The End is Nigh

So, I didn’t know about this – but apparently a couple of people have been waiting to hear what I have to say about the spoilers we’ve gotten about Dead Ever After. I am apparently a terrible tease. In truth, I had a bit of a debate with myself about the ethics of looking into further book content. After all – I figure stuff out from the leisure of my desk, over a year, with no pressure, that just leads some of the sillier fandom members to say one of two things – that CH’s plots are simplistic and expected; and that Sookie is stupid not to figure it out. Neither of those are true, but the more things are figured out, the more CH and Sookie get it in the neck. I can assure you, I don’t sit down to figure this stuff out over the course of two weeks, while involved in vampire, were, fairy and human machinations. I debated whether posting stuff in public for chat would lead stupid people to say stupid things. But after the sad little posts I got from people hanging out, I’ll just have to assume in my favour – that stupid people will say stupid things no matter what I post. But if you do after reading this, then figure it out on your own in future, in two weeks, while involved in something complex and life threatening, like trying to become top dog in a maximum security prison.

Since this will be the first (of probably many) spoilery posts, it’ll have a new tag – omg omg dead ever after! – so if you want to avoid spoilers, you can avoid posts tagged with this. And now, onto the spoilers, which I shall steal from PM – which is where I got them. It’s good having a network. 😀 Thanks to Ooshka for the spoiler – she rocks. It was almost as good as going myself – which I didn’t because I figured other people would. Thank her for not being a piker like me.

And now to the cut with the spoilery stuff that you must turn asunder from. The spoilers are as follows – that there’s parts of the last book that won’t be in Sookie’s perspective, and that Arlene and Quinn will be in the last book. So will Karin, Eric’s other child. The bit about parts of the last book not being Sookie’s POV is from Ooshka. Also that Sookie will need her friends to rally around her. I think CH tends to be relatively tricky with her spoilers – so that they can spoil you, but not give you a full vision of what’s going to happen.

So here’s my speculation on what’s going to happen. I may be wrong, I may be right, but I have a clear success and failure rate. I may hear something later that causes me to think this is all bullshit. I am a pragmatic critical thinker, not a lateral thinker. Sookie is a lateral thinker, which makes me think that CH is as well. So my brain is never going to be in the same space as hers is.

I think that there’s one last enemy for Sookie to get rid of – one that I’ve been heralding for a while, actually.  I think with the conjunction of Sookie needing friends, Arlene coming up in the last book, and non-Sookie POV, I think it’s a showdown with the FotS.  That would make sense in the narrative. The FotS has been left to lie fallow, and I think the non-Sookie POV won’t be Eric – it’ll be news reports and maybe the perspectives of others whom Sookie has helped. I think the FotS has had a big plan in the works for a while, and they just haven’t shown their hand yet. Before we get around to that, I’m going to go through the friends bit.

I can think of a number of characters who owe Sookie their lives who can rally around her. Sookie did all of this helping, and I think she’s going to get paid back at least in part. For a couple of years now, she’s been standing for supernatural peeps, and the supernatural peeps, well, they’ve let her down. While she’s been useful to their world, she has sustained a lot of damage over the course of time on their behalf. Where were they when she was under threat from fairies? Where was the cordon of vampire, werepanther, werewolf and other protectors? Fucking nowhere. Eric was at work, Bill was in his house, Pam was at work, Amelia was in Sookie’s house – there was no impermeable ring of non-penetration to protect Sookie – she was left to deal by herself. Even though the threat was serious, Eric gave her Bubba and Alcide gave her Tray. Shit protection if you ask me – in return for two big fucking favours. It’s about time that the supes showed they give a shit, really – more than just giving it mouth with nothing behind it.

I should also note that something very similar happened to Lily Bard in the last Shakespeare book – all these people she didn’t think gave much of a shit actually showed they gave a shit about Lily. From Genevieve Thrash during Definitely Dead who was told to leave the Queen’s party early, to all the humans and vampires she saved at Rhodes – and not so much as a fucking thank you card. No one has bought her flowers for saving their life – or sent her a little note – they’re that thankful. As an aside, notice how Eric always monsters the fangbangers in fanfic, and completely forgets to be a hard arse with his fellow vampires, and how they have treated his wife?Yeah, that Eric is a full-of-shit coward – you know it – he likes to pick on defenceless women, not types who may have a hope of challenging his pitiful manhood. Of course, that would mean acknowledging that Eric hasn’t said thank you yet either.

