Francis Earl Stackhouse, born sometime in the 1920s, and more commonly known simply as Earl, was a halfling on the HBO original series True Blood. Played by American co-starring actor Gary Cole, Earl was a human/fairy hybrid with telepathic abilities. Living in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, where he married Adele Hale, they had a son, Corbett, and a daughter, Linda. Corbett's daughter, Sookie Stackhouse, also had telepathic abilities, as did Linda's grandson, Hunter Savoy.
Acknowledging that Earl had strange abilities, Adele credits him for once saving the life of his brother, Francis, due to Earl knowing things he shouldn't have. Earl is not present in the Charlaine Harris novels, and he appears to have been a replacement for the characters Mitchell Stackhouse, Adele's human husband, and Fintan, Adele's half-fairy lover, from Harris' novels. Earl meets an untimely demise during his only appearance, on the episode "She's Not There" in the series' fourth season.
In the first season, Adele (Gran) mentions to her granddaughter Sookie that Earl once saved the life of his traumatized brother Francis by coming in time just as Francis was about to hang himself. Adele tries to relate to Sookie's difficulties with her telepathy by telling her "your grandfather always used to know things". It goes unexplained, but shortly after Sookie turned five years old, Earl disappeared into the Fairy Realm, leaving his beloved ones to believe he was dead.
As Sookie enters the Fairy Realm after being taken there by her fairy godmother Claudine Crane, she encounters her grandfather Earl as he is eating the "light fruit". She is astonished and excited to meet him after he had been gone for over twenty years. Earl tells Sookie he believed he was only away for a couple of hours, leading Sookie to conclude time works differently in the Fairy Realm. The two have a conversation, in which Sookie lies to Earl about the death of his wife Adele (she says it was peaceful, whereas Adele was stabbed to death by Rene Lenier). Sookie must soon conclude the fairies are harvesting humans with fairy descent and forcefully keeping them in the Realm, so as to prevent any more possible contact with vampires. Sookie and Earl try to escape the Realm by running away from Queen Mab, who was offering everyone the light fruit (the light fruit is later revealed to prevent anyone who ate it from leaving the Realm without dying). Sookie and Earl successfully travel through a portal, back into the human world, but Earl cannot survive there since he ate the light fruit. Sookie brings him to the grave of his late wife, Adele. Earl gives Sookie his locket and has her promise to give it to his grandson, her brother Jason. He then dies by dissolving into dust, leaving Sookie in tears over the death of yet another family member. ("She's Not There")
|Season four appearances|
|"She's Not There"||"You Smell Like Dinner"||"If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?"||"I'm Alive and on Fire"|
|"Me and the Devil"||"I Wish I Was the Moon"||"Cold Grey Light of Dawn"||"Spellbound"|
|"Let's Get Out of Here"||"Burning Down the House"||"Soul of Fire"||"And When I Die"|