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Brian Buckner Drops ‘True Blood’ Season 7 Hints

Did Eric Northman survive? And what the hell are those “vompires” anyway?

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Last Sunday’s season finale of “True Blood” was… interesting. That’s the diplomatic way of saying “not good.”

Among the many questions arising from the “True Blood” finale, first and foremost among the fans is whether Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) managed to survive after bursting into flames while inexplicably sunbathing in Sweden. “True Blood” showrunner Brian Buckner has confirmed that Skarsgård will be a series regular in season 7. But he was evasive about whether Eric is currently alive.

While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Buckner said “Well, 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. I will say that I do long for the days when television audiences could stand to wait and enjoy the tease. But I understand we’re living in a different time. I don’t want to watch a show without him either.”

Buckner also explained something that wasn’t very clear in the episode itself: why the vampires lost their ability to daywalk.

“Nobody knew the rule that if Warlow died, the blood that he gave to you would lose its efficacy,” explained Buckner.” It was a surprise to all the vampires who realized that they just lost their ability to walk in the sun, but Eric was the only one in a timezone where it was light out. I think in the sort of ‘What the f— just happened?’ of it all [Laughs] some people missed the idea that it was Warlow dying that precipitated that event. So if people called it an anticlimax, that Warlow’s death came and went without consequence. No, the Eric thing is the consequence of Warlow’s death.”

During the interview, Buckner also confirmed that Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire) and James (Luke Grimes) will still be in Bon Temps next season.

“We’ve only scratched the surface of what those two actors can do,” noted Buckner. “I always think it’s a nice thing to be able to introduce next season’s regulars in an organic way in the previous season, if you know where you’re going, as we did in this case. It felt really good, especially with Vamp Camp being what Vamp Camp was — that was a way to meet new vampires.”

Regarding the new threat from the Hepatitis V infected vampires, Buckner stressed that they are not zombies.

“They’re weaker and driven by a need to eat in a way that the vampires that we’ve come to know are not,” said Buckner. “They have to drink human blood in larger quantities and more frequently than before. And the other thing to clarify — honestly, it feels weird to have to clarify everything, which is essentially what next season’s job is [Laughs] — but they’re not going to be zombies. They’re far more organized and haven’t lost their mental capacity.”

Buckner also rationalized the idea of pairing up all of the uninfected humans and vampires together in the storyline.

“Here’s my sincere hope: that we get to see more of everybody we love, because everybody is under the banner of fewer stories,” related Buckner. “The story is ‘for every human a vampire, for every vampire a human,’ and now that there’s a lesser need for separate plot and separate story development for every single character that we have, we’re actually going to get to spend more time with them. That’s my hope, that’s the motivation, and that’s where it’s all coming from.”

“True Blood” Season 7 will premiere in Summer 2014 on HBO.