E+S=OTP…Just give it some time

Alright…well, I’ll start with some general thoughts, then go more in depth…and because I’m a shipper, I’m gonna deal with Eric and Sookie’s relationship implicitly lol.

Dead and Gone was an entertaining read and a page turner, however, it just felt lacking in places. I enjoyed it and liked it overall…but it didn’t leave me feeling fully satisfied. The ending, especially felt rushed. Now it was probably the most action packed conclusion of any of the books, the balance just felt off. I liked the tension and suspense of Sookie always having to be on her toes to watch out for those trying to get her, but the payoff at the end wasn’t necessarily satisfying.

Neave and Lochlan were good villains, but we weren’t given enough of them to really fully have an emotional reaction to them. The introduction of the FBI felt pointless, unless they have a role in the next book. It seemed rather convenient they were pulled into Crystal’s murder. Crystal’s murder also felt unsatisfying because Mel didn’t really kill Crystal, and yet had to suffer the consequences. Neave and Lochlan just had fun with her body and allowed her to bleed to death. It felt like there was going to be an interesting Fellowship of the Sun arc in there, but what we got instead was Arlene’s fall. While that was a good arc, you wanted to see more of the FOTS in the story. The plot just felt like it lacked a strong focus. There was a lot going on, but there wasn’t really any balance and the plotlines just weren’t managed well enough.

I found I snickered throughout the book though. There were moments where Charlaine Harris’ humour just shone like in the scene with Sookie, Amelia and Octavia with the FBI.

Sookie was totally and completely shell shocked in this book. Whether it be the Fae War, Crystal’s murder, the marriage, her relationships…she had so much going on that she was just in this constant state of tension and she just felt different. One thing is certain though, I think our plucky heroine is fundamentally changed in this book. Her innocence, her outside status from the Supe world, those things are just dead and gone. She was really put through the wringer in this book. The murders of pregnant women, husbands shooting wives, getting tortured, racial prejudices really shone a harsh light into Sookie’s world.

I really missed Pam in this book. What she did have was classic Pam. Wearing the black veil just before the marriage between Eric and Sookie was revealed was great. However, I found myself really wishing we’d seen more of her. Same with Bubba. Pam and Bubba felt like they were cameos and while they did have their moments, it just wasn’t enough to really justify why the characters were there.

And poor pregnant Claudine! Courageous until the end. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her though. I think she’s going to become an angel because of her sacrificing herself for Sookie. Charlaine Harris has said that the transition to an angel is spiritual…so…

I’d really been annoyed and done with Bill since about Book 5, Dead as a Doornail. All the things that bugged me about him had come to the fore in that book and he just grated on my nerves. However, it was nice to actually like Bill in this book. It was about time Bill was redeemed in some way and it was satisfying. It seems that Sookie has finally come to terms with Bill and has closure with him. She couldn’t go on hating him forever. I think Sookie is finally able to move on. Plus, she no longer holds a deep set resentment for him. I don’t think Bill and Sookie really have a chance of their relationship coming together again though. I loved his line about asking Sookie to pray for him in a real church, should he die.

The shifters got the short end of the stick in this book in terms of the Suitor Race. I felt bad for Sam, especially with his mom getting shot by her husband. I think Sam has conceded from the Suitor Race though. I think it’s clear to him that he’s lost Sookie to Eric. Similarly, I feel that Bill will be able to finally move on from Sookie too. I think that’s what the seeing Eric flying from Sookie’s house was supposed to demonstrate. Quinn once again came off as pushy. However, I felt that his comments about Bill and Eric were pretty much on the ball with what the audience has been thinking about the two Vampire suitors.

I have never seen Bill and Sookie love each other beyond a surface level. I always felt that Bill loved the vision he had of Sookie, not the woman she is or the woman she became. It’s demonstrated in One Word Answer by his disbelief at what Sookie is capable of and also at the end of Club Dead, in the same way. I felt that Bill loved Sookie because of the status she gave him in the vampire world where he had always felt trapped and ill fit to maneuver himself out. I felt Sookie’s love for Bill was based on the fact she couldn’t hear his thoughts and because he was a vampire. So even before it was revealed that Bill was sent to seduce Sookie by the Queen, I felt their relationship had false pretenses. Sookie was too quick in her relationship with Bill and her inexperience in relationships hurt her.

I was thoroughly amused by Eric in this book. After months of speculation, we finally know what the cover means. I can’t look at it now without thinking COCKBLOCK! lol

Dead and Gone cover

Eric manipulating the marriage in order to not only protect Sookie but also cockblock her from the rest of the suitors is just SO Eric and amusing. Underhanded, dirty and manipulative, but amusing nonetheless. He was a missing a bit of his usual joie de vivre and panache…but I liked that he was raw and vulnerable in this book and his lines still cracked me up.

