People Bitching About the Sookie Stackhouse Ending Just Don't Get It

Categories: Books

sookieend1.jpg
Warning, this article contains nothing but spoilers.

Charlaine Harris recently wrapped up the Sookie Stackhouse books with Dead Ever After, and True Blood returns to us this Sunday. If I was a betting man, I would say that this is likely to be the last season of the show. The storyline has gotten a little ridiculous, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that my main motivation to continue coverage this year was to see Rutina Wesley and Kristin Bauer van Straten cement their new relationship with copious amounts of copulation.

And the music still kicks ass, of course. So see you on Rocks Off on Monday morning.

For now, though, it's time to talk about the books. Thirteen novels is a whole lot of one protagonist. In terms of word count, Sookie is up there with the likes of Sherlock Holmes. Hell, even the modern vampire queen Anne Rice only made it to 12 books in the Vampire Chronicles, and she didn't even stay focused on the same character in all of them.

Yet Sookie's ending, to me, perfectly wrapped up her entire story arc wonderfully. We're far enough down in this article now that I feel safe stating it baldly. Sookie winds up with Sam Merlotte, owns part of the bar that has been her home base for so long, and learns to accept herself and her life in Bon Temps free from constant judgment. She winds up whole and alive, and that's how it always should have been.

Flashback
Charlaine Harris: Saying Goodbye to Sookie

Yet that's not what fans are saying. Here's a collection of quotes from Amazon, where 1-star reviews out number 5-star ones by 50 percent.

"At the end, Sookie is worst than when the series started, because she now knows what she is going to be missing. She will have a dull existence."

"Honestly, if I had wanted that ending I would have watched any teen romcom from the 90s. It was that exact same formula. Girl is finally happy where she started, everyone SUDDENLY loves her (those that labeled her Crazy Sookie...), and whaddaya know... her bff who has been right under her nose is the guy she ends up with.. but you know.. not in a crazy, passionate, spectacular way.. but because he's always been around."

"Worst of all she leaves Sookie victimized once again. She is denied any real choice and she "settles" for what love and support she could get from safe Sam."

"These books were always primarily based around the vampire characters and situations. That is most likely what brought all the fans on board to begin with. I was disappointed that this book, the series FINALE, had hardly anything to do with the vampires."

This goes on for 93 pages of reviews, so I'll stop there. The primary gripe with the ending of Sookie's story seems to be that she didn't end up with Eric or even Bill. I'm sure at some point Charlaine Harris considered having that ending and probably a hundred others, but the reality is that Sookie was never, ever going to live happily ever after with a vampire. That's not the story Harris was telling, even if it's the story people tell themselves that it is.


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9 comments
Melifornia
Melifornia

Bravo, Jef. The ending was exactly what I wanted and indeed what I foresaw when I started reading the series back in 2001. Sookie, self-assured and optimistic and content. She's been through enough in the past two years (in book years) to know that even if things don't work out with Sam, even if she comes up against some new horror in the future, she has the strength, intelligence, and compassion to come out alright in the end. 

But I will take your bet about this being the last season of True Blood. I'll bet it goes at least 7 seasons. ;)

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Thank you! I was one of the many who were appalled, (with two Ps) at Thomas Harris' "Hannibal." There was only two destinations for the course Thomas Harris plotted and either/or requried considerable courage from the author. Instead, the ending stank of a book agent or editor's greedy-handed meddling. Like Will Graham, Clarice Starling was never gonna have a happy ending and like Will Graham, nothing, NOTHING about her development lends to running off with Lecter--even after her ecstacy therapy/epiphany/thingy. 

Ms. Harris' conclusion to Sookie Stackhouse follows a logical conclusion.

calamityann
calamityann

@Melifornia 

If Sookie is so self-assured, why does she lie to Sam about being able to read his mind? 

@MadMac 

I hated Hannibal too ;p

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@MadMac Harris had no choice. It was either write the novel and let them make a movie based on it, or the studio would make their own movie without his input because they had the right to do that. he did the best he could. 

Melifornia
Melifornia

She can't read his mind very often. He's a shifter; she can sometimes get an image or a feeling, but as general rule their minds are "red and hazy".

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

I get you DEG could screw up a cup of coffee, eg "Hannibal Rising," and "The Red Dragon." And, honestly, I was good with what he wrote, (Hannibal not HR) right up to the ending. The logical conclusion was either, Hannibal kills Clarice or Clarice kills him. I would even allow--Hannibal escaping and Clarice is left to face the music but the love nest in Brazil was a touch to much and my suspension of disbelief bridge collapsed.

calamityann
calamityann

@Melifornia 

Off the top of my head, she reads his mind several times in Small Town Wedding.  She even reads his mother's (the full shifter) disparaging thoughts about Sookie herself and the Sookie assures her she can't read shifters' minds "clearly" when she clearly had just done so.  She also reads his mind about being unable to pay his beer distributor bill in Dead Reckoning.  She also reads his thoughts very clearly in the short story If I Had a Hammer, which the author has told us takes place *after* Dead Ever After.  There are other examples but these are recent ones.

Melifornia
Melifornia

Really? LOTS of times? I remember a couple of incidents when she was able to get a clear image, but most of the time all she could get was vague "feelings" from him and she was upset because she COULDN'T read his mind.  

calamityann
calamityann

@Melifornia 

Oh, but she's read his mind LOTS of times in the books.  Either she can't read his mind or she lied, and if she lied, I don't think it indicates she is self-assured *at all*.  She doesn't trust even Sam with the truth.

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