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Bill Compton

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen all of the series to date or haven’t read the books and don’t want to know what happens in them, please be warned there are spoilers ahead!

Stephen Moyer’s most famous role to date has to be that of William Thomas “Bill” Compton. This section of the site will attempt to chronicle who the character of Bill Compton is and what he is really like. We, of course, focus on the Bill from True Blood instead of the Bill from the books, but in order to include all information available about Bill, and since his very existence is owed to the books, you will see many book references in comparison to the series.

William Compton (William Erasmus Compton according to Dead Until Dark) is a fictional character from the The Southern Vampire Mysteries/Sookie Stackhouse series by author Charlaine Harris which in 2008 was brought to life by Stephen Moyer in the HBO series True Blood. Bill is a vampire and is introduced in the first novel in the series, Dead Until Dark, and has appeared in all of the novels since. He has also appeared in every episode to date of the TV show.  He is sometimes referred to as “Vampire Bill” by locals in Bon Temps.

Although it’s been reported by Alan Ball, the creator of True Blood, that it took a long time to find the right Bill, it has been said that the long search was well worth it since Stephen is a perfect Bill Compton. At the time that Stephen auditioned for the role he had just finished up a series called The Starter Wife and had blond hair and a dark tan since his character on the series lived on the beach. So its a testament to Alan Ball’s casting skills that he was able to see Stephen in the role of the dark vampire.

Even though Stephen is British, he was able to to master the American civil war southern slowness and charm of Bill’s character down to a “T” demonstrating his proficient acting skills. Stephen has also been quoted saying that he really likes Bill and prior to filming of True Blood did as much research as he could on the American Civil War. And, he worked very hard to insure that Bill’s voice would represent his time.  Stephen said in an interview that they had decided that Bill should speak very slowly and not use contractions, so you’ll never hear Bill Compton say “don’t” or “won’t”, instead he would say, “do not” or “will not”.

In the book series, Bill was born on April 9, 1840. He lived in Bon Temps, Louisiana, and fought for the South during the Civil War (see our article on the 28th Louisiana Regiment.) He was a married farmer with three children (there is inconsistency in the storyline, with Bill telling Sookie that he had five living children with his wife in Dead Until Dark).  Later in the book series, Bill discovers that he is related to the Bellefleur family in Bon Temps and secretly provides them with funds to aid in the repair of their ancestral home. The Bellefleurs, who do not know he is the source of the income, dislike him, though he briefly assisted Portia Bellefleur during her murder investigation in Living Dead in Dallas.

In the television series, Bill was born in 1835 and his children were born before the Civil War.  He was married with two children.

Remembering why we love Bill:

BILL BECOMES A VAMPIRE

In the books,on November 20, 1868, some years after the war, Bill was made a vampire by the character of Lorena, with whom he had a long and stormy relationship.

In True Blood he was turned by Lorena as he returned from the Civil War, having served under Colonel Henry Gray in Louisiana’s 28th Regiment. He only briefly sees his human wife and old home from a distance before Lorena leads him away permanently. Since Bill was turned against his will, for many years he lived with Lorena, something that is extremely unusual in vampire culture. However, in the 1930’s  he broke with her and went out on his own.

Video: True Blood: Vampire Lorena turns Bill -

BILL AS VAMPIRE

While we’ve seen hints of Bill’s life as a vampire prior to meeting Sookie in the show, we only know of it from the flashbacks with Lorena. From this, its apparent throughout that he continues to struggle in order to maintain some semblance of his humanity.  Bill’s nature makes it difficult for him to accept his life as a vampire and most of what we see and know about him is regarding his struggle to exist in this dark world.  Since recently vampires have the ability to “mainstream”, now that there is a synthetic bottled blood, Bill is attempting to co-exist with humans by subsisting on the drink.  He also decides to move back to his family home in Bon Temps and thus meets Sookie Stackhouse a waitress at the town’s bar, Merlotte’s.  Sookie and Bill immediately have a bond that is explained later in the series and books.

Video: Bill’s Darker side

BILL’S WORK AND POSITION WITHIN VAMPIRE HIERARCHY

At the end of the first novel, Dead Until Dark, Bill is concerned about the power of Area Five sheriff Eric over Bill and Sookie. He decides to apply for that area’s investigator position and he gets it. It was revealed that Bill works for queen Sophie-Anne Leclerq and she has sent him to Bon Temps to investigate and seduce Sookie Stackhouse’s telepathic abilities.  In the show, we know that Bill is acquainted with the Queen, but we don’t know how. He is also working directly for Eric.

