A critic’s review of the pilot of The Vampire Diaries termed it a ‘shameless bit of pandering to the fang-banging throngs’. The show was just not likable! Well, curious to see just how things would turn out, three episodes later when Vicki Donovan was turned into a vampire, the show finally seemed to gain traction, becoming interesting.
The writers used several plot twists to keep the audience glued to their seats, with surprising revelations, blood-sucking vampires that caused us to sleep with the lights on, and a beautiful romance to balance out the violence. The drama-cum-romance show stayed alive for 8 seasons and when we thought we had met the most ruthless of all vampires, one who scared even the worst of them all appeared, keeping the supernaturals of Mystic Falls on their toes, leading to the formation of unusual alliances, just to deal with the new problem.
As a result, when Vampire Diaries was good, it was great thanks to amazing plot twists. In some cases, unfortunately, the plot twists were a bit odd, hurting the show. Our good teenage girl Elena fell in love with a vampire, turned into a vampire, and dated two vampire brothers. This love triangle kept us hooked! Katherine was one of the most exciting conniving vampires, whose shenanigans gave the series life. On the flip side, having to keep up with too many mythologies and understanding the overdone Doppelgänger storylines gave us a headache!
Here are 10 Plot Twists That Hurt The Vampire Diaries And 10 That Saved It.
20 hurt - Elena Fell Into A Sleeping Spell
Elena and Kai were enemies and former allies. They had a good relationship, or so, as Elena thought, with Kai flirting with her and agreeing to help her, although not in good faith. Kai also used Elena as his test subject numerous times, even kidnapping her twice. The second kidnapping was what hurt the show as Kai cast a sleeping spell on Elena.
Kai linked Bonnie’s and Elena’s lives together, forcing Elena into a slumber until Bonnie passed away naturally. Although we understand that this was the show’s way of dealing with Nina Dobrev’s departure, it was not a well-thought storyline.
19 saved - The Masquerade Ball
The Masquerade Ball was one of the best episodes of season 2. This was a Halloween party that took place at the Lockwood Mansion. Katherine used this opportunity to get the Moonstone, needed by Klaus, to break the Sun and Moon Curse. She invited Lucy to help her retrieve the item and got into the mansion disguised as Elena, as she knew Elena couldn’t attend due to Jenna’s accident.
The tension during the party heightened when Stefan and Damon received a message sent earlier in the day by Katherine to Caroline, telling her to warn Stefan and Damon that she wanted the moonstone that night at the party, or she would rip the town apart until it rained blood. Katherine began the night by threatening Stefan to dance with her, then eliminated Aimee by breaking her spine and pushing her body into terrified Stefan’s arms. Great episode!
18 hurt - Triplegangers- Elena, Katherine, and Tatia
The Doppelgänger theory was overdone by the TVD writers. Two known doppelgänger lines stemmed from Silas and Amara, Silas having two known doppelgängers, Stefan and Tom Avery. Amara had three- Tatia, Katherine Pierce and Elena Gilbert.
Keeping up with Stefan and Tom Avery was easy. Then came Amara’s triplegangers. It was fun for a while until we got tired of keeping up. Three is indeed a crowd. The best thing that came out of this, however, was Nina Dobrev’s ability to handle 4 characters in one show. Great job!
17 saved - Katherine and John
“Hello, John. Goodbye, John”. That’s how fast Katherine ended John Gilbert’s life, or so she thought, without giving him time to react, making it the perfect scene for season one finale. Pretending to be Elena, Katherine listened to John apologize for being an absentee father and explain part of his hatred towards vampires, while she pretended to organize things in the kitchen, strategically getting to where the knives were.
John came close enough and Katherine took her shot, chopping his fingers off first to get rid of the Gilbert Ring, then stabbed him in the stomach. We must admit, we never expected this turn of events that kept us yearning for season 2 and more of Katherine Pierce.
16 hurt - Jenna Turning Into A Vampire
We understand that the show was about vampires, but did the writers really have to turn everyone we cared about into a vampire? Especially Jenna? Well, they did it, and instead of beefing this plotline and show us how Klaus’ newest convert would handle vampirism, she was written off faster than the idea of Jenna as a vampire was born.
Minutes, literally minutes, after Jenna was turned, Klaus sacrificed her for some curse-breaking ceremony, making it one of the fastest move-ons of the show. Did they really have no time to let us see how Elena and Jeremy would react to their legal guardian being a blood-sucking creature? Maybe, the curse-breaking ceremony was forced to correct the mistake of turning Jenna, who by the way, was never on the Other Side as other supernaturals in the show. SMH!
15 saved - Elena Shoving The Cure Down Katherine’s Throat
Despite being perfect lookalike’s and descendant, Katherine and Elena hated each other. Katherine hated that everyone loved Elena and also wanted her gone to earn her freedom after running from Klaus for years. On the other hand, Elena hated Katherine for eliminating her loved ones and wanting her gone too. Elena needed savage revenge.
