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‘The Vampire Diaries’: Character evolutions since season 1

The Vampire Diaries is officially starting its 8th and final season this October! Meg, Zina, and I figured we’d take a look back at how much the cast has changed over the years. One thing is for certain, the residents of Mystic Falls definitely went through the ringer.

Damon Salvatore

(L-; R- Quantrell Colbert | The CW)
( Colbert/The CW)

One of The CW’s sexiest characters came to life thanks to The Vampire Diaries. He started off being the jerk older brother and soon turned into one of the biggest heart-throbs on television. Damon’s had been through serious emotional craziness, but somehow managed to keep it together … besides the fact that 90% of the deaths “animal attacks” on that one road leaving Mystic Falls were him. He had a pet raven, danced around the Salvatore Mansion with bourbon, dented a motel ice machine, and then somehow, turned into a genuinely decent person.

Sure, Elena helped, but a lot of it has to do with his renewed respect and love for his friends and family. Bonnie Bennet found herself the best best-friend anyone could ever ask for, even if he is an enormous pain in the ass (just ask Ric, or Stefan, or Rose). Now, we’re heading into Season 8 with Damon under some weird mind control, but nothing can imprison Damon for too long. He always finds a way out.

Stefan Salvatore

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The master of sculpting “hero hair” and diary writing, Stefan Salvatore wormed his way into all of our hearts. His kind yet protective nature had us all wooing from the very start. He fell in love with Elena, and they had the cutest of romances. It was gentle and sweet, but very, VERY passionate. Stefan has learned to love his brother more over the past few seasons and has overcome serious heartbreak on all fronts.

He learned to deal with his Ripper past, and unless he gets sucked in by the Armory’s mind control monster, Ripper Stefan won’t be reappearing any time soon. He found out he was also a dopplegänger, used to hang out with the Originals, fathered an unborn child, and survived the resurrection stone. He keeps getting and losing the girl (Elena, Caroline, Valerie), but I think season 8 will be his time to truly shine in that department.

Elena Gilbert

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Elena started TVD as a spunky teen trying to deal with the loss of her parents, her deviant brother, and the treachery of high school. She didn’t know about vampires or her doppelgängerness. Fast forward through the seasons, and we see an Elena who has discovered that her deceased parents aren’t her real parents, her best friend is a witch, her new boyfriend dated a vampire who looks just like her, and her blood makes her a huge target for major magical ritual kidnappings.

She goes from a girl trying to find her way, to a vampire willing to sleep for half a century so her friend could live a long life. Elena Gilbert was forced to make hard choices to protect the few remaining people in her life, and her sacrifices show that even after she turned undead, she was the heart of the show. She fell in love with the wrong brother, but it was magical to watch. We can only hope that we see that love rekindled in the show’s final season.

Caroline Forbes


Carebear was one of the most obnoxious characters on The Vampire Diaries until she transitioned. Now, she’s a TVD fan favorite with her sassy yet extremely organized nature. She was used as a sex toy/human blood bank for Damon and was even Miss Mystic Falls. She caught the eye of the dangerous and sexy Klaus Michaelson, and Klaroline is still a sailing ship. She was later imprisoned by her father and had to be rescued by her mother. Caroline and Sheriff Forbes had one of the healthiest parental relationships on TVD, and Liz’s death hurt us all. Care can sing, dance, and was a bomb-ass mom in her own right. No wonder Stefan fell in love with her.

Bonnie Bennett

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Bonnie Bennett was TVD’s main witch (for many years) in a world full of vamps and other supernatural creatures. Along with being a witch, she has also been a ghost (all those times sacrificing herself *sigh*), an anchor to the Other Side, and most recently, the new Huntress! Talk about being a badass, right? Bonnie’s supernatural abilities have made her a very important asset – she has saved the day with her magic many times. Not only is she one fierce lady, she is also super loyal and cares deeply for her BFFs and loved ones. Basically, she downright steals the screen every time she appears on the show. You gotta love Bon-Bon!

