Eric first appeared in ("Escape from Dragon House") when he and Pam were introduced to Sookie Stackhouse. She came with Bill Compton to Fangtasia looking for information on recent murders of women in Bon Temps, for which her brother Jason Stackhouse was blamed. The victims were known to have come to Fangtasia prior to their deaths. It was Sookie's warning about a police raid on Fangtasia while a vampire was drinking from a human in the bathroom that caused Eric to become aware of Sookie's ability to read human minds. This intrigued him. ("Escape from Dragon House")
Eric summoned Sookie and Bill back to Fangtasia, wanting Sookie to use her powers to discover who had stolen $60,000 from his business. ("The Fourth Man in the Fire")
When Sookie questioned a glamoured employee, Ginger, it became clear that the vampire Longshadow was responsible for stealing the money. When Longshadow heard this, he attempted to silence Sookie by choking her to death. This prompted Bill to defend her by staking Longshadow.
Eric tells Bill he will have to pay for killing Longshadow in front of other vampires. He then offers to take Sookie instead, which Bill declines. ("Plaisir D'Amour")
Later Eric, Pam and Longshadow's replacement Chow show up at Bill's to take him to his Tribunal. They head to Merlotte's Bar and Grill for Bill to say goodbye to Sookie. While Bill speaks with Sookie, Eric and Pam pass out brochures for Fangtasia. He also speaks to the bar patrons stating that vampires know when a human has wronged them. Eric, Pam and Chow watch as Sookie and Bill have a sorrowful goodbye until Eric calls for Bill to come along.
The Magister questions both Bill and Eric. After their testimonies the Magister decides Bill can either be chained in silver for five years, or turn a human to replace the vampire he killed. Eric and the others extend their fangs and watch as Bill begins the turning of Jessica. ("To Love Is to Bury")
Not long after Jessica is turned Bill takes her to Eric at Fangtasia. He explains she is uncontrollable and he is unable to teach or watch after her due to his other duties. Eric implies that Sookie is what is taking up so much of Bill's time. Bill reminds Eric that if Sookie were to be harmed in his absence Eric would be without her skills. He tells Eric that he would be in his debt and would return the favor if he would take Jessica into his care. Later Eric and Pam take Jessica back to Bill where Eric tells Bill "There are favors and there are favors" and once again offers to take Sookie off Bill's hands, which of course Bill declines. ("You'll Be the Death of Me")