- "Just because you understand the mechanics of how something works, does not make it any less of a miracle ... which is just another word for magic. We're all kept alive by magic, Sookie. My magic's just a little different from yours, that's all."
- ―Bill Compton, to Sookie Stackhouse[src]
Vampires are a supernatural species of sentient reanimated corpses that drink blood to survive and maintain their powers. They were originally humans or other living beings converted into a vampire by a "maker." Being technically deceased, their primary characteristics include a lack of a heartbeat, body heat, brainwaves, electrical impulses, need to breathe, and other bodily functions. They are often referred to as "immortal," but it is frequently pointed out that all vampires meet the true death eventually, through one means or another.
On the HBO original series True Blood, due to the creation of synthetic blood (Tru Blood), vampires have revealed themselves to the global population. As vampires are able to sustain themselves on synthetic blood instead of human blood, vampire representatives have assured the human population that vampires are no longer a threat to humanity. Vampires interact peacefully with humans and have largely succeeded in integrating themselves into human society. They retain their own laws and traditions, although the two communities come closer and closer together as the series progresses.
Reactions to vampires vary greatly. In parts of the world like Latin America and Iran, they are hunted and persecuted relentlessly. This caused many of them to flee for their safety to more tolerant countries, such as the United States. They are considered legal citizens within the United States, albeit with limited rights and tolerance. The vampire community, along with their sympathizers, continues to fight for equal vampire rights. On the other hand, many anti-vampire groups fight to deny them their rights or even advocate their extermination.
It is unknown exactly when vampires were created. According to the Vampire Bible, God created the first vampire, Lilith, followed by the creation of the first humans, Adam and Eve. They were said to have been created as sustenance for Lilith, but the truth of this statement is unknown. Members of human religious groups, such as the Fellowship of the Sun, have their own theories of the first vampire, including Jesus (who rose from the dead), Lazarus (who also rose from the dead), and Cain (the son of Adam and Eve, who committed the first murder). However, most humans from among the right-wing Christians believe that vampires were created by the Devil and that they have no souls. A common theory among vampires is that they "evolved" from humans.
Bill Compton has stated that, many centuries ago, vampires created many of the vampire myths themselves in order to protect themselves. For instance, since it was believed that vampires could not be seen in the mirror, a vampire could prove that they weren't a vampire by appearing in a mirror. Other myths include holy water, holy grounds (i.e. religious buildings and establishments), crucifixes, and photography (i.e. it is possible to take a photograph of a vampire), which have no actual effect on vampires. Vampires have fed off of other sentient beings (mainly humans), since their creation, but managed to cloak their existence, most likely through glamouring, and their secretive society.
In 1610, a powerful witch named Antonia Gavilán de Logroño cast a spell that summoned all vampires within a 20 mile radius to expose themselves to sunlight. This caused a number of vampires to die and caused vampires to be very fearful of necromancy.
In 2006, vampires revealed their existence to humans in an event referred to as "the Great Revelation", "coming out of the coffin" and "mainstreaming". During the revelation, vampires began claiming that vampirism did not indicate rising from the dead, but that it was a disease which makes vampires allergic to sunlight and alters their dietary needs.
By this time the vampire population is in the millions and still rising.
In 2008, vampire Stan Baker, along with other vampires under his command, orchestrated the murder of Reverend Theodore Newlin, his wife, and his daughter. Newlin was the head of The Fellowship of the Sun, a political anti-vampire church. He was succeeded by his son, Steve Newlin, who continued his father's work.
In 2010, vampire Russell Edgington ripped out the spine of TBBN newscaster Jerry McCafferty on live television, which increased prejudice and hate crimes towards vampires. In addition, Russell became the poster boy of the Sanguinista movement, sparking more conflict between humans and vampires.
In 2011, 400 years after the death of Antonia Gavilán de Logroño, a witch named Marnie Stonebrook summoned her spirit. Antonia used Marnie as a host to control her, and cast the same spell she cast in 1610. However, as the vampires had been warned of her intentions, only one vampire perished. Marnie mentions vampires being politically powerful throughout the centuries, writing propaganda on witches and exaggerating many of their myths.
In order to create a vampire, a human must be drained of their blood by a vampire and the blood lost needs to be replaced by some of the vampire's blood. The vampire and human must then sleep in the ground (this is presumably the point where they technically die) until the newborn rises as a vampire the following night. The newborn and the maker will subsequently have a maker-progeny bond, unless the maker deserts or releases their progeny.
Newborn vampires will be thirsty and will need to feed to survive. Although newborns have some control of their abilities, they are mostly controlled by their impulses and can cause serious harm and accidental deaths to humans around them. In addition, newborns cannot resist blood at all, as resistance develops with age.
