true blood season 3 promo

Every ‘True Blood’ Season Ranked Worst to Best

I wanna do real bad things with you

One mention of True Blood and the theme song will start playing in your head. Just like the theme song, the show was a sexy and sinister affair, and it sure went to some wild places. Sometimes good bonkers and other times … a nosedive. Whether that’s due to Charlaine Harris’ books or not isn’t all that important. The show wasn’t a masterpiece during its entire 7 season run. From the relationships (the ones with and without chemistry), to the wild plotlines, to moments that still disturb fans.

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Ranking all the seasons of this show isn’t as taxing as I don’t have issues confronting the problems. And even though I’m all for vampires, werewolves and other supernatural beings—those can’t solely save a show. But hey, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and Pam (Kristin Bauer) as characters did their best. So I’m ranking the True Blood seasons from stakeable to immortal.

7. Season 7

bill's death in True Blood season 7

Final seasons are hard, and they don’t always please everybody. In this case True Blood‘s final season pleased almost nobody. There’s just a lot that went wrong in this season and the ending was incredibly strange (who cares about Sookie’s nameless husband, Jason’s marriage or Sam’s for that matter). Plus having Bill (Stephen Moyer) die at the end was … not satisfying whatsoever. And Tara (Rutina Wesley) dying off screen was so lazy/disrespectful to her as a character. Season 7 takes on too much and doesn’t do it well.

6. Season 4

sookie dream of both bill + eric in True Blood season 4

Trigger warning: Mention of sexual violence

As much as I love campy horror, this season is very much a hot mess plot-wise. The season mainly focuses on the Wiccan group that eventually wages a sort of war on vampires. And a lot of bullshit ensues as a result of that. Between Sookie (Anna Paquin) having more relationship dilemmas (her relationship with Eric was so short-lived that it barely counts), Lafayette and Jesus (Kevin Alejandro)’s love story ending so tragically, and the disgusting storyline involving Jason (Ryan Kwanten) being raped, it’s all so sloppy or unnecessary. The final minutes of the finale help it a bit (the shock of Tara being shot still gets me), but otherwise it’s still at the bottom of this list.

5. Season 6

billith in True Blood season 6

Questions are answered, Billith (Stephen Moyer) is born (or Bill is just reincarnated, however you want to swing it), and True Blood continues its pattern of being bonkers. Season 6 may not be the most put together, but it answers questions that are important for Sookie’s story moving forward. Plus, the Warlow (Rob Kravinsky) reveal and Billith not being a total flop brings something to the season. Of course, there are plot points throughout the season that could’ve been left out. But focusing on Sookie’s past and shattering the ideas she had about her parents was needed. And leaning into the political aspects of the show felt right.

4. Season 5

vamp! tara in True Blood season 5

Tara turning into a vampire was chef’s kiss! Allowing her to have immense power and eventually an intense relationship with Pam was the best direction for her character. In terms of the rest of the season? Pretty solid. Contrary to popular feelings surrounding season 5, to me it unraveled some of the characters in ways that were needed. The season has focused on Sookie’s life outside of her romantic relationships, how pathetic hate groups are, religious fanaticism and the dangers of that, and the extreme turns that life can take. All around the season is full of humor and horror (as usual) and is a bloody good time (not always for our characters though) and that ending is still something that throws me.

3. Season 1

pam being a bad bitch in True Blood s1

The first season properly introduced us to the world of True Blood and the characters that exist in it. Which include the queer icon, Lafayette! Not to mention the turbulent romance between Sookie and Bill (which is present throughout the rest of the series). Naturally there are things that haven’t aged well (the casual presence of confederate flags, the not-so-blunt metaphor for the vampires etc). Considering it’s a southern gothic horror series, there’s not much else to expect. However, the reveal of the killer remains unbelievable and definitely should’ve come sooner than it did. Other than that it’s one of the best seasons if you have no issues re-experiencing the start.

2. Season 2

eggs under maryann's influence in True Blood season 2
(True Blood/Gfycat)

The Maryann (Michelle Forbes) storyline is still by far one of the most stressful to rewatch. Her presence as a villain was so persistent and actually frightening (maenads are no joke). And having it be a season long villain arc was chef’s kiss x10. The characters and the relationships were pushed to their limits (culminating in a lot of tragedy/loss) and almost nobody came out unscathed. Plus it’s so unsettling to rewatch Eggs (Mehcad Brooks)’ death scene (how it was never far-fetched in the first place as he was a Black man in America). All in all, it’s one of my personal favorite seasons for sure.

1. Season 3

talbot and eric in True Blood season 3

Absurdity is True Blood‘s modus operandi and season 3 deals in so many absurd and disturbing moments that it’s earned a top spot. There’s something very real about the dynamics, whether they involve supernatural beings or not. Essentially the season is about the relationships the characters have with one another. And they affect the events that unfold for everyone. A lot of character work is done in this season and that’s something to really appreciate, which is certainly why it deserves to be at the top of the list.

(featured image: HBO)

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Vanessa Maki
Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.