“Cocky Viking to Sacrificial Hero” : The Body Language of Eric Northman Season Three

I’m not covering the Eric time in episode 3×04 that involved the obvious themes such as concern over the V/Pam and fighting Hotshot. In addition, I won’t be covering 3×08 for the obvious faked submission to Russell by getting on one knee and Eric’s obvious reluctance to have sex with Talbot right there but his willingness to do so opportunistically. :

Season Three:

Fangtasia: 3×01 “Bad Blood”

Eric displays the classic “alpha male posture (that can obviously occur clothed or unclothed hah)” that men can sometimes conciously or unconciously display in order to attract the attention of a female (hips jutted forward and chest moved backward in an attempt to make themselves look bigger-as if Eric needed that- and hands near the hips or on the hips-framing the hips- in an attempt to frame their “manhood” so- to-speak). This type of positioning “alpha male posturing” has worked for ages in the wild and today. Of course, Eric’s nakedness is symbolic of a totally bare Eric, willing to put himself on display both physically and emotionally and their growing intimacy.

Once again, a terrible liar, Eric displays definsivenss with his crossed arms in front of the magister. He also mistakingly positions himself above the queen and the magister by standing above them (conciously or unconciously displaying his own opinion that he thinks he is better than both of them despite their positions), but they counter that by invading his personal space by sitting at his throne area in his place.

Fangtasia: 3×02 “Beautifully Broken”

Eric is trying to treat Sookie as an equal as he lowers himself to her level while they share the ultra-flirtacious prolonged eye contact as usual. Also, as I mentioned in the Eric/Sookie body language flashback article, Eric is also expressing desperation as he leans into her with the “notice me, please” move: https://talktrueblood.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/ericsookiebodylanguage/

Legs that close together point to trust and affection as I pointed out in the E/S article: https://talktrueblood.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/ericsookiebodylanguage/

However, Sookie’s crossed legs show hesitation for obvious reasons and they counter Eric’s open legged “crotch display (another example of an Eric “opening up.”  However, they still trust eachother and are comfortable enough to have their legs so close, almost intertwined,  in the first place.

more affectionate and trusting eye contact

3×02: “Beautifully Broken” Eric’s Flashback & Sookie’s Porch:

more over the top prolonged eye contact

The reason Eric cannot look Sookie in the eye during this part after the CONSTANT eye contact (also his lips are pursed at one point, indicating suppression here) is that he is basically lying/concealing something from her he tells her that he warned her because he "owes her," when in fact we know he warns her because he has feelings for her.

ONCE AGAIN, Eric does the "hand-in-the-pockets" move with Sookie which in this instance either points to his anxiousness with her or actually nervousness with her (since he isn't concealing anything here, since he was just being open and honest with her).

I know this is more Eric/Sookie related than Eric related but since I didn't point this out last time, Sookie leaning against the post is a classic body language move that is telling someone "not to leave, please stay." This is obviously in connection with the submissive and exposed neck which indicates interest because it's a primal move that indicates interest because it shows the person you are non-threatening (necessary in the wild). Also, unless I am mistaken, I see a SMILE!

Sookie’ House and the Graveyard: 3×03 “It Hurts Me Too”

Eric serves Sookie "the eyebrow flash," one of the common physiological signs of attraction (to coincide with his flirting and her obvious turned on face).

Here Eric serves Sookie the exaggerated one eyebrow raise (obviously to go along with his flirtacious teasing) along with a smile of his own.

Eric and Sookie walk in-sync (“mirror eachother”) with each other from the graveyard. This is one of the strongest signals of not only interest/flirtation but also a deep connection (literally being in-sync with each other).

Eric tries to get himself down to Lafayette's level here (treating him as an equal/buisness partner here as well).

Eric’s Daydream: 3×04 “9 Crimes”

Obviously shows Eric's willingness to let Sookie have equality, actually sometimes have some domianance and his ability to actually sometimes be submissive in a future relationship.

Russell’s Mansion: 3×05 “Trouble”

A titled head in this manner can sometimes indicate skepticism or doubt or can simply indicate interest (this connects with the parted lips). Of course in this scene, Eric might be both skeptical and interested to know Sookie wasn't Bill's anymore).

By gazing at eachother, Eric and Lorena were obviously interested the other was there. beyond just an acknowledgment.. Why?..Probably because Eric thought his role in Bill's absence in Season 2/the fact he knew her might come out/ Lorena's violence toward Sookie/ hatred for Godric..etc. Lorena probably was wondering if he would interfere with her plans because she knew he liked Sookie alot obviously.