A newborn's existence depends upon their abilities, which are taught to them by their maker. These abilities take time to learn and develop. As vampires age, they become more adept at controlling their abilities. According to Bill Compton, two-thirds of newborns die during their first year without the guidance of their makers.
Bond and Relationship between Maker and Progeny
A maker has a deep connection with his or her progeny, something that humans cannot fully understand or experience. During the transformation from human to vampire, the maker and soon-to-be progeny "share their essence" whilst buried in the ground, a supernatural process that not even vampires understand.
Maker-progeny relationships vary between individuals. Vampires Rosalyn Harris and Bill Compton treat their progeny like humans treat children, and have an exclusively parental relationship. On the other hand, vampires Lorena Krasiki and Russell Edgington create progeny to prolong romantic and sexual relationships, and have spousal relationships with their progeny.
Most vampires do not take becoming a maker lightly, as evidenced by Eric Northman, who has only produced two progeny in a millennia, and Bill Compton, who has produced one in 175 years. However, Pamela Swynford de Beaufort has admitted to creating a progeny out of curiosity, and Rosalyn Harris has created 204 progeny in 211 years. Eddie's maker turned him for the asking, though he did not take his responsibilities as a maker seriously and left Eddie to fend for himself.
A progeny may turn a vampire and become a maker themselves while still under the influence of their own maker. The grandparent/grandmaker has no control over the grandchild/grandprogeny.
A maker has a certain amount of control over their progeny due to the maker-progeny bond.
- Calling: a maker can "call" their progeny by saying their name out loud, causing the progeny to become aware their maker is calling out for them. The progeny experiences a shiver, and may be able to tell where their maker is.
- Commanding: a maker can force their progeny to do anything they want, as long as they say "as your maker, I command you", given that the progeny hasn't been released.
- Strength: as strength increases with age, most makers are stronger than their progeny. However, three vampires have slain their makers: Godric, Russell Edgington, and Macklyn Warlow.
- Empathic link: a maker can sense any pain or duress the progeny undergoes, and know when a progeny has died. It is unknown if a progeny can sense these in their maker.
- Releasing: if a maker says "as your maker, I release you", their progeny will be released from the maker-progeny bond, and cannot be controlled anymore. Following release, a maker can still call their progeny, but the progeny will not be compelled to answer the call.
Vampires are indistinguishable from humans, and appear as they did when they were turned, albeit with a paler complexion due to lack of blood flow. Also, they have fangs that usually extend and retract willingly, though they can be stimulated to unwillingly extend. Some other vampires' eyes also turn red, such as Liam McKnight, as he demonstrated that he can change his eye color into blood-red.
Vampires remain identical forever after they are turned. Due to this, vampires cannot lose or gain weight (as explained by Eddie Gauthier, who said that, due to lack of exercise and a bad diet as a human, he remained overweight as a vampire) ("I Don't Wanna Know"), or change their body in any way (for instance, Jessica Hamby was a virgin when she was turned, and, after having sex, her hymen grew back). They are supposed to "sleep" during the day, which means that they will be essentially dead until they are active again. Eric says "We're supposed to be dead during the day," and the sign on the door of Fantasia during daylight hours humorously reads "Sorry, we're dead."
Vampires are recognizable from their fangs, which are located behind the maxillary lateral incisors (as opposed to the canines, as per vampire mythology). Fangs can be extended and retracted by choice, and are controlled by the movements of certain facial muscles. However, fangs protrude automatically when vampires are feeding, angry, excited, sexually aroused (colloquially referred to as a "fang boner"), need to fight, or see blood. Fangs can also be removed, but grow back after three months. Without fangs, vampires cannot feed on live victims unless the victim is already wounded.
Due to the lack of blood flow, vampires do not have any bodily functions. Because of this, vampires do not produce waste, and are unable to become pregnant, impregnate female humans or supernatural creatures, and have lower body temperatures than humans.
Vampires have anatomically different tear ducts from humans, as they expel blood, not tears (blood is the only fluid that their bodies can produce.)
Although vampires do not need to breathe, most still do out of habit, to aid in speaking, and for a sense of smell.
Vampires are reliant on human blood or synthetic blood, as they cannot ingest normal food or drinks, nor supernatural blood (with the exception of faeries). The blood of near-human creatures like werewolves or shifters can also sustain them.
Synthetic blood is comprised of a varied cellular content, and comes in flavors (blood types) such as O, A, B and AB, in both positive and negative varieties. Although Tru Blood can sustain a vampire nutritionally, it does not satisfy the vampire's cravings. Because of this, many vampires opt to drink human blood. Allegedly, virgin and baby blood taste the best, and faerie blood is expressly sought out by vampires, being referred to as "catnip for vampires".
Most vampires prefer certain blood types (e.g. AB positive, B negative, etc.) but any blood type can sustain them.
