Tara: True Blood vs. The Sookie Stackhouse Novels

By Takima Bly (@emma_fRhost2)

Tara is the sassy and strong minded best friend of Sookie in HBO’s True Blood television series centered on vampires in the south. The True Blood series was derived from The Sookie Stackhouse Novels, but detoured from most of the book’s concepts. There are a lot of elements that differ from the show to the book including the timeline of events and character traits. One of the major differences is Tara.

First off, in the books, Tara is Caucasian with an olive complexion and black hair. The Tara we see being portrayed in the TV show is a dark complexion African American female. In the show, Tara is introduced in the first season, but in the books, she is introduced in the second book, Living Dead in Dallas. In the books, Tara opens up a clothing store called Tara's Togs, but on the show, she worked as Merlotte's restaurant bartender before Pam employs her at Fangtasia, as a bartender and dancer.

In the books, Tara became pregnant, had twins, and she had a husband. In the TV show, she is deeply estranged from her family and has nothing but failed romantic relationships. The only family Tara is (or was) close to on the show is Lafayette. Tara and Lafayette are cousins on the show and had constant interaction, very different from the novels in which Lafayette had a small role and they were not related. Tara was also turned into a vampire on the show, because Sookie and Lafayette wanted to save her life after being shot.

True Blood Tara had more of a major role than she did in the Sookie Stackhouse Novels. She interacted sparingly with Sookie in the books, and her story wasn’t as relevant as it is in the show. Tara and Sookie had much more interaction in the TV show, and their friendship was elaborated through all of their trials and tribulations.  

The book version of Tara is kind and calm. On True Blood, she is more feisty and hot headed. Fans are able to understand her personality as they watch her overcome all the obstacles thrown in her way. Television Tara is a prominent character, who brings more life in the series, than her minor role as her book character counterpart.

About the Author

K. Bly is an expert on book reviews that spotlight girls and women, of color, characters in the horror, sci-fi, and suspense genres of literature, in novels and comic books. You can find her on both Twitter (@emma_fRhost2) and Instagram (@game_of_rhos)

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