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What The Cast Of True Blood Looked Like In The First Episode Vs. Now

For seven seasons between 2008 and 2014, True Blood was the destination for all fans of twisted, uncensored, and insanely soapy vampire drama.

Following dozens of attractive of people who did bad things whenever possible, regardless of whether they were a vampire or not, the series was as soapy as it was addictive -- and as infuriating as it was filled to the brim with far too many characters.

Boasting a series-spanning love square unlike any other HBO drama, True Blood was renowned for its ability to test the patience of fans, and to ruin and redeem characters at the drop of a hat, whenever it really felt like it.

However, regardless of whether you were Team Bill, Team Eric, Team Alcide, or maybe even Team "sick and tired of Sookie Stackhouse," there's one thing that can be agreed upon.

The star power that the series amassed is still impressive as ever ten years after its premiere, especially as certain cast members' stars are only continuing to rise within the world of Hollywood.

In a show with an ever expanding cast, it's hard to narrow things down to a manageable list of familiar faces and names. However, here, we've tried to pull together a list of some of the most recognizable and iconic characters to check in on all these years later.

Here is What The Cast Of True Blood Looked Like In Their First Episodes Vs. Now.

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21 Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton)

Bill Compton may not have always been a stand up guy, but he was the vampire who started it all, the man who stole Sookie's heart and got True Blood started with a bang -- or, should we say, fang.

Having been made a vampire around the time of the Civil War, Bill has been a native of the steamy town of Bon Temps for as long as he has been alive and undead.

Perhaps more damaged than any other character on the series, he sways back and forth between the dark and the light, almost always coming back to the light in the end because of Sookie.

After putting away the fangs and the signature Southern drawl, British actor Stephen Moyer has found plenty of jobs to keep himself busy.

Just before True Blood aired its final run of episodes, he appeared as Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live! He had a supporting role in the Will Smith led 2016 film Concussion.

He has had leading roles in the short-lived FX series The Bastard Executioner, the FOX miniseries Shots Fired, and the cult X-Men universe series The Gifted. He has been married to co-star Anna Paquin since 2010.

20 Anna Camp (Sarah Newlin)

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True Blood held nothing back in its satire of organized religion, and you'd have to look no further than Sarah Newlin to see a prime example of that.

As a member of the televangelist religion Fellowship of the Sun, Sarah is adamantly anti-vampire to the extreme, taking part in every measure she can to ensure that the vampires are not accepted into society.

Through her marriage with her husband Steve, the two pose as a sizable threat to the Bon Temps locals -- at least for a little while. By the end of the series, Sarah's threat has been subdued, as she is now forced to serve as a slave to Pam to supply blood whenever it is needed to cure ailing vampires of their ills.

While it was certainly apparent in some of Sarah's more ridiculous scenes, in recent years, Anna Camp has finally been allowed to show the world just what she is capable of when it comes to comedy.

She has starred in all three of the Pitch Perfect movies as Aubrey Posen, the snooty member of the acapella girl group the Bellas in the hit film series.

She has also had a hilarious recurring role as the out of this world socialite Deirdre Robeespierre in the Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

On the drama side of things, she has proved her talents time and again on the likes of shows such as Good Girls Revolt, The Good Wife, and Mad Men.

19 Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse)

Whether you loved her or hated her, Sookie Stackhouse was the center of the True Blood universe, the ever alluring faerie who held all of Bon Temps in her sway regardless of whether they liked it or not.

Sookie somehow managed to be consistently innocent and proactive, speaking her mind even as she allowed herself to be led into bad situation after bad situation.

While much of her character's plots revolved around poorly conceived of romantic relationships, Sookie's family and friends also remained crucial parts of her story, which is perhaps why the ending she received -- a family with a mystery man the audience had never known -- made more sense than anything else.

After playing Sookie for the very last time, Paquin didn't slow down even the slightest bit.

She voiced Ramsey in the animated movie The Good Dinosaur, had a small role in the 2016 remake of Roots, and starred in an episode of the anthology series Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.

She starred in the short-lived Canadian series Bellevue as a detective, before her turn in the critically acclaimed miniseries Alias Grace.

Since 2010, Paquin has been married to co-star Stephen Moyer, with whom she has twins.

18 Rutina Wesley (Tara Thornton)

As Sookie's lifelong best friend, Tara Thornton always offered a sounding board, a voice of reason and compassion no matter how hard things became for her or those closest to her.

Although she never had the best taste or sense in the romantic department, Tara was always loyal to everyone whom she cared for. She got caught up in a lot of trouble along the way -- even being turned into a vampire herself, in the process -- but all throughout, she remained one of the truly good, kind-hearted characters in a desolate wasteland of a series.

