Everyone seems to love the character of Godric and even though we have no idea of what to expect, it’s great to know that he will be returning to Season 4. Cheryl Durst, one of The Vault’s featured guest writers, has written a testament to the much loved maker of Eric; below is her article:
Enter the Man-child
We first meet Godric in a flashback (True Blood, S2E5, “Never Let Me Go”) when he enters Eric Northman’s Viking encampment. It is approximately 1000 AD and Eric is human, mortal, and is in process of dying from fatal wounds he received during battle. Eric’s men have laid him down upon a bed and they are standing guard to give him an uninterrupted and peaceful death. The two men hear or sense a presence and the inevitable takes place; a blurred whirl of “something” attacks the men guarding the dying Viking. We then see blood flying and spurting from their necks and Eric’s comrades fall dead. Enter Godric, looking like a minion of Satan, complete with fangs and blood dripping from all around his mouth and down his chin. Godric is shirtless giving us clear view of his interestingly tattooed body and his hair is unkempt; he truly mimics a wild and savage beast. He crouches over Eric like a predator over his prey and Eric stares him fearlessly and directly in the face and asks: “Are you death?”
Godric appears to be young; in fact, so young that after Godric confirms that he is indeed “death”, Eric says, “But you’re just a little boy.” The red hues from the campfire dance across Godric’s chiseled face making him look healthy and robust which is quite a contrast from the way he appears the next time we see him in a modern day church basement. As we know, Godric “makes” Eric a vampire and our first encounter with Godric is exciting, a bit horrific and leaves us wanting more information about him. I am hoping that in Season Four we will come to know the extent of the sinful and lewd life that this proficient killer once lead that finally brought him to a place of wisdom. It seems as though his 2,000 years of being “undead” allowed him the ability to feel shame and remorse for his past actions and he developed understanding and compassion for humans.
I almost always do research prior to writing. I want to know a bit more than the obvious because if I am going to take time to write something and you are going to grace me with your time to read it, I hope it to be not only interesting, but also an opportunity to learn something that we might normally not know. Etymology is not a definition of a word but rather an explanation of how words sounded hundreds of years ago as well as what the word itself meant. Upon researching the etymology of the name “Godric”, I found that the name itself is considered to be masculine, in English the name is pronounced GAHD-rik and is of Anglo-Saxon origin. The name “Godric” means “power of God” and is derived from Old English “god” combined with “ric”. The “ric” part means “power” or “rule”. Several centuries after the Norman Conquest (around 1070 AD) the name “Godric” died out.
As stated above, the name “Godric” is of Anglo-Saxon origin and from the research that others have undertaken concerning the tattoos, they are representative of Anglo-Saxon design. The tattoo around Godric’s chest/neck area is a traditional Anglo-Saxon symbol of protection and was normally given to the higher-ranking of the society such as warriors, hunters, chiefs and shamanic types. The tattoo on his right arm is written in Elder Futhark, an ancient runic language, and is thought to be some sort of message. It is believed that the tattoo on Godric’s left arm symbolizes water which would compliment his spinal tattoo that appears to be a sea serpent. The red tattoo above his right shoulder blade is a “sigil” which is a symbol for magical or cultural purposes. Runic magic among the Germanic tribes was exemplified by the use of sigils. We can only assume that all of the tattoos were acquired prior to his becoming a vampire because a tattoo would simply fade away or “not take” in permanency after Godric was “turned”. It is thought that Godric was approximately 15 years old when he was made vampire and he was a barbarian.
