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VampireSeason(s)The Vampire Diaries:

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Vampires are magically reanimated human corpses which are inhabited by the spirits of the deceased person and who closely resemble the living human they were before their transformation. Vampires feed and survive on the blood of the living, typically on that of humans, and they can also transform other humans into more of their kind by sharing their own blood with them. Vampires are one of the many known supernatural species in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals universe that were created by Witches.

Caroline Forbes during the transition.

A human who has consumed vampire blood in some way (whether by drinking it, having it poured into their open wound, or by being injected with it) and has subsequently died with the blood in their system will be magically revived as an undead vampire, just like the vampire who sired them. The exact nature of the human’s death is irrelevant to this process; the only condition that must be met is that the body has to be more-or-less intact and able to function once they reawaken in transition, though the upper limits of physical damage upon a human body by which vampirism can recover has yet to be defined.

In order to complete the transition into a vampire, the person must then consume a significant amount of human blood, at least a sip’s worth, within the next twenty-four hours, or else they will die. Vampires can only feed on human blood in order to complete their transformation– animal blood or vampire blood is not sufficient to finish the transformation from human to vampire. However, in this case, “human blood” can include the blood of a human witch, as was proven by Alaric Saltzman and Camille O’Connell, who both completed their transformations by drinking the blood of witches Bonnie Bennett and Vincent Griffith, respectively. Additionally, the blood need not be from a live human; Caroline Forbes and Esther Mikaelson (while possessing Lenore) both completed their transitions by feeding on donor bags of human blood and Vicki Donovan completed her transition by drinking from the newly-deceased Logan Fell, who would then awaken a short time later to find himself in transition as well.

A vampire in transition is neither truly living nor truly dead until they make their choice to either complete their transition or to abstain from feeding and ultimately die. This puts the semi-vampire in a strange liminal space between the two states that can affect them in different ways. For example, a vampire in transition is immune to the effects of a dark object known as The Serratura, which is said to create an impenetrable barrier through which nothing living or dead can pass; this was evidenced by the fact that Camille, while in transition, was able to activate the Serratura inside of a shipping container to trap Tristan de Martel inside without being trapped herself. In a similar vein, until a person in transition drinks human blood to complete their transformation, they will be not be susceptible to the standard weaknesses of a vampire (i.e. they can still walk in sunlight and can enter homes without an invitation).

Every regular vampire who has ever existed is descended from those of their kind known as the Original Vampires, who, unlike the majority of vampires, were turned not by dying with vampire blood in their system, but who were instead transformed using a spell that was cast using Dark Magicat some point around 1001 AD in what is now modern-day Mystic Falls. However, the ritual that resulted in their transformation does have similarities to how normal vampires are turned, in that they had to consume blood (in their case, the blood of the human Petrova doppelgnger Tatia which had been enchanted with an adapted version of The Immortality Spell by their powerful witch mother, Esther) before being killed while that blood was in their system.

After the Originals awakened in transition, they fed on the blood of another human from their village and were officially transformed into the world’s first true vampires, from which all other vampires were created. Their blood possesses mystical properties that are passed down to each and every one of the vampires they sire, along with every vampire sired by their progeny, connecting all vampires to one of the six Original vampires from whom they are descending by a bloodline. Due of this link, the death of an Original vampire will result in this connection being severed, and every vampire in the deceased Original’s bloodline will follow them in death within an hour, as demonstrated by the deaths of Finn and Kol Mikaelson, which subsequently caused every vampire turned from their bloodline to die as well. As of 2013, only three of the six Original vampires– Elijah, Klaus, and Rebekah Mikaelson have survived their entire immortal lives as Original vampires without dying and thereby severing this connection, unlike their brothers Kol and Finn, who were killed. In 2019, Elijah was killed by a cursed rosebush created by The Hollow in order to resurrect herself; since The Hollow was successful in resurrecting herself, it can be assumed that Elijah’s sireline died with him.

It is has also been proven that this bloodline connection can be broken using magic, as the Harvest Witch Davina Claire, with some assistance from The Strix’s coven known as The Sisters, used a spell that Davina created to break the sireline of an Original in an attempt to free all of Klaus and Elijah’s sirelings from their progenitors. This spell made it possible to kill an Original without killing their sirelings in the process. This spell only ended up being partially successful, as Elijah was revived in time to escape the effects of the spell, while Klaus was unable to do so. This resulted in every vampire he or his progeny has ever sired to be free of their connection to Klaus, which means that he can be killed without the rest of them dying as well. This spell was foretold in a prophecy experienced by the witch and Seer Alexis regarding the possible deaths of the Originals, though it did not go exactly as the prophecy suggested. As a result of these events, only Rebekah’s sireline is still linked to Rebekah, making every existing vampire is either from Rebekah’s linked or Klaus’ unlinked bloodline.

During the late 970s in what was then the Kingdom of Norway, a Viking family (composed of the powerful witch Esther, her husband Mikael, and their young sons Finn and Elijah) abandoned their homeland due to the plague that was sweeping through Europe at the time that had supposedly killed their eldest daughter, Freya. With the help of Esther’s friend and mentor, another powerful witch named Ayana, the family decided to set sail for the New World, which they had heard was populated with many healthy and strong people whom they would later learn were werewolves. Once they arrived, they settled in a village that would eventually became modern-day Mystic Falls, Virginia, and gave birth to four more children: Niklaus, Kol, Rebekah, and Henrik.

However, at the very beginning of the 11th century, their family once again was stricken by the loss of one of their children when their youngest son Henrik was accidentally killed on a full moon after he and Klaus sneaked out of their home to watch the men from their village transform into wolves. Devastated by their son’s death, Mikael eventually convinced Esther that they needed to protect their family using an adapted version of Silas and Qetsiyah’s immortality spell, which they were sure would make them more powerful than the werewolves. Though the two begged Ayana for her help, she refused, as she believed that Nature would turn against them for causing such an imbalance of power, and that what they were planning would start a plague of their own.