If a vampire abstains from drinking blood, they will experience the "bleeds", during which the vampire will begin to bleed from their ears and nose. Lack of feeding also severely weakens them. In addition, vampires experience the bleeds if they do not sleep during the day. The bleeds stop when the vampire feeds or sleeps, depending on what caused the bleeds in the first place. If a vampire experiences the bleeds long enough, they will perish.
While vampires are unable to hold in anything but blood, they can experience joy in smoking cigars and cigarettes. Since their bodies heal any damage rapidly, smoking will not have any lasting effect on a vampire.
A vampire that has been incapacitated without the ability to feed will henceforth continue living, albeit in great constant suffering due to the lack of sustenance, and will eventually perish.
Vampire blood, or "V", is the life essence of vampires.
It is illegal to hold or ingest vampire blood due to its drug qualities, and, since the Great Revelation, there has been a growing black market for vampire blood. Some vampires are kidnapped by "Drainers," people who capture vampires and farm them for their blood. When a drainer has taken all the blood he/she can from a captured vampire or has no further use for them, they often kill their victim. Vampire blood is sold for $200–$600 per 1/4-ounce, and is ingested in small amounts (1-2 drops). If the blood is not fresh, it can be cut with aspirin to prevent it from coagulating, and to extend the high.
Vampire blood has the following effects on humans and supernatural creatures:
- Bonding: if the user drinks fresh blood from a vampire, a psychic and emotional bond is created. The human will become sexually attracted to and have sexual dreams about the vampire. The vampire, in turn, will be able to sense the location, emotions and state of the human.
- Enhanced abilities: the user will experience enhanced strength, senses, aggression, and libido, which will last as long as the blood is in their system.
- Drug qualities: the user may experience hallucinations, which vary from person to person (for instance, while Jesus Velasquez and Lafayette Reynolds experienced spiritual hallucinations, Jason Stackhouse and Amy Burley experienced more trip-like hallucinations).
- Healing: a human or supernatural creature that ingests vampire blood will be able to heal wounds at an accelerated rate.
- Withdrawal symptoms: if the user is addicted to vampire blood and stops ingesting it, they will experience withdrawal symptoms, which are similar to those of heroin withdrawal (such as tremors, cramps, muscle and bone pain, perspiration, tachycardia, etc).
In addition, if a human ingests an excess amount of vampire blood (i.e. more than 1-2 drops), the effects may persist longer than intended. For instance, after he drank a vial of vampire blood, Jason Stackhouse experienced sweating, exhaustion, and a persistent erection (which caused priapism), resulting in Tara Thornton taking him to the hospital.
Vampires are naturally predatory creatures, and are often far more violent and savage than their human appearance suggests. Although they can control themselves in a sophisticated and human-like manner, duress reduces them to a more feral state. For instance, threats or insults are met with hissing, growling, and baring their fangs.
Vampires are capable of human emotions, such as compassion, love, and self-control. However, vampire emotions are not as intense as human emotions, perhaps because of their infinite lifespans(Pam remarked that vampires learn to let go of cumbersome emotions because they will have to carry them for so much longer than a human would). Vampires also have a tendency to slip into nihilism and discard their sense of morality, especially in their younger years. Such moral bankruptcy is exhibited by Queen Sophie-Anne, Salome Agrippa, Russel Edgington and even Godric, in his early years. However, they are able to experience more powerful and diverse sensations than humans (although they cannot feel the sensation of coldness). Despite having themselves been humans originally, some vampires believe that their advanced senses to justify their brutality towards their prey; they consider themselves higher beings, entitled to do what they please with "lesser creatures." Not all vampires endorse this philosophy. Some vampires justify their actions by arguing "It's our nature." Some, such as Russel Edgington, don't bother to justify their actions at all and do as they please because they can. Others, such as James Kent, choose to remain peaceful and nonviolent even from an early age.
Despite their vicious and bloodthirsty nature, vampires appear to become more civilized with age, exhibiting greater emotional capacity and understanding of humans and other supernatural creatures. Age is often accompanied by personal evolution and a more sophisticated demeanor. For instance, Godric, who lived for +2,000 years, evolved from a brutal and savage vampire who believed humans were inferior to a wise, repentant, peaceful vampire who, shortly before choosing to end his life, stated that he believed co-existence between humans and vampires was possible. Additionally, Roman Zimojic stated that, when he was a young vampire, he was governed by bloodlust and impulses, but later evolved into a more decent being as he grew older.
However, age does not always bring this development. When +3,000 year old vampire Russell Edgington lost his progeny/husband of 700 years, Talbot Angelis, he began a murderous rampage that eventually ended in his death. Macklyn Warlow, who is older than both Russell and Godric, when faced with the prospect of Sookie going back on her word, threw a child-like temper tantrum, endangering the lives of Sookie and her friends, and his actions ultimately led to his demise. All vampires struggle to control their darker side, but, in many cases, their decency does prevail.
