||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (October 2009)|
|True Blood character|
Living Dead in Dallas
|Created by||Charlaine Harris|
|Portrayed by||Rutina Wesley|
|Nickname(s)||Tara Mae Thornton|
Owner of Tara's Togs
Ruby Jean Reynolds
JB du Rone
Robert Thornton du Rone
Sara Sookie du Rone
Tara Mae Thornton is a twenty-something Louisiana native and life-long friend of the main protagonist, Sookie Stackhouse. Compiling a description of her character is a complex task because quite a few facts about her changed when her character was brought from page to screen.
The fact that Tara had a neglected childhood is one fact that remains the same, but in the books, we read that both of her parents were abusive alcoholics; on True Blood, the only parent we see and hear about is her mother. The television show also expands Tara's family to include the spared Lafayette Reynolds and his mother, Ruby Jean Reynolds.
The Southern Vampire Mysteries
Tara has two siblings, a brother and a sister. They both left Bon Temps and Tara behind as soon as they were able. In Living Dead in Dallas, Tara is engaged to "Eggs" Benedict Talley, but this relationship ends when a secret sex party they attend ends badly. She then opens up a clothing store called Tara's Togs, and then briefly dates the vampire Franklin Mott. He soon dumps her and gives her to the vampire Mickey who turns out to be a sadist. The situation with Mickey gets so bad, Sookie and the vampire Eric Northman must take steps to rescue her.
After owning and operating her own business for a few years, Tara becomes ready to settle down. During the events of All Together Dead, she and JB du Rone elope. Tara is currently pregnant with JB's twins. She confides this to Sookie, telling her that she did not plan on having a baby, but felt she should try her best and be the great mother that she herself never had. It is Claude who reveals that Tara is having twins, a boy and a girl. She later gives birth to a daughter named Sara Sookie and a son named Robert Thornton with help from Sookie. She and JB go trough some financial problems after the birth of the twins and JB decides to work as a stripper at Hooligans, a bar owned by Sookie's fairy cousin Claude, to great annoyance of Tara. After Dead Ever After Tara and JB divorce. Tara became very successful in her business and even opened up a series of clothing stores.
In the beginning of the television show, Tara lives with her mother Lettie Mae, who is described as an alcoholic turned fundamentalist who brings nothing but misery to Tara's life. As a child Tara would run to Sookie's house to get away from her mother's beatings. It is because of this and the fact that Tara's acceptance of Sookie as a telepath that the two became best friends. Despite enduring years of abuse, neglect, and disappointment from her mother, Tara still cares deeply about Lettie Mae's well-being, however, Tara is a very angry and wounded individual.
Tara leaves her mother's house and moves into Lafayette's home. The discovery of a hidden web cam in his bathroom results in her moving out and into her own apartment. After her mother undergoes an exorcism, Tara briefly moves back in with her, but then Tara is arrested for DUI, so Lettie Mae kicks Tara back out. Tara is later bailed out by the mysterious "social worker" Maryann and she takes up residence at Maryann's luxurious estate.
Tara and Sam Merlotte, who is Tara's boss, explore the possibilities of a romantic relationship, but it never establishes, and before they can give it another try, Tara meets "Eggs" Benedict Talley. "Eggs" also lives with Maryann and it is at the "social worker's" house that the two meet. Sensing that something is not quite right with the mysterious lady, Tara resists the temptation to live with them permanently and moves in with Sookie. However, Sookie goes to Dallas, Texas and leaves Tara alone. A vulnerable Tara succumbs to the draw of Maryann and Eggs, but instead of moving in with them, Tara invites the pair to move into Sookie's. Tara and Eggs use this opportunity to get to know each other, and Tara even falls in love with him despite his questionable past. The relationship ends when Eggs is killed by Jason Stackhouse.
Tara then crosses paths with the sociopathic vampire Franklin Mott. Franklin glamours and bites her, kidnaps her and holds her bound in a bathroom and takes her to the Mississippi mansion of Russell Edgington. Franklin mixes romantic talk and the prospect of turning her into a vampire with coercive actions, while Tara attempts to soothe him with compliant words, while plotting her own escape. She escapes him on her second attempt, and makes it back to Bon Temps, where she seeks help in a rape survivors' group. Franklin confronts her once more in the parking lot of Merlotte's a few nights later. Franklin is also killed by Jason Stackhouse.
Jason, the object of Tara's affection since she was a little girl, takes her back to his house to recover. They kiss, but then Jason confesses to being the one who shot Eggs. Tara leaves his place and goes back to Merlotte's where she finds a very angry-at-the-world Sam. The two end up spending another night together, and in the morning Tara feels a little less frayed around the edges. The feeling does not last, however, as Sam decides to reveal his shape-shifting secret to her. She leaves his house and goes back to her mother's house where she finds Lettie Mae in an intimate situation with the Reverend Daniels. It is all too much for Tara, and she leaves Bon Temps for destinations unknown.
In season 4, Tara has changed her name to Toni, and moved to New Orleans, working as a cage fighter. Tara is seen dating another female fighter, Naomi. In the final minutes of the season finale, she is seen pushing Sookie Stackhouse out of the way of a shotgun blast but the buckshot hits her in the side and back of the head and neck.
In season 5, she's turned into a vampire by Pam at the request of Lafayette and Sookie to keep her alive; she subsequently attacks Lafayette and Sookie upon awaking. She is resentful that the only people she loved would turn her into her worst nightmare. Currently, she is a bartender at Fangtasia and has renounced Sookie as a friend. As the season progresses Tara begins to develop feelings for Pam, and in the season finale the two share a passionate kiss after Tara rescues her from the Vampire Authority prison.
The character Tara Thornton appears in the following:
- Living Dead in Dallas (March 2002, ISBN 0-441-00923-9)
- Club Dead (May 2003, ISBN 0-441-01051-2)
- Dead to the World (May 2004, hardcover ISBN 0-441-01167-5, 2005, paperback ISBN 0-441-01218-3)
- Dead as a Doornail (May 2005, hardcover ISBN 0-441-01279-5, April 2006, audio book ISBN 1-4193-3730-0, paperback ISBN 0-441-01333-3)
- Definitely Dead (May 2006, hardcover ISBN 0-441-01400-3, audio book ISBN 1-4193-9326-X)
- All Together Dead (May 2007, hardcover ISBN 0-441-01494-1)
- "Dracula Night" from Many Bloody Returns (September 2007, hardcover ISBN 0-441-01522-0)
- From Dead to Worse (May 2008, hardcover ISBN 0-441-01589-1)
- Dead in the Family (May 2010, hardcover ISBN 978-0-441-01864-2)
- Harris, Charlaine. Dead to the World. May 2004. Berkley Publishing Group. New York, New York.
- "First actress to play Tara in True Blood". YouTube. 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2012-06-11.