With Dead and Gone now, there has never been a more clear cut suitor that we’re supposed to root for and that guy is Eric Northman. It has never been more clear exactly just how much Eric loves Sookie and how much he is willing to risk for her. Quinn said Eric would never risk his people, his position, his status or his area for Sookie. She’d never come before that. However, he’s wrong. Eric did just that by pledging Sookie to him. I can’t imagine Felipe is pleased that a sheriff, who is below him, cut off and usurped his power over Sookie. Eric has risked his position in the new regime to ensure Sookie’s safety.

Eric also loves Sookie for who she is. He doesn’t want a Renfield. He wants Sookie. Eric’s past is sympathetic. He controlled and made to obey through rape by his maker. I don’t think a guy who has experienced that would harm Sookie or take her against her will. I think it’s another bond of understanding that holds the two together. It’s one more piece in the puzzle as to why Eric ‘gets’ Sookie.

The scene where Sookie calls Eric out for not being the guy to save her was heartbreaking and angst at its best. I loved it. I loved the entire scene where you see just how raw and vulnerable Eric is. The clinical way in which he checks Sookie’s wounds, disguises the immense, guilt, remorse and loathing he feels for not being able to save her and it spills over finally when he can scarcely endure her words and says, “You’re killing me.”

I really thought both Eric and Sookie were quite honest to each other in where they stood and what they meant to each other in their talks and that Sookie offered Eric what she was ready to offer him at this point. She’s not ready to offer him more right now. It may not be fair to Eric who laid his heart on the line, but I think Sookie opened her heart up to him more and admitted to herself more things about Eric that she’s been trying to hide or brush aside. Like how she thinks about him every day the sun sets or how she wants him there when the FBI come. She’s seeking advice on Eric too. She values her relationship with him. I don’t think she would go to Tara for relationship advice if she didn’t care a great deal for him.

However, the path of the OTP or One True Pairing is never easy.

I don’t think Eric/Sookie shippers got the shaft and I don’t think Eric got the shaft either.

Let me demonstrate the shaft.

The shaft is a landmark 350th issue of Uncanny X-Men, with a 3-page pull out cover, released in February of 1997.

Uncanny X-Men 350

The shaft is when the heroine leaves the hero to die in Antarctica, without a shirt on, because he kept a really big dirty secret about being the guy to infiltrate a group of mutants which lead to their murders, despite the fact he didn’t kill them.

UXM350

The shaft is also when you have the heroine’s mother attempt to seduce the hero as a 16 year old student, then when that fails, as the heroine’s mother, and then when that fails, as the heroine herself, because she’s an old shapeshifter bitch. It’s when the hero becomes ‘evil’ because the heroine didn’t value him enough and says words like ‘Infatigable,’ which he would NEVER say. It’s also when you see a comic artist’s art go from amazing to not giving a crap anymore. It’s also when the comic artist leaves the company for awhile…

Still bitter…

If it becomes that, I invite you all to commiserate with me. I don’t think it will though.

I’ve shipped a lot of couples, whether they be Rogue and Gambit from the X-Men, Tim and Lyla on Friday Night Lights, or Sawyer and Kate on Lost. Yes, there’s a pattern, I love the roguish guys with heart and the plucky but frustrating heroines with what I like to call ‘The Kate Complex’.

What is the ‘The Kate Complex’? Well, I named it after the pariah of Lost fandom, Kate Austen.

Kate Austen

I hope Sookie never becomes the pariah…but…’The Kate Complex’ is basically a heroine with a debilitating past that deeply colours all her relationships, particularly with men; perceptions or first impressions of men that need to go through an evolution; and a deep set fear to open herself up, especially to men based on past experiences. The fandom also tends to harbour a deep dislike for the character because of her inability to treat a male suitor the way he ought to be.

Sookie’s got ‘The Kate Complex’. Sookie does care a lot for Eric, but she’s deeply scarred and scared of her feelings for Eric, Eric’s feelings for her, Eric’s rejection, trusting Eric with her heart. We can’t blame her for that. She’s been molested as a child, her brother cares little for her, she’s had her heart broken and betrayed by Bill, she’s been lied to, she’s had secrets kept from her…So if she’s closed off to Eric, despite all he’s done for her to show her to contrary, I think she deserves a little slack. Of course, if this goes on for much longer, I’ll change my tune…

But the fact remains, I really feel like that Eric and Sookie’s emotions are finally starting to spill over. They’re a lot closer now then they were before and unlike her other relationships, Sookie is taking her time with Eric. I think that places her relationship with Eric ahead of where she’s stood with the rest of the suitors where she was always so quick to jump in with them. She’s become a little more cautious.

