Baby, Don’t Hurt Me…No More

February 18, 2013 in Blood Ties and Blood Bonds, Southern Vampire Mysteries

As we come to the end of the road (yes, I AM trying to get as many sad song references in here as possible, I don’t have much time left!) we’ve been reflecting on the best, worst, and saddest moments we’ve shared with Sookie since Dead Until Dark.

Sookie feels like an old friend to me, as I’m sure she does to most of you. So when she hurts, we all hurt. And you gotta admit, when it comes to hurting – like everything else in her life – Sookie Stackhouse doesn’t do this stuff by halves.

To avoid finishing on a bum note, let’s start with the sad times that have defined Sookie’s character over the series, and shown us what she’s made of.


1. Sookie’s Torture (Dead and Gone)

In a bid to force Niall’s hand to close the portal between this world and Fae, Niall’s fae enemies abduct Sookie from her yard and drag her to the middle of nowhere. There, they proceed to ridicule her, bite chunks out of her, cut her with knives and razors, and have skeevy sicko sex in front of her while she screams herself hoarse and mentally prepares to die.

Yeah, it was pretty shit.

Waterworks Bit:

I  became sure I was going to die…
Two jabbed me with a sharp knife she’d just pulled from her boot, a knife that shone like her teeth. They both leaned close to me to drink in my reaction. I could only make a raspy noise. My face was crusted with tears and blood.
“Little froggy croaking,” One said.
“Listen to her. Croak, froggy. Croak for us.”

Why We Cried

The first time I read this, I cried because Sookie was subjected to such unimaginable horror. When it read it now, I cry for the Sookie who died in that Arkansas shack – the Sookie who knew there was evil in the world but until that point, had been mostly spared. The Sookie who, though naive and a little too trusting, believed that the good in the world outweighed the bad. Part of that Sookie is gone for good, and subsequent books have been pretty clear on this point.

Her torture at the hands of the fairies was Sookie’s watershed moment, and the event that hardened her views on justice and revenge forever.

2. Breaking of the Blood Bond (Dead Reckoning)

After at least a zillion pages of agonising angst over whether or not the blood bond is distorting her real feelings for Eric, Sookie takes that shit into her own hands. An impromptu magical ceremony involving red string and a bossy witch breaks the bond for good.

Waterworks Bit:

Feeling a little ridiculous and a lot scared, but sure that I needed to do this, I snipped the red yarn.
And I lost Eric. He wasn‘t there.
Amelia rolled up the cut yarn and handed it to me. To my surprise, she was smiling; she looked fierce and triumphant. I took the length of yarn automatically from her hand, all my senses stretching out to seek Eric.
I felt a rush of panic. It wasn‘t entirely pure: There was some relief mixed in, which I had expected. And there was grief.

Why We Cried

I liked the bond. I didn’t disagree with Sookie for not liking it – but the bond itself? I just liked it. I never saw it as the evil shackle that some fans, to this day, still believe it to be. I believe it was made abundantly clear in the text over many books that it wasn’t a remote control for Sookie’s feelings or actions. Of course this didn’t stop some readers from giving it far more power and importance than it deserved.

The bond was conduit for feelings that both parties would have denied and stubbornly hidden – Sookie because of past hurts and a gnawing fear that she wasn’t “enough”, and Eric because…well, because he’s just Eric. The bond was necessary to help them both over the bridge, and it served that purpose perfectly well. When Sookie broke the bond, she expects to feel relieved – but the emptiness and “grief” she also feels blindside both her, and the reader.

None of this is to say that I don’t agree with her decision to break the bond; I do. It was absolutely necessary for her to clarify her true feelings, and just as importantly, it affords both her and Eric the opportunity to freely choose to continue building on the intimacy they shared while it existed. After all, there wasn’t much free choosing going on for either of them when the bond was forged.

Thanks Andre.

3. Sookie finds out about Bill’s Mission (Definitely Dead)

Eric reveals to Sookie that her charming ex was originally sent to Bon Temps to check out her talents for the Queen. He might have revealed this important little factoid while she wasn’t half dead in a hospital bed with Bill standing right there…but you’ve gotta admit, it was rather epic as far as bomb-dropping goes.

Waterworks Bit:

I’d been blindsided with the most painful knowledge: the first man to ever say he loved me had never loved me at all. His passion had been artificial. His pursuit of me had been choreographed. I must have seemed so easy to him, so gullible, so ready for the first man who devoted a little time and effort to winning me. Winning me! The very phrase made me hurt worse. He’d never thought of me as a prize.

Why We Cried

This entire scene is absolutely gut wrenching, and it was hard to choose a short selection from it to post. Anyone who can recall the first time they were ever dumped and betrayed by a lover knows the humiliation, the hollow rage and the deep, gnawing grief that such news brings. And they know how long it takes for that to stop. Straightforward cheating is one kind of betrayal – but an entire relationship built on lies piled on top of lies? A betrayal that exposed her to dangers she had no clue about, and no hope of protecting herself against? Well, that’s douchbaggery on an entirely different level.

The entire world was pulled out from under our girl that day, and her raw and entirely human reaction is one I think most of us would recognise…and hope we never feel again. What a way to end your very first relationship.

4. Sam’s Death (Deadlocked)

During yet another revolting and barbaric ceremony designed to mete out were justice (you’d think we’d be used to these by now), innocent bystander Sam is fatally wounded by Jannalynn. Hear this, people: swords belong in the hands of huge, sexy Vikings – not batshit crazy, un-coordinated ex-girlfriends.

Waterworks Bit:

I heard someone screaming and knew it was me…Sam’s eyes were wide and desperate. He knew the severity of his wound. I started to call for Eric, so he could give Sam his blood, but as I put my hand to Sam’s neck, Sam’s pulse stopped. His eyes closed.
And everything else in the world did, too.

Why We Cried

I know, I know.  It’s Sam, for fuck’s sakes!  AND I CRIED, OKAY? I’m not really sure if I cried for Sam or Sookie, perhaps a little for both. Though Sam has been an ever-present bore character in the series, I have no emotional attachment to him, not really. Certainly not the way Sookie does. And not really caring if he lives or dies made it hard to mourn him authentically, I guess. So why does his death and resurrection make the list? Well, it’s not about me and my complete lack of interest in Sam really, is it? Sookie is rather attached to Sam, and it’s her shock and horror at losing him so brutally and unexpectedly in this scene that is utterly palpable. THAT is what I found upsetting.

Sookie Stackhouse has had more than her fair share of Kleenex moments, and these are just a few of ours. What are yours? Sound off below.

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