It has been days since the premiere of the last season of HBO’s massive hit, True Blood, and still people are chattering about one of the most shocking deaths the series has pulled off. Within minutes of the episode entitled Jesus Is Gonna Come, Tara Thornton, played by actress Rutina Wesley, was killed off during a fight that partly took place off-screen. It was a harsh way to see a character go, especially one as tragic as Tara was. However, the way in which she went does lead to an interesting conclusion: True Blood may be ‘glamouring’ everyone (an ability vampires have to control a human being). The undead Tara may still be alive and kicking, so to speak, among the residents of Bon Temps.
The first sign points to the somewhat misleading answers Wesley gave during interviews following the episode’s airing. One of those in particular, given to TV Guide. Thornton was questioned on whether there was some way in which Tara cold return to True Blood.
“She’s dead,” she stated, “I hate to say it, but she’s dead. I’m no longer.”
Many fans have pointed out something peculiar about the wording (even if they may be picking at straws): for all intents and purposes, Tara Thornton is already dead. She was killed at the end of season four by a shotgun blast meant for her friend, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin). She was reborn as a vampire by the snarky and hilarious Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten). Could Wesley simply be rephrasing what is already known — that Tara Thornton is dead because of what happened in season four and not what transpired at the beginning of season seven?
Another interesting mention is the actual fight sequence in which Tara met the “true death” (when a vampire is killed). As she fought off a vamp infected with the fictional hepatitis V virus (a disease that is only harmful to vampires), she had the upper hand. The next time they came back to the place where she fought, her mother, Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) is covered in blood, presumably belonging to Tara. In the ruckus of it all, perhaps Lettie Mae took her eyes away for a moment. After her daughter was victorious in her fight, maybe one of the other “infected” vamps could have taken her away.
For this to work, it should be mentioned that several other characters were taken away in the same episode. The sickly vamps that snatched them up brought them to a hidden location (eventually revealed to be the vampire club, Fangtasia). Of course, those kidnapped were all human, so it is a bit of a stretch. In defense of that theory, True Blood has never been one to keep up logic for the sake of logic itself, so it might fit.
Diving further into the lore of the show, if Tara was killed, there was no mention of it by her maker, Pam. It was explained early on that the “maker” (the vampire who creates another vampire), not only has the power to sense the whereabouts of their progeny (and vice versa), but they can also feel when the other is in pain or somehow killed. When Tara was defeated, Pam seemed to have no reaction.
She did mention to another vampire that she had lost everyone she ever loved during a later scene — which could mean she did feel it as Tara was killed. However, the connection between a vampire and their progeny is quite strong. There barely seemed to be a blip in Pam’s radar (granted, she was currently on a search for her maker, Eric, played by heartthrob Alexander Skarsgård).
There have also been indications as to how Tara may have been killed, if she is truly dead. One of the most interesting takes is quite a shocker. Consider this: if Tara did meet her end, it was not by the vampires she was fighting against –the person she hoped to save carried it out, her mother. Lettie Mae is capable of doing something that she believes would save her daughter’s soul (especially since she became a preacher’s wife). It would add another layer to a confusing series of events, but it would make a lot of sense.
Wesley is signed on for more episodes during the final bow of True Blood. There are a myriad of other reasons, rumors and theories, which are being shelled out by fans of Tara Thornton and the show. However, Wesley admits that even if her character is now in the afterlife, she will not be gone from the show forever.
“She’s dead,” she stated to Entertainment Weekly earlier this week. “But dead doesn’t always mean gone on True Blood.”
Opinion by Jonathan Brown