“In Disguise”: The Body Language of Bill Compton

Let us make a case against Bill’s supposed “humanity” based on Body Language Alone, shall we?:

Season One: 

Wow, Bill certainly seems quite dangerous there and has certainly cleaned up his act since then. Even a Bill fan that I personally know said during this scene, “Well he certainly looks like he up to something!” Now why would someone think that the first time they saw Bill, our supposed hero? Bill certainly indicates interest/desire (steady gaze of eyes, head titled slightly forward) but he also indicates anxiety(closed lips with squinted eyes and eyebrow ridges downward). Why would he be experiencing anxiety on the first meeting? Maybe because he knew his motivations BEFORE he arrived? Bill’s desire also seems to be more like he is stalking his prey rather than pure sexual desire (you could say it’s because he is a vampire but Eric had a certain humor, naturalness to his first flirtation with Sookie that is clearly lacking here). It seems that Bill may be trying to cover up his anxiety with his hardcore flirtation. Why would he be trying to cover up anything? Maybe because it’s an act. But why have an act on the first meeting? hmmmm 

 

Even Back in Episode 1×03, Bill had an annoying habit of showing one facial expression to Sookie and then showing a completely different one as soon as Sookie walks away. Why would he do this? Maybe because he is putting on an act, once again. When Sookie is speaking to him, even during  arguments sometimes (like these), Bill keeps a very neutral relaxed face with Sookie (indicating a reasonable and understanding demeanor) then as soon as he believes she isn’t looking he reveals a gaze that can almost be considered the other bill angry/evil (angry clenched eyesbrows, tight lips or hanging parted lips with a lowered jaw, hard, steady gaze). Bill’s act just keeps getting better….

  What could be more revealing than what is on Bill’s face? How about what is not on Bill’s face? Somehow Bill keeps a neutral relaxed face and shows no emotions (as he talks about not being able to resist any body full of blood with Andy and Bud in the first picture OR right after he has killed Sookie’s creepy but helpless Uncle, in fact Bill’s face is almost bored as he kills Uncle Bartlett as if it is just routine w/ a generally immobile face). Pretty cold heh? Actually he seems amused as he talks about draining fresh bodies,he almost reveals a creepy smile but is pretty relaxed all the same. 

Though Bill seems remorseful for having to turn Jessica while begging for the silver coffin, the only thing his face conveys is worry (curved eyebrows, wide eyes, tight facial muscles), which could just be worry for himself and the prospect of having to be bothered by raising a child. However, we don’t see any hesitation or regret as Bill feeds from Jessica, in fact he seems to enjoy the whole experience (turning into the same “pig monster” the blogger Sunnynala.wordpress.com refers to that we also see later on). No analysis needed when it’s plain to see Bill is certainly enjoying this meal and the screams from Jessica (his noble disguise is removed in that moment). 

Season Two: 

Bill Compton is a Liar. 

Bill diverts his eyes (indicating a liar) when asked any straightforward question by Sookie

Bill Compton is unnecessarily violent.

Bill shows physical violence during many arguments.

Bill pulls the double face speak with Sookie once again:

Bill Compton: Master of Social Disguise, Just gets better.

Bill’s act just keeps getting better and beter…
And More:

Again with the emotionless face, even as he knows what the Chicago couple was selected for.

Seduction tactic with women? Doesn't that sound familiar (unthreatening but sexually agressive, sultry, and in your face) with season one flashback. (did he intend to lure Sookie in as a victim this way?)

Don't ever tell me this man wasn't having a good time doing this! Pompous (head held high) and Happy (laughing,joking,smiling). Pure enjoyment of the feast (messy face, hanging mouth, relaxed face).

The mask comes down with Queen Sophe Ann

Season Three: 

Unnecessary physical violence once again...

...and more physical violence

Emotionless with the stripper and with Tara

 

Seductive Bill the predator seducing his prey once again (up close and personal in the face again glamour or no glamour): 

 

We will have more Bill Compton double face speak within the next two episodes as they talk more and as his lies are exposed…that I am sure of!  

