History in the Southern Vampires Series
In Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampires series, the base material for the HBO Alan Ball hit, which is the basis for these comics, Tara is Sookie's best friend since grade school. In the books, she's white, her only involvement with the vampires was in book 3 she got involved with a vamp which she cut off after seeing what they're really like. She runs a dress shop, is married to J.B. DuRone and has twin babies. And she had no relationship to Lafayette. Her only involvement with the shapeshifter/werewolf society was a brief fling with Sam, when he was her boss.
History in the True Blood Universe
Tara's home life has been less than perfect. As a child, she would often stay at Sookie's grandmother's house, in order to escape her abusive, alcoholic mother, Lettie Mae. As an adult, Tara finds herself taking care of drunken Lettie Mae on a regular basis, so she decides to leave her mother and move in with her cousin Lafayette Reynolds. That is, until she finds web cams hidden in his bathroom. Tara then moves into a small room at the Bon Temp Motel.
She moved back in with her mother to help "cure" her of a demon she claims to be controlled by. The two travel to nearby woods where they encounter Miss Jeanette. The woman claims she can heal Lettie Mae and begins a demon exorcism. Soon after, Lettie Mae believes her demons have been expelled; and, fearing her own are getting the best of her, Tara has an exorcism herself. Tara soon believes she is also cured. Tara visits a Pharmacy and discovers Miss Jeanette working as a clerk.
She realizes she was a sham and a con-artist and goes off the deep end. Driving drunk one night, she swerves to miss a nude woman and a pig in the road; she is arrested by Officer Kenya Jones. Tara's mother refuses to bail her out of jail and kicks her out of the house. Maryann Forrester arrives at the Bon Temps Police Station and not only makes Tara's bail, but also offers her a place to stay at her immaculate house.
Tara stays at Maryann's temporary home for about a month. Then Tara moves in to Sookie's house until she can get fully squared away with her problems. When the real owner of the estate comes back from Peru, Maryann leaves the estate and convinces Tara to let her stay at Sookie's house.
A few days later Tara and Eggs are sent on a two hour drive to a nearby town to pick up a part for the house's broken water heater. On the way there, Eggs somehow knows what is coming around the next turn and he tells Tara to stop the car so he can investigate. They enter the woods and keep going for about a mile. They see a small area where large rocks are arranged in a circle. Eggs begins to freak out knowing he's been there but having no recollection of actually being there.
He soon notices blood covering some of the rocks. (He was most likely there during one of Maryann's orgy parties.) They soon leave the area.
The following night, Tara and Eggs return to the Stackhouse residence and discover the house littered with trash and a trail of clothes. They follow the trail which leads them to an orgy being hosted by none other than Maryann. Tara appears interested at Maryann's vibrating and dancing before both her and Eggs are taken under her control. When Sam is brought with the help of Daphne, Tara convinces him to just 'give in' to Maryann's influence before joining the crowd in dancing wildly ( Hard-Hearted Hannah).
The following day, Tara and Eggs regain consciousness on the couch and have no memory of what took place last night, except for finding the trail of clothes. While they're watching a movie, Maryann returns to Sookie's house with bloody feet and a dead rabbit. She asks Maryann about the mess and tells her that she cannot do whatever she wants in Sookie's house but Maryann distracts her with her compliments.
Now at Merlottes', Arlene interrupts Tara and Eggs kissing and they retreat to the bathroom to talk in private, only to find Lafayette putting on his makeup. After he leaves, Arlene informs Tara that she blacked out and has no memory of last night (also theorizing that she raped Terry, her boyfriend) and Tara realizes that she also cannot remember what happened. Andy comes in, with a broken arm and a fury that he's saving for Terry, and shouts at the bar patrons, knowing that he saw them last night and that they turned Bon Temps into "Orgy from Hell" before leaving. The bar patrons laugh at his seeming-to-be crazy action although Sam is the only one that knows that Andy is telling the truth.