Despite being warned of the consequences, Esther proceeded with their plan and asked Tatia, a Petrova doppelgnger and the object of both her sons Elijah and Klaus’ affections, for a small amount of her blood to be used in the ritual. Esther then cast the immortality spell on Tatia’s blood, calling upon the sun for life and the eternal White Oak Tree for immortality, before slipping the blood into the wine her children and Mikael drank at dinner that night. Afterward, Mikael stabbed each of his children through the heart with his sword to kill them before presumably turning his blade on himself. When the Mikaelson children awakened, Mikael forced them to feed on the blood of a girl from their village, turning the six of them into the first immortal beings to exist since Silas and Amara became truly immortal in the 1st century BC, as well as the first known vampires to ever exist. (Though Silas and Amara subsisted on blood to maintain their immortality just like vampires, Silas has insisted on many occasions that vampires are merely “disgusting perversions” of himself and Amara and that they are actually immortals). Rebekah later described her first taste of human blood as euphoric, and after they all completed their transitions into vampires, Rebekah, her father, and her siblings all inherited supernatural speed, strength, agility, senses, healing, and an array of psionic powers such as mind compulsion and telepathy upon their transformation, though they didn’t gain control of the latter powers until much later in their eternal lives.

However, as Ayana predicted, Nature was furious that one of their witch servants disrupted its balance using their magical gifts, and so, to counter this imbalance, it created a weakness for every strength the Originals had gained through the dark magic, which were then inherited by the Originals’ vampire offspring as well, sometimes in even more potent forms than their progenitors. The sun, which gave them life, burned them and kept them indoors until Esther came up with a magical protection amulet for it (though the sun wasn’t fatal to the Originals, it did severely burn them, and the creation of their weaker progeny later revealed that sunlight was fatal to them); the wood of the white oak tree that gave them their immortality was also the one substance that could kill them if they were stabbed in the heart with it (and their progeny would be vulnerable to all wood used in this manner); vervain, which grew at the base of the white oak tree, also burned and weakened them and their progeny if they touched or ingested it, and humans who ingested or carried it on them were protected from the vampires’ powers of compulsion; and finally, they were unable to enter the homes of humans without an explicit invitation by the owner of the domicile. Worst of all, they developed an overwhelming hunger for human blood that only intensified after their first taste, a side-effect that none of them predicted when Esther cast the spell.

As Ayana expected, the creation of the Original vampires eventually led to the start of a “plague” in 1002 after the Originals inadvertently learned they could turn humans into more of their kind by feeding them their blood and killing them, which caused the population of vampires to multiply in increasing numbers over the centuries following the species’ creation. However, the progeny of the Original vampires soon proved to be much weaker than their sires, even those who were closest to them in age, giving the Originals a high status that demanded respect from their younger sired vampires.

After being turned, the Original vampires became slaves to their bloodlust and their heightened emotions. When one of the Mikaelsons, Niklaus, killed for the first time, he discovered that he, unlike the rest of his siblings, was also a werewolf due to being a product of his mother Esther’s affair with the North East Atlantic Pack’s Alpha, Ansel, making Niklaus the world’s first hybrid when his werewolf and vampire natures combined. Mikael, furious at the discovery that Niklaus was not his child, forced his wife to suppress Niklaus’s werewolf side (an order that was also given to Esther by the forces of Nature) before finding and killing her lover, Ansel, a powerful werewolf Alpha. The deaths of Ansel and at least half of his family at the hands of the new vampires turned the werewolves against the new race. After their father’s rampage, Klaus, furious at his mother’s betrayal and hurt that she would turn her back on him, killed her when he lost control of his werewolf anger and then blamed it on Mikael so his siblings wouldn’t abandon him as well. Knowing that Mikael would hunt them down and kill them, the five vampire Mikaelson children left the New World for Europe, where they eventually settled in Marseilles in 1002, living in the woods and feeding upon the humans they came upon on back roads.

After the five of them realized they had fed on and killed four noblemen and a noblewoman, they figured out that their victims had been headed to the Court of Marseilles and decided to take on their identities and hide in plain sight from their father, giving them the opportunity to actually live in a home rather than squatting wherever they could find shelter. With the help of the Count de Martel’s servant, Lucien Castle, who offered to help them by teaching them the customs of French nobility and royalty in exchange for the Mikaelsons sparing his life, the Mikaelson children went to the Count de Martel’s castle and introduced themselves as the children of the Count de Guise before being invited to stay as guests in the Count de Martel’s castle. Once there, they settled into their new lives of comfort as noblemen and made friends with those at court, including the Count’s children Tristan and Aurora de Martel, the latter of whom was the object of both Klaus’ and Lucien’s affections.

It was shortly after they had come to stay at the Marseilles court when they realized they could heal humans with their blood; this fact was made apparently after they found Lucien had been viciously tortured by Tristan, who mistakenly believed Lucien had made amorous advances toward Aurora (though, in reality, it had actually been Klaus). After Tristan whipped Lucien’s back dozens of times and sliced his mouth open from ear to ear, Lucien angrily stabbed Klaus with a knife and caused the vampire’s blood to drip into his own wounds, healing them completely as the blood circulated through his system. Incorrectly assuming that he had been turned into a vampire like Klaus, Lucien went to attack Tristan in revenge for being tortured by him and was promptly killed by the lord’s guards. Klaus tried to feed him more blood to heal him, leading Elijah to presume that their blood only healed the living. However, once Klaus and Elijah prepared to give Lucien a traditional Viking funeral, Lucien awakened in transition as the first non-Original vampire to exist in the world, as well as the first vampire progeny to be created with Klaus’ blood. Lucien then completed his transition by feeding on a servant and joined the Mikaelsons as vampires at court.

Not to be outdone, Aurora, after learning of Klaus’ secret, begged Klaus to turn her as well so that she, who was dealing with melancholy and other mental illness, would be strong and healthy like them, but he refused, not wanting to curse Aurora to his fate. Knowing she would never be able to convince him to turn her, she slit her own wrists in a mock suicide attempt, tricking Rebekah into healing her wounds by feeding her vampire blood. She then tried to get Rebekah to kill her to turn her, as well, but when Rebekah refused for the same reasons Klaus did, Aurora angrily asked her to leave. Having what she needed to turn herself, Aurora walked over to the window of her tower and allowed herself to fall off of the ledge, killing herself and transforming herself into the second non-Original vampire and Rebekah’s first progeny.