Hip swaying (which is does with Talbot) definitely backs up his flirtation/claims of arousal. Obviously, Eric is trying to look submissive for Talbot with the head tilt/bowed head and keeps eye contact to hold Talbot's interest.

Russell’s Mansion: 3×06 “I’ve Got A Right To Sing The Blues”

Guiding a woman in that manner can idicate frustration and/or manly protection/ interest (probably both here).

Eric shows his actual angry face (take examples from eariler such as the scrunched nose) because of his frustration with Sookie at this point.

Eric takes on his cocky viking/vampire persona for Russell (to convince him he totally prejudice against anybody/anything but vampires by the way he leans back into his limo seat.

QSA’s Palace: 3×06 “I’ve Got A Right To Sing The Blues”

Eric find dealing with the queen humorous like he finds dealing with Bill humorous (both are beneath him in his opinion of course).

Eric does his FAKE light touch w/ the finger flirtation move with Russell (similar to the one w/ Lafayette).

QSA’s Palace and Fangtasia: 3×07 “Hitting The Ground”

Eric is actually being rather gentle with Hadley when you consider the way he “guides her along.” Why did he notify her of the plan? If he didn’t care and simply wanted to immobilize/transport her, why didn’t he just pick her up like he did with QSA or Sookie (in order to make her believe him) later on? NO, he gently puts his arm around her (like he did with Sookie earlier on) and then gives her blood when he is done…

Eric simultaneously shows his respect for Pam’s mind and his general affection for her by rubbing her head.

Fangtasia: 3×09 “Everything is Broken”

As I pointed out in the season two analysis, Eric being hunched over indicates insecurity. Eric is obviously not confident when dealing with Nan/The Authority but HE IS STILL HONEST WITH THEM! The amount of distance for their mutal personal spaces during the interview is ENORMOUS, indicating complete distrust and general uneasiness with eachother, yet ERIC IS STILL TOTALLY HONEST!

Hands in front of him, nan's crossed legs = add general defensivness

This head touching (that parallels the e/s 2x10 dream) shows their mutal intellectual and emotional connection. The head rubbing with the hand to comfort her parallels Eric's attempt to comfort Sookie by rubbing her hair with his hand later on.

Jason’s House, The Dream, Fangtasia: 3×10 “I Smell A Rat”

As I mentioned in a previous post, Eric immediantly looks to Sookie when Bill opens the door and his lips are parted (indicating slight arousal).

For my analysis of the dream and Fangtasia kiss in regards to Eric/Sookie, Read the Episode 3×10 Section of my Eric/Sookie Body Language Flashback! Part Two!: https://talktrueblood.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/ericsookiebodylanguage2/

Once again hunched over, Eric is feeling insecure not only about what he perceives as his inevitable defeat (he is feeling defeated too obviously when you add the lowered head and shoulders in addition to the circumstances), but he also feeling insecure about what he perceives as a rejection by Sookie.Fangtasia, The Museum: 3x11 "Fresh Blood"Russell indicates he wants to "get in Eric's head." by touching his face. At the same time, he is attempting to degrade Eric by giving him the equivalent of a father patting the wayward child's head. Eric allows him to do so he can give him the perception of being submissive once again.

This head holding/kiss by Eric is once again symbolic of their emotional as well as intellectual connection (entire mutual respect). It is also a very paternal/maternal (father,mother) thing to do as well all know.

This of course parallels the same thing I just said about Eric/Pam and the head touching/holding before he is forced to bite her. Also, they mutually gulp ( gulping in and of itself is a sign of deep attraction and when they “mirror eachother” it symbolizes their deep emotional connection is addition to that general mutual attraction as well). Then Eric tenderly comforts her by petting her head when she is scared because Russell bites her likes he does and he is forced to bite her ….

Eric heroically gives Russell a fake smile (the rest of his face is stiff, indicating the fake smile) because he won’t allow him to see fear or regret on his face!

Eric then heroically spreads his limbs out and looks ahead (literally ready to rmbrace and face his fate like a christ-like sactificial hero) with Russell symbollically crouched beneath him like a helpless pet!

Eric has gone from a pure Cocky Viking Vampire to the Cocky Viking Vampire who can also have the flaws of humanity ( such as insecurity) and benefits of the humanity ( such as the ability to be a tender father and love a good woman) he willingly or unwillingly retained (yet sees no need to flaunt). YET he has actually transcended all of that at the same time and become our Sacrificial Hero!


