Huh? Did True Blood just kill off Eric?

2013-08-19_2247Somewhere in Sweden, Eric Northman was getting himself a nice tan on the ice when suddenly Warlowe’s blood began to wear off before beginning to sizzle in the sun.

And before giving a quick full frontal shot, he began to burn ….and burn… and burn.

So did True Blood just kill off Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) after 6 seasons?

Season six was good fun but I hope we didn’t just lose one of our favourite characters.



  1. I gave a very simple answer- “And I think for TV a couple of days is fair for US scripted shows, though I think reality is another thing.”
    But, that’s my belief. Someone else might think otherwise. Most sites I visit for TV and movies are cautious with their headlines and header text so as to avoid spoilers, especially after something has first screened. Just because other sites put spoilers in their headings etc doesn’t make it right.
    I don’t see how being cautious can hurt. You have many arguing (and I’m only doing so because I enjoy a good debate) about this, surely you should consider what they’re saying and as I said in my last rant, perhaps open this up for further discussion (or a poll) to see what the general sentiment is with readers.

    • Thanks Quebec. I’m of the view that a few days for American shows and immediate for Australian creates confusion. In my experience of editing the site for over 6 years clarity is better. And there is 6 years of views for and against (by readers not just me) already archived here. You have to recognise that general media are also filing this kind of news in headlines, with photos, as well as throughout Twitter and Facebook. It’s a bit ridiculous that as a TV news site I’m not supposed to file the winner of a reality show or the death of a major character. We’re destined to agree to disagree!

  2. Julie won Masterchef?!! I still hadn’t watched that on my PVR yet!

    Can’t you cater your stories around wha I, pondie, poster at have watched?

  3. I understand the need for SEO and captivating headlines, but a thought needs to be put out for the DVR world that we now live in. Yes, people need to be responsible for avoiding sites if they haven’t watched something, but sites should also be thoughtful to their readers. A headline like “OMG! Did True Blood just really do that ending?” would get people clicking and still allow people to be unspoiled. Obviously many people are upset by this and maybe your readers have different expectations of spoilers on your site than they do on others. Perhaps you could open an article discussion up on what people believe are acceptable spoiler guidelines? I imagine it would generate a lot of comments!

    • It’s been discussed before and will be again with for / against arguments. I have outlined mine here and elsewhere. When Patrick died in Offspring I ran a story the next day. News Corp ran it that night. Yet I’m a dedicated TV site and I get complaints? Go figure.

      I agree it makes it difficult, so the onus is on the viewer from a fully informed position that Aired = News here. This is also on my About page.

      I’m still waiting for a simple answer on when it is ok to freely post headlines / photos after the event. 1 day? 2 days? 1 week? Events like The Block, Offspring, X Factor, The Voice, generate multiple articles.

  4. Sorry, didn’t know I went over. The character count doesn’t count down for me, so in case it got cut off…
    Eric’s potential death in their recap headline and opting for a more generic header picture. Even when they interviewed the show runner a couple of days later to get information they left the headline ambiguous, with the words “Eric’s fate.” Entertainment Weekly didn’t post a spoiler in their headline or in their photo. I don’t watch the show, so for me I don’t care, but I can totally understand why people would be upset. If this was Breaking Bad or Dexter and I hadn’t watched the episode yet, I’d be upset. Though, for a finale, I’d be careful not to visit sites that might spoil it for me.

  5. When will you be writing a Dexter article? At 5.30 in the afternoon just after it’s aired for the first time? At 10.30 after it’s had its primetime airing? The next day? It seems that any time is seen as spoiler time after it’s aired. But I imagine many wouldn’t be watching at 4.30.
    We’re living in a DVR world. Everyone is watching at different times. Obviously, this makes it difficult for people like you, David, when writing articles and reporting big finales and spoilers. This obviously leads to the question of when does a spoiler no longer become a spoiler and can be talked about? Most film sites I visit are careful with spoilers for a couple of weeks after a film is released, allowing people get to see a film. And I think for TV a couple of days is fair for US scripted shows, though I think reality is another thing.
    I noticed on well-known TVLine, they didn’t mention…

  6. You better not spoil Dexter as you did with this. You could have left the title ambiguous and pixelated the picture. There is nothing like a pixelated picture to arouse curiosity.

    This is not cool and very unsophisticated.

