"I just keep thinking that if I make the right choice, all this madness will end and my life will go back to normal. But it's not gonna end, is it? This is it. It's not gonna change. We say goodbye, and the next thing, you guys are back in my house."
―Sookie Stackhouse, to Bill, Eric and Alcide
In the television series, Canadian-born New Zealand actress Anna Paquin portrays Sookie. In order to portray a Sookie closer to the books, Paquin had to undergo a number of cosmetic changes. Paquin, a natural brunette with fair skin, had to dye her hair blonde for the role so that her hair looked like it would be naturally blonde. Paquin also has to use tanning lotion regularly on her skin so that she has Sookie's sunkissed skin tone. Paquin still differs physically from the book Sookie as she has brown eyes instead of blue and is noticeably slimmer than her book counterpart.
The actress has stated that she wears "a good bra" when portraying Sookie so that she can live up to the book counterpart's famously large bosom. Anna is also required to speak in the Southern Louisiana dialect when portraying Sookie.
As a telepath, Sookie must constantly cope with hearing people's thoughts because she is half fairy. She can hear their darkest secrets—without wanting to—and so is a little awkward around people. Her telepathy makes it very difficult for her to form relationships with people, who are uncomfortable with someone who can hear their thoughts. For this reason, she had lost every single job she ever had before being hired at Merlotte's Bar and Grill. Through constant concentration, however, she has trained herself to block out people's thoughts when she wants to and turn a blind eye, but her ability to concentrate is greatly diminished when she is emotional or drunk. Sookie exhibits the down-home kindness known as Southern hospitality that is stereotypical of the South, and she is usually willing to help someone in need. Although Sookie is kind, she never hesitates to stand up for herself and her beliefs, even when face-to-face with an angry vampire or her best friend. Sookie is loyal to her friends, but when a friend does not return that loyalty she is deeply hurt. Sookie has a fervent belief in God, but has not professed any particular faith or religion, although she is presumed to be some denomination of Christian. Because of her telepathic abilities, she has gained notoriety in her small town of Bon Temps, and is often looked upon as the local oddity. Because of this slight ostracism, Sookie displays a progressive attitude toward other social outcasts, like the LGBT community and vampires.
Many people in her life view Sookie as an innocent, vulnerable person who needs to be protected like both Bill and Sam for example, but she believes herself to be perfectly capable of taking care of herself. Some negatives include her naivete and gullibility; this is partly due to her quiet, sheltered life in a small town and her trusting disposition. She can be quite blunt and sarcastic. Sookie has a natural (and deadly) appreciation and curiosity with vampires, primarily because she cannot hear their thoughts and does not have to make a constant effort to block them out. However, her affinity for vampires often puts her and her loved ones into harm's way. Vampires are instantly attracted to her because she is Fae, and she emits a delicious aroma that only vampires can smell. However, since she is an extremely diluted Halfling, this scent is nowhere near as strong as with purer Halflings, like Adilyn Bellefleur.
Sookie Stackhouse was born 25 years before the series begins on May 24, 1983 to Corbett and Michelle Stackhouse in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She has a brother named Jason, who is three years older and was born in 1980. At a young age, Sookie discovered that she was a telepath, which frightened her parents. Sookie was examined by mental health professionals, who misdiagnosed her with attention deficit disorder. Knowing that this was incorrect, Michelle refused to allow Sookie to be medicated. Instead, she and Corbett maintained an outward appearance of accepting the psychologists' assumption of Sookie being highly perceptive and observant.
Sookie with her uncle, Bartlett.
When she was 7-years-old, Michelle and Corbett were murdered by the vampire Macklyn Warlow. According to Bud Dearborne -- the-then Sheriff of Renard Parish -- the cause of death was presumed to be drowning when their vehicle was found washed out during a flash flood. Because this event occurred before the Great Revelation, the bite marks found on the bodies were assumed to be caused by alligators. After their deaths, Sookie and Jason were both left in the care of their paternal grandmother Adele Stackhouse. During her childhood, Sookie was sexually molested by her grand-uncle Bartlett until she told her grandmother, and he was subsequently banished from their lives. Bartlett had also sexually abused Adele's daughter, Linda Stackhouse (Sookie's aunt, Corbett's sister) many years ago and, although she never left Bartlett alone around Linda again, she didn't take action until he did the same to Sookie.
