Southern Vampire Mysteries
HBO's "True Blood" Shapeshifters
Basic Info
Description Superhumans with the ability to transform into any animal it chooses
First Seen Dead Until Dark
Notable Powers Shapeshifting
Strengthened senses

A Shapeshifter can become any animal that they choose, and in some cases turn into the last animal they saw. Sam Merlotte's preferred form is a collie, which he shifts into often. The animal that the shifter turns into can be any animal, however they cannot shift into human beings. They cannot keep their clothing on after they shift, and when they transform back are found to be naked.

As Sam tells Sookie, shapeshifters can assume the form of any animal, but most often change to the same animal every time, usually a creature that they have a special affinity for and they call themselves by that animal, e.g., weredog, werebat or werefox.

In this universe, a were child (who will transform at the full moon) can be conceived when the parents are a shifter and a werewolf, but only pure couples (both Weres or both shifters) conceive children that can change at will. Shapeshifting conditions manifest in puberty. Shapeshifters can assume the form of any animal, but most often change to the same animal every time, some creature they have a special affinity for.


A shapeshifter can copy another animal's body and morph into an exact copy of that animal. The animal does not have to be a similar size to the shifter. However, a basic shifter can not shift into another human as they are too complex to copy. 

The shapeshifter will have this animal around where they live, making it easier for them to shift quickly into this animal. It is unknown if the shapeshifter chooses this animal or if it is chosen for them. It also can be said that when a shapeshifter chooses a "go-to" shift animal (the animal they most often shift into) they inherit some animal traits. For example, Sam apparently has a keen sense of smell like a dog because he was able to remember the scent of an ex-girlfriend of his on Rene's clothes, which would have been impossible for a human to smell (though other shifters have also exhibited a heightened sense of smell).

When there is a full moon in the sky at night, shapeshifters are driven to shift into their animal for the entire duration of the full moon. For example, a young Sam Merlotte was seen shaking and looked ill when he had to change for the first time under a full moon and was driven to shift the very moment he stepped out of the house.

Shapeshifters can't retain their clothing when they change, so when they change back into a human, they appear naked.

Known shapeshifters and their go-to forms[]





True Blood Season 3 - Mythological Creatures Shape-Shifters (HBO)

See Also[]