The patterns stay the same, so clearly Bill is staying the same and not improving himself as many Bill fans claim, in fact these patterns appear to be getting worse. He is a liar, uses his sexuality to manipulate his prey, is physically violent with women, keeps on a different persona for Sookie (essentially another lie), emotionless about the pain of anyone besides himself/Sookie even if he murders someone else on a pure pleasure impulse, probably has ulterior motives concerning Sookie (based on the body language alone in the beginning and throughout), clearly a hypocrite (we see these images as he tells Sookie he is on a strict diet of True Blood and Sookie snacks), and thoroughly enjoys feeding on the unwilling when he can(all of this determined through body language alone): 

 

You could use the excuse that Bill HAD TO feed off them on those occasions but seems to be SADISTICALLY ENJOYING IT, POMPOUS ABOUT IT and is happy about it for the reasons I have described above.

This is the REAL BILL COMPTON! Everything else is a disguise for Sookie. The extent of that disguise and the extent of what he is covering up remains to be seen, but he is clearly WEARING A DISGUISE… 

And it just keeps getting better!

**(just one more question Bill, not body language related…How did you know you couldn’t stop draining her when supposedly you don’t even remember the event? NICE ONE)

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  1. #1 by Bobsgran on August 13, 2010 - 12:10 pm

    I have been waiting for your take on Bill’s body language anxiously, and you have nailed his coffin shut. LOL I recall one scene in S1, Sookie goes to Bill’s and runs into Diane and friends. Bill is sitting in the corner, the look on his face would have sent anyone running and screaming outta there. It’s interesting how we as humans sometimes react to body language more accurately than words spoken. Wonder if we are losing that ability?

    • #2 by anna on August 13, 2010 - 3:14 pm

      And it also took him a very long time to protect her from them by saying “she’s mine”.

      • #3 by Bobsgran on August 13, 2010 - 3:47 pm

        I wonder what he was trying to prove by waiting the length of tome that he did?

      • #4 by Osterby on August 13, 2010 - 11:25 pm

        Bill didn’t say anything sooner during the Malcolm, Liam and Diane scene because he wanted to give Sookie the impression that he is powerful. One “Sookie is mine” to stop the scarry vampires is pretty impressive for a girl how has never read “The Vampire Rule Book”.

      • #5 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 11:42 pm

        I am totally down with that idea.

    • #6 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 4:45 pm

      Sookie has lost that ability because of her mind-reading, though it is plain to see. Oh, I could add that face he had in the corner, it was thoughtful sure…but why be thoughtful about trying to save a girl in distress if your mainstreaming? Not to mention the true Bill face behind it…

      Back then, the audience didn’t want to believe it because they were too focused on being into the love story of it all so you justify it because “he is a vampire”, even I was but had a twinge of worry during these season one scenes and I was done after the Lorena flashback.

      • #7 by Renée on August 13, 2010 - 10:58 pm

        That is such a good point about Sookie not being able to read people because she relies on her telepathy. When I read the series I always wonder how accurate her perception is for this very reason.

      • #8 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 11:11 pm

        Oh I don’t think her perceptions on the show or the books are usually accurate!

      • #9 by Missy on August 15, 2010 - 7:27 pm

        It’s very obvious in SSN that Sookie doesn’t know how to read bodylanguage and misinterprets actions of vamps because she can’t read them. I can see that on TB as well with both Bill and Eric.

