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- "It's time for humans to bite back!"
- ―Truman Burrell, to Eric Northman.
Truman Burrell was the former Governor of Louisiana on the HBO original series True Blood. Played by American guest starring actor Arliss Howard, Truman makes his debut on the episode "Who Are You, Really?", at the beginning of the series' sixth season. Operating a vampire concentration camp, Truman is the secondary antagonist throughout Season 6. Playing a recurring role through the same season, Truman meets an untimely demise in the Season 6 episode "In the Evening". He is seen once more, in a flashback in the series' finale episode, "Thank You", in the series' seventh, and final, season.
An opportunistic politician who realizes that vampires have not been playing by the rules, and resents them for their continued predations against humans but also that his wife had an affair with a vampire. That doesn't stop him from helping to get True Blood factories back on schedule (though with a sinister, ulterior motive), as he wants the best for the state of Louisiana. Governor Burrell is a politically savvy and ambitious man. He, like most politicians, is responsible for doing what his electorate wants done, as he is their chosen representative, which he does both to become re-elected and because it is his job. This is correct, but problematic for vampires, who are not popular with the humans who now realize the danger they pose. Although vampires had been successful thus far for working the media to keep their darker aspirations unknown, Russell's actions have made it very clear that many vampires still see themselves as above human law. This opportunity Truman sees as his bid for power.
Truman Burrell's hatred for vampires hails from his wife's infidelity, she had an affair with a vampire. Eric punishes the governor by turning his daughter, unbeknownst to him Willa was not turned against her will.
Governor Burrell gives an important interview over the radio. He states that since the terrorist attacks on the Tru Blood factories, over 200 human lives have been lost in the state of Louisiana. He is instating a vampire curfew as well as closing down any vampire owned businesses. He urges the humans to buy a gun and stock up on wooden bullets because his first concern is for human safety and nothing else. Nearing the end of his speech one of the occupying girls throws a blood bag at Truman and she is quickly seized and dragged from the crowd by a SWAT team.
Governor Burrell later speaks with one of the heads of the Tru Blood drink product. After some persuasion, he convinces the Tru Blood representative to use his facility to make more Tru Blood and as a silent partner he can cash in on the deal for his next election. ("Who Are You, Really?")
Later, he is seen talking on the phone with an unknown individual. His daughter comes in to ask if she can go out with her friends for drinks. Burrell denies her the opportunity stating it is too dangerous, even with a police escort.
Meanwhile, Eric kills and takes the persona of someone from the state environmental agency who has an appointment with the governor. After a somewhat tense discussion, Burrell asks what he can do. Eric then attempts to glamour the governor into forgetting his anti-vampire agenda. This fails as the governor reveals the invention of contact lenses that prevent glamouring. Eric is then taken into custody but later flies away outside. ("The Sun")
Eric kidnaps Burrell's daughter Willa. She reveals to Eric that her father had established concentration camps before the factories were blown up, for vampires with the intent of figuring out their weaknesses and biology so they can better kill vampires.
Eric takes Pam, Tara and Willa to Ginger's house in order to escape the governor. Ginger stupidly answers Eric's cellphone. She wakes him and Willa as Pam and Tara enter the bedroom. Eric angrily takes the phone and leaves Willa with Tara. He tells Burrell that he is going to kill Willa when Burrell traces the call. Eric hands the phone to Ginger but finds Willa gone. Pam flies out the window after Tara and Eric glamours Ginger to stay on the phone and know nothing when the Governor arrives. ("You're No Good")
Ginger continues the call with governor Burrell. Truman's men attack her house, blasting smoke from a silver compacted grenade under her front door. The door is busted by the SWAT team as they enter the house, causing Ginger to become hysterical. Upon learning that Eric and Willa are no longer in Ginger's house, Truman has Ginger abducted and taken to the "camp" he uses to experiment on vampires. Enraged, Truman punches a hole in the wall, badly injuring his hand in the process.
Governor Burrell is revealed to be in a sexual relationship with Sarah Newlin, an anti-vampire politician who wants revenge on her ex-husband for abandoning her. Sarah tells Burrell that she needs to talk to him, but is interrupted by a knock on the door. An uneasy guard states that Willa has returned home, but that she had to be invited in.
