proseandkhans asked: I'm no fan of Bill, &I definitely agree with all your points on how much of a manipulative jerk he is - but one of the big things about Bill is that he's always trying to do the "right" thing but is deluded by his remarkable selfishness. He's constantly taking himself further into his own downfall the more he tries to "redeem" himself. Do you think at this point that it is at all possible for Bill to actually be the good guy and do the actual right thing WITHOUT facing true death to do so?
I’m not so sure I agree that Bill has always tried to do the “right” thing. I think Bill came to town to procure Sookie for Queen Sophie Anne, and adjusted his persona to manipulate her. I think BIll drugged her with his blood and lied to her about it’s effects. I think he is sadist and a liar, and that he always likes to give everyone the idea that he is “trying to do the right thing” but that he is playing a deeper and more villainous game than we fully know. I think that his selfishness and delusionalness is not mutually exclusive with malignant, intentional evil. I don’t think redemption is even remotely possible for BILL, because BILL is truly dead, and Billith doesn’t want redemption.
Au contraire! True Blood writers have handled Bill very cleverly indeed. Bill is a chameleon. He changes his colours to suit his agenda, and he always has. What does it even mean to say “they need to change everything so they can accommodate Bill?” Bill is the one who changes to accommodate his insatiable desire for blood, power, status and control. True Blood is a great show in large part because of what it’s done with Bill.
I look at this and think about how he was already Billith before drinking her blood. In the first gif, his disregard for Sookie is just as present as when he calls her an abomination. So easy for him to fall - he was already there.
Bill didn’t “go bad” — he was bloodthirsty and cruel from the start — he simply relaxed his efforts not to be evil. He relaxed into evil like it was a warm, comforting bath. He’s finally free to just be himself.
“Stay away from there Sookie, because tommorrow night we’re going to finish Marnie once and for all.”
Parallel between Bill and Franklin….
What a huge difference how Eric and Bill feel about a family…
I love Bill’s sassy “girl, really? A dog?” expression here.
And Eric seems pretty satisfied having just seen Sookie puke on Alcide’s shoes. :)
Parallels across seasons, episodes 12
Bill gets in an unfortunate situation in every season finale.
1x12 He gets his progeny back
2x12 He gets the brush-off and is kidnapped
3x12 He is rescinded from Sookie’s house
4x12 He kills Nan and is in TA’s most wanted list and Sookie leaves him
5x12 He turns first to goo and then to Billith
No more than he deserves, really.
You know, I’ve re-watched this scene on YT, and many of us speculated that Salome was talking about Sookie breaking Eric’s heart, but neither Nora nor Salome know about Sookie. I think what Salome means is that he is cold to HER because SHE hurt him. Bill is right. Salome’s fatal flaw is her narcissism. Here she is, Salome, the legendary biblical seductress, having trouble understanding why Eric is not chomping at the bit to have sex with her, and why he didn’t get that the physical and psychological torture she put him thru was supposed to be foreplay.
I disagree. I don’t think Salome has to know who is the cause of said hurt to guess that he’s been hurt; she just needs to be perceptive enough to pick up on. I think it’s a reasonable assumption that he’s closed off and distant for a reason and being hurt is just as good a reason as any. There are many different kinds of hurt. We, the audience, assign that hurt to Sookie because we know. I think his response “I heal quickly” confirms for her that she was right.
Salome may have some narcissistic traits, but I don’t see her thinking that torture is somehow akin to foreplay, and then getting upset because her subject doesn’t recognize it. Salome was established as having some instinct, some ability to read people. Roman called her his secret weapon and she was charged with seducing Bill and Eric to discern their beliefs, to get a read on them — and she was pretty right on with both of them.
Furthermore, I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest that Eric’s torture at Salome’s hands had anything to do with foreplay. In my opinion, that’s a huge leap. I think Salome tortured him because that was her role. She had a role to play for Roman and one to play for Eric. She was on task with the torture just as Dieter was with Bill.
