Alan Ball

After five deliriously bloody seasons, True Blood's creator and showrunner Alan Ball is departing. (He's currently exec producing the "noir" thriller Banshee for Cinemax). But first, Ball answers some finale burning questions — and offers some thoughts on next season.

TV Guide Magazine: Are you satisfied with where you're leaving the characters of Bon Temps as you hand your showrunning duties over to Mark Hudis?
Alan Ball: I am. I was very happy with this season. The last thing you want to do with a show that lives as long as this one is to repeat yourself. I don't think we did. I really liked seeing a secular vampire government being taken over by crazy fundamentalists. I'm not saying that there are parallels in our own human world. [Laughs]

TV Guide Magazine: Much of last year, and particularly the finale, really severed the connection to Charlaine Harris' books.
Ball: It's something organic that happens. You can't just transcribe the books. That said, there's some stuff in the later books that I think later seasons of the show will address. But we did go on our own little path this year.

TV Guide Magazine: Let's answer some burning questions left by the finale. First, what the heck is Bill or "Bilith" as some call him? An evil god? A demon?
Ball: We don't know! Honestly, we didn't know what Lilith was. Just because the fundamentalists called her "God," that doesn't mean she was. On our show, there's room for all kinds of supernatural creatures. We do know that Bill had some kind of major transformation into a deeper supernatural being. The question for me is has he lost his humanity entirely or will it just have to fight harder to come out. That's certainly something that the writers are talking about for next year

TV Guide Magazine: Is Bill still planning to use humans as a food source?
Ball: That will be his story in Season 6. Is he going to come up with his own master plan? What kind of battle will the humans wage against him?

TV Guide Magazine: Bill's been such a monster. Can he really come back?
Ball: My own belief is that people can come back from anything. It doesn't mean that it won't come at a huge cost. But I'm interested in a Bill who is really evil. Because after almost five seasons of a Bill who was "I hate that I'm a vampire, I'm so nice," it was time to make him really go dark and  see what that does to everybody else.

TV Guide Magazine: Will Sookie fight to rescue Bill?
Ball: It could be that or it could also be that Sookie is trying to save herself from him.

TV Guide Magazine: Season 5 had a lot more gore than lust. Lots of fans missed the Bill, Sookie and Eric triangle. Will we see that again?
Ball: I don't think that that central triangle has gone away. Anna [Paquin] was like 'I've played three seasons of falling in love with people." I agreed and found her something different to do. But right now we don't know how Sookie feels about vampires. The fairy elder said, "There's a reason you give your heart out to every fangster you meet." That's going to be very interesting to find out why.

TV Guide Magazine: That sounds like it has to do with Warlow, the unseen vampire who killed Sookie and Jason's parents and "owns" Sookie? Jason's off to kill him, so will we meet him soon?
Ball: We will definitely see Warlow. Whether or not we have met him already, I will remain mum. There will also be some other characters maybe who we know and love who are pursuing a less than generous agenda.

TV Guide Magazine: Does all that leave the door open for non-bloodsucker love for Sookie?
Ball: Even though it looks like Alcide and Sookie may have cooled things off, I'm not so sure that he's totally dropped the torch that he carries for her.

TV Guide Magazine: Who and what are the apparitions that Jason sees as his vampire-hating parents who are urging him kill all fangers?
Ball: When he was thrown across the field and hit his head, it shook something loose in his subconscious, which is using his parents as a way to communicate his more violent and vengeful impulses.

TV Guide Magazine: Will Jason be a danger to all the undead in town?
Ball: He might be! In the extra scene on HBO GO when he's in the elevator with [his vampire allies] he's tempted to kill them right there like his "father" tells him.

TV Guide Magazine: Is Sam's love, fellow shape shifter Luna, dead after shifting into vampire Steve Newlin's body?
Ball: I can't tell you that! But Newlin isn't dead. We love him.

TV Guide Magazine: How did Eric manage to kill the much older and strong Russell Edgington?
Ball: Russell was so crazed with fairy blood lust that he wasn't paying attention. That's how Eric could stake him.

TV Guide Magazine: Was it always going to be Eric who killed Russell?
Ball: There was a moment at some point when we were pitching that somebody else would kill Russell, but it just really felt that it should belong to Eric, because Russell killed his mortal family.

TV Guide Magazine: Is Andy Bellefleur really going to raise four little half-fairy babies next season?
Ball: It's definitely going to complicate things for him. But they may go to live with the fairies where it's safer for them. Also, who knows how quickly they age!

TV Guide Magazine: After that sizzling kiss, are Tara and Pam now Bon Temps hot new couple?
Ball: Yeah. [Laughs] We wanted that to happen from the very beginning of the season, but we wanted to really, really, really take our time with it.

TV Guide Magazine: Will Anna be back full time right away after the birth of her twins in November?
Ball:  She is. We're moving production to January to accommodate her. And there will only be 10 shows next season partly because of Anna and partly because of the economics

TV Guide Magazine: Do you have a series ending in mind yet?
Ball: We talked about one in the writers' room this season. We definitely have some ideas.

TV Guide Magazine: Even if you're not running the show, will you come back for the series finale?
Ball: I will. I just needed to take some time off just to recharge my batteries.

TV Guide Magazine: Any last thoughts for your fans?
Ball: It's still True Blood. People tend to say, "Alan writes everything," but it's always been a big collaboration. I am personally very excited to see where the show's going to go and I hope fans feel the same way.

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