Sookie, Eric and the Colour Red – Symbolism in Sookieverse

December 29, 2009 in Eric Northman, Symbolism & Motif

This is a completely random post…but I’m on holidays and my mind tends to wandering!

Have you ever noticed that the Viking has a pretty serious red fetish? Eric and the colour red are associated so strongly in these books I find it hard to believe that it’s not deliberate.

  • His car is red
  • The decor of his bar is themed red
  • DUD – He sends Sookie flowers and the “sexually suggestive” feature flower is red.
  • DUD – Sookie wears a dress with “bright red flowers ” and “red high heeled screw me shoes” the first time she meets him at Fangtasia
  • FDTW – He sends Sookie a new cellphone, it’s red
  • DTTW – He sends Sookie a new winter coat, it’s red
  • DITF – A red rose is prominent between them on the cover.
  • So this got me to thinking. I’ve always felt that Charlaine uses symbolism and motif very deliberately in these books, and it’s especially interesting that for every gift Eric has sent Sookie, when he has been able to choose the colour (new driveway and front door obviously being exceptions), he has chosen red. A colour that Charlaine has strongly associated with his character through the car and the bar.

    Red - the colour of love and lusty vikings?

    Now depending on which side of the fence you sit, the red-out could be a really good thing…or it could be a really bad thing.

    Symbolically, the colour red is obviously associated with love. In the context of vampires it is also the colour of blood, so it’s not really surprising that a vampire would prefer it.

    Some positive connotations of red:

  • Romantic love, sexuality and passion
  • Life – due to its association with blood. Eric certainly has a sense of joie de vivre, and even Sookie notes his chemistry is pretty lively for a dead guy.
  • Courage – this is interesting, as courage is something we associate with Eric as a warrior, and also with Sookie as she has developed throughout the story.
  • Eroticism – needs no explanation really. The sex is hot. Duh.
  • In a metaphysical sense, red is associated with the first chakra. This chakra is linked to a sense of grounding and security, and the basics of survival. Eric and Sookie are both survivalists, if nothing else.
  • Negative connotations of red:

  • Danger – it can certainly be argued that as a vampire he is dangerous to Sookie.
  • Death – well, he is dead. No arguing that really.
  • Anger, rage and aggression – Eric is certainly not immune to these emotions, though he does have the self control that comes with age, and he isn’t prone to giving in to them easily.
  • I just think the way Charlaine has wound this colour into Sookie and Eric’s relationship is really quite clever…and quite sneaky of her. As usual, she’s given nothing away – as an Eric lover I can see the red motif as a positive sign in his favour. But if I didn’t like Eric’s character, a good case could also be made that Charlaine is sending a subtle message that he’s not to be trusted.

    While Eric is tied to the colour red and described throughout the books in terms of his exuberance, life force and passion, Bill has also been given his own themes in a similar way. Bill’s voice is “cool” or “cold” and ice and glass are often used as metaphors for his character. If Eric’s colour is red, Bill’s is most definitely blue. Bill’s only gift to Sookie was a pair of topaz earrings. Topaz is – you guessed it – blue.

    I love these books, there’s so much between the lines.

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