Unfortunately, in time, rumors started to spread in the village about demons who fed on blood as a result of the seven vampires’ feeding habits, and it soon became clear that Mikael would be coming after them. In the middle of a heated argument between Aurora and Elijah in which Aurora confessed that Klaus had killed Esther, Elijah accidentally and unintentionally used mind compulsion for the first time to cause her to see Klaus as a monster and to stay behind rather than trying to flee with them. Before the Mikaelsons left court, Elijah, who had gotten the hang of compulsion and could now use it intentionally, fed Tristan his blood and killed him, making him his own first vampire progeny. He then compelled Lucien, Aurora, and Tristan to believe that they were Niklaus, Rebekah, and himself before forcing them to flee the castle, allowing them to be the bait that Mikael chased while the real Mikaelsons traveled on to Italy and settled in Tuscany.

Lucien, Tristan, and Aurora, who eventually became known as The Trinity, believed that they were actually Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah for over a century, until Elijah being daggered for the first time in 1114 caused their compulsion to be broken. Though they then knew their true identities, Mikael continued to chase after them, causing the three younger vampires to become incredibly resentful toward the Mikaelsons, which is what eventually pushed them to search the world for weapons they could use to destroy their sires.

The growth of the vampire race led to several attempts to end them before they grew too powerful. One attempt involved a witch descended from the powerful Qetsiyah who created an order of five magically-enhanced vampire hunters called the Brotherhood of the Five to hunt down and destroy the vampires and the immortals on Earth. They began hunting vampires in Italy during the early 12th century as the Normans conquered southern Europe. However, they attempted to defeat the Originals with White Oak Ash Daggers created by the witch who empowered them, not knowing that Klaus’ werewolf heritage made him immune to weapons made of silver.

This allowed Klaus to kill all of the hunters and undagger all of his siblings, with the exception of Finn, who he hated for his self-loathing attitude toward vampirism. However, the spell that empowered the hunters did not die with theminstead, several new hunters emerged during the following centuries with the same powers and dedication of the first. Several freelance (and often ordinary human) Vampire Hunters also began to appear as a result of the vampires’ amoral actions, and various weapons were created to use against them, such as stake-shooting guns and vervain grenades, as technology began to improve throughout the ages.

At some point, the initial conflict between the vampires and the werewolves emerged once again when the vampires discovered that a bite from a transformed werewolf was fatal to them (though a werewolf bite proved to not kill the Originals, who would only become feverish and delirious with hallucinations for several hours until they healed). Determined to protect themselves, the vampires declared war on the werewolves and drove them to near extinction. Several packs survived but, by the early 2000s, most vampires believed that werewolves were merely a myth.

During the 18th century, the Mikaelson children returned to America after moving back to Europe for several hundred years, and ended up arriving at the shore of the penal colony that would later become New Orleans, where they began the process of building it into one of the major cities of the United States. During their time in New Orleans, the Originals turned many vampires, including the former slaveMarcel Gerard, who was adopted as a child by Klaus in 1820 and raised as a surrogate son before he was transformed as an adult in 1835. Although the vampires established their own community in New Orleans, several other supernatural communities cohabited in the town, including several packs of werewolvesand at least nine Covens ofwitches, who were, according to Rebekah, “not a lot to be trifled with.” Alongside all these supernatural communities was a Human Faction created by Klaus and composed of pirates and dirty politicians to help maintain the balance between the human and supernatural communities. For centuries, this human faction would ensure the safety of New Orleans’s human population from the vampires and deal with (and often cover up) the various supernatural events that occurred as a result of the tension between the various groups.

Eventually, however, the various factions of New Orleans finally came together when Klaus and his brother Elijahcame up with a plan to unite them in 1919 in order to get around Prohibition, a ban on alcohol production and consumption which had recently become federal law and was quickly being enforced across the country. As this new law would mean an increase in federal presence which could not only expose the supernatural community in the city, but also draw their father, the Original vampire who had become a Vampire Hunter known as Mikael the Destroyer and intended on killing killing his children, the Mikaelsons proposed that the Guerrera Pack, a werewolf crime family, could smuggle their alcohol into the city via the ports that Klaus and Elijah owned and act as the public face of the ports while the brothers maintained control behind the scenes, which would benefit both families and the town at large.However, in 1919, the Originals’ father,Mikael, tracked his children down to New Orleans and, in his quest to kill his step-son Klaus, killed several of the turned vampires. The Originals managed to flee, distraught due to their incorrect assumption that Marcel had been killed, but Mikael chased after them, leaving New Orleans in shambles.

Marcel, the former self-appointed king of the French Quarter’s vampire as well as witch population.

After the destruction wrought by Mikael, Marcel remained in New Orleans, where he eventually gained leadership of the vampire community and began making moves to take control of the city at large. Once the vampires were in a dominant position, they began enacting their plans to gain more power, including an intense attack on the Guerrera Pack that resulted in all but one of them being killed in 1925.

Later, in the 1990s, Marcel attempted to form a truce with members of the Labonair Family, who were highly revered members of the Crescent Wolf Pack, but after his Labonair ally and his wife were killed by former Crescent Alpha Richard Xavier Dumas to prevent the truce, the vampires took advantage of the divided clan and waged a war against them that they ultimately won in retribution for ruining their peace talks. After the werewolves’ defeat, Marcel exiled the rest of the werewolf community from New Orleans, forcing them to live in encampments deep in the Bayou. He even went so far as to curse all triggered werewolves in the Crescent Wolf Clan with a spell that reversed their werewolf nature, trapping them in their wolf bodies full-time and only allowing them to return to their human form during the peak hours of the full moon.

Shortly afterward, Marcel sent away the surviving baby daughter of his late Labonair allies with Father Kieran, the priest at St. Anne’s Church and leader of the human faction, ensuring that the girl found an adoptive family out of loyalty to her parents. Afterward, Marcel and Father Kieran made a deal regarding their respective communities: the humans would look the other way when it came to the vampires’ feeding habits so long as they limited their feedings to tourists rather than locals and kept their number of kills to a minimum in order to prevent a decrease in the tourism rates that kept the city financially prosperous.

Under Marcel’s leadership, New Orleans became a major supernatural melting pot where vampires could have a good time without being forced to live in the shadows like many of their brethren in other areas of the world. He also established a hierarchy within the vampire community to keep his army motivated; his “inner circle” of close friends and loyal soldiers, known as “daywalkers”, were gifted with daylight rings that would allow them to be active in the daytime, whereas the rest of the vampires, known as the “nightwalkers,” remained nocturnal and were relegated to patrolling the town after sunset. However, nightwalkers were given some opportunities to work their way up to a ring of their own, such as winning in Marcel’s occasional “Fight Nights” or going above and beyond their duties as a soldier in Marcel’s vampire army. However, as the vampire population continued to grow and their influence began to spread even farther as they gained more power, the community found themselves in an intense war with the French Quarter Coven, who harbored hatred toward the vampires and, like many witches, believed them to be abominations of Nature. Despite Father Kieran’s best efforts to maintain the peace between the communities, the tensions continued to rise.

