True Blood and Maenads

true blood s2 004So I found this interview with Michelle Forbes about her True Blood character, wherein she reveals herself to be a maenad. Now, on one hand this kinda gels with what I’d been thinking, right down to the connection to Dionysus. On the other hand (and I will admit my classical mythology education isn’t as complete as I’d like it to be), I’ve always found maenads to be… you know, human.

In fact, it was Maryann’s parties that originally led me to the connection between her and Dionysus, due to the way the people in attendance acted. With this week’s episode, the crazy food and dirt eating, and punching reaaaaally seemed to fit for the followers of Dionysus, including the maenads though they haven’t quite worked up to the killing and eating of animals or people yet. But see, this is the partygoers, not Maryann, who are all frenzied. She seems to be somehow controlling them, inducing their ecstatic state, and possibly being empowered by it. Basically her followers seem much more like maenads (though not just the women) than Maryann does.

true blood s2 005

What'chu doin' in there, pig?

However TB has already given us a different take on vampires, so I guess it stands to reason that it’ll do the same with Greek mythology. See along with the maenads, other followers of Dionysus were various half-human creatures like Pans and Centaurs. My best guess is that they combined the maenad and the other followers to create Maryann, which makes sense and goes a long way explaining the very un-maenady bits of her character. The pig’s got me stumped though, I know of no connection between either the maenads or Dionysus and pigs.

Really happy my fav religion is connected to a show for the first time since Hercules and Xena,
-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on July 15, 2009.

2 Responses to “True Blood and Maenads”

  1. Great analysis. I read a interview where she says she’s not the “total villain” or something like that. Meaning there’s more to this story. Love this show.

  2. you need to brush up on your mythology; the depiction of Mary Anne is quite what you’d expect from a creature who will make followers of the unexpecting. Maenads kill once the frenzy is in full swing as a result of their god’s energy…several famous greek mythological characters are killed by these demon-women and some of them were killed by being cut to pieces- see the Indian Wars I believe… Samsinls

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