How to watch True Blood – what’s it about and who’s in the cast?

Alan Ball's vampire series starring Anna Paquin is often as funny as it is dark

True Blood

While a series about vampires might not seem like the most obvious metaphor for America, quirky series True Blood is just that: set in Louisiana, it’s a gothic supernatural mystery that somehow manages to entertain and ask poignant questions about nature, nurture, integration and prejudice.

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Where can I watch True Blood?

True Blood is available to watch on iTunes, Amazon Prime and Sky On Demand. You can also purchase the series on DVD.

What year did True Blood start?

The first season of True Blood aired in September 2008. The final episode aired in August 2014.

How many seasons of True Blood are there? How many episodes of True Blood are there?

There are seven seasons of True Blood with between 10 and 12 episodes per season, for a total of 80 episodes.

What is True Blood about?

Thanks to the invention of a synthetic blood substitute, vampires are finally able to live among humans. Not all vampires, however, believe integration is possible, wedging a divide between those who want to assimilate and those who believe it’s a lost cause. Humans, too, are at odds about their new supernatural neighbours; some even believe vampires should be killed.

Of course, the advent of human-vampire interaction also means inter-creature love is in the air, which is exactly what happens to human-faerie hybrid Sookie Stackhouse, a Bon Temps, Louisiana waitress who falls in love with a 175-year-old vampire named William Compton.

In series one, Bon Temps, still struggling with integration, is rocked by series of murders. All seem connected to Sookie’s brother, Jason, but she is convinced of his innocence and seeks to find the true killer.

Subsequent seasons introduce new mysteries — and new mythological creatures — to Bon Temps, all set against the complex, evolving conflict between human and supernatural factions.

Who is in the True Blood cast?

Kiwi-Canadian Anna Paquin (The Affair) stars as the telepathic central character Sookie Stackhouse who falls for vampire Bill Compton, played by Paquin’s real-life husband Stephen Moyer.

Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer (Getty Images)
Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer (Getty Images)

Sookie’s boss, shape-shifter Sam Merlotte, is played by Tony winner Sam Trammell (The Fault in Our Stars).

Aussie Ryan Kwanten (Home and Away) plays Jason, Sookie’s brother, who is suspected of a string of murders in season one.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Ryan Kwanten poses for a picture at the Australians In Film screening of 'Red Hill' held at Harmony Gold on October 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)
Ryan Kwanten (Getty Images)

Rutina Wesley (Queen Sugar) plays Sookie’s close friend Tara Mae Thornton.

Rutina Wesley (Getty Images)
Rutina Wesley (Getty Images)

Viking-turned-vampire Eric Northman is played by Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies, Zoolander).

Alexander Skarsgard (Getty Images for Netflix)
Alexander Skarsgard (Getty Images for Netflix)

Where is True Blood set?

True Blood is set in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Is True Blood based on a book?

Yes! True Blood is based on the Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris, which are available to purchase as a box set.

Much of the series’ humour can be credited to Harris, who told Mystery Scene: “Vampires can also be pretty funny…I try to find the humour in every situation. It’s pretty much how I cope.”

Who wrote True Blood?

No doubt Harris’ dark humour appealed to series creator Alan Ball, who also created Six Feet Under. Ball served as the showrunner for five seasons before handing the reins to Brian Buckner for the final two.

Where is True Blood filmed?

True Blood was filmed primarily in California and Louisiana. Some interiors, including Merlotte’s, where Sookie works, were filmed in a Hollywood studio. Many exteriors, however, were shot on location in Louisiana, including Bill Compton’s house, which is actually Louisiana’s Roseneath Plantation.

For Maryann’s house, however, the team used a Pasadena, California home. The exteriors for Sookie’s house were also filmed in California—the interiors were filmed in the same studio as Merlotte’s.

Is True Blood coming back?

While nothing has been announced, series star Stephen Moyer has said revival is “very possible”, though he also suggested the original cast probably wouldn’t return.


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