It was this tension that eventually led to the witches’ decision to go along with their ancestral coven’stricentennial Harvestritual, which involved the sacrifice of four teenage girls in their covens to appease their ancestors, who would then give them more power and resurrect the girls as a reward for their faith in the magic that bound them together. When Father Kieran found out that the ritual demanded the sacrifice of four young women, he vehemently denounced the plans during a meeting with the coven’s Elders. However, the witch elderAgnes, wanting to distract Kieran enough that he would be too preoccupied to interfere with the Harvest,used the Rosary of Madness to put a hex on his nephewSean O’Connell, causing him to slowly descend into insanity as the hex overtook his morals and led him to violent thoughts. After Sean ultimately succumbed to the hex by massacring his fellow seminary students before killing himself, Kieran left town out of grief, but not before meeting with Marcel and urging him to stop the Harvest by any means necessary. Unfortunately, Marcel and his vampires arrived to the cemetery where the ritual was being performed too late, and by the time they made their attack, the elders had already sacrificed three of the four girls. However, they were still able to kill most of the witches in attendance and save the sole surviving Harvest girl, Davina Claire.

Since the Harvest was incomplete, all of the magic of the three girls who were sacrificed before she was rescued, which was meant to be an offering to the earth and their ancestors who resided on the Ancestral Plane, was transferred to her, making her the most powerful witch in New Orleans and granting her with the ability to sense when any of the other New Orleans witches were performing magic. Wanting to protect her while still benefiting from her abilities, Marcel took Davina in and became her guardian, and Davina, furious at the witches for lying to her and betraying her and her friends by killing them, used her powers to help Marcel and the vampires enforce his new rule: any witch who practiced magic without express permission from Marcel himself would be sentenced to death. With the witches essentially powerless in subjugation and the werewolves exiled from the city, the vampire community became the uncontested dominant faction in New Orleans, which allowed Marcel to proclaim himself to be king of the city.

However, threats to Marcel rule began in 2011 when his former mentor and sire, Klaus, returned to New Orleans after having received word that a witch namedJane-Anne Deverauxwas plotting against him. However, Marcel killed her before he could question her, and Klaus became so suspicious of Marcel’s motives for killing her that he and his brother Elijah followed the trail of clues to Jane-Anne’s sister, Sophie. They met in Lafayette Cemetery, where Sophie admitted to the brothers that the witches, led by Sophie and the late Jane-Anne, were planning an uprising against Marcel and had lured Klaus to New Orleans to gain his help in infiltrating Marcel’s empire with the hopes of bringing it down from within. As leverage, they brought out the werewolf Hayley Marshall, whom they had discovered was miraculously impregnated with Klaus’ hybrid child after a one-night-stand few months earlier, and threatened to kill her and the baby if they didn’t join their cause.

Though Sophie led the Mikaelsons to believe that her sole mission was to stage a coup and overthrow Marcel, in reality, she and the witches intended to distract Marcel with Klaus’ power play while they tracked down Davina so they could finish the Harvest. It was also soon revealed that the witches, who practice ancestral magic, were on a deadline to complete the ritual, because if the Harvest was not completed by sacrificing Davina within a year of their first attempt to sacrifice the four Harvest girls, the coven’s connection to their ancestors’ magic, from which they drew all of their power, would fade to the point that all of the witches would lose their ability to practice magic completely. At the same time, the witches were convinced that the four sacrificed girls would be resurrected by the Ancestors once the Harvest was complete, and since Monique Deveraux, Sophie’s niece and Jane-Anne’s daughter, was one of the girls who were sacrificed, Sophie was willing to do whatever it took to complete the Harvest, resurrect the Harvest girls, and ensure that her sister didn’t die in vain, even if it meant going up against Marcel and the vampires.

Having witnessed that Marcel (whom he thought had died during the vampire massacre of 1919) had not only survived, but had taken Klaus’ place as king of the city without letting him know, Klaus became determined to reclaim his city and ultimately agreed to join Sophie’s cause. To that end, Klaus apologized to Marcel for his previous actions and rekindled their friendship in order to start dismantling his empire from the inside, with the ultimate goal of becoming the new leader of the vampire community once Marcel’s regime had ended. This eventually worked, because when Marcelwith the help of Rebekahstaged an attack against Klaus, Klaus ended up coming out the victor, even despite the fact that he was outnumbered at least 100 to 1. Afterward, Klaus reclaimed the compoundwhich had been the Mikaelsons’ residence in the 19th and 20th centuries and had become the vampire headquarters in the years after they fledand took control of the vampires and the supernatural community at large.

After he had learned of his sister Rebekah and Marcel’s betrayal in 1919, when they summoned Mikael to New Orleans to chase him out of town, Klaus banished Rebekah and sank into a bit of a depression, leaving Elijah to take control of the vampires and the Faction in his absence. Shortly afterward, Francesca Correa and her brothers, who had revealed themselves to actually be Guerrera werewolves who had been living undercover as humans for decades, staged a coup at the Mikaelson compound, stealing the moonlight stones that Klaus commissioned Genevieve to make for Hayley and the Crescents, triggering their own werewolf curses, and attacking all of the vampires in revenge for how their family was treated by them in the past. The few vampires who survived the so-called Battle of New Orleans were exiled by the Guerreras to the neighborhood across the river known as Algiers, and the werewolves under their command had orders to kill any vampire who was caught in the French Quarter on sight.

Months later, Marcel, Klaus, Elijah, Josh Rosza, and the newly-turned hybrid Hayley staged a coup of their own, killing all of the Guerrera werewolves, destroying their moonlight rings, and breaking most of their control over the Quarter. However, the recently-resurrected Esther and Finn Mikaelson (possessing the bodies of the witches Cassie and Vincent Griffith) quickly filled the power vacuum in the werewolf community, which kept the vampires from fully regaining control of the city. Despite this, Elijah and Marcel began a partnership and began rebuilding their vampire community in Algiers in the hope that once Esther and Finn were dealt with, they would be able to retake their leadership of the supernatural population of New Orleans. Finn was eventually neutralized after the werewolves and the vampires formed an alliance and worked with Klaus and Elijah.

