Maryann Forrester (portrayed by actress Michelle Forbes) was a character who appeared in the first two seasons of True Blood, and was the main antagonist of the second season.
Maryann first appeared when she bailed Tara Thornton out of jail after Tara had been arrested for drunken driving. She appeared to be a very friendly and compassionate person, and persuaded Tara to come stay with her for awhile, until Tara was able to get her feet back on the ground.
She took Tara to her home (which was later revealed not to be her home, but simply a house she was staying in for awhile) and introduced her to her servant Karl, and a young man named Eggs, who Maryann had also assisted. At first, Tara is very impressed with Maryann, but there seems to be something very mysterious about her.
Shortly after, Maryann and Sam cross paths. They recognize one another, and from the short conversation they hold, it is clear that Sam is not happy to see her. It is revealed later that when Sam was a teenager, he ran away from home and set out on his own. He came upon a home that was unlocked and was in the process of stealing items from the home when Maryann approached him inside the house. A later scene shows that Sam loses his virginity to Maryann, and witnesses something strange about her, as Maryann makes strange, fast movements. He later escapes her home while Maryann is taking a shower, but before he goes, he steals $100,000 dollars from her.
Maryann confronts Sam at Merlotte's shortly after she arrives at Bon Temps, and while Sam believes she returned to collect the money he stole from her, Maryann assures him that the reason has nothing to do with money. Maryann knows that Sam is a shape-shifter, and has an evil plan that involves Sam.
As Season 2 progresses, Maryann's hold on the town becomes stronger and stronger. Over time, it is revealed that Maryann is a maenad, or a female servant of the Greek god known as Dionysus, or Bacchus. She is a mythological creature with great power. When she casts her spell on people, their eyes turn black and they begin to act in an uncontrolled manner, losing self-control and usually either becoming drunk or engaging in sexual activity with others. They are also under Maryann's power and do whatever she commands of them.
Early in the season, Sookie is attacked by an unknown beast with claws that scratches her and nearly kills her. It is later revealed that this creature was Maryann, who can transform her hands into monstrous claws. The poison from her claws almost kills Sookie, but Eric Northman brings in a healer to save Sookie's life.
Much of the destruction that Maryann begins to reap on Bon Temps occurs when Bill, Sookie, and Jason are all away. When they return, they find Bon Temps is a town over-run with craziness and disorder, all from Maryann's doing. Bill and Sookie go to Sookie's grandmother's house which Maryann has moved into and taken over. They confront Maryann, and Bill angrily orders her to leave. When Maryann grabs Sookie, Bill pushes her away and bites her. Shortly after, Bill falls on the ground gagging and choking on Maryann's blood, which clearly isn't human blood. Bill and Sookie escape, but only after Sookie reveals a secret power that amazes Maryann.
Bill goes to visit the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, Sophie Ann Leclerq, to learn of how to defeat Maryann, or how to defeat a maenad. After being detained by the Queen and gathering information, he returns to Bon Temps. In the meantime, Sookie has been "recruited" to be Maryann's bridesmaid at her "wedding" to Dionysus. Maryann has had the townspeople actively searching for Sam to capture him and bring him back to her. Maryann's plan for Dionysus to return to Earth involves sacrificing Sam to Dionysus, and Sam is persuaded by Bill to give himself up to Maryann, but they have a plan in mind.
Sam gives himself up to Maryann, and he is tied up. Eggs proceeds to stab Sam, and Maryann rejoices. Then, Sookie knocks over the offering to Dionysus, infuriating Maryann. Maryann chases Sookie into the woods, and as she is about to kill Sookie, she suddenly stops. In the distance, a white bull is approaching. Maryann believes that this white bull is Dionysus, her god returning to Earth. She walks towards him, and when she gets very close to the bull, the bull suddenly stabs her with one of its' horns through her chest. After the bull stabs her a couple of times, he transforms... it's Sam! Sam was able to shape-shift into a bull, but not before Bill was able to heal him from the stab wound he received. Maryann is stunned, and Sam finishes her by pulling out her black heart from her chest. Maryann then shrivels into a skeleton and falls to the ground.
The key to defeating Maryann was through deception. She was invincible otherwise, but when she let her guard down when she saw the bull, she was vulnerable to being killed. As the bull stabbed her, Maryann wondered aloud "I am the sacrifice?" and as Sam transformed back to human form, it is then she finally questioned the existence of her god Dionysus as she said, "There is no God?". The maenad also known as Maryann was destroyed, and her reign of terror in Bon Temps was ended. When she was destroyed, the townspeople became normal again, her spell being broken. Another mystery was solved that had been presented earlier in the season. When Ms. Jeanette had been found murdered with her heart cut out, no one quite knew who was behind it as it was a bizarre murder. When Maryann had a hypnotized Eggs kill her follower Daphne later in the show, it answered the question. Maryann considered a human heart to be the food of the Gods, and had consumed both Ms. Jeanette and Daphne's heart. She had served Daphne's heart to both Eggs and Tara, without them knowing at first what it was. In a flashback at the end, Eggs remembered murdering Ms. Jeanette, under the spell of Maryann.
In the end, Maryann proved to be a formidable enemy and a powerful creature.