|“||The lines have been drawn. You're either with us or against us. We are prepared for Armageddon.||„|
|~ Steve Newlin|
Steve Newlin is a major villain in the popular series True Blood, who plays a predominant antagonistic role during season 2. He is the son and successor of the late reverend Theodore Newlin, who founded the "Fellowship of the Sun" baptist church, and one of the staunchest opponents of vampire rights. His pathological hatred for vampires stems from his father's preaching and most importantly from the death of his family, for which he (rightfully) blames the vampire kind. Ironically, he is later turned into a vampire and undergoes a drastic change of personality. He is portrayed by Michael McMillian.
When some scientists discovered an artificial blood-substitute called "Tru Blood," which would allow vampires to survive without feeding on humans, it led to the "Great Revelation," during which the vampires "came out of the coffin" and revealed their existence to mankind. This caused staunch riots and protests all over the world, as many humans regarded vampires as monsters and refused the coexistence between the two species which was being built. Among those people, Reverend Theodore Newlin was one of the major anti-vampires advocates in United States of America, who made many television-broadcast speeches to preach for his cause. This position would lead to his demise, as he died in a car accident alongside his wife and his baby daughter. (It was later revealed that he was murdered by radical vampire activists.)
Grief-struck, Steve Newlin developed a bitter hatred towards vampires and took over the Fellowship of the Sun, with an even harder position against vampire-rights than his late father's. While maintaining a charismatic facade of friendliness and refinement, Newlin concealed a staunch, fanatical hatred for vampires, blaming them for the death of his family and regarding them as unholy demons and sub-humans, that had to be eradicated. He holds humans who associate with vampires, and especially the "fangbangers" (those who are sexually or romantically involved with them) in no higher regards, considering them as traitors to their own race who don't deserve any mercy.
Over time, Newlin developed a messiah complex, persuading himself that he was acting in the name of Jesus Christ. He is fanatic to the point of being willing to die for his cause, believing that should this happen he will be perceived as a martyr, and being (wrongly) persuaded that all of his Soldiers of the Sun are willing to die as well. Even in a position of inferiority, he refuses to negotiate and keeps calling vampires "sub-humans".
In season 2, Steve Newlin's anti-vampire actions and fanaticism serve as a major driving force to the plot, as he and his wife Sarah are recruiting soldiers for the upcoming war against the vampire kind which Newlin plans to spark. Among these soldiers in training is Jason Stackhouse; the brother of the primary female protagonist Sookie. These "Soldiers of the Sun" form an elite squad trained in the use of wooden stakes and silver bullets, wielding silver chains to bind captured vampires.
Newlin plans to capture a vampire and bind him to the altar of his church, so that the sun would destroy him before all his assembled followers. Eventually, the Fellowship abducts Godric, the 2000-year-old, teenage-looking, Vampire Sheriff of Area 9. (The ruler of the vampire community of a zone gathering several cities of Texas, where most of the action takes place.) It is later revealed that Godric, who favors peaceful coexistence between both species, handed himself over, hoping that his willing sacrifice would ease the tensions. Well aware of his captive's high position in the vampire hierarchy, Newlin plans to kill all the vampires who would go to Godric's rescue and thus set the first stage of a war. Thanks to Hugo, the mate of Godric's right-hand-vampire Isabel who betrayed his vampire lover for the Fellowship of the Sun, Newlin's men abduct Sookie when she attempts to infiltrate the church to look for Godric.
Eric, Godric's vampire progeny, then infiltrates the church as well and manages to reach the two captives. Godric then orders him to escort Sookie to safety without killing any human, claiming that he can take care of himself. Yet, the far too many Soldiers of the Sun quickly corner Eric and Sookie into the altar room, where they are greeted by none other than Steve Newlin. Newlin has Eric chained to the altar in Godric's place and later pulls a gun to Sookie's face, holding her hostage when Bill, her vampire lover, comes to her rescue. Sookie is eventually saved by her brother Jason, who defected from the Soldiers of the Sun earlier and arrives in time to shoot Newlin in the hand and in the head with paint balls.
Then, a group of vampires storms into the the church and prepares to annihilate the Fellowship, engaging an all-out battle which is stopped at the very last second by Godric's intervention. Godric offers peace to Newlin, who boldly refuses and demands to be killed. Irked, Godric seizes Newlin by the neck, exposing him as a fanatical fraud before his soldiers whom he asks to go home. Soon, nearly all of them defect from the church, without paying attention to Newlin's desperate pleas. Later Jason tells a distraught Newlin that he had slept many times with his wife Sarah, because she is unhappy with her marriage.
The troubles caused by the Fellowship of the Sun were not over though, as Luke McDonald, a fanaticized Soldier of the Sun, later enters Godric's nest (the place where he lives and gives shelter to many vampires) and detonates himself, killing many vampires with silvery shrapnel. It is highly likely that Luke acted out of fanaticism and revenge rather than under Newlin's orders, given that the cult leader has other business at this time, but this is not fully explained.
Later in the season, Steve and Sarah Newlin are seen in a television debate against Nan Flanagan, the vampiress in charge of the American community. Distraught by their recent loss and their crumbling marriage, the anti-vampire couple spends more time arguing and fighting than actually debating, thus losing a huge deal of credit among the population.
In season 3, Steve Newlin is only seen twice: first when the news of his divorce are made public, and second after Russell Edgington's vampire extremist hate speech, which he uses as a pretext to say that he was right all along.
Newlin went missing during the 4th season however is seen once again at the end of season 4, having become what he despises the most.
- Despite being the series' main antagonist for seasons 1 and 2 he was not the main antagonist of that perspective season.