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'True Blood' vs. 'Vampire Diaries': Eight Reasons We See Double

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Jun 06, 2012 | 8:56am EDT

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People say the “the vampire thing” is played out, and maybe they’re right, but that doesn’t stop True Blood and The Vampire Diaries fans from sucking every last drop of thrill from both series. In fact, certain fans, like the one writing this article, are so obsessed, they withdraw from society in order to binge-watch both series and practically develop a sun allergy in the process. Most of the time, we get so wrapped up in the intricate, unique mythologies and detailed plots of each series that we forget that they share a bevy of similarities. It's almost as if The Vampire Diaries is the PG-13 version of True Blood.

That statement may seem like an insult, but it's not. At all. Thanks to the shared traits that we love and devour on a regular basis, we only ever have to endure a few measly weeks without a sexy set of vampires and their continual problems. Seeing double is a bloody good blessing.

The Good Vampire

In one corner, we have Stefan Salvatore, the brooding, journaling (or diary-ing), sensitive vampire who feeds only on bunnies and other non-human creatures in order to keep his past Ripper instincts at bay. He serves as Elena’s gateway vampire and was turned when he was a teen, so he maintains his youthful appearance.

In the other corner, we have Bill Compton, the brooding, sensitive vampire who only drinks synthetic Tru Blood (though he occasionally takes a consensual sip from the Sookie fountain) in order to “mainstream” and keep his past and vicious instincts at bay. He serves as Sookie’s gateway vampire and was turned as a grown man with children, so he’s decidedly adult.

Main difference: (Pre-Vampire) Age.

The Bad Vampire

Stefan’s brother and on-and-off-again adversary Damon Salvatore is a reckless, selfish, smoldering, relentlessly sexy vampire who’s willing to take risks – even when it comes to risking the life of the girl he and his brother both ardently love. He’s dangerous, and yet it’s that danger (and his well-buried heart of gold) that draws Elena in.

Bill’s longtime Sheriff, as they call him in vampire government, and on-again-off-again adversary Eric Northman is a reckless, selfish, smoldering, relentlessly sexy vampire who’s willing to take risks – even when it comes to risking the life of the girl he and Bill both ardently love. He’s dangerous, and yet it’s that danger (and his well-buried heart of gold) that draws Sookie in. (Sound familiar?)

Main difference: Relation to the Good Vampire, Hair.

Innocent Heroine Whose Blood Has Magical Properties

The Vampire Diaries leading lady doesn’t learn of the value of her blood until late in Season 2, but Elena comes from a long line of Doppelgängers, supernatural beings whose blood is magic elixir for pretty much every magical ritual known to supernatural man. Naturally, she’s constantly in danger, which is convenient because two vampires happen to be madly in love with her and look damn good defending her.

Now let’s see. True Blood’s leading lady doesn’t learn of the value of her blood until late in Season 3, but Sookie comes from a long line of Faeries, supernatural beings whose blood is a magic elixir for vampires. It allows them some resistance to the sun and it is the sweetest blood available. So she’s a magical blood bank too. Naturally, she’s constantly in danger, which is convenient because two vampires happen to be madly in love with her and look damn good defending her.

Main difference: Faeries have actual supernatural powers (see: Sookie’s light force defense).

Parents and Guardians Killed By Tragic, Oddly Similar Means

Elena and her brother Jeremy are left alone when their parents are killed in a watery car accident. Their Aunt Jenna takes on guardian duties, and after two seasons, she is killed in a bloody mess by a murderous vampire, Klaus.

Sookie and her brother Jason are left alone when their parents are killed in a watery flash flood. Their grandmother Gran (okay, she has a real name, but who actually uses it?) takes on guardian duties, and after a mere handful of episodes, she is killed in a bloody mess by a murderous villain, Rene.

Main difference: Gran’s death was bloodier.

True Blood Sookie and BillThe Good Vampire's Got 99 Problems and a B**ch is One

Conniving Vampiress Katherine turned Elena’s sometimes-boyfriend Stefan into a vampire in the 1700s, before leaving him to learn to deal with his new powers all on his own. He went on a ripper rampage, and later quelled his murderous hunger. As soon as he found happiness with Elena, Katherine came knocking… and threatening Elena’s life until Stefan had to turn her away like day old deli meat.

Conniving Vampire Lorena turned Sookie's sometimes-boyfriend Bill into a vampire in the 1800s (are you sensing a pattern yet?), before taking him on a ripper rampage, of which he later grows weary when he turns to mainstreaming. As soon as he found happiness with Sookie, Lorena came knocking… and threatening Sookie’s life until Bill had to turn her away like day old deli meat.

Main difference: Besides the time difference and the fact that Katherine is identical to Elena, Lorena was bloodier in (vampire) life and (true) death than Katherine. That’s HBO, for you!

Attractive Mere Mortals Who Can’t Date The Heroine Date Her Best Friends

Elena has two standup mortals in her life: her ex-boyfriend Matt and her brother Jeremy. Matt pines hopelessly after her and she obviously can’t date her brother. So, her best friend (and vampire) Caroline dates Matt and her other best friend Bonnie dates Jeremy. So everything works out nicely, until they all inevitably break up with one another.

Sookie has a few standup mortals in her life: her boss Sam and her brother Jason (well, he’s mostly a stand-up guy and Sam is supernatural, but he’s not going to live forever so stop splitting hairs and play along). Sam pines hopelessly after her and she obviously can’t date her brother. So, her good friend (and vampire) Jessica dates Jason and her best friend Tara has motel sex with “dates” Sam for a while. So everything works out nicely, until Tara goes nutty (as usual) and Jessica says she doesn’t want to be exclusive with Jason (poor guy!).

Main difference: There are a few tiny differences, but both baby vampires even end up dating sets of best friends on their respective series (Jessica with Hoyt and Jason; Caroline with Matt and Tyler). It’s so similar it’s eerie.

The Werewolf Who Just Might Be More Attractive Than The Sexy Vampires

Mason Lockwood didn’t last long on the series, but he was certainly a memorable addition to the cast. (You’re cute too, Werewolf Tyler.) He was a good guy mixed up with the wrong crowd (Katherine, the vampire), but, man, could he fill out a plaid shirt. Obviously we come to the series for the vamps, but for a time, we were staying for this werewolf.

Alcide Herveaux doesn’t show up as much as we’d like on the series, but he certainly has a knack for memorable moments (like saving Sookie in the misty graveyard). He is a good guy who was mixed up with his lyin’ cheatin’ ex (Debbie, the werewolf), but, man, can he fill out a plaid shirt. Obviously we come to the series for the lusty vampire coitus (don’t tell my mother about that), but we stay for this hunk a burnin’ wolf.

Main difference: Alicide is higher up on the smolder scale, he gets to stick around as a supporting character, and he too has a thing for our leading lady.

Psychotic, Yet Lovable She-Vamp

Oh, Rebekah. Poor misunderstood, unappreciated Rebekah. This Original vampire may lash out in violent anger whenever she chips a nail, but she’s really just a typical girl at heart. She still wants to look pretty and get the attention she deserves... and a boyfriend wouldn’t hurt. And if you don’t give her what she wants when she wants it, you’re probably risking your pretty little neck.

Oh, Pam. Poor misunderstood, unappreciated Pam. Eric’s progeny may lash out in violent anger whenever she chips a nail, but she’s really just a typical girl at heart. She still wants to look pretty and get the attention she deserves. And if you don’t give it to her, you’re probably risking your pretty little neck.

Main Difference: Rebekah suffers from teen angst, which can become a little grating. Pam is a cold, hard b**ch and we love her for it.

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