Eric has started to become the guy Sookie wants to and has started to rely on, the guy to turn to. She goes to him after a bad day, simply for his company. She wants him to be there when she is questioned by the FBI. She thinks about him every day the sun sets. She’s seeking relationship advice about him. And under duress, she revealed to Eric the biggest thing of them all, she wanted him to be the guy that saved her from Neave and Lochlan. She prayed for him. If that’s not where your heart lies, I don’t know where it is. She revealed her heart’s desire without knowing it. Just like Eric under the curse, Sookie’s brain is unknowing of her heart’s desire.

All Sookie needs to do is admit to herself her feelings and stop holding back. She’s taken baby steps towards Eric over the course of eight books. Let’s give Sookie a little patience…

….yeah, yeah, yeah…some more Patience…/Axl Rose…sorry, couldn’t resist.

~simba_317

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~ by simba317 on May 8, 2009.

7 Responses to “E+S=OTP…Just give it some time”

  1. So now i have to reread it again……….

  2. Poor Lil…i think she’s reread this book like 5 times already.

  3. I agree simba. unsatisfied, check. rushed, yeah. pointless fbi, uh huh. need more Pam, definitely. poor Claudine, unbelieveable. short end of the stick shifters, without a doubt. cockblock, LOL! Note to CH, you’re killing me.

  4. Good stuff, very insightful. I agree with all of this. The Kate Complex-yes, and like Kate, if Sookie doesn’t pull out of it I will start to get overly annoyed with her.

  5. I so totally agree with your take. I can’t say I don’t like the book, it has highlights and definitely lowlights. And left me hanging in the end. I think it was done on purpose for us to be interested with the next book. But I would have to say that I was expecting more of the “romance” because knowing that it’ll be with the real Eric, I was hoping it’ll be steamier. It just fell short to me (not the Gracious plenty of course!) but how it was told.

  6. so right about it all! i really missed pam in this book, i love her! (what do you think she meant when she said “and you live on in sookie?)
    as for claudine, i thought EXACTLY the samething about her becoming an angel. i haven’t seen that opinion on many of the threads i’ve browsed through though. hopefully that’s what happens cuz i think she’s great. can you imagine her as a guardian angel, she’s so sarcastic and blunt.. it’d be hilarious!

    AS FOR THE VAMPIRE SUITORS…i could talk forever about that! but something else i think thats relavent is the fact that eric is so much older then bill. it’s gotta be alot harder for him to “regain” those human emotions and admit to them. i think that makes eric’s actions even more sincere than bills. aaalllsssoooo… you’re correct about eric being willing to give up his position and underlings for her. he is constantly pissing off or deceiving his “bosses” to protect her. andre, felipe, King of Mississippi; Russell Edgington and so on. ALSO i think that fact that eric cried when clancy died is significant, considering their converstation just before he died. i’m thinkin’ that eric cried (which is SO out of his character) because he realized just how much he’s willing to sacrifice for sookie.. even his devoted underlings are second to her.
    i ALSO think it’s great that quinn and alcide are (apparently) permently out of the suitor race. i thought it was a little overwhelming having all these guys lusting after sookie at once.
    i def think this was a transistion book. lots of cliffhangers and weird “what the hell’s?” but i bet the next book will be full of answers and some closure.
    HURRY UP BOOK 10,11 and so on =)

  7. I agree with you Simba. My point too that Sookie can’t admit how she feels about Eric because she’s scared. She’d never had intimate relationships with men before Bill and we see how that left her. She shared something with him she’d never shared with anyone else (besides Gran) and completely opened herself up to him. I don’t know if she was ever truly in love with Bill because she didn’t quite have a chance to fall in love with him for him. She’d had his blood the first night she’d met him and we all know what that led too. Yes, she was initially attracted to him but having his blood kind of fueled that fire. That being said, her relationships with the two vamps have always included some sort of blood exchange and blood bond which again makes her doubt her feelings. Quinn could have been a suitor for her if he wasn’t such a momma’s boy but I can’t really blame him for that. He kind of has no choice when it comes to his mom because there aren’t many weretigers around if any at all. I think this book is the jumping off point for Sook to reach her full maturity and get out of her little girl lost stage. She’s experienced enough by this point where she can finally make more mature decisions. She’ll get it figured out. Eventually.

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