Warning: Major spoilers from “True Blood” Season 7, episode 3 “Fire In The Hole” are contained in this article.
It took several months for showrunner Brian Buckner to break the news, but eventually Manganiello’s gut instinct proved to be correct.
“Sure enough, a few weeks before we started shooting I got the phone call to go out to dinner with the showrunner, Bucky,” Manganiello recalls. “We went and had a steak, and I went, ‘You’re killing me, right?’ And he went, ‘Yeah.’ He says, ‘You understand it had to happen,’ and I went, ‘Of course.’ And so that was it.”
If fans wonder why Manganiello isn’t as broken up about Alcide’s death as they are, he explains that it’s because “True Blood” is ultimately the story about Sookie and Bill, not Sookie and Alcide.
“My character showed up in Season 3, and there was no plan for me to be on the show past those six episodes that I was initially signed on for. I have to say a big thank you to them, because they wound up finding something for me to do,” he says. “I shot probably one scene an episode for a couple of years in there.”
Manganiello rationalizes of Sookie and Alcide, “As soon as they got together, I thought, ‘Well, you have to get him away from Sookie at some point so she can go deal with Bill and Eric,’ just on a storytelling standpoint. And if you have her break his heart.
The great tragedy of Alcide’s death is that he died trying to protect Sookie, which Manganiello teases “makes her feel guilty, which then kind of springs the rest of the story and the rest of the season.”
“She’s always running and getting into trouble, and Alcide’s got to go bail her out,” he says. “He died trying to protect the girl that he loved. That was his MO. He was always running after her or trying to save her, and it eventually led to his death.”
Looking back, Manganiello admits that Season 3 was his favorite, mostly because he got to work with the other lead actors so often.
“I enjoyed having all the werewolves there, and having the Sookie storyline as it was in the books. I enjoyed that,” he says, citing Grant Bowler, Anna Paquin, Brit Morgan and Robert Patrick as some of his favorite co-stars.
He adds, “Probably my best friend on set was Chloe [Noelle], who played the little werewolf girl Emma. She was my buddy. We just got along. She was my buddy on set. We would hang out and talk about the Girl Scouts or whatever she was doing in school. It was really fun. I had a really good time with her.”
As bummed as fans might be about the loss of Alcide, Manganiello is just happy his character made it as long as he did.
“True Blood” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.