Silas was one of the most powerful characters on The Vampire Diaries but who is he and what's his backstory? When the Mikaelson siblings – aka The Originals – made their debut in The Vampire Diaries season 2, they were introduced as the first immortals and thought to be the oldest supernatural beings in existence. However, after the introduction of Silas in the fourth season it soon transpired there was a being far older than the Mikaelson clan who had achieved immortality long before they had.
To properly understand Silas’ place in The Vampire Diaries universe, some knowledge of his history is needed. Thousands of years ago in Ancient Greece, Silas (Paul Wesley) was a powerful witch that was part of a group known as The Travelers alongside his fiancée Qetsiyah (Janina Gavankar). Silas convinced Qetsiyah to make an immortality elixir for them to drink so they could be together for eternity. It turned out to be a trick when Silas drank the elixir with his real true love – Qetsiyah’s handmaiden Amara (Nina Dobrev), a mere mortal - which made them the first true immortals.
Silas’ plan to live forever with Amara hit the fan when Qetsiyah exacted her revenge. She created a cure for immortality and led Silas to believe she’d given it to Amara before killing her but had really desiccated her and bound her to the Other Side as its anchor. Qetsiyah then gave Silas an ultimatum; take the cure and die a mortal before spending eternity with Qetsiyah on the Other Side - a sort of purgatory for supernatural beings - or rot away as an immortal. He chose the latter and spent the next few thousand years prior to the modern-day events of The Vampire Diaries imprisoned in a tomb in an underground cave on a desolate island.
In The Vampire Diaries season 4 Silas was freed from his tomb by a motley crew that includes Shane, Bonnie, Jeremy, and Katherine. After being freed, Silas used his powerful magic to take on the form of various Mystic Falls residents and manipulated people into enacting his plan to destroy the Other Side so he could be reunited with Amara. At the close of The Vampire Diaries’ fourth season, it was revealed Stefan was Silas’ doppelganger as he took his place and locked him in a safe which he then threw in a quarry.
In The Vampire Diaries season 5, Silas goes after Katherine whose blood now contains the immortality cure. After feeding on her and becoming a mortal witch once more, Silas sets out to destroy the anchor but soon finds out the anchor is none other than Amara, who he thought to be dead. Unfortunately for Silas, spending a couple of millennia as the anchor had sent Amara a bit crazy and she immediately fed on his cure-filled blood so she could also become mortal and die.
By the end of The Vampire Diaries season 5, Silas gets his wish of dying alongside Amara after Stefan fatally stabs him and Amara then kills herself. But because he didn’t destroy the Other Side in time, Silas is sent there after dying while Amara goes to regular human afterlife. You’d almost feel sorry for the star-crossed pair if it wasn’t for the trail of blood and dead people left in Silas’ wake during his time on The Vampire Diaries.