Change in the Wind

Firstly, some housekeeping. I feel it’s my duty to say that after the book comes out, this journal will be spoilery all to hell. If you regularly read here, know that I am a spoiler junkie – and will talk about it here. If I write a fic, it can take me a while to figure out what is reasonable for Sookie or Eric or Pam to know, and to have a point. Plus, I can talk about meta-themes I couldn’t before, like the literary device that is the blood bond – because characters don’t know they are literary characters. This is far, far easier. It takes me a couple of hours to write shit out. So I’m going LJ for the new book. If I can help it, I’m not writing fic again. My St. Eric thingie did me in, and this is so quick and responsive, and Thyra has found me here. 😀

This post is about the political situation in Louisiana. How that’s likely to play out, and the viability of Eric being King. I know that many people think this is the easy solution to Sookie and Eric’s problems. Like Eric will be King who rarely works – because everyone knows keeping a state full of vampires in line takes one, two hours, tops. Then Sookie will have to quit her job and be ordered around by Eric at night – the classic trifecta of doing nothing, sleeping, and getting fucked being Sookie’s new lifestyle – and possibly a fucking riveting eternity of pointlessness. Oh, and boosting Eric’s short dick ego with the whole submissive poodle thing going on. Like a fangbanger, but rich. Yay?

The King thing is really popular in fanfic – even though Eric says he doesn’t want to be King, writers seem determined to make him one, and make him happy about it, even if he’s forced into it. No one listens to Eric, yammering on about not wanting to be King. I’ve even had someone say to me that Eric is destined for something bigger – and they can see that. I can’t, but that’s me. However, fanfic is the forum for simplistic solutions most of the time, because that’s the only place simple really works, thanks to the positive review culture. It’s never more that 1+2=3. Thank God CH’s writing isn’t like that, because I cherish not knowing how a plot will end in the first three chapters.

There are a couple of strange theories going around, that don’t make much sense to me, so I want to put paid to them. It’s important because this stuff is like Chinese Whispers – and it gets turned from “crazy fan theory” into “CH said”, when she did nothing of the sort.  One of them is that Eric will need to marry a Queen. That’s pretty wiped by the DR excerptAn alliance is made with a powerful ally who has something you want. Unless Eric is going to barter Sookie, or use her, then he hasn’t got anything a Queen couldn’t just take. There’s little need to barter with Eric when she could just rule him and negotiate for Sookie’s services. Sadly, Sookie has now officially thrown her lot in with Eric with the pledging (isn’t it nice he asked her) and if Eric dies, Sookie dies. No one would trust her loyalty. On top of that, no one would marry a Sheriff for an entire state, and Victor has too much power for Eric to guarantee the state without holding the capital. That would make Eric a shit-talker.

Even at the end of Dead in the Family, Eric didn’t have enough power and cachet to pull that one off.  If you’ve read my fic about zones, you’ll know what I think of the political situation – it’s craptacular for Eric and Sookie at this point. Eric is the strongest power in the North of Louisiana. He has to hold the state – and Victor’s undermining him. After the fact that Appius and Alexei recently came through and wrecked up the place, and that Victor is taking Eric’s revenues? Oh, this is a crapstorm of the century. If you’re holding out for Bill’s death (WTF is wrong with you) give up that dream – the database is one of the only things that’s keeping Eric and Sookie safe right now because Victor can’t encroach on it and Eric doesn’t have to make up that revenue. Thank Bill. Loudly.

Now, one of the things that’s always thrown around is that Eric will soon be King, and he’ll either break up with Sookie because she doesn’t want that, or she will become Queen by proxy.  One of the popular theories is that Victor will force Eric to take Kingship for himself. I know that Pam intimated that Eric would want to be King, but I don’t know if that can ever happen. Things would have to change quite substantially for Eric to do that, and I don’t see it as a particularly good outcome. Even if crowns are really shiny.