Vampires do not physically age, retaining their appearance after being turned. The only noticeable effects of aging are that they become physically stronger with age, and more vulnerable to sunlight. This leads many to call them "immortal" though this is not the case; they are still susceptible to death and do not live forever.
Powers and Abilities
The supernatural forces that sustain them beyond mortal death also endow them with immunity to aging, heightened senses, and superhuman abilities which make them physically superior to humans.
- Eidetic Memory - Vampires are said to possess perfect recall and to be unable to forget. Their minds are often called "vaults" in which they store all information permanently.
- Fangs - Vampires can grow fangs that they use to feed themselves, they might come out when a vampire is close to blood or angry. The bite of a vampire can sever the limbs of humans and other creatures.
- Flight - Some vampires have the ability to fly. It is suggested that older vampires can fly, while younger vampires can merely levitate. When Sookie Stackhouse asks Eric Northman if all vampires can fly, Eric responds "can all humans sing?", suggesting that not all vampires have this ability.
- Glamour - Vampires are able to "glamour" humans and a few of the more common supernatural creatures such as werewolves. Glamour is a form of hypnosis or mind compulsion, which requires vampires to make eye contact and use their voices to mentally compel the victim. Glamouring does not affect other vampires, powerful witches, maenads, halflings, ghosts or fairies. Excessive glamouring can have a negative effect on the mental stability of a victim. Glamouring is not an innate ability, as it needs to be taught and practiced. Vampires can glamour at least two humans at the same time, as both Jessica Hamby and Eric Northman have been seen to do so. There are ways to shield against glamouring.
- Healing Factor - Vampires have an accelerated healing factor. They are able to heal all types of wounds, including open wounds, massive burns and tissue damage. If an injury is severe, vampires need human blood to initiate the healing process. They are also immune to most diseases, with the exceptions of Hepatitis D and V.
- Superhuman Endurance - Vampires are much more resilient to harm and physical trauma than human beings, allowing vampires to receive extreme trauma and still continue to function. A vampire's tremendous endurance allows them to fight with other vampires without being crippled by the immense force of their attacks, as well as allowing them to sustain blows from humans without even flinching.
- Heightened Senses - Vampires possess tremendously heightened senses, well beyond any human being, this allows them to see, hear and smell with greater range and clarity. Vampires are nocturnal creatures, adapting all of their senses to far greater range, allowing them to see with perfect clarity even when in complete darkness.
- Superhuman Speed - Vampires are the fastest-moving of supernatural creatures. They are able to move much faster than humans and are perceived as a blur by non-vampire eyes. Vampires themselves however, are able to perceive this movement. Their vision and reflexes are accelerated like their movement, as shown when Eric Northman was able to perceive a speeding bullet in slow motion, and himself in normal motion while moving at superhuman speed. Speed, just like strength, advances with age, as older vampires are significantly faster than younger vampires. In addition, vampires have heightened reflexes, but, in most cases, are not fast enough to dodge bullets.
- Superhuman Strength - Vampires are noticeably physically stronger than humans, werewolves and shapeshifters. They slowly grow stronger with age and experience; older vampires can subdue younger ones with minimal to no effort. Feats of their strength include being able to support the weight of a whole car or dismember grown men in the case of younger vampires, or uprooting trees and flipping mobile homes over in the case of older vampires. Even newborn vampires generally have the advantage of physical strength when in direct hand-to-hand combat with a human; able to single-handedly lift a grown man off the ground and hurl him across a room.
- Voice Imitation - Some vampires are able to imitate voices; for instance, Bill Compton has been shown to be able to imitate Eric Northman, while Eric himself has been able to mimic the voice of a guard at Governor Burrell's Vamp Camp. Only a few of the more aged vampires have demonstrated this ability. It is unknown if the any younger vampires possess it.
- Advanced Vampiric Abilities - The powers of Lilith, either because of age or other factors were far more developed than in normal vampires. After consuming the blood of Lilith, Bill's strength has increased to such an extent that he was able to easily overpower a 1,000 + year old vampire like Eric and easily manhandled a weakened Warlow (who is over 5,500 years old). In addition, much earlier, an apparition of Lilith was able to surprise Godric and rip off his head.
- Advanced Progeny Calling: This call is much more powerful than normal and may cause the progeny to vomit blood and suffer from acute chest pains if not responded to.
- Astral Projection: The spirit of Lilith can manifest herself physically; even after her true death. Lilith can also project her consciousness into the minds of those who consume her blood. Bill is also capable of astral projection, if almost completely drained of his blood Bill may appear on the astral plane where he currently resides Lilith.
- Blood abilities: The blood of Lilith can affect other vampires in the same way that if affects humans, causing euphoria, increased thirst of blood, and allowing the spirit of Lilith to connect with the consumer.
