The Logic Stick

Okay, so there’s another post coming up soon, on Eric no less – and like I said, there’s going to be more due to the intertwining of the plots. Eric/Freyda/Felipe is a big part of the books. But first, I need to whack you all on the head with the logic stick for a bit, because some of the notes and comments I’m getting are a little illogical. I can’t deal with illogical – and some of the worst and stupidest conspiracy theories have come out of illogical ideas that went on to be blown out from Quinn killed Andre and become “Quinn is evil supervillain, worse than Bill, and engineered Las Vegas takeover – only Eric can be trusted”. Don’t laugh – someone actually believed that one. Ever since Bill had to confess to Sookie, everyone is looking for the next big conspiracy theory overarching all of the books. With the last book coming, well, there’s not going to be one.

1. That Fertile Ground

Dude – I thought that since the fairies were gone, the fairy breeding program would die. Little did I know, it would be revived by dirt. Fuck. How many times must there be the “Sookie is not pregnant” talks does there have to be? I have babies, and I’m just not so obsessed with babies that every single book I read has to have women with babies in them. I’ve even read – shock horror – books where women didn’t get pregnant at all – not once!

It’s reeeeal simple. If you fuck a corpse, he is not fertile, and you don’t end up with babies. There’s no special way around that. There’s no special caveat. There’s no writer worth her salt who would break the rules of her own world just to do the Harlequin romance thing. That’s the rules she’s made. And she made them definite for a reason.

The reason you’re hearing about the sheer amount of babies in Bon Temps and all around is so that you know Sookie is being left behind. She’s not having babies like everyone else, and as long as she screws a vampire, she won’t be having babies. Notice how Quinn is having babies – he’s been the only fertile boyfriend Sookie had. An average to poor writer lets the rest of the world sit still and do nothing – while waiting to be selected from the toy box for the main character to play with – this is not a characteristic of CH’s writing. People are supposed to move forward all the time – this leads to CH’s continuity issues at times, because none of the other characters are static.

Fertile dirt is not about babies – ye gods why do people make these connections? Fucking is not the be-all end-all of every single situation. I think you people just don’t know a damn thing about plants – and why am I not surprised when I heard that ‘harvesting’ with the fairies on True Blood came to mean breeding in spoilers. My mother grew roses, and one of the key fertilisers she used was blood and bone. Grew magnificent roses and even is what’s called a FERTILISER. And fairies are all about the plants:

“I mean that the fairies who inhabit the woods identify with the woods
so strongly that to hurt one is to hurt the other.”

From Dead to Worse, p. 71

Dude – they love the woods so much, they die when the woods are chopped down. How many times have you heard fairies going on and on about woods and hunting? There’s no iron in their world – no factories, no industrialisation. They’re all about nature. Fertile soil doesn’t mean anything other than Sookie will sure be able to grow some nice fucking plants.

2. Sookie the Spendthrift

This one comes from the PMs – and I was really grateful for it, because I don’t have any cultural context in the case of American fast food. Just like if I asked you to judge which is better – Tooheys or XXXX – you’d have no clue. They’re beers by the way, and it all depends on who won the State of Origin. 😀 That’s cultural context for you – I don’t get sick of reading about Sookie visiting Walmart, because I’ve never seen one. It’s like an interesting observation for me – Sookie enters a magic cave of crap to buy stuff. It may bother Americans to read about something so “normal” but the rest of the world isn’t quite so informed about American daily life, particularly when it comes to the lower classes. Sitcoms cover upper classes, with million dollar apartments, and endless shopping for expensive things at boutiques – not Walmart and Sonic.  It’s fascinating and worthy for the rest of us who aren’t insular Americans.

Someone pointed out to me that some people have complained about Sookie eating a sandwich from the Sonic – that this is an expensive thing and Sookie is wasting money. Seriously. Is there anything Sookie can do that she doesn’t catch shit for? That in light of Sookie’s complaints about the power bills Claude drove up, then she should be pinching every single penny.

It’s real simple folks, Sookie has right now – that she has never had before – some security. She hasn’t been free and easy with money her whole life. Woe betide the Sookie who has – let’s say after paying Sam’s beer bill $120,000 in the bank – and pays for a sandwich. That doesn’t mean that her well off cousin gets to skate on his share of the power bill. Driving up her bills – he should pay for it – it doesn’t matter how well off she is, Claude shouldn’t just do what he likes. Sookie isn’t a charity for wayward fairy energy guzzlers.

