"True Blood" fans can now stop mourning the apparent death of Eric. Showrunner Brian Buckner has answered the burning question about Alexander Skarsgard's future on the show following his character's final scene that left a big cliffhanger in the season 6 finale.
"I can tell you that Alexander Skarsgard is going to be a part of the next season of 'True Blood'. He will be a series regular," he tells TVLine. Asked the more direct question by Entertainment Weekly if it means Eric survives the sunburn, he says, "I did not confirm that he's alive. Not that I want to create more conversation, because I don't, but to be clear, we're not saying how we're going to use him, we're simply saying that we are using him."
While he refuses to reveal Eric's fate, Buckner does say that Eric won't be just fine after the near-death experience. "That would be a cheat, wouldn't it? That would be an incredible cheat. Pam has gone off in search of Eric, and maybe she's going to be the one to find him, y' know?" he teases about how Eric might be saved.
On why Eric chose to retreat to a snowy Sweden, Buckner explains, "This is a man who doesn't want to love, and doesn't want to feel pain, and every connection he has to people ends in pain. So if Eric could be an island, he would be. So with Nora gone, and having sought vengeance for her death, he found that the pain was still there and he doesn't want to feel it again. So he retreated and returned home."
Buckner admits he's surprised by fans' reaction to Eric's final scene, gushing, "The anger is surprising. But I understand he's beloved, and he understands he's beloved and he's going to be a part of this show going forward."
Speaking of Skarsgard's full frontal nudity in the season finale, Buckner reveals he didn't have a long talk with the actor about it. "There's no conversation with him [Skarsgard]. He's Swedish. They're naked all the time," Bucker enthuses. "As a matter of fact, when I saw what we had on camera, I sent him an email that said, 'We're going to lock picture. Are you OK with this?' He said, 'No problemo.' That was the conversation. It couldn't have been easier."
Skarsgard's future and naked scene aside, Buckner talks about the upcoming season 7. "The show started out as, 'Let's see if vampires and humans can get along.' We're returning to that original promise of the show. And because humans and vampires are being forced together, we're going to be examining that with all of our characters," he says of the theme of season 7.
Explaining why the Hep V killed Nora so fast but it doesn't show the same reaction to other vampires, Buckner says the virus has mutated and "that's part of the reason for the time passage as well." He says the virus affected the infected vampires, making them "weaker and driven by a need to eat in a way that the vampires that we've come to know are not."
He continues, "They have to drink human blood in larger quantities and more frequently than before," but notes that "they're not going to be zombies" because "they're far more organized and haven't lost their mental capacity."
Buckner additionally addresses Sookie and Alcide's romance, saying it's the right time to pair them up because "in a world where almost everybody is a creature of some kind, Alcide is the most human of all of our creatures," and "it was also that Sookie's going to put her money where her mouth is and say 'no more vampires.' "
Claiming that Sookie did try to commit to her words without knowing Warlow was half vampire, he adds, "To me, with Eric gone and off on his own story going forward, I think it's a pretty obvious triangle we're setting up between Bill and Sookie and Alcide." While there was no Sookie-Alcide sex scene in the season 6 finale, he assures viewers that there will be some in season 7.
"Would it be True Blood without it? If we had put that scene back-to-back with the Jason-Violet scene, everybody would say that we're pandering. Sometimes we can wait for things," he explains their decision to skip over the couple's first sex.