- Glamour Advanced - The sirens have demonstrated the power to put a person in a state somewhat hypnotic.
- Haemokinesis - Lilith, the Sirens and only to a lesser extent, Bill can be covered with the blood and also make the blood dissipate at will. Lilith also seems to have control over her blood, even after she died the true death. During his "coma", Bill was able to drink all the blood of a donor simply making travel from the body up to its mouth.
- Intangibility / Invisibility - The sirens and Lilith are intangible and invisible to normal vampires.
- Longer Fangs - Lilith's, the sirens' and Bill's fangs are longer and sharper than those of a normal vampires.
- Precognition - Bill had acquired clairvoyance and now has the ability to perceive the future and was capable of Panempathy with all the vampires in the world. As he states that he can feel their "pain".
- Self-Control - Both Lilith and Bill have been shown to maintain an enormous degree of self-control in the presence of faeries and Halflings, which is highly impressive as the scent of Faerie blood is highly appealing to vampires.
- Species Detection - Bill could determine the species of an individual with the view and not just smell, he could view the luminescence emitting from Sookie's mouth whilst she spoke.
- Stake, Fire & Invitation Immunity - Bill was immune to fire and survived a direct stake to the heart without too much damage. Bill can also enter the house of human beings without an invitation. Bill is also supposedly immune to silver but is still vulnerable to sunlight.
- Telekinesis - Bill could freeze and move objects with his mind. His power was so powerful it could even shake a whole house.
- Teleportation: While on the astral plane Lilith and the sirens have demonstrated the ability to appear and disappear in a cloud of blood.
Vampires have a number of weaknesses, which range from irritating to fatal (it should be noted that the death of a vampire is referred to as the "true death").
- Decapitation: If the head of a vampire is severed completely, the vampire will perish. Breaking the neck of a vampire only causes mild discomfort.
- Entry to homes: Vampires cannot enter private human homes unless they are invited in by the owner of the house. Vampires do not need to be invited into public places (such as bars or restaurants). Humans can rescind their invitations from vampires, which causes the vampire to immediately leave the house. Vampires can get around this by glamouring a person into inviting them in (provided the inhabitant makes eye-contact or isn't otherwise immune to glamouring). Ancient vampires might not be subjected to this weakness, suggested by Bill who drank Lilith's whole remaining blood and Warlow that has never been invited to Sookie's house. The death of the human owner of a residence allows any vampire to enter even without an invitation.
- Excess blood: If a vampire drinks too much blood, they will display alcohol intoxication-like qualities (such as euphoria, confusion, stupor, etc).
- Exsanguination: If a vampire is completely drained of their blood, they can become comatose, and eventually perish.
- Fire: Vampires can heal from burns, if given time and blood. However, if a vampire cannot take the time to heal from the burns, the vampire will die.
- Garlic: Garlic is "irritating" to vampires. Likely vampires find the smell of garlic annoying due to their acute senses.
- Hepatitis D: A virus that can be transmitted through blood that weakens vampires for about a month.
- Hepatitis V: A new strain of the hepatitis disease that can be spread to them via sexual contact, ingestion, and injection. Once in the vampire's system, the vampire will begin to weaken and eventually die slowly and painfully.
- Maenad blood: If a vampire drinks maenad blood, they will begin to choke and vomit.
- Magic: Vampires have no particular resistance to the effects of magic
- Necromancy: due to the fact that they are technically dead, vampires are particularly vulnerable to necromancy. This form of magic can be used to influence, destroy or control them. Fearing the power practitioners can wield, vampires have been persecuting necromancers for centuries.
- Silver: Any contact with silver will burn and melt the surface of the vampire it touches. Contact with silver also severely weakens them and drains their strength. Silver is the most common way of binding or incapacitating vampires.
- Sleep or blood deprivation: If a vampire does not sleep during the day, or does not feed for a period of time, they will experience the "bleeds". The bleeds refer to vampires bleeding from their ears and noses. It is unknown if a vampire can meen the true death from a lack of blood as one of the Magister's sentences for crimes was to imprison a vampire in a coffin for five years, indicating that they can atleast endure without blood for a few years. Jessica was able to go months without feeding and only suffered from diminished powers such as a lack of healing.
- Sunlight: Vampires cannot endure ultra-violet light in any form. If a vampire comes into contact with sunlight, their skin will burn and they will be severely weakened, and, eventually, burst into flames and perish. The older a vampire is, the quicker they will burn; when Godric walked into sunlight, he perished in about 30 seconds, while Bill Compton was just severely charred after 3 minutes. UV light burns heal more slowly than regular burns, such as those inflicted by fire. This is perhaps their greatest weakness, as it renders them helpless twelve hours of the day. It is during daytime that they are most vulnerable.
