|First Seen||Dead Until Dark|
|Last Seen||Dead Reckoning|
|Date of Birth:|
|Date of Death:|
|Also Known As:|
|Profession:||Owner Merlotte's Bar and Grill|
|Powers and Abilities:||Shape shifting,strengthened senses|
|Family Members:||Sookie Stackhouse – Wife|
Sam Merlotte is a true Shapeshifter and owner of Merlotte's Bar. Sam is a pure Shifter, he can turn into any animal, though he favors dogs, and in particular, a collie. Sam lives in a trailer behind the bar, however, he also owns the only apartment complex in town and several duplexes and houses. Merlotte is described to have strawberry blond hair, very warm skin (as do all weres and shifters), and blue eyes, and is not very tall, but mightily built and strong.
Sam is an army veteran who grew up in Wright, Texas. Much to his family's displeasure, he went into the service himself instead of going to college. After four years he quit. His father died 6 years ago and he used the money he gave him to buy the bar. Sam has 2 siblings: a sister who is married with two kids, and a brother, Craig, who is getting married. Mrs. Merlotte remarried, to a human, after his father died. Sam's stepfather doesn't know about them and is surprised by Sam's mother when she appears as a dog the night all the weres come out, and shoots her, landing him in jail and with a divorce. Sam is a pure shapeshifter because both of his parents were pures shapeshifters.
Sam is first shown as human and displayed no special abilities, however he was later revealed to be a shapeshifter, able to change into many animals, such as birds, dogs, and even a lion. Sam can not shift into a different human form, the reason given is that humans are too complex. A dog is his go-to shift, which means it is the easiest animal for him to become and he also shares some traits with a dog such as a keen sense of smell which helps him identify Sweetie Des Arts as the bitten shifter killing all the other shifters and weres in town.
Sam is more aggressive on True Blood, as he is openly against Sookie and Bill Compton's relationship even though the books show that that was why he opened up to her in the first place: her acceptance of Bill. Also they show him openly lusting after her; whereas Sam always carried a flame for Sookie, in the books, and most of the time that care was semi-platonic (he dated the Maenad and liked Tanya without any change in behavior as well as Jannalyn Hopper) and always hoped for the best from Sookie, while her tended to pick wilder women to date, which all changed when he was revived by Sookie with her Fairy magic, the Cluviel Dor after being accidentally killed in Dead Ever After, by Jannalyn. He re-evaluates his life after that and falls in love with Sookie, after he is sure things are done with her and Eric.