For all that the show originally promised to provide some interesting social commentary and a new spin on the the well-worked trope of vampirism, True Blood‘s charms have ultimately lain in its characters, who are pretty much all unfeasibly attractive and have unfeasible amounts of sex with one another. At least two of Flavorwire’s regular staffers have stuck with the show from start to finish, and yeah, if we’re honest, it was always about the sex. So here’s something for a Friday afternoon — a lighthearted look back at the sexiest characters on the show, ranked from #20 to #1. (No, of course Bill’s not on here. C’mon.)
20. Antonia Gavilán
She got a pretty awful deal, but when she wasn’t getting fed on by Spanish Inquisition vampires, burned at the stake, or trapped in the body of a crazy modern witch, Antonia had a whole lot more charm than any of the other characters introduced in Season 4. Also, she could compel vampires to self-immolate! Power is an aphrodisiac! And all that!
19. “Eggs” Benedict Talley
Speaking of characters who got a raw deal: poor Eggs. He took the brunt of Marianne the Maenad’s manipulations, being used as her de facto murder weapon, and then, hey, he was shot by a white person overreacting to his anguish at crimes he didn’t even remember committing. His premature death meant he was only on the show for a season, but he still had time to film some genuinely steamy scenes with Rutina Wesley.
18. Sarah Newlin
Yeah, of course she’s the worst — that kinda makes her all the more attractive. Also, you just know that under all the Christian blather, she’d probably be, um, all sorts of fun. Ahem.
17. Nora Gainesborough
Eric’s sister kinda got lost in the flood of attractive brunettes who appeared in Season 5, but she had a charm all her own, especially once she dispensed with the fanatical Lilith worship. And really, anyone who can deliver the line, “Sod the fuck off you cunting twat,” with such gusto is entirely OK with us.
16. Roman Zimojic
A bit buttoned-up, perhaps, but the Head of the Vampire Authority had a certain gravitas about him — he was the strong, silent type, with a pleasantly ruthless air and little tolerance for fools. Admittedly, his aura of authority was kinda undermined by being unceremoniously slaughtered by Russell Edgington midway through Season 5, but hey, you can’t have everything.
15. Lorena Krasiki
Her head rotates 360 degrees! While having sex!
14. Salomé Agrippa
Her character was based on the original biblical seductress, so yeah, it’s no surprise that Salomé had a talent for wrapping men around her little finger. She’d probably feature higher on this list but for her crazy fixation on Lilith and the Vampire Bible — fanaticism isn’t sexy at all. It’s no fun, either.
13. Russell Edgington
C’mon, who doesn’t love a batshit crazy 2800-year-old vampire?
Or, for that matter, his pouting, sensitive consort, who was a lot easier on the eyes than Russell, and who also gave the show one of its most gloriously homoerotic scenes when he got it on with Eric. (Sadly, that scene led to Talbot’s demise, but so it goes.)
Of all the entries on this list, there was most debate at Flavorwire central about the inclusion of Godric. And, y’know, fair enough — despite being over 2000 years old, he looked about 16 and was played by the perilously young Allan Hyde. But still, there’s an air of gentleness about him, which is always attractive — and also a latent power, which could still manifest itself to frightening effect if he was provoked. He’s the character for anyone who’s ever had a crush on a distant-eyed existentialist type.
10. Maryann Forrester
Orgies! Such orgies! OK, she was murderous and manipulative and awful, but still: orgies!
9. Tara Thornton
She got the worst deal of anyone on the show — abusive mother, exploited by Maryann, robbed of the one man she loved by a policeman’s bullet, tortured by a deranged vampire, shot in the head, resurrected against her will, and then splattered in the first minutes of Season 7. Through it all, though, she retained her charm, her toughness, and her brutal honesty.
8. Jason Stackhouse
Bon Temps’ most notorious lothario is the sort of dude who shouldn’t be attractive — he’s not very bright, he’s a football bro, and he’s a cop, for Chrissakes. And yet, it’s hard to deny his meatheaded appeal (as demonstrated amply by the fact that he has sex with pretty much everyone on the show at some point or other).
Tara’s cage-fighting girlfriend from New Orleans. She didn’t even warrant a last name, sadly, and her character was largely underutilized. It’s a shame we didn’t, ahem, see more of her.
6. Jessica Hamby
From sheltered and repressed Christian girl through annoying adolescence and a series of missteps to adult vampire — True Blood has been a long strange trip for Jessica, and she turned out to be… well, pretty great, actually. Bless her.
5. Sophie-Anne Leclerq
Given that she once had blood-soaked sex on camera with Marilyn Manson, Evan Rachel Wood was basically born into this devilish, debauched role. It’s a shame she was killed off so early.
4. Amy Burley
C’mon, it’s Lizzy Caplan with no clothes on, and it doesn’t even involve watching Masters of Sex! Everybody wins!
3. Lafayette Reynolds
Arguably the show’s best character, and definitely its most engaging. Nelsan Ellis has absolutely owned this part for the last seven years, so much so that it’s a jolt to see him in any other role, without the Southern accent and the outrageously awesome outfits. (True fact: he’s also gotten to #3 on this list while being about the only regular cast member not to get naked at some point.)
2. Pam Swynford de Beaufort
A bisexual brothel-owning vampire with a peerless line in sarcasm: honestly, what’s not to like? Pam is the best. Well, OK, the best apart from…
1. Eric Northman
Could it be anyone else? Ever since he made his first appearance on the Fangtasia throne, casually booting a groveling human off the stage, Eric has ruled over the hearts and, um, other parts of True Blood fans the world over. Long-haired Viking Eric, short-haired chic Eric, naked mountainside Eric, even hilarious Republican Convention cowboy Eric… they’ve all got it going on. (Note: none of this applies to Nice Amnesiac Eric in Season 4, who was kinda lame, to be honest.)