The Vampire Diaries is the story of two vampire brothers, obsessed with the same girl, in a small town with more than its share of supernatural beings. In season one, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), returned to their hometown of Mystic Falls, Virginia, for very different reasons. Stefan was determined to get to know Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who bears a striking resemblance to Katherine Pierce (also played by Dobrev), the beautiful but ruthless vampire the brothers knew and loved — in 1864. Damon, on the other hand, was intent on releasing Katherine from the tomb where he believed she was trapped by a witch’s spell all those years ago. The explosive season finale set a plan in motion that resulted in Katherine’s return.
In season two, Katherine’s appearance threw a wrench into the Stefan/Elena/Damon love triangle. The brothers later faced their greatest challenge yet — the arrivals of Elijah (guest star Daniel Gillies) and Klaus (Joseph Morgan), two of the powerful “Original” vampires. Klaus was seemingly focused on breaking the “Sun and Moon” curse by sacrificing Elena. Ultimately, Klaus’ sacrifice ritual proved deadly not for Elena but for her Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning), whose violent death devastated both her family and her boyfriend, Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis), who had also become a trusted friend and guardian to Elena and her brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen).
Season three revealed the history of Klaus and The Original Family, as well as the surprising friendship Klaus and his sister Rebekah (guest star Claire Holt) shared with Stefan decades earlier. Klaus’ return led to Stefan’s descent back to his violent “Ripper” ways. Elena and Damon worked to bring Stefan back from the edge, even as they struggled with the guilt of their growing bond. Meanwhile, Klaus found himself irresistibly drawn to Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola), forcing her boyfriend, the werewolf Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino), to break his sire-bond to Klaus. A new threat to the Original siblings came from their own mother, Esther (guest star Alice Evans), who was determined to rid the world of the plague of vampires. Using witchcraft and the unwilling help of Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham), Esther turned Alaric into a powerful vampire whose only mission was to hunt down and destroy other vampires – the ultimate vampire hunter. Esther also linked Elena’s life to Alaric’s, making it impossible to kill Alaric while Elena lived. In the chilling season finale, Elena’s longtime friend Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) tried to get Elena out of town to keep her safe, but Rebekah took matters into her own hands and caused Matt’s truck to plunge off a bridge, trapping Matt and Elena underwater. Despite Stefan’s attempts to save them both, Elena drowned, causing Alaric’s death as well. Devastated by this unthinkable loss, Stefan, Damon and all their friends soon discover another horrible truth – Elena died with vampire blood in her system.
In the tumultuous fourth season, the world of Mystic Falls was turned upside down when Elena came face-to-face with her worst nightmare – life as a vampire. While Elena struggled to control her new powers and the overwhelming thirst for blood, the astonishing news that a cure for vampirism may actually exist reached Damon and Stefan. The search for the cure led to a horrifying confrontation with the ancient and all-powerful immortal, Silas, who has been entombed with the cure for more than 2,000 years. But Elena wasn’t the only vampire longing to return to life as a human, and the question of who would take the cure was resolved in the heart-stopping season finale when Elena ended a violent confrontation by forcing the cure down Katherine’s throat. Meanwhile, Bonnie sacrificed her own life to bring Jeremy back from the dead and Stefan decided to leave Mystic Falls after learning that Elena had confessed her true love for Damon. On his way out of town, Stefan was stopped by Silas, who revealed the astonishing fact that Stefan is his doppelganger. Silas then overpowered Stefan and trapped him in a watery prison.
As season five begins, Damon and Elena have spent a blissful summer in love, unaware that Silas is free and Stefan has been suffering agonizing pain every day for months. Damon believes Stefan is staying away because it would be too painful for him to see Damon and Elena as a couple, but Elena can’t escape the uneasy feeling that Stefan needs their help. While Elena is reluctant to leave Damon and Jeremy, she is also thrilled to be heading off to a new start at nearby Whitmore College with Caroline as her roommate. Still unaware that Bonnie is dead, Elena and Caroline are waiting for their friend to join them at college. Jeremy is the only one who can see and talk to Bonnie who is trapped on the Other Side. Caroline is also waiting impatiently for Tyler to return and join her at Whitmore. Matt and Rebekah have spent a wonderful summer traveling through Europe, and the newly cured Katherine is having a tough time adjusting to being human after 500 years as a vampire. Returning to town after months on the run, Katherine asks Damon to help her now that she is vulnerable to her many enemies. Although everyone in this tight-knit group of friends is trying to move on to a new and better phase of their lives, the past is always with them, and Silas is determined to use his powers and the secrets of dopplegangers to make sure no one remains unscathed.
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