Willa comes into the room covered in blood and dirt, but Truman still acts loving towards her. Willa tells him that he needs to end his vendetta against the vampires, disband the LAVTF and shut down the vampire experimentation camp. When Truman brings his bandaged hand up to touch Willa's face, the young vampire is overcome with bloodlust and attacks her father. Sarah shoots Willa, and demands that Truman send her to the Camp. ("At Last")
Sarah Newlin begs Truman Burrell to accept that his daughter Willa is no longer the same person, and recounts her experiences with others who had been made vampires. Truman disagrees, and refuses to give up on his child, although she is now a vampire. Sarah asks Truman to marry her and suggests they might someday have a child of their own, but Truman is unswayed, and ignores Sarah's attempt to show off her lingerie before leaving the house.
Truman Burrell is met by Sarah Newlin at the vampire camp and is brought into a room with a two way mirror showing into a cell. Truman speaks to Eric through an intercom and reveals that he has sent Willa to the camp, much to Eric's disbelief. They then open a door in the chamber, revealing a wooden stake. Eric picks up the stake and tells the Governor he has no problem killing more vampires. The opposing door opens, revealing that the Governor wants Eric to fight Pam. Pam and Eric freeze in a state of shock, initially refusing to fight. ("F**k the Pain Away")
Pam asks if it is true that Eric had made a new vampire and he tells her he has. They start to levitate and appear as though they are going to strike each other. They however, fly past each other and open the vents where armed guards are hiding. They pull them through the slots and kill them. They stake one of the guards through the two way mirror creating a hole. Eric looks through the hole and sees Steve Newlin, learning he is responsible. Guards then come and separate them.
Governor Burrell comes into a holding cell with Eric who is caged and his hands bound. They argue back and forth when Dr. Overlark comes in with a bottle of yellow liquid. Burrell tells Eric that he will pay for taking his daughter away. Since the resident Psychiatrist has a crush on Pam they cannot use her. They cart in Nora and inject her with a new strain of hepatitis (Hepatitis V) that is fatal to vampires. They leave Eric alone to watch his sister die.
Burrell visits his daughter Willa in her cell who demands to be put in general population. Burrell claims he has kept her segregated to keep her safe. She asks him if he really cares so much about her then he will place her in general population with her own kind. Burrell states vampires are not her kind and he will find a way to "cure" her. Enraged Willa tells her father he is trying to play god and if he is not going to cure everyone then she wants no part. She adds that she is going through many changes she can't understand. That's why she needs to be with her own kind, to learn how to be a vampire.
Truman is later attacked at his estate by Bill Compton, during daytime. Bill telekinetically forces Burrell's guards to shoot one another. Bill proceeds to question Burrell about Vamp Camp and a large white room where vampires meet the sun. Truman initially pretends to know nothing of it but after further questions he outright yells "Fuck you!". Stating that Willa was taken from him and he no longer had anything to live for, Truman states he might as well be a martyr for the anti-vampire cause. Bill states that vampires will never go extinct and proceeds to viciously bite Truman's neck. As Bill bites his neck, Truman recites the legend of the hydra that to "cut off its head, another will grow in its place", Bill proceeds to fully bite off Truman's head. Holding his decapitated head in his hand, Bill yells that he'll "rip that fucking head off too!" before placing Burrell's head next to his statue for other's to see. ("Don't You Feel Me")
- Season 6 had three main antagonists. Truman was the main antagonist of the first few episodes, Sarah and Truman then shared the role up until his death, when she became the main antagonist. Warlow was the main antagonist of the final episode, with Truman and Sarah having both been defeated.
|Season six appearances|
|"Who Are You, Really?"||"The Sun"||"You're No Good"||"At Last"|
|"F**k the Pain Away"||"Don't You Feel Me"||"In the Evening"||"Dead Meat"|
|Season seven appearances|
|"Jesus Gonna Be Here"||"I Found You"||"Fire in the Hole"||"Death Not the End"|
|"Lost Cause"||"Karma"||"May Be the Last Time"||"Almost home"|
|"Love is to Die"||"Thank you"|