As season five of HBO’s True Blood fast approaches, fans of the Sookie Stackhouse novels are left speculating over who will play the most integral role of John Quinn. Key characters within the books have emerged over the first four seasons of the hit television series however True Blood creators have remained tight lipped about Quinn, leaving fans to question whether it is essential to have him included in the on screen storyline.
Depiction of John Quinn the Weretiger from the Southern Vampire Mysteries
aka the Sookie Stackhouse novels. by Cogdis – cogdis.deviantart.com
John Quinn first meets Sookie in Dead as a Doornail, book five of the series. Quinn co-owns the Extremely Elegant Events Company or EEE that focuses specifically on weddings, rituals, competitions and the likes for the supernatural community. It is during one of these events that Sookie observes a profound ire of respect centering on Quinn which has her intrigued. Quinn’s torturous past enviably catches up with him in Altogether Dead, book 7, and Sookie finds herself again having to make heartbreaking choices that would seal their fate as a couple. Author and creator Charlaine Harris devoted five out of 12 books in the series towards the ebbs and flows of the somewhat condemned relationship. Harris describes Quinn as a large 6ft5, olive skinned, purple eyed, bald headed man with a strong resemblance to a wrestler, sounds dreamy. But is this relationship of value to the writers of True Blood the Show as much as it is for the storyline in the books?
It is widely agreed amongst fans of the books that Sookies relationship with Quinn wasn’t their most memorable. A close friend of mine stated that Quinn is quite “annoying” especially the constant usage of the word “Babe”. The fact that he is a Were does not seem to pacify the ‘anti-Quinn’ crowd because it is more than likely they have already allied themselves with one of Stackhouse’s other suitors, namely Eric, Bill, Sam or Alcide. This kind of fandom allegiance is not easy to embark on when you are the Director of a high ranking show where by on screen relationships will either work for or against ratings.
The simple truth remains that television writers of True Blood will evidently use what they feel necessary to enhance and empower the lead characters they have presently on screen, regardless of who is or is not in the books. Characters such as Jessica and Jesus are not in the novels however make for interesting viewing on screen. Actor Stephen Moyer who plays Bill Compton in the series explains in a 2009 interview with EW reporter Michael Ausiello, “It’s important that fans of the books will always be taken into consideration but I was told that only 5% of readers are the actual television audience” This statistic is somewhat alarming considering the reason for the show even coming to light was due to the novels popularity on a global scale. Undeniably fans of the books want to see Charlaine’s work displayed in epic proportion and in 2009 Director Alan Ball explained during a panel interview at the Paley Fest how he is “compelled to the spirit of [Charlaine’s] books” and is trying to “balance between the fans of the books and parts of the story that really works and giving some surprises” and let’s face it if we already knew what was ahead would we really be as interested as Ball would hope?
It is easy to condemn a character like Quinn based on eligibility however when adhering to the “spirit” of the novels it cannot be denied that John Quinn is indeed a strong contender in Sookies world of True blood based on his supernatural abilities. It is more natural for Sookie to be in a relationship with a Supe than human because she is unable to hear their thoughts. Another factor is that the mere presence of Quinn commands respect, loyalty amongst his counterparts which has not yet been touched by any other character on the television show. It could be argued that Eric Northman dominated as a cool collector of respect amongst his minions of area five however in the books Quinn was admired for his distinctive courage and talent more so than feared. There is also the reoccurring fact that Sookie has had a bad run of relationships, Bill, Eric, Sam, Alcide which could allow for the respectable Mr Quinn and Sookie to build an on screen chemistry.
Alan Ball has continuously looked for an element of surprise for the fans of both the books and TV show wanting to steer it into the unknown. Quinn is well known amongst fans of the books therefore I believe he will appear at some stage on screen. The element of surprise will be how much attention and affection Ball will show to this particular character, casting, scripting etc. the simple techniques that pull us all in and leave us captivated as the story unravels. The perfect time for Quinn to appear is season five because at the end of season four we saw a heart broken but determined Sookie this is a perfect opening for John Quinn to make a quintessential entrance. I believe Ball is keeping Quinn hidden so that the audience will remain ever hopeful for Eric, Bill or Alcide to be paired with Sookie, and to twist a frenzy amongst fans of the books, then when you least expect it BANG! In True Blood style we are faced with the illustrious purple eyed wrestler.
In the Sookie Stackhouse novels, John Quinn is perfectly placed amongst four other suitors aiming for Sookies heart, how lucky she is! And to say he is nothing more than eye candy for the storyline you are misinformed, he has a place and a purpose it’s whether or not True Blood creators feel it necessary to embark on such a risk. I hope they do, I feel if they choose to omit Quinn then they are doing a huge injustice to five of the 12 books. Sookie needs to progress and develop and Quinn provides her with so much more than topless moments of joy hidden underneath shiny outfits. In times of uncertainty I soak in the words of Charlaine Harris for comfort, guidance, “I chose Alan Ball to bring the Sookie books to the screen because I trust his vision, and I am sure he will be true to the spirit of the books. I am delighted with the talented cast, Alan’s scripts and direction, and the look and feel of the production.”
As season five release date draws near, fingers, fangs and paws are crossed that it is everything we would ever hope for, well, another seven seasons would be excellent, here’s to hope!
What do you think? Should Quinn be a part of True Blood? Post your opinion in the comments.
Lisa Eden is a mother of four from the beautiful country New Zealand. She is a big fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris and her favorite sups are the werewolves. Lisa is currently working on her first paranormal urban romance novel.
Resources for Quotes
• The Southern Vampire Mysteries Character List – Wikipedia
• Entertainment Weekly- Michael Ausiello – Comic Con interview 2009 – True Blood cast love triangle
• True Blood Panel at Paley Fest 2009
• Charlaine Harris Quote
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