After the powerful and ancient witch Dahlia was killed following a lot of bloodshed on all sides, control of the vampire community of New Orleans was once again given to Marcel, who has continued to work with Elijah to replenish their numbers and regain the stronghold of power they once possessed. It was Marcel’s status as a vampire personally turned by Klaus and his reputation for the thriving permanent community of vampires that led the powerful organization The Strix to come to New Orleans and offer him membership into their ranks, which he ultimately joined after passing his initiation. Since then, The Strix and The Trinity worked together to create a plan to lock away the surviving Original vampires (Elijah, Klaus, and Rebekah) using a dark object called the Serratura, which would not only allow them to get their revenge against their sires for what Elijah did to The Trinity as well as to protect themselves from a prophecy foretold by a cypher witch in Lucien’s employ named Alexis.

In this prophecy, Alexis predicted that the rest of the Originals would be killed, which would ultimately lead to the end of the vampire species as a result of the magical sireline link and the spawn of a mysterious creature known as “The Beast”. It was foretold that one Original would die at the hands of a friend, one at the hands of a foe, and one at the hands of family members, and this prophecy threatened the very existence of the vampire species, leading The Trinity and The Strix to decide to lock them away to prevent anyone from killing the Originals and thus ensuring their own survival. However, in time, it was revealed that, while the prophecy was true, the rest of the crisis had been orchestrated by Lucien, who intended to become the Beast from the prophecy in order to become superior to the Originals after The Strix’s coven, The Sisters, succeeded in magically breaking the connection between the Originals and their sirelings, allowing him to kill them all once and for all with his newly-fatal bite, which contained the venom of all seven werewolf bloodlines and, as of the end of The Bloody Crown, has no cure.

Though Lucien was ultimately defeated when Freya, channeling Davina’s connection to the Ancestors, used their magic to undo the spell that made him the Beast so that Klaus could rip his heart out and kill him for good. Unfortunately, they didn’t foresee the fact that Marcel, too, had been given the second vial of the Beast serum by Vincent after learning what Freya did to Davina in order to fight against the Mikaelsons. Marcel secretly took the serum, although he pretended to still be considering whether or not to do it, and during an intense argument with Elijah, he was killed by the elder vampire, allowing him to successfully transform into the second Beast.

This gave Marcel the power to retake leadership of New Orleans’ supernatural community from the Mikaelsons after summoning all of Klaus’ sirelings, who had recently be disconnected from Klaus’ sireline, to come take over the Mikaelson Compound from the family. Marcel went on to steal the leadership by biting Elijah and the recently-resurrected Kol and poisoning Freya, leaving the Mikaelsons dying and weakened and unable to protect Klaus from the rage of his sireline. This left them with no choice but for Freya to put the three of them and Rebekah (who had been cursed by The Strix’s cursed stake months earlier) into the same slumber spell Dahlia had put on herself and Freya in the 11th century to buy Hayley time to find cures for all of them. In order to ensure that Hayley had the time to do this, Klaus voluntarily gave himself up to Marcel and allowed himself to be stabbed in the heart with Papa Tunde’s Blade, putting him in a torturous sleep that kept him alive so that Freya could bind all of their siblings to his life-force.

Blood is the main component of a vampire’s diet, be it human, animal or vampire blood. According to Rebekah, the reason why vampires crave blood more than anything else was due to the immortality spell used by Esther to create the Original Vampires, which used the blood of a doppelgnger as the catalyst in the process that made her husband and children immortal, transitioning the Mikaelsons into their new lives as Originals. It was later explained by Atticus Shane that human blood is the key to immortality, which is why vampires, along with the first Immortals Silas and Amara, need to drink it to maintain their eternal life. If a vampire fails to regularly drink blood, their body will become severely weakened, and will ultimately desiccate into mummification until they are able to get blood into their system.

Blood (especially human blood) does not only satisfy a vampires thirst, but it also heightens theirsupernatural abilities, making them stronger, faster, and able to heal much more quickly than they would after not eating for a significant period of time. The longer a vampire abstains from blood, the more likely the vampire will becoming feral until they are eventually unable to resist feeding on whomever they come upon. In many cases, a vampire who has been starved for a long period and is risking desiccation will eventually become so overwhelmed with hunger that the lose all sense of their humanity and rationality altogether and finally give into their bloodlust. It has been demonstrated that vampire blood, just as with human and animal blood, can be used to revive a vampire who has been desiccated (even if they ordinarily do not partake in the consumption of vampire blood), and it can also help a badly injured vampire heal more quickly if human or animal blood is not available. However, human blood is most compatible with a vampire’s dietary needs, and because of this, the majority of vampires rely on it as their sole food source. Despite their main food source being referred to as “human blood,” this term also extends to the blood of both witches and werewolves who are in their human form, as their blood seems to be functionally identical to that of regular humans.

Due to their acute senses, a vampire can detect whether or not a human has recently consumed alcohol or drugs, because their blood tastes unclean and can leave a vampire with a chemical aftertaste. This also extends to vervain as well, as vampires who feed on a human who regularly ingests vervain will be burned and weakened upon contact with their blood, which can often be used to the human’s advantage. Due to a vampire’s amplified senses and feelings, their hunger cravings are much stronger and harder to control than the mundane hunger for food that they felt when they were humans, and this hunger will often be connected to and amplified by powerful emotions.

Vampires are magically preserved in the physical state that they were in when they died, therefore making a vampires body a freshly dead corpse, though it is reanimated and protected from decay with dark magic. Vampire’s bodies remain in the exact same state as they were just prior to their deaths as humans (aside from the injuries or effects of most illnesses that caused their death) from an anatomical standpoint, except when it comes to their supernaturally-enhanced abilities and the addition of vampire’s true face. Their true face is a slightly transformed version of their human face, which includes red, blood-shot sclera with protruding veins around the eyes, as well as elongated fangs. The bite of a vampire is so powerful that it can sever the limbs of both animals and humans, as vampires are known for having extremely sharp and strong teeth.

