I don't know how anyone else feels, but I believe that Sookie and Eric's relationship works because they are a lot alike in many ways but just different enough to balance each other out. I think that there is a wild streak of fairy in Sookie that she is just beginning to embrace. I think she is too bold and outgoing for Bill...Eric suits her. She is growing up and discovering what she wants and she has to decide if the obstacles in her relationship with Eric are worth fighting for or ending the relationship over. I think that they bring out the best in each other and the worst. Everyone talks about Eric changing but what about the changes we see happening in Sookie? Just some thoughts...
It's funny - I've always thought that the sex Sookie was hoping to have in DITF was meant to distract us, the reader. We're like Sookie, salivating at the thought of a hot scene with the Viking. Meanwhile Eric/CH is trying to teach us something about vampire politics and the future plots of the books, but we're too distracted to notice.
Its that scene where Freyda is first mentioned, after all.
Some random thoughts and comments that occurred to me while catching up on this thread (and, okay, a few others as well) . . . in no particular order:
Q: To what extent is Sookie a reliable narrator of the series?
CH: Sookie is certainly reliable, but of course everything she sees is seen through her own eyes and interpreted according to her knowledge. ➊
My thought: If she weren't mostly reliable, the story wouldn't be sufficiently coherent for the reader to follow. Sookie can still be surprised and betrayed, but I think her hard-won experience has given her a better understanding of the people close to her. For example, Sookie may not know what Eric will choose to do, but I think she has a pretty good handle on his character.
CH: A husband with a sense of humor is a good thing. ➋
Q: Even though Sookie is a mature woman, do you view the entire series, on one level, as a coming-of-age story?
CH: The growth of her character is definitely a major part of the novels, but I wouldn't call it coming-of-age. She's a twenty-six year-old woman. But she certainly becomes worldlier, more aware of the other worlds around her. She's always known what human nature was like, because she's telepathic. Which is kind of a bitter pill to swallow. But she learns how to live with a lot of things, and what she can't live with. ➌
CH: I'm always thinking of what I'm writing and what it's saying about the human condition. People really do like to point fingers and call other people monsters, but I think the monster is within all of us . . . I'm doing my best to make sure Sookie grows. She's growing and changing and admitting to herself that she's having a hard time living up to the things her grandmother wanted her to do. ➍
My thought: Sookie is not like a teenager, in any way. She's grown consistently throughout the series, and while she doesn't seem to need to adhere as rigidly to her grandmother's ideals as she once did, she still wouldn't be with Eric at this point--or have invested the energy she has in their relationship--if it were only about the sex.
I think it's interesting that CH said recently that "the last book won't make much sense unless you read [Deadlocked]." ➎ That certainly points to the appropriateness of the title of the upcoming book, and I think that--and her comment that the E/S relationship would be "key part" of the last two books--supports the speculation that the plot of the last book will focus heavily on Eric's unresolved problems and the choices he'll need to make, which will necessarily involve Sookie as well.
So my question then is--if Sookie were to choose Sam as her next (and ostensibly final) love interest in the last book--how is she going to be able to recover from her relationship with Eric and be in the mindset to enjoy her "fairly happy ending" with someone else? ➏ Organically . . . in the space of 320-some pages (and assuming the series doesn't end with some protracted epilogue à la LOTR, lol)? When Sookie's romantic relationship is just one small part of each book? I like Sam well enough, but if I were really eager to see their relationship become romantic, I'd feel shortchanged, to be quite honest.
"So my question then is--if Sookie were to choose Sam as her next (and ostensibly final) love interest in the last book--how is she going to be able to recover from her relationship with Eric and be in the mindset to enjoy her "fairly happy ending" with someone else?" I don't think there's any way it can because of what she's already written.
Something else, we might point out to those who think there is a "code": Title of Book 12: Dead*LOCKED* E/S in relation to last two books: *KEY* part
JC, you bring up an important point IMO with your superb documentation -- there just isn't enough time for S to emotionally recover from an E break-up and be willing to rush into a relationship with Sam... in 2 books spanning 2-3 months. At this point, I would wager that if it ain't Eric, it's no one ... meaning S's HEA is all about gaining control of her life as she wants to live it.
