The Vampire Diaries ran for 8 reasons and had two spin-offs: The Originals and Legacies. It featured two epic love triangles: Elena and the Salvatore brothers, and Katharine and the Salvatore brothers.
It also showed us the strength of friendship in how the main characters came together to deal with grief, change, and struggle. Friends who were once considered purely human, like Elena, Caroline, and Bonnie, learned to deal with the supernatural elements that they had to face either internally (i.e. changing into a vampire) or externally (i.e. dealing with a powerful supernatural foe).
In the end, they proved that even when the stacks were against them, they could still come out ahead. It would seem that after all this time that we would know the details of the characters; however, there are hidden details that fans often miss.
10 Elijah & Klaus's Relationship Parallels Stefan & Damon's
Have one brother posed as the villain? Check. Have one brother willing to give up everything to help and redeem his brother? Check.
Stefan is presented as the more sympathetic brother, while Damon first enters the scene as a villain. Though this changes a bit throughout the show, this dynamic is how it begins, and it continues throughout much of the show. Damon is still upset with Stefan for encouraging him to drink blood, thus completing his vampire transformation. Due to his anger, he strives to make Stefan's life a living hell and has little regard for Stefan's feelings--killing Stefan's best friend, going for Stefan's girlfriend, etc. Stefan believes that Damon can be redeemed and doesn't give up on him.
Elijah also is presented as the more sympathetic brother on The Vampire Diaries. He has honor, which is why Elena trusts him. He also is willing to go against his brother, Klaus. Klaus wants to complete a ritual, which would kill Elena and others. At the last minute, Elijah doesn't follow through with killing Klaus because he thinks that Klaus can still be saved. Sound familiar?
9 Human Caroline/Vampire Caroline: Differences in Romantic Life
Human Caroline thirsted after Stefan and didn't get him. She bemoaned the fact that guys always wanted Elena, even when Elena wasn't trying to get their attention. She liked Damon, but Damon only used her for information and treated her as disposable. In addition, Human Caroline liked Matt, but Matt took his time to consider her.
When Caroline turned into a vampire, many things changed about her character. For one, Caroline turned into a fan favorite. Additionally, her mojo went up a notch. Nearly every male character on the show (minus Damon) displays romantic interest in Vampire Caroline. She even charmed the heart of one of the original vampires, Klaus. At one point Klaus tells Caroline that she wouldn't want to be human again, liking who she is as a vampire. The look on Caroline's face shows that she agrees with Klaus's words. We don't blame her; after all her character became more interesting, strong, and compassionate as well as more lucky in love.
8 Damon Had Sex With Elena's Bio-Mom
Isobel, Elena's bio-mom and Alaric's first wife, became fascinated by the supernatural, especially vampires. Alaric came to Mystic Falls to find the vampire that he believed killed his wife. It is revealed that the vampire that Isobel was in communication with was Damon. This leads everyone, including Stefan, to believe that Damon killed her. However, we find out that Damon changed her into a vampire.
On top of this, we find out that Damon had a sexual relationship with Isobel. He brags to Alaric about it in order to anger Alaric. When Isobel sees Damon, they reminisce about their sexual relationship. It is all very complicated. Isobel knows the man she had sex with is in love with her teenage daughter. Elena knows that the man she is starting to fall for had sex with her bio-mom and changed the mom into a vampire. Still, apparently true love prevails, and Elena gets past this. We don't know if we would be so forgiving.
7 The Show Abandons The Diaries Premise
The show is called The Vampire Diaries, but we don't see much diary writing after the first season. In the first episodes, we see that both Stefan and Elena write in diaries, and that both are writing about each other. Matter of fact, this diary writing proves a risk when they worry about Elena's diary being found, thus leaking out the vampire secret to more people.
Later, we do return to the diary premise for a moment when Elena is in her sleeping beauty curse. Each friend writes her a letter or diary entry about what life has been like without her so that once she wakes up, she won't feel like she totally missed out. Besides that, we don't really see either character writing in their diary or any mention of diaries until it is revealed in Legacies that Stefan's diaries are preserved in the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted.
6 Elena's Mean Girl Tendencies
Elena cares about her friends, even sacrificing her life for Matt's. She loves her family, willing to do about anything to help her brother, Jeremy. In addition, our poor heroine has lost many people she loves from her parents to her Aunt Jenna to other friends and family. We like Elena and admire her resilience.
