- "What would it do you to keep your own mother locked up in her own house. Norman Bates!"
- ―Maxine to Hoyt[src]
Maxine Fortenberry is a recurring character in the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth seasons. She is played by guest star Dale Raoul and debuts in the episode "Escape from Dragon House". She is a resident of Bon Temps. She is a very prejudiced and hateful person, in contrast to her only son, Hoyt, who has a tolerant nature.
She claimed her husband was a closeted homosexual although they had a son, Hoyt. When Hoyt was ten years old, his father committed suicide by shooting himself. Maxine, knowing she would not get any money if the insurance company discovered Mr. Fortenberry's suicide, made it look like a burglar shot him. After this, she was very bitter and oppressed her son; constantly reminding him of his shortcomings.("Frenzy")
Maxine is shown as a devoted member of the Bon Temps community. She lives with her 28-year old son Hoyt, of whom she is overprotective and controlling. Many times Hoyt has been angry at his mother for still treating him like a baby despite his age. He threatens to move out at one point, but cannot bring himself to do so.
After Adele Stackhouse's death, she turns up at Adele's house with a casserole and Adele's granddaughter, Sookie hears her private disappointment that there is no blood left from the murder. She was also one of the many residents of Bon Temps who thought Sookie was responsible for her Gran's death.
In season 2, Maxine has a bigger role as her son Hoyt begins to date vampire Jessica Hamby. Maxine is furious and tries to keep them apart by cutting off Hoyt's cellphone service. However he continues to date her and even goes all the way to Dallas to see her which only makes Maxine more furious.
When Hoyt returns from Dallas, Maxine tells him how disappointed she is with him. He gets angry and threatens to move out. Hoyt claims that Maxine is full of hate and prejudice. Desperate to keep her only son, she reluctantly agrees to meet Jessica. They meet at Merlotte's Bar and Grill and Jessica tries to be polite. Hoyt is angry that his mother was late, but Jessica defends her.
Maxine finally snaps and says that Jessica is not right for her son. We see that Maxine is not totally small minded when she tells Jessica she is sorry that she was made a vampire against her will, but, as she then proceeds to make Jessica cry, Hoyt is so angry he tells her he is moving out. Maxine stays in the bar drinking beer after Hoyt and Jessica leave.
While in the bar Maxine is influenced by Maryann's spell. In the next episode, we see Hoyt and Jessica struggling to control a manic Maxine. To try to get her to stay still they turn on the Wii for her. Under Maryann's spell she proceeds to tell her son exactly what she thinks of him calling him a "crybaby" and a "half-man" just like his father.
This angers Jessica who attacks Maxine. Under Maryann's spell, she doesn't care that Jessica has attacked her, but Hoyt does. He breaks up with Jessica and takes Maxine home.
At home, Hoyt struggles to control Maxine who wants to go out. Angry that Hoyt is keeping her inside, she tells him the truth about his father. She tells him that his father killed himself and wasn't shot by burglars. After Maryann is defeated, Maxine is brought out of the spell but can't remember anything. Hoyt asks her if it was true about his father and she says yes. Furious and betrayed Hoyt leaves, leaving Maxine alone.
Largely absent for the bulk of Season 3, Maxine makes a surprising reappearance in Fresh Blood when it is revealed that she has orchestrated a scheme to get her son Hoyt to move back in with her by attempting to lure him through Summer.
The next day, Maxine, Summer and Hoyt's former school counselor, prepare and "intervention" for Hoyt, but he refuses to listen and orders and leaves. Maxine is later seen buying a gun with silver bullets. ("Evil is Going On")
A year after, Maxine seems to have moved on from her relationship with her son Hoyt and focused her energy in taking care of Tommy Mickens. Tommy was healing from a gun-shot wound to his leg. They are seen having lunch in Merlotte's with Maxine making him dress clean cut. ("She's Not There")
Tommy is living with Maxine and she is helping him learn to read. She has him attempt to read something from a home shopping network ad. During one of her many calls to the home shopping channel, he answers the door to a prospector wanting to buy the natural gas rights on her property. Tommy keeps the news to himself, and goes to Sam with a plan to steal the proceeds from selling her rights. Sam is unimpressed, and urges Tommy to come clean. ("If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?")