Alaric Saltzman

(L-; R - Bob Mahoney | The CW)
( Mahoney/The CW)

Alaric Saltzman is one of the show’s most beloved characters! He moved to Mystic Falls many years ago to become Mystic Falls High School’s brand new history teacher. However, little did his students know, his knowledge extended far beyond their history textbooks – he was a secret vampire hunter.

Luckily, for Damon and Stefan he soon stopped hunting them and became a firm member on their team. After all, Damon and Ric were one of the ‘ultimate BFFs’ on the show! Ric has been through a lot, from his love life being shattered many of times through deaths (Isobel, Jenna, Jo), to him dying and coming back as a vampire. He deserves some praise for standing tall. Big ups to Ric! Here’s hoping we can see more of Alaric (and his kiddies) in the forthcoming season.

Tyler Lockwood

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Tyler was the cool kid who low-key liked Matt Donovan’s sister, Vicki, but was a total jackass about it. He grew up in Mystic Falls and was a member of a founding family like The Forbes, Gilberts, and Salvatores. His parents were well respected and ritzy, but they didn’t last for very long.

Throughout the seasons, he triggered his werewolf curse, met Hayley, skipped out on college, and became a hybrid. His mother was murdered by Klaus which set him on a path of unhealthy destruction. Tyler finally followed Elena’s advice and left Mystic Falls for good. He might actually be the only one to survive The Vampire Diaries in the end.

Jeremy Gilbert


Elena’s younger brother, Jeremy, grew up the most of anyone over the past several seasons. He started off as the weird kid whose lovers kept dying (Vickie, Anna, and Bonnie that one time). No wonder he and Ric got along so well. Jeremy had the Gilbert Ring that helped him avoid death by supernatural creatures and stayed safe. Damon was a huge a fan of the ring for pretty unnecessary reasons. RIP Jer (for like 2 hours).

Jeremy was able to pull his own weight as a hunter and went on a short killing spree of vamps who didn’t make it onto the TVD main cast list. He was an incredible artist and Elena loved him with all of her heart. He’s been a bit MIA with art school, but that’s probably a good thing. At least, for his sanity anyways.

Matt Donovan

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The only human left in town has had a terribly tragic life. His mother was absent, and his girlfriend (Elena) broke his heart. With his mother always gone, Matt took care of his sister, but she was seduced by drugs, danger, and Damon Salvatore before being killed. Matt had some dark days but never stopped fighting for his town.

He seemed to have found his calling as a cop and even found a lady to love. His happiness didn’t last long. His fiancé was killed and he sold out his friends in the name of justice for his slain love. Turns out, Matt was the one who killed her (by accident), and Matt’s sad life got even worse. Here’s to hoping that Matt finally finds happiness in the last season. Maybe he can go to that art school with Jer. Please?

Lorenzo St. John

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Enzo first appeared briefly in season 5 of TVD, but swiftly became a more notable character in season 6, where he became a series regular. He may have once been a baddy vamp that we despised, but Enzo has changed his ways, and now he is a character we very much adore. In the most recent season, we have seen Enzo take more center stage which allowed for the character development he was in dire need of. Enzo has well and truly charmed his way into our hearts!

We honestly cannot wait for the new season, and we’re hoping the next two months fly by. It’s crazy that TVD is ending, but #TVDForever is a real thing. If you’re on Twitter, follow us: @MegBonneyWriter, @OhMyZinaa, and @SuryaCherian!

P.S., Meg’s first book, Everly, will be released soon so, keep an eye out. It’s sure to be fantastic!

The Vampire Diaries returns on Friday, October 21 on The CW.

(image: The CW)


Surya Cherian

Surya moved to Hollywood with two suitcases and a new haircut. Indian and Catholic, she’s always been a conundrum, but her sister says, “she’s alright.” Her fave shows are Gilmore Girls and Bones. Follow her on Twitter for nonstop craziness.

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