Jessica: True Blood’s Little Red Riding Hood

I’ve been considering doing a post on fairy tales in “True Blood” ever since the beginning of season 4.  In episode 1 of this season (“She’s Not There”), Sookie (Anna Paquin) learned that Claudine (Lara Pulver)  was actually her fairy godmother.  Then, two episodes later, in episode 3, “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?”, Sookie’s “fairy godmother” comes up, yet again.  While it’s clear to me that the fairy godmother is an obvious Cinderella reference, I just didn’t think this was enough for a whole post.  Certain that we would learn more about the denizens of Faery, I decided to wait a while to make a full post on fairy tales in “True Blood.”  After seeing Jessica’s (Deborah Ann Woll) Little Red Riding Hood getup in the season finale, however, I couldn’t resist a mini-post.

For those of you who didn’t see the episode, here’s the first scene in which we see Jessica as Little Red.

Although the footage of Jessica running through the woods with her cloak flowing behind her is lovely, HBO’s post to the fictional character’s blog is much more interesting.  In the original fairy tale, Little Red is clearly the victim; she’s a helpless little girl who falls prey to a devious wolf.  Jessica, however, is anything but prey.  In the world of “True Blood,” she’s the ultimate predator: a vampire.  Werewolves (or regular wolves, for that matter) are no match for her supernatural powers.  By dressing up as Little Red, Jessica is turning the story upside down.  This Little Red isn’t exactly innocent.  In this story, she’s the irresistible evil lurking in the forest.

The thing is, the original fairy tale paints a picture of a darker Little Red Riding Hood–one a bit more like Jessica.  In the earliest versions of the story, the wolf makes the little girl into a cannibal by convincing her to eat her grandmother’s blood and flesh.  That sounds more than a little vampiric to me.

Not only that, but Jessica’s version of Little Red is an extremely seductive one, and what is “Little Red Riding Hood” if not a cautionary tale about resisting temptation?  If the girl had listened to her mother rather than leaving the path to pick flowers, she would never have run into trouble in the first place.

For those of you interested in replicating Jessica’s costume for Halloween, the True Blood Fashion Q & A has a great article on putting it together, including tips as well as links to stores at which some of the pieces can be purchased.

As I said before, I expect many more fairy tale references from this show in the future, what with the recent addition of fairies and fairy godmothers.  Until then, however, at least we have Jessica as Little Red.

Lost Girl and Fairy Tales

I love “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” so whenever I hear about a show that bears some similarities, I give it a try.  Recently, on the search for something to fill the Buffy void, I had the good fortune to find one of my new favorite shows: “Lost Girl.”  This Canadian program, which has only aired one season so far, got fantastic reviews.  In fact, there’s talk of it being picked up by a U.S. network, as well.

The story centers around Bo (Anna Silk), a benevolent succubus who must feed off the sexual energy of humans to live.  She is part of the world of Fae, which is hidden to most humans.  Fae are basically all of the mythological creatures of fairy tales and legends; wolf-shifterssirens, banshees and more all exist in “Lost Girl.”  Although most Fae use their powers for themselves and their clans, Bo is different; she uses her powers to work as a supernatural P.I. (“Angel,” anyone?) fighting evil, solving mysteries, and protecting humans and Fae alike.  The script is filled with funny moments and quirky dialogue despite the dangerous, life-threatening situations the characters find themselves in every episode.  Basically, it’s “Buffy” or “Angel” with a lot more sex.

Although this show has only been around for a little while, fairy tale connections are sure to crop up.  Not only are mythological creatures from the legends and fairy tales of various cultures already included, but one character has even appeared by name: the Morrigan.

Emmanuelle Vaugier plays the Morrigan on "Lost Girl."

According to Irish legend, the Morrigan (played by Emmanuelle Vaugier on the show) is a goddess or female monster of battle, strife, and fertility.  She is often considered extremely warlike and can change into various creatures, including a cow, a crow, an eel, and a wolf.  On “Lost Girl,” she appears as the leader of the Dark Fae.  So far, little has been revealed about her nature and powers, save that she is combative and manipulative.  My guess is that she will soon be more directly linked to the legends that surround her.

Either way, I would recommend this show to anyone who enjoys fairy tales, “Angel,” or “Buffy.”

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