might have wrapped its series run on Aug. 24, but fans were still left with plenty of questions about the show’s finale. Zap2it
spoke with showrunner Brian Buckner about Season 7, episode 10, “Thank You,”
during a group interview, and here are some answers to the finale’s most pressing questions. Obviously, spoilers
Who is Sookie’s husband?
“We basically cast the man with the best arms from our stunt crew,” Buckner admits, identifying the lucky stunt man as Tim Eulich
. With his name available, fans can now find out what Sookie’s husband looks like, but Buckner says they’d be missing the point.
“The idea was that we wanted Bill to be correct when he said that Sookie could have a normal life, the twist of course being that Sookie chose to keep her specialness … despite his belief that she couldn’t be OK without giving up her powers,” Buckner says. “The point of it was we don’t know who he is. I don’t even know what’s interesting about it. It’s that Sookie is having it all that we’re supposed to take away.”
Was there a different version where Mr. Sookie’s face was revealed?
Nope. Once Buckner and the writing team decided this was how the finale would end, they stuck with it.
Could a different man have been her husband?
Buckner was pretty set on Eulich, but that didn’t stop another member of the crew from trying to get the gig. “Our prop master, Greg Mackie, was lobbying really hard to be Sookie’s husband. Every time I walked by him, he’d say ‘Turkey’s in,'” Buckner admits. Apparently Mackie didn’t have the arms that Buckner wanted the character to have to fry that Thanksgiving turkey, so he made Anna Paquin break the news to Mackie that he wouldn’t get the job.
How did Sookie end up with a human whose thoughts she could read?
“Maybe she found someone who only thinks nice thoughts,” Buckner admits, but he thinks it’s more complicated than that. He compares Sookie blaming people for their thoughts to his wife blaming him when she does something bad in her dreams. “Eventually [Sookie] learns that nobody’s perfect and you have to accept the bad with the good. To me, everything links to what Gran said in the flashback,” he says.
Why not reveal who Sookie’s husband was?
Buckner made it clear that he thought it was the lesser of two evils to keep Sookie’s husband a mystery versus introduce a new character for the last few minutes. “[Author] Charlaine [Harris] took a lot of abuse for choosing Sam,” he says of the Sookie Stackhouse book series ending. “We felt like it was irrelevant who Sookie wound up with. What we wanted to know was that she was happy and living the life she wanted to lead.”
Was there any hope for Bill and Sookie?
Not according to Buckner. “I think it’s obvious from the seven years that Sookie and Bill were not going to be true love forever,” he says.
Was there a version of the finale where Sookie did give up her powers?
That was actually the original version Buckner pitched to HBO, but he was eventually convinced it was a bad idea. “That felt real wrong,” he says. “Her otherness and her specialness was the otherness we chose to protect.”
How close to Alan Ball’s original idea for a “True Blood” finale was “Thank You”?
Apparently Ball never really planned a finale — at least as far as Buckner shares. “I don’t think that there was ever a lot of talk about an end game other than people sitting around a room going ‘Bill or Eric?'” Buckner admits. “I think I’ve actually honored all the writers in terms of it not being, ‘Which man will Sookie choose?’ because that was the thing we were pretty leery of, because you immediately alienate everybody who likes the other guy. We chose to have Sookie marry any man because it doesn’t really matter who it was.”
Was Bill a villain or hero in the end?
There’s been some debate about Bill’s ultimate role in “True Blood” after he tried to make Sookie give up what made her special — aka her fae powers. “Had we had Sookie choose to give up her light, then I think Bill’s story would have been more clearly heroic. But because we didn’t want to go that route, what I had to do was give Bill a secondary motivation for wanting to die,” Buckner says. “It was all meant to tell the story of the natural course of his human life. I think what Bill came around to was similar to what Godric came around to, which is a human life is extraordinary too.”
He continues, “I think that he had two reasons for wanting to die, and both were true. The first was Sookie. … Here’s where I think the confusion enters. Sookie has been asking for a normal life, to be normal. She has felt afflicted but also empowered with her power. I don’t think Bill was being a crap weasel for suggesting to Sookie, ‘Use your light.’ … I do believe it was heroic. But he also had to have a secondary reason.”
Was this a happy ending?
“We gave you a happy ending. I’m not sure that trouble wouldn’t find Bon Temps again,” Buckner admits. He says the finale was called “Thank You” “as a thank you to the fans who have stuck by us, and truthfully for me it was a thank you to Anna.”
“I think she was absolutely brilliant this season,” he says. “I think that she was the center of the show again in a way that I don’t think she has been in a bit of time. I wanted to give her and our fans a happy ending. I know that the show has made its living on sex and gore and violence, but without story all that starts to take on the feeling of a snuff film.”
Does Ginger still work at Fangtasia?
Yes, and a deleted scene reveals that. Buckner confirms Ginger still has a job at the business she helped create, and that a discarded scene had Pam calling up to Ginger in the finale, but for speed’s sake they had Pam head up the stairs at “vamp speed.”
Why didn’t the final season address Eric and Sookie’s relationship more?
“When Eric and Sookie got together this season, I was really impressed with the romantic undertone of the scenes, but it was over. We didn’t go back there because it would have been sloppier, storytelling-wise,” Buckner says. “His story as originally conceived honestly ended somewhere around episode 8, and then when I started to write episodes 9 and 10 I needed more complications. … For a while we weren’t even sure we would have him for our finale because of [his ‘Tarzan’ commitment] dates and stuff.”
Why did Brigette and Hoyt get so much screentime?
Buckner says that fans are looking at the Brigette and Hoyt arcs from the wrong angle, as they’re actually Jason and Jessica arcs. “[Hoyt]’s a Jessica story. Brigette was a Jason story. You can’t break episodes by saying ‘every character’s going to get five minutes of screentime,'” he defends.
Why did Tara die so early on?
When Buckner wrapped up Season 6, he didn’t expect Tara to die in the premiere of Season 7. But he also realized then that he didn’t have much more to draw from the Tara/Lettie Mae story. “One of my chief complaints about the show we were doing is that we continually promised jeopardy and we never delivered on it,” he says. “I actually didn’t know what to do with [Tara and Lettie Mae] for 10 more episodes. The writing group chose to tell a story about the redemption of Lettie Mae.”
Why wasn’t Lafayette more present in the finale?
Blame happiness, apparently. “I don’t know what the scenes would be if we just saw” Lafayette and James happy, Buckner admits. “I’m thrilled that we got Lafeyette true love, but it sort of peaked by episode 5 and 6.”
Buckner admits that he also wishes Lafayette got more screentime in the final episodes, but that he felt Nelsan Ellis’ character’s story had run its course. “I love him too. I think he’s brilliant. I think every time he opens his mouth something extraordinary comes out, usually something that we didn’t write,” Buckner says.
What was the deal with the Faerie harvesting scene back in the Season 4 premiere?
“Truthfully in that scene HBO was asking for … we got the note that it felt general and that they wanted additional information. Is there anything new to be gleaned in that scene?” Buckner admits. “It was never part of anything that was discussed earlier with Alan was here.” He admits in a politically correct manner, “I think maybe the journey into Faerie was not something that we chose to further mine.” As in, they also considered it to be a bad call.
If Buckner could make a “True Blood” spinoff, what would it be about?
“I believe that there is life in Eric and Pam running a multi-national corporation,” Buckner says, seemingly against his better judgment.
Is Buckner proud of the finale?
Yes. “We can’t break story from fear of people are going to be disappointed, and the show had to end somehow,” he admits. “I’m sort of defiantly proud of what we did, with the understanding that you can’t please everybody. You just can’t.”