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True Blood, the Sookie Books and The Godfather

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True Blood, the Sookie Books and The Godfather

Post  Aslinn Dhan on October 20th 2010, 1:34 pm

One of the things I really like about the show and the books is the way they can be compared to some other books and films in character if nothing else. Case in point, Gone with the Wind. But I have also written a few things that compares True Blood and the Sookie Books to The Godfather and this may seem to be a bit of a stretch, but here it goes.

Everyone knows the basic plot of The Godfather, it is as much a profile of a family as it is a story about the Mafia. But the family is shaped by the fact that the lead characters, Michael and his father and brothers, are in the mafia. So before I get into True Blood, let me get into a bit of the culture and nuances of the world of The Godfather.

The Mafia is far more complex than an organized crime group. Any social minority has it's own system of law and order and protection. If you pledge your loyalty to a Don or Godfather you are not only saying you will do whatever can to help the Godfather, you place yourself under the Godfather's protection.

Membership in the Mafia is life long. The only way to truly retire is to die out of the mob. Either from natural causes or by your own hand or by assassination. This is mainly because you know where all the bodies are buried.

Omerta is the law of secrecy. You don't tell or otherwise divulge information to the rest of the world. If you are at a gathering and you are an associate of the Family you are introduced as a friend of ours. Family business can be discussed in front of you and even an offer can be made to you or you can make an offer concerning some lucrative deal. If you are a civilian, you are a friend of mine, that means the rest of the crew can't discuss Family business in front of you.

There is a hierarchy. The Godfather is the head of your family. There is the Consiglieri, the counselor or advisor, usually a lawyer but not always. Then there are the Capo Regimes, the Underbosses. Following them are the Capos, the officers who do your bidding and then the soldiers. Soldiers are the earners and the ones who do the dirty work. Then there are civilians. These are business people in your area, families of the soldiers and the the other Family members and the public at large.

Protection is a big deal. If you are a businessman, say a bar owner, and you want to make sure you get liquor deliveries on time, have honest people working for you, have clean up services if something goes awry in your establishment, you want to be able to call on the local Family member to come and help you out, but all this comes at a price.

The Offer One Can't Refuse is the big thing and is the tag line of The Godfather. If a Don or one of his underlings makes you an offer, you have to accept it, otherwise you better be ready to have a very miffed person your hands and that is something you most definitely do not want.

Sleeping with the Fishes. This means you have been deep sixed, you bought the farm, you sucked on a bullet, you got whacked.

Mobsters as opposed to Gangsters. Mobsters have a code of "honor among thieves". Gangsters are small time operators who have no such code.

Okay, we have covered the basics, now lets see it from the the Vampire point of view.

The Family. Let's begin our comparison by identifying the Family. You know them, you love them/hate them. The Family in short order is the Vampire world. The Godfather? I say it is the Authority...we don't know precisely who that is or if there is one Vampire in charge but we can make some assumptions here.

The Capo Regimes. These are the kings and queens of an area or territory. They are put in place by the Authority. They are autonomous so long as they are earning and keeping out the riff raff.... This is Queen Sophie Anne and King Russell Edgington....for example.

The Consiglieris. These are the public faces and legal advisers to the Vampire power structure. They answer the questions, investigate problems, report to the Authority, present claims and dole out punishment. The AVL and the late Magister and in the books Mr. Cataliades the demon lawyer to Queen Sophie Anne. This would also be Nan Flanagan.

The Capos. These are the Sheriffs. They are the ones responsible for the keeping out of said riff raff, enforcing Vampire law, dispensing punishment, and keeping the Vampire world in their area in line. This would include Eric, Godric, Isabel, Stan, all of the sheriffs in the world of Vampire.

The Soldiers. These are the rank and file members of Vampire society who work with, for, or otherwise are commandeered into the work of the Family. This would include Bill, Franklin, Pam, anyone with a direct hand in Vampire politics and under the control of a Capo.

Civilians. This would include ordinary Vampires like Eddie Fornier and Diane and Liam and Malcolm, Jessica, Talbot. Any Vampire who was not directly involved in Vampire politics.

