Thanks to a Japanese scientist's invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight.
And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many remain apprehensive about these creatures "coming out of the coffin."
Religious leaders and government officials around the world have chosen their sides, but in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, the jury is still out.
Local waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), however, knows how it feels to be an outcast.
"Cursed" with the ability to listen in on people's thoughts, she's also open-minded about the integration of vampires — particularly when it comes to Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old living up the road.
But at the service of Bill's less virtuous vampire associates, Sookie is drawn into a series of catastrophes that will put their love to the test.
Season 3 loosely follows the plot of the third novel of The Southern Vampire Mysteries, Club Dead, and introduces werewolves to the show's mythology.
It also introduces the characters of Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi, and his private investigator, Franklin Mott.
In addition, some characters from the fourth novel Dead to the World are introduced: Crystal Norris as Jason's love interest, her family of werepanthers from Hotshot, and Sookie's fairy godmother, Claudine.