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This Week's Cover: The cast, characters, and crazy new season of 'True Blood'

1211COVEREW-SKARSGARD

When penning the fifth season of True Blood, the frightening yet disarmingly funny vampire drama that returns to HBO this Sunday, creator Alan Ball found inspiration (in all places!) by watching the scary-in-their-own-right presidential primaries.

“My first instinct about going into religion and politics was from watching Michele Bachmann, who thinks she has a direct line to God.” Ball told EW. “What would happen if she became president? A lot of right-wingers would like to see a theocracy in America. From there we thought, ‘What would a vampire theocracy be and how would you justify it? What kind of impact would it have on humans?’”

The result is a battle between the Tru Blood-sipping Authority, headed by Roman Zimojic (Christopher Meloni), and religious extremists like the Sanguinistas, who believe humans were created by God for one purpose only: to serve as a hearty meal. “Sanguine is from the Latin word for blood, and I was trying to find a name that like a real movement,” explains Ball.

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