Just when the cure storyline seemed overdone, the writers used it to give Elena her revenge. In season 4, Katherine attacked Elena and almost eliminated her. When we thought this was it, Elena shoved the cure down Katherine’s throat, forcing her to turn into a mortal after 500 years of immortality.
14 hurt - Brotherhood of The Five Storyline
The Brotherhood of the Five was another underperformed plot twist that wasted our time. Again, it had to be related exaggerating Silas’ influence. The group of five supernaturally gifted vampire hunters was commonly known as ‘The Five’.
They were created by a witch who was Qetsiyah’s descendant, determined to fulfill Qetsiyah’s wish of curing and eliminating the first immortal, Silas. Despite filling our screens with unnecessary suspense, (why waste time fearing vampire hunters who could be eliminated by a newly-turned and inexperienced vampire, Elena?), Stefan indirectly did their job when he eliminated Silas. What a waste of screen time!
13 saved - The Augustine Plotline
In a world of scary vampires and other supernaturals, we need brave humans who can send chills down these awful creatures’ spines. This is exactly what the Augustine plotline did. Augustine was a secret society based in Whitmore College, comprised of highly qualified doctors such as Grayson Gilbert and Wes Maxfield, capturing and torturing vampires in order to experiment on them for the benefit of humans.
The best part of this plot was the Augustine vampire, a type of vampire who only craved for the blood of fellow vampires, and not humans, thanks to Dr. Maxfield’s Ripper Compound. These vampires made season 5 more fun to watch. Damon also discovered that he was once an Augustine vampire! Ouch!
12 hurt - Elena Asked Alaric To Erase Her Good Memories of Damon
Despite turning into a vampire, Elena was still a sweet girl who dealt with her problems head-on. We were used to it and didn’t have a problem until the writers decided on the most un-Elena storyline when she asked Alaric to compel her to forget her good memories of Damon.
Damon and Bonnie had been trapped within an alternate prison dimension. Four months earlier, the two were still alive and holding hands after the big white light was cast over them, they were still in Mystic Falls, but were alone, roaming the town in 1994. Elena could not deal with the grief and opted to forget Damon’s good side. This was the dumbest way to throw a monkey wrench in the Delena relationship. It’s at this point that one Reddit user quit watching the show.
11 saved - Katherine Turning Caroline Into A Vampire
Seems storylines surrounding Katherine’s activities continually saved the show, this time, Katherine turning Caroline into a vampire. After the impressive end to season 1, Katherine began season 2 with an elimination, this time suffocating Caroline on her hospital bed as her message to the Salvatore brothers to assert her seriousness to Elena.
Luckily for Caroline, she passed away with Damon’s blood in her system, consequently turning into a vampire instead of completely biting it. This storyline paid off so well in the series, one for the shock value, and two, for transforming Caroline into the boring insecure teenager to a badass vampire who was also awesome.
10 hurt - Caroline Getting Pregnant
Despite some unclear vampire rules and culture, we had to learn on the show, one thing was crystal clear- vampires can’t get pregnant! Yet, the writers thought it smart to get Caroline Forbes pregnant?
Candace King, the actress portraying Caroline, conceived, and this caught the writers unaware! They could not figure out a way to deal with her pregnancy in the show, despite having enough time to think before Candace began showing. Well, if they didn’t have time to create a fascinating plot twist, the production could have learned a few lessons from Scandal’s handling of Kerry Washington’s pregnancy! Instead, as usual, the writers relied on magic to explain the pregnancy.
9 saved - Katherine Survived After Being Bled Dry By Silas
Character passings on TVD were never final, but we got used to revivals that we got tired of them and wanted those gone to stay gone. Katherine was however not part of the people we wanted to stay gone, as she was always refreshing.
The writers knew that we loved to hate Katherine and still see her around, and so when Silas bled her dry, human Katherine miraculously survived. To better the script, after surviving, Katherine realized that she was aging fast! Another reason to keep the audience glued to see how fancy Katherine would deal with the problems of old age such as joint paints. When asked how she was, she uttered one of the best lines of the show saying, “other than the joint pain, the receding gums, and the fact that I have to pee every five minutes, I'm dandy."
8 hurt - The Travelers Storyline
The Travelers storyline was lame in two major ways- they were introduced through Matt Donovan (really?), and it appeared to be just another way to perpetuate another doppelgänger story, to introduce Silas. Led by Markos, the Travelers were a group of mysterious once-powerful, yet cursed subculture of witches, who were several millennia old. Silas and Qetsiyah were said to be the most powerful of all time, but Silas became immortal making him unable to practice magic, while Qetsiyah was eliminated by her peers for making immortality achievable.