Since, as I’ve mentioned before, Sookie’s base wage is about $25,000 a year, then she has the equivalent of over four years worth of pay in the bank. Sure, she could use it for austerity measures – scrimp and save and keep it aside, but in the general scheme of things, an expensive sandwich is not a big drama. Having a full tank of petrol is not a big thing – it’s a luxury that she hasn’t been able to afford. And like many poor people, she’ll indulge herself with food and little items, yet not go out of her way to just fix big expenditure items that aren’t necessary:

“The car’s running okay,” I said, though I’d have to get the bumper fixed
sooner or later. Probably later. The seat belt had to be replaced pronto.

Deadlocked, p. 229

You’d think people would be happy for Sookie that she doesn’t have to scrimp and save, and worry about things. You’d think they’d be glad that with such a pivotal role in Merlotte’s, she has some job security. But no. We have to pick on Sookie for everything – if she doesn’t have money, if she does have money, if she asks for her fair share, if she spends too much on herself, if she pays for everything – all of this, she catches hell. And if you can’t bitch about Sookie living her life, then bitch about CH for including it.

I’ve been reading another series of books recently, and I find it bothers the shit out of me when the heroine has gone months now getting new stuff and never goes to the shops to buy it. It just appears, and I find myself wondering how the hell she paid for it, and when she worked for that money, and when she had time to shop for it since she’s been doing other things, like not working and not shopping. And when I watch True Blood, it bothers me there too. How does Sookie pay for petrol when she doesn’t work? How does Sookie buy food for herself when she hasn’t been home for weeks? You’ve been in Fairy for a year? Dude, of course there’s hot chocolate in the cupboard. Of course the pipes don’t run with brown water and of course the electricity is on! A vampire has been keeping it stocked up, running the taps and paying the power bill. Of fucking course! Eric Northman, housekeeper extraordinaire! Stupid.

3. Weres and their blood

Another one from the PM stack. Why is were blood intoxicating, and how come this is the first we ever hear of it? Please, stop saying the word “ret-con”. I’ve come to hate that word. It’s used to explain why people didn’t know stuff they didn’t read before, and not with much logic. It’s become fad to deem something ret-con if it doesn’t fit with what assumptions you made while reading, without canon support.

Now, one of the things that’s causing problems is that Eric said weres and vampires stay away from each other:

“I thought vamps didn’t date werewolves, either.”
“She is being perverse. The young ones like to experiment.”

Club Dead, p. 154

Oh, so there goes the wet dog theory, and we have Dahlia and Taffy, both of whom – in other books – married werewolves. But dating is not drinking blood. Werewolves don’t have much time for humans who go with vampires either:

“We’ll get him back, though it makes me sick to think of a woman
like you with one of those bloodsuckers.”

Club Dead, p. 62

So should we assume because Alcide looks down on humans being with werewolves that it therefore doesn’t happen, and they’re not attracted to each other? That vampires just never feed off humans? That all women who are with vampires are openly pathetic pale junkie looking chicks – excluding Trudi, Selah, Tara and Sookie? That’s where assumptions that Eric is always right, truthful and doesn’t have his own prejudices means you come a cropper. Like say this:

“This man is a Were,” Eric said carelessly, “so he is scum.” 
Club Dead, p. 49

I happen to think Alcide is scum – but not because he’s a werewolf, but rather based on his actions. Eric is deeply prejudiced against werewolves because they’re werewolves. In turn, notice how much weres and vampires don’t like each other – how much animosity there is between them all – a full blooded were who has been raised a were isn’t going to be likely to let a vampire feed on them. It doesn’t matter if Eric would get buzzed from Alcide – Alcide isn’t going to let a bloodsucker get his fangs into him.

The key to Kym Rowe is that she’s a half blood – she’s not a full were. She’s not pack. She’s not going to be thinking that vampires should keep their fangs out of her. And she did seem to want to suicide by vampire there. And might I point out that Frannie had part shifter blood, and they offered to work off her debt with Felipe de Castro by making her a blood whore. Not only that, but the Ancient Pythoness is partial to were blood:

Taffy reported that Clifford had had a great time with the Ancient Pythoness,
who was in a chipper mood and propositioned him several times. 

Bacon, Strange Brew, p. 14

Just because it’s rare, or Eric thinks it’s wrong doesn’t mean dick. Just because you’ve never heard of it before doesn’t mean it’s retcon.