- Wood: Vampires are susceptible to wood and wooden objects, including stakes and wooden bullets. If the heart of a vampire is pierced with a wooden object, the vampire will explode, and leave a mass of blood where they were previously standing. Certain very unusual and ancient vampires can become possibly immune to staking, as seen when Sookie staked Bill, who was able to remove the stake without meeting the true death. If so, the age of a vampire rendered immune to staking is unusually ancient, as neither Russell nor Warlow were immune, though they were respectively 2,800 to 5,500 years old.
Vampires can achieve a temporary invulnerability to at least some of their weaknesses consuming the blood of a Faerie. These enhancements last much longer, if they ingest the blood of a faerie-vampire hybrid.
Depending on the amount of blood consumed, vampires grow immune to their weakness to sunlight after drinking fairy blood. The effects last shortly, however, and the pureness of the blood is a factor too; after drinking a hybrid's blood, Russell Edgington burned in the sun quite shortly afterwards (though the blood did prevent him from bursting into blue flames like Godric), while Eric Northman spent at least an hour in the sun after completely draining a full-blooded faerie.
Russell Edgington has been shown to be able to resist for a short time at the stakeout after drinking the blood of Fairy. At first his wounds begin to expel a bright light, because of the blood Faerie, shocking everyone including Russell, who thinks the fairy blood would allow him to survive. However, in light of the fairies expulsion from him soon wears off and proceed to decompose and implodes meeting the true death. It is further to be doubted that Faerie blood renders a vampire immune to staking when even Warlow, a vampire over 2,600 years older and Faerie-vampire was not able to resist the staking.
Also, when a vampire has drunk the blood of a fairy, become immune to the magic of the fairies including photokinesis and are able to see them when transmitting invisible.
Blood of a Faerie-vampire will allow a vampire to walk the sun indefinitely. The effect of faerie-vampire blood disappears immediately upon the death of the source, regardless of distance. It is marked both by a tremor and a visible light expulsion effect, when it occurs.
Vampires have their own governmental system.
- The Authority: They highest ranking governmental body is The Authority, which has existed for several centuries and oversees all vampires. All vampires, regardless of age, must respect the Authority.
- Magisters: Magisters give rulings directly under the Authority. They rule over entire continents.
- Vampire monarch: Directly under the Magister are the vampire Kings and Queens. Vampire Territories are divided into kingdoms and queendoms, which are ruled by a king or a queen, or both. Each kingdom or queendom is furthermore split into areas.
- Vampire Sheriff: Vampire kingdoms are divided into smaller territories called area's. These areas are each overseen by a Sheriff. A sheriff is mostly the oldest and most powerful vampire in the area. His/her duties include maintaining order among the regular vampires and reporting back to the monarch.
- Nests: Within areas, vampires can arrange themselves into nests, in which a group of vampires live together. The hierarchy of a vampire nest follows by age. Ranging from oldest to youngest.
Within vampire communities, most vampires live in harmony, and racism and homophobia are virtually non-existent.
Some humans display bigoted and racist attitudes towards vampires due to fear and/or prejudice. Others support the Vampire Rights Amendment (which campaigns for equal rights between humans and vampires).
Since the Great Revelation, vampires have been trying to influence human politics through organizations such as the American Vampire League, in order to campaign for equal rights, such as vampire-human marriage.
Vampires have been shown to be tolerated by the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the majority of MED countries. However, vampires are hunted in the majority of Islamic and South American countries, and most African countries refuse to acknowledge the existence of vampires.
Vampires maintain differing opinions concerning humans. The Authority and the American Vampire League aim for mainstreaming. While some vampires agree that humans and vampires should be equals, others believe that they are above humans. "Mainstreamers" is the name for vampires that support equality and peaceful interaction between the two races. The Sanguinista movement is opposed to mainstreaming and supports the belief that vampires should dominate humans.
Nonetheless, in many cases, vampires engage in relationships with humans, in which vampires claim a human as who wants protection, or whom they care about. The human sustains the vampire in return. The vampire identifies the human as "theirs", and this claim forbids other vampires from harming the human. A vampire can only claim one human, and a human cannot be claimed by multiple vampires at the same time. Some vampires also engage with humans in relationships that are indistinguishable from those held between humans, such as marriage or romantic relationships. This sort of relationship is a recent development, and has only come into existence after the end of the Great Revelation. Vampire groupies, or people who have sex with and are willingly fed upon by vampires, are referred to as "fang bangers", which is viewed as a derogatory term used by humans.
Since the Great Revelation, vampires have moved to take their place in human society. They hold all sorts of jobs and pay taxes. Human law does protect vampires, but they do not yet have full rights. American pro-vampire lobbyists strive to get the Vampire Rights Amendment(VRA) passed by the government. This would grant vampires full rights as American citizens. It is later mentioned that the VRA did not pass, due to the influence of Governor Truman Burrell
Vampires dislike shapeshifters and werewolves. They are accepting of practicing witches, but do not tolerate necromancy, as this is a possible threat to them. They do the best they can to stamp out necromancy whenever possible. Vampires find faeries irresistible because the smell of their blood is extremely enticing to them.