Similarly, a vampire has human-like physiology, and their bodies continue to function normally as long as they have a steady diet of human blood; for example, their heart still beats to pump the blood they’ve consumed through their system to maintain their vitality. Because of this, vampires can eat human food, though it doesn’t sustain their life or provide any nutrition like blood does, and their digestive system will continue to process it and produce wastes just as a healthy human’s does. Regardless, many vampires continue to eat regular food for several reasons, including out of human habit, to maintain human appearances in order to prevent their exposure, and to help sublimate their eternal hunger for blood and thereby keep their bloodlust at a manageable level.

Vampires can also become intoxicated by drugs such as alcohol and marijuana just as humans can, although they do have much higher tolerances due to their accelerated healing, which rapidly regenerates the cells damaged by these drugs which causes the sensation of being drunk or high. In fact, most vampires frequently drink alcohol throughout the day to help them deal with their perpetual hunger, much in the way that some vampires eat human food to help curb their cravings.

Vampires are immune to the majority of human diseases and illnesses. One exception of this rule is cancer, though vampires cannot actually develop it– they have to have had the cancer prior to being turned, as vampire blood cannot cure it in humans. These aforementioned vampires continue to have cancer even after their transition is complete, as cancer cells rapidly regenerate in the presence of vampire blood due to the cells being functionally immortal; normal human cells have “suicide buttons” that allow them to die once their organelles have worn out, but cancer cells have no such button, and vampire blood only serves to accelerate the regeneration of cancer cells. The only known substances that can have a serious negative effect on vampires are vervain and Werewolf Venom.

The mystical effect of vampirism is the only thing that keeps vampires and their bodies alive. If vampirism is removed through the cure to immortality, the body will return to the state of a healthy alive adult so long as the cure remains in their blood. However, once a vampire is reverted to being a human after ingesting the cure, the cure will remain in their bloodstream, allowing any other vampire who wants to be cured to do so by feeding on the cured vampire’s blood to nearly full consumption. When Silas fed on Katherine’s cure-laced blood, he returned to his previous status as a witch, but it caused a side-effect to be discovered– should the cure leave the veins of a cured vampire, their bodies will rapidly begin to age to catch up with the time they spent as vampires. This usually poses no problem in vampires who were turned young and/or have only been vampires for several years, but in the case of Katherine, her body began to grow old so rapidly to compensate for her 538 years of life that she ultimately died of a heart attack due to advanced age within weeks.

Conversely, if vampirism is stripped away by the Magic Purification Spell, it will physically revert the body to the final state it was in before awakening in transition, leaving it a corpse with the physical damage or illness of whatever it was that originally killed them. (e.g: drowning, slit throat, snapped neck, tuberculosis, etc.) The only exception to this was Alaric Saltzman, who was successfully transformed from an Enhanced Original Vampire into a human as a result of his serious (but not absolutely fatal) injury being instantly treated by Dr. Josette Laughlin. The only remaining cure for immortality currently resides in Elena Gilbert’s blood, as the other copy of the cure was destroyed along with the 1903 Prison World after the Gemini Coven was murdered. Similarly, since the Travelers have more or less become extinct, it is unlikely that a magic purification spell could be performed again, making the chances of being cured this way nearly impossible.

It has been recently discovered that while vampires are sterile and cannot have biological children (with the exception of the hybrid Klaus, whose werewolf side and the magical nature of his vampire transformation canceled out the sterility all other vampires possess), certain forms of magic can transport a fetus or fetuses from a human’s body into a vampire’s. This was demonstrated by the Gemini Coven, whose livelihood was dependent on the existence of twins to continue the coven, and who had a spell to magically transport fetuses from a pregnant mother whose life is in danger into another womb. Joshua Parker and his fellow coven members used this spell to transfer the twin fetuses from the dying Josette Laughlin into the vampire Caroline Forbes’ womb to make sure the coven would survive on without them. Since a vampire who consumes a steady diet of blood can also consume human food and has the same physiology as a normal human, Caroline was able to deliver the twins with the help of the Heretics’, and Bonnie’s, magical assistance. Additionally, her vampirism actually makes it more likely that the twins will survive, since they are functionally immortal and are much harder to kill than humans.

However, it has also been discovered that, since vampires were created by magic, which also gave them their powers, their vampirism can be absorbed by certain rare witches of the Gemini Coven called Siphoners. This was revealed when the twins Caroline was carrying, Lizzie and Josie, began to siphon her powers when Caroline was nearly at term, causing her skin to desiccate and putting her at risk of death by losing her vampirism. Siphoners can also draw on vampires for more power for spells, and, since they exist as a loophole in the rules of Nature, they can also be transformed into witch-vampire hybrids while maintaining their powers of Siphoning; even more, they are able to practice magic as though they were a full witch since they can draw on their own vampirism as a limitless source of magical power. As of Gods and Monsters, there are only two such hybrids left currently living at this point– Valerie Tulle and the newly incarcerated, resurrected Malachai Parker.

Stefan as a Ripper

Vampires have the capacity to be extremely feral, predatory creatures, and can be more beast-like and savage than their human appearance suggests. They growl, hiss, snarl, and curl their lips back when provoked, baring their fangs as a sign of aggression when faced by a threat.

Despite their nature, vampires are also capable of human emotions, such as compassion, love, and self-control. However, it’s in a vampire’s nature to be violent, and no matter what their morality or kindness, they will almost always resort to such acts if it’s necessary for their survival. While vampires typically maintain their human personalities after their transformations (though magnified by the magical properties of vampirism), they are usually dehumanized to some degree, and due to both the violent tensions between witches, werewolves, and vampires (along with the in-fighting within the vampire community itself), violence, tragedy, and death of the aforementioned groups and humans caught in the crossfire seem to follow vampires wherever they go, even despite their best efforts to avoid it. Many (though not all) vampires are inherently selfish and consider other beings, especially humans, to be inferior to themselves, as they see themselves as the top of the proverbial food chain. Even the most compassionate of their kind will often resort to cruelty and torture if it means protecting themselves and their loved ones from danger.

For example, Stefan Salvatore, despite his generally kind and compassionate attitude, has been shown to be unafraid of killing when the situation calls for it, though he makes it a point not to harm or kill humans unless absolutely necessary. Similarly, Caroline Forbes, while saving Stefan and his brother Damon from her mother and her police force, ended up slaughtering two of her deputies in an animalistic and stealthy manner and was completely calm and unfazed afterward; this contrasted greatly with her reaction after she had accidentally killed a carnival worker out of hunger just hours after she had completed her transition, which upset her so much that she began to sob and insisted she was a monster. This suggests the longer one spends as a vampire, the more tolerant of violence and murder they become.

