|“||And then, there you are, wasted at the bar, where I work, by the way, to pay the bills that you don't pay. And then you're off acting like a freakin' kid, hooking up with some guy half your age. I'm the kid, Mom! You're supposed to be responsible for me.||”|
The Donovan Family is a secondary family in The Vampire Diaries. Unlike most of the other main characters, they are not a founding family, and it is still unclear how the Donovans made their way to Mystic Falls and settled there in the first place.
In Season Eight, it was revealed that Peter Maxwell's ancestors came to and prospered in the settlement that would later become Mystic Falls. The Maxwells, however, were not counted as Founders because they did not have money nor considered to be the 'elite'.
- Ethan Maxwell: Not much is known about him other than that in 1790 he crafted the metal Founders Bell for the settlement witches. Prior to their involvement by giving him magical help, he was befriended by the Siren sisters, Seline and Sybil. Later, he was lured beneath Mystic Falls in the underground tunnel system and perished due to starvation.
- Peter Maxwell's Grandmother: Not much is known about her, though she is Peter's Grandmother and Vicki and Matt's Great-Grandmother (on their father's side). For simplicity in the family tree, she will be referred to as "Grandma Maxwell". Peter did reveal that up until a few years ago before her death, she lived in Mystic Falls. Peter also states that she used to say "A glass of vervain every day keeps the vampires at bay", indicating that she knew about the existence of vampires, though this is likely why Peter claimed she was 'senile'. Through unknown means, she possessed the Maxwell family heirloom, something that has a connection with the Sirens. Considering Peter only learned of his son's existence a few months prior. Peter reveals that their family had an estate, though it was sold to the town of Mystic Falls to try to pay off their family's debt. They were in debt due to Grandma Maxwell's gambling on ponies.
- Peter Maxwell: He is the ex-boyfriend of Kelly and the father of Matt and Vicki Donovan. Nothing is known about his history, background or his character, aside from the fact that he apparently left Kelly prior to her second child as they have not seen him since nor did he know he was Matt's father until he was contacted by Matt himself (a couple of months ago from current events). He owns and operates his own mechanic shop: Maxwell Mechanics.
- Kelly Donovan: Kelly grew up in Mystic Falls and was best friends with Miranda Sommers in high school and by extension, the Gilberts. She used to babysit Jenna Sommers, Miranda's sister and they became good friends when Jenna grew up. She and Miranda remained good friends after Miranda married Grayson Gilbert and their children Matt Donovan and Elena Gilbert sometimes used to share a crib as babies. Kelly had a daughter named Vicki and a son, Matt. Several years later, Kelly left Mystic Falls with her boyfriend Pete and left Matt and Vicki alone. She returned for a short period of time in 2010, but then left town soon after and moved to South Carolina, presumably with a new boyfriend.
- Vicki Donovan: Victoria, commonly known as Vicki, was born in 1991 in Mystic Falls, Virginia. She was the eldest daughter of Kelly and the older sister of Matt. She was rebellious, irresponsible, and a frustrated girl with a low self-esteem. She used alcohol and drugs as a way to escape from the problems in her life and the hopelessness she felt about the future. She was known as being a closed-off person who had difficulty trusting others due to her absent parents. She had a semi-serious relationship with Tyler Lockwood, and also dated Jeremy Gilbert for a short while during her senior year. She was turned into a vampire by Damon Salvatore out of boredom in 2009, only to later be staked by Stefan in attempts to protect both Elena and Jeremy, whom Vicki tried to feed on during a lapse of control over her newborn bloodlust.
- Matt Donovan: Matthew Donovan, commonly known as Matt Donovan, was born in 1993 in Mystic Falls, Virginia. He is the youngest child of Kelly Donovan and the younger brother of Vicki. Because their mothers were best friends, Matt knew Elena Gilbert since they both were born. They grew up being really good friends and they started dating in their teens. When Elena's parents died, she broke up with Matt because she needed time alone. He still hoped they could be together again someday, but quickly realized wasn't likely to happen after Elena and Stefan started dating. He later became a Medium, after drowning and being brought back to life by Bonnie Bennett. However, his abilities seemed to be specific only to his sister Vicki's ghost.
This is The Donovan/Maxwell* Family Tree which contains all known members of this family.
|Ethan Maxwell †|
|Grandma Maxwell †|
Kelly Donovan †
*Vicki Donovan †
- * Since Peter never married Kelly Donovan, Vicki and Matt never inherited the Maxwell name though are of the bloodline.
- Donovan is a surname of Irish origin. The meaning of the name is "dark warrior".
- Other spellings of Donovan include Dohnovan, Donavan, Donevan, Donevon, Donivan, Donnivan, Donnovan, Donnoven, Donoven, Donovin, Donovon, Donvan.
- Maxwell is a surname Irish, Jewish, and Scottish origin.The meaning of this name is "Mack's spring (or stream)".
- The Donovan family is a combination of the Bennett and Honeycutt families from the novels.
