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Sookie Stackhouse: Stupid According to Charlaine Harris

Kind of a bitch move, isn’t it, to call one of vampires fans’ favorite characters of all time, stupid, –especially if you’re the person who happened to create said ‘stupid character’? In a recent interview, Charlaine Harris said, —

“I didn’t want to write about being a vampire,” Harris said. “I wanted to write about people who were interacting with vampires. I thought it would be fun to write about a woman dating a vampire, so I imagined what kind of woman would do such a stupid thing. It’d have to be a woman who couldn’t date humans for another reason.”

Thus, the telepathic waitress, who can’t date humans because they’re so raunchy and unclean. If Charlaine Harris wants to start really analyzing her own characters, why not start with Sookie’s superiority complex, –she judges everyone based on their thoughts; hello, everyone thinks horrible things. Are we being led to believe Sookie Stackhouse is Mother Theresa? I don’t think so. But I love True blood, and I -love- the novels.

To be fair, though, Charlaine Harris doesn’t exactly call Sookie stupid; that’s really just all in the particularly twisted method of one blogger, who also stated:

“..she [Sookie] finds it calming to be around vampires because she can’t read their minds. Although we’d wager especially she’d love to read Bill’s mind, Eric’s mind… all of their (read: the vampires) minds. Oh, the irony.”

Why is this a perfect example of the ignorance of today’s journalists? Well, because it’s revealed in the novels, (and this blogger implies that they’ve read them) that Sookie Stackhouse is occasionally able to read Eric’s mind, though he’s the only vampire she can ‘hear’. She’s never even gotten a glimpse into Bill’s thoughts. So before you go slandering Charlaine, who is okay, in all fairness, kind of a bitch sometimes, –you should at least -read- her books.

bill comptonCharlaine HarrisEric Northmansookie stackhouse

annimi • July 6, 2010


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  1. vampires
  2. Patty Dole February 14, 2011 - 9:29 am Reply

    Sookie Stackhouse is stupid for many reasons. She is uneducated and proud to be so. She reminds me of many southern women. It has nothing to do with her being a waitress it has to do with her mentality. Her view of her self and the world that she lives in is beautifully written by Charlaine Harris. She is not a perfect person and I guess that is what makes these books enjoyable to read. Many people that took offense to her calling Sookie stupid are probably offended because they make similar stupid and reckless choices in their own lives then wonder why they are suffering the consequences. It is almost like walking out into a rainstorm and then being shocked and angry for getting wet. People not only do not want to be viewed as foolish; though they do foolish things, they want to be admired as brave for surviving their self inflicted folly. This sounds like a criticism but it is not. I do not know many humans that at one time or another who has not fallen into these traps.

    She has a difficult time accepting the fact that vampires are not human. On the surface she knows this; however, it does not stop her from expecting more from them and being woefully disappointed when they show their true nature.

    She has a strong dislike for fang bangers yet she is the biggest fang banger in the book. She can’t seem to keep her legs closed when it comes to vampires. I love the books by the way but Sookie is no heroine to emulate or admire for that matter. It is nice fast trashy reading.

  3. pindari February 19, 2011 - 1:49 am Reply

    “uneducated and proud to be so?”

    I didn’t get that at all.

    She explains in detail, more than once, why and how the involuntary perception of other peoples’ thoughts is incompatible with the formal education process, for the benefit of readers who need it explained.

    She may be a bit proud of being *self*-educated which I hope all self-educated people are. :)

    Her chosen auto-didactic method is genre novels, though from time to time we get an indication that genre novels are not the only literature with which she is familiar, and she is quick to point out that she is not “unread.”

    In fact, educating herself, learning things, seems to be about the only area of life in which she isn’t completely passive.

    She has her Word-of-the-Day calendar, though I admit I’ve wondered if that might be just a “device” the author employed in order to make it easier to appeal to a wider audience by using a wider vocabulary than most residents (with or without undergrad degrees) who have limited exposure to the world and lived all their lives in the same small town and its relatively isolated and insular cultural environment.

    As the books are written from Sookie’s point of view, Ms C had to find some way to make it possible for her to “talk” about all these things that are not going to be dreamt of in the philosophies of most of Gran’s fellow Descendants of Our Glorious Dead members.

    Anyway, that passivity in every other aspect of her life is MY main Sookie Peeve! And I’m clearly a person who does not consider reading a passive activity.

    If we take away reading and Word-of-the-Day, the only “interest or hobby” or pleasurable pasttime she has is sunbathing. So educating herself is virtually ALL she does of her own accord!

    Almost every other action that she takes, apart from going to work and cleaning her house is a RE-action to external events.

    Maybe a lot of that is just literary device mechanic flotsam, but it seems to me, especially in the later books, that she just sort of sits there and the phone rings, or somebody comes to the door, whatever, and things happen to her.

    The only time she initiates any action is when those things have escalated into crisis mode, and then she saves herself, at least a couple of other people, saves the day.

    In one of the early books, she decides to go to a high school football game, and I wanted to stand up and cheer for HER! It’s that bad.

    We don’t see her deciding to DO things. Even once or twice when she goes to church – or to see Tara for some girl talk, it’s out of a need precipitated by crisis that has happened TO her.

