Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress in a small-town restaurant.
Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a vampire with whom Sookie falls in love.
Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), the owner of Merlotte's, where Sookie works. He is a shapeshifter, often watching over Sookie in the form of a collie dog.
Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), Sookie's brother, road crew supervisor for Bon Temps.
Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), Sookie's best friend, bartender at Merlotte's (played by Brook Kerr in the unaired pilot).
Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård), Sheriff of one of the five vampire districts, he is very powerful in the vampire community.
Detective Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer), the detective investigating Jason Stackhouse.
Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis), Tara's cousin, short order cook at Merlotte's, drug dealer and prostitute.
Benedict "Eggs" Talley (Mehcad Brooks) (Season 2— )
Daphne (Ashley Jones), a new waitress at Merlotte's and love interest for Sam (Season 2— )
Godric (Allan Hyde), a 2,000 year old vampire who looks like a teenager (Season 2— )
Hadley Hale, Sookie's cousin (Season 2— )
Rev. Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian), head of the Fellowship of the Sun, an anti-vampire church that Jason joins (Season 2— )
Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp), wife of Rev. Steve Newlin (Season 2— )
Sophie-Anne Leclerq (Evan Rachel Wood), the vampiric Queen of Louisiana, even more powerful than Eric (Season 2— )
Stan (Ed Quinn), Godric's lieutenant in Texas (Season 2— )
Arlene Fowler (Carrie Preston), a waitress working with Sookie.
Hoyt Fortenberry (Jim Parrack), a friend of Jason and Rene who works on the road crew.
Sheriff Bud Dearborne (William Sanderson), the town sheriff.
Pam (Kristin Bauer), assistant to Eric and bouncer in his bar; "made" (turned into a vampire) by Eric.
Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes), a wealthy, mysterious "social worker."
Lettie Mae Thornton (Adina Porter), Tara's abusive, alcoholic mother.
Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe), cousin of Detective Andy Bellefleur, Iraq war veteran, and bartender at Merlotte's.
Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll), a young vampire "made" by Bill as a part of his punishment for murdering a fellow vampire.
Lorena (Mariana Klaveno), a cruel vampire, who "made" Bill at the end of the Civil War.
The Magister (Željko Ivanek), a vampire who sentenced Bill for murdering a fellow vampire.
Eden Hamby (Annalise Basso) Jessica's little sister.
Maudette Pickens (Danielle Sapia), a local woman who videotapes sexual encounters with vampire Liam and with Jason Stackhouse. Killed by Drew Marshall.
Mack Rattray (James Jean Parks) and Denise Rattray (Karina Logue), a lowlife couple who attempt to drain Bill Compton of his blood. Killed by Bill.
Dawn Green (Lynn Collins), Sookie's co-worker and friend, Jason's girlfriend. Killed by Drew Marshall.
Adele Hale Stackhouse (Lois Smith), Sookie and Jason's grandmother, nicknamed "Gran". Killed by Drew Marshall.
Uncle Bartlett (Cheyenne Wilbur), Sookie's pedophile great-uncle. Killed by Bill.
Malcolm (Andrew Rothenberg), Liam (Graham Shiels) and Diane (Aunjanue Ellis), vampire acquaintances of Bill Compton who live together in a "nest" and don't wish to mainstream. Burnt alive with Neil Jones.
Neil Jones (Kevin Michael McHale), coroner's assistant and closet fangbanger. Burnt alive with Malcolm, Liam and Diane.
Longshadow (Raoul Trujillo), first bartender of Fangtasia. Staked by Bill.
Eddie Gautier (Stephen Root), a vampire supplying V for Lafayette. Staked by Amy.
Amy Burley (Lizzy Caplan), Jason Stackhouse's bohemian, drug-addicted love interest. Killed by Drew Marshall.
Drew Marshall/Rene Lenier (Michael Raymond-James), Arlene's "Cajun" fiancee who works on the road crew with Jason Stackhouse. Beheaded by Sookie.