The majority of Vampires does not know about the existence of Maenads. This is shown when neither Bill nor Eric knew what Maryann Forrester was and had to seek Queen Sophie Anne`s assistance. Sophie Anne only knew about Maenads due to a book she had. It can be assumed that Vampires are not too fond of Maenads as their black blood is poisonous.
Vampires live according to the laws of the Authority. Magisters, kings and queens however, can declare edicts and create new laws. Laws among vampires include:
- Prohibition of murdering another vampire.
- Prohibition of the sale of vampire blood.
- Prohibition of feeding from another vampire's human (punished by fang removal).
- Prohibition of theft of wealth, real estate, or other property (including humans) from other vampires.
- When a vampire enters or departs an area, the vampire is required to make this known to the sheriff of the area.
- Makers are responsible for the actions of their progeny.
Vampires also have laws regarding humans. These are recognized by human systems, but are sometimes ignored due to anti-vampire prejudice. These Laws include.
- Prohibition of dealing or selling vampire blood.
- Prohibition of draining a vampire.
- Prohibition of kidnapping a vampire.
- Prohibition of murdering a vampire.
Punishments, due to violations, are administered by the Authority, Magisters, kings, queens or sheriffs, depending on the seriousness of the crime. There are set punishments for crimes, but a Magister can change the punishment if they wish. For instance, when Bill Compton killed Longshadow, the set punishment was five years in a coffin encased with silver. However, as the Magister was intrigued by the case (as Bill killed in order to protect Sookie Stackhouse, a presumed human), he decided that Bill had to create another vampire, Jessica Hamby, to replace the vampire he killed.
A Faerie-vampire is a combination of a vampire and a faerie which has both traits and also have both abilities. These type of hybrid are created when a faerie is turned into a vampire. They will become a hybrid with the unified powers of both faeries and vampires, making them possibly one of the most powerful supernatural species on the show.
Infected Vampires is the term that the writers have used to describe the vampires who have survived being infected with Hepatitis V. In addition to having some physical characteristics slightly different from normal vampires, vampires infected have a greater thirst for blood and their attitude is more animalistic than other vampires.
|Lilith||8,000+||Destroyed||The First Vampire|
|Sirens||Unknown (ancient)||Undead|| Lilith's "progeny"
Guide to the heir of Lilith
|Macklyn Warlow||5,541||Destroyed|| Lilith's progeny
The only faerie-vampire in existence
|Russell Edgington||2,850+||Destroyed||King of Mississippi and Louisiana|
|Godric||2,000+||Destroyed||Vampire sheriff of Area 9, Dallas|
|Remus||2,000+||Destroyed||General of holy roman empire|
|Salome Agrippa||1,995||Destroyed|| Guardian of the Authority
Chancellor of the Authority
|Eric Northman||1,100+||Undead||Vampire sheriff of Area 5, Louisiana|
|Nan Flanagan||816||Destroyed||American Vampire League Spokeswoman|
|Violet Mazurski||800+||Destroyed||Louisiana vampire|
|Talbot Angelis||700+||Destroyed||Royal Consort of Russell Edgington|
|Jorge Alonso de San Diego||546||Destroyed||Magister of North America|
|Sophie-Anne Leclerq||525||Destroyed||Queen of Louisiana and Mississippi|
|Kibwe Akinjide||520+||Destroyed||Chancellor of the Authority|
|Roman Zimojic||500||Destroyed||Guardian of the Authority|
|Luis Patiño||460+||Destroyed||Vampire sheriff of Area 3, Louisiana|
|Isabel Beaumont||457||Undead||Lieutenant to Godric|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Pao G.||at last 400 years old||Undead||Professional Fighter|
|Nora Gainesborough||350+||Destroyed||Chancellor of the Authority|
|Stan Baker||300||Destroyed||Lieutenant to Godric|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Istvan||237+||Undead||Maker of Lorena|
|Lorena Krasiki||251||Destroyed||Louisiana vampire|
|Malcolm Beaumarchais||248||Destroyed||Louisiana nest Leader|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Collette||At least 239 years old||Undead||Maker of Dieter|
|Dieter Braun||239||Destroyed||Chancellor of the Authority|
|Rosalyn Harris||210||Destroyed||Chancellor of the Authority|
|Luisa Ella Prescott||208||Undead||Tribunal Enforcer|
|Elijah Stormer||200 +||Destroyed||Vampire sheriff of Area 5, Louisiana|
|Louis Pasteur||186||Undead||Tru Blood creator|
|Beulah Carter||175+||Destroyed||Louisiana vampire|
|Bill Compton||175||Destroyed|| King of Louisiana
Lilith's Heir (Former)
|Chow Lin||149||Undead||Louisiana vampire|