    Even if academia isn’t practical, she could take some other kind of class – gardening, flower arranging, roller blading – some kind of activity that she just decides to do all by herself.

    And a few times she does some social/courtesy thing, and my perception is that she does that out of the same sense of obligation that she takes it upon herself to solve the crime – or the commission of the crime has catapulted everything into that crisis mode.

    “Judgmental” is a more nuanced concept, I think – and a convenient one. Like “products of our culture,” it’s something we can apply to ourselves and to everybody else, to one degree of another, whether we’ve been exposed to only one, or whether we take the “buffet” view, putting a little of this and that on the plate, passing by something else, no thank you.

    One of the things I like most about the books is that we do see Sookie undergo some pretty serious “personal growth and development,” as all those things that happen to her oblige her to step outside her culture-born moral/ethical comfort zone.

    It’s gradual, and it’s spotty – just like real people!

    A large chunk of Death in the Family is devoted to Sookie’s navel-gazing, and making her peace with the existence of the myriad shades of gray that her experiences have revealed to her – and in some really “big questions,” but she’s been doing it steadily throughout the series, so I can’t begrudge her hanging onto relatively trivial things like making breakfast for her man as “any decent woman would,” while wrestling with those leviathan values and right and wrong and situational ethics monstrosities like whether it’s “right” or “wrong” to want to kill Victor, or getting past her conflicted emotions upon learning of the death of the uncle who abused her as a child – or various other beings who tried to kill her. ;)

    If “judgmental” and “product of her/our culture” are convenient umbrella terms – “we can’t know how we would feel in that situation” is a rhetorical comfort zone on steroids – for US!

    Independently of the supernatural element, most readers will never have been obliged to shoot a Debbie Pelt who was about to shoot us, while even one is too many, and no one knows the true percentages, but it’s probably reasonable to say that at least half of us were not sexually abused by a family member when we were children, and that’s just two of the terrible things that happen to Sookie before the series is even half over!

    LOL I guess we do need to go back to that supernatural element after all, because the idea that one person would be able to live as a functional adult, after going through – and without the benefit of so much as a single counseling session – the litany of unspeakable horrors that befall poor Sookie, is as integral a part of the “fantasy” aspect of the series as vampires and werewolves!

    Whew! This is way more than I meant to write. I guess the takeaway is that no matter how we see Sookie, or what we like about her or don’t, the character is “realistic” enough to make us think – and write – about her, so props to the author!

    • Pattydole March 5, 2011 - 1:45 pm Reply

      When I say that she is uneducated, I am not referring to her vocabulary or even the way that she expresses herself. I am a southern woman myself so I know plenty of people; who in my opinion, are quite wise though not that formally educated. I am talking about her treatment of those around her. For example, she goes on and on incessantly about Jason’s human flaws, yet she fails to see that her flaws are as great as his. Jason is who he is and makes no excuses or apologies for that. You know where you stand with a person like that. Sookie, doesn’t know who she is and is incapable of the honesty required to do so. She is as promiscuous in her sexual life in her own way as Jason is. She uses telepathy as an excuse for not having a relationship with human males and though it may be a good one it simply is not a good enough excuse. It is both arrogant and ignorant to assume that because you can read a persons mind that you can know the intent behind their thought. The minds that she seems to read are only filled with shallow thoughts; and, I find it shocking that she rarely reads the mind of a person that isn’t more complex. One example is Jason’s friend Mel, she read his mind, accused him of killing Crystal when he was not guilty. He hit her hard enough to knock her out, which was a bad thing, but he did not kill her. Sookie did more harm than good in his case.

      Another example of her ignorance, is her treatment of Bill. She just doesn’t get that in the scheme of things, that Bill was a relatively young vampire bound by a system of laws that predate him. His queen sent him to get to know her and he was not supposed to tell her about it. He did what he was told to do and had he not did so it could have cost both him and her their lives.

      Eric is the handsome bad boy that is forgiven his roguish behavior when it is as dishonest as Bills was. She has the hots for the viking end of story. She wants the more power of the two which is Eric and she uses Bill’s, dishonesty as an excuse to justify that.

      She is the biggest fang banger in the book, yet she is so bitchy about those that go to and work in vampire bars. If it were not for her telepathy and fairy blood the vamps would not be interested in her; and she would be treated with the same regard as those she looks her nose down on. She spreads her legs for a vamp before they can get her name out of their mouths and want them to treat her like a perfect lady when she doesn’t really behave like one.

      Her treatment of Quinn is unforgivable to me. I respect and feel the greatest of compassion for his character because he sacrificed himself for his family. She is stupid to expect a man that she did not know very well and had barely dated to put her first. I am not saying that she should have stayed with him. I am saying that she sided with the very people that are abusing him for her own selfish reasons and giving him the impression that it is because he did something wrong.

      She expects to much from the men that she gets involved with and is disappointed with the results. If she is not turned and she chooses a life with Eric. Bill or any other vampire she will waste her life fang banging only to be cast aside when her beauty fades and they have no use for her. Why should the more human men want a women that chooses to live their life this way?

  4. David April 12, 2013 - 8:07 pm Reply

    I wish Stephenie Meyer would throw in the towel and call her character stupid.

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