Additionally, over the course of their millennium of life, Elijah and Rebekah have also become somewhat dehumanized after spending so much time as the most powerful beings on earth, even despite their generally kind and gentle nature; their penchant for the “snatch, eat, erase” method of feeding and their dedication to avoiding unnecessarily large demonstrations of violence and cruelty if at all possible is typically more out of their desire to protect themselves from exposure than a desire to not harm others. In recent years, both Elijah and Rebekah have mellowed out, and are not as quick to harm or kill out of anger, they still are known for being ruthless against their enemies or anyone who tries to harm their family and friends, and have shown no discomfort in torturing others to get the answers or results they need.

However, vampires experience sensations and feelings much more intensely than humans, and as a result, they have a much more difficult time controlling their emotions, all of which are tied to their hunger in some way. Whenever a vampire is overwhelmed by powerful feelings (such as extreme hunger, fear, anger, happiness, love, etc.) their faces become pale, and blood rushes into the veins surrounding their eyes, darkening them tremendously. Their canine teeth will lengthen into fangs, giving them a more predatory look to scare off or threaten their prey and to aid them in feeding on humans and animals. This intensification of emotions experienced by vampires also extends to their personalities as well, both the good and the bad aspects of it. For example, Elena and Stefan were both compassionate and kind as humans, which amplified these traits to the point of being self-sacrificing as vampires; conversely, Vicki Donovan, who was a troubled teenage girl with addictions to drugs, carried these personality traits into her vampire life as well, making her subject to violent mood swings and making it even harder for her to resist her cravings for human blood until she had to be killed to save Elena and Jeremy from being killed.

Due to their intensely emotional nature, it is not uncommon for vampires wishing to maintain self-control to document their lives after their transition in journals. Though they have consistently shown considerable powers in recollection of specific memories and dates, vampires still need to peruse their journals in order to reflect on their feelings and other minute details during certain events. Another function of the vampire nature is the ability to “turn off” their humanity in order to make it easier for them to emotionally deal with feeding on (and occasionally even killing) humans to maintain their immortality.

Vampires who have used this coping mechanism, such as Elena, Damon, Stefan, Caroline and Enzo, have described the process as “flicking a switch,” which essentially numbs their emotions and disables their ability to be empathetic, allowing them to shut out painful feelings such as guilt, grief, and sadness and turning off the part of them that makes them ashamed of their actions. Vampires with their humanity turned off often think of themselves as purely rational and logical and are not ruled by their emotions. They also have no problem feeding indiscriminately on whomever they please, either using mind compulsion to make the humans forget the experience or killing them outright with no shame or remorse.

From their portrayal so far on the shows, it seems that many vampires are nomads of sorts who periodically move around from place to place to make sure their immortality and lack of aging do not lead to their exposure as vampires to the general public. Some of them appear to attempt to take on identities within the human world and exist alongside humans (such as Stefan Salvatore, who used to take on a new identity, location, and career every thirty years) while others instead appear to enjoy living among humans mostly anonymously (such as Damon Salvatore, Lily Salvatore, the Heretics, and the Mikaelsons throughout the majority of their lives) without making human attachments and then choosing to travel to new places for a change in scenery whenever the urge strikes them.

While the world does not appear to have an official rule-based vampire government (neither in an international level nor a national level), at least one place, the American city of New Orleans, Louisiana, has had a thriving permanent community of vampires throughout most of the 20th century and into the early 21st century. For most of the community’s existence, it was been ruled by Klaus and Elijah Mikaelson from the 18th to early 20th centuries; then, after they were forced to flee with their sister Rebekah after the arrival of their father, Mikael, the control of the vampires was taken by Marcel Gerard, who proclaimed himself to be the king of the city. Upon gaining leadership of the community, Marcel created many rules that he strongly enforces within the borders of New Orleans, which includes the following: vampires can only feed on tourists (though feeding on consenting locals seems to be allowed as long as they’re willing to keep the secret or can be compelled to do so); and all vampires are responsible for keeping the number of vampire-related killings of humans to a minimum so as to not negatively affect tourism rates, which thereby affects their food supply and the city’s general prosperity.

The number one rule of the community, however, is that vampires are forbidden from killing any of their own kind, and vampires who have violated this rule have faced strict punishment, such one hundred years of solitary confinement and starvation in the Garden prison or even death. The only known vampires to avoid punishment for such a crime are the Originals, who are far too powerful for any vampire in the community to force them to abide by the laws. Marcel’s original community was eventually destroyed by the various wars that took place in the city in 2012, leaving only Marcel, Joshua Rosza and Elijah the only surviving true vampires (not including the hybrids, Klaus and Hayley Marshall).

For the next year after the decimation of their community, the vampires moved to another neighborhood of New Orleans across the river from the French Quarter called Algiers, where they began to rebuild their vampire army by turning select individuals who proved themselves as having what it took to “move up a notch on the food chain.” In 2013, control of the French Quarter was once again returned to Marcel Gerard and his vampires, who have returned to the neighborhood to begin to regain the power they once held throughout the city while maintaining tenuous truces with both the Crescent werewolves and the French Quarter Coven. Upon Marcel’s transformation into an “upgraded” Original vampire also known as the Beast, he has regained full control of the city’s supernatural population after putting Klaus in a torturous coma with Papa Tunde’s Blade, biting Elijah and Kol, and poisoning Freya, forcing them to be put in a magical slumber and Chambre de Chasse to avoid death until Hayley can find cures for them, as well as a cure for Rebekah’s curse. This effectively evicted the Mikaelsons from New Orleans, leaving Marcel with no one even close to his level of power to go against his rule.

As previously stated, there is no international vampire government, or even a vampire government within specific nations. However, there have been vampire societies over the thousand years or so that the species has existed. The most well-known among them being The Strix, a congregation of the most ancient and powerful vampires the world has ever known, which was originally founded by Elijah, who sought to seek out vampires with the time, resources, and inclination to enrich the world with the powers they possess. However, Elijah was eventually forced to abandon the organization, as he was dismayed by the realization that he had gathered a large group of “narcissistic and sociopathic” vampires who were only concerned with gaining power, status, and wealth with which they could use to further their own agendas. After Elijah’s departure, Tristan de Martel became the leader of the organization, and, with the exception of Marcel Gerard, every vampire initiated into the society belongs to either Elijah or Rebekah’s sireline. Tristan was then overthrown in 2013 and replaced by Aya and Marcel in turn.