Sookie and tara kids
Sookie and Tara, as children.
Sookie found growing up difficult. Due to her telepathy, she had a hard time concentrating on her schoolwork, and many of her teachers determined her to be slow. Fellow students thought the same, which thus began her lifelong ostracism in her small town. Sookie's only friend was Tara Thornton, who was also considered an outcast for being poor and raised by a single, alcoholic mother.
As an adolescent and even into her mid-twenties, Sookie remained a social pariah in her small town. Her telepathy made it very difficult for her to form social and romantic relationships with people, who are uncomfortable with someone who can hear their thoughts, or appeared to be distracted by unheard voices. Through constant concentration, however, she trained herself to block out people's thoughts when she wants to. Prior to the start of the series, she never dated or had a boyfriend, as she could always hear her suitors' lurid thoughts about her.
Powers and Abilities
Sookie uses her powers on Cooter
Sookie is a Halfling, which is a human/Faerie hybrid. However, her Fae heritage is so extremely diluted that her Faerie powers are limited and finite. Like all Faeries, she has the power of telepathy, which has made her a social pariah in her small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. ("Strange Love") Her telepathy gives her the ability to hear and see the thoughts and memories of living humanoids. Since vampires are technically dead, they have no brainwaves, and although they think, their thoughts cannot be heard. ("Mine") Her telepathy also allows her to dig deeper into people's minds through touch. She can force memories to be revealed, and can even recover glamoured memories. ("Let's Boot and Rally")
Sookie using Photokinesis (click for animation)
She also has the power of photokinesis, which manifests as a glowing blue-and-white light that emits from her hands. This light is harnessed through nature and by her own will, but it takes practice. Faeries are not born with the innate ability to harness their light; Sookie discovered her light spontaneously when she defended herself against the Maenad Maryann Forrester. ("New World in My View") Her light can be used as a weapon against attackers, as well as to cross into alternate dimensions. ("Evil is Going On") Due to her royal lineage, her light can also be harnessed into a single ball of energy "that when released, can go supernova killing any vampire it touches." (If taken literally, however, it would probably also destroy the entire Solar System.) ("The Sun") Her light can also have unexpected results. She used her light to break up a fight between the vampires Bill Compton and Eric Northman, the latter of whom was under a spell cast by the witch/necromancer Marnie Stonebrook/Antonia Gavilán de Logroño. The light somehow broke the spell and gave Eric back his free will. ("Burning Down the House") Because of her diluted heritage, her light is finite and will eventually extinguish for good. When this happens, she will no longer be a Faerie. ("In the Beginning")
Like all Faeries, Sookie emits a delicious aroma that only vampires can smell, making her very attractive to them. ("Mine") Her blood has no identifiable blood type, and also gives vampires the temporary ability to daywalk ("Hitting the Ground") and to cross into Fae dimensions. ("Everything Is Broken") However, because her Fae heritage is so diluted, her scent is nowhere near as strong as full Faeries ("Whatever I Am, You Made Me") or purer Halflings, -- like the Bellefleur sisters ("At Last") -- and the ability to daywalk wears off within mere minutes. ("Hitting the Ground")
Because Faeries "naturally adjust to the standard of beauty" in the dimension they are in, Sookie, her brother Jason, and her cousin Hadley have all inherited physical attributes that make them exceptionally attractive, in accordance with human standards. ("Hopeless")
Unlike full Faeries and purer Halflings, Sookie ages at the same rate as regular humans. ("Who Are You, Really?") And while her blood is more delicious than regular humans, ("I Smell a Rat") it does not have an intoxicating effect on vampires, as does full Faerie blood or purer Halfling blood. ("I'm Alive and on Fire") She does not have the ability to teleport ("Who Are You, Really?") and apparently cannot perform psychometry (channeling past events) without the help of another powerful Faerie, such as Niall Brigant ("May Be the Last Time").
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