True Blood had its fair share of fan favorite characters, but few made as much of an impression as Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare). Introduced in season three and returning in season five, this charismatic vampire was the biggest of the big bads, but it was nearly impossible to hate the guy. Was he diabolical? Yes. Would he eat you and your children if given the chance? Oh, guaranteed. Did you still root for him? Duh.
While he originally set his sights on becoming the Vampire King of Louisiana, Edgington eventually set his sights on something much bigger. With a quick rip of a news caster’s spine, he declared war on the entire human race. Although Eric (Alexsander Skarsgård) eventually takes him out to save Sookie (Anna Paquin) and also exact vengeance for murdering his family centuries before, Edgington was formidable until the end. The gentleman (seriously, always so polite) certainly knew how to make an entrance, so whip out one of these memorable quotes when you really want to make an impression.
“You can’t buy your way out of everything!” — Talbot
“Of course I can…This is America!” — Russell
Although he was turned before the birth of Christ, Russell has adapted to a thoroughly American thirst for success. He isn’t afraid to go after the things that he wants (nay, demand the things that he wants), and while he may take a violent and abhorrent track to success, he will certainly teach you how to take control of a situation. Adopt the snark, avoid the bloodshed.
“It’s like Armageddon in here every time someone chips a dessert glass.”
Although Talbot (Theo Alexander) really was his soulmate, that doesn’t mean that they never disagreed. They bickered like any couple would after centuries together, but Russell was definitely always there for the quickest one-liner. Still, just because he was always in command of the room doesn’t mean that he wasn’t in it for the long haul. His insistence on carrying around Talbot’s bloody remains in an urn was proof of his weird devotion.
“There’s a fine line between feisty and delusional. You’re not really in any position to bargain.”
Even when squeezing an enemy, Russell always found time for a quip. Knowing his own power was often a key to his success even if hubris was part of his downfall in the end. As he fought to become a day-walking vampire using fairy (i.e. Sookie) blood in season five, he always knew when he had the upper hand. Up until he didn’t.
“You are in my house, Mr. Compton. Put your fangs away.”
Sure, he wasn’t above bloodshed or genocide, but he tried to maintain an air of civility in his own home. Part of owning your own awesomeness is inspiring certain standards in others. While the vampires, humans, and the rest of the supernatural world may have been at war, Russell always made sure that decorum was upheld at home. That kind of compartmentalizing has got to take a psychological toll, but you have to commend his commitment to manners.
“Franklin, you’re a huge freak, but I like your work.”
Russell knew how to utilize the talents of others in order to elevate his own position. If you pick the right team to help you on your way, you’re pretty much unstoppable. Hopefully, your crew is filled with people who aren’t homicidal maniacs like Franklin (James Frain), but whatever floats your boat.
“Love the place, love the vibe. We must talk franchising later.”
Never one to think small, Russell was always looking for a way to make things bigger. If you really are looking to make an impact, sometimes you have to think about things on a much larger scale. Eric may have been content to keep his vampire bar a small operation, but Russell would have ridden Fangtasia straight to franchise money. If only that pesky blood feud hadn’t gotten in the way.
“Peace is for p*ssies.”
While he was content to work with the Authority for a while, their code eventually became too constricting for a megalomaniac. Compromise may be the answer for some situations, but it certainly doesn’t work if you’re trying to take over the world. After a while, the gentility melts away revealing a hidden and powerful rage. The next time you’re looking to climb to the top… well, maybe look for a more peaceful route than Russell.
“Oh please, give me an excuse to kill the both of you! Or hell, why not all of you? I am 3,000 years old! I am stronger than all of you combined! How long did you think I would be your lapdog! I offered you the opportunity to share in the greatest advancement in the history of our race and the small mindedness of your religion has literally kept you in the dark! You can have your Lilith, I will not be constrained by your god or anyone else’s! I will have the sun!”
Okay, maybe that quote is a little lengthy but it’s effectively menacing. Russell always made it clear that he was out for his own personal gain above everything else, so it was honestly foolish for the Authority to ever consider that he was on their side. The next time you want all eyes on you, take a page out of Russell’s book, dial it down a thousand notches, and you’ll still make one hell of an impression.
“Mine is the true face of vampire! Why would we seek equal rights? You are not our equals. We will eat you after we eat your children. Now time for the weather. Tiffany?”
This scene will go down as one of the greatest in True Blood‘s entire run. It was so shocking and perfectly executed that it overshadowed ever single over-the-top thing the show ever did. If you ever need an epic mic drop, “Now time for the weather. Tiffany?” is one of the best you could ever ask for.