When we read about vampire “Kings” and “Queens”, we associate them with the modern day Disney image of Kings and Queens. But sadly, I don’t think we’ve seen one vampire royal wear a crown. There’s nary a hint of glass slipperage. So I can see why the title appeals to readers, but these aren’t your standard Disney royals. They’re more along the lines of the older ideas of Kings and Queens, the ones we had before the modern ideas influenced by Hollywood. For a start, they seem to need to lead and direct their Kingdom; and they seem to be the biggest movers and shakers of the vampire world. Our modern conception of royalty is really that they come out, wave and go away again…almost like the Pope. But they don’t really do anything. Vampire royalty aren’t the same. Their jobs are hands on, and like older ideas of royalty, their jobs are at risk.

Being King isn’t a safe job. It’s at the top of a whole heap of vampires who want your job. Have a look at Bill – no one has tried out of the ordinary to kill him. That’s because no one wants his job. No one can take over the database. Sure, someone like Lorena can get him to work for her, but that doesn’t mean she intended to do any work – she just intended to make money off him as her progeny, and buy time and space in Mississippi with that work. If Lorena intended to actually do the work, she would have gone to visit ancient vampires herself, and such. Bill’s work is easily reproducible, but no one seems to want to reproduce it and compete with him. That means that they’re unlikely to try to kill Bill and take his database. Not to mention that Bill has Eric as his protector, and since Bill wants to stay close to Sookie, he’ll go with that. Eric’s a fair boss, and Bill’s a lucrative employee/minion.

It works for both of them – and in the books, they don’t try to kill each other, but rather work together. It’s not as if Bill can give up his position in Area Five and also give up being a vampire. In order to do that, he has to meet his final death. It’s also not in Eric’s interest to turn away the next largest money maker in the state – and certainly not for a job he doesn’t want to do himself, doesn’t have the talent for, and everyone else is busy. The database is now known around the country as a Bill Compton thing, under the protection of Eric Northman. Bill has bought his freedom this way – he has contacts and information no one else has, and Eric is strong enough to keep other states from taking Bill. He’s also fair enough not to make Bill leave, and give all that lovely tithe money to someone else.

That’s because of a clear notion of fealty – something one used to swear to the local vassal – and the same “oath of fealty” exists in the books. It was a reciprocal arrangement. One could be called upon to fight for that vassal, but ordinarily, a vassal vowed to protect the land from incursion, protect your interests, plus his own, and in return, your average landowner would pay a tithe. So Bill pays his money to Eric, and Eric makes sure to protect Bill’s interest (which is also his own) and secure the area. Eric isn’t going to be killing Bill any time soon – not for the trunk or anything else he’s done to Sookie. As long as Bill holds to his vow, then it’s incumbent on Eric to not kill Bill. Otherwise all of Eric’s minions don’t have reason to follow him, Sookie is dead in short order (because no vampire would let her live if they were liable to get killed due to upsetting her) and there’s anarchy in Area Five. Loyalty from both sides is essential.

We go one rung up from Investigator – to Sheriff – and there’s a lot more danger and work. Eric has Bill’s interests to look after – as he is sworn to do – and Felipe’s interests, and his own sphere – which makes money. Eric has to be directly loyal to two groups rather than one – he has to deal with those below him and ensure their loyalty, and show his loyalty to the people above him. Eric has to cope with all of this stuff. It’s a tough job being Sheriff, and I’m sure that Eric picked it for that very reason. It also happens to be a good position in Eric’s world, and one that I think keeps him alive. No one is looking to take over Area Five (until the recent spoilery bits which I’ll come to) because Eric is everywhere on the ground there.

Let me say, as an aside, almost all of the “trouble” in Sookie’s life has come through or from Eric. For a danger free existence, Bill is a much safer bet than Eric. I mean, on the night of the Las Vegas takeover, Bill only had to be concerned with his own life and Sookie’s. He doesn’t have various assassins trying to kill Sookie to hurt him – his only one was Lorena, and Sookie killed her. Bill has no other enemies, and he has Eric’s protection anyway – so all of his enemies would focus on taking Eric out before they went for Bill. Eric had to be concerned with his power base (Fangtasia) and all of the vampires in his Area, plus himself and Sookie. Eric had to have strategic plans in order to deal with things. Not so with Bill – he just had to go to Sookie’s and bring his sword.