In the books, Bill is also the creator of a valuable database in which all the vampires in North America are listed along with their significant information. Vampires from other areas of the world, such as Peru, have also provided information for this database. The database itself has been controversial because of potential security issues and is only available for purchase to other vampires. To date, no such ‘database’ is shown in True Blood. Bill does have interests in technology however, since we know that he plays the Wii and has an Ipod and a cell phone, but no computer has yet been seen in his family home.

BILL’S ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS

Sookie Stackhouse

Bill ancestral home in Bon Temps is separated from the Stackhouse home by the Bon Temps cemetery. After briefly meeting Sookie at her place of work, Merlotte’s bar, Sookie saves Bill from being “drained” by some very seedy locals named the Rattrays, a husband and wife who sell vampire blood for profit.  Bill later saves Sookie by giving her his blood when the Rattrays seek revenge. They subsequently embark on Sookie’s first serious romantic relationship.

In the books, Sookie and Bill’s relationship falls apart when Bill is called back to his maker, Lorena, who entraps him in Mississippi to gain control of a project on which Bill is working for Sophie-Anne. Bill will not give the location of his project nor will he reveal his girlfriend’s name. Lorena then tortures him repeatedly. Bill never gives in. Meanwhile, Sookie aids Bill’s boss, Eric Northman, in attempting to rescue Bill. In the process, Sookie is staked, rescued by Eric, and has to have his blood in order to recover to rescue Bill. Sookie manages to rescue Bill after killing Lorena in self-defense, but their relationship does not recover and is later dealt even further harm by the revelation some months later (prompted by Eric, and Sookie’s visit to Louisiana) that Bill had deliberately sought Sookie out on the orders of Louisiana’s vampire Queen.

Video: Bill and Sookie’s relationship begins

In the show, Bill is kidnapped in the last scene of  Season 2, so we are yet to know what will happen to Bill and Sookie’s relationship.  Bill had just asked Sookie to marry him giving her a ring and plane tickets to Vermont (the only state allowing humans and vampires to marry). Bill has been devoted to Sookie throughout both seasons of True Blood and we anticipate that, like the books, Sookie will attempt to find him in Season 3.

Video: Bill’s love for Sookie and how he asks her to marry him.

Through all of the book series, even after Sookie had broken up with Bill, he stayed on the periphery watching her to make sure she was all right. Bill has always said that he loved Sookie and that he would die for her if necessary. Sookie has always known this and mentioned it in Dead and Gone.

Lorena

In the show, Lorena is introduced, in a flash back scene, as Bill’s maker and sire in Season 1, Episode 5 when Bill is turned.  However, in the book series she isn’t introduced until the third book, Club Dead. They were lovers since Bill became a vampire and they had an intense relationship. They broke up eighty years ago. In this novel, Bill tells Sookie that he had gone to Jackson because Lorena had called him and he was obeying her summons. Bill knew it was dangerous business with Lorena and that he might not make it back. He tells Sookie to wait for him for eight weeks. Lorena ordered Bill to leave Sookie and threatened to kill her. After 3 days, while Bill is being tortured by Lorena, Pam (Eric’s fledgling) tells Sookie that Bill was going to leave her and make financial arrangements for her.

In the show, we see two flashbacks in Season 2 about Bill and Lorena’s relationship, in the 1920’s and 1930’s. In the 1920’s scene we see how they worked together to overpower humans and how evil their life had become. In the scene from the 1930’s we see Bill’s disgust with this world and his break from Lorena. We also get to see Lorena in the present day when she keeps Bill, against his will from helping Sookie when she is kidnapped by the Fellowship of the Sun’s Reverend Newlin and then again when Godric bans her from the state for her mistreatment of humans while in his lair.

Video: Bill and Lorena in Chicago, 1926

Video: Bill is set free by Lorena, 1935

Selah Pumfrey

Selah so far, only exists in the books and she appears following Bill’s broken relationship with Sookie. She is a real estate agent who Bill briefly dates. Bill makes it obvious that he still carries a torch for Sookie and continues to try to be involved in her life.

BILL AS MAKER

In the novels, there is no evidence that Bill ever turned anyone into a vampire, but in True Blood he does. When Sookie is attacked by Fangtasia’s bartender, LongShadow, Bill kills him with a stake. In vampire culture this is a serious crime and requires Bill to go before a Vampire tribunal. As his penance for killing a fellow vampire, Bill is required to turn a human. He resists, but sees that there is no way out.  He is therefore forced to turn a 17 year old girl, named Jessica Hamby and thus a new character in True Blood is born.  So now Bill is in charge of this baby vampire and must teach her the vampire ways.