Lastly, as for Salome’s fatal flaw, I’m not sure I completely agree with Bill. While there certainly was an element of narcissism, she also believed in Lilith and had for some time. This was not a fleeting ideal for her. She wasn’t like Bill, who had a couple of days of belief. The irony cannot be missed that the accuser is the king of self-involvement, self-import, and selfishness…and practically every other word that starts with “self”.
I was being sarcastic about Salome thinking torture was foreplay.
Oh, okay…I didn’t get that from your initial post.
I think she believed that she was making a genuine connection with Eric by discussing Godric and Nora and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t responding in a predictable way.
I think this is true.
Salome did hurt Eric. She tortured him, but more than that she told him that Nora was truly dead. Plus she obviously knew that Eric was hurt by Godric’s suicide. I truly believe that Salome was talking about Eric being cold to her because she hurt him by bringing up emotionally painful things. But of course Salome’s words strike a cord with Eric because he really did have his heart broken very recently, and we see it in his face in the gif.
We’ll continue to disagree on this point, because I don’t think that she ascribes his hurt to something she did. I think she’s believes whatever has hurt him makes him less susceptible to her wares. She doesn’t say “You’re cold. But it’s because I’ve hurt you”.
Bill, being a successful manipulative sociopath, is an excellent judge of people. Salome WAS a narcissist. Not in an obvious swaggering way that Eric is, but in a sneaky, quiet way.
As for Eric, I don’t see him as narcissistic, at least not in an unhealthy way. Other traits of narcissism are conceit, selfishness, self-absorption, unhealthy focus on one’s self, etc. Eric is confident and his age makes him powerful, but he’s very capable of selflessness. He is not consumed with himself, nor is only focused on himself. On the contrary, many of his actions and choices have to do with others in his life, those he cares about. He’s quite content with his little corner of Louisiana. There are no grand titles that he’s trying to assume. He has just enough power to keep other’s at bay and to live his life with minimal influences from politics or religion.
The main symptom of narcissism is grandiosity. Salome believed that she was the vampire messiah and knew better than Roman—the vampire pope. And she told Bill that humility was for humans. That is the portrait of narcissism, and it’s not a fleeting self-perception, but a lasting aspect of one’s personality.
I think there’s an element of narcissism to most people who seek power, or who are successful, or who aspire to be successful, so I’m not suggesting it’s not there with Salome. I don’t think Salome believed she was the vampire messiah until she had the vision followed by Bill’s manipulation. What she did have was a belief that differed from Roman. Not such a different circumstance that people find themselves in every day. The fact that she had a differing belief that she held as the ultimate truth doesn’t make her a narcissist. She bowed to Lilith. It was the hallucinations from the blood, as well as Bill’s manipulation that fueled her run for the top spot and her belief that she was chosen. She didn’t come to that conclusion because she was simply grandiose and self-absorbed. She came to that conclusion because she had a blood-induced or drug-induced vision telling her that she was chosen. This was then followed by Bill feeding into that hallucination and telling her she was chosen. Frankly, we don’t know enough about Salome outside of this situation to really know how narcissistic she is. We’ve seen Bill in other circumstances, so there’s more data to go out on a limb and use to make a diagnosis.
This is just my personal take on the scene, of course, in the context of watching all the Eric scenes from S5. As with all TB scenes, it’s clearly open to interpretation.
I have to agree — Eric, for all his swagger, is distinctly NOT narcissistic. He is practically defined by his feelings for others. Bill knows Salome well because they truly are kindred spirits. Both of them are manipulative and self-involved.
This scene is one that bothered me. I don’t like the way it seems to be saying that Salome has some magical power of insight into his character or state of mind. She certainly does see straight into Bill, and she plays him just right. With Eric, I think she’s guessing.
I have to agree with you, Linda, I don’t think this is about anything she did. Lying to him about Nora was low, but it’s not what she’s talking about here. As stabs in the dark go, “you’ve been hurt” is a pretty wide mark, and it’s only because we know that he is actually still reeling from an emotionally transformative experience and subsequent heartbreak that she seems as if she has insight. I don’t think she does, though, because the main thing she says — “you’re cold” — just simply isn’t true. He is not cold. He is burning up with emotion. He’s desperate to save Nora, he’s protective of Bill, he’s still grieving for his lost maker, he’s angry at Pam but he loves her, he loves Sookie and his heart is broken. “Cold” is a mask he’s wearing; he’s anything but cold. And the coldest thing he does in this scene is capitulate to her seduction.
