In HBO's True Blood, we first meet Eric Northman as the proprietor of the vampire club Fangtasia.
But that's not all he is. In the extensive hierarchy of vampire society, Eric Northman looms large as the Sheriff of Area 5. Humans and vampires alike can come to dark ends in his cellar. The lucky ones make it to trial.
A dangerous man, Eric watches over his people with a brooding boredom. Bill would rather keep Sookie well away, but he can't refuse the summons, when Eric beckons.
There is something very different about Sookie. She's not your average Louisiana lady. Bill knows it and Eric soon senses it. There's the telepathy for a start. It's a trait which Eric can use, and he does.
The scene is set for Sookie slowly entering Eric's life, much to the chagrin of both Sookie and Pam. But Eric remains gleeful; and he soon has reason to be glad that he continued the pursuit.
When witches leave Eric cursed and vulnerable amongst his kind, it's Sookie Stackhouse who comes to his rescue. She's seen a softer side to the Sheriff. It's a side which she would cultivate, whatever the cost.
As for Eric, his concern is still mostly what it's always been. A millennium old blood-feud sworn his dying birth father, with a Mjölnir pendant around his neck.