With the series finale of “True Blood” approaching on HBO, we’re taking a look back at what started the entire craze – Charlaine Harris’ “Sookie Stackhouse Novels.” The now 62-year-old southern mystery author from Mississippi wrote 14 books in “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” series – or as readers better know it, “The Sookie Stackhouse Novels.” In print since 2001, the books were brought to life on screen by HBO in 2008.

Named after the tasty fictional beverage that allowed vampires to “come out of the coffin,” the TV show became a ratings goldmine for HBO. Released at the height of vampire hype, Season 1 of “True Blood” averaged 6.8 million viewers per episode. Now in its seventh and final season, the late June premiere brought in 5.8 million people.  

Harris concluded the book series in May 2013 with “Dead Ever After,” and followed up in October with “After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse.” HBO will be airing the series finale of “True Blood” on Sunday, Aug.24, leading us to look back at Harris and see what kind of ending the author envisioned for Sookie, Bill, Eric and the rest of the Bon Temps gang.

Sookie Stackhouse And Eric Northman

In Charlaine Harris’s “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” series, Sookie Stackhouse had a long relationship with Eric Northman. However that relationship ended when Eric’s maker (not the Godric that “True Blood” fans love) set him up in an arranged vampire marriage. Eric had no interest in marrying his fellow vampire, and had hoped that Sookie would use the cluviel dor (a magical artifact) to get him out of the situation. However he was shocked and hurt when Sookie used the Cluviel dor on another man – Sam Merlotte.

Sam Merlotte

Sam, was in a relationship with a werewolf named Jannalynn. The werewolf betrayed Alcide’s pack, and in an attempt to stab him accidentally killed Sam. Sookie used the cluviel dor to bring Sam back from the dead.

While Sookie didn’t regret saving Sam’s life, the use of the cluviel dor did come with some dangerous repercussions. Eric proceeded with his marriage – leading his vampire fiancée to become extremely jealous of Sookie.

Merlotte’s Bar

On “True Blood” Sam initially owned the Bon Temps bar that was called Merlotte’s. In the Season 6 finale it was revealed that he sold it to Arlene Bellefleur, a long time waitress of Merlotte’s. The bar set up was slightly different in the books though.

In Charlaine Harris’s world the bar became co-owned by Sam and Sookie. Arlene was in the picture as a waitress – but not a friend of Sookie’s. Earlier in the series Arlene joined a human-supremacist organization that hated supernatural beings and people that shared their company – similar to the Fellowship of the Sun storyline on “True Blood.” Arlene tried to kill Sookie, and was locked up in prison after the failed attempt. She was released in the final book though and returned to Merlotte’s to ask Sookie for a job. However that didn’t pan out well. Arlene’s body was later discovered and Sookie was arrested for her murder.

Who Does Sookie End Up With?

Sam was desperate to bail Sookie out of jail and had to turn to Eric to get the funds. Eric agreed, but only if Sam never tried to date Sookie. Sam agreed to the terms, but Bill later informed Sookie of the whole deal. When Sookie confronted Sam about his generous act, Sam said that he didn’t want Sookie to be grateful for his actions – he simply wanted her. The pair hooked up and developed a romantic relationship that was 13 books in the making.

“Dead Ever After” ended with Jason marrying his girlfriend, Michelle, and Pam taking over as sheriff. In Harris’s follow up, “After Dead,” fans learned a little bit more about Sookie and Sam’s relationship. The pair got married and had four children together – Neal, Jennings (who was born with the telepath gene), Adele and Jillian Tara. They continued to run the bar together until they retired.

Would you like to see any parts of Charlaine Harris’s final Sookie Stackhouse novel, “Dead Ever After,” in the “True Blood” series finale? Tweet your thoughts to @AmandaTVScoop.