      • #10 by talktrueblood on August 15, 2010 - 7:50 pm

        Oh yeah and it makes it just as frustrating to read as it does to watch haha

  2. #11 by Sarah on August 13, 2010 - 4:15 pm

    Yes, as i watched that scene my mind was not suspicious of Bill Compton but a certain part of me (if i was an animal I would call it my instincts) said to me that something was wrong with that guy. To emphasize it: My first dislike of Bill was not due to my brain. That came months later when I started discussing the series with others.
    This is why I love AB. He takes a theme that is established in our culture (here: innocent virgin gets to know experienced stranger with a dark past. Her “light” heals him and he finds peace. Of course, there is also a femme fatal lurking in the shadows who wants to spoil our hero) but step by step we see little nuances that imply that our romance might not be that romantic, that our hero in reality is a abusive boyfriend and that the femme fatal is a dependant and broken hearted woman.
    The nuances often are little things: Body language or scraps of a conversation. Often you need the knowledge of later scenes to interpret them. Concerning our S1 scene I think that we have to link the scene with the one in S2 where Lorena states that Bill “loved to prey on the innocent”. Sookie certainly is “innocent” in every sense of the word thus I assume that Bill has to deal with a serious conflict in the S1 scene: On the one hand he sees Sookie as highly desirable prey. He hasn´t mainstreamed for long and his friends are anti-mainstreamers who surely would support him if he drained Sookie and then got disposed of her. On the other hand he has to follow his orders and the part of him who wants to regain his humanity sees Sookie as a sweet, innocent Southern girl like his late wife. In a certain way Bill is a modern Faust who has “two souls inside himself” and whose moral ambiguity leads to the breakdown of his beloved, innocent girlfriend.
    Your post shows in an intriguing way how much “gaining humanity” to Bill is linked with Sookie: If other persons like Tara are concerned he is unable to see them as humans with rights and has his “I don´t care” face. I also suppose that a normal person would not have killed the Rattrays but restrained them and delivered them to the police.
    I love your posts about body language and I really really hope for a post about the body language and relationship between Bill and Diane, Liam and Malcom. I have the feeling that a lot of people don´t see the significance of their interactions while I believe that your friends tell a lot about yourself.

    • #12 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 5:15 pm

      Of course, when you look back on it your thinking “how was I so stupid that I overlooked these things?” You realize that you were worried, even then, and that’s what makes the realization that you were played even worse.
      The signs were written on the wall from the beginning but they remain and are intensified as the series progresses in order to help people realize the true meaning behind it all. If you are an astute viewer, you realize that Bill played Lorena and dragged her into her darkness more than she ever dragged him into it. I am sure Lorena may have made some changes if he demanded it in order for him to stay with her.
      Even so, AB realizes that the culture for the brooding vampire remains strong (despite the circumstances) and that audience of viewers will always be played by the trickery onscreen.
      Bill’s moral ambiguity in fact makes him a fascinating character but it also makes him a hypocrite on the inside and the outside, which makes him a loathesome character at the same time.
      You are correct when you say that Bill’s supposed “humanity” is linked with Sookie (this is when he wears his disguise) and is not linked with his behavior otherwise. That goes to show that Bill’s supposed humanity is a farce or only something he feels is there when Sookie is around.

      Sure Eric has his own faults, but Eric is a just vampire. He never kills without reason, would never become unnecessarily abusive/violent with women or men unless attacked or unless he was carrying out Justice (which goes along with his just nature), and he never lies unless it is needed (especially to Sookie but Bill sees fit to lie to her all the time. Even when Eric lies to Sookie, it is usually done to protect her and not just to cover his own butt (like in Bill’s case). Best of all, Eric is not a hypocrite and Sookie understands his entire nature.
      The most sinister thing we can say Eric did involving Sookie was not tell her about the bullets pushing themselves out on their own during the bullet sucking scene, but it could also be said that is was done out of pure affection for her and out of sheer desperation for her. Remember Bill did it before they developed any type of real relationship and may have even set up the beating (which obviously makes his bond with Sookie exponentially worse).

      I could elaborate on the Liam,Malcolm, Dianne situation. I just figured his mere association with them was damning enough and makes me wonder why I ever trusted this guy. I could add to that though to show it was more than “playing along.”

      • #13 by Sarah on August 13, 2010 - 5:26 pm

        Yes, Bill´s hypocrisy is the reason why i dislike him, too. I can feel more sympathy for Lorena or Franklin who are honest about their true nature. Unlike Bill they don´t have the potencial to hurt a person emotionally that much because people don´t trust them in the way they trust the mainstreaming “greenpire” Bill.

