The Vampire Diaries is a teen supernatural drama television series based on L.J. Smith’s novel series of the same name. It focuses on the life of Elena Gilbert, a teenage girl who meets and falls in love with a more than century-old vampire Stefan after the death of her parents. His angry and vindictive older brother Damon also joins the mix and he too falls in love with Elena. It takes many seasons of violence, subplots and the arrival of witches, warlocks, werewolves and hybrids for Elena to love Damon also. Nonetheless, this love triangle is the center of the plot of every season of the show.
The Vampire Diaries Characters
Note: The cast develops greatly over the series, but the following are there from the beginning. Watch The Vampire Diaries online to learn more.
Elena is a teenager who is being raised by her aunt Jenna at the start of the series. She falls in love with a vampire and often joins forces with him to fight the myriad evils that befall the town and their friends. When her aunt is turned into a vampire, she is cared for by a teacher named Alaric until he also dies and she is left to care for her younger brother. It turns out that he is actually her cousin.
Jeremy Gilbert is the younger brother of Elena. He has roughly the same circle of friends, though he is a troublemaker at the beginning of the series. As he learns more about the supernatural beings inhabiting the town, he becomes more entrenched in Elena’s secret life.
Stefan is a vampire who lived in Mystic Falls near the time of its founding with his brother Damon. He has evil in his past, but is good when Elena first meets and falls in love with him. Over the course of the series, he struggles with his morality, especially when it comes to his brother Damon and the Original vampire Klaus.
Damon Salvatore is the equally old and hot brother of Stefan. He has a dualistic nature that drives him to be selfless for Elena, but also evil when he does not get what he wants. He is one of the more interesting characters of the series, thanks to his unapologetic antics.
Caroline is one of Elena’s best friends and initially something of a snob. As the series progresses, she becomes a vampire and a much less emotionally shallow being. She is also the love interest of both Tyler Lockwood and Klaus Mikaelson.
Bonnie is another of Elena’s best friends and the witch of the group. She has romantic ties to Jeremy.
Matt is Elena’s human ex-boyfriend.
Tyler is the werewolf of the group.
During Season 1 of The Vampire Diaries, the show goes over the death of Elena’s parents and the biting of Matt’s sister Vikki. Stefan returns to Mystic Falls and comes to realize that there is another vampire, as Vikki was bitten by one and it was not him. Meanwhile, Jeremy is getting into trouble and Elena is trying to protect him from what is happening in Mystic Falls. When Damon comes back to town, the brothers begin efforts to kill each other, but generally fail and wind up getting along tentatively. Elena learns that she looks just like a former lover of both Salvatore brothers and that her real father is her uncle John, a vampire hunter.
Doppelganger Katherine returned to Mystic Falls at the end of season 1 and really stirs things up in season 2. Elena learns that she is the Petrova Doppelganger. Tyler Lockwood learns he is a werewolf and will remain human unless he kills someone. Original vampire Klaus arrives in town for the first time in search of Katherine, whom he has been hunting for 500 years. His brother Elijah also arrives, but he is after Klaus. Klaus learns that Elena is also a doppelganger, so he turns his attention to her in the hope of becoming a hybrid. Klaus turns Jenna into a vampire and uses her to complete the ritual to make him so.
Season 3 of The Vampire Diaries really opens up the viewer to the story of the Originals. The interesting origins of this witch, vampire and werewolf family give the series a necessary boost during this season. Meanwhile, Jeremy begins showing abilities to converse with ghosts, his relationship with Bonnie develops and Stefan begins working with Klaus and showing his evil side. Tyler and Caroline form a relationship and Elena starts displaying affection for Damon.
Elena is in transition. She has to choose between death as a mortal and life as a vampire. She chooses the latter. Stefan and Damon are, of course, involved in the decision. Bonnie is struggling with her soul, Klaus is using Tyler’s body as a vessel and Rebekah is, as always, plotting against her brother. The season follows Elena struggling with her need for human blood and her burgeoning love for Damon Salvatore. By the end of the season, both Jeremy and Bonnie are dead. Elena has lost her mind and become much more like her selfish doppelganger as the surviving seniors graduate from high school.
Season 5 starts with Elena deciding to go to college with her friend Caroline. Bonnie died in Season 4 to bring back Jeremy, but this fact has yet to be revealed. Stefan was revealed to be the doppelganger of Silas in the previous season and that story arc comes to a head in 5. Katherine is now human and dealing with that and Damon is trying to stop the implosion of the Other Side from destroying every soul there. Watch The Vampire Diaries online to catch up.