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  1. #1 by Freyja on September 11, 2010 - 1:27 am

    That was beautiful TTB!
    Our Viking has transformed quite a lot. Or well, we are just seeing other sides to him, he’s not easily explained in his complexity.
    I have noticed that he is very good at keeping eyecontact, except when he’s lying or keeping information. And we know what a terrible liar he is, that is why I love his honesty. He felt no need to flash his pretend arrogance over Sookie (like in the mansion), while in Fangtasia. He knows Russell found out about Erics fondness for Sookie so he used the opertunity to ‘say goodbye’ to her and express his sorrow and apology for what he had to do, using his bodylanguage by caressing her and send her silent message with his gulping and eyes.
    He shows this same tenderness with Pam, although there isn’t this passion between them… it’s much more spiritual connection.
    I like how he treats Sookie as his equal, he really treats her simular to Pam. He is tender, respectful and comes down to her eyelevel. Also he does let her know when he’s not happy about something. The mansion for Sookie, Fangtasia with the lawyer for Pam. He doesn’t treat his women like fragile porcelain and pats them on their
    head for being bitchy. If they are snappy towards him, he’s snappy towards them.

    I think he handled the moments with Russell and Talbot very well. Played in on their ego, lust and attraction. He was very flirty with Talbot, using his eyes, smile, his whole body to seduce him. With Russell he was playing in on his ego and powerlust, doing the submissive bodylanguage. Eric rarely lied to them, he moved around the truth and used their weaknesses for his gain.

    You went to every corner of Eric’s bodylanguage in season 3. Love this and thank you 🙂

    • #2 by talktrueblood on September 11, 2010 - 3:05 am

      Thank you Freyja!
      Yes, he is COMPLEX to say the least. It’s a wonder to see someone who plays an arrogant figurehead but is really a loyal friend/lover/father, sacrificial hero.
      The favorite thing about what he did with Sookie was the fact that he basically declared his feelings in front of everyone else. He was emotionally bare in front of everyone: russell, bill, pam, and sookie. He no longer hid his feelings and I think this is the opportunity for his to tell sookie he really, really cares (before the amnesia of course).
      I like how it shows he loves both women…even though it’s definitely not the same kind of love.
      Not treating them like porcelain dolls proves he thinks of them like equals. I wonder what Bill really thinks of the women in his life…
      People who cannot lie are masters at avoiding the truth or speaking about anything that pertains to the lie in the first place of course : )

      I had to make one special article/series for our viking : )

  2. #3 by Ella on September 11, 2010 - 2:05 am

    I loved these posts of the progression of the Viking through the 3 seasons so far. We are seeing all of Eric’s layers. It’s so fun to watch.

    • #4 by talktrueblood on September 11, 2010 - 2:47 am

      Im am so glad you enjoyed this series Ella!

  3. #5 by anette on September 11, 2010 - 3:34 pm

    just great job, must say! As a 1000 years old Viking, eric is very modern about his women, much more than Byyyylie, the fu**ing “be quiet and do what I think is good for you” Compton. To be true and honest with your feelings even in a such a difficult situation like last moments in fangtasia, it’s amazing. And Sookie had to be just stiupid to not to see that. Hope she is not so stiupid. Hope Byyyl don’t lie to her, about his conversation with Eric on a parking when they pretend they fight. I really belive, that she will try to save her Viking in last episode. If she isn’t blind and if she is honest to her self and her feelings, she just canot do nothing else.
    Yours analyses of body language of Eric is tremendes, and I still think, ASkar is the best actor in the show.
    Can’t wait to final of season 3 and of course, hope that season 4 will be based on 4 book, with amnesia, romance of Eric and Sookie. I think it would be very interesting to watch body language of Eric during amnesia, when he forget about his shield, about all that cookines, and “not showing I have feelings”… I can imagine, that he will be similar in his behave to Eric from Sookies dreams, and his own “dream”, softer, vonurable (I’m not sure if I spell it correctly, but hope You know what I mean 😉 ) and so much openly loving. Hope I’m true.
    Thanks for yours blog and posts.
    Buziaki (in polish it mean “kiss kiss”)

    • #6 by talktrueblood on September 12, 2010 - 2:41 am

      thank you again anette!

      Eric is a secret or not so secret feminist! haha.
      I actually think Eric was prepared to die. He had no back up plan and when Sookie saves him, Pam and Eric will be deeply touched forever (even more so than Eric was over her being there for Godric). Eric will not deny any part of his feelings then and I think Pam will accept those feelings more.

      I am so glad you liked this series. I had to do a series for our viking. He is the reason that many of us watch the show ; )
      ASkars and Denis O’Hare are the best actors on the show. I agree.

      I think Season 4 will have an Eric/Sookie romance at least and the amnesia will be there.
      Other than that, I do not know but I obviously loved book 4 too.

