What is “The Vampire Diaries”?

“The Vampire Diaries” – “TVD” – refers to the young adult vampire fiction books penned by L.J Smith, Aubrey Clark and anonymous ghostwriters, or the TV series of the same name which was loosely based on the novels. L.J published the first four books in 1991 and ’92, and the next nine were written between 2009 and 2014, right when season one of “TVD” premiered on The CW. The novels enjoyed moderate success in the 1990s, and were eagerly consumed by fans of the TV series.

The TV adaptation was developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec. At the time, its season one premiere attracted the largest audience for any series premiere in the network’s history. The supernatural series is aimed at the adolescent and young adult crowd, and has won several People’s Choice, and Teen Choice Awards, amongst other accolades.

In April 2015, the lead actress, Nina Dobrev, confirmed that she would not be appearing in season seven, preferring to focus on other projects. This brought a backlash from dismayed fans, who had originally tuned in to view her character’s love triangle with the Salvatore brothers, and felt that the show was losing its sense of direction. In the end, Nina guest starred in the show’s series finale in March 2017.

After eight seasons, TVD somewhat lost its shine, and its spin-off shows such as “Legacies” and “The Originals” were unable to replicate the success of their predecessors. Nevertheless, the media franchise lives on with a web series, comic books, merchandise, and much more, although all the original actors have since moved on in their careers.

Katherine Pierce

Capricious, cold-hearted, and cruel to the point of inhumanity, Katherine Pierce was one of the main bad guys, or more accurately girls, on “TVD”, and the complete antithesis of her doppelganger Elena Gilbert. Katherine and Elena were both played by Nina Dobrev, who demonstrated her stellar acting range by flawlessly switching from naïve and innocent Elena to the cold and conniving Katherine during several seasons.

Katherine was born Katerina Petrova, and was a witch of the Traveler subculture, as well as the second documented Petrova Doppelganger. During seasons one, two, four and five, she was one of the main antagonists, and the final antagonist in the show’s last season. In 1490, she was disowned by her father after birthing a baby girl out of wedlock at the young age of 17. After giving the baby up for adoption against her will, she was exiled to England, where she met the nobleman brothers Elijah and Klaus Mikaelson.

Despite initially feeling attraction to both siblings, Katherine soon learned that she was a Petrova doppelganger, and that Klaus intended to sacrifice her in order to a break a curse put on him, and unleash his werewolf side. After running away with the moonstone which helped bind the curse, Katherine successfully sabotaged Klaus’s plan. She tricked Rose into feeding her vampire blood to transition; as a consequence, her blood could no longer be used to undo Klaus’s curse.

Forced to live on the run for over half a millennium after sabotaging Klaus, Katherine adopted her English alias before the 19th century, and befriended Emily, Pearl and Anna Bennett. She travelled to Mystic Falls in the late 19th century and met the Salvatore brothers, Stefan and Damon, when their family hosted her at the Salvatore Estate. After falling in love with both brothers, she fed them her blood, which would turn them into vampires when they were killed by their father in 1864.

As the Founder’s Council of Mystic Falls discovered who the vampires in town were, Katherine faked her own death to avoid being sealed in a tomb. She was helped by George Lockwood, one of the town’s founding fathers, in exchange for the precious moonstone. Katherine hid from Klaus all throughout the 1900s, while keeping tabs on Stefan; in 2010, she returned to Mystic Falls to earn her freedom from Klaus by handing over Elena Gilbert, another Petrova doppelganger.

Not content with pursuing Elena and making her life impossible, Katherine also killed Caroline Forbes – who had consumed Damon’s blood and would transition into a vampire – and tricked Tyler and Mason Lockwood into activating their werewolf curses. She did this so they could be the ritualistic vampire and werewolf sacrifices to undo Klaus’s curse.

Although Katherine went to great efforts and also recovered the moonstone, her plans fell apart and she was forced to flee Mystic Falls when Klaus broke his curse without her help. Katherine managed to lure Klaus away from Mystic Falls by writing him a letter which revealed that a New Orleans witch named Jane-Anne Deveraux was conspiring against him. When Klaus and Elijah relocated to New Orleans, Katherine returned to Mystic Falls.

In one particularly violent episode of “TVD”, Katherine tried to rip Elena’s heart out of her chest. Elena forced a cure down Katherine’s throat which converted her into a human again for the first time in hundreds of years. Katherine fled town once again, but returned when she realized that her humanity made her vulnerable, hoping that Stefan and Damon would help her out.

Video 7: Katherine pretends to be Elena and meets Aaron (Season 5 Episode 6) #TVDVote: #KatherineAaron

Posted by TVD – Bring Katherine Back on Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Katherine once again became a fugitive when Silas, one of the immortals, tried to kill her at the Salvatore Boarding House. Silas later told Damon that Katherine’s blood had become the cure when she ingested it, and he wanted to cure himself and die, so as to reunite with his true love in the afterlife. Damon helped Silas lure Katherine and fed him her blood, turning him back into a witch.

Miraculously, Katherine lived despite Silas completely draining her blood. Unfortunately, he sucked the cure right out of her bloodstream, and her body began rapidly aging after spending over 500 years as an immortal vampire. Katherine’s daughter, Nadia, reminded her that Katherine had magical powers and could become a Passenger in someone else’s body. With help from her daughter and another Traveler, Katherine transferred her spirit into Elena’s body.

