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"Meeting the sun" refers to a vampire being outside during sunlight hours (either by choice or force). Vampires cannot endure the ultra-violet light from the sun, and they are severely weakened and burned by it. Eventually, the vampire will burst into flames and meet the True Death. ("I Will Rise Up")
When exposed to sunlight vampires begin to burn in a manner consistent with their age. Younger vampires can withstand prolonged exposure and still have a good chance to heal. However, they bear a significant amount of pain and their skin will be charred. Older vampires are much more sensitive to sunlight, as seen with Godric that incinerated within seconds of exposure.
The following section lists known instances of vampires meeting the sun, in chronological order:
More than 5,500 years ago, Lilith, the first vampire, met the sun. The Book of the Vampyr records that "the people led Lilith to the sun", interpreted by many vampires to mean that humans tricked her into the true death. Nora Gainesborough, however, discovered that the passage actually reads "the progeny led Lilith to the sun", which she interprets to mean that she was killed by Macklyn Warlow.
Don Santiago, among othersEdit
In 1610, a witch named Antonia Gavilán de Logroño cast a spell that summoned all vampires within a 20 mile radius to expose themselves to sunlight, causing Don Santiago, along with a number of other vampires, to perish.
Godric had intended to sacrifice himself to the Fellowship of the Sun, as he believed sacrificing himself would cleanse him of his sins (mainly killing a number of humans during his lifetime). However, his plan backfired when his progeny, Eric Northman, decided to save him, under the presumption that Godric had been kidnapped by the Fellowship of the Sun.
On the rooftop of Hotel Carmilla, Godric asks Sookie if she believes in God. She says she does, and Godric asks her if He will punish him. Sookie answers: "God doesn't punish. God forgives.". Godric believes he doesn't deserve forgiveness, but hopes for it, and asks Sookie to look out for Eric.
Due to his age (2,000+ years), Godric only lasted about 30 seconds in the sunlight before perishing in blue flames.
In 2011, the witch Antonia Gavilán de Logroño, while possessing Marnie Stonebrook as a host, cast the same spell as she did in 1610. However, the vampires within the radius knew of her intentions, and chained themselves with silver to prevent them from meeting the sun. Beulah Carter, however, did not do so, and perished. ("Cold Grey Light of Dawn")
In 2011, sheriff Kirsch was controlled by Marnie Stonebrook through necromancy. When Marnie orders Kirsch to attack Bill Compton, Bill overpowers her and throws her at the spell wall, which simulated sunlight, causing her to meet the sun, albeit in a roundabout way.