There is this assertion in the community – you can find it anywhere – that Sookie is lucky to have Eric. That out of all of the women in the world, she is the one lucky bitch he chose.
Huh. That’s not my thinking at all.
So let’s look at Eric Northman, eligible bachelor, and the lovely ladies he’s turned down in Sookie’s favour. The unlucky ones.
We have numerous examples of Eric’s dating pool – those women willing to go on a date with him at any time – the easy ones as such. We have Ginger, Belinda, and other fangbangers like her. Dawn and Maudette – a waitress and a convenience shop worker respectively. Or Cindy, the sister of Rene Lenier – a waitress who had done drugs and finally cleaned up her act. Girls that work in clubs like that or try to be around vampires like that all the time. Now, fangbangers don’t discriminate on who they’re with – as long as the vampire has fangs, then he’s eligible. I have no doubt that Eric is particularly beautiful, and thus, you choose him as your first preference. There’s the fangbanger who wants to be turned as well, like Hadley.
According to the rest of the fandom, these women aren’t worth much. The opinions range on them from whores to nothing to rare pockets of sympathy. Personally, I see them with sympathy. Let’s look at Hadley as a more fleshed out example.
Hadley’s childhood was seemingly happy on the surface. But underneath all that, she was abused by Uncle Bartlett for many years, with perhaps none of the respite that Sookie had. The fact that she didn’t know her mother had died of cancer, and she didn’t get back in contact with her, I don’t know that Aunt Linda did stand up for Hadley. Gran had mettle, but even Sookie’s own mother didn’t stand up for Sookie. It was only her mother’s death and Gran’s care that freed her from Uncle Bartlett taking it further. Hadley went out, as many victims do, and buried herself in excesses of partying. She turned to self destructive relationships. She gave birth to Hunter, left him with his Dad, and then took off to do drugs. At some point, she was so desperate that she turned to Jason for help. Later she started dating Sophie Anne Le Clerq.
Let’s take a moment to think about that.
The vampire Queen of New Orleans, a woman with power, money and influence, a beautiful youthful woman who cared for her human lovers relatively well, is dating what most people consider is whoring trash. That’s not because Hadley lucked out – it’s because like Ginger, like Belinda, like all the other fangbangers, she was the one with a death wish and a wish to make her life better and sought vampires out. Since she was highly unlikely to be wearing a t-shirt saying “Abused by my Uncle”, then she had to catch Sophie Anne’s interest and then tell her by chatting to her after their sexual escapades. Sophie Anne doesn’t have a whole heap of vampire minions who are her children – Hadley was the rare one she turned.
We have the higher class of fangbangers, who, for various reasons are hooked on vamps. There’s Hugo in Dallas – a lawyer, who is willing to spend all of his time with Isabelle, and there’s Selah, real estate agent. There’s Trudy (the chick with part of her head missing in Dallas) who started dating vampires to annoy her parents. There’s that Were girl in Mississippi that’s dating the vampire to rebel as well. We have people who thought to be tolerant, and sought thrills in that world. Two of those people didn’t fare so well, might I point out. But at their heart, these people are interested in vampires because they are vampires, not because they found a true love match.
Let’s have a look at the case study of Mr. Bill Compton. Now, Bill is attractive, relatively rich, cultured, and according to Sookie, a great lay. Quite apart from traits of his that I don’t like for Sookie, I’m sure that Bill has the propensity to be a good boyfriend. When he’s called Eric, some fangirls love his arse. So I don’t think that apart from his history with Sookie – the plan of the Queen’s and the trunk incident (might I mention happened after a week of torture) – Bill is necessarily an evil bad guy.
In the start of the books, Bill Compton, owns a nice house, and soon buys himself a strip mall with many shops. He has enough money to funnel through dummy accounts to reach the Bellefleur family to restore Belle Rive. He can handle himself well at the Opera, and he certainly grew up with manners. Bill is well read and intelligent. Any woman would kill to date him with these things listed.
But put “vampire” into that list, and things change for Bill’s dating outlook. Who is it that’s competing with Sookie for Bill’s affections? Where are the myriad of girls asking him out? Oh, wait. They’re at Fangtasia too. He’s real attractive there. Not so much in Bon Temps. In matter of fact, most of the townspeople are frightened of him until “Crazy Sookie Stackhouse” – with her incredible social status – gets him accepted.
Who has Bill had around as his girlfriends? Where are the chicks beating down his door? Selah and Judith are all we have. Selah’s a fangbanger, and Judith’s a vampire. He makes an appreciable boyfriend for them, so one must assume that he could be an appreciable boyfriend for someone else, yet he has no one. His own human family are embarrassed and horrified by Bill himself.
Note that all of the supernatural creatures flock to all the others with supernatural abilities – Quinn and Sookie, Amelia and Tray, Bill and Sookie, Pam and Amelia, Eric and Sookie, Alcide and Debbie, Sam and Jannalynn, Sam and Callisto, Claudine and Colman, Calvin and Sookie. Where are the humans in this scenario? Some of them have supernatural abilities, but there’s not many humans in the stories that date supernatural creatures without a little something something themselves. Humans, by and large, tend to avoid the supernatural.
The only examples we have are Einen and Niall, Fintan and Gran, Jason and Crystal, Tara and Franklin Mott, Jason and Michelle. Einen and Gran were kind and accepting women, but there’s not much information on their relationships with fairies. Although fairies seem to be able to draw humans in – Jason’s always had that ability himself. When it comes to Tara, she dated Franklin for the party she could have, the fun she could have, and the stuff he could buy her. There was no relationship there – certainly no feeling if he passed her onto Mickey.