Tommy, however, disappoints her greatly after he abandons her without thanks, and, behind her back, tries to sell her house to a gas company under her name to get the money himself. Maxine quickly turns against Tommy and scolds Sam, telling him his brother is no good.
The witch Antonia casts a spell to make all vampires come out in the daylight; Maxine watches as her neighbor Beulah Carter inadvertently reveals herself as a vampire by meeting the sun. Despite having a running hose in her hand, Maxine makes no attempt to rescue her neighbor and remarks that she "knew it". ("Cold Grey Light of Dawn")
Sam attends Tommy's funeral with Maxine. She tells him that, "While Tommy wasn't my flesh and blood, he was a son to me and Sam you should call me 'Momma' from now on." ("And When I Die")
At Maxine's house Hoyt is under the sink fixing it. Jason shows up and tries to speak to Hoyt, but he still won't talk to him. He says that instead of living with his mom, he can stay at his house, and he'll stay at Sookies. Hoyt doesn't want any part of Jason's friendship anymore and kicks him out. On the way out, Maxine pretends to be mad at Jason, but at the door, she says thank you for splitting up Hoyt and Jessica and that she will even make him a pie. ("Authority Always Wins")
Hoyt is targeted by an anti supernatural hate group because of his relationship with Jessica. He is kidnapped and drugged but is rescued before being murdered. He is released from the hospital and his mother takes him home in her car. Maxine tells him that she has sold half of her doll collection to clear some space in Hoyt's old room. She says that she has bought a mattress from California King because it is good for Hoyt's size. Hoyt does not want his old room back but Maxine says she wants him back in the house because of the spate of vampire attacks since the Tru Blood factories were destroyed, also referencing Jessica. Hoyt says Jessica is not coming back to him. He then that God has given him a second life and that he has been asked to join a drilling crew in Alaska. Hoyt says it's better than any job in Bon Temps. Maxine says that he's still recovering and Hoyt becomes annoyed and asks her what she wants from him. Maxine does not answer and Hoyt deduces that she wants him to stay with her. Hoyt is not swayed from his decision and soon leaves Bon Temps. ("Gone, Gone, Gone")
- According to Hoyt (and confirmed by Maxine), the things Maxine hates include (but are not limited to): vampires (openly), Methodists, Catholics, African Americans(In which is a secret),Families with lots of kids, Checkered Curtains and Ladies who wear red shoes (she thinks it looks cheap), People who park their trucks up on their lawn, and dogs and CATS and bait. Every girl Hoyt has ever liked. And the more he likes them the more she hates them.
- Despite these alleged reservations, Maxine was originally friendly and welcoming to Bill Compton at the Descendants of the Glorious Dead meeting, plus at Adele Stackhouse's funeral she applauded Lettie Mae Thornton's speech and invited her to the DGD (in spite of Lettie Mae being African-American).
|Season one appearances|
|"Strange Love"||"The First Taste"||"Mine"||"Escape from Dragon House"|
|"Sparks Fly Out"||"Cold Ground"||"Burning House of Love"||"Fourth Man in the Fire"|
|"Plaisir D'Amour"||"I Don't Wanna Know"||"To Love Is to Bury"||"You'll Be the Death of Me"|
|Season two appearances|
|"Nothing but the Blood"||"Keep This Party Going"||"Scratches"||"Shake and Fingerpop"|
|"Never Let Me Go"||"Hard-Hearted Hannah"||"Release Me"||"Timebomb"|
|"I Will Rise Up"||"New World in My View"||"Frenzy"||"Beyond Here Lies Nothin'"|
|Season three appearances|
|"Bad Blood"||"Beautifully Broken"||"It Hurts Me Too"||"9 Crimes"|
|"Trouble"||"I Got a Right to Sing the Blues"||"Hitting the Ground"||"Night on the Sun"|
|"Everything Is Broken"||"I Smell a Rat"||"Fresh Blood"||"Evil is Going On"|
|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"|
|Season five appearances|
|"Turn! Turn! Turn!"||"Authority Always Wins"||"Whatever I Am, You Made Me"||"We’ll Meet Again"|
|"Let's Boot and Rally"||"Hopeless"||"In the Beginning"||"Somebody That I Used to Know"|
|"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"||"Gone, Gone, Gone"||"Finally"||"Save Yourself"|