Silver is an element to which vampires possess an extreme weakness and vulnerability. On the HBO original series True Blood, even the oldest vampires are unable to free themselves from the burning bounds of silver. Vampires' immense weakness to silver makes it a common weapon used against them. It also means that vampires will take particularly great offense if silver is used to harm one of their kind.
To put a vampire in captivity, it seems most kidnappers have used silver chains; around both wrists, both legs and the neck, to ensure that the vampire cannot free itself. Silver even seems to drain a vampire's strength besides binding them. For this reason even as little as a single silver chain around the neck can temporarily subdue a vampire. Bill Compton was securely bound using only necklace-size silver chains gently laid across his neck, arms and legs.
Silver also inhibits a vampire's healing factor. Their body will burn and cause extreme pain for said vampire as long as it is in contact with the silver. Fumes will even erupt from the areas in contact. This makes silver an effective form of torture or punishment against vampires.
The silver itself burns into the flesh of the vampire. Once the silver is removed however; it isn't long before the vampire is then healed and back to its normal strength.The older the vampire, the quicker it is able to bounce back to full strength...depending on the torture the vampire has endured and how fast it can receive blood.
Most recently, Bill Compton ordered all vampires planning to stay in Bon Temps, Louisiana during the attack by Marnie Stonebrook's coven to bind themselves with silver chains, so they would not be able to go out into the sunlight. The spell seems to have increased the vampires' strength as they were able to break chains that they otherwise could not even lift. Thanks to this warning, only one vampire--Maxine Fortenberry's neighbor Beulah Carter--meets The True Death by sunlight.
Silver is painful and debilitating to vampires, but is not lethal unless ingested or introduced into the bloodstream, as in the case of Salome.
- Jason Stackhouse and Amy Burley use a silver mask to subdue Eddie Gauthier.
- Pamela Swynford de Beaufort uses a silver spray which she sprays into the eyes of Bill Compton.