The Real Motivations of the AVL and Russell (w/ nan and the magister as the vampire pope)

Do you question my authority? I am the magister. I was trained in the Inquisition and I am the adjudicator for every vampire territory in North America! As the humans say, the humans you love more than your own kind, back your shit down!”  ―The Magister (Magnus) to Bill Compton (1×10) (True Blood Wiki).

Steve Newlin: “Did you know that there was actually a vampire pope back in the Middle Ages? (2×06)”

Russell on The Magister, to Eric: “…the only power he has is the power we give him.” (3×05 “Trouble”)

Before we get to the meaning of those statements, let us establish that the Magister represents the Catholic Church and the former power that it wielded and the political influence that it also once had. 

Does it seem a little odd to you that a vampire would use religious dogma and terms such as blasphemy to describe laws broken by vampires (that he is supposes to carry out the “justice” for)?

The Magister was referred to as an “inquisitor.” “[he] has been itching for another inquisition for centuries.” Obviously the magister was an inquisitor during the SPANISH INQUISTION if he was an inquistor during the middle ages. In order to be an inquisitor he must have been part of the catholic priesthood. Therefore, I propose that the Magister may have been this infamous Pope (Innocent VIII) rumored to feed on young boys to improve his health in True Blood mythology (though this is a  complete guess and I could be wrong):

NOW getting to the more important side of my theory below:

It is briefly mentioned in the “True Blood: Mythological Creatures: Vampires” special as well as in a “Post-Mortem” special that the Magister is under the jurisdiction of “The Authority (True Blood Wiki)” “The Authority is briefly mentioned as the highest ranking figure of of all vampires. The Authority is said to give vampire monarchs their power and is even in a higher position of power than Magnus, the Magister of North American Territories. It is unknown exactly how far the jurisdiction of The Authority extends and who its members are (True Blood Wiki).

Remember when Nan Flaningan (the AVL spokesperson), suggested to Eric that she could have his authority as a Sheriff automatically stripped and was able to take the paperwork for Godric’s resignation (2×09)? Eric questioned her authority and she responded with “try me, I am on tv,” but I think there is more to her power than that.

Maybe Nan Flannigan is The Authority or is directly working for The Authority. Why would I think that other than the fact that she seemed to be so confident about her power and had the ability to demand resignations despite the fact that she is not the king/queen of Texas?

Because she represents the American Vampire League! Do you honestly think THE AUTHORITY would have allowed the outing of all vampires if they had not wanted it themselves or atleast allowed it and don’t you think they would have put one of their own or atleast someone they trusted in charge of that task (a trusted buereaucrat as Eric might say)?

Since the Authority is in charge of appointing magisters and vampire royalty, don’t you think that they will be very interested once Eric and Russell make the magister “go missing.” They will have lost someone directly working for them and they will be interested in the possible role of a sheriff they can fire and the royalty (Russell) that they appointed.

So that is why Nan Flanigan will be the one asking questions about the magister’s disappearance (hinted strongly in spoilers)…because she is The Authority or is directly working for The Authority!

How does this tie back into the magister other than the fact that the authority appointed him? Doesn’t his agenda of vampire superiority or religious dogma seem to contrast with the message of the AVL?

I propose that the front of the AVL is merely an underhanded way for vampires to gain legal rights so that they can gradually overtake human positions of authority. They really feel very sanctimonious about the superiority of vampires (over humans and other supes) and this whole AVL scheme is their master plan to eventually achieve that superiority over humans without starting all out war and bloodshed that would naturally result from a direct confrontation.

Russell is simply trying to eventually overthrow humanity completely and much more quickly than the strategy of the AVL would allow (in part because he thinks he needs to save “nature” and humans are “also hinted at in the promos and the conversation he had with Eric in 3×06 in the limo). He also thinks it would be wiser to pay lip service to other supes and use them in the WAR against humans. He also doesn’t like “vampire fundamentalists (3×06) which the Authority obviously is if they hired Magnus to be The Magister.

“If all the supernaturals would stop squabbling amoung themselves and unite, we could conquer humans in a MATTER OF DAYS.” and “Throughout history I have aligned myself with or destroyed those humans in power hoping to make a dent in mankind’s race to oblivion. What other creature actively destroys it’s own habitat?”