4. Amnesiac Eric’s Promises

I’m taking what I said from a comment and modifying it for a post, so that other people will see it. It’s all about Amnesiac Eric’s promises, namely this:

“When this witch is defeated, I would bring you to my side. I will share everything
I have with you. Every vampire who owes me fealty will honor you.”
Was this medieval or what? Bless Eric’s heart, none of that was going to happen. 

Dead to the World, p. 189

and this:

“We could go back to your house. I can stay with you always. We can know each
other’s bodies in every way, night after night. I could love you.” His nostrils
flared, and he looked suddenly proud. “I could work.
You would not be poor. I would help you.”
“Sounds like a marriage,” I said, trying to lighten the atmosphere.
But my voice was too shaky.
“Yes,” he said. 

Dead to the World, p. 213

Okay, so first off, I included with the quote the bit Sookie said about it never going to happen. I’m sorry for all of you that held onto it at the time. Eric remembers these promises now, and has done…what exactly? Offer for her to move into his house like all his other chickies have wanted? That’s not even vaguely close. And he hasn’t worked to help Sookie out – not even given her shares in a business he owns. FYI – she’s still fucking poor, and the only person to remedy that so far has been Claudine. Eric did not pay for her rehab from torture, and remembers these things he said, so I think you can assume the boat for those promises has well and truly sailed.

Eric makes these relatively medieval promises that have no basis in applying them today. In his time as a human, he would have brought a wife to his side, and done for her. That’s not what modern Eric’s understanding is. It’s not as simple as just marrying her – the old way of using “bring you to my side” is all about sheltering her under his protection, and she never works again, never goes anywhere without his escorts.

As for vampires owing her fealty – this, again, is an old fashioned value. Getting Clancy to bestow his allegiance on a human? Or Thalia? That’s not going to happen even if Eric forces them to play along. We see in a nutshell what happens when Eric embarrasses Bobby that way – any vampire would just kill the hell out of Sookie instead of putting up with that shit. So Eric wouldn’t do it to his vampires. Humans like Bobby – sure – but not to Clancy, who was openly disrespectful to Sookie. Eric needs to maintain power and loyalty.

As for sharing – well, no one has a relationship without sharing. But the problem is that there’s a whole bunch Eric openly says he’s not sharing with her. He hasn’t signed her on as part owner of Fangtasia, or given her the deed to his house, or anything like that. As for information – well, there’s a wealth of stuff he’s not sharing with her.

The problem with his promises is that Eric was thinking – at the time – like a 10th century Viking chieftain, who had honourable, brave warriors as his men, rather than a ruthless head vampire who owns a tourist bar in Shreveport and has a lot of less-than-honourable guys who aren’t interested in making nice to his woman. A lot of that original Eric has changed from that time, by force of practicality.

But…I don’t think Sookie would have really liked that old fashioned idea when it’s actually played out. Being able to go to work, go and see her friends, have a life without asking permission doesn’t look so nice from the inside. Begging money from your husband is not so nice from the inside. While it’s a beautiful dream, I think Sookie wouldn’t like being sheltered. She already bucks up at that idea already. Which means it’s a good thing Eric isn’t interested in sheltering her, but rather throwing her in the deep end.

5. Vampire Glamour

How come vampires didn’t glamour their ways out of trouble? Is another question I’ve gotten.

Dude, do you know the books aren’t True Blood? Did you ever stop to wonder why vampires didn’t just glamour the world into liking them? Because it doesn’t work like that. Glamour is unreliable. It can cause brain damage if too much is taken and nothing given in return:

It’s like Re-Bar needed a tiny tumour removed, but the surgeon took his spleen and maybe his appendix, too, just to be sure. You know when y’all take away someone’s memory, you replace it with another one? I waved a hand to show I meant all vampires. “Well, someone took a chunk out of Re-Bar’s mind and didn’t
replace it with anything. Like a lobotomy,” I added, inspired.

Living Dead in Dallas, pp. 100-101

So what fucking reason would the vampires give for having ten cops show up to Eric’s? They were admiring the garden? And what an absolutely brilliant idea to make all the city police officers brain damaged – since they would have heard the dispatch on their little radios throughout the city. Glamour isn’t used very much. And might I point out that it doesn’t fucking matter if you glamour all the humans. There aren’t just humans on the Shreveport police payroll:

They had their vampire van with them, a special prisoner transport with silver
bars. It was driven by two cops who were of the fanged persuasion,
and they sprang out of their van and reached the club door
with a speed that rendered them just blurs on my human vision.