Being Sheriff pretty much suits Eric down to the ground. I mean, the man is in there in Fangtasia – picking the napkins and leading the arson against rival Bossier City vampires. He’s able to go out and have sword fights – for his wife or his Queen. He’s able to have little wars on the ground with the weres and witches – he’s able to get that action that he so loves. He’s also sitting in the bar, printing calendars and watching things closely. He’s delivering justice swiftly and firmly, and with no court case needed to deal with Longshadow. Eric is very much a hands-on kind of guy, and it seems to make him feel powerful, but also gives him a measure of control over his own life, which he appreciates.

Just because Eric was the son of a Chieftain when he was alive doesn’t mean that he’s actually suited for vampire Kingship. In fact, based on numbers and the on-the-ground contact Chieftains had with their communities, Sheriff suits Eric’s style far better – it’s one he grew up with, is familiar with, and comfortable with. It’s the right balance of paperwork and personal management. It closely mirrors what he was raised for, and the style that he is used to. Not only that, but he picked being Sheriff for a reason, and I have to say from an objective viewpoint, he does it well – while he would do Kingship really badly.

Eric dearly loves to control and micromanage things. He can’t even have a night off with Sookie without needing to get back and be ready. He doesn’t have nights off at his own house. Eric is not one of nature’s delegators – not when it comes to politics. If he was a delegator, he wouldn’t have manoeuvred Quinn completely out of the Area – he would have delegated that task to Sookie. But Eric can’t seem to let his little piece of territory go. That would make him a terrible King.

A good King, like Felipe – and I don’t mean he is a good as in good by nature King, but rather a successful King – can’t have on the ground contact with the entire Area. Felipe had Sandy doing that job. Sophie Anne didn’t do it herself either – she was decidedly hands off with Eric – she trusted him enough to let him have free reign, while being sure that she was powerful enough that Eric couldn’t usurp her. If Eric had to be King, he would be acting right about how Victor is in the new books, because Eric wouldn’t be able to just let it go.

It’s only when we see it compared to royalty that we really see how good a Sheriff position is. We got a good insight into Sophie Anne’s life. Now, the thing that really makes you think about how much damn work there is involved is the size of the Queen’s place:

It was a three story office building, perhaps dating from the fifties, and extending a whole city block.
Definitely Dead,
p. 203

That doesn’t have any facility for parties either – that’s what the Queen’s Party Barn is for.  Of course, when Sookie arrives, things are gearing up for a royal marriage, but the mere fact that Sophie Anne isn’t renting out temporary space, but instead co-ordinates for the state from a building that size, well, the vampires have been busy. Sophie Anne lives and works from New Orleans. She spends a lot of time at her job. She has no official hand waving duties, but she is also Sheriff of her own Area.

Sophie Anne’s job consists mostly of being in the power base in New Orleans and having all the Sheriff buffers in between her and other states. It consists of political manoeuvring, making money and lots of paperwork. Due to the amount of scrutiny Sophie Anne has on her as leader of the vampire community of New Orleans, she can’t be having with battles where the humans can see. But she mostly does plotting and paperwork – which doesn’t seem to be the kind of immortal life Eric yearns for. He does love the action moments, and he adores the adventures he goes on with Sookie.

Being King would severely limit how much time Eric could actually spend on the ground, out there doing things. There would be endless rounds of co-ordinating things, political manoeuvres and paperwork. Royalty shouldn’t really be sitting around resting on their laurels. They should be making sure they’re a formidable threat to anyone who wants their job, as well as setting standards that they want their underlings to meet – by example.

He’d spend a lot of time in that entire city block, and not much outside of it. Does Eric with his Corvette strike you as an inside type of guy? No. He likes adventures. He likes getting out and about. That would be no more as King – after all, how many skirmishes apart from the ones brought to her door did Sophie Anne fight in in Area Five? Do you see her working in alliance with some weres? Doubtful. She’s mostly keeping to the cerebral part of being a vampire and manoeuvring things from New Orleans. I use her because she’s an example of a formidable Queen – it took a Hurricane, trial, bombing and then staking to bring her reign to an end.

