After six increasingly ramshackle outings, the HBO horror-drama-romance hybrid True Blood will finally take one last bow after its upcoming season. Fans of the series often wonder whether True Blood can muster its early-season mojo enough to give its beloved characters a proper swan song.

From at least one angle thereof, trouble is brewing. According to recent news, actor Luke Grimes (Taken 2) has decided to leave True Blood early, forcing showrunners to recast his character, the handsome blonde vampire, James.

TV Line reports that Grimes has officially departed employment with True Blood, and done so early enough that his role must be recast for the seventh season to continue. As of this time, no one has been cast to replace him as James.

Initial speculation about the reason for Grimes’ departure leaned toward his recent casting in 50 Shades of Grey and resultant scheduling conflicts. As it turns out, the true motivator may have been Grimes’ discomfort with the scripts for season 7. Disappointed with the direction the show was about to take James, he asked to be released from his contract with the series.

Though fans who have come to know James over the past season of True Blood will no doubt be disappointed by Grimes’ disappearance, his loss will not affect the overall course of the series. A latecomer to the show’s cast, Grimes and the character he played only became entrenched in the show’s mythos during a period when many long-term adherents had already drifted away or were simply watching to see how the series could out-weird itself. James’ recasting will likely not cause much of a stir.

Of course, such a script-related shake-up does cast further questions as to whether the showrunners of True Blood will be able to right itself in time to deliver a satisfying final season. Will the series stage a triumphant comeback, or slouch into its own blood-soaked version of the final days of Dexter?

True Blood will resurrect for its seventh and final season in the summer of 2014.

Source: TV Line