After abandoning her vampire bar Fangtasia (which became a base for Hep-V-infected vamps) and her progeny Tara (who since found the True Death), Pam finally found what she was looking for — but was she too late? At least Eric didn’t die during his nude sunbathing session, but he’s got a separate affliction now, something he shares with 1/8th of the world vampire population — Hep-V. What does this mean for our favorite Viking vamp, and his progeny? Kristin Bauer van Straten chatted with Vulture about Pam and Eric, playing Russian roulette, and her new appreciation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Pam has been wandering the world trying to find Eric, and when she finally does…
… she finds out he has V, Hep-V. Her worst fear was that she couldn’t find him, or that she would be too late, and then she finds him, and she sees that he is dying. What I imagine was that Pam looks at her life, at the end of season six, and looks at her life without Eric in it, and can’t face it. She has to know that she did everything in her power to find him. And then of course when she sees him, we’ll see how far she’ll go to try and keep him with her as long as possible.
Nora had an extreme case and died quickly because she was a test subject. Eric could live longer.
Exactly. Like we see with human illness, when people get the same disease, such as cancer, the outcome can be very different. That’s explored a lot during this season. That’s a huge subject. And I feel like we’ve gotten to know over the years, especially after we saw Pam’s flashback, how important Eric is to her, because he saved her. The life she was headed for was going to be hard and short and lonely, and she really chose, and forced him, to either allow her to die in that moment, or become a vampire and create that special bond. And whenever he’s been in peril, she’s been so vulnerable. That’s when we realized how much he meant to her. And to find him in such a state… Their relationship is more complex than a father/daughter relationship, but that’s the closest thing we have as humans. A best friend and a father that’s been stretched over a hundred years. It’s inconceivable for her to think of existing without him.
Do you think because she was caught up in her search for Eric that she didn’t feel the exact moment that her progeny died? Because some fans thought that was “proof” Tara might still be alive, that Pam didn’t register it.
Right… We do find out more about that later. There is something about that in episode three. I can’t totally tell you about it, but it is something that is addressed, and it was kind of an editing decision, but it will be addressed.
For all we know, Pam was playing Russian roulette when it happened, and she had to play it cool.
Right, right. [Laughs] It’s very interesting, the things humans will come up with to bet on, and I thought it was very clever that they had vampire Russian roulette with wooden bullets, with the vats that we stand in, to make it easier to get the next two in there. And we had to hold the guns right over our hearts.
Have you ever played Russian roulette before?
No. [Laughs] But we all think of the classic movie Deer Hunter when we think of Russian roulette, which is why I thought it was so funny and so perfect when that guy, the circus leader there, comments, “We watch Deer Hunter.” That’s how they got the idea. Death is something we try not to think about as humans, and when it happens to someone close to us, it’s a game changer in our lives. Your life is actually changed forever, and you contemplate what part of us continues, where do we continue. So I have at times been very philosophical about playing a vampire, because I thought, really, everybody is immortal — it’s just as a vampire, your body is what is becomes immortal. Almost.