Since wrapping her seven season run as Thornton in 2014, Rutina Wesley has been busy both on and off the screen.

In the world of movies, she's had supporting roles in movies such as 2014's Last Weekend and 2015's The Perfect Guy. She booked a recurring role on the acclaimed cult hit series Hannibal.

However, more notably than any of the other roles, since 2016, Wesley has been starring in the leading role of Nova Bordelon on the OWN series Queen Sugar.

In 2017, Wesley also publicly came out, announcing her engagement to a woman named Shonda.

17 Alexander Skarsgård (Eric Northman)

Eric Northman was the brooding bad boy who won over the hearts of viewers everywhere -- and eventually, the heart of one Miss Sookie Stackhouse, even if only for a little while.

As tortured as he was terrifying, the Viking vampire reigned as one of the highest authorities in the land, serving as a vampire sheriff and chancellor. He was unflaggingly loyal to those closest to him, including his progeny, Pam, and his own maker, Godric.

While he may not have been the right man for Sookie after all, Eric's ending in the polarizing series' finale provides him with more satisfaction than a romantic ending could have.

By the end of the series, he has achieved more success and wealth than ever before as a businessman in various arenas.

Since True Blood ended, Alexander Skarsgård has gone on to achiever bigger and better things.

He appeared as the titular character in the 2015 movie The Legend of Tarzan opposite Margot Robbie.

In 2017, he achieved perhaps the greatest success of his entire career, playing the villainous Perry in the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries Big Little Lies. For his performance, Skarsgård earned an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a Critics' Choice Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

16 Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse)

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Jason Stackhouse was never really ever the sharpest tool in the Bon Temps shed. Consistently portrayed in situations that involve him being shirtless, and often stupid, Jason is a frustrating character from start to finish, often causing more trouble than any other character in the series.

Although he is part faerie like his sister, his interactions with the supernatural are limited to physical encounters and attempts to protect those he cares about who either are or have been affected by vampires or werepanthers.

His career changes throughout the series, ranging from construction worker, to police officer, to soldier.

However, all throughout, he is shown to be genuine at heart, no matter how foolish his actions may be.

After True Blood ended in 2014, the Australian actor Ryan Kwanten has been working fairly consistently both in Hollywood and Australia.

In 2015, he voiced the lead character in the animated Australian movie Blinky Bill the Movie. He also appeared opposite Alicia Silverstone in the 2016 romantic comedy Who Gets the Dog?, and in the critically lambasted 2018 heist movie The Hurricane Heist.

Since March 2018, however, he has starred in the leading role on the Crackle series The Oath, alongside Arrow's Katrina Law and Game of Thrones' Sean Bean.

15 Michael McMillian (Steve Newlin)

If you thought that Sarah Newlin was bad, you really haven't seen anything until you encounter her husband, Steve Newlin.

Entirely committed to the belief that the world needs to be rid of vampires, Steve is initially even more of a true believer and villain than his wife proves to be.

However, when irony strikes and Steve finds himself turned into a vampire himself, his world suddenly begins to make sense. He is no longer repressed and forced to conform to the expectations of the Fellowship of the Sun, which allows him to realize that he is, in fact, gay and has been in love with Jason Stackhouse all along.

After playing arguably one of True Blood's most bizarre characters, it's no surprise that Michael McMillian has retreated back to the world of reality -- well, at least a little bit.

He recurred on the hit TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland as Owen, the son of Jane Leeves' character Joy. He also booked guest appearances on series as varied as Hawaii Five-0, Shameless, Silicon Valley, and NCIS.

However, since 2015, he has once again returned to the world of larger than life comedic characters, starring in the recurring role of Tim on the bizarre musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

14 Jim Parrack (Hoyt Fortenberry)

Amidst the sea of violence, anger, and hatred that fuels much of True Blood's conflicts, Hoyt Fortenberry stands out as a single beacon of hope and light.

Genuinely kind at heart, loving, compassionate, and open-minded, Hoyt is a better friend and significant other than many of the characters who reside in Bon Temps deserve.

He is best friends with Jason Stackhouse, and deeply in love with vampire Jessica Hamby, but it's his connections to these two in particular that lead him to leave Bon Temps eventually to escape from all the ugliness therein.

Thankfully, he returns before the series' end, reconciling with both his best friend and true love.

After spending so many years playing the genuinely decent, lovable Hoyt Fortenberry, it's sometimes hard to imagine Jim Parrack in any other role. That hasn't stopped him from trying to solve that problem, however, by taking on roles totally different from Hoyt's demeanor.

