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Stephen Moyer starring as Bill Compton
William Thomas "Bill" Compton is a fictional character from the The Southern Vampire Mysteries/Sookie Stackhouse series by author Charlaine Harris. He 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 is sometimes referred to as "Vampire Bill" by locals in Bon Temps.
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. 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). On November 20, 1868, some years after the war, he was made a vampire by Lorena, with whom he had a long and stormy relationship. 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 turned by Lorena as he returned from the War, fighting under Colonel Henry Gray. He only sees his human wife and old home twice: once, briefly from a distance after before turned him, and again years later, when Lorena is forced to glamor her when she becomes hysterical at his vampiric nature.
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 him 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 seduce Sookie Stackhouse and investigate her telepathic abilities.
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.
- Sookie Stackhouse
In the first book, Dead Until Dark, Bill has returned to his ancestral home in Bon Temps, which 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 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. Sookie has to endure a fair amount of dislike from the Bon Temps locals, who dislike Bill because he is a vampire.
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.
In the third book, Club Dead, Lorena is introduced as Bill's maker and sire. 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.
- Selah Pumfrey
Following his broken relationship with Sookie, Bill briefly dated a real estate agent named Selah Pumfrey. Bill makes it obvious that he still carries a torch for Sookie and continues to try to be involved in her life.
In True Blood, an HBO series based on the books, this character is played by British actor Stephen Moyer.
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