While Sookie has helped out humans in her town, they’ve at least done her the courtesy of improving her regard from “worthless” and included her in social occasions where she hasn’t had to burn her blood stained clothing in the backyard at the end. There’s no Catfish Hunter/Hennessey in the vampire community who stood up for her to the police, and asserted that she was a good girl who didn’t deserve abuse. There’s no werewolf version of Tara selling Sookie her old car for a dollar. Sure, the weres came out at large for Sam’s brother’s wedding, but they didn’t really come for Sookie – they came to defend their own. Claudine has been the only supernatural not in it for what they could get out of it, and her orders came from Niall, who was willing to sacrifice one descendant for another. Werewolves and vampires have done an awful lot of using Sookie without any commensurate benefits to her. Particularly since she’s done a lot of helping them out when it comes to the Fellowship.

I think when the series is ultimately about tolerance (which is why I used to watch True Blood – because it got the tolerance thing downpat, even if it fucked characters up – now it’s just fucking everything up) then you have to have some sort of thing about not just the tolerance that one has to employ dating a supe, but what the outside world does to supes. The Fellowship is perfect for showing that humans aren’t always doing good things – and the vampires are often stupid when it comes to how they treat humans. We’ve already gotten a hint that things are happening around Fangtasia:

In the wake of Kym Rowe’s murder, anti-vamp sentiment was escalating.
Someone had thrown a bucket of white paint across the façade of Fangtasia.

Deadlocked, p. 214

Foolishly, some readers seem to think that after the book was over, and the mystery was solved for Sookie that everyone else in that world would know it and believe it. But they wouldn’t. Certainly, the FotS wouldn’t take it as gospel that vampires were innocent of all charges – that’s not how hate and false perceptions work.

For example, look at the rape-as-romance phenomenon – that there is proof that many readers who purport to love vampire fiction can’t help but mix up their own ideas of what Eric does. If he ‘wants her’ he’ll ‘take her’ – with the absolute opposite available on the page or the screen that Eric isn’t a rapist, kidnapping, violent arsehole to women, it’s still considered that that’s “what vampires do”. If you think that the FotS is easier to disabuse of their notions than your average rape-as-romance fapper, well, think again. People believe what they want to believe. Just like readers want to believe Eric is a rapist so they can fap, the FotS want to believe that Eric killed Kym, no matter what the police might say. Both groups will fight the notion – even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – which Eric hasn’t got. He’s got a flimsy confession which might convince police, kinda, but nothing more than that – not now Jannalynn is dead.

Unfortunately for Eric, I’m betting that they know quite a bit about him, being who they are. After all – one has to look at what happened at Rhodes to see just how vampires not paying attention to humans as insignificant is very, very stupid. I’ve always thought that the vampires were pretty fucking arrogant yet again because they didn’t even take it seriously afterwards. Once they were individually and selfishly safe, none of them came to Sookie to find anything out about things – which is when they could have said thank you as well. Both Eric and Pam have mentioned it on the page – Eric to say that’s not why Sookie came to his room first – and Pam has been the only one to acknowledge that she wouldn’t forget that Sookie saved her arse (in Two Blondes). I doubt Barry got any thank you cards either.

The Fellowship showed their hand with how much they knew too. So for example, they definitely know about the vampire hierarchy and that there’s not just Queens, but Sheriffs too:

A blue leather suitcase was tagged with “Sheriff, Area” –
well, that was too scribbled to make out.

All Together Dead, p. 184

Seems that they may not have an idea about what Area is called what, but they know that Sheriffs exist if they can put a label on the suitcase with a bomb inside of it in order to get it delivered to the right section of the Pyramid. They know Areas exist, even if they don’t understand what the numbering system is. But I’d say that they wanted the suitcases to end up in the rooms of the Royalty or at least relied on vampires thinking it wasn’t theirs, but must be someone else’s.

I think it’s entirely possible that they know that Eric is the Area Sheriff – or at least have it down to either Pam or Eric. Since the meeting where Kym died was at Eric’s house, they’d probably guess him. After all – Eric was currently meeting with a far more prominent and newsworthy vampire than himself:

“In fact, our king is bringing a lawsuit to challenge that legislation
through the human courts, and I’m confident he’ll win,” Pam said.

Two Blondes, Death’s Excellent Vacation, p. 32

So if they know about Sheriffs, I’m betting that they have an idea about Kings, and who is King in each particular state. Felipe is obviously a bigger fish than Eric is – and if they’re not sure of that, spies are not unknown in the vampire world – even among vampires. It wouldn’t be difficult to infiltrate Eric’s business either. That’s why Eric doesn’t trust anyone.

In fact, the FotS having spies on the ground with vampires is almost certain. After all, they knew about Rhodes months in advance:

What had gotten by Donati in the past couple of months,
since his illness had begun affecting his daily life?
Maybe he’d hired the wrong people. Maybe he’d omitted
some vital step in protecting the guests of the hotel.

