At the conclusion of Season 4 of True Blood, Sookie summoned all her resources for a climactic encounter with Marnie, and emerged triumphant. But her showdown with Debbie may have had fatal consequences for Tara.
Meanwhile, the denizens of Bon Temps were approaching a new crisis with Russell Edgington, their familiar friend, while new threats from unexpected sources loomed.
In the Season 5 premiere, Turn! Turn! Turn!, Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) struggle with the aftermath of Tara's (Rutina Wesley) shooting, while also cleaning up after Debbie Pelt.
Meanwhile, Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), cleaning up a mess of their own, are visited by the Vampire Authority, one of whom is Nora (Lucy Griffiths), a woman from Eric's past.
In search of the missing Marcus, Alcide's (Joe Manganiello) werewolf pack comes after Sam (Sam Trammell). With Bill away, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) enjoys her new freedom by partying with local college kids; Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is visited by the recently turned Rev. Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian); Terry's (Todd Lowe) PTSD is reignited by Patrick Devins (Scott Foley), an old Iraq War buddy; and Alcide turns up at Sookie's to warn her about the recently resurfaced Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare).
Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humour, the show takes place in a world where vampires and humans co-exist, after vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans as a nutritional source.
The series follows waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people's thoughts, vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard).
Other returning cast members on Season 5 include: Ryan Kwanten as Sookie's trouble-prone brother, Jason Stackhouse; Rutina Wesley as her best friend, Tara Thornton; Sam Trammell as Sookie's shape-shifting boss, Sam Merlotte; Nelsan Ellis as Tara's clairvoyant sharp-tongued cousin, Lafayette Reynolds; and Chris Bauer as sheriff Andy Bellefleur.
There's also Carrie Preston as Arlene Fowler, a Merlotte's waitress; Todd Lowe as Andy's cousin, Terry Bellefleur; Jim Parrack as Hoyt Fortenberry; Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica Hamby, Bill's vampire progeny; Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam, Eric's vampire progeny and business partner; and Joe Manganiello as werewolf Alcide.
Rounding out the returning cast for Season 5 are Lauren Bowles as Holly, a Merlotte's waitress; Denis O'Hare as the newly resurfaced Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi; Michael McMillian as recently turned vampire Steve Newlin; and Janina Gavankar as shape-shifter Luna.
New cast members for Season 5 include: Scott Foley as Patrick Devins, an Iraq war veteran who comes to Bon Temps to track down Terry Bellefleur, his former comrade; Christopher Meloni as Roman, the Guardian of the Vampire Authority; Valentina Cervi as Salome, a Chancellor of the Vampire Authority; and Lucy Griffiths as Nora, another Chancellor of the Vampire Authority.
True Blood was created by Alan Ball and is based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. The executive producers are Alan Ball and Gregg Fienberg; co-executive producers are Brian Buckner, Mark Hudis, Raelle Tucker, Nancy Oliver and Alexander Woo; and the associate producer is Christina Jokanovich.