Still, we need to mention a character trait that is often over-looked; Elena has mean girl tendencies. We see this in the first season with how she treats Caroline and the way she talks behind Caroline's back to Bonnie. As a popular girl used to being loved, Elena takes things for granted and lacks empathy with certain characters. We see this the most with Rebekah, one of the original vampires. Rebekah had a lot robbed from her youth, one of those being having a normal youth. Elena makes fun of Rebekah constantly, and we don't blame Rebekah for not liking Elena. If we were treated that way, we may feel the same.
5 Stefan Keeps On Going Back To High School
Lexi, Stefan's best friend, calls him out on this at one point. Why, when he is supernatural and old, would he keep going back to attend high school where he knows more history (from personal experience) than the history professor. What is he trying to prove--that he, with his supernatural strength, is better at football than his human counterparts? Does he miss the school experience he wasn't allowed to finish, being prematurely cut short by turning into a vampire? Is it all for the girls, or one girl in particular?
It does seem that Stefan could make better use of his time. But who knows, maybe he likes the routine of a school schedule to help him keep track of his endless days.
4 Katherine Chased for Centuries by Klaus
As much as you may hate her (or love to hate her), there are reasons to sympathize with Katherine and to respect her. She outsmarted Klaus. Katherine wasn't killed by Klaus for his ritual to get access to his werewolf traits. Instead, she found a way to live through death, by becoming a vampire. True, she may have betrayed others like Elijah when she did this, but she used all of her skills in order to survive.
Later, she finds that Klaus killed her whole family, taking revenge on those that she loved. Centuries later when she is about to die after being changed into a human, Klaus comes to gloat over her dying body (something that Caroline calls him out on). Klaus holds grudges, and Katherine suffered for it. One might wonder if his constant chasing and threatening of her life led her to become the villain she was in the end.
3 Jo's Strength (Or Perceived Lack Of)
In the Gemini Coven, twins do a ritual called the Merge when they turn 22. The weaker twin will be absorbed into the stronger twin, and the coven follows the twin that wins. Jo's twin was Kai, the murderous brother who tried to kill his whole family and merge with Jo. He also tried to kill his younger siblings, Liv and Luke, but Jo protected the twins through her magic so that they could escape.
In the past, Jo's family, assuming that she was the weaker twin, tricked Kai and locked him away into a prison world rather than doing the Merge. Jo distanced herself from her family and decided to not practice magic, becoming a doctor instead. When Kai escapes, Jo comes back into her family and role. She is willing to do the Merge, but Liv and Luke assume that she is the weaker twin. Part of it is true since Jo hasn't practiced magic for a while, showing that she is out-of-shape with magic. Ultimately, Luke does the merge instead, partly because he thinks he is stronger than Jo. In both cases, Jo's family assumes she is weak, underestimating her.
2 Unhealthy Friendships: Bonnie, the Forever Giver
Poor Bonnie often gets a raw treatment in this show. Everyone loves her, but she often gives more than she receives in friendships. She dies for her friends, transforms into other supernatural beings for them, even gives up being a witch once, loses family members; and ultimately, loses the only real romantic love she has in the series--Enzo.
What does she get in return? She reminds us of The Giving Tree, being constantly used and used up by her friends. We do get moments where we see her fierce friendship returned: Caroline fighting to save her from the witches, Elena willing to be in her sleep coma so that Bonnie can live, and Damon working to get her out of the prison world. But is it too little too late?
1 Many Of The Main Characters Become Or Are Orphans
Elena and Jeremy start out the series as orphans. They try to deal with the sudden loss of their parents. Elena separates herself more from who she was before her parents died, almost feeling like she has two separate identities. Meanwhile, Jeremy rebels in school and uses drugs to cope with his grief.
Additionally, most of the other core characters are or become orphans as well. Caroline loses both her mom and her dad. Tyler's lose his dad, his uncle, and his mom. Both Damon and Stefan also become orphans. While their father has been long dead, they discover their mother, the parent that both of them loved the most, survived. It is a complicated relationship, but she dies to save her sons. The main characters who don't become orphans also end up losing multiple family members, such as Matt and Bonnie. Though many of these characters begin the series as high school students, the grief they experience makes them grow up faster. By having few parental figures around, they often have to take a parent/protector role with themselves and with others in the community.
These hidden details and more add layers to the epic story, fascinating to unravel and discover.