Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) is the Vampire Sheriff of Louisiana Area 5. He is one of the oldest and strongest vampires on the HBO series "True Blood." Eric hails from a family of Viking kings who were slaughtered by werewolves at the behest of the King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington (Dennis O'Hare). Eric is the antihero, seemingly selfish and prone to take what he wants from both vampires and humans alike. He is also given to moments of self-sacrifice that betray the humanity that still lives within him.
Eric was made a vampire by the oldest known vampire, Godric (Allan Hyde). Eric has a fierce loyalty to Godric, and when he is kidnapped by a religious militia group known as the Fellowship of the Sun, he convinces Bill Compton (Steven Moyer) and Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) to go to Texas to find him with Sookie's telepathic gift. When Godric is found with the fanatical group, Eric offers his own life to the Fellowship in return for both he and Sookie. In the end, Godric saves them and calls off the vampires who were about to attack the Fellowship's congregation.
Later, Eric is injured in an explosion with silver shrapnel by a member of the Fellowship, who had worn a suicide vest into Godric's home. He uses this opportunity to trick Sookie into drinking his blood which causes her to have fantasies and sexual illusions about him. He is not sure what it is about Sookie, but something about her fascinates him. He also wonders what Bill Compton's obsessive interest in Sookie could be related to, disbelieving in human-vampire love. He does see Sookie's telepathic powers as an asset to the vampire community.
Eric runs a vampire bar called Fangtasia in Shreveport with Pam (Kristin Bauer), a vampire he created. Together they begin selling "V, " or vampire blood for Sophie-Ann (Evan Rachel Wood), the Queen of Louisiana, whose massive debt to the IRS resulted in her needing to sell the powerful narcotic. Eric enlists Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis), Tara Thornton's (Rutina Wesley) cousin to sell the "V" after kidnapping him and holding him hostage.
Eric Northman is an unpredictable vampire, who at times, acts completely out of character with the persona he portrays. While appearing to be cruel and harsh to the other vampires, he seems to have a longing for justice and revenge, especially for those he cares about. Eric's devotion to his maker, Godric, caused Sookie to see him in a different way. When Godric committed suicide by waiting for the rising sun, Sookie comforted and held Eric while he cried.
"You killed a vampire, Bill, for a human; what are we going to do about this?"
"Whatever I did to Longshadow, I would not have done it in front of witnesses, especially vampire witnesses, not smart Bill, not smart at all."
"His attachment to you is irrational. It clouds his judgment. He would kill every child in this church to save you."
"If I want Sookie, I can simply take her."