The fact is that Sophie Anne was a good Queen, and Felipe was a good King – but there’s a whole heap lacking from their lives that Eric values. There might be a reason why Eric doesn’t want to be King just because of job conditions. For example, lots of people don’t know that your regular human politician works 16-18 hour days. Just after the last election, one of our human politicians didn’t sleep for three days. It’s a tough job with not a lot of spare time and flexibility – you are almost always on.

While Pam might think it’s a natural consequence to keep striving for the top, that doesn’t mean that she’s actually spoken to Eric about it. She may assume it’s natural consequence, or she may plain old think that Eric should strive for the top – but let’s face it – Eric survived 1000 years doing it his way – there’s no guarantee Pam is right. She’s his second, not the other way around. She doesn’t know better than Eric – he’s her Maker, her Master and her Sheriff – Pam is good, but she’s not as good as Eric is. She may assume that’s what Eric must want, she also tells Sookie why exactly Eric wouldn’t be so suited to it. That:

“Eric will never be a king, unless he can control himself better.”
All Together Dead, 
p. 87

Pam here is talking about Eric’s anger at Bill over Sookie, and his anger at the Queen over circumnavigating them. Just because Sookie is the cause of all this anger, doesn’t mean that Eric wouldn’t get his knickers in a similar twist if another vampire circumnavigated him at another time over something different. I’m betting that Eric would get into a tizzy about something else, because he got into a tizzy about that. Frankly, if he hasn’t learned to control himself at this stage, then I doubt he ever will.

What control do I think Pam is talking about? Well as a matter of fact, I think it’s the big stretch that Eric does in front of Sookie at the start of All together Dead. Eric can’t seem to just let it go that Sookie likes him while Bill is in the room, and he tips his hand in front of Andre, who gives a little chiding at Eric’s time wasting. He really shouldn’t have done that – shown Andre that he wanted Sookie to pay attention to him.  Eric can’t get over his ego and put his nose to the grindstone over that – and I doubt very much that if it were something else, unrelated to Sookie, Eric would be all business.

Not to mention that if Eric actually had more control over his emotions, he never would have fallen for Sookie in the first place. He’d have been able to retain his dispassionate nature and actually try to sleep with Sookie without her ever becoming his heart’s desire. He would have learned the signs and controlled himself before it became a political liability, and gotten rid of Sookie quick smart. As Eric points out about Jennifer Cater – you have to be ruthless to rise through the ranks – and if he can’t get rid of Sookie, he’s just not ruthless enough.  The fact that he does fall prey to feelings shows that while Eric may talk-the-talk about controlling yourself and being ruthless to become a King, he certainly doesn’t walk-the-walk to becoming a King.

It doesn’t do any good if you develop feelings for your Area assets at random. I don’t believe that Eric is the “love at first sight” type of guy – the mere thought makes me cross-eyed that someone could see him that way; but as well, he didn’t have any kind of love connection with Sookie – he hadn’t even slept with her before she was his heart’s desire. Not like the Queen and Hadley – who wasn’t an Area asset, but an ordinary person. Having feelings in a relationship is within normal parameters – having feelings for your employee’s girlfriend is not controlling yourself. The fact that he didn’t see her for the threat she was and get rid of her quick smart is also something someone not controlling themselves would do – because they wouldn’t give in to their ruthlessness.

Eric’s lack of control – and focus – does him harm in the vampire political world. When compared to Sophie Anne, who as I pointed out above was formidable, and had a concerted plan to bring her down – well the fact of the matter is that she outfoxed Eric twice. Don’t get me wrong – Eric is smart, but Sophie Anne was waaaay smarter. Not only did she snatch a telepath right under his nose, but he didn’t even figure it out that Kyle Perkins, assassin of Henrik Feith, was hired by Sophie Anne. He sent Sookie to investigate, and as it turned out, Mr. Cataliades inferred it was the Queen’s plan all along. So not once, but twice did she get one over on Eric.

