'True Blood' finale: Stakes are higher than ever

Story highlights

  • "True Blood" ends seven-season run on Sunday
  • Viewers wonder if cure for lethal Hep-V will be found
  • Many characters have paired off: Will relationships stick?
  • Sookie Stackhouse has been at center of many concerns
All good things must come to an end. Or in the case of HBO's hit series, "True Blood," all bad things must meet the true death.
After seven dark and twisted seasons of the drama, based on Charlaine Harris' "Southern Vampire Mysteries," fans of the show -- referred to as "Trubies" -- must say their final goodbyes to Sookie (Anna Paquin), Bill (Stephen Moyer), Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) and the rest of the supernatural creatures of Bon Temps this Sunday.
While some fans have argued the show's quality has declined over the years, it doesn't mean people have stopped watching. Here are the storylines we're absolutely dying to have wrapped up in the final episode:
Will there be a true cure to Hep-V?
Hepatitis-V, a disease that infects both humans and vampires and is lethal to the latter, has been the main plot point of season seven. At first, the disease caused bloodsuckers to lose their minds and eat humans at an alarming rate. Midway through the season it began to transform and just weakened the vampires until eventually they withered away.
Anna Paquin, Sam Trammell
Yes, Sarah Newlin's blood contains the cure to Hep-V, but only a select few actually know this -- and Mr. Gus of the Yakonomo Corporation (Will Yun Lee) wants to keep it that way. Instead of releasing the real cure to the world, he has teamed up with Eric and Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) to synthesize a partial antidote. That way, infected vampires will need to take the medicine regularly without ever being fully cured. Smart business move, but no doubt morally corrupt.
Newlin (Anna Camp) has spent the last few episodes held captive, but will she finally escape in the series finale? Or will Eric and Pam turn on Gus and release the cure to the world? Could this maker-progeny duo actually make an ethical decision that doesn't also benefit them financially?
Only time will tell. But as tensions rise between Gus and Eric, fans can definitely expect a showdown. Especially now that Sookie is in Gus' crosshairs. And everyone knows when it comes to Sookie, Eric does not mess around.
Will our favorite non-vampires find happiness?
Characters such as Sam (Sam Trammell), Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and Arlene (Carrie Preston) may not have a thirst for blood, but they certainly find themselves in consistent danger. So who makes it out (emotionally) alive?
Things are looking pretty good for resident shape-shifter Sam Merlotte. He hasn't been at the forefront of the action much this year, spending most of his time ignoring his mayoral duties in lieu of protecting his pregnant girlfriend, Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell). He even agreed to her demand that they move to raise their unborn child in a safe place. Sam's gotten the short end of the stick throughout the series, so here's hoping he finally gets that happy ending he deserves.
Lafayette has also suffered a lot of loss, but, like Sam, life is starting to turn around. Everyone's favorite cross-dressing fry cook might have even found love --with Jessica's boyfriend, James (Nathan Parsons). Lafayette is a fan favorite and the writers will most likely allow him to ride off into the sunset with this dreamy guitarist.
Then there's Arlene. The fiery, redheaded waitress, now owner of Bellefleur's Bar and Grill, has suffered the loss of two men in her life: former fiancé Rene, who turned out to be a psychopathic murderer and was killed by Sookie; and war veteran Terry Bellefleur, who made her happy but was then killed by a hit man. Tough break. But through it all Arlene has been a survivor, always coming out on top. And it looks like she may find love once again -- this time with ancient vampire Keith (Riley Smith), who is absolutely smitten with her. But who wouldn't be?
Will Jason actually be able to keep his pants on?
Deborah Ann Woll, Jim Parrack
For seven seasons, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) has been in trouble dozens of times, all because he is unable to control himself when it comes to members of the opposite sex -- including Amy (Lizzy Caplan), Sarah Newlin, Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher), Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Violet (Karolina Wydra). The relationships' ends have often been messy -- physically so.
But now that Jessica and Hoyt (Jim Parrack) have finally rekindled their romance (rejoice!), this is the perfect time for Jason to re-evaluate his life choices. While most fans may cry at the thought of a celibate Jason Stackhouse, it may be for the greater good of Bon Temps that he keep his pants on for at least a little while. Of course, no one says he has to keep his shirt on for the finale. This is "True Blood," after all.
Who will meet the true death?
Current "True Blood" show runner Brian Buckner, who replaced original creator Alan Ball, promised there would be game-changing deaths in the final season, and he wasn't kidding. Within the first minute of the opening episode, Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) was staked and killed by a Hep-V-infected vampire. The death happened off-screen, too -- talk about a cold exit. A few episodes later, Sookie's werewolf boyfriend, Alcide (Joe Manganiello), got the ax as well. He died while protecting Sookie, a common theme in the series. But ever since those deaths it has been unusually tame. Which prompts the question, who will bite it in the series finale?
The obvious choice going in would be Bill Compton. Infected with the Hep-V virus (at an alarming rate due to Sookie's faerie blood), he refused to drink from Sarah Newlin and cure himself, stating that he had accepted his fate to die. He claims he is making this decision in an attempt to save Sookie from his own "darkness." Kind of seems like an anti-climactic way for his character to go out, though.
Early predictions from fans had Eric Northman as a main contender to die -- and it seemed likely with him contracting the Hep-V virus early in the final season. But now that he's sampled from the fountain of Sarah Newlin, he is officially cured. Could this be a ploy to fool viewers into thinking he is safe? It seems rather fitting for his character to go out in a blaze of glory.
And what about Sookie Stackhouse? Yes, she is the show's main character, but crazier things have happened. Besides, some would argue she is partially responsible for all of the terrible things to befall the town of Bon Temps, so maybe a death would be satisfying to some fans. Besides, no one has put themselves in more dangerous situations in the seven-season run than Sookie. That girl cannot keep herself out of trouble.
Who will Sookie choose?
"True Blood" began with a love story, and the question still lingers: Who will our heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, end up with?
Alexander Skarsgård, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer
First there was Bill Compton, Sookie's primary love interest. They broke up occasionally, but Sookie always found her way back to him. (Possibly because actors Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are married in real life.) Then there was Eric Northman. Fangirls everywhere squealed when they got together. But while their chemistry was magnetic, they spent more time against one another than actually coupled.
There was also Warlow (Robert Kazinsky), because who wouldn't fall in love with a faerie vampire who is responsible for murdering your parents and hunting you over the years? And then the doomed relationship with Alcide, the gorgeous werewolf who never stood a chance.
Based on this season, it appears Sookie will end up with Bill. They have spent the majority of the year rekindling their original romance. Sookie has made it very clear that all she wants is for Bill to live. But the idea of Bill still being alive at the end of this season is looking less and less likely. That would leave Eric, which would certainly please the fans. But if it only happens by default after Bill dies, does that cheapen their relationship?
Here's a thought -- maybe Sookie should end up alone. It's almost unheard of in a vampire love story, but something that might need to happen for fans to finally respect her. Each season she has put herself in danger over her inability to stay away from particular men. Maybe she will finally make the right choice, pack up her bags, and leave Bon Temps for good.
It would be a bold move and sure to anger many fans, but hey -- at least it would be a surprise.
Goodbyes suck, but hopefully this one won't.
The series finale of "True Blood" airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO, which -- like CNN -- is a unit of Time Warner.