Tara Thornton

Played by Rutina Wesley

Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) is Sookie Stackhouse's (Anna Paquin) complicated best friend on HBO's popular vampire series, "True Blood." Tara is an African-American woman who was abused horribly during her childhood by her religious, domineering and alcoholic mother. Growing up, Tara spent a lot of time at the home of Adele Stackhouse (Lois Smith), Sookie's grandmother. When Adele is murdered by serial killer Rene' Lenier (Michael Raymond-James), Tara moves in with Sookie to help keep her safe.

Tara had always felt affection for Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), but that affection is forgotten after a brief affair with her boss, the owner of Merlotte's bar, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell). Knowing that Sam carries a torch for Sookie, Tara treats him badly and after a fight with her mother, gets drunk and wrecks her car. She is arrested and put in jail.

Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) wants to make Tara stay in jail for her "own good" to learn a lesson. Tara feels betrayed after all the years she spent taking care of her mother. Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes), a new friend, bails her out and offers to let Tara stay at her place. Through Maryann, Tara meets Eggs (Mehcad Brooks), and falls in love with him. Eggs lives at Maryann's home along with several other people, as Maryann is a free spirit who seems to collect people wherever she goes. Although she is strange, Maryann makes Tara feel happy and safe in her plush home.

Tara eventually goes back to live with Sookie, but trouble brews in Sookie's absence. Maryann shows up at Sookie's house demanding that Tara let her and Eggs stay there to return the favor of Maryann bailing Tara out of jail and allowing her live in her home. Tara who is hopelessly in love with Eggs lets both of them move in. It is discovered that Maryann is a maenad, an immortal, demon-like creature who uses mind control powers to influence the townspeople of Bon Temps.

Sookie returns to find a huge mess at her grandmother's house. When Maryann threatens her, she throws her across the room with her magical powers. Tara's cousin Lafayette (Nelson Ellis) and Lettie Mae, show up to take Tara to Lettie Mae's house, where they handcuff her to the table so she will not be under Maryann's control.

After coming to her senses Tara escapes and goes back to save Eggs after realizing that he is a pawn for Maryann, but Tara soon falls back under Maryann's spell. Maryann's plans to give a sacrifice to the god Dionysus are thwarted when she is killed by Sam.

After Eggs is accidentally shot by Jason due to a misunderstanding, Detective Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) takes the blame for shooting him. Distraught by his death and all the terrible things that happened in Bon Temps, Tara becomes suicidal.

Memorable Quotes:

"Nothin' says I'm sorry like a tuna cheese casserole."

"Yeah, but... I could help you keep an eye on Sookie. You see the way she was looking at that vampire? That is just trouble looking for a place to happen."

"I'm comin' over. I need a margarita. A big one."