Glamour is a supernatural form of mental compulsion or influence that is specific to vampires. Glamouring is similar to hypnosis, and while all vampires have this power, it needs to be taught as it does not appear to come naturally. Furthermore, vampires can influence the minds of almost every humanoid species, including humans, shapeshifters and more. On the HBO original series True Blood, glamouring is one of the most popular powers used among vampires as it commonly used to influence the actions, thoughts and memories of others.
The process of glamouring begins with eye contact between a vampire and a respondent. Once eye contact is made, the respondent is held in a trance, making them susceptible to the power of suggestion, until the glamour session is ended. Based on the examples in the television series, verbal commands seem to be necessary. It is sometimes possible for the victim to look away if they quickly realize they are being glamoured.
A respondent enters a trance-like state, becoming highly susceptible to suggestions and commands, but can respond to questions at will, as they are still semi-conscious. The respondent is still at least partially conscious and can even show resistance to the suggestions. Most vampires try to use persuasive dialogue while glamouring to facilitate the process. Glamouring can be avoided by avoiding eye contact with the vampire. According the author Charlaine Harris, the vampires in the novels (which are similar, but not identical to vampires on the show), cannot permanently glamour someone. With the exception of memory alterations, the effects of glamouring almost always wear off overtime. Whether or not the same rules apply for the show remain unknown.
In Season 6, it is revealed that specialized contact lenses that shield against glamouring have become available for sale at pharmacies, particularly Walgreens. ("The Sun") Given this recent development, it is likely that, a large portion of the human population now employs them, as access to them is universal.
- Faeries, Halflings, and vampires themselves cannot be glamoured. ("The First Taste")
- Mediums who are possessed by external spirits also cannot be glamoured. ("Spellbound")
- Ghosts and other dead creatures cannot be glamoured.
Behind the Scenes
- Many, but not all, vampire lore includes some form of hypnosis, which was popularized by Dracula.
- "Glamour" is a term often used in fantasy fiction, but it usually refers to some form of illusion to disguise one's physical appearance.
- Glamouring in True Blood is always accompanied by a distinctive leitmotif.
- In the novels, the effects of glamouring are strictly temporary (with the exception of memory loss). Whether the exact same rules apply to the television series is never made clear, but there do not appear to be any "renfields" or permanent slaves in the true blood universe and it is never used to cause someone to fall in love or enter a romantic relationship, even when it would be very convenient for the vampire. This may indicate that these two effects are beyond its reach.
- Fairies have the power to override a vampire's influence and undo its effects on memories. This has been proven on a number of occasions where Sookie Stackhouse has used her telepathy to restore memories that have been lost due to glamouring.
- In Season 5, Eric glamours Alcide to stay away from Sookie. However, Sookie is able to undo the glamouring effects and use her telepathy to rejuvenate his memories. Later, in Season 7, Alcide and Sookie are seen together as a couple, much to Eric's dismay.