Sophie Anne was only defeated through happenstance – a hurricane and a bombing that took off her legs. Then the fact that Andre died too – and she was left only with Sigebert – which again was due to Quinn and happenstance. She wasn’t defeated because she was outmanoeuvred – but because she was made vulnerable by outside forces. Eric doesn’t even have that hope – he’s actually been outmanoeuvred by others. He wouldn’t stand a chance of being King for very long – someone would slip him up because as devious as he is, he’s not devious and ruthless enough.

Eric himself says that Felipe is more devious, ruthless and clever than he is. If Eric thinks that, and it actually looks that way, then I don’t see why readers would pooh-pooh Eric’s opinion. Perhaps they’re just seeing it through rose coloured glasses. But Eric is right – Felipe has him over a barrel, and he is more ruthless and clever. It’s all Eric can do to hold Felipe off from acquiring Sookie, let alone looking to take on Felipe in Felipe’s territory. I remember how joyful Eric was over the fact that Felipe promised Sookie protection in From Dead to Worse, and yet a couple of months later, that came back to bite him in the arse, with Victor coming to collect Sookie for ‘her own protection’. There’s evidence on the page that Eric doesn’t have that long term view, and that Felipe is actually cleverer than Eric. So, this time, even though it’s not what readers would prefer to think, Eric is actually right. He does have to keep on his toes.

Not only does Eric have to keep ahead of Felipe, but he also has to keep ahead of Victor. It’s not as easy as just taking out one and leaving the other. All of the Vegas vampires who came over with Victor were loyal to Felipe, and as Pam points out, whether Victor is loyal to Felipe tells them a lot. If Eric had to take out all of his Masters, he’d have to get rid of both Felipe and Victor in an open showdown. Or risk Felipe coming to make Eric pay for killing his loyal regent – while Eric is in a state filled with vampires more loyal to Felipe than Eric. Eric just doesn’t have the money, fear or incentive to make vampires follow him instead of the King they swore to. It would take more than “great fighting skills” to get them to break their oaths of fealty – and then how would Eric trust them not to switch sides against him?

Victor is a tangible problem standing in the way of Eric being comfortable – as we see in the excerpt. Eric has nowhere to go because Victor is everywhere you least expect him. He’s trying to make sure he sinks Merlotte’s – which means Eric’s attention is divided (but it wouldn’t be if Eric trusted Sookie to look out for herself and told her stuff) and he’s also trying to kill off Fangtasia. Fangtasia suffered under Alexei and Appius’ visit, and gave people reason to go to Victor’s new club as well. In the first chapter of DR, we find out Eric hasn’t been himself for a week or two, and in the excerpt, Victor says his club has been open three weeks. So Victor is a big, big problem, and he has Felipe on his side.

I have read that surely Felipe would understand that Eric couldn’t make as much money thanks to Victor’s encroachment. But you know what Felipe really would understand? That Eric isn’t particularly useful to keep alive. That’s what Felipe would understand. No one gives special dispensation in the vampire world. If you can’t do your job, then you don’t have your job any more. No one gives you time off. After all, Eric leaves instead of staying with Sookie right after she’s been tortured. Part of that is because Eric is a control-freak workaholic for his Area, and part of that is that your job needs to be done no matter what. When Eric was cursed, the entire Area didn’t take the week off – they kept it quiet and Pam picked up Eric’s duties as well as her own.

In the fanfic world, Eric has plenty of savings so he can buy cars and crap for Sookie. In SVM, I bet Eric has savings so he can keep his tithe up to expected levels, and weather the random increases and the out-of-the-ordinary decreases in revenue. Remember when Andre said that Eric would need to pay more money to the Queen because of Hurricane Katrina, and Eric didn’t bat an eyelash? Well, that’s because Eric doesn’t tie his assets up in stupid plantation houses – he has it in easily liquidated sources for just such times as this. He doesn’t spend it like a mad thing – he keeps it aside for when he needs it. You can’t pull money you don’t have out of the ether – so Eric doesn’t try to.