So it is obvious to me that Russell is not happy with the gradual strategy of the AVL and/or the authority or their fundamentalism. He has created this cult around himself and nature and wants to use it to become the authority himself in order to achieve his “dream” as he told Eric (3×06). He belives the magister (and therefore the authority) only have their power because it “is given to them (3×05)” and they can overthrow them all when they unite.

His attempts will backfire and create the opening for the FOTS to gain some ground again with humans and get in the way of Nan’s crucial vampire rights amendment.


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  1. #1 by anna on July 29, 2010 - 9:06 am

    From what I know of the history of the Inquisition, even though Innocent VIII was behind behind a series of horrendous laws aimed at torturing and killing those suspected of witchcraft and magic, he never actually played the role of Inquisitor. The most feared and fanatical Inquisitor of them all was Torquemada. who became Grand Inquisitor of Spain and is known for his use of extreme methods of torture.

    • #2 by talktrueblood on July 29, 2010 - 3:35 pm

      That could very well be the case Anna. Thank you for the suggestion : )

  2. #3 by Bobsgran on July 29, 2010 - 10:07 am

    TTB, I LOVE this. We were obviously on the same wavelength. I strayed in a slightly different direction, but the intent was the same. Look forward to seeing and hearing what Nan has in store for our favourite vampire.

    • #4 by talktrueblood on July 29, 2010 - 3:34 pm

      I think Nan is very, very important overall and she obviously is to us because she is about to cause further problems for our favorite vampire.

  3. #5 by anna on July 29, 2010 - 11:00 am

    I do like your theory even though I’m unsure about the Pope angle.
    You’ve probably already discussed this elsewhere but the triangular symbol that the AVL uses seems to have much in common with those used by various esoteric groups even though they seem to have used a star instead of the more widely used eye.
    The triangle symbol is also used in the Illuminatus Trilogy which takes on conspiracy theories (it’s a long time since I read the books so I don’t remember much more).

    • #6 by talktrueblood on July 29, 2010 - 3:29 pm

      I admitted that the pope angle was a complete guess but I was trying to tie in the idea of why the magister would seem to have such a religious agenda/idea of justice if he was working for the authority. Also, Russell seems to be using a religious idealogy of his own to counter that.

    • #7 by talktrueblood on July 29, 2010 - 3:30 pm

      Oh I agree with the idea of the triangle…it just points to the overall conspiracy further.

      • #8 by anna on July 29, 2010 - 5:14 pm

        Just consulted Professor Wikepedia about the Illuminatus Trilogy and was reminded of why I’d found the books so entertaining when I read them. Might be fun looking it up and following the links to the authors & to side topics like Discordianism. Got a sneaky suspicion that someone on TB might have read them or at least heard of them…

      • #9 by talktrueblood on July 29, 2010 - 8:17 pm

        hey these writers are smart…that is a very distinct possibility…

  4. #10 by sunnynala on July 29, 2010 - 1:43 pm

    Maybe Nan Flannigan is The Authority or is directly working for The Authority.

    I think the ‘informant’ in the postmortem about The Authority mentioned that the AVL gets it’s power from them. I imagine Nan is just a front, a tool of The Authority. This isn’t anything unusual even in human politics. Powerful elites/corporations have a habit of mounting ‘advocacy’ groups that are nothing more than political/pr tools for their own interests.

    • #11 by talktrueblood on July 29, 2010 - 3:23 pm

      She is a bureaucrat (as Eric said) Nan is most likely working for the authority through the AVL imo. I totally agree Sunny…the AVL is an interest/ advocacy group. On the surface it is an interest group for all vampires but it is really an interest group for the authority and Nan is in charge and the front for the initiative.

  5. #12 by Renée on July 29, 2010 - 2:09 pm

    Nan is certainly becoming more interesting. I think Sunny’s right that at this point, she’s with the AVL who are under The Authority, but this is a woman on her way up.

    • #13 by Bobsgran on July 29, 2010 - 2:36 pm

      Nan’s a spin doctor right?

