Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Twilight vs. True Blood

I started watching the HBO show True Blood shortly before I discovered the Twilight phenomenon (or is it phenomena - I can never get that right) and after watching the first season, I decided to pick up the first book in the series. For those that don't know, True Blood is a show based on a series of books written by Charlaine Harris. So far, Harris has written eight books in the Southern Vampire Mystery Series (also known as the Sookie Stackhouse novels). After reading this book, I became aware of the hype surrounding this "vampire movie" Twilight. At first, I really wasn't interested in the movie. I thought it looked cheesy, but after seeing the trailer over and over on TV, I decided to go see the movie.


I became totally obsessed. I couldn't get enough Twilight. That's why I began reading the books. While I was reading the 4 Twilight books, I noticed some similarities between this series and the Sookie series. Some really striking similarities. The first Sookie novel was published in 2001, while the first Twilight novel was published in 2005. The books were fairly spread out, but they seem to share a lot of similarities. Anyway, that is what this whole post is about. So I begin:

1. Werewolves and shapeshifters - In both the SS universe and the TW universe, other supernatural beings exist. In TW, Bella's other major love interest (Jacob) happens to be a werewolf (and later we find out he isn't TRUELY a werewolf, but a shapeshifter - this could get complicated if I went into full detail about that, so I won't). In the SS universe, Sookie's kind of love interest (Sam) is a shapeshifter. In other words (just in case the former was confusing), in both universes the main character has a love interest who is a shapeshifter and oddly enough the shifters "shift" into a "shape" that is of the canine variety (Sam into a collie and Jacob into a (were)wolf).

2. Telepathy - In TW, Edward is able to hear the thoughts of others (with the exception of Bella). In the SS universe, Sookie can hear the thoughts of others (with the exception of Bill and other vampires). In both universes, however, the telepathic ones can later hear those that they formerly couldn't. In Breaking Dawn (the final book of the TW series), Bella allows Edward to hear her thoughts. In Living Dead in Dallas (the second book in the SS series), Sookie reveals that on occasion she has been able to hear some of the vampires' thoughts "slip" through.

3. Mythology - In both universes, the vampires have helped construct a mythology in order to protect their secrets. In the SS universe, Bill reveals that the vampires themselves created the mythology behind stakes, mirrors, crucifixes, and garlic. In the TW universe, it is hinted at that Carlisle created the story of the Stregoni Benifici in order to alleviate some of the negative feelings toward vampires.

4. Vampire characteristics - Obviously from vampire story to vampire story, there are going to be similarities in their characteristics - like fangs, "allergies to sunlight", coffins (BTW, all of those are untrue of TW vampires), pale and cold skin, etc. However, there is a characteristic in both the TW and SS universes that I have never heard of in other vampire stories. And that is the immobility that vampires possess in the TW and SS novels. In both of these stories, the vampires are relatively immobile, which happens to draw attention to their marked difference. In the TW universe, the vampires must practice the human habit of fidgeting in order to fit in. In the SS universe, the vampires are not so concerned with this unnerving trait of theirs.

I'm sure there are more similarities that I missed and I'm sure as I continue reading the SS series, I will notice even more. This post became way more scholarly and term paper-like than I intended. It was actually pretty fun to write. I guess that's the nerd in me. Somewhere hidden deep within my heart, (in a place I wasn't even aware existed in college) I think I actually enjoy writing.

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