    • I won’t be spoiling Dexter before it airs. I will absolutely be blogging after the final series as News. It’s been running for 8 seasons. I consider it a major television event and it will be all over the net. You can read below about reasons for / against. Please be sure to log the same complaints to all the other social media already discussing Eric Northman. Thanks.

  7. I wasn’t having a go in general David, I read your articles all the time and love this site!
    Fair point that you don’t consider Australian release to include the download release. I also have no problem with when the article was posted at all just that the major character death was revealed in the title. I will avoid checking the RSS feed in my emails next time (I successfully avoided twitter and all the rest but this one caught me unaware!). Anyway hopefully it’s not the end of Eric!

  8. We were shocked at the ending too. I agree that whole “6 months later” thing seemed wrong. Matching vampires with families to keep them safe?? My girlfriend has read all of the books except the latest one and even she’s confused.

    As for spoilers – it’s your responsibility, not David’s. I was in the US when that Offspring episode happened. It was all over my social media, but oh well. It happens. I generally have a self imposed ban on social media and these blogs if I have finales on IQ & for the entire Eurovision weekend.

    Bigcon84 – the picture displays on the blog with the headline – that’s why David keeps bringing it up. If he’d changed the headline but kept the Eric picture, you’d have got the same result.

  9. David just wanted to post a photo of a naked man 😉

    I dont watch the show but he’s surrounded by snow right and on fire? just dig into the snow and hide under it!

  10. At the end of the day David. It’s your website, u can post whatever you want.

    There are obviously two differing points of view here and this is my last post in relation to this.

    I can’t think of any reason what the relevance of the photo is to this because you have to open the link to view that photo. You would have had to make to conscious decision that you wanted to view the results.

    What you do in the future is your move, I’m just saying the right thing to do is not name drop. I have the same opinion to morons that so it on Facebook as well, who feel that it’s there right to tell everyone else what’s happened because they had that morning afternoon off work.

    David I have been through a lot of websites, in terms of content, format and relevance to Australia and yours is hands down the best. What you continue to do though is completely upto u

  11. Heck I still have some stuff on my Set Top Box from my days in Newcastle 12 months ago I havent watched yet. I live in Melbourne now. Couldn’t care less about spoilers it’s all part of the fun

  12. I just don’t see the need to name drop. If anything by not name dropping it makes people open the link to find out. If u give it away in the headline then there is nothing to read.

    • Right and then what photo? “Did they just kill Spoiler in True Blood?” And there’s a photo of Sookie because putting one of Eric is a give away? More confusion. Headlines also drive SEO traffic and searches. But essentially I come back to the point that other media are free to write these stories, just not a dedicated TV site? Why? Visiting every 24 hours ironically goes against what you’re saying about “there’s nothing more to read after headline.” Honestly, I have had this same discussion for years (go back and read Lost articles) and I am comfy a clear rule of Aired=News is appropriate for a TV news blog. Thanks.

  13. Yea I hear what your saying in my opinion in the headline names should never be dropped that goes for all headlines. Examples: MasterChef headline, “the winner of masterchef 2013”. You then have the Choice to open the link if u have seen it or not or if u want to know. Then you can say, “Julie wins Masterchef”. That’s all I am saying. It’s annoying when u have to avoid this website for 24 hrs when u haven’t seen the final episode of a show.

  14. To answer ya question, my headline would be, “is this the end for one of our true blood favorites”. You know some big happens but ya don’t know to who. It hasn’t spoiler the episode if you haven’t watched it yet and has just wet the appetite even more.

    • Thanks but like I said, nobody can answer the question straight up: 1 day, 2 day, 1 week? Using your theory, I would still never have written Julie won Masterchef, Harrison wins The Voice or Offspring kills Patrick. While all the other media does. Yes this makes a lot of sense.

  15. In a headline in my opinion in the headline never name drop a spoiler in that episode, just my opinion it’s your website. This is just merely my opinion like I said. The article itself is fine as I stated. The headline would have been fine if u didn’t mention Erik’s name. Everyone watches tv shows at a different rate. The only reason I visit this site daily is because the articles are in Australian time not us time. A spoiler is a spoiler for everyone that hasn’t yet seen the episode, remember that. David at the end of the day that’s my opinion what you put up Is ya own perogative. It may mean that I just don’t use this website as much or be more careful next time.

  16. Noone can dispute the article as it was written after the episode aired, it is a great article. I personally just watched the last episode and the headline ruined it for me. I have a foxtel iq and record everything on that and because of my job sometimes it may take 24-48 hours to watch it. I wasn’t even aware that it was already episode 10 until the headline. So maybe just be a little bit more sensitive with the actually headline. Such as, “is this the end for one of our true blood favorites”. In every series they have nearly killed off a favorite.

