The trailer for Robert Eggers’ The Northman dropped on Monday morning, the highly-anticipated third directorial release from the filmmaker who previously helmed 2015’s The Witch and 2019’s The Lighthouse. The Hamlet-inspired tale of revenge stars Alexander Skarsgård as the titular Northman, a Viking prince named Amleth who dedicates his life to avenging the death of his father and rescuing his queen mother, played by Nicole Kidman. Kidman, interestingly enough, starred as Skarsgård’s wife on the first season of Big Little Lies, but that’s not the HBO series with which fans are drawing a correlation.
As most people are probably aware, for seven seasons from 2008 through 2014, Skarsgård played another Northman — Eric Northman, to be precise — on HBO’s campy vampire drama True Blood. In addition to the name, that Eric Northman was also a Viking, having been turned in 930 A.D., making the character over 1,000 years old.
So for True Blood fans (or anyone, really) who didn’t already have The Northman on their radar, it’s easy to see how the two could be easily confused. Yes, Alexander Skarsgård is starring in a Viking movie called The Northman. No, there’s absolutely no relation to his character Eric Northman, who was also a Viking, in the series True Blood. It’s all fine and makes perfect sense!
Still, it’s hard not to get wistful for what could have been a helluva prequel to the beloved HBO vampire drama, which ended on an admittedly pretty cheesy note. And yet, series creator Alan Ball wants to toy around with bringing back Six Feet Under, which boasted arguably the best series finale in the history of television? Is there any justice in this world??
As such, it’s not shocking that within minutes of The Northman trailer trending on Twitter, True Blood likewise began trending as fans both genuinely and jokingly imagined a world in which we were given another visit to Bon Temps, Louisiana.
“Glad Alexander Skarsgård got his True Blood spin-off made been wondering what Eric has been up to,” tweeted film critic Mike Ryan.
Entertainment writer Meecham Whitson Meriweather was also quick to point out that The Northman is “literally” Skarsgård’s backstory in True Blood.
“It’s crazy impressive that HBO was able to gather such star power for a True Blood prequel,” quipped Justin Bolger.
Journalist and critic Kay-B wondered if we might get to see this Northman become a vampire in the upcoming flick.
TV reporter Lauren Sarner lamented that this just seems like a “cruel tease” to True Blood fans.
Sadly, as Skarsgård’s star continues to rise (as evidenced by his latest attention-grabbing role as tech billionaire Lukas Matsson in the third season of Succession) the likelihood of a True Blood reunion seems unlikely. Still, #TeamEric fans can always hold out hope that one day our favorite rarely-clothed Swedish vampire may one day grace our television screens again.