She can read minds, sling beers and toss back shots with werewolves. Not to mention work a pair of short-shorts across two states. No wonder True Blood's Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is the dream girl for three guys who put the super in supernatural.
So far she's been loyal to her first love, Civil War-era vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), but a heartrending breach of trust will soon tear the two apart, leaving an opening for calculating Viking bloodsucker Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) and sensitive werewolf bodyguard Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello).
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"It will shake the very core of their relationship," says executive producer Alan Ball of the shocking incident that wounds the couple in Season 3. "Bill and Sookie's love for each other is authentic and they want to make it work. But it might get harder and harder."
Sookie's love life is a huge reason viewers are sucking up True Blood by the gallon. The Emmy-nominated drama, based on the best-selling book series by Charlaine Harris, is HBO's biggest hit since The Sopranos. Set in backwater Bon Temps, La., and surrounds, it's a Southern Gothic gumbo of hot sex, deep love and vampire politics, with enough story lines to choke a gator.
But underneath it all is the battle for Sookie's heart that's been raging since Season 1. Fans have chosen sides, and it's on for Team Bill versus Team Eric (unofficial team T-shirts are available online), with new rival Alcide now running as a dark horse, er, wolf.
Team Bill diehards held their breath in the Season 2 finale when Bill was kidnapped just after proposing to Sookie. This season kicked off with Bill being hauled away by werewolves working for vampire king of Mississippi Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare). Sookie's search for her intended landed her in Russell's clutches, too, and she might have died along the way if not for Alcide's protection. Add to that the conniving Eric; Bill's maker and ex, Lorena (Mariana Kleveno), who's said she'd like to wear Sookie's rib cage as a hat; the dangerous vampire queen Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood); and you've got one bloody mess.
Still, Moyer (Paquin's real-life fiancé) believes that, when it comes to true love, all the mayhem is manageable. "I can't get into slinging matches about who's better for Sookie because it's just ridiculous," he laughs. "Bill is for Sookie, the love of her life."
Moyer makes a good case for why on a moonless night in an outdoor scene that will air in the Aug. 8 episode. We won't reveal too much, but we will say he's ready to fight Russell, who has put Bill's progeny, teenage vamp Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), in danger. Bill's all passion and protectiveness, and definitely someone you want in your corner — or any room of the house. Score one for Team Bill.
But during the escape from Russell's mansion that eventually leads to this moment, Moyer hints, "Sookie does something we haven't seen her do yet for Bill. It being the roller-coaster ride that their relationship is, something happens immediately that makes things go awry."
For more on the other men in Sookie's life, including bad boy vamp Eric and hot werewolf Alcide, pick up this week's issue of TV GUIDE MAGAZINE, on newsstands Thursday, July 29!