Salome hits the mark dead on with Bill, but she misses with Eric. All she really finds out about him is that he loves Nora… but she knew that already.
I’m not sure where I went wrong with my explanation, but I would like to point out once again that Salome doesn’t really know Eric, except for what Nora told her, and she has no idea of the recent changes in his self-perception or of his emotional pain. While Salome does present herself as a mystical character, she’s not getting thru to Eric in this scene. He’s snarky and insults her, and THEN she tells him that he’s cold, but it’s because he’s been hurt. We read more into this scene because Eric looks like someone kicked his puppy. But it’s not because Salome said something particularly astute, it’s because her words inadvertedly resonated with him. I believe that Salome is talking about her own actions because there is nobody else’s actions that she could be talking about here. She brought up clearly painful issues for Eric and wounded him.
With regards to narcisism, Salome orchestrated a coup d’etat because she believed that she was Lilith’s emissary, and her interpretation of an ancient religious text was more accurate than the interpretation of the spiritual leader of the vampires. It would be like Paul Ryan deciding that he was closer to God and understood the bible better than the Pope of Rome and killing his holiness to become the head of the Catholic Church. Think about that. What is that if not narcissism?
I’m not suggesting that Salome was the goddess of narcissism or anything. All vampires are narcissistic on TB. They believe that they are superior to all other species and to other vampires who are younger than them. Salome was certainly narcissistic enough for Bill’s words to ring true for me.
Like I’ve said before, this is my personal opinion, and I will happily agree to disagree with y’all.
Indeed, but she then goes on to say:” And that wound is still fresh” This implies to me that she is referring to an emotional wound of a romantic nature that occurred very recently.Physically he is healed fast from the interrogation, plus as an old vampire he can take a lot of pain. And in my view it doesn’t make any sense to me that Salome would be talking about his torcher regarding his “coldness” or Nora for that matter, as he knows she is not dead, at least not yet and is being kept alive for a reason.
Salome may have some physic ability on reading peoples emotions/picking up on certain things by their demeanor, who knows . We might get some information about this scene if there is a commentary to go with that episode in the dvd extras.
Hmm, some interesting readings of this scene. The main points of disagreement seem to be what Salome is referring to when she says Eric’s been hurt, and how much of a narcissist Salome is. I find myself agreeing with both “sides” on some points, and disagreeing on others. I believe Salome was referring BOTH to her earlier torture of him (physical and psychological) AND obliquely to Godric’s recent suicide. This is typical of Salome’s dialogue—almost every line she says has double meanings because she is, quite literally, a double agent.
She is the Sanguinista traitor at the Authority. When she questions Eric and Nora, she is playing a part. She knows she is being recorded (everyone at the AH is recorded all the time, ESPECIALLY when interrogating prisoners), so she tries to convey double meanings to them without being caught.
I doubt she knows about Sookie, because everything that happened with her was very recent and not widely known. Nan had just figured out Sookie was part-fae and come to the conclusion that was why Bill and Eric were both fixated on her (and in competition for her). But she only discovered this much at the rally when Sookie used her light power. She was in serious trouble with the Authority after that public debacle, and I don’t think she had yet reported these conclusions to her masters. They had just threatened to fire her, and she knew losing her job would probably mean the true death as well. I doubt she felt obligated to give them this info. Bill and Eric killed her before she reported anything about Sookie to the Authority (and I think that was one of the reasons she had to die—to prevent that info ever making it to the Authority).
