Eric Northman is a one-thousand-year-old vampire Viking and one of the most powerful vampires in the HBO series True Blood, based on a series ‘The Southern Vampire Mysteries’ of thirteen books written by New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris.
Eric’s age has made him faster, stronger than most, and yeah, he can fly. Portrayed by the very tall Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård, he is an imposing character in rural Louisiana.
Eric is somewhat arrogant, but with a true Joie de vivre. He can be manipulative to suit his needs but is typically upfront regarding any action he takes. Even when manipulative he is often frank and open regarding his wishes which makes him easy to read, Sookie comments to herself how she can always know where she stands with Eric, due to his frank nature.
“Please, I’m a thousand years older than you. Put your baby fangs away before you piss me off.”
The above clip is a chronological compilation of clips from True Blood, from the Viking Age until today. We follow Eric through the ages as he encounters the vampire who made him, Godric, the lovely Nora in the 17th century and of course Pam in 1905.
Eric’s father was a Viking King, a Jarl, although his parents wished that Eric would choose a wife, he was more interested in enjoying the pleasures of unmarried life. In the winter of 919 C.E., while Eric was having sex with a servant, werewolves attacked their home. They killed his mother and baby sister and managed to overpower his father, taking his crown. The crown was handed to a cloaked figure who walked off into the snowy night, leaving Eric to tend to his dying father. Before Eric’s father died, he declared Eric a king and made him promise to avenge his family.
In 930 C.E. Eric was wounded in battle while searching for his father’s killer somewhere in Scandinavia. Against his wishes, his Viking companions decided to stay with him. They told Eric tales of glory and of women waiting for him in Valhalla. During the night, an unseen force murdered his comrades. A mysterious young tattooed boy appeared and introduced himself as “Death” to the dying Eric.
Having seen Eric’s strength on the battlefield, the 1,000-year-old vampire Godric offered him immortality through life as a vampire. When Eric asked what he would get out of it, Godric said “Life”. With the lust for life for which he was renowned, Eric agreed and Godric turned him into a vampire.
Godric and Eric were living in London by 1665, during an outbreak of the plague. While doing a favor for King Charles II, Eric came upon a young woman, Nora Gainesborough, who had become infected by the plague whilst caring for victims of the epidemic.
In 1905 Eric was in San Francisco. He rescued Pamela Swynford De Beaufort from an attacker in the street by killing her assailant.
During World War II, Godric and Eric posed as Nazi Schutzstaffel officers in order to infiltrate “Operation Werewolf”. In 1945, they tracked a werewolf down to a house in Augsburg, Germany.
In 1986, Eric was with his progeny Pam in France. During their stay, Eric became enamored with a beautiful human woman named Sylvie and was unusually fond of her.
A short while later in 1986, Eric’s fun was put to an abrupt end with the appearance on the Yakuza. They kidnapped both Pam and Sylvie, giving him an ultimatum to only allow one to live if he came with them. Eric refused, offering himself instead, but they needed him alive. In the end, Eric reluctantly chose Pam and is forced to watch as Sylvie dies.
That same year Eric was relocated with Pam to Shreveport, Louisiana. The two are punished for their public activities by The Magister to run a run-down video store that would eventually become Fangtasia and 80% of all the money must go to the Authority. Eric was elected the new Sheriff of Louisiana Area 5, but only as a means to keep tabs on him and keep his waywardness in check. Eric and Pam are disgusted with this arrangement and run the video store for twenty boring years.
Two years before the series’ pilot, just when vampires “came out of the coffin”, Eric and Pam are still running the video store with help of vampire groupie Ginger. Ginger pitched the idea of turning the store into a vampire nightclub called Fangtasia.
Bill takes Sookie to the vampire bar Fangtasia, where she is introduced to Eric.
“That’s Eric. He’s the oldest thing in this bar.”
Eric exact vengeance on the Yakuza for its wrongdoings in the final episode of the series, when an ultimate showdown between the Yakonomo Corporation, the Yakuza, and Eric ends in the complete annihilation of the former.
Eric and Pam film a cheesy infomercial for their product New Blood: From Vampires, For Vampires and three years after, Eric and Pam appear to be at the dizzying heights of wealth as they triumph at the New York Stock Exchange.
While many vampires, werewolves, and whatever else met their ends before the series (which you can stream on HBO Now) end, Eric managed to avoid a staking and create a synthetic blood empire to boot.