Bill turns Jessica into a vampire
Bill turns Jessica into a vampire
Bill helps Jessica adjust to life as a vampire
Bill helps Jessica learn vampire ways

BILL AS KING

In Season 4, Bill Compton has a completely new role. At the end of Season 3, Sookie found out from Eric Northman, that Bill had been sent to Bon Temps by Queen Sophie Anne to find out what she was. When Sookie heard this she immediately dumped Bill and rescinded his invitation. Bill was heartbroken, and left her house alone into the dark. The third season ended with Sookie going off to fairyland before Bill had a chance to try to patch things up between them.

When Season 4 begins we find that we have lost an entire year while Sookie was in Fairyland. Since then, Bill Compton has become the King of Louisiana.  He assassinated his Queen Sophie Anne with a little help from some AVL Stormtroopers and Nan Flanagan.

Once the Queen was put to rest, or should we say “exploded“, Bill was made King by Nan and when anointed King, Bill pledged, “I hereby pronounce my allegiance to the one true vampire authority for as long as I walk this earth. And, I swear it on the blood.”

So, now Bill is King Bill of Louisiana, but how did he get there?  We know that he is someone who likes to “mainstream”, but how did he get into the AVL?  Watch the video below to find out:

It seems that after Bill left his maker, Lorena in the 1930’s he went out on his own and is still on his own when we see him in the clip above from 1982. I love Bill as a punk rocker and want to know even more this period of his life.

After the end of what we see above, he meets Nan Flanagan for the first time and she convinces him to join the AVL promising that there will soon be a synthetic blood so that vampires can mainstream with humans. She convinces him to work for her by infiltrating the monarchies. So, Bill becomes a double agent posing as a subject of the monarchy, but really working as an agent for the AVL.

So far, in season 4, Bill and Sookie are still apart, but you can feel the chemistry between them in every scene they are in together, so I think they will someday be reunited. As we see, Sookie and Bill don’t get back together in Season 4 or Season 5, but we still have hope.

BILL AS BILLITH

In season 5, we saw a much darker side of Bill. He and Eric end up working for “The Authority” to find Russell Edgington. When they do, Russell ends up killing the Authority Leader, Roman and then Salome rules the roost. The authority vampires drink some of “Lillith’s” blood and they all get really high and party in New Orleans. Ever since that night Bill becomes an advocate of the vampire bible and is no longer interested in mainstreaming. He moves up the ladder of the Authority when he suggests that they bomb the Tru Blood factories. Finally, he kills of has killed off all of his competitors until lastly he kills his only rival, Salome when he outsmarts her into drinking blood filled with silver. By this time, Eric and Nora have left the Authority and he, Sookie, and Jason arrive to help those imprisoned (Pam, Tara, Jessica). After freeing everyone, Sookie and Eric look for Bill, and find him about to drink the blood of Lillith. Bill drinks the whole vial and explodes into a blood goo on the floor. He shortly rises from the goo as a new monster with huge Vampire teeth, Billith.

Bill as Billith

BILL AS PROPHET

As the sixth season of the show begins, we find Bill as he was at the end of the 5th season. However, after a rampage where he burns down the Authority headquarters, we next see him looking very “normal.” However, when he threatens Eric, Sookie stakes him and surprisingly he simply pulls out the stake from his heart and heals immediately. Bill cannot be killed by staking. The others are frightened of him all except for Jessica who sticks by him.

billasprophit

TELEVISION PORTRAYAL

Book Bill and Show Bill are very similar but Alan Ball has changed up the story quite a bit in respect to Bill.  Alan Ball has been quoted as saying that he is a Bill fan and that Bill will always be prominent in the series.  For example, in the books Bill’s role in the story line progressively becomes less and less.  We’re hoping that Alan will stay true to his word and keep Bill (Stephen) prominent in the story throughout the series.

Bon Temps vampire speaks!

We love Bill Compton!  Read why we love him by clicking on the image below:

There have been a lot of Flashbacks about Bill Compton in True Blood and below are the visuals of the flashbacks from the first six seasons. Season 7 will be added after the season ends.