      • #14 by talktrueblood on July 29, 2010 - 3:19 pm

        She represents the authority’s agenda through the AVL imo.

      • #15 by Renée on July 29, 2010 - 3:23 pm

        Yes, but from her comment to Eric at the big meeting it sounds like she’s going to parlay her public position to one of real power.

    • #16 by talktrueblood on July 29, 2010 - 3:26 pm

      I completely agree with Sunny that Nan is most likely the front for an interest group. She is most likely on her way up though and since I think the authority authorized the AVL (or came up with the idea), she is directly working for them in a way. I dont see why else she would be the one asking questions about the Magister’s disappearance.

  6. #17 by Missy on July 29, 2010 - 8:16 pm

    Very good theory TTB. I have always wondered why vampires that think they are higher race would let the humans control the world. They are actively and subtly trying to take over… only Russell doesn’t have the patience for waiting.
    I also think that Nan is their spokesperson, their front in the media.

    This could be something that would play out in later seasons possibly.

    • #18 by talktrueblood on July 29, 2010 - 8:26 pm

      Yes, The AVL is an interest group for “the authority” while pretending to be an interest group for all american vampires.
      They are trying to avoid the open confrontation that the FOTS is looking for in order to fuel their agenda and their power (I believe something will happen, either the vamp rights amendment passing or an action by Russell that will fuel the FOTS agenda and bring them to attack Fangtasia…putting Eric and Russell in danger). If they can gain legal rights, vampires can then start running for public office and things like that…vote and everything and gradually take over.
      Russell doesn’t just desire to overthrow humans, he desires to overthrow the authority and be the authority himself based on his “personality cult” (that includes supes over humans and nature worship) and himself as a deity of sorts based on his “persoanlity cult.” It isn’t just that he is impatient though that is certainly part of it.

  7. #19 by Enjoying on July 30, 2010 - 3:54 am

    I think Nan going to stard showing what all she can do ,and I think she can do what ever she wants to .No one is going to come in and stop her she going want anwer and she will get them .

    • #20 by talktrueblood on July 30, 2010 - 5:38 am

      Exactly. I think I should do a Nan Flannigan body language post in addition to this sometime.

  8. #21 by ENA on July 30, 2010 - 2:40 pm

    Great! I loved it!

    • #22 by talktrueblood on July 30, 2010 - 8:13 pm

      Awwwh thank you ENA!
      I love your page a lot so that really means something to me.

  9. #23 by Hime on July 30, 2010 - 5:34 pm

    Another very interesting piece, TTB! *clapclap*

    I love this speculation. I think that both the TorqueMagister and Nan Flanagan are part of the Authority and I can’t wait to see what this Authority is aiming to, and if their goal is the same of RE’s, I wonder how our vamps – Eric especially – would relate to this plan to overcome the humans.
    I think you’re right, the Authority is a secret legacy and the American Vampire League is only its public facade to appeal the american humans. So the vampires can gain more and more power in a way that people can’t recognize for what it is until it’s too late (that’s exactly how dictatorial regimes have birth).
    It’s interesting to see how Nan Flanagan is actually different from the act she puts on when she’s on tv.
    Vampires want to sell themselves as innocuous beings who only want to be treated as equals as the humans, but I don’t doubt there’s a very secret agenda.
    I remember in S1 Eric, while at Merlotte’s, says something as “Do not let yourselves be fooled by that nice blonde vampire who is on tv, whe can really be dangerous”… Don’t remember the exact quote but it was something like this.

    • #24 by talktrueblood on July 30, 2010 - 8:33 pm

      Thanks Hime. : )

      Nan is on her way up in the authority and obviously she is a very trusted member if they have her carrying out finding out about the disappearance of the magister….in addition to being the head of all their public interests.
      I predicted weeks ago that Nan would become a bitter enemy of Eric, not just because Nan will torture him in Fangtasia but because Eric secretly likes humans because they contribute to his financial base and now he is falling in love with one (Sookie).

  10. #25 by Sarah on August 1, 2010 - 5:52 pm

    Love your article!
    My theory concerning the Magister: I believe that he is identical with Heinrich Kramer or as his called himself Heinrich Institoris. He was the author of the Malleus Maleficarum, a “manual” to detect and torture supposed witches that replaced the medival “Carolina” (the law made by Charlemagne) which at least used to limit the duration of torture. Kramer is described as real fundamentalist and unlike other inquisitors he did not persue people in order to gain money or popularity in Rome but really believed in witches and the power of evil. Contemporaries claim that he was mad. He did not only go after the “usual suspects” like Jews, educated women or Christian minorities but he also brutally supressed reformists within church. Does this sound like our “this-is-blasphemy” magister? And by the way he also “worked” in Augsburg for a short time, the same town we saw in the flashback…
    I am also intrigued by your ideas about the authority. I don´t think that Nan is the authority herself, because it would be unwise for a person with great power to play such a public role but I guess that she is an upward climber and her role in the AVL is the first jump in her career. I assume that she might be the one who gets dumbed if they need a sacrifical lamb.
    By the way, do you think that the authority is simply one person? I prefer to imagine it as a whole council due to the fact that the kings and queens might not accept the power of a single person whom they could overpower quiet easily.
    What do you think about the relationship between the authority and Russel? Why do they allow him to endanger their whole masterplan? Do they manipulate him as useful idiot?

    • #26 by talktrueblood on August 1, 2010 - 11:20 pm

      Thank you Sarah.
      I love your theory concerning the identity of the magister. It is very possible that is the indenity of the magister and I give you major props on that. Whomever he was, he was definitely a fundamentalist of the highest order (someone who definitely believed in the inquisition as he carried it out) and/or ( someone who got sadistic pleasure out of what he did) and this could point to a number of figures during his time. Your theory on the magister’s identity is one of the best i’ve heard this far! bravo. maybe you should do a post about it : ))

      I agree that Nan is more likely a trusted employee of the authority which gives her enough power on it’s on plus I think Nan enjoys the fame of being the front for the authority hence the line, “Try me, i’m on tv.”
      I just left open the possibility that Nan was part of the authority even though she is more likely just a trusted right hand woman for the authority. I was saying that the authority was responsible for the exposure of vampires (“the great revelation”) and they wouldn’t trust just anyone with the task of heading up their reveal. Therefore I think Nan has more power than just being the “sacrificial lamb,” though I could be wrong.
      I figured the authority would be a council too…when I said maybe Nan “is the authority,” I meant that she could possibly be apart of the council.
      Russell is probably not telling the authority about his master plan and Russell is smart enough to keep it mostly hidden. I AM SURE THE AUTHORITY IS SUSPICIOUS OF RUSSELL at this point, no doubt. When Russell starts all out war I doubt his position as king vampire of miss. will matter to him if he plans on taking over the entire country with alot of the other daywalking supes behind him, like the werewolves.

  11. #27 by angelina on August 2, 2010 - 10:00 pm

    thanks a lot, I am a big fan of this

  12. #28 by Montré Bible on August 3, 2010 - 3:01 am

    It is reminiscent of the illuminati as well and their relationhip with the governement. One political party wants to be more agressive while one political party wants to be more passive but they ulitimatally have the same goal in mind. TRUE BLOOD plays on these political global mind games as well as plays on how the religious institution takes part.

  13. #29 by anna on August 3, 2010 - 1:01 pm

    I don’t think most people realise quite how long the Inquistion lasted or how widespread its use as a tool to suppress any kind of dissent or challenge to religious orthodoxy.
    It’s quite enlightening to read the Catholic Encyclopedia’s explanation of the reasoning behind the Inquisition. Apparently it also might be possible to justify Torquemada’s actions and what Institoris did was not really the fault of the church.
    I think I saw over on SVB that one of the commentaries on the S1 DVD says that the Magister was born in Seville in 1400s. RE also seems to mention what sounded like 9th century Andalucia in his scene with the Magister when holding his cane/sword/whatever, at that point in time Andalucia was under Moorish rule.

    • #30 by talktrueblood on August 3, 2010 - 3:37 pm

      I wrote a couple of papers on the inquisition for a history class in college and it is very true what you say ex(I myself used the catholic encyclopedia as a reference to make a point..haha)

      Thank you! I had never caught exactly what Russell had said to him!

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