Besides the fact that Sookie loves Eric, something she 'steadily' tells anyone who asks, there are several reasons why I don't believe that Sookie is merely in sexual thrall with the Viking, like a hormonal, "boy-crazy" adolescent. There are several insights from Sookie telling us that it takes more than just looking *hawt* or being good in the sack that matter to her.
The fact of the matter was, Claude could look beautiful and bare all day long, and I still wouldn't want him. He was grumpy and he had bad manners. Even if he'd been hetero, he wouldn't have been my cup of tea-after I'd had ten minutes' conversation with him. (DD p. 8)
I believe Sookie says this before she learns Claude is her cousin too. What she does know about him at this point, and still does, is that he is self-absorbed, rude, egocentric and narcissistic. Since Claude is a fairy, she can't read his mind, but, she can still recognize him for what he is on the inside, in spite of his pretty outer package, and she is not attracted to men like him. I also think, if she's considered these things in regard to someone she never intended to have a relationship with, it's highly likely that she's also thought about these things regarding the men she has been with too.
"You can strip all you want to-if you don't like the person you're looking at while you're naked, it's not going to happen," I said tartly. (DITF p. 85)
Again, Sookie says this in reference to Claude, but I can't help but to think about Alcide when she said that, he's someone she seemed to like a lot but never got naked with. Could the reason be Alcide's true character which was revealed to her over time, as well as, his poor choices that kept Sookie from giving into lust? She certainly found him attractive, and she also had multiple opportunities to jump his bones too.
Michele's strongest suit was that she wasn't enthralled by Jason's (apparently) powerful bedroom mojo. If she was mooning over him and jealous of his attention, she was keeping it perfectly concealed. My hat was off to her. (DR p 57)
IMO, the above excerpt could not be a bigger hint, or clue, or answer to the question - does Sookie really love Eric or just the sex? Just switch out Michele and Jason's names for Sookie and Eric, and you've got your answer! IIRC, Michele is a pretty blunt person who shoots straight from the hip, and she doesn't take any crap from Jason. Sookie respects and admires her. Notice Sookie doesn't say she envies Michele or wishes she could be more like her, either. I think this is a case of like recognizing like. They're both smart and strong, two women capable of handling the not so perfect men in their lives.
I was convinced that he hoped if he sat in my bed and looked rumpled and handsome, I might reconsider. But looking good wasn't all it took with me. (DR p 203)
Sookie can't be any clearer than this in regards to her personal depth and character.
Charlaine: Sookie's sexuality has been awakened, sure; and she's very vulnerable to Eric for several reasons. He's gorgeous, he's always wanted her, and he's in need of reassurance. Sookie will never be at the mercy of her own sexuality, I hope; but she will grow in confidence. http://www.likesbooks.com/181.html
First, I think it is impossible for anyone to feel confident about something until they actually do it. Now that Sookie has done it, her insecurities about her sex skills will fade. Second, just because Sookie enjoys sex does not mean she's going to make up for lost time and make like a doorknob letting every body take a turn.
I mean this as no disrespect to anyone at all, but I find it weird/slightly sad that Willa and Ann come in here and are able to change the direction of the conversation. We (I'm including my jumpy A too) all jump to prove them wrong......I'm not sure if this is human nature. I think this is a great way to get our point of view out there, learn other people point of view, remember things we forgot about, or even learn new things. I guess I'm partially grateful for their cattiness because of the chances for discovery and such. The other half wonders why we can't prove our point, let them say whatever they want, and then move on to another subject to "argue" about. Everything has been calm today, but I just thought about it. I didn't bring this up to converse about, just something for others to chew on.
Kindred - " just because Sookie enjoys sex does not mean she's going to make up for lost time and make like a doorknob letting every body take a turn." Where were you at in my early 20's? Thanks for the great post!
Ann and Willa are almost never here for discussion and they don't listen to anyone's arguments against what they say. Ann doesn't want to hear *anything* CH has to say. There's not much left. I'm trying not to ~jump~ either.
ZC - It's been rather tense around here, but as it gets closer and closer to May 1st it's getting worse. I'm waiting for the day when I just get my B face on and tell those two to STFU. Then I'll feel bad, then feel like an A for saying something so dumb.