I’m betting most sensible vampires squirrel away some funds for this purpose. But in the end, Victor will exhaust those funds if he keeps taking money out of Eric’s area. For all the scorn heaped on Sookie offering that $150,000 of Claudine’s to Eric, he may end up needing it, because Victor is gutting his revenue like a fish. Eric needs to keep up the appearance that he is a profitable asset to the Area – because Victor is keeping his tithe up – and the very last thing Eric needs right now is to look like a drain on his Area. That’s why Bill is so valuable with his steady Database income, and why Eric wouldn’t be whining to Felipe for time. If Victor can make money and Eric can’t, then Felipe won’t want to keep Eric around any more.

Which brings me to how things might be in Louisiana in the next book – now this is more speculation, because at this stage, my knowledge of what’s happening is incomplete. But I have no problems with describing what the current situation is right now, and making tentative predictions. Just bear in mind that this is only something to obsess about before the next book – I try to be conservative, but CH always manages to surprise me with the direction she goes in.

For example, my prediction for why Eric wasn’t there during Sookie’s torture – my conservative prediction – was that Eric was keeping the information quiet from Victor, and couldn’t get there due to politics. The actual reason was more dramatic, but I was in the general area. I certainly didn’t pronounce crazy shit like “Eric lost all of his blood due to the blood bond” or “Eric was fighting a contingent of fairies” or “Appius stopped him for his own good” as some of the other predictions did – I keep conservative and make no promises to be right. As I’m less dramatic and romantic than a whole heap of people, and try to keep it in the realm of available knowledge and logic, then I don’t tend to give crazy theories or easy solutions.

As I’ve set out above, Eric isn’t really that suited to being King based on all the information we have about kingship and Eric. But that’s so far, and that doesn’t mean that I am absolutely, positively right. If CH counters that with her book, which she always has in the past, then I’m fine with Eric being King. I just don’t think it’s a likely prediction, based on what we can guess.  Eric isn’t suited to be King by his nature, and by the position itself.

At this point in time, Eric is hemmed into his Area – more so than he was before. Now that Red Rita has been put into Arkansas, Eric isn’t holding that area, which lightens his load, and lessens the risk of invasion, but it also means that he can’t retreat anywhere. If Victor tries to squish Area Five, that’s exactly what he could do – Eric hemmed in by all the surrounding states. He can’t actually go anywhere or make money any other place. All he can do is give up his Area, and then Eric has nothing, because there’s no new Area to go into, and Victor isn’t going to let him run. Even if he did run, no one else would give him an Area again, because no one would want him to run instead of making money. It is the very last resort, and I don’t think it’s very viable.

My conservative prediction is this – Red Rita in Arkansas will fall, or will make her own alliances. Victor is too focused on Eric to consider that someone else holds an entire state while he’s dicking around in Area Five. He should be watching Red Rita, not Eric. That’s a major fuck up. If she is regent of the entire state and no one is watching her, she could just up and decide that now, she just wants to be Queen of Arkansas, and fuck Victor and Felipe. That gives her motive and power to actually make her own kingdom. She could choose to ally with another state, or she could just stop sending money to Felipe. Once she consolidates her power, what the fuck is anyone going to do? Demand she give it back cause they had it first? Lol – sure.

Victor is weakening the power in the top of the state by removing revenue from the Sheriff who has long held that territory. That’s really stupid. It means that all the focus is on the inside threat that doesn’t actually exist. In trying to weaken Eric, Victor is stretching his own resources – his minions tell Eric so – that they are haemorrhaging money, and for what? To stop Eric being King? That’s stupid. If Victor wasn’t such a control freak manager – if he took his hands off the reigns a little, then he’d both realise Eric is a loyal subject, if nothing else, and that he would do much better not trying to trap him, but work him so hard in his Area he doesn’t have time to plot a Takeover.

The idea that Eric could launch a Takeover is pretty impossible as it stood in Dead in the Family – Eric had his own loyal subjects, and was surrounded by those loyal to Felipe. So loyal to Felipe in fact that they didn’t listen to Victor when he was right there on the ground, forcing them to keep Eric from Sookie while she was with Lochlan and Neave. They are obviously loyal and scared shitless of Felipe, who is a couple of states away. In rebelling from Victor’s orders on the ground, they might have shown preference to Eric, but the real bogeyman they feared was Felipe – not Victor.