Age is a powerful status symbol in the global vampire community. One such reason for this is because the amount of history the vampire has experienced gives them a great deal of knowledge, which translates to certain bragging rights in the community, especially when the elder vampires interact with the younger vampires, werewolves, witches, and in-the-know humans they encounter. There are many examples of extremely old vampires whose age and history have gained them respect and status, including (but not limited to) the following: the vampire Shen Min was the torture consultant to Genghis Khan prior to becoming a vampire around the turn of the 12th century; Elijah and Klaus were close friends with Sigmund Freud and Ferdinand Magellan, among other famous historical figures; Klaus compelled the artist Edgar Degas to mentor him in art; Rebekah was hinted to be the creator of the legendary vampire Casquette Girls in Louisiana in the 1800s; Marcel was a member of the Brotherhood of the Damned (the name for the 369th regiment in the American Army in World War I), whom he turned into vampires in order to defeat the Germans trying to overpower their line; the Heretics, Lillian Salvatore, and Julian attended the funeral of Queen Victoria; Damon served in the Confederate Army in the American Civil War, and Stefan and Enzo served in the American and British Armies, respectively, during World War II.

However, the main reason why age is a status symbol in the vampire community is because a vampire’s age directly correlates to how physically powerful they are. As a vampire ages, their supernatural physical and mental abilities become even stronger and more advanced as well. For example, because “The Trinity” were the first three vampires sired by the Originals, and around a year after they themselves were turned– Lucien Castle, Aurora de Martel, and Tristan de Martel, making them over a thousand years old. They are much more powerful than any other regular vampire because of their age. Only the Originals and their modified version outmatch the Trinity in raw power. While attitude, training, and catching an older vampire off-guard can occasionally compensate for another vampire’s young age in a fight (such as Elena Gilbert nearly besting Katherine Pierce in battle), an older vampire will nearly always win in a fight against a younger vampire.

In 2013, the creation of the so-called “Upgraded Original Vampire”, also known as “the Beast” due to a prophecy foretold by witch and seer Alexis, made the now-deceased Lucien and current ruler of New Orleans, Marcel, more physically powerful than even an Original vampire despite their younger ages. Between their extremely immense super strength, speed, durability, senses, and healing in addition to their bite, which possesses the venom of the seven original werewolf bloodlines and is fatal to even an Original vampire, they are now among the most powerful supernatural creatures in the TVD/TO universe and are easily the strongest vampires in the world.

According to Stefan and Damon, the sharing of blood between vampires is considered an intimate act and is not typically taken lightly, though it is not always this way; for example, Klaus and Elijah have been shown feeding their own blood to their siblings and vampire friends to heal them after they have been seriously incapacitated by injury or desiccation. Between romantic partners, however, this is an incredibly intimate act that denotes the love between the two vampires, as well as the trust they share.

Megan, a human, killed by a vampire.

Vampires generally coexist with humans due to their shared origins and appearances. Humans are mostly oblivious to the existence of vampires, which makes it easier for vampires to commingle with their human cohorts without detection or exposure. Most of the few people who do know about vampires have either been killed to ensure their silence, compelled to forget their encounters with them, or, in some cases, are compelled not to speak of it to anyone, which lessens the chances that the vampire species will be exposed to the public.

Attitudes of vampires towards humans vary from individual to individual. Some see humans as simply food, servants, and/or entertainment, while others feel compassion for humans, remembering their lives before becoming vampires and not wanting to cause any more harm to them than necessary, and even regarding certain humans as close friends, lovers, or family. In general, vampires are known to see humans as less compared to themselves and ultimately regard their lives as being essentially insignificant, as humans are mortal whereas vampires live forever. As a result of their immortality and the fatal violence they witness on a regular basis, the death of a human who has no significant connection to the vampire is typically a non-event for them, and is either shrugged off as collateral damage or seen as a means to an end in part of whatever the vampire in question’s current agenda is.

Only a handful of humans are aware of the existence of literal vampires. In history, there were periods of time where vampires were not so secret, but as of the 21st century, the majority of humans regard vampires as superstition, fiction, and myth, which is how most vampires prefer it to be, as it makes it easier for them to move through the world without detection. There are small pockets of in-the-know humans, however, and they usually are in one of two groups: either they are aware of vampires because they are acquainted with at least one of them, either due to friendship, alliance (such as the Human Faction in New Orleans), or, in rare cases, being attacked and not compelled to forget the encounter; or, they belong to a family or are associated with an organization who hunts vampires (such as the Founding Families of Mystic Falls or the Town Council) or studies them to gain more knowledge of how they work (such as Whitmore College’s Augustine Society).

The supernatural forces that sustain vampires also endow them with superhuman physical abilities as well as powers of mind control.Their physical abilities such as strength, speed, agility, durability, healingand senses all grow stronger with age and experience. Vampires who feed on animal blood will not be as powerful as those who feed on human blood. Human blood is also known to increase the speed of healing when ingested by a vampire after being seriously wounded.

Stefan using his super strength.

Katherine using her super strength and speed.

Stefan jumps off the Boarding House

Caroline’s super-hearing

Damon compels Elena.

Tactile telepathy.

Vampire and Hybrid True Faces

Originally, vampires had additional powers in the early episodes of the show, but these powers were later written out of the plot by the writers after they were deemed “too supernatural.” These powers were:

If vampires are killed by a wooden object stabbed through their heart, their body desiccates into a gray color, and their vampiric veins thicken and protrude from their skin. Vampires can build up tolerances to some weaknesses, such as vervain, allowing them to protect themselves from compulsion by an Original and to help lessen the likelihood that it will seriously incapacitate them when used by enemies. However, it will still burn them upon contact, but if ingested, it will not weaken them as much if they take small amounts over time to increase their immunity.

Isobel burning in the sunlight

Katherine is burned by vervain

Katherine after being bitten by Klaus.

When trying to compel human Stefan that he should live instead of sacrificing himself to kill Katherine, Stefan injected Damon his blood making him human again. In a flash-forward he’s shown to have grown old in Mystic Falls with Elena.

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