When it comes to both human and supernatural beings on The Vampire Diaries, good and evil aren't absolutes which is what makes the characters easy to hate, hard to love and complicated to understand. The vampires, werewolves, hybrids, doppelgangers, hunters and sirens were all once ordinary people, who due to extraordinary circumstances, become those things that go bump in the night.
Since The Vampire Diaries is ultimately about retribution and forgiveness, sometimes the scariest monsters save the day. While fans are willing to forgive and forget the worst transgressions of the main characters, they don't necessarily let others off the hook so easily. Here are the 10 most hated supporting characters on The Vampire Diaries (one omission may shock you, but hated characters don't get spin-offs).
10 John Gilbert
John Gilbert is a mere mortal but as a member of one of the founding families, he's a white guy with power who tries to exert control over everyone and everything and who has intractable hate for the undead. He's an ordinary man who gets his way through threats and intimidation: his arrogance amplified by his Gilbert Ring which allows him to face down vamps without fear of death. John is old-school Mystic Falls -- the final generation of founding families to ineptly battle vampires. John does save Elena's life, but when nobody's sad to see you go, you've stayed too long at the party.
9 Kai Parker
Kai a self-proclaimed sociopath whose only goal during season 6 is to become the head of the Gemini Coven. Kai's sunny disposition is hard to reconcile with his destructive actions and dark impulses. Kai manages to be almost likable at times thanks to his sarcastic quips, good looks and ability to play well with others (as long as it's mutually beneficial) which clumps him in with the likes of everyone from Damon to Klaus.
Because even the "good guys" on The Vampire Diaries give in to their own worst impulses from time to time, to be an irredeemable monster means committing heinous acts that exceed the lowest expectations. Kai preys on the weakest and most helpless -- the unborn babies in his sister's womb. Even a time out in Hell does nothing to cause Kai to rethink murdering children, particularly his nieces.
8 Katherine Pierce
Chased to the end of the world and back by Klaus Mikaelson, Katherine spends 500 years either attempting to evade the world's oldest vampire or finding some way to appease him. Her real legacy is being a Stage 5 Clinger, and that's a serious problem since both Katherine and the object of her affection, Stefan, are both immortal.
It's pure genius for the show's good girl to have the same face as its baddest b**ch. Make no mistake, Katherine's earned the title by, with varying degrees of success, trying to end or ruin the lives of Jeremy Gilbert, Elena Gilbert, Bonnie Bennett, Pearl, Anna, Jenna, Rose, Trevor, Mason Lockwood and Tyler Lockwood and so many others.
Her biggest crime? She comes between two loving brothers, causing over a century's worth of guilt and anger. She's the reason they reunite in Mystic Falls, set up shop, and, well, the rest is history.
The 2000-year-old Silas is season 4's big bad who is determined to take the cure and drop the veil to the Other Side, unleashing hell on Earth. A shadowy figure whose powers exceed anything fans have seen before, Silas blurs the line between reality and illusion to the point where the main characters don't know what's real and what's not.
Season 4's body count is epic, and Silas either orchestrates the deaths or is directly responsible. He sentences his "shadow self" Stefan to months of dying repeatedly by drowning. Silas is the first villain to strike fear into members of the Original family, and while even the most diabolical villains have a weak spot, Silas is indestructible.
6 Esther Mikaelson
The Original witch starts as a possible ally to Elena and the Salvatore brothers since she's determined to kill all of her children during season 3. When Plan A fails, Esther's Plan B involves turning Alaric into the ultimate vampire hunter, and to make it worse, she uses Elena as part of her scheme.
Not only do Elena and Jeremy lose the last stable influence and parental figure in their lives, but Alaric's hunter instincts also eradicate his morality, empathy and his affection for his former friends. Ethel created this plague on humanity, and every attempt she makes to right this wrong punishes the undeserving: Alaric, Abby Bennett, Elena, Jeremy, Bonnie and Matt.
5 Dr. Wesley "Wes" Maxfield
Dr. Wes Maxfield, a member of the Augustine Society who is a season 5 antagonist, is obsessed with creating a new kind of vampire: one who only craves the blood of other vampires. Wes doesn't just use existing vampires, he kills normal people and turns them to further his research.
The Augustine storyline is gruesome, and it doesn't serve much purpose except to further emphasize how horrible Damon is in spite of Elena's supposed positive influence. It also blurs the line between good and evil since Elena's father -- loving patriarch and town physician -- was an Augustine. Vampires may be predatory by nature, but a man who believes the most heinous actions are justified if they're for their own twisted belief of a greater good can be far more dangerous.
4 Professor Atticus Shane
Loss and grief make Professor Shane vulnerable to Silas' mind control, but orchestrating multiple mass murders and manipulating a young witch and turning her into a mystical time bomb is all on him. He acts like a crazed fanboy around vampires, and his hard sell to get everybody on board with his plans to raise Silas during season 4 makes him seem like a twitchy, desperate used car salesman.
Shane manages to delude himself in believing the atrocities he commits will be rectified when Silas rises, but he just sounds like a fanatic talking about the rapture. After all his Machiavellian scheming, and there's an immense amount of satisfaction in watching his cries for help in that cave go unanswered.
3 Kol Mikaelson
Kol is a Mikaelson, but he isn't burdened with the issues of his siblings. Unlike Rebekah, he doesn't long for humanity. Unlike Elijah, he has no interest in being honorable. Unlike Klaus, he's not plagued with daddy issues nor does Kol have any interest in amassing power. He's just a reckless younger brother unencumbered with any desires above feeding and self-preservation: the latter being what motivates him to terrorize and threaten the Gilbert siblings during season 4. As far as villains go, Kol is full of youthful exuberance and hubris, obnoxious and overconfident, and it's a welcome relief when this emotionally stunted Original brother meets his end.
2 Lily Salvatore
Lily Salvatore is freed from the 1903 Prison World for the sole purpose to get Stefan to regain his humanity during season 7. The family reunion proves disappointing since Lily cares less for her sons than a group of Heretics who she credits with helping her kick her Ripper habit. Time and again Lily makes it clear to Stefan and Damon that she has no maternal feelings towards them, choosing to side with vampire-witch hybrids who effectively turn Mystic Falls into a ghost town. Lily's delusion that she can control the Heretics and live in harmony like some ghoulish Brady Bunch makes her almost more pathetic than anything else. Despite her eventual a-ha moment that all of her choices have tragic consequences doesn't make her any more likable.
A beautiful seductress with the ability to bend men to do her bidding and crush their free will sounds like a pretty cool chick. She's less appealing once you learn she's a siren who feeds on bad boys and girls and delivers their souls to Cade, aka "the Devil." She's also prone to jealousy, unwilling to share Enzo and Damon with anyone, particularly those who love them. Fans are always rooting for Damon to redeem himself, but Sybil sends him into a downward spiral unlike viewers have ever seen before, and when she inserts herself into Damon's memories of Elena, well, that's just pushing it, girlfriend.