The word “goodness” is a euphemism for god which, in a way, intertwines with the origins and meaning of the name “Godric”. It appears as though the words “God” and “good” are synonymous throughout history.Looking like a minion of the devil himself when we first meet him, Godric looks dramatically different the next time we see him. Our second encounter finds Godric in the basement of the Fellowship of The Sun Church appearing more like a choirboy whose skin has the shiny pallor of one who knows only moonlight and darkness; skin that is hued in palest pink and textured of marble. Godric is meticulously clean with neatly cropped hair and yet, one can tell, he is still most powerful and in control of the situation at hand. As he snaps Gabe’s neck and ends Gabe’s life we see a proficient killer. When we hear Godric speak in English, he has an obvious charming accent which lends appeal and mystery to his character. Enter a ghastly faced Eric, falling to his knees in front of Godric in adoration and worship. At that very moment I am smitten with Godric’s demeanor and expressionless face. What a striking difference between the once beastly Godic of a millennium ago to what we encounter in the present day.
We next see Godric in the inner sanctum of the church where his symbolic execution was supposed to take place. Chaos abounds with threats of a bloodbath and, as we know, little harm comes to any that are present. After the skirmish at the church, Godric, the vampires and human sympathizers convene at Godric’s house for an impromptu gathering. It is here that we start to understand the psyche of Godric at this moment in time. We find Godric sitting in a chair, appearing to be subdued and pensive. Eric, with a gleeful look on his face, fails at his attempt to entice Godric to feed on an AB negative human. Godric tells Eric he is not hungry and we see Eric’s demeanor turn to sadness and confusion. At this point we recall the wisdom that Godric spoke as he sadly tells Eric that vampires, in general, are frightening and un-evolved. Eric becomes disparaged as he realizes Godric is no longer thinking or acting like a vampire. We watch Godric, a once savage vampire, show mercy to his foes and offers others gratitude for their help rescuing him. As this scene is taking place I am struck by the fact, a millennium later, that shadowed hues from a fire are once again dancing across Godric’s face; only this time the flames reveal a creature transcendent and far removed from his former rapacious self.
Enter Luke, the human bomb, and chaos descends on Godric’s home. After tallying the damage, Godric instructs the survivors to make their way to Hotel Carmilla. Hotel Carmilla turns out to be the venue for healing relationships, sexually charged dreams, Nan Flanagan’s wrath and the official resignation of Godric as Sheriff of Area 9. We also find out that Godric offered himself to the FOTSC and was not abducted as everyone had first feared. The most significant and deeply emotionally charged scene takes place on the roof top of the hotel when it becomes all too clear to Eric that Godric is determined to end his two thousand year existence; for Eric, it is simply an unthinkable and unspeakable act of thankless martyrdom. The interaction between Eric and Godric, in those last few moments before sunrise, is beautifully played and immensely satisfying to me as I had been hoping to find some extraordinary emotional feelings of love buried within Eric. I was not disappointed.
We then witness a most amazing conversation and interaction between Godric and Sookie concerning love, God, forgiveness and fear. In the last moments of Godric’s existence he claims to be full of joy and is amazed that a human chose to be with him as he waits for the sun to rise. Godric also finds great solace in the the fact that Sookie is brought to tears by the immensity of what is about to take place. To date, this is to me, one of the most beautifully directed scenes in the series. The melodiously sad cello music in the background adds yet another layer to the profound sadness of the scene. We are left feeling as though Godric is totally repentant of his crimes against humanity and full of goodness as he allows his immortal life to end and prepares to meet a God unknown to him.
I am mentally preparing myself for Season Four for what could hold a freakish display of “Godric horror”. I have a feeling that we are going to see glimpses of the monstrous acts of violence that eventually bring our beautiful man-child to a place of repentance. I savor the redemptive Godric with his wisdom and goodness and gentile demeanor. As I hold an image of the benevolent Godric in my thoughts, I can’t help but visualize the first time I saw him with that confident demonic smirk on his blood spattered face. And his words resound in my memory: “Could you be a companion of death? Could you walk with me through the world? Through dark? I’ll teach you all I know. I’ll be your father, your brother, your child.” I can’t even imagine what horrors were brought forth while walking through the dark as a companion to Godric. Perhaps Season Four will allow us a glimpse into the past, long, long ago.