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From Shapeshifter to Skinwalker through the blood of a relative

A new type of shapeshifter was introduced in the form of Sam’s new love interest Luna.

Regular shapeshifters are unable to shift into another human, but Luna confesses that she transformed herself into her mother who died giving birth to her and, according to Navajo legends, that makes her a Skinwalker.

Luna is Navajo on her father’s side and she was raised by him and her grandparents in the old Navajo tradition; her bedtime story was the Legend of the Skinwalkers.

According to the Navajo Skinwalkers were horrible, evil witches whose powers allowed them to transform into any animal on earth, including other people. But the Skinwalker can gain this power in one way only: they would have to kill another shifter, a member of their own family.

Internet research provides a few more interesting things about Skinwalkers. The Navajo believe that if you lock eyes with a Skinwalker they can absorb themselves into your body and they have the power to read human thoughts.

Skinwalkers use charms to instill fear and control in their victims. Such charms include human bone beads launched by blowguns, which embed themselves beneath the surface of the skin without leaving a mark, and human bone dust which can cause paralysis and heart failure.

According to Navajo myth, the only way to successfully shoot a Skinwalker is to dip bullets into white ash, but that might cause your riffle to jam. It is said that if a Navajo was to know the person behind the Skinwalker they had to pronounce the full name, and about three days later that person would either get sick or die for the wrong that they have committed.

Luna seems like a nice girl, but Sam should know by now that nice girls don’t always turn out to be so nice. She has confessed her skinwalker ability, but it makes me wonder what other skeletons she is hiding in her closet and what consequences they will have for Sam’s safety.

Another interesting side to the whole Skinwalker  plotline is of course Sam and Tommy: the only two related shapeshifters in the True Blood saga at the moment. Did Tommy listen in on the campfire conversation about how a shifter could become a Skinwalker by killing a relative?  Sam already shot his brother once, will he try again?  And they do really want to try and be brothers, try to not trust each other a little less every day? Sam better shift into two collies, so he can watch his own back.

9 comments
Absurdist
Absurdist

Well, actually, you forgot about Sam and Tommy's mother, Melinda, didn't you?

Jennie
Jennie

Why couldn't they find an American Indian actor? We aren't that rare. If you are using American Indian myth as part of adding to your story don't you have some responsibility in making the portrayal of the Navajo person be more accurate than an Indian playing an American Indian role? Not surprised that Hollywood gets it wrong in that department again.

Lynnpd
Lynnpd

Shad, I really liked your theory about Tommy. I think you may be right about him. He has shown nothing but envy of Sam all along, so it would make sense that he use the information shared by Luna about the skin walkers to kill his brother so he could become him. It will be interesting to see what actually happens.

My Obsession
My Obsession

Sam has terrible luck with women and I'm afraid Luna may be another one that may cause him some problems. Thanks, Shad, for the most interesting article.

mbb
mbb

i don't know which of the mickens brothers i should worry about more. sam looks miiiighty interested right there!

Zarwyn
Zarwyn

I think they'll be bringing Mama Mickens back at some point - we can't be losing either Sam or Tommy. :-)

Lovetb
Lovetb

Great article Shad! Yes, Sam had better watch his back! He doesn't have much luck with his love life

Rowena
Rowena

I found this to be a most interesting sidebar to the shifter mythology. As a newborn baby Luna never meant to be the cause of her mother's death. So you can become a skinwalker by deliberately killing one of your own or having it happen by accident. Is a shifter's hearing as acute as a vampire's? Did Tommy get close enough to hear Luna's story? He told Sam he wants them to be brothers, which involves chipping away at the mistrust between them. I don't see him looking to kill Sam to gain Skinwalker powers. However, I could be wrong. Thanks for the additional research info, Shad. I'm thinking Sam had better watch his back. Luna is one powerful woman.

Rowena
Rowena

Well written and researched, Shad. Kudos to you.