This 'True Blood' Star Schooled Sookie 'Shippers

It's been a debate since Sookie Stackhouse first laid her hesitant eyes on Eric Northman and his wickedly stupid long hair and inescapable gaze back in Season 1. True Blood was destined for a love triangle. And when Alcide Hervoux, the cunning and wildly handsome werewolf came into the picture, we saw something of a love rhombus form. But isn't this series, at its very center, truly about Sookie Stackhouse and not necessarily which of her romantic conquests will cross the finish line? Hell yeah, if you ask Merlotte's waitress and "progressive, sensual goddess" Holly, or actress Lauren Bowles to those of us on this side of the TV screen.

Bowles spoke with me recently about the end of True Blood and, of course, that all-encompassing question — the one that has everyone, everywhere crying "Sookehhh" once more: Who will Sookie Stackhouse choose as her romantic partner for all time by the time Fangtasia and all our familiar haunts close their doors forever?

"I’ve been asked, 'Are you Team Bill, Team Eric, Team Alcide before [he died].' And I’m like, 'You know what? I’m Team Sookie,'" says Bowles. But she's not saying Sookie should end up alone, necessarily. Nope. Bowles is working with my favorite answer to the Sookie 'shipper riddle so far: Sookie can "end up" with Eric, or Bill, or flying spaghetti monster for all I care, as long as in the end, Sookie's true victory is making peace with herself.

"I’m a card-carrying feminist and I think ultimately whether you pair off or not or who you pair off with [doesn't matter]. Ultimately everyone’s relationship with themselves is at the core for all of us to figure out, as individuals living in this world and with these characters like [Sookie]," adds Bowles. "And I think so often on shows like this everyone’s focused on the answer: 'Which one?' 'Who will she end up with?' And to me, it’s just more interesting to sort of see how they all settle in with themselves." Here, here, sister.

Of course, with a cast the size of Bon Temps' embattled ensemble, there's more to this final season that Sookie's romantic (or non-romantic) fate. Bowles also teased a bit of Holly's future in the next six episodes, assuring us we'd see a little more Holly-Andy time and that Holly could be back in action soon. "I think Holly is a mama bear to anyone she cares deeply about ... I will say she becomes more mama bear when lives are threatened," she teased. And if we know anything about the last few episodes of True Blood seasons, it's that lives are always threatened — and in great quantities.

And to help us deal with our grief over all of these lives being threatened and lost (RIP Alcide and Tara), Bowles has a handy way of looking at things. "I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, so I kind of love when the rules are thrown out the window. As sad as it is to lose [Alcide] for sure, I think storytelling-wise bold moves like that, for me personally as a viewer, I always kind of love. It’s just the ones you don’t see coming."

So, True Blood fans. If you can just treat this final season like you would any other season of that other bloody show we all love, then maybe, just maybe we can get through all this death and mayhem together. And if that doesn't work, I guess we can take solace in the fact that as non-vamps our tears won't leave blood stains on our pillows at night.

Image: HBO