The others. That would include the human world and the other members of the supernatural community.
This of course would include Sookie and Sam and Jason and Tara and Alcide and anyone else in the cast .....

Membership in the Family Vampire is the moment you stick your big fanged face in Vampire politics. You are expected to operate under the law of Omerta...in other words shut your big fanged mouth. Don't divulge Family secrets and never ever let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking.

Protection is both business and personal...There is no such thing as "Nothing personal, it was only business..." in the Vampire world.Everything a Vampire does personal. Protection is primarily taken care of under the Mine Law....

The Offer One Cannot Refuse. This is Sookie's big problem. Do it or I will pay you back in spades is Sookie's experience in the supernatural world. Bill and Eric have fallen victim to this situation as well.

Sleeping with the Fishes. This can be literal, as with Uncle Bartlett or it it be a metaphor for sucking on sunlight or falling on ones own stake or meeting the true death. No matter how you define it, you are either sludge on someone's floor or you are ash in someone's parking lot.

Mobsters as opposed to Gangsters Vampire style. The Mobsters are our Vampires...the gangsters are types like the late lamented Monroe nest, Russell Edgington, Sophie Anne and the weres under Edgington's control.

The Characters:

Nan Flanagan as the Godfather.....er Mother....Since Vampires are pretty much equal opportunists and we know next to nothing about the Authority, Nan is our Godfather in tempore....She stands in for our Godfather figure.

The Kings and Queens as the Capo Regimes- This would include Sophie Anne as Clemenza who said "Leave the Gun, take the Canoli," she is brusque and business like to a point. King Russell is Tessio, the one who betrays the Godfather.

Eric as Sonny Corleone/ Vincent Corleone- He is ruthless, he is mean, and he has a libido and he saw the advantages of the drug trade. Of course the Godfather does not approve, but I believe had Sonny been given the opportunity, he would have gotten into the drug trade when his father refused Barzini and Sollozzo.

Bill as Young Michael Corleone- This is before he kills McCluskey and Sollozzo in the restaurant. He wants to stay out of the family and he hates the Business...He served in the military and he wanted to be a school teacher and marry his sweetheart. And like Michael in GF III just as he is out...they pull him back in.

Pam as Connie Corleone in GF III- Connie in the first two GF movies is pretty pathetic. In GF III she is absolutely ruthless down to killing her brother's rival Don Altobello.

Franklin as Joey Zasa- Joey Zasa is a crazier than an outhouse rat and three times as dangerous...So is Franklin.

Chow as Al Neary- He is the enforcer for his Capo...

Sookie as Kay Adams- Kay is naive and gets herself in situations that are dangerous either by association or by her own stupidity...Kay, never ask about the Family Business, it's safer that way.






Aslinn Dhan
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Re: True Blood, the Sookie Books and The Godfather

Post  Fairy on October 20th 2010, 7:58 pm

Very interesting comparison. The vampire hierarchy is very much like our conception of the mafia. Rogue vampires can even be compared to simple street thugs. These thugs, with their own criminal agendas, frequently overstep their boundaries, unwisely encroaching on mafia territory and suffering punishment as a result. In addition, both vampire and human "Godfathers" must be constantly watchful of threats to their territories and hostile takeovers. In many ways, the only difference between the two groups is the absence or presence of fangs.
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Re: True Blood, the Sookie Books and The Godfather

Post  Barrister on October 20th 2010, 8:03 pm

This was an incredible comparison dear...I knew it would be...

I love the way the vampire world in Charlaine Harris' books and True Blood is so complex...so much more interesting than just having some bloke who is the king of vampires....

Well done my dear

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Re: True Blood, the Sookie Books and The Godfather

Post  raki on October 20th 2010, 11:16 pm

Great comparison Aslinn! ...and now I feel the need to rewatch all three GF movies, can anyone guess what I'll be doing this weekend? Wink

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Re: True Blood, the Sookie Books and The Godfather

Post  Aslinn Dhan on October 21st 2010, 10:04 am

Watch it with pasta and sauce and a jug of red wine... It sets the stage...

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