Then there’s Jason and Crystal. They’re interesting. Felton abducts Jason and bites him to make him into a partial panther, just to make sure that Crystal doesn’t want him any more. He brings Jason down to his own level to try to make the choice between him and Jason less. It’s not Jason’s good job and house that he thinks puts him ahead of the game, but the fact that Jason is human, rather than werepanther.
Supernatural creatures are even considered lesser by the government. They don’t have the same rights as regular humans – all those weres and shifters who’ve come out may lose rights they’ve had all their lives. Vampires don’t have the full compliment either, and Sam’s sister reconsidered her marriage to someone related to a supernatural creature. Vampires are monitored by the government, and while they have all the same obligations as a citizen, they don’t have the rights of the citizen.
They don’t have acceptance either. The Fellowship of the Sun is there to spread more intolerance. It is not Arlene who is narrating the story about the filthy vampires and disgusting weres. In their eyes, there’s something not right about them. There’s not a whole heap of condemnation for them either – they are citizens with rights to do as they wish, including protest outside the Queen’s compound in New Orleans. In that scenario, the government thinks that the humans have more rights than the supernatural creatures, and so they do.
Who else do we have?
Sookie, and not much else.
Let’s look at Sookie herself, someone who dates supernatural creatures. Now, she’s a telepath – that explains why all supernatural creatures develop an interest in her. That is why she’s willing to date them too – because she’s a telepath. In CH’s words that have been construed to mean that Sookie is stupid because people haven’t read all of the relevant bits (ironic, eh, that they would stupidly take words out of context):
so I imagined what kind of woman would do such a stupid thing.
It’d have to be a woman who couldn’t date humans for another reason. Source
CH isn’t saying Sookie is stupid – merely that without a bloody good reason, it would be stupid to date a vampire. Sookie has a bloody good reason – telepathy. Sookie has a good reason to date vampires, and while she’s not the smartest woman in the world, she’s no dummy. A dummy is someone who would throw herself into the arms of the vampires. Sookie didn’t go to Fangtasia without reason – and some of her co-workers went quite willingly – but Sookie herself didn’t have a desperate wish to change her life and risk her own death by going with them to Fangtasia. It’s only when Sookie realises that vampires have silent minds that she gets interested real fast – not before she finds out that relaxing little tidbit.
Sookie is relatively good looking, but viewed from the outside, she is appreciably no different from Ginger, Belinda, Cindy, Dawn and Maudette – all of varying levels of beauty. She’s a waitress in a bar, relatively poor, not a lot of social contact, and she’s no longer an unsullied virgin. If you don’t know she’s a telepath, there’s nothing whatsoever to distinguish her from the rest. As Jason astutely points out in LDID, they’re just not the socially acceptable rich types like the Bellefleurs. They’re poor, working class schmucks.
Not only that, but Sookie isn’t distinguished in the eyes of others from the rest. The Fellowship of the Sun has her on their hitlist. Arlene and her idiot Fellowship friends wanted to crucify her for her vampire and were sympathies. We’ve witnessed a were call her a “vamp humper” and a drunken fool in Eric’s bar demand why she’s with vampire (DAAD) at which time she lets us know this man is not the first. Sookie gets a lot of hate for being around vampires. Doesn’t sound like being around vampires is very socially acceptable to me, or something respectable that won’t catch you a whole heap of shit.
Sookie sure is more desirable to vampires than those other girls. Not just for her telepathy, but that it was her telepathy that drove her into vampire company, not her character. She’s not looking for money, to be turned, or anything else to “get” off her vampire lovers – just simple company. She doesn’t even prefer them over other supernaturals. Sookie was willing to throw down with the tangled snarls of Alcide, Calvin and Sam, the barely heard Quinn, and the buzzing Preston – referring here to the quality of their brains as they appear to her telepathy. Sookie just isn’t interested in any of her supernatural creatures without their brains being the way that they are. Not like the chick who wanted to do Alcide in his Were form. Not like the girls who like being bitten by vamps.
We see the supernaturals through the eyes of Sookie – an accepting and tolerant narrator who looks past race and tells us about the people, but we all know that the world is not filled with people like Sookie. She’s pretty unique – looking past the supernatural abilities to let us know Eric leaves his towels on the floor, has a shoes-off policy in his house and loves deep colours.
Where is Sookie’s competition? What woman has been fighting for Eric’s attention in Merlotte’s, or through his business contacts? Where is the supermodel who wants to date a GQ model type such as Eric? Why is this man so desperately single while he’s pursuing Sookie? He has wealth, power, beauty and charisma. Yet he is alone, and his first choice is almost always Sookie. He doesn’t turn her down because he’s already married to a human (or vampire) woman who matches him in his abilities. He doesn’t turn her down at all, no matter how lacking she may seem. He avidly pursues her, as do Bill, Alcide, Sam and Quinn.
That because in a world full of supernatural creatures, Sookie is mostly human, a good person and still wants them for the people they are underneath, rather than the whole stack of humans who want to be with a supernatural creature because of their feature of their race. She doesn’t want to spend time around Mickey’s silent brain, or Amanda’s tangled snarls. Sookie discriminates based on those she likes best not based on what they are, but who they are.
So if Eric breaks up with Sookie, he will not be dating a politician, a supermodel, a lawyer or anything else. He will be back in the pool of fangbangers, with his beautiful face and amazing skills, and fangs, with women he doesn’t want to live with him. If Sookie breaks up with Eric, she’ll be back in a fair pool of supernatural creatures who are more than ready, willing and able to have her because she doesn’t just like them for what tickles her fancy, but based on the person underneath it all. If anyone is the real lucky one, it’s Eric.