Tara remains at Merlottes with Lafayette who is predicting her future with cards. Eggs abruptly comes in, shaken and worried. He informs her that he blacked out again (this is because Maryann takes Eggs under her control so she could use him to kill Daphne and cut out her heart). Tara takes Eggs home while Lafayette remains suspicious of Eggs.
In an attempt to make Eggs feel better, Maryann makes a hunter souflee (a dish with the main ingredient being Daphne's heart) for them. Eggs and Tara eagerly inhale the delicious meal before Maryann begins using her influence on them again, causing one another to mercilessly and delightfully slap and punch each other.
Tara and Eggs, with multiple bruises, enter Merlotte's and Lafayette instantly notices his cousin's bruises. He automatically blames Eggs when Tara says she cannot remember (which she can't) though Lafayette isn't buying it. Lafayette are about to engage in a fight but Tara leaves with Eggs. Eggs, Tara, and Maryann are then playing a no-rule game of poker when Lafayette and Lettie Mae interrupt. They demand for Tara to come with them but Tara refuses. Maryann then takes control of Tara again and while she is fighting her mother, Lafayette is fighting Eggs. Seizing the opportunity, Lafayette grabs Tara and stuffs his screaming cousin into his car before him and his aunt take Tara to his house .
Tara begins to chant the words Maryann was thinking and saying earlier in Season 2 which annoys Lafayette enough to slap his cousin. Lettie Mae and Lafayette blame themselves for Tara's involvement with Maryann's powers before Lafayette calls Sookie, who is back in Bon Temps and in her house to find Tara, to come to his house to help Tara. Both her and Bill leave, though not before confronting Maryann who has claimed Sookie's house as her own.
Sookie and Bill arrive at Lafayette's house and they use their combined powers to release Tara from Maryann's supernatural influence. Sookie also sees the recent chain of events Tara engaged in while Sookie was in Dallas. Tara, now free from Maryann's powers, cries for her mother and embraces both Lafayette and her mother before realizing that Eggs is still in danger. When she attempts to make a run for it, Lafayette stops her.
Tara tactfully uses her mother's faith in Jesus to her advantage and is able to leave for Eggs. When she arrives at Sookie's house, she finds Eggs still under Maryann's influence and tries to convince him to leave with her, although Eggs appears confused. Maryann then confronts Tara and tells her that she summoned her to Bon Temps by Miss Jeanette's ritual. This ritual, though not meant to be real, actually called the maenad to the town. Tara, resenting Maryann's kindness and pleading for Eggs and her release, annoys Maryann to the point where she'll simply regain control over her. This proves to be unsuccessful since Tara is concentrated on her and prevents her influence from possessing her. This, however, doesn't last long when Maryann punches Tara which breaks her focus and she is under her control again. That same night, Sookie returns to her house to search for Tara and finds both Tara and Eggs decorating a nest with an ostrich egg in the center. Sookie screams upon seeing Lafayette also under Maryann's control .
Tara appears to be a bridesmaid for Maryann along with Arlene and Jane Bodehouse. Tara also places the ostrich egg into the space on the statue of meat. When Sookie destroys both the egg and knocks over the statue, Maryann begins vibrating again and is mentally hurting the possessed Bon Temps residents before the angered maenad chases Sookie into the woods. Once Maryann is killed by the plan Sam and Bill orchestrated, everyone is no longer under Maryann's control. Tara tries to calm down a confused and scared Eggs, who's hands are bloody. Tara apologizes for allowing Maryann to move in and tells Sookie of her reasons but Sookie assures her that they're family.
The next day, the bar patrons are talking about their suspicions of last night but everything else seems to go back to normal. Later that night, Eggs confronts Andy with a murder weapon (a large hunting knife that's the same one he used on Miss Jeanette, Daphne Landry, and Sam Merlotte). He received this information with the help of Sookie's telepathy. Eggs begins getting violent and Jason fires his gun, fatally shooting Eggs in the head. The gunshot is heard and the bar patrons, along with Tara, go out to see the commotion. Tara instantly breaks down at the sight of Eggs and begins crying and shouting in denial .