      • #14 by jesd on August 13, 2010 - 7:11 pm

        Love the blog! Another thing I thought regarding Eric tricking Sookie into sucking the bullet out of him, I think he not only is deeply attracted to her but I don’t think he trusts Bill’s intentions with her and possibly wanted to be connected in case she needed him. Just a thought.

      • #15 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 7:22 pm

        Oh I completely agree plus he thinks he can be a positive influence on her

  3. #16 by anna on August 13, 2010 - 4:56 pm

    I’m not sure that Bill at that point is looking to regain his humanity. He seems to have been sent on a mission as procurer and that would require him to do whatever’s necessary. If this included pretending to mainstream so as to fit in, or live up to some Southern ideal that Sookie would be attracted by, or anything else he would do it. Sookie couldn’t be glamoured so he would have to play whatever game would put him in a position of power. The conflict would seem to be between following orders to procure Sookie and his desire to join in with his old friends and drain her dry. Maybe he became A Faust-like character later on but at the start I don’t think that comes into play.

    • #17 by Sarah on August 13, 2010 - 5:18 pm

      I wonder about that, too. Do you have a(n) incident/time where we can say that Sookie started to be his “miracle”?
      I always guessed that Sookie in the parking lot reminded him of the Southern women during his lifetime thus becoming interesting for him if only on a subconscious level. We already know that Bill is very bad in controlling his drives this i am not sure if following orders as rational argument could restrain him from draining her.
      But there is a lot of proof to your theory, too. Maybe someday we get information on this.

      • #18 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 5:33 pm

        No, Sookie did not change Bill, so therefore she is no miracle in reality and only feeds Bill’s self righteous need to feel he is better than other vampires when he is not. In his selfish mind, she also makes up for his failure with his human wife and fufillls his desire to be in contact with his supposed “humanity.”

      • #19 by anna on August 13, 2010 - 6:40 pm

        Sookie being beaten in the parking lot was playing into his hands, whatever the set up behind it. He could then “save her life” and get his blood into her and TB has shown us what that does to people.

      • #20 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 6:54 pm

        He probably could have gotten her to the hospital with vamp speed too…don’t forget that…he wasn’t aware (supposedly) that they wouldn’t be able to help her at the hospital.
        If he did know, then that is one more sinister strike against Bill.
        Plus, it wasn’t a supernatural case the hospital would ask questions about.

    • #21 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 5:29 pm

      Oh I think procuring Sookie is and will always be his primary motivation concerning her. You could even take the Bill lover stance and say “well he got himself into a bad situation he couldn’t get out of, but he loves her now!” That would still not explain away Bill’s actions of continuing to lie to her. It also does not excuse Bill’s tendency to become a completely different vampire/person whenever she is not around or being such a pathetic loser as to abandon his own child after a month.

      Of course Bill had to take extraordinary measures to procure Sookie. We know she has a support system of family and friends (this was an important obstacle to Bill, made clear when he procured Ann) and she could not be glamoured like those like Ann were.

      Bill’s conflict may come from a combination of what you said plus his self-righteous desire to feel like he is better than other vampires as well.

      • #22 by Sarah on August 13, 2010 - 6:56 pm

        i really don´t think that Bill has changed at all. But I think that Bill thinks that he has changed. He really believes that all badness comes from Lorena and has nothing to do with his drives from within (which of course is bullshit). This makes him an hypocrite because his rational mind clearly can see through that this idea makes no sense because he enjoys doing things like slaughtering the Chicago couple, raping Lorena and so on.
        Sookie is not important to him as person. she is the “proof” that he is the man he wants to be. If we see his life as play than Sookie provides the scenery. she is not a character one her own with own rights (like the one to hear the truth). when he leaves the stage he disposes his “social mask”

      • #23 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 7:34 pm

        Of course Bill enjoyed everything he did. That much is atleast made clear through this body language. Even though he didn’t like having to turn Jessica, he certainly enjoyed feeding from her for instance.

