least she had Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) to teach her how to be a creature of the night. She also helped Tara realize that she was into women, so count that as a double awakening. These two big personalities were never going to make it long term, but it was pretty great while it lasted.
6. Sookie and Alcide
These two may not have had the world ending passion of Sookie and Eric or even Sookie and Bill, but there was a surprising normalcy to their relationship despite the fact that he was a werewolf and she was a fairy. They never quite got the timing right, but they could have been something great in a different life.
5. Arlene Fowler and Terry Bellefluer
These two unfortunately suffered a tragic end like most of True Blood‘s love birds, but this odd ball pair really were perfect for one another. There weren’t many couples grounded in reality like Arlene (Carrie Preston) and Terry (Todd Lowe) on True Blood, which really made these two unique. Arlene had seen more than her share of bad men, and Terry made her and her children feel safe, even in a world of gods and monsters.
4. Sookie and Eric
Eric was the leather clad bad boy that most women find irresistible, but Sookie only fully embraced their relationship when he shed that external toughness to show a surprisingly sensitive core. These two were never going to actually make it — she liked her life in Bon Temps and wanted a family, while Eric was always going to have things like Fangtasia in his world — but for a while they made us believe it. In between all of the sex and flirting, there was a foundation of begrudging respect and the knowledge that they would always put themselves on the line to save the other. There are certainly worse places to start.
3. Lafayette and Jesus
Sure, Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) tried to recruit Lafayette (played by the late great Nelsan Ellis) into Marnie’s (Fiona Shaw) witch cult, but he also helped Lafayette unlock his magic, giving him power and a purpose that the short order cook had previously never had. Add a heavy dose of mutual respect, deep love, and the fact that they just look so good together — this couple was one of the best to ever happen on the show.
2. Eric and Jason
It was only once and only in a dream, but it was perfect.
Eric and Pam
These two are the epitome of ride or die. If you can find a partner, platonic or otherwise, that you don’t get sick of after spending decades together, you’ve got a keeper. Whether it was cults, vampire queens, or the ’80s, Eric and Pam faced it together. While they may have had their fights — usually over Sookie and “her precious fairy vagina” — they always managed to find their way back to each other for a united front. They began the series together at Fangtasia and ended it with a New Blood empire, just as it should be.
Tara and Lafayette
Sure, True Blood brought the romance, but their platonic relationships were even better. These cousins walked through a tough life together, weathering family drama, magic, and vampires while always having each other’s back. They may have endlessly bickered and brought the tough love on more than one occasion, but there was never a question of whether or not they were on each others side. There wasn’t much room for tenderness in Bon Temps, but Tara and Lafayette, even at their angriest, always put the other first. Everyone should be so lucky.