After Eggs Talley is accidentally killed by Jason Stackhouse after Maryann's death, Tara becomes increasingly distraught and depressed. After finding out that Sookie used her telepathy to help Eggs remember what he did during the blackouts that Maryann caused, Tara was at a point close to choking Sookie with her bare hands. Only by Lafayette's interference, Tara was prevented from killing her best friend. After Lattie Mae invited a preacher to console Tara during her ordeal, Tara their first tryst.
However, while Lattie Mae was distracted, Tara proceeded to swallow several bottles of pills in a attempt to commit suicide. Soon, Tara gets involved in a love affair with vampire Franklin Mott.
He saved her from two rednecks in Merlotte's parking lot and the two have sex. Franklin glamors her for information about Sookie and then takes her to Jackson, Mississippi and keeps her hostage in the King's mansion. Tara escapes by bludgeoning Franklin's head with a mace. Tara and Sookie escape the mansion together but split up so Sookie can find Bill and Tara can find a car. While she's trying to find a way to get off of the property, she meets Alcide for the first time.
She and Alcide get his truck and find Sookie in the "slave quarters". Tara thinks Bill is officially dead but Sookie explains that he would look like Lorena (who was a puddle of goo at that point). Tara is disgusted by what she sees while Sookie starts to removed the silver manacles and chains from
Debbie Pelt walks in with a hand gun and points it at Alcide. Alcide tries to talk Debbie down but fails after Sookie calls her a bitch. Tara speaks to Sookie telepathically and tells her to do something to distract Debbie. Sookie says no at first but Tara encourages her and Sookie screams. Debbie becomes distracted and Tara attacks her and slams her against a wall, because Tara drank so much vampire blood her stamina and strength were enhanced. Alcide grabs the gun just as Cooter comes in.
After Alcide locks Debbie in the shack, Tara and Sookie roll Bill up and carry him out to the truck. Sookie stays with Bill in the back while Tara and Alcide get into the front. As they are leaving, Alcide runs over another wolf. Tara is surprised by this. After they get out and are a ways away from the mansion, Alcide tells Tara to breath. Eventually they pull over so Alcide can relieve himself and Tara checks on Sookie. Sookie never answers to Tara's bangs on the back door of the truck.
Tara opens the back of the truck and is shocked to see that Sookie is unconscious and bleeding. Tara kicks Bill out of the truck and she cradles Sookie while Alcide closes the door and drives off without Bill.
Tara and Alcide wait in the waiting room of the hospital and eventually are told by a doctor that Sookie is in a coma and does not have a blood-type. Tara calls Jason to tell him about Sookie and When Jason and Lafayette arrive, Tara tells them that Sookie was attacked by Bill and that she has no blood-type. Eventually Bill arrives at the hospital and Tara is livid and shocked.
When Jason decides to let Bill give Sookie his blood, Tara objects but Jason tells her that it is his decision. After a while, Tara falls asleep against Jason while they wait for Sookie to wake up.
After Sookie recovers, Lafayette takes care of Tara and asks her is she still has suicidal tendencies. Tara reveals that she has never realized how much she wants to live. She remains troubled after her experience with Franklin and argues with Sookie about Bill. Back at Merlotte's, she spills a bottle of Tru Blood which triggers a memory of Franklin. Sam finds her crying and hugs her, and warns Tommy not to approach Tara.
Tara then finds comfort in Sam Merlotte again. He reveals to her that he is a shapeshifter. He then tells her that there are ways of escaping your life. She then proceeds to leave but not after seeing her mother, seeing Sookie and cutting off all her hair.
It is revealed that Tara is now living in New Orleans and has become a boxer. Tara is now in a relationship with Naomi, a woman and fellow boxer. While in bed together, Tara receives a text from Lafayette saying Sookie is home. Tara lies to Naomi and tells her grandmother has passed away. Naomi replies and calls Tara by the name "Toni".