In 2015, he recurred in the role of the insidious Preacher James in the short-lived science fiction series Resurrection, opposite Omar Epps, Kurtwood Smith, and Frances Fisher.

In 2016, he appeared in the polarizing movie Suicide Squad as Jonny Frost, the likewise evil henchman of Jared Leto's truly unhinged Joker.

13 Adina Porter (Lettie Mae Daniels)

Given how consistently damaged and self-destructive Lettie Mae Daniels is portrayed as being, it truly is a wonder that Tara Thornton turned out as well as she did.

Lettie Mae is consistently depicted as manipulative, if not outright physically abusive, in almost every scene she shares with her daughter. She has battled substance abuse issues for much of her life, but also grapples with the gift of medium skills that runs through her side of the family.

She later has a transformation into a fundamentalist religious person, though her relationship with her daughter never truly improves.

After the many years she spent playing the textbook bad mother on True Blood, Adina Porter has continued to prove herself as quite the venerable genre actress.

In addition to her time on True Blood, Porter has had guest appearances on series such as American Horror Story: Murder House, Ringer, and the cult teen vampire series The Vampire Diaries.

She has also starred since 2014 on The CW series The 100 as Indra, and in 2016 she appeared in American Horror Story: Roanoke. To complete the AHS trifecta, in 2017, she starred in the polarizing season American Horror Story: Cult.

12 Lucy Griffiths (Nora Gainesborough)

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Nora Gainesborough is introduced to the world of True Blood rather abruptly when she saves Eric and Bill from captivity. Her character's story is only made all the more confusing as it's revealed that she and Eric are, essentially, vampire siblings, but that this entails a romantic relationship of some sort.

While she and Eric were loyal to one another, at least to a degree, Nora was always serving herself above everything else, unlike her fellow vampires Eric and Pam who strove to serve the best interest for each other rather than prioritizing their own selfish needs and not realizing the error of their ways until it was too late.

After her time as Eric's "sister" on True Blood, Lucy Griffiths has gone on to have roles in a wide variety of media.

She had supporting and starring roles in films such as 2014's Winter's Tale, the 2015 Netflix sci fi movie Uncanny, and the 2017 drama The Price. She was meant to be a leading character in the failed 2014 television series Constantine, but her character was scrapped early on in the revision process.

In 2016, she starred as Emily Woodrow in the first season of the AMC dark comedy series Preacher.

11 Lauren Bowles (Holly Cleary)

It's hard to imagine, based on the earliest seasons, anyone being capable of loving a man like Andy Bellefleur. Enter Holly Cleary, a bubbly and kind-hearted witch who seems to have endless patience when it comes to cracking the shell that Andy's heart hides behind.

She is a mother of two young boys, and goes on to develop good friendships with the girls of Bon Temps-- Tara Thornton in particular. By the end of the series, she and Andy are engaged to be married.

Since True Blood wrapped, Lauren Bowles has been working in recurring capacities on many hit series.

For much of her career, she has worked as a real character actress, showing up in one surprising role after another and always knocking it out of the park. She appeared in episodes of Mom, The Closer, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Modern Family, and Scandal.

She has also frequently worked alongside real life half-sister Julia Louis Dreyfus on her series including Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Veep.

She has been married to LOST and Mad Men alum Patrick Fischler since 2004.

10 Lois Smith (Adele Stackhouse)

Adele Stackhouse was essentially everything you could want in a grandmother and caretaker. Having taken care of both Sookie and Jason since they were very young, Adele was consistently warm and loving, imparting great wisdom whenever it was most needed.

She was entirely supportive of them in everything that they did, and even offered similarly maternal warmth to the helplessly adrift Tara Thornton on more than one occasion.

With her tragic passing early in the series at the hands of the Bon Temps Killer, Adele left a void in the Stackhouse family that would never truly be filled, even as the returned in flashbacks and spiritual appearances later in the series.

Lois Smith is truly the definition of a working actor, as she has spent over sixty years in the business of Hollywood and has amassed over a hundred credits to her name.

Most recently, she has made guest starring or recurring roles in popular television series including The Affair, The Blacklist, Grace and Frankie, and Younger.

She is perhaps most familiar to movie goers nowadays as the memorable Sister Sarah Joan in Greta Gerwig's critically acclaimed movie Lady Bird.

9 Chris Bauer (Andy Bellefleur)

Stubborn to a fault, Andy Bellefleur serves as the local sheriff to the people of Bon Temps throughout the series. Often outwardly vindictive, Andy isn't exactly the kind of man who should be allowed in this position of power.

