True Blood' season 6 naturally thinned the herd a bit, moving into a seventh and final run that reset the focus on smaller Bon Temps vampire stories, though it seems the cast has suffered an unexpected loss. Late season 6 arrival Luke Grimes had his suave vampire character James upgraded to series regular for the final year, but will now be recast.

News of Grimes' surprise exit from the series arrives by way of TVLine, though HBO had little official comment on the matter, apart from confirmation, saying, “The role of James is being recast due to the creative direction of the character.” Reportedly, Grimes initially agreed to a series regular role in the final season to work alongside former co-star Deborah Ann Woll, "but when he started reading the scripts for season 7, he was disappointed to learn that they were going in a completely different direction with James.”

When last we saw the character, he and Jessica (Woll) had been safely liberated from the season 6 "Vamp Camp" and remained together, though Jessica took a regular position guarding the Bellefleurs from Hep V-infected vampires, guilted by her own murders of Andy's three daughters earlier in the season. Elsewhere, Grimes will take the role of Christian Grey's brother in the '50 Shades of Grey' movie.

We know of ‘True Blood’ season 7 that Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) will indeed return, despite a seemingly fiery end teased in the season 6 finale. Storytelling will shrink to see more direct human-vampire relationships in light of the Hepatitis V threat, while more details and series regular ascensions have been outlined in our guide to ‘True Blood”s final season.

Well, what say you? Are you disappointed Luke will be recast for the final season, or had the character been around too little to cause any concern? Tell us in the comments what you want to see from 'True Blood''s seventh and final season next summer!

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