Stefan stabbed Elena with the Traveler Knife and expelled Katherine from her body. Katherine made amends with her dying daughter, but was denied entry to the Other Side and dragged into hell. Unsurprisingly, she became the queen of Hell, but was killed by Bonnie from Mystic Falls. Hell was destroyed, and it’s assumed that Katherine was destroyed with it, or had moved on and found peace at last.

Some of Katherine’s notable ancestors include Amara – presumed to be the world’s first immortal woman – and Tatia, whose blood helped create the adapted spell of immortality that was cast on the Mikaelson family. Katherine was a maternal ancestor of Isobel Flemming and her biological daughter Elena.

Klaus Mikaelson

The rich history behind Klaus and Elijah Mikaelson, as well as their importance in “TVD”, almost makes the Salvatore brothers and Elena pale by comparison. Niklaus was a versatile character, switching from protagonist to antagonist to anti-hero with ease. A deadly combination of Original vampire and werewolf, Niklaus was the Original Hybrid.

Born to Ansel and Esther Mikaelson, Klaus was also Mikael’s stepson and Dahlia’s nephew. His maternal siblings were Freya, Finn, Elijah, Jol, Rebekah and Henrik. He also fathered a child named Hope with Hayley, and adopted an orphan boy named Marcel Gerard who he’d eventually turn into a vampire.

The first mention of Klaus came in season two of “TVD” during a conversation between Stefan and his close friend Rose. When Rose warned Stefan about Original Vampires, Elena thought that Klaus was the oldest vampire in history. It was also mentioned that Klaus is reclusive, and only trusts those in his inner circle, if that.

Klaus had spent over a thousand years trying to break a curse placed on him. To find the elusive moonstone and Petrova doppelganger, he created a mythical sun and moon curse, with his aim being to free his werewolf side and create a superspecies of werewolf-vampire hybrids. When he was about to carry out his plans and break the curse, Katherine became a vampire and could no longer be used as a ritual sacrifice.

For the next half millennium, Klaus turned to witches as he tried to find a way to break the curse without the doppelganger. He hunted down his family and neutralized them during this time, and also hunted down Katherine after she stole his moonstone and escaped from his clutches. He was also on the run from his abusive stepfather Mikael.

Far from being totally heartless, Klaus is a complex and many-layered character. In the 1920s, he met Stefan and they struck up a close and fraternal relationship. Later on, he met Carolina Forbes and eventually fell in love with her; after many ups and downs in their ill-fated romance, they agreed to be friends. He and Marcel were like father and son and ruled New Orleans together until Marcel betrayed Klaus by bringing Mikael to the city. When Marcel saved Klaus’s daughter, they became friends again and worked together to bring down their mutual enemies.

Klaus came from the Mikaelson family and an unnamed werewolf family. Via his daughter Hope, he was connected to the royal werewolf Labonair family, and was a member of the North East Atlantic Pack. He was born and raised in the small village that would be known, centuries later, as Mystic Falls, and believed that his biological father was Mikael, a wealthy landowner and Viking warrior.

Mikael was unusually hard on Klaus, taking his frustrations and violence out on his stepson. During his mortal life, Klaus was a loving and kind person, but the psychological damage of his stepfather’s cruelty unwittingly turned him into Mikael’s mirror image. After becoming an Original Vampire and werewolf hybrid, Klaus’s emotions were also amplified and harder to control. Mikael was so cruel because he thought his firstborn daughter Freya had died from the plague; in reality, she was taken away by Esther’s sister Dahlia as part of a fertility spell. The mystery of Klaus’s parentage was resolved when it was revealed that Klaus’s mother had an affair with a man descended from werewolves.

Esther, of course, knew about this. Once, she found her terrified son hiding from Mikael in the woods; Mikael wanted to bring Klaus along to hunt, but the latter was afraid. Upon finding Klaus, Esther gave him what he believed was a protective necklace. A few years later, Klaus discovered that the necklace weakened him instead of strengthening him; his mother had placed a spell on it to suppress Klaus’s anger and force, because if he killed someone it would trigger the werewolf gene and Mikael would know that he wasn’t his son.

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Love triangles involving siblings are a common plot trope in “TVD”. Klaus and Elijah were both in love with Tatia, vying for her attention and coming to blows over her; in the end, Tatia chose Elijah, and centuries later Elijah confessed to killing her. Niklaus was furious, but chose to forgive his brother. As mentioned earlier, Tatia was the doppelganger of the world’s first immortal woman, Amara – Katherine Pierce’s ancestor – and her blood was used for the Immortality Spell placed on the brothers.

Niklaus’s werewolf gene was activated when he killed a human for the first time; he was revealed as a vampire and werewolf hybrid, the product of Esther’s infidelity. Mikael, Elijah and Esther worked together to restrain Klaus and place a curse on him which would render his werewolf side dormant; then, Mikael abandoned his stepson and killed Niklaus’s father and his entire family. In doing so, he kickstarted the millennium-long war between vampires and werewolves; in retaliation, Klaus murdered Esther and framed Mikael.

Most of the history behind Klaus and the rest of the Mikaelson clan was covered in the spin-off show “The Originals”, which aired from 2013 to 2018 for a total of 92 episodes spread across five seasons. The executive producers were Julie Plec, Michael Narducci, Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo; the show received positive reviews, but failed to reach a wide enough audience to justify further renewal.

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