However, his often bumbling antics and grouchy demeanor usually wind up getting the best of him, preventing him seeking out the true enactment of his vengeful wishes.

Through his relationship with Holly Cleary, however, he begins to soften, and viewers are allowed to see the kind man beyond the rough and tough exterior.

Chris Bauer is well known for his gruff demeanor, so it's no surprise that he consistently finds himself cast in roles that require him to be the tough guy. He has appeared as a police officer and a negotiator in recent episodes of Modern Family and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

He starred as journalist Tim Rutten in the crime anthology series Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.

From 2014 to 2017, he appeared on the series Survivor's Remorse as basketball team owner Jimmy Flaherty, and since 2017, he has returned to his longtime home HBO as Bobby Dwyer on The Deuce.

8 Janina Gavankar (Luna Garza)

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While certain main characters are made more interesting by the reveal that they have supernatural powers or identities, it's the unfortunate reality that many of the characters who are brought into the narrative as a result of these reveals are incredibly, mind-numbingly boring.

Take, for example, Luna Garza, one of the many shape shifters who Sam finds himself drawn to upon learning and accepting his own identity.

Beyond her introduction as a romantic interest for Sam, in a relationship that never really amounts to anything or feels believable in any way, Luna never contributes anything to the series -= and so her eventual departure from it only comes as a relief.

Janina Gavankar has certainly tried to make a name for herself in other works of genre television following the less than stellar turn as Luna on the vampire soap.

However, she hasn't done herself any favors based on the roles she has chosen so far. In 2017, she was cast as Nicole Beharie's replacement on Sleepy Hollow, a move all but universally lambasted by a once passionate fanbase.

Sleepy Hollow was canceled after one season of Gavankar joining the cast.

Since then, she has taken up the identity of serving as the voice and capture for the point of view character Iden Versio in the much problem-plagued video game Star Wars Battlefront II.

7 Kristin Bauer Van Straten (Pam Swynford de Beaufort)

As a wry voice of reason, Pam Swynford de Beaufort holds court in the world of Fangtasia with perhaps more influence than its rightful king, Eric.

Skilled in charm as a pretense for getting what she wants, and often destroying people, Pam truly has no boundaries when it comes to doing what needs to be done.

She is unflaggingly loyal to Eric, and later shows signs of similar loyalty to Tara, her eventual vampire progeny. She is openly bi, always concerned with her appearance, and always determined to keep things in line.

By the end of the series, she and Eric are business partners and stronger together than ever before.

During her tenure on True Blood, Kristin Bauer van Straten appeared in the recurring role of Didi Stone on the teen soap The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

She also played a particularly vamped up version of the evil queen Maleficent on Once Upon a Time, appearing in season one in a guest capacity and in season four in a steadily recurring role.

She has appeared in multiple works in the horror and thriller genre, including the horror series Lore and the movies Teen Lust and Nocturnal Animals.

6 Todd Lowe (Terry Bellefleur)

Unlike his cousin, Andy, Terry Bellefleur is one of the warmest characters in all of Bon Temps. As a traumatized veteran struggling with the demons he faced during his service, he makes a home for himself at Merlotte's, working his way up from cook at the bar to eventual namesake of Bellefleur's Bar & Grill.

Over the course of the series, he becomes romantically involved with Arlene Fowler, eventually getting married and becoming a stepfather to her children.

However, no matter the happiness he found in his daily life, Terry eventually ended his life due to the pain and suffering that he could never make amends with.

Prior to his tenure on True Blood, Todd Lowe was perhaps best known to viewers as Zack Van Gerbig, the rocker boyfriend -- and later husband -- of Lane Kim on the family dramedy hit series Gilmore Girls.

In 2016, Lowe revisited that role in the polarizing but enormously popular Netflix limited series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

In addition to returning to Stars Hollow, Lowe recently recurred on the USA Network drama Shooter as Colin Dobbs. He has also appeared in several independent and short films.

5 Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux)

As one of many male characters who seemed to serve as eye candy with a side of plot device, Alcide Herveaux never really stood a chance at becoming a fully-formed character.

As one of Sookie's many love interests, though perhaps her least satisfyingly handled one, he was an overprotective, loyal, and solitary werewolf.

He was a dutiful servant, carrying out the debts his family owed to Eric Northman, and falling for Sookie in the process. Just as it seemed like they were about to get their chance at developing a relationship, and expanding Alcide's character along with it, he was summarily cut off early in the series' final season.