Dead Until Dark, pp. 111-112

Not only that, but I’ve yet to see a vampire do the amazing thing of glamouring the shit out of a police dispatch system. I don’t even know where the eyes are. When the police have been called, there’s records. Pictures and writing and stuff you can’t glamour away. And since it was called in by some nefarious villain, then glamouring local police wouldn’t do dick – because the nefarious villain would remind them they have a case they need to work on. That would just make the whole thing look suspicious once they remembered.

Glamouring your way out of everything is a rather stupid plot, and it’s a rather stupid thing for vampires to rely on – there have been tales of vampires throughout history. If glamour worked, we’d never know of them. And if they wanted to live how they like, they wouldn’t have come out – they could just glamour everyone to treat them like normal humans.

6. Faithfulness

Oh, so Eric said he hadn’t fucked a woman since he’s taken Sookie to wife? Let’s assume he didn’t tell her that he hasn’t laid a finger on another woman in years because it would make him look better if he just gave the fucking statement, right?

Seriously – with how badly Eric’s going with Sookie, he would have told the best truth he had. If he hasn’t laid a finger on another woman for years, pining for the chippie in the white dress with red flowers, then why wouldn’t he just say that, since Sookie suggested he might be sleeping around? Cause he left in his statement options for “I have had oral sex with Freyda and we make out on a daily basis” in his statement.

I wasn’t surprised at all. Eric has had a reputation from the first book all about how he was brilliant in bed. You don’t get that way if you never have sex. While I doubt Eric is FrankenEric, who gets blue balls within the space of 20 minutes of smelling a fairy, I don’t think he’s some celibate monk who never thought of meeting his needs. He’s pragmatic – and not sentimental – of course he’s going to be sleeping with other people. He’s not Christian, and he’s never been shown to value modesty or purity.

The sheer amount of shit that Sookie takes for not facing up to hard truths and realising what’s really there? Well people in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones. If Eric had something better than “I haven’t fucked anyone else for a five months” he would have offered it up. Let’s not turn his statement – and Eric – into a lie to suit romantic delusions, right? He let another woman masturbate on his lap for goodness sake. Please face the hard truths yourselves, and grow up, like Sookie is exhorted to do.

7. St. Eric the Protector of Telepaths

Another one from the PM stack. That Eric is really a totally sensible guy, always doing what’s right:

He said, “Sookie, if I turn down this opportunity, Felipe will
punish both of us. Our lives will not be worth living.”

Deadlocked, p. 289

I have no doubt that elsewhere in the fandom it’s being twisted to being some sort of favour he’s doing for the both of them too. Except that’s a complete red herring. Oh, so what happens if Eric takes this “opportunity” – yay – Eric doesn’t get punished. And what happens to Sookie when he takes this “opportunity”? The last vestige of protection she’s had from Felipe disappears entirely.

So Eric is technically right – he will escape punishment. Luckily, it’ll just be Sookie’s life that won’t be worth living. At this point – as according to Bill himself:

If Felipe suspected her complicity, he could have her killed.
He can’t do that to you. You’re Eric’s wife.

Deadlocked, p. 240

Except for when she’s no longer Eric’s wife and no longer untouchable and without protection. So don’t mistake this for some noble protection of Sookie. Her possible torture and death – and certainly her enslavement to Felipe – will be the end result if Eric leaves. For the crimes of killing Victor, Bruno and all the bullshit Felipe can pile on. The moment Eric agrees to go to Freyda – the moment he dissolves their marriage, it’s curtains for Sookie. Felipe is in town. While I predicted last time that Pam would be able to protect her, that doesn’t work if opposing vampires are right in the thick of it, ready to move. And you can bet you bottom fucking dollar that Felipe will be ready to move the moment the bar is lifted. This is not a selfless concern of Eric’s – the price for him getting out of punishment is that Sookie gets fucked over.

Sorry I had to whack you all with the logic stick, but really, when things get blown out of proportion, it makes for a lot of bitching and dissatisfaction with Sookie for not seeing truths that are half invented fangirl theories, born of romanticism; and a lot of rage at CH for her writing because it doesn’t go along classic romantic tropes. Remember how much it hurt when you first read that Eric was feeding on another woman in this book? Don’t do it to yourselves again.