        Sookie is important to him because of what you said (what she provides to his ego) which isn’t love at all. Plus, they have the Blood Bond thing going on which ties him to her and affects him
        (though Eric also has that BB thing going on as well, she is also important to him as person and that is assuredly true because he has not tasted her “addictive blood” yet and even if he does he appreciated her as a person before he did so). Knowing she is more fairy than human now makes me appreciate AB’s decision not to have him taste her yet even more.
        That is exactly where the described “social mask” comes from and it may be concious or unconcious but it is clearly there all the same.
        Sookie is what Bill wants her to be right now.
        However, he may have created her undoing by creating her as a mirror of himself instead of mirroring her (by pumping her with his dark blood)
        (as evidenced by the last scene from the last episode).
        Maybe Bill won’t like this dark Sookie as much as the one he supposedly fell in love with (justified with his own ego).

  4. #24 by anna on August 13, 2010 - 5:47 pm

    Any “change” that might have happened to Bill is set up as being linked to having had Sookie’s blood as QSA makes a remark about it.

    • #25 by talktrueblood on August 13, 2010 - 6:16 pm

      I agree and the negative changes in Sookie are linked to Bill’s blood…I do believe.
      Positive changes or a return to her normal self will be linked to a lack of blood from vamps and/or Eric’s blood.

  5. #26 by Missy on August 15, 2010 - 7:47 pm

    Well done TTB! I haven’t watched season 1 for a long time so I need to start watching it again and watch with ‘your eyes’ 😉 But I did see every glance and violent act in season 2! It was so clear what the writers wanted you to see, but still Bill had his mask on. Now we have seen the mask crack and a piece of it brake off in every episode from the start of season 3. Last episode showed him as violent and deceitful and pathetic really.

    • #27 by talktrueblood on August 15, 2010 - 7:49 pm

      I am sure this epsisode won’t be any exception…regardless of what is happening with Sookie

    • #28 by talktrueblood on August 15, 2010 - 7:51 pm

      Oh this piece took me a while because I had to think about it considering how long it has been since I have watched season one..it’s kinda hard to watch season one because of the bill fest sometimes. I only watch episode that strongly featured Tara/Sam or Had Eric in them of course hahah

  6. #29 by Missy on August 16, 2010 - 4:20 pm

    Well did you see the ever lying face on Bill last night? Both with Sookie and the pathetic lying face with Claudine! You should put that into the post.

  7. #31 by anna on August 17, 2010 - 9:35 am

    Just a thought, a least one female reviewer doesn’t mention the draining or the twisted make up sex, it’s almost as if they don’t want to see what’s in front of their eyes. Understandable perhaps if someone is young or naive, but if someone is setting themselves up as a reviewer of TV programs surely they should be a little more aware and honest about what’s been shown on screen.

    • #32 by talktrueblood on August 17, 2010 - 10:43 pm

      It’s true. I have noticed a lot of mainstream reporters with the Bill delusion (possibly passing them onto their readers.
      They need to check out Sunnynala, the Ancient Pythoness, Sookieverseblog and me. hah

      • #33 by anna on August 18, 2010 - 4:15 pm

        They’d learn a lot!
        It’s funny how the male reviewers often see Bill much more clearly.

      • #34 by talktrueblood on August 18, 2010 - 4:27 pm

        Most of the female reviwers who haven’t read the books are blinded by the romantic notion of undying first love, a hero that is willing to die for his love, and soulful broodiness..

        …like most people were, at least in the beginning. They are so in love with this notion they refuse to see Bill for what he is because it doesn’t suit their romantic ideals (very sad). That is why the Twilight books are so popular, though not really a good read, because they glorify that notion instead of being realistic about it.

  8. #35 by anna on August 18, 2010 - 4:58 pm

    The fairy tale ending! Before they got sanitised fairy tales were far darker and more realistic about human nature.

    • #36 by talktrueblood on August 18, 2010 - 5:23 pm

      very, very true.
      Disney had ruined the sanity of women and some men apparently. very sad.

