I am putting together a little treat to help us through this second torturous week ahead : – )
This will be a three part series that goes over Eric Northman’s body language Season by Season, Episode by Episode in which he appears:
Fangtasia: 1×04 “Escape from Dragon House.”
We know from the first few looks at at Eric that his raw sexuality is what he normally uses to play others and command a room (and is his outward front in public since ), Eric uses his sexuality even in a business setting apparently (I still say this despite the fact that Eric’s business is a bar of course). Eric displays the “open crotch,” and that is often a conscious or unconscious expression of sexuality and male dominance (let us think he is showing off the “gracious plenty” if you are a book reader).
Placing your hands-palms down on the arms of the chair during a conversation shows authority over the person/group (something we know Eric has and shows). However, instead of keeping a firm grasp on the chair, it is very loose and Eric even seems to be twitching his fingers while talking to Sookie (showing a symbolic loosening of that authoritarian face with in her and he is also showing nervousness, surprisingly ). Obviously, nervousness around Sookie as well as a loosening of his authority around Sookie is something that he obviously would not be keen to reveal and something that is therefore not obvious to the audience (unless you are paying attention of course). The twitching of fingers can show general arousal as well. Having Pam behind him symbolically shows his willingness to let trusted individuals “guide him” sometimes despite his authority (besides showing Pam “has his back,” though that would be obvious of any child to their maker in most circumstances).
Fangtasia: 1×07 “Burning House of Love”
Eric presses his fingers together, almost at a folded steeple. Pressing fingers in this manner can symbolize arrogance or deep thought, maybe both. Eric is probably very thoughtful about Sookie, because he insists upon her presence later and is presumably texting Bill about meeting her. Eric also carries a certain amount of arrogance in his bar, obviously.
Fangtasia: 1×08 “The Fourth Man In The Fire”
1. He is actually not very confident about the situation and his is very anxious about it. Maybe he is actually acting this way because he is anxious that Sookie is around 🙂 Or Eric is really depending on Sookie here! This also goes to show that even season 1 Eric had moments of weakness and helplessness and anxiety (maybe even as a result of Sookie : ). Maybe he was also anxious about having to possibly deal with the human in question, since on the surface, he thought it was a human suspect.
2. This can indicate dishonesty or withholding information. In this case, it would indicate that Eric brought Sookie here simply to see her again because he already knew who the culprit was. In this case, it would indicate that Eric took extreme measures to see Sookie again, even at this point, which would indicate he is already developing feelings for her that probably went beyond the sexual aspect.
Fangtasia: “Plaisir D’Amour”
Eric keeps a relaxed and wide body posture with Bill (demonstrating his superior presence in the room). He also smiles, so he considers Bill’s presence in front of him and Bill himself quite humorous and not worthy of being taken seriously. Eric also leans back in the chair and leaning back in the chair is also a way of indicating superiority over the other person in question and can also indicate a generally large ego (something we know Eric definitely has but has earned in some ways haha but something Lafayette has as well but hasn’t entirely earned, yet we still love Lafayette and find him endearing in some ways). What makes this interesting is later on in Season 3, Eric makes it clear to Lafayette that he actually downplays his own ego/superiority when he is trying to be a salesman (work with others in a business setting) and does not normally expect the other person to adapt to him under those circumstances. Frankly, Eric thinks so little of Bill that he puts his full ego on display for him. This Eric was also less affected by outside stresses and his full on cocky viking shined through. As a chess player, Eric knows that Bill’s own ego is so large that it would annoy him to submit to such an outwardly cocky superior (as a result, Eric might get under Bill’s skin enough to get a rise out of him and slip up, either by attacking him in some way or revealing hidden information).
However, the facial differences between the first picture and the second picture are striking. Eric goes from a face full of humor (the smile) regarding Bill, to a face of skepticism (raised/scrunched eyebrows, parted lips, tongue on the back of his teeth). This is interesting because Eric was already definitely questioning Bill’s motives and this evidence backs up Eric’s comments about “the possible edict to protect Sookie,” which he seemed to be questioning Bill about, indirectly of course.
Merlotte’s: 1×09 “Plaisir D’Amour”
Here, Eric displays a little aggression by leaning into this person that he hardly knows and widening his eyes in his face (once again, the cocky viking is the main side of Eric shown). However, Eric was possibly trying to make a point more than anything else. We have seen Eric display this similar face to those he is simply trying to make a point to, but never harm (like Sookie). At the very least, this just shows that Eric and Sookie’s willingness to get into eachother’s faces is very significant, especially if he is known to be obviously aggressive and scary when he is in someone’s face in this manner.
Covering the gential region (“gracious plenty” book readers) with his clasped hands and hanging arms indicates a potentially anxious position (he wants to get out of there, is tired of looking at Bill and Sookie’s love fest) or feels as if he is looking forward to Bill’s potential demise or is nervous about seeing the magister (no matter the circumstances). It could also indicate his subconcious/concious sexual desire for Sookie and is a “barrier” between him and her (his beginning feelings for her and his disgust at witnessing the B/S display of affection before Bill leaves).
Bill’s Trial: 1×10 “I Don’t Wanna Know”
Of course, once Eric is concerned with playing to others, his cockiness is considerably lower yet he still plays it to those he considers inferior (i.e Bill). Eric’s aggressive face does in fact show that Eric was definitely trying to opportunistically take out his rival then (though I think Eric now realizes keeping Bill around as help sometimes is worth the hassle of having him as a rival as well, whether or not Bill feels the same way). It was surprising to realize that it seemed like Eric had feelings in regards to the nature of Bill’s punishment and was trying to conceal it (another indication that Eric might not have been quite as “heartless” as portrayed on the surface, even at this point in the show).
Fangtasia: 1×11 “To Love Is To Bury”
Bill’s House: 1×12 “You’ll Be The Death of Me”
Season One obviously mostly shows the cocky/arrogant/opportunistic viking (the Eric who is concerned with showing his authority and power above all other things), finds dealing with others that are beneath him/inferior humorous in all situations, and uses his sexuality to manipulate others in most situations (male or female) and claim the room.
More importantly and less obviously and surprisingly, it shows an intelligent Eric who is already skeptical of Bill, an Eric that is nervous around Sookie, and Eric that is nervous/anxious and not in control of an important situation, an Eric that has to hide feelings about an innocent girl being forcibly turned by an unwilling maker, a vulnerable Eric, and an Eric that can be more bark than bite (using intimidation to make a point rather than following through on the aggression most of the time). All of this sets up the Eric of Seasons 2 and 3 of course…