What Tara Thornton did to the little black-eyed girl -- what the witches did to Eric Northman -- Bill did to William Compton a hundred years earlier, and a million times better. And he's been doing it the whole time, all of it under their noses. Without even his knowledge. And that is sad, and it's sickening, and it needs to end. Even Tara was eventually allowed to die, because nobody deserves that. It isn't generous and it isn't true, it's just disgusting. "You cannot hurt the world," sure, but you sure as shit can hurt yourself.
Which means you can also save yourself.
When Bill drinks God down, his face goes scared, for a moment. They can scarcely breathe; the end of the world is poised on their breath. They mourn -- they cry for him, this hateful twisted thing they loved; his sacred, infinite thirst -- and they should, they'll never see him again. In a moment, they'll be running for their lives. He blossoms into light; he shatters.
William Compton left a wife and two children home in 1862, when he left to serve the 28th Louisiana Infantry. After the war, Compton took a shortcut on his way home, and he ... got lost. His son Thomas died in 1868; daughter Sarah lived until 1910. In 1972 he joined Nan Flanagan and Louis Pasteur in their quest to invent TruBlood and disrupt the vampire hierarchy, all so he could return to a paltry kind of light. A few weeks ago, he ended TruBlood production the world over, plunging the globe into a darkness it still doesn't quite comprehend. He was a King and a saint, a Chancellor, a mainstreamer and a Sanguinist, an Ambassador to the sun; he was Vampire Bill, the first vampire most of Bon Temps ever loved. Redeemer. A revolutionary and a monster, a cult member and eventually a cult leader. He took a shortcut, and he got lost, and then he died. The whole world is ending and the King of Louisiana is dead.
What rises now is something better. It has to be.
JACOB CLIFTON is a freelance writer and critic based in Austin, Texas. He currently recaps Pretty Little Liars and True Blood for TWoP. Jacob can be found online at jacobclifton.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook. IRL work appears in BenBella's SmartPop series of anthologies, his novel The Urges, and the novelette "The Commonplace Book," which will appear on Tor.com in October 2012.