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October 10, 2015

True Blood: What the heck is Maryann?

by Jane Boursaw, posted Aug 2nd 2009 11:04PM
Michelle Forbes in True BloodThere's been quite a bit of discussion about what sort of creature Maryann is on True Blood. While some TV Squad readers speculated that she's a Circe -- or rather, THE Circe -- Michelle Forbes, who plays the character, set the record straight in a TV Guide interview in mid-July.

She's a maenad, which, according to Wikipedia, were the female followers of Dionysus in Greek mythology. "Their name literally translates as 'raving ones.' Often the maenads were portrayed as inspired by him into a state of ecstatic frenzy, through a combination of dancing and drunken intoxication. In this state, they would lose all self-control, begin shouting excitedly, engage in uncontrolled sexual behavior, and ritualistically hunt down and tear animals (and sometimes men and children) to pieces, devouring the raw flesh."

All of that sounds pretty intense, but Forbes says that Maryann is NOT a villain. "Maryann lives in a different moral construct than the rest of us. Tenderness, violence -- they're the same to her. The more that somebody is feeling alive and in their adrenaline and feeding that appetite for what we're not supposed to do, the more that they're in what she considers purity."

She adds, "All those things that people hold themselves back from -- food, sex, booze, drugs -- she wants to push people into their vices, their purity, their ecstasy. That's what she considers happiness. It's not a nefarious or villainous thing in her mind. She wants everyone to feel the same glory and joy that she feels. She wants everyone to join the party."

I think most of us are trying to be good human beings, so if you're like me, it's hard to reconcile all of this as non-villainous, especially when people are getting attacked. Plus, unlimited amounts of [fill in your favorite vice here] might be nice for a while, but there are consequences. Eventually, you have to rein things in and re-gain some self-control and willpower. Otherwise, the world would be a mad place to live, right?

So if, indeed, Maryann isn't a villain, we have to set aside our own beliefs of right and wrong and just enjoy True Blood for what it is. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out, and what will happen to Maryann. Part of me wants to see her go down in flames, if for no other reason than her ridiculous shaking drives me a little batty.

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She said in an interview ages ago that she was a maenad, this is hardly revelatory. I'm surprised there was speculation that she was anything else, as I'm sure both Ausiello and the notKristins had that information.

Plus, I'm also surprised that no one who had read the books set the record straight because even though the maenad isn't a big character in Living Dead in Dallas, it was pretty obvious that Maryann is her.

And "Maenad" can't be ranked with Circe or Dionsysus. Circe was a witch, Dionysus a god. Maenads are the followers of Dionysus, as it says in the article. She's not a deity. Just an immortal being making mischief.

August 04 2009 at 1:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To me, there's no reason she only has to be a Maenad. The links between cultural myths are very apparent in classical literature, from one deity to another that she may very well be all kinds of gods and goddesses by name. And, lest we forget, the origins of myth are born out of our own personifications of emotions and actions, which is why she is above what we may call "morality". She's a deity. Circe, Maenad, Dionysus, Lilith, Satan... I see them all as the same thing. But that's probably because I watch too much Joseph Campbell...

August 03 2009 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That pic is fucking spooky!

August 03 2009 at 7:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

MaryAnn is actualy a maenad

August 03 2009 at 12:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Actor n LA

Tonight's episode was very good.

I wonder how MaryAnn has control over Edge? He is still mysterious.

Oh, also I must be deaf, because I thought Edge's name was "Eggs". LOL. Must be Tara's accent.

August 02 2009 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Actor n LA's comment

Its Eggs.

August 02 2009 at 11:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Rogus

yeah, it's Eggs. Well Eggs is his nickname anyway. She said in this episode that his name is Benedict...Eggs Benedict...get it? I know *groan*

August 02 2009 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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