The Travelers were the defacto main antagonists in season 5. Unfortunately, their performance was underwhelming, as Silas was not the scary villain he was hyped to be. To take out Silas, Stefan stabbed him. What a boring way to eliminate a ‘major’ villain when they all required complicated methods such as finding the White Oak Stake!
7 saved - Stefan and Katherine Hooking Up
What better way to take us back to 1864 than allowing Stefan and Katherine to hook up in modern day? Stefan and Katherine were one of the most beautifully thought-out relationship journeys of the TVD, in our opinion.
They started as passionate lovers, then became sworn enemies, to reluctant allies and then to PTSD partners. As we thought, in a show where everyone eventually hooked up, this hardly crossed our minds, well, until the writers shocked us in season 5. What began as a kiss in episode 9, turned into the two waking up in bed together, in episode 10. This was a good one for team Steferine.
6 hurt - Bonnie Came Back From The afterlife
When the main characters started passing away in The Vampire Diaries, the show became more attractive. You never really knew who would die next, and the thought of it scared us, pushing us to stream the next episode as soon as it aired. Sadly, after a while, these endings seemed temporary, thanks to the concept of the ‘Other Side’. Consequently, we stopped caring.
While we rooted for some characters to come back to life such as Damon, we didn’t care about Bonnie, as we thought she had nothing more interesting to offer. This plot also seemed not well-thought out as Bonnie was still on our screens, because Jeremy and Matt could communicate with her, due to their medium capabilities.
5 saved - Damon turning vicki
Damon snapping Vicki’s neck was epic! This is what the show needed to retain its viewers in season one, after a somewhat slow intro. The intro did justice to Damon as a mean machine that ended lives with no remorse, but we needed extra juice. We were too naïve to think that the main character, in this case, Vicki, could pass away so fast. She was the first human-vampire conversion of TVD, and it was dramatic!
Vicki and Damon partied all night until Vicki broke down, lamenting how her life sucked, Damon instantaneously decided to break her neck! This spontaneity is what kept us watching.
4 hurt - Convoluted Mythology
The Vampire Diaries was great, but unfortunately, convoluted mythology spiraled the show into mediocrity. The show began simple- there was a tomb underneath a church full of vampires, in 1864. Of course, this would have been way too simple to run for 8 seasons, hence would allow some myths and complicated witchcraft required to free the vampires.
Seemed that the writers’ minds were on overdrive, and had to torture us with too many myths. Before we could complete the Hunter mythology, we had to deal with the Original mythology, then the Other Side. As if that was not enough, we had to understand the role of Silas and Qetsiyah in all this, having to learn the history that spanned years. Don’t forget the Doppelgängers and triplegangers. How exhausting!
3 saved - Stefan Saving Matt Instead of Elena
The writers could have taken the obvious choice here. Boy saves his lover instead of a friend they were not really close with. But, they decided to show us Stefan’s commitment to always allow Elena to make her decisions.
In season 3’s finale, Rebekah caused Matt’s truck to veer off into the same river that Elena’s parents drowned. Stefan dived into to save Elena, but she asked him to save Matt instead, which he did! This plotline subverted the cliché superhero direction, and instead focused on Stefan’s promise to let Elena make decisions, even if it meant her ending. This scene also served as Elena’s transition into vampirism, a plotline to look forward in season 4. Great continuity here.
2 hurt - Bonnie and Jeremy Hooking Up
Bonnie and Jeremy should have never hooked up. Period! Jeremy was her best friend’s brother, a no-go zone under normal circumstances, but the writers thought that this was an interesting twist. Jeremy was, in fact, Bonnie’s first love! Well, these two had no spark, and even those who had passed away did not want them together, because they kept interrupting the lovers’ ‘class registration’ time.
To spice things up for these two, writers found ways to cause tension. They began dating at the Masquerade party in season 2, breaking up in season 3 when Jeremy kissed Anna, his ex. They hooked up again in season 4, and ‘broke up’ when Bonnie passed away in season 5. Despite this drama, the relationship was just off, and a bad option for the show.
1 saved - Elena Turning Into A Vampire
Elena turning into a vampire was the backbone of season 4, as we had seen enough of the human her, and Doppelgänger risks in 3 seasons. We needed a new twist to keep watching, wondering how her vampirism affected the Doppelgänger storyline, and how her emotions and mannerisms would evolve after turning.
One notable change was her heightened feelings for Damon after turning. We had always thought of Elena and Stefan ending up together, and TVD writers turning her into a vampire and swaying her feelings towards Damon was a great way to relate the Stefan-Katherine-Damon drama, with Stefan-Elena-Damon drama.
What plot twists do you like or dislike from The Vampire Diaries? Let us know in the comments!