But Godric’s death is widely known. Queen Sophie Anne offered Eric her sympathies at the end of season two. Nora’s later conversations with Eric at AH reveal that she knew a great deal about Godric’s final days, including his change of heart about humanity. Nora and Salome were in league; I’m sure Nora told Salome about Eric (her height comment subtly conveys this special knowledge). Salome knows that Eric loved and respected his maker with an almost religious devotion. She knows that Godric and Eric were once model vampires (for the Sanguinistas)—powerful, convinced of vampire superiority, and unconcerned with humanity. But Godric changed right before his death, and Salome has to wonder if Eric remained true to earlier Godric (and thus might be sympathetic and easy to convert, like Nora) or if he follows the new course set by Godric right before his suicide. That’s why she’s so interested in him. Bill, I think, is initially less interesting to her because he appears to be straightforwardly pro-human. His history as Nan’s spy, then her puppet king, would appear to confirm this. That’s why Salome ignores Bill when the two of them are brought in and focuses on Eric. She probably worked it so that she could interrogate Eric instead of Bill, too. What’s ironic is that after trying to seduce both of them, Salome realizes that Bill is more susceptible to conversion than Eric. Eric may be Nora’s brother and lover, and originally a perfect candidate for Sanguinista conversion, but he’s too independent to fall for Salome’s lures.
She fails to pierce Eric’s armor, and switches her focus to Bill. She doesn’t know that one of the reasons Eric is immune to Salome’s charms is Sookie. His experiences with her are subtly changing him throughout season 5. This isn’t a book, so we don’t get to see “inside” Eric, but gradually, over the entire season, what happened in season 4 is making itself felt. It’s fascinating to watch the slow changes in him, and realize the moments when he’s thinking of Sookie, and what happened when he stayed with her. He starts by trying to ignore what occurred, because she hurt him with her rejection. So he ignores her distress for a few seconds right before the Authority take him and Bill. Then he tries to use Nora to replace her and prove to himself it was just another sexual relationship (among thousands). I can see why he would try to deny what happened. It was so short (2-3 days) and he wasn’t himself. He’s trying to return to old Eric, and discovering it’s not that simple. He’s not that person any longer. Even without having Sookie, even without any promise he’ll ever have her again, he can’t be that person anymore. Godric and Sookie changed him permanently. By the end of the season, he’s stopped trying to fight it and he’s embraced these changes. Salome has long since given up converting Eric. Nora will get through to him, or they’ll put him to death, but either way, she’s turned to Bill as a far better candidate for conversion.
His narcissism and ambition make him easy to beguile. She does underestimate just how treacherous he can be. She thought she could convert him and he’d be loyal, but she doesn’t understand that loyalty is a foreign concept to Bill. He’s not capable of it.
Salome is narcissistic, as are almost all of us. But her narcissism pales beside that of Bill, for whom quite literally everything serves as a backdrop to his internal tragedy. Salome believed she was Chosen, but she understood that it meant giving up her autonomy and becoming part of Lilith. She WELCOMED that dissolution and rebirth, and fought to be the candidate for it. Bill did not understand what drinking all of the blood would do, as you can see by the stark fear and surprise on his face once he downs it. Being the chosen of the vampire god was simply a sop for his conscience—a way to escape his guilt and self-loathing—and a route to more power for Bill. He didn’t understand the deeper meaning because, as usual, it’s all about him. When Bill tells Salome that her narcissism is her fatal flaw, I think it’s once again a case of Bill’s criticism of someone else being far more aptly turned back on himself.
I agree with all of it, but I still think her “you’ve been hurt and the wound is fresh” has less to do with her, and more to do with Godric. She says it like she’s seeing into his soul — like she KNOWS something. It looks like magical insight because of what we know, and because it hits Eric very near the heart, but I can’t imagine she thinks his being “cold” is about her. His behaving coldly towards her has something to do with that, sure, but that’s something else altogether. She says it like it’s a facet of his character, like it’s who he is, and in that case, I think she’s not narcissistic enough to imagine that it’s all about her and the fact that she lied to him a few hours before.
Also, I think she’s wrong — he’s not cold. He’s running hot, emotionally. He’s good at hiding it, but he’s anything but cold. He just wants nothing to do with her. Again, that’s not the same thing.
1.01 “Strange Love” / 5.12 “Save Yourself”