It wasn’t Eric, chained up silver they had to worry about – it was Sookie dying that would put them in a world of pain with Felipe. After all, in that room, Victor had enough people to quell Eric – no one was scared of Eric. I know fangirls like to believe that Eric is the scariest damn vampire in the entire world, but he’s really not – and as he says himself, Felipe is more ruthless than he is. Eric couldn’t overwhelm Victor’s men, but Felipe could surely hammer the shit out of all of them – and that’s why they went with what Eric begged. It’s also why Eric begged that way, not with tiny threats that were so much dust in the wind from the Sheriff of Area Five.

Indeed, even Victor fears Felipe’s intervention, otherwise he would have taken his forces in, let Lochlan and Neave torture Sookie and then stake Eric. But he doesn’t – he lies to Felipe and tries to make out he doesn’t know they’re married.Victor is so scared of what Felipe might do that he tries to hide all this underhanded stuff. So put it out of your mind that Eric is who they feared – nope – they all fear Felipe. Victor is not controlling himself and focusing on his real problem – he’s pointlessly relocated the real threat of Felipe with the threat of Eric – who is not actually a threat.

What’s a further fuck up is leaving New Orleans not being the centre of power. That’s such a huge mistake. If Victor has no centre, and is constantly like Secret Squirrel travelling the state, then how can he defend himself or claim his position? What if his overstretched minions decide one night that they don’t like the way things are going and kill him? What if he’s ambushed somewhere? He can’t hold his position – he can only retreat to a tiny power centre like one club – and we see how well that worked for Eric in the Vegas takeover. Victor’s left the capital wide open, and spread his own resources far and wide. Not only that, but he took some of his most valuable assets – Bruno and Corinna – and sent them out into the ether.

If another royal decides to do a takeover of the state, Victor might survive, but how the hell will he rally his forces? Ask them to come to some weird place halfway across the state? No one is sure from night to night where Victor is, because he is in the trenches, and not easily contactable. Victor is just way too stupidly paranoid to be easily contactable, and that’s not good if you have to hold your state from the centre of power – because you don’t have one. Even Eric said that if Andre lived, he would have been able to “hold the centre” for Sophie Anne – and the centre is New Orleans – because no one can come in by sea or land without you seeing them coming. Now that New Orleans is empty what is to stop another royal just putting themselves in the city and hemming Victor out of his own city? Jackshit – that’s what.

Another royal could even come by sea if they wanted to, because no one is there to watch – no vampire headquarters in the city itself – because Victor is up the other end of the state dicking around with Eric – the one place that is shored up by Eric and the presence of Red Rita. Particularly since all arrivals from other countries come via boat (Anubis is not international – it is domestic), then its entirely possible that some displaced royal from Europe could ship in a whole heap of vampires loyal to them and set up in the capital. Then Victor doesn’t have Regent OR an Area.

So, my further prediction is that this is exactly what will happen. All those disaffected people not willing to be loyal to Victor even if Felipe does scare the crap out of them, will ally with a new and scary Queen. As to who that Queen will be is anyone’s guess – could be Red Rita, could be Freyda in alliance with Rita, or defeating Rita, or could be Freyda taking advantage of what her spies tell her. It could be some recent immigrant who just happens to find New Orleans wide fucking open for the taking. It could be Maude too – who’s also another Amun royal, or any female, because it’s a new Queen on the board – not King.

Eric won’t need to be King – but Victor will get his quasi-Kingdom taken away from him. If he’s lucky, Sookie will kill him (because she’ll do it fast). If he’s unlucky, he’ll be sent back to Felipe with his tail between his legs. And I don’t think Felipe will take too kindly to how Victor lost the state. For a short period of time, this will press Eric, but it’s not very sustainable. Eric being King is the easy short term solution, but Eric being King isn’t really in his skill set. Other vampires are watching this state consolidating, and if their spies are telling them what’s going down, Louisiana is ripe for the picking. With the pledge existing before the new royal, and a loyal Sheriff who fought for Sophie Anne for years, a new female royal might be content to let Eric do what Eric does best – being a Sheriff, in Area Five.