While Alcide may have not had the happily ever after fans may have wanted, there's no reason to worry, as Joe Manganiello's career seems to only be on the rise.

He took part in the Magic Mike movie franchise, once again offering little more than eye candy, before moving on to land the role of Slade Wilson, also known as Deathstroke, in the DCEU.

In 2018 so far, he has starred opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the action movie Rampage. In 2015, Manganiello married Modern Family star Sofia Vergara.

4 Carrie Preston (Arlene Fowler)

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From the start of the series, poor Arlene Fowler is dealt one bad hand after another. It's revealed in the first season that the man who she believed to be her great love is, in fact, the elusive Bon Temps Killer.

Later, she learns that her late deceased boyfriend is, in fact, the father of her newborn child. After finally finding happiness with Terry Bellefleur, she has that ripped away from her as well following what she calls "sort of" taking his own life.

Yet throughout it all, Arlene remains strong, supported by the love of her friends and family, and her own interminable self-determination.

While Carrie Preston spent an entire series with the character of Arlene Fowler, she is most likely not the character Preston who is mot well-known for.

Instead, that distinction probably belongs to the character of Elsbeth Tascioni, her character on The Good Wife and its spin off series, The Good Fight. Preston's portrayal of Elsbeth earned her two Emmy nominations, including one win.

She has also appeared on series including Person of Interest, The Following, Happyish, When We Rise, and Claws, proving herself to be quite the versatile television actress in the process.

3 Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte)

When True Blood begins, Sam Merlotte is about the perfect definition of a genuinely nice guy. As a bar owner with a heart too big for his own good, he looks out for his close friends Sookie, Tara, and Lafayette whenever possible, standing by his morals no matter what.

He has a brief plot of romantic interest in Sookie, although their relationship is far less drawn out than any of the other suitors strung along for much of the series' run.

Where the real interest of Sam's character lies is in the reveal that he is, himself, a supernatural being -- namely, a shape shifter.

Sam Trammell has been working steadily since True Blood ended, but unfortunately, none of his characters have been remotely as interesting as Sam Merlotte.

He appeared in the 2014 young adult movie The Fault in Our Stars as Shailene Woodley's character's father. Alongside Naomi Watts, Susan Sarandon, and Elle Fanning, he appeared in the 2015 coming of age drama 3 Generations.

He held a recurring role in season one of the smash hit series This Is Us as Ben, the shady former band mate and boyfriend of Mandy Moore's character Rebecca.

2 Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette Reynolds)

As one of the most iconic and significant characters to come out of the entire series, Lafayette Reynolds steals the show of each and every scene he's in.

While he may be a short order cook by trade at Merlotte's, Lafayette's life contains so many more secrets than anyone who initially perceived him. As is revealed over time, he possesses the ability to be a medium, just like his aunt Lettie Mae.

He also works as a dealer, supplying people in Bon Temps with their doses of V. Most significantly, he is an openly proud gay man, who never even dreams of apologizing for anything about the way he is.

After truly making a name for himself as the larger than life Lafayette Reynolds, Nelsan Ellis quickly earned his status as a household name to watch.

In the years following True Blood, he appeared in the James Brown biopic Get On Up and the thriller The Stanford Prison Experiment.

He starred as a main character in the fifth season of the CBS series Elementary as Shinwell Johnson, a former con artist.

Sadly, however, Ellis passed away at the age of 39 in July 2017 as a result of heart failure due to alcohol withdrawal.

1 Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby)

Jessica Hamby has perhaps one of the most drastic character transformations over the course of the series. She begins her series-long arc as a prim and proper Christian girl who had never really experienced much of the outside world, never mind the mere suggestion of anything relating to the supernatural.

Soon enough, however, she is turned into a vampire, progeny to Bill Compton himself, and proves herself to be quite the capable threat.

Never once losing her vulnerable side, she falls in love with the affable Hoyt Fortenberry -- although she briefly distracted by misguided feelings for the reckless Jason Stackhouse -- and in time, she becomes a quasi daughter to Bill as well.

Actress Deborah Ann Woll didn't waste any time in taking on another iconic, outspoken, strong female character.

Since 2015, Woll has starred in three of Netflix's Marvel television series as intrepid reporter Karen Page. Much like in her time as Jessica, Woll is allowed to portray a character who has fallen suddenly from grace, and whose innocent appearance conceals a darker truth.

She has appeared in seasons one and two of Daredevil, The Defenders miniseries, and season one of The Punisher thus far.

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Which True Blood cast member's career and appearance are you most surprised by? Let us know in the comments!

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