All Together Dead, p. 197

In order to get hired for the summit, they had to know when and where it was happening, and then find out about the vulnerability that the venue had in order to plant their people there. They didn’t start work after the Summit started – they were all there before the meeting. Which means that they knew about the meeting months in advance, and tried to find a way in.

That’s to say nothing of the fact that King Isiah of Kentucky actually found a spy in his ranks. In truth, there’s a part of me that wonders where exactly Kentucky got the money to hire Britlingens – just like Sookie. I know they’re found in every tenth canon fanfic, but they’re not cheap, they’re not readily available and they’re not likely to sit around playing nursemaid – I doubt Eric has the money to hire them if the King of a state struggles to do it:

“You have to be really rich to hire a witch who can bring one over, and the
witch has to negotiate the terms with their guild. When the job’s over, the
witch has to send them back. You can’t leave them here.”

<snip>
“It’s a very extreme action. I wonder what he’s so afraid of.
Kentucky isn’t exactly rolling in money.”

All Together Dead, p. 131

It’s my thinking that he was the person who sold the information to Felipe about the whole Fellowship plot. In so doing, he was able to hire protection for himself, and weaken other states for Felipe to take. After all, Felipe was already in on the whole deal with the weather witch, and I’m betting the delay was because of Isiah or his agents. Whoever delayed it has to be inside Amun, because someone from Narayana could say it’s not what they want, and who would give a shit? No one. Hence why I think he sent Sookie from the table when he was talking to Sophie Anne. It would serve Isiah to get rid of Sophie Anne, who looked like she was encroaching on surrounding states, and leave Isiah in a position of power. That way, he could build defences at his leisure.

You can see how vampire agendas can tangle up in FotS dealings too – and that some vampires will take advantage of FotS dealings. Not just disaffected Jake Purifoy, but possibly the greedy Isiah who was looking out for his own skin. Isiah certainly didn’t help his own kind in a spirit of giving and goodwill – he hired bodyguards for himself. Even if there’s no deal with Felipe, Sookie did more to save vampires that day than Isiah did. He put no one on alert that there was any danger going down.

It seems too that the FotS has a bit of knowledge and maybe arsenal that the vampires aren’t expecting either – one that they haven’t noticed, but that Sookie has:

Someone had put a metaphysical helmet on his head. I tried to
get through it, around, under it, but it stayed in place.

All Together Dead, p. 185

This is another thing which most fanfic writers think is erroneously because of Sookie – but what’s more likely is that it’s to protect against vampire glamour. The metaphysical helmet is because he’s probably team leader, and he’s the one with the plan – the leader if you will. That’s how terrorism works – you don’t let other people know who are their fellow terrorists, so they can’t prevent the whole operation. One person has all their own details thanks to a recruiter, and they don’t know what everyone else is doing, so if captured, they can’t actually give any details to foil the plan. That’s what a terrorism cell does. And after all, they had a strategy for avoiding telepaths:

I had noticed the waiters and so on were dodging me, and then I watched
to see if they were avoiding Sookie as well. So I thought, “They know
what you are Barry, and there’s something they don’t want you to know.”

All Together Dead, pp. 306-307

It would have been painfully obvious to the telepaths that each person was part of a group if they just had to pick out the people with impenetrable thoughts. You can betcha that the vampires would have had no problems lining people up and letting the telepaths pick out one or the other and then kill them. It probably would have caught their interest just like Joe did – if they kept running into serving people with impenetrable thoughts. Not to mention that it’s doubtful that any witch would have run into enough telepaths to get an idea of what would work to keep them out. Sookie and Barry aren’t going around telling people what are their requirements for telepathy to work. The fact that they are a small secretive group works in their favour – because then people think wrong stuff like this:

Holly thought I could read her mind only if I was looking into her eyes.
Dead to the World, p. 79

People who’ve worked with Sookie think unreal shit about telepaths – and Holly is into witchcraft. She’s not someone who’s oblivious to anything. You think if she lived in town with a telepath she wouldn’t read a bit about it? I think she would – but I’m betting that there’s a lot of shit in magical books, or no real information in magical books about telepaths. They’re not exactly the most common thing in the world.

That’s not to mention the fact that they obviously have a network within vampire circles so that they can find all this information out. Obviously, Jake Purifoy wasn’t watched very closely, or found some way to contact the FotS when no one noticed. The vampires have really been silly focusing on their own internal squabbles – Victor and Felipe have really distracted from the wider issue. Of course, that’s where vampires shoot themselves in the foot all the time. If they were less murderous to each other, and worked as a team, then they wouldn’t have these problems. Ruthlessness is not always a good quality – unless you’re the only ruthless person in society.

