The Vampire Diaries Universe is composed of three shows: The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies. Many of the characters, some being former villains, work to atone for their previous digressions, seeking redemption and a chance to live a new life. Other characters who may not be villains still feel a deep need for redemption, especially if their actions led to harm coming to their loved ones.
But on the other hand, we have some characters who will never seek forgiveness nor make amends for their sins despite having done a lot of harm to others in their lifetime. While some characters deserve a second chance, others are better left to their own devices. Here are 5 characters from The Vampire Diaries seeking redemption and 5 more who aren't.
10 Seeking Redemption: Hope
Introduced in The Originals, Hope is Hayley and Klaus's daughter, the miracle baby who was supposed to unite her family. Indeed, she brought them all together. Hope's family was willing to come to her aid, and they all made sacrifices to keep her safe. Some even died for her.
This is a lot of pressure on one kid. In fact, Hope feels that what happened to her family is partly her fault. Though her actions weren't malicious, they still had drastic results. We see her in Legacies trying to redeem herself and prove herself worthy of her family's sacrifices.
9 Never Will: Kai
Technically, he is still out there, stuck in a prison world of his nieces' making. Had the coven, in their last survival act, not transferred Jo's unborn twins to Caroline's womb, they wouldn't have survived. Uncle Kai will probably come back to try to take them down in Legacies.
8 Seeking Redemption: Esther
Esther, the original witch, turned her surviving children into vampires so that they couldn't be killed. Additionally, her son Klaus is half-werewolf and she gave her daughter Freya to her evil sister Dahlia. Obviously, Esther does have a lot to atone for.
First, she attempts to restore the natural balance by killing her children. Then, she develops a better, more stable version of atonement by sacrificing herself to save her children. While Esther isn't really Mom of the Year, she clearly loves her children even though it can be confusing in how she expresses it.
7 Never Will: Dahlia
Dahlia is a villain in The Originals. She tricked Esther into promising that the firstborns in Esther's witch bloodline will always be Dahlia's. While Dahlia helps Freya harness her powers, she also uses Freya's powers by linking them with hers. Apart from Freya's magic, she doesn't value her niece.
When Hope is born, Dahlia follows the scent of magic to claim Hope, too. This leads to many deaths and threats. If it weren't for Esther's sacrifice, it's likely that Dahlia would have killed Rebekah, Klaus, and Elijah and then taken both Freya and Hope as her own for their power.
6 Seeking Redemption: Klaus
While it may have taken Klaus a while to get there, he finally seeks redemption in The Originals. The catalyst for this change is the birth of his daughter, Hope. We saw Klaus struggling to move past his previous hurts and to create a healthier world for Hope.
Additionally, Klaus willingly sacrificed himself for his siblings and daughter. He developed a respectful relationship with Hope's mother, and he grew leaps and bounds from the Klaus we met in The Vampire Diaries. Once presented as the ultimate villain, we see Klaus' capacity for good. That potential was just buried deep.
5 Never Will: Mikael
Mikael was a horrible father to most of his children, brutally hunting them for centuries. When he learned that Klaus wasn't his son, he made his life hell. Prior to Mikael finding out that Klaus wasn't his legitimate son, he told Klaus that he always despised him.
Throughout all of this, Mikael never tries to seek redemption or to truly reconnect with his children (aside from Freya). He was a monster to most of them, but has no regrets about this past behavior. Perhaps if he did, he would consider them weaknesses ill-suited for a viking.
4 Seeks Redemption: Elijah
Elijah blocks the worst part of himself and tries to live his life honorably. Yet, he feels the pain that he and his family caused. While he may not be talking as much about redemption, his actions speak to his desire to make amends. He always put himself second, and he puts his family (especially Klaus) first.
Before they were vampires, Elijah stood aside while Klaus was bullied and abused by Mikael. Now, he spends his life making up for it. Klaus is Elijah's redemption. If he can help his brother choose the good path, then he can be redeemed.
3 Never Will: The Sirens
In exchange for immortality, the sirens Selene and Sybil serve Cade, bringing him evil souls and feasting on flesh. They also have many powers that make them almost undefeatable. These two also used humans and vampires to kill for them.
On more than one occasion, they attempted to trade others for their lives. While they may have been innocent once, the two are now beyond redemption - not that they were seeking it, anyway. As they have for thousands of years, they survive by their wits and deception until Cade comes to earth, furious beyond description.
2 Seeks Redemption: Stefan
Stefan, presented as the better brother in The Vampire Diaries, is a Ripper. This means that when he feeds on human blood, he loses control and devours his prey, even ripping their heads off. Stefan feels incredibly guilty about this, and he keeps a record of his victim's names.
When he comes clean, Stefan tries to change himself by resisting his Ripper ways. He is more controlled than Damon because he has to be. In addition, he wants to do and to be good to show that he is good and can atone for his past.
1 Never Will: Katharine
Katharine is all about survival. She is willing to sacrifice anyone so that she may live. When she is turned human and dying, Elena tells a dying Katharine that she forgives her. Katharine takes advantage of this moment by using it as a way to jump into Elena's body.
Her goal is to remove Elena's soul little by little so she can fully inhabit her doppleganger. This is just one of many terrible deeds Katharine has done to the characters in the show. But as far as she's concerned, she is just being pragmatic. No hard feelings, right?