Although the HBO television show True Blood premiered in September of 2008, my wife and I didn’t start watching it until shortly before the summer of 2010, when she was pregnant with Chaim Yosef and we had an awesome roommate named Chad. Chad convinced me to read the books on which the show is based and so I did. I noticed that there were some differences between the books and the show, some of which I will explain now so if you are looking to avoid any show or book spoilers you should probably skip this article.
At the end of the first book, a body is found inside a car and it is discovered to be that of Lafayette Reynolds, the chef at a restaurant in the city of Bon Temps. When this scene was made in the television show, the dead person was changed to a more minor characters as the character of Lafayette was popular with fans of the show and the showrunners probably did not want to lose him so soon. (This proved to be a wise decision as he has done quite well in subsequent seasons.)
In the second book, there is a small side story about a maenad which attacks the protagonist of the book series, Sookie Stackhouse. This small story from the book was on of the major plots of the television series and bothered all three of us as it seemed unnecessarily drawn out for the purpose of having twelve full episodes.
The entire first season was very closely based on the first book. Each season of the show has been less like the books and as a fan of the books, this bothers me. Really, though, I am hardly the person to get bothered by this. For a few years I listened as a friend attended Harry Potter films every year and got progressively more disappointed in the adaptation of the books to movie. We would watch the movies with her and she would leave the theater and start listing things that were missing from the movie that were extremely important in the books.
Every time we would have this discussion I would tell her that she should consider the books and the movies as separate entities and that she should enjoy the books for being books and the movies for being movies. As I have been watching the fifth season with Elizabeth and noticing how incredibly different it has been from the book upon which it is based, I have been repeating this same advice to myself. I would advise if you are having a similar issue with watching True Blood, you consider this as well.