I find myself this evening thinking of Bill Compton, the one from the books, the show and from the fan fiction world.
I think this is because so many folks out there are chanting for his blood for the spoilers we have seen of Season 7 and because I have seen so many people comment to me personally or to each other that they want Bill to suffer.
The end result is that I started to wonder, does everybody hate Bill?
I ask that seriously, and with some fear as I know I am (and am grateful to be) in the heart of Viking land. I am 100% Viking/Askars all the way and have written enough E/S stuff to hide behind if anyone decides to throw things at me :).
That said, I went to FF and searched M rated stories for Bill/Sookie and found a whopping total of 36, yes 36, and most of those were Bill/Sookie/Eric stories where he causes problems between Bill and Sookie by being his sexy Viking self.
Still, 36. That’s it, that’s all. Then I searched word press to see if anyone had devoted their sites to him and Sookie and I came up with nothing, though perhaps being a noob I did it wrong and there are some out there that I missed.
I have listened to many folks rant about how CH and AB could ignore what their fans want and wondered, if in fairness, that maybe not ALL the fans wanted what I wanted, but 36 stories tells me that they are ignoring their fans…totally.
That is so damned strange. Seriously.
I talked to a friend of mine who I introduced to True Blood last year and he suggested that it was a tactic to keep the viewers and the readers coming back for more. I told him that didn’t make any sense because there are legions of fans out there who devote their time and energy into reading or writing fan fiction about the Viking, and they keep coming back for more.
Ergo, it’s not possible to have too much of a tall sexy Swedish thing.
I will confess that I am absolutely in love with Eric Northman, and have been since I first saw him a year ago now when I was on vacation and purchased True Blood season 1-5 as a birthday gift to myself. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! I will also confess that Alexander Skarsgard is breath taking to me. Can’t get enough of either one, and the two together are like peanut butter and jelly.
But what purpose does Bill serve in these stories? He is a literary tool used for damaging the heroine just enough that she can’t open herself up to Eric. He is a foil for Eric, someone that Eric can show his dark side with, and also his decent side (think junkyard scene Season 1 when he tell the Magister that Compton listens to him when it is important). He is a lover who introduces Sookie to the world of vampires, but really to me, all that still just makes him a literary tool.
I read that Charlaine Harris wanted to kill him in the 8th or 9th book and her editor talked her out of it. Something about how it would help the tension of who she was going to wind up with if she had more options, rather than less. So, in her true heart, even she had no use for him, either, despite the blow job she gave Ball in the final book where she makes Bill King of Louisiana.
To me, there is even more weirdness in the fact that while Ball seems to be a fan, given how he has used the character there is some serious tongue in cheek there, too. He may have made Sookie a total vapid head case to keep her on his leash but if you look at some of the stuff his True Blood self has done, even Ball only likes him so much and is using him as a tool.
I keep coming back to Bill Compton being a tool. I sense a theme here.
Ball made him an even bigger liar than Harris did at the beginning of Season 4 when we found out that despite betraying Sookie for Sophie Anne, he had really been betraying Sophie Ann for Nan and The Authority. Tool.
Then he, gravitating to power and caving to self loathing, embraced Lilith and took out the entire Authority to be her butt boy. Tool.
His reign as the King of Louisiana was short and unimpressive and best summed up by his petulant response to Sookie in her dream in Season 4. “I am the King of Louisiana, I do not share!” Tool.
And then of course his spectacular betrayal of Eric in Season 5 and that total immersion into douchebaggery with his speech to Sookie in the last episode where he quotes scripture and tells her what he really thought of her all along.
Remember in Season 4 when he was talking to Jessica about the witches who wanted to burn all vampires?
“Since when has any fanatic been held back by the improbability of their righteous mission?”
It might come down to every Rhett needs an Ashley, and that he was there to make it obvious who the best man was, and how foolish she was for passing over her Rhett for dipshit Ashley.
On the surface it would seem that Ball loved him, and this new show runner can’t bring it back out of the ditch after five seasons in, but his love was harsh.
In Season 3 I didn’t like him but I had empathy for a character who was sent with no choice to seduce Sookie, not knowing he was going to fall in love. He was an asshole, sure, but I have found myself in positions where the middle changed and I was left feeling like an asshole at the end. I could empathize. Being hamstrung sucks even when you are an asshole.
I have no empathy for tools.
When I really think about all this it doesn’t make sense, in any way shape or form. Then I remember something I read once about Charlaine Harris. She said something to the tune of that she created Sookie, made her as dumb as possible and gave her the worst thing she could think of, the ability to know the thoughts of everyone around her.
When I remember that, Sookie’s choices, all of them, make perfect sense in her books, because she always did the dumbest fucking thing she could possibly do, every time. That gives me some peace about the books, at least in understanding why she didn’t end of up with Eric.
As for Bill in the show, the only thing I know for sure is that he is not a lover, and not a foil so much as just a tool that is used in the worst way possible by his creators, directors, and writers.
I should have more empathy, but again, I have none for tools.