[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday's episode of True Blood. Read at your own risk!]
Turns out, we've already met Warlow!
During Sunday's True Blood, Warlow showed his true fangs after helping to save Jason's life. That's right, the thousands-year-old mysterious figure coming after Sookie is actually Ben (Rob Kazinsky), the faerie-vampire hybrid who implanted himself into Sookie's (Anna Paquin) life to get closer to her. But when Niall (Rutger Hauer) and Jason (Ryan Kwanten) figured out his true identity, Ben dispatched with Niall before glamouring Jason to not return home. At Sookie's house that night, she finally gets Ben into a vulnerable position after spiking his food with colloidal silver, calling him Warlow to his face. Dun. Dun. Dunnnn. What does this mean for who should've been Sookie's new love interest? TVGuide.com turned to Kazinsky to get the scoop:
When you signed on for this role, did you know who he would ultimately be?
Rob Kazinsky: No, I auditioned to play Ben. I was like, "I'm going to be playing a damn faerie." When I got the job, they didn't tell me either. I actually found out from the costume department. When I went to try on my costume fitting for Ben, the tag said "Benlow." I was like, "What's Benlow?" They were like, "Yeah, Ben/Warlow." I called up the producer and asked if I'm Warlow and he said yes. I was like, "Oh sh--." I watched Season 5 and was very excited to see this character. You're dealing with a character who, for the first time since Denis O'Hare's Russell Edgington, is that scary and that powerful and has that history. It's very exciting to play this.
Tell us about Warlow and what kind of powers he has.
Kazinsky: He has the best of both worlds. He is the oldest vampire that we've met to date. He is one of the first, he's Lilith's progeny. He's been around as long as she has. He also has the powers of the most powerful fae. This is all stuff that he's hidden until now because he's wanted to appear not as himself. He knows how guarded Sookie is about what happened to her parents. But the truth of what happened with her parents is something she's unaware of. He has all the powers of the fae and all the powers of a vampire and all the cravings of both.
Sookie was promised to him, so what does Warlow want with her?
Kazinsky: Everything that he says in the first few episodes are not lies. They're absolute truths. When I said previously that he is the male equivalent to her, he still is. He's been ostracized not only by humans, but by fae and vampires because he is none of the above and all three at the same time. He's never been able to be accepted anywhere he's gone. He knows what he is. He's a junkie. He's an addict who hates himself for being an addict. He fights against this inner vampire all the time. Unlike most vampires, he didn't come from the shade of grey that is humanity. He came from light. He's a creature of light and goodness. However, he's corrupted by this vampire within him that he has to fight against every single second of every single day. Everything he said to Sookie about what they are and how they feel, that's true. He absolutely means it. He has a real genuine fascinating, adoration and love for Sookie.
So Warlow might actually have a decent side to him?
Kazinsky: Yes, he does. Warlow is very much a character of grey. He is ruled by his conscience. He means well and has a good heart, but when you take the most powerful vampire that you've ever met and combine him with something loathed, you end up with a very dangerous, self-hating monster. Despite your best wishes, when you have to succumb to a craving and you're 5,000 years old, it's not going to look pretty. He's incredibly dangerous to the point where you can't even comprehend the level of destruction that he can cause if he lets Warlow off the leash. However, his bonds of restraint are self-imposed and it's a constant battle. The other thing you'll find out about Warlow is that, as a creature of both light and dark, he battles with both all the time. The darker it gets, the harder it is to maintain these bonds. He is human in the terms of he is flawed, capable of good and great destruction at the same time.
How did Niall not realize this was Warlow at the get-go?
Kazinsky: When we saw Warlow in Season 5, he certainly looks very different to how I look. When Warlow was around, there wasn't exactly a chance to take pictures of him. No one knows what he looks like. He's older than Niall. Because he hates who and what he is, he's never wanted to be the king of vampires or been at the forefront of anything. He's tried his best to hide himself away from the world; to ostracize himself from society out of fear of hurting people. The story between Niall and Warlow is a very, very personal story that will play out over the course of the season. Episode 5 goes right into the story of Warlow and Niall. People change and evolve. When you meet Warlow for the first time, he's got this giant beard, giant hair and giant hat, and the next time you see him, he's a ginger clean-shaven person. It's easy to fool people sometimes.
Will we get flashbacks to see why he killed Sookie's parents?
Kazinsky: Over the course of the season, with Niall's help and with Ben's help and Warlow's truths, the truth will come out. It's not the truth that people expect. When people see how that came to pass and why it came to pass, it might take people by surprise. The reason that Warlow created the character of Ben was because nobody would give him a chance if he was Warlow and he needed Sookie to know and see the truth and develop her feelings on her own without the permutations that the main Warlow would bring.
What's Sookie's reaction like to facing off with Warlow?
Kazinsky: Not with panic. [Laughs] She's been around a fair few scary vampires. She's seen a lot and done it all. For the first time in the entire show, she's ready. She's prepared and she's angry. Warlow is confusing because here is a vampire that can walk in the daylight, here is a vampire that is a fae and she has very real feelings for Ben, too. She has to battle against that and reconcile what she sees in front of her with the image that she created of Warlow in her mind with all the stories and the death of her parents. Those are two very different creatures, which is what Warlow is: He is two very different creatures trapped in one body. The way she deals with it is more intelligent than perhaps anything she's ever done before.
Warlow has a lot of different foes coming after him. Will he find that he has a fight on more than one front in the coming episodes?
Kazinsky: Warlow has spent his entire life being hunted and dealing with fae and vampires and everybody who wants to kill him, so he's well-prepared to deal with every single one of these characters that has a vendetta against him. The most fascinating relationship is the one between him and Bill (Stephen Moyer), because Bill's understanding of Lilith, who is Warlow's maker, makes for a very interesting relationship.
Will Warlow and Bill be on the same side?
Kazinsky: Well, Bill is not Lilith and Lilith is not Bill, but there is a familiarity there. There's certainly a sense of history. When they do finally meet, it allows for a sense of massive fireworks. In Season 5, it was explained that Warlow will be the savior of all vampires, and with Bill being the tip of the vampire spear, it falls to Bill to make sure that this comes to pass against Warlow's wishes. It turns into a very fractured relationship from the very beginning.
With Louisiana declaring war on vampires, does that mean Warlow will have to sacrifice himself to save the species?
Kazinsky: Warlow has no interest whatsoever in vampires. He has no interest in anything but himself and Sookie. He does not want to be a vampire. He does not want to be a part of the community and the Bible, for him, has always just been blasphemy. It's a waste of time. Being a vampire is not his dream situation, so the way it all comes to pass over the course of the season, what you think is going to happen, will not happen; what you want to happen, it's going to be better than that.
True Blood airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO. Were you surprised by the reveal that Ben is Warlow?