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True Blood Season 7 Tidbits: Is Eric Alive; Who Are the New Regulars; Is Lettie Mae a Hep V Carrier; and Lots More!

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Now that Season 6 of “True Blood” is just a memory, it’s time to look ahead to Season 7 with showrunner Brian Buckner. Just beware of spoilers if you’re not caught up!

Buckner has been a chatty fellow since the Season 6 finale, clarifying a couple of loose ends and revealing a few tidbits of what’s ahead next year. He spoke with both TV Guide and EW, and the highlights are below. Be sure to check out the full articles for even more like how Sam became Mayor, what’s in store for Arlene and Bellefleur’s, whether we’ll see flashbacks of Sookie hooking up with Alcide, and lots more.

First things first – regarding Eric Northman’s apparent demise in the Swedish sun:

The actor Alex Skarsgard and the character of Eric Northman will be back on the show next year. He’ll be a series regular, but I [am] not confirm[ing] that he’s alive. Not that I want to create more conversation, because I don’t, but to be clear, we’re not saying how we’re going to use him [in Season 7]; we’re simply saying that we are using him. I will say that I do long for the days when television audiences could stand to wait and enjoy the tease. But I understand we’re living in a different time. I don’t want to watch a show without him either.

We’ve seen fairy blood wear off before… but would Warlow’s blood never have worn off?

Warlow’s blood was special in that once you had it, it was not gonna wear off. It was the real deal. That’s why Sookie’s blood and Adilyn’s blood didn’t do what Warlow’s blood could do. Bill, at a certain point in the season, realized Warlow is the prophecy; that’s why Lilith all along said that you alone are going to be responsible for the continuation of the species. But when Warlow died, out went everybody’s ability to walk in the sun.

Tara and Lettie Mae appear to have reconciled with Tara now serving as her mother’s “guardian” in this new world. Is there a chance she is actually a Hep V carrier with a plan to infect her daughter?

Let me just say this, and I realize that there has been an abrupt change in the kinds of storytelling that we do, but going into a seventh season of a show, if our characters can’t grow and change, then we have a problem. So we need to be able to allow ourselves to believe that Bill can see the error of his ways and want to change, and then the question becomes about forgiveness… what mother wouldn’t feel badly about that? The idea that there must be plot behind everything that we do — I don’t want to have the audience constantly demanding that everything be plot-driven. It was genuine on Lettie Mae’s part. It’s not to say that there won’t be complications that arise, but people can be telling the truth.

What was the impetus for resetting everything and jumping ahead six months? Will the new season pick up immediately?

That’s a fair presumption. [The] reset [establishes] that for every vampire, a human’ for every human, a vampire. It’s to try to return to the show’s promise in Season 1, which is if vampires exist, let’s examine the relationships between humans and vampires. Now we get to do it with many different pairings rather than just Bill and Sookie… by putting all of our characters essentially into one story, now it’s Bon Temps vs. the world. The characters people love will get more screen time because these stories don’t have separate demands. We just get to tell a simpler story and then experience them through our characters.

The driving force of the show is going to be the relationships. What does Alcide (Joe Manganiello) or Sookie having to take on a vampire feeding partner do to their relationship? Every relationship is complicated because it’s a three-way or four-way. That’s what we’re looking at. I don’t think it’s all going to be hunky-dory. It’s going to create tensions between makers and makees because, “You love that human, don’t you?!” It’s a bit of a shift back from plot-driven big bad to some of the soapy elements of the show. It’s the relationships that are interesting, not the plot that the bad guy is necessarily providing.

Why haven’t the Hep V-infected vampire hordes died like Nora did? Has the virus mutated?

Correct. And that’s part of the reason for the time passage as well… They’re weaker and driven by a need to eat in a way that the vampires that we’ve come to know are not. They have to drink human blood in larger quantities and more frequently than before. And the other thing to clarify — honestly, it feels weird to have to clarify everything, which is essentially what next season’s job is [Laughs] — but they’re not going to be zombies. They’re far more organized and haven’t lost their mental capacity.

What about Bill? Will he seek redemption in order to get Sookie back?

Bill has truthfully seen the error of his ways. When Lilith left him, he lost his powers, and all of his feelings for Sookie came rushing back. The real question is, yes, this season is about redemption for Bill, but can he be forgiven? We’re establishing a new triangle — with Eric clearly unresolved, but not part of the picture in Bon Temps in the short term — the Sookie, Alcide, Bill triangle is going to be in play.

Lastly, which of the many new characters we met in Season 6 will be returning as regulars in Season 7?

[Violet (Karolina Wydra)] is joining as a regular next year, as is James (Luke Grimes). One of the things that we realized pretty early on is that as much as people complain sometimes that there are no humans left on “True Blood,” if you do the math, there aren’t very many vampires left, so we needed to populate it more. The two of them are just stunning. It was a strange casting call in the middle of the season knowing that we were going to be casting for series regulars for the following season, but I think we hit the jackpot both times. Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire) will [also] return next season.

Could we see Niall (Rutger Hauer) again?

I can’t say either way. I mean, he’s alive, he can return. As is Sarah Newlin [Anna Camp]. But we have to go through that creative process still.

For more info visit “True Blood” on HBO.com, “like” “True Blood” on Facebook, and jump in on the Twitter conversations here using the hashtag #trueblood.

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Debi Moore

I'll see you on the other side...