      I love doing these post for my readers!

  4. #7 by KiVi on September 11, 2010 - 6:11 pm

    When Eric petted Sookie’s head it looked like he said goodbye to her.
    This body language was great!

    • #8 by talktrueblood on September 12, 2010 - 1:57 am

      I loved that she almost seemed to understand for a moment and like I said, “mirrored his body language,” basically saying goodbye herself : )

  5. #9 by lizzy on September 11, 2010 - 11:00 pm

    I am from central america sorry for the english,good work as always.thank you very much.

  6. #11 by Bobsgran on September 12, 2010 - 11:59 am

    Excellent TTB. I learn something new every time I read your views.

    • #12 by talktrueblood on September 12, 2010 - 3:22 pm

      Thank you Bobsgran. I always love you coming by.

  7. #13 by anna on September 12, 2010 - 5:51 pm

    Thank you for another great insightful post.

  8. #15 by Feather on September 12, 2010 - 8:14 pm

    i wish i had something more to say than “awesome”, but you covered it all. i love these posts, thank you again 🙂

    • #16 by talktrueblood on September 12, 2010 - 11:55 pm

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting Feather!

  9. #17 by Sarah on September 15, 2010 - 9:03 pm

    I am a bit late for commenting but I had to say how much I love your body language posts especially those who include my Viking
    Eric´s way of treating women as equals is the one thing I love most about him. He is clearly caring for Sookie but he refuses to deal her as if she was an fragile damsel-in-distress. While Bill supports Sookie´s sometimes immature behaviour (heavily relying on other people, not questioning his decisions) Eric wants her to grow up up and face life as adult. To me Sookie is subconsciouly aware that Eric´s way of dealing with her is the better one which is proven by her comfortable body language around him.
    When do you write a review for the finale? Basing on the revelation of the finale I wrote a post about Bill over at Sookieverse so if you are interested in reading…

    • #18 by talktrueblood on September 15, 2010 - 9:41 pm

      I understand Sarah!
      I think Sookie needs to grow before she can accept her feelings for Eric and before they can have a meaningful relationship anyway.
      Eric demands to see her more mature side and she’ll have to have it out to accept being around him as a partner.
      When Sookie grows up (I think she will next season), she’ll finally be able to love Eric.

      I would have written it if I wasn’t so busy with college papers this week. I should have time to start tonight and finish tomorrow.
      I would LOVE to read that post.

      • #19 by Sarah on September 15, 2010 - 10:21 pm

        I truly understand because I also have much stress on the university paper front going on.
        But instead of writing about the political culture of Venezuela as I am supposed to do i am so tempted to read more posts about the finale of TB or the premier of Vampire Diaries 🙂
        Did you watch the latter? It is a wonderful series to enjoy during the TB free time…

  10. #20 by anna on September 15, 2010 - 10:54 pm

    Displacement activity is such fun!

  11. #21 by theagnosticswife on September 16, 2010 - 4:01 pm

    Yes Vampire Diaries is a nice distraction. No Viking, but Damon will do until TB comes back on.

    • #22 by talktrueblood on September 16, 2010 - 9:56 pm

      At least a little bit! lol

    • #23 by Sarah on September 16, 2010 - 10:33 pm

      poor Damon. He is always the rebound guy 🙂

  12. #25 by BloodboundNorse on October 7, 2010 - 7:05 pm

    I love reading about anyone’s analysis of Eric and your’s is great! I love that Eric had nothing left to lose and basically declared his feelings for Sookie in Fangtasia. I have a feeling though with the big revelation, Sookie won’t remember his words re: never have given her to Russell or his display of affection to her in front of everyone?

    “his ability to actually sometimes be submissive in a future relationship.”
    Wow, what a great contrast from what I remember of Bill’s body in the Dallas hotel while Sookie is on top of him on the couch trying to get him to have sex. His arms were to his side and he was still very unrelaxed with his back rigid while she was trying to coax him. I dont know, to me he didnt look very relaxed.

    • #26 by talktrueblood on October 8, 2010 - 7:50 pm

      Thank you BloodboundNorse!
      I love the circumstances but I hope Sookie will eventually admit her attachment to him though actions definitely speak louder than words..
      on both sides! lol
      I think Sookie realizes his feelings but doubts them now due to what she is…she thinks that is all it is about…instead of who she is.

      I think Sookie needs to have the ability to take control during sex and not forcibly (like she did with bill in episode 3×08) and Eric would do that I am sure 😉

      Bill’s body language was practically screaming since season one: I am hiding something.
      (It makes me feel dumb that I initially overlooked it)

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