We can look at any hierarchy vampire and find out why that’s a problem. It certainly doesn’t do any big favours to vampires if Eric is too busy focusing on everything but the common enemy. Eric is very much a reactive measure, rather than the proactive measure. Eric will respond to threats, say, but not to anything beforehand. Vampires spend a lot of time fighting for supremacy and amongst themselves to ever really be overlords – they aren’t really in a good position to be good with the community. And considering how often they don’t concern themselves with what an actual asset has found out, that’s really quite bad. Eric hasn’t asked more questions of Sookie – for all the shit she gets for not figuring out things soon enough – behold Eric doesn’t even bother to ask.

After all, who was it that figured out the Claude/Jannalynn plot – because that wasn’t Eric. That was all on Sookie. Eric reacted to everything, but he wasn’t getting out there actively searching, or trying to do his level best to subvert problems. All of the vampires are like that with the Fellowship too. They react by hiding bodies they made, but they aren’t really doing great outreach to the community by failing to give a shit if someone like Ginger dies. They’re too busy focusing on what they see as the biggest threat, when it’s clear that humans are a big threat. The contempt for humans helps no one. They’re not contemptible.

And another thing came to me when I was reading up for some other post too. I found this little tidbit:

“There’s a branch of the Fellowship close to here?”
“Minden.”

Definitely Dead, p. 125

which made my brain prick up because of Kelvin and Hod. Neither of which have been attributed definitely to one particular enemy – and we don’t have anything concrete on them. The closest that we have is that they live and work around Sookie’s general area. I went through trying to track down where exactly they were from, but didn’t get anything definitive. Sookie only proposes a place:

“I guess they could have taken me up to Clarice through the
woods, on the four-wheelers, I said out loud.

Dead Reckoning, p. 249

Since Clarice seems to be fictional, I can’t really find out where it is in relation to Minden. It’s entirely possible that Kelvin and Hod are from the Fellowship – or at least affiliated with them because they certainly don’t think much of vampires. I’d say that they’d be hired muscle doing a job for someone, rather than actual members of the church. It’s entirely possible that while we’re not hearing anything from the Fellowship in the main storylines that they’ve forgotten all about a blonde telepath who pisses them right off.

So here’s how I think the main storyline will go for the next book. To reiterate – !SPECULATION! – that Sookie will be set up by the FotS, and with a concerted effort, they’ll press her and Eric. He’s already not doing so well with Sookie because he expects her to be sympathetic with him about their impending divorce that he hid from her. This is the perfect time to take out the only Louisiana asset that paid attention during the Rhodes incident. If they can wrest her away from a husband who looks remarkably like he couldn’t give a shit (remember they don’t witness stuff like Eric being sad in Sookie’s house – and even Sookie doubts Eric wants to stay thanks to his behaviour) and turn her against vampires, this will be good for them.

We’ll hear about all kinds of things happening in other parts of the country, and I’d say that Sookie will need the goodwill of the supes that’s she’s built up. As well as the goodwill of all the humans of her home town – which she’s also been building up, by helping out and being involved with places like Merlotte’s. Now that Arlene can connect the FotS to Sookie’s hometown, we’ve already seen the attempt to abduct her which could be due to the Fellowship. One of the key ways they could hurt the vampire population is by taking away assets away, like Sookie. Not just now, but for future conferences and such. Think about how much shit vampires would be in with the FotS if Sookie didn’t exist.

How they will actually do this? No clue. But there are a number of ways that they could put Sookie into hot water. It could be physical – hurting or abducting Sookie is an obvious one. But it could be the reason we have to have outside perspectives is because Sookie could be incapacitated. In the past, we’ve been made aware of the news through Sookie hearing something – but it’s entirely possible that she may be unable to read the news in all parts of the country and actually be able to put that into Sookie’s every day speech in a convincing manner. It’s also possible that if they find a way to put her in jail or somewhere that it wouldn’t be possible for her – and shows just how badly she’d need friends to rally around to testify to her character.

I don’t expect that all supes and humans will join hands and sing Kumbaya, by any means – that’s not how it works in the real world – but I do think that one thing Sookie has feared all the way through the books will be put to rest. I can see Arlene on one side, and Karin and Quinn being brought in to either inform on the situation, or to support people they care about under siege. Quinn has done that before – so it’s not inconceivable that those who Sookie has networked with, treated with friendliness will finally stick out for her. If she needs her friends it’s because she’s the one being attacked. With the fairies gone, it’s also possible that this is another layer of protection Sookie needs against Felipe – knowing that the rest of the supe community won’t shrug their shoulders like they did with Neave and Lochlan.

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