|Pamela Swynford De Beaufort||142||Undead||Louisiana vampire|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Colin||137||Presumably destroyed||Louisiana vampire|
|Diane Hardwicke||104||Destroyed||Louisiana vampire|
|Alexander Drew||100||Destroyed||Chancellor of the Authority|
|Molly||100||Destroyed||Minion of The Authority|
|Kirsch||94||Destroyed||Vampire sheriff of Area 1, Louisiana|
|Franklin Mott||94||Destroyed||Private investigator|
|Duprez||89||Destroyed||Vampire sheriff of Area 2, Louisiana|
|Blackburn||82||Destroyed||Vampire sheriff of Area 4, Louisiana|
|James||40+ (20 as a vampire)||Undead||Louisiana vampire|
|Chelsea||Unknown||Destroyed||Receptionist to the Authority|
|Liam McKnight||49 (21 as vampire)||Destroyed||Louisiana vampire|
|Wayne Bosen||60 (13 as vampire)||Undead||Louisiana vampire|
|Julie Watney||25 (6 as vampire)||Undead||Face of the "Festival of Tolerance"|
|Eddie Fournier||40+ (2 as vampire)||Destroyed||Louisiana vampire|
|Jessica Hamby||18 (2 as vampire)||Undead||Louisiana vampire|
|Steve Newlin||31 (4 Months as vampire)||Destroyed||American Vampire League Spokesman|
|Tara Thornton||27 (<1 as vampire)||Destroyed||Louisiana vampire|
|Mike Spencer||40+ (<1 as vampire)||Destroyed||Louisiana vampire|
|Willa Burrell||20+ (6 months as vampire)||Undead||Louisiana vampire|
|Taryn O’Malley||Unknown||Undead||Louisiana vampire|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Cody||Unknown||Undead||Progeny of Julie Watney|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Lola Farechild||Unknown||Deceased||New York vampire|
|Christopher Selivan||Unknown||Undead||Member of AVL|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Irving Young||Unknown||Undead||vampire businessman|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Baphomet||presumably ancient||Undead||ancient vampire|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Azera||presumably ancient||Undead||ancient vampire|
|Vampire Hank||Unknown||Undead||Louisiana vampire|
|Nigel Beckford||Unknown||Undead||Louisiana vampire|
|Hayes||Unknown||Destroyed||Underling of the authority|
|Cat Ingerslev||Unknown||Destroyed||Sanguinista vampire|
|Troy||Unknown||Destroyed||Hep V vampire|
|Ronnie||Unknown||Destroyed||Hep V vampire|
|Betty Harris||40+ (1+ as vampire)||Destroyed||Hep V vampire|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Michael||Unknown||Destroyed||Hep V vampire|
|Amber Mills||Unknown||Destroyed||Hep V vampire|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Amanda||Unknown||Destroyed||Hep V vampire|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Richard||Unknown||Destroyed||Hep V vampire|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Collin||Unknown||Destroyed||Hep V vampire|
|[[File:|left|150px]]||Juliette||Unknown||Unknown||Hep V vampire|
- Vampires can become ghosts or spirits, as demonstrated by Godric.
- Vampires possess many of the abilities of mythological vampires.
- If a vampire becomes a spirit, he\she will still have their vampire powers.
- Vampires enjoy stalking and playing with their victims before biting and drinking their blood.
- Vampires are excellent predators, as they can hunt their victims, while remaining invisible.
- Vampires are not theriomorphic, which means they cannot alter their bodies. They can therefore not turn into bats (unless perhaps they are a shifter that had been turned).
- Unlike the classic legends a vampire society has been set up, with a code of conduct that provides its members with a greater chance of survival than if they were alone.
- Vampires are infertile, i.e. not able to have children.
- Aside from humans, some if not all supernaturals can be turned. This has been demonstrated by the vampire-faerie hybrid Macklyn Warlow. Although other vampiric hybrids have never been seen in the course of the series, in the early episodes Bill tells Sookie that some vampires can change their shape. These vampires are likely shapeshifters or weres that have been turned by vampires. Jessica was also confident that she could turn Alcide when the latter was hit with multiple gunshots, thereby adding credence to the idea that other supernaturals besides faeries can be turned into vampires.
- Vampires have no working nervous system, brain waves, heartbeat or "living" bodily activities - all of the vampire's life force is found in the blood, which is said by Bill to regulate all the vampire's bodily functions. Macklyn Warlow is the only exception to this feature of vampires, because of his half faerie heritage. A vampire's blood may even be where the vampire's consciousness is found, as one who ingests V can feel the consciousness of the vampire the blood came from and Lilith's consciousness was still stored in her blood even though she'd been dead for over five millennia.