@Danderson the fact that it's been so "calm" today is why I have jumped back into discussion. I enjoyed my break...but didn't start my re-read like I thought I would. I did "lurk" here, now and then...and have caught up on the posts and like that we seem to be in a calm pattern, today..anyways. I've actually been re-reading the Hunger Games series since my son and I saw the movie last week. I'm almost done...so I will get started on Sookie. I've enjoyed your points of interest that you have posted, Danderson. Isn't it fun to have a series of books that you can read again and find something "new" and then also enjoy what you liked the first time? I applaud Charlaine Harris and Suzanne Collins for their good writing.
LOL @ GG - Here's another one for ya' - "She's like a birthday cake; everybody gets a piece!" @ Dandy - There's a good reason why I'm so familiar with such lovely analogies that degrade women's sexuality. ;p BTW, your dogs sound like they are very wise.
So, speaking of sex. I was reading an old CH interview where she says she only writes sex scenes if it is relevant to the story line or plot. IOW, she only writes them for a reason, not just to make readers hot and bothered, lol. So, let's look at some Eric and Sookie nookie, and see what CH is trying to tell us?
DTTW - Ahhh, the shower scene -
Well, the first thing you would need to be aware of is that, for Sookie, the shower is very significant. As a victim of sexual abuse and rape, one of the ways she deals with those traumas is thru hygiene rituals. Has anyone noticed how often Sookie heads to the shower when she is feeling stressed or uncomfortable? In fact, that's the reason she decides to jump into the shower in DTTW, when she feels like she needs to gain control over her body when she sees Eric's naked butt. The fact that she allows Eric into her sacred space is very significant. She shared something very intimate with him.
DAG - There are a few lines that really jump out at me, but my favorite is this -
"Not hurting?" he asked. "Not hardly," I said. "I am too big for some." "Bring it on," I said.
Okay, my question is this: Does Ms. Harris really, really want us to know that Eric has a *BIG* penis, or what? We already know it's a 'Gracious Plenty' that causes Sookie to say silly things like yikes, yahoo, yum. So we get it, Eric has a big one! Congratulations Sookie! But, I don't think that's it. Remember in DITF, Sookie tells Amelia that Eric is overwhelming, but the bottom line is she loves Eric? Sookie knows that Eric has a *big* personality, and he has a *big* life, and between the two of them they have *big* issues and problems, of course, Eric is aware of all this, as well. Is Eric too much for Sookie? Is Eric causing her too much pain? Not hardly, she said. Bring it on, she said.
Which brings me to another question. If everyone knows that the SSN's are not romances, at least not entirely. Why does it seem like there is this expectation that Eric and Sookie's relationship should read like it is a romance novel? It's been a while since I read a straight romance, and there have only been a few because they usually bore me to tears and make me queasy, so can someone explain this to me? I mean, what usually happens in a romance? I have an idea, but what is the formula most romances follow?
Kindred - I read quite a bit of romance/erotica/dirty nasty freaky stuff. I always put SVM into the paranormal romance/urban fantasy/mystery. Goodreads actual lists them under all of the genres I listed plus horror, adult, and fantasy. From my frame of reference and other books I've read, I would say Eric and Sookie's relationship reads like a romance novel but not the whole series as a whole. Romance novels can go a lot of ways but usually relationships between characters usually goes back and forth like a pendulum until the HEA happens.
D I think we just gotta keep letting those foolish posters continue in their folly. At worst they are irritating but best they offer comedy relief.
ZC - That was my point. I wish we could all just ignore their foolish behavior, but embrace their worth while arguments for our own growth. I'm guilty of it too so I'm not trying to judge anyone........I have buttons that can be pressed and set me off. I guess I just hate to see everything go downhill, when we could be having fun. I was trying to keep people mindful. Maybe I didn't word it correctly. Sometimes intent is hard to communicate on forums......I swear I need to make keywords for facial expressions and hand gestures.
Too add to the sex thing. I actually don't think most of the scenes aren't that great. The best was the shower scene and after as far as details and intimacy went. The scene in FDTW was good to. For me because I'm a foul mouthed pervert, I like it a bit more....................descriptive. Quinn and Bill's scenes were rather vanilla. Eric's were fun and adventurous. Another reason why I love the viking, and it has nothing to do with size.