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1865 – his turning 1868 – his son dies
 
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1910 – Bill visits his daughter 1926 – Bill and Lorena party on
 
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1935 – Lorena releases Bill 1982 – Bill meets Nan Flanagan

Here’s more about Bill that you can find at this site and on the internet:

URBAN DICTIONARY – Bill Compton is now famous and has been described with a definition in the Urban dictionary as you can see here: Bill Compton – A character in the Sookie Stackhouse book series and the television series True Blood. He is a vampire (changed during the Civil War) living in Bon Temps, Louisiana, during the controversial time when vampires have begun mingling with humans. Falls in love with a human – Sookie Stackhouse, much to the dismay of her friends and family and his vampire mates. Betrays Sookie in the book series, but may have a different fate in the television show. Bill Compton traits:perfect Southern gentleman, “old-fashioned” dating beliefs

BILL COMPTON FICTION – One of the Billsbabes, ABNegative,  has written her interpretation of Bill’s life in her blog titled, The Life and Times of Bill Compton – you can read her fiction by clicking here.

BILL COMPTON QUOTES – There have been many memorable quotes made by Bill in True Blood, so we have set aside a section of this site dedicated to them. Click here to see our section on Bill Compton Quotes.

84 comments
Yasmin Rawlins
Yasmin Rawlins

Thank you for the history of Bill Compton, the clips are a very nice touch :-)

Michelle Law
Michelle Law

Loved Bill from the beginning. Read all the books, so I knew about Bill before 'True Blood' started.

Amy Bouley
Amy Bouley

Big thanks to the creator Alan Ball for bringing Bill Compton and TB characters into live screen! I've read all the TB navels, was quite good but not as good as its on the screen...Stephen Moyer were brilliant chose for Bill Compton character!! 3 more episode left to go, I truly love to see Bill staying alive...please don't kill Bill!!! In advance-Thank you for not kill Bill! :-)

Tisha Venegas
Tisha Venegas

I know him I followed him you guys need to catch up he's mine ladies keep your hands off except for his wife in real life Fantasyland he's mine

Neil Coyne
Neil Coyne

Could probably tell you a few things about Stephen as I went to school with him but only if you have about 30 billion dollars going , all his old friends are loyal to our friend and proud that he has done so well .

A Christian
A Christian

Bill is in true blood series and he is the true vampire i ever seen.no one like him he is Al-pacino but in series

p90x
p90x

Long Live King William.

hyds
hyds

i love the scene where bill sings while playing piano.is that his real voice?

cindyloo
cindyloo

I agree wholeheartedly. Stephen and Anna are wonderful on scrren ad i woul dlove to see them in a movie together where they are the leads. Sorry but her and Alex have no absolutely NO chemestry on screen. He works great with Stephen and Kris but not Anna. Please Allan (if you read this) Put Bill and Sookie back together? However if Stephen is on TB I will always watch it and he has won me as lifelong fan. We love you Stephen!

Krisi Mihova
Krisi Mihova

I love Bill! He and Sookie are very sweet!:)

ceelo16
ceelo16

hi stephen or vampier bill i am 12 years old i would like to no if you r supized that a 12 year old watches trueblood!!!!!!!

typeoneg
typeoneg

Love this new section. A lot of work, but it must have been fun to do! Long Live King William.

Rowena
Rowena

Appreciate the detail, the vids, and the differentiations made between book and show Bill. Very well done! Rock on, King William Compton!!

cindyloo
cindyloo

I adore stephen and hope he is well. I am so sorry that they haven't been on the show together that much. Hope fully during the hyatus they can see more of one another. I know they are busy but (For Stephen) We would love to call you papa Bill and see a little vampire soon. I think you twpo are wonderful parents and you guys having a family would Rock our world. No pressure though. I love you and Anna. You guys are True Blood to me and Stephen loved you in Priest and can not wait to see you in the Caller. God Bless you and all the love and friendships you have brought into our lives. Not for you we wouldn't be here with all our Bill'babes friends. Team Bill 4Ever and Long Live King Bill!!!!hehehehehe Love Cindyloo aka fbforbill

Windows 7 serial
Windows 7 serial

Hope Ab takes in consideration the die hard fans of SM/BC. We love him. Rock on Stephen.

TJ
TJ

This is wonderful! Will this be updated after Season 3 is completed?

Sugar
Sugar

Love Bill so much~ I'm new fans in here,by the way,I'm Chinese girl ~~ Bill has a lot of fans in China ~~

MarleneEmmett
MarleneEmmett

Shadzliza: I need something really bad. Do you know of William Thomas Compton III's geneology? If so can you send it to me at: Marleneemm@msn.com

DeborahAnnPease
DeborahAnnPease

@cindyloo i also want bill and sookie back together alex n sookie have nothing that woos me

porcinelove
porcinelove

@cindyloo Completely agree, Anna and Alex have no chemistry onscreen. Don't care how good of an actress she is, after seeing her for 3 seasons onscreen with Stephen, we know what chemistry is.

stephen damon
stephen damon

You wouldn's know love if it kicked you in the fangs.