  17. I’m with David – if you’re an avid and constant reader/visitor to the site, you should know by now he does his best with writing/publishing articles.

    If you’re worried about any website ruining a show for you, stay off the internet until you’ve watched.

    Common sense, people. Can’t please everyone. One-man band.

  18. @km007 – I have to agree with David here. The episode aired last night and just because you missed it, doesn’t mean David should have to hold off on the article. Apply some common sense and if you know that you have missed the True Blood finale, then don’t go reading TV Tonight until you’re caught up. It’s not rocket science.

  19. Damned if you do I guess…can never please everyone.
    I got told off on Facebook for talking about who got out of Masterchef last night, and I used your analogy of Aired = Fair game. It seemed to work.

  20. I have already figured out that I’m not going to visit any TV sites, news sites or social media until I after I have seen the final episode of Dexter on the Spring Equinox.

  21. always had the rule once it had aired in this country it was up to you to avoid the spoilers if you hadn’t watched it yet. Which made sense.

    Not a major spoiler for episode, the heading just revealed that it wasn’t clear if Eric was dead or not. Eric had left the group before the final battle and wasn’t part of the story anymore. It was handled as a humorous aside.

    Pam was worried that Eric was going to do a Godrick, so perhaps we was waiting in the sun for that to happen. But they didn’t make it 100% by showing him disintegrating just on fire.

  22. Totally agree with bleachy_dude , and David once it has aired it is open season for discussion.
    I hope Pam saved him , she is my favorite character

  23. It is definitely open slather once the episode has screened. No spoiler tags unless it comes before the ep screens. Especially for season premieres / finales / highly publicized events.

    It is your responsibility to stay off TV blogs (and good luck avoiding social media ie FB, twitter etc) if you are watching the show delayed via iTunes/ online catch up or whatever.

    For example I couldn’t watch the Offspring death episode, so I stayed off TV Tonight until I caught up online the following day. My responsibility not to see a spoiler, not David’s.

  24. Or, you know, you could simply just change the title to ‘Huh? Did True Blood just kill off *Spoiler*?’ like every other TV blog and give people the option to spoil themselves or not.

    • A quick scan of Google News shows there are others who did and others who didn’t. What pic would I have used? Eric? And then what should I have done for Patrick’s death on Offspring 2 weeks ago? Is it one rule for some dramas and not others? One rule for Drama and another for Reality? Twitter can discuss with glee but not social media blogs? The blog is reactionary to what has aired and the whole basis of ‘spoiling’ is to tell you something that hasn’t happened, not to tell you something that you didn’t watch because you may have been watching something else or out to dinner. I have to swim with the tide not wait for every individual sorry. Appreciate the concern, but not sure you appreciate mine….

  25. You do realise that TB only comes out on iTunes today? So for those of us who subscribe to your news feed and (legally) download the show you have effective just spoiled the finale with this article title. Way to go TV Tonight. maybe no spoilers in the title next time?

    • I’m blogging about broadcast not iTunes or DVDs etc. This aired last night in Australia. It would have been a spoiler if I had written it before it airs, but after broadcast it becomes News for a dedicated TV blog. Are you suggesting tomorrow would have been fine, or I’m just never allowed to write storylines in headlines and photos? Sorry, that model doesn’t work. Just look at the death of Patrick in Offspring. I’m supposed to hold off the news while it’s all over the media and social media? Yet I’m a dedicated TV site? Does not add up. I’ve dealt with the dilemma for years but the worst thing I could do is change the ground rules willy nilly. It’s a clear rule of Aired = News. Thanks.

  26. Excellent scene.

    Pam would have the same problem.

    But Eric didn’t go poof and we have seen very old vampires survive a severe burning before so they have left it as part of the usual end of season cliff-hanger.

    I don’t get why Eric didn’t dive into the snow at vampire speed once he started sizzling though.

  27. Surely not gone for good? If he is gone, that was a terrible way to farewell such a big character.

    I’m wondering whether the 6 month later thing isn’t some bizarre dream either. Look how Sookie was dressed. A book written, printed and released in 6 months? Sam a mayor and Merlotte’s now in someone else’s hands?

    Not entirely convinced the True Blood meets The Walking Dead scenario is for real.

    Best thing about the second half was having Alcide look hot again!

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