  9. #37 by Lori on August 18, 2010 - 10:40 pm

    I wanted to add a comment about how Bill’s personality was probably dark PRIOR to his turning-it clicked after reading this body language article. In season 1, Bill agreed to talk to Gran’s group in the church. He was sitting in the kitchen with the same glower that he has on his face when he looks at Sookie (when he knows she’s not looking). He then went out and told a story to the man that was asking about his ancestor-and the part that sticks with me is when he told the man he was upset at the wounded boy who wouldn’t stop yelling and screaming-and wanted to shoot him. I think this is telling of Bill’s cold personality. I also think Bill was in that same state of mind that night-Sookie was on a “date” with Sam, and had spurned him. I think Bill killed Gran that night to better secure his spot with Sookie as her “protector/lover/father” and glamored Rene to think he did it.
    I’ll stop before I go off on a tangent 🙂

    • #38 by talktrueblood on August 18, 2010 - 11:22 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      Open forum for tangents btw! HAHA I read and respond to all comments directed to me and some not directed toward me. None go ignored.

      I agree that the Ancient Pythoness makes a very valid point about the possibility that Bill killed Gran. I will admit that I was skeptical. However, since I have come to the conclusion that Bill may have been involved in the murder of Sookie’s parents or know about that, I think that theory is very plausible now. The only flaw with that theory is why didn’t he take out Renee after he knew it was him commiting the murders unless he just randomly pinned it on him. He may have been involved in the murder of Sookie’s parents for the same reason Gran was killed (if he was involved in that murder).

      • #39 by Lori on August 19, 2010 - 12:42 am

        I don’t think Bill cared if Rene continued to murder. Bill is arrogant enough to think that he would save Sookie anyway, so it was a moot point for him. Bill does everything half cocked-he didn’t think far enough ahead that possibly Rene would act during the day, and he didn’t factor in that Sam might be her savior. Bill always figured in being Sookie’s savior. He’s that cocky and arrogant.

      • #40 by talktrueblood on August 19, 2010 - 1:37 am

        I thought that Bill would want to protect Sookie…not that he cared whether Renee killed others.
        True, true about Bill thinking he can save Sookie no matter what because he is arrogant.

        I agree about the Sam point and he is sexist too. ugh.

  10. #41 by Meagan on August 18, 2010 - 10:44 pm

    I wanted to make a comment concerning the first time we ever meet Bill Compton. I wondered why he acted so wary, mainstreaming wasn’t that new. Perhaps he had never mainstreamed before? This too is just a ruse. Further more, he is of the understanding Sookie can read all minds! She’s not aware of her inability to read a vampire’s until she meets Bill. So he was concentrating on not thinking something that would blow his cover. We see him relax greatly when he realizes she can’t read his thoughts.

    • #42 by talktrueblood on August 18, 2010 - 11:27 pm

      Good point too. If he was so adept at mainstreaming, why didn’t he just say “I want a Tru Blood O blood type…my favorite one. I heard this place might carry them.”

      Also good point on what may have contributed to Bill’s nervousness initially, not just the Rattrays set up that he probably had in mind, not to mention the culmination of years of stalking her.

      • #43 by Lori on August 19, 2010 - 12:44 am

        Oh, Bill had been stalking Sookie for some time. He knew everything there was to know about Sookie Stackhouse-either from his own research or from Hadley’s own mouth. And I’m now going to sign off and re-watch season 1…

      • #44 by talktrueblood on August 19, 2010 - 1:41 am

        Oh I believe he might have been stalking the stackhouse family since we knew about them as a vampire… but at the very least he had been stalking Sookie for years and years…even if QSA didn’t know anything till Hadley mentioned it, Bill might have come forward holding the prize over QSA’s head…saying “oh guess what?” I already know about this and I am selling it to the highest bidder…

        Though we have speculated that Bill is in fact the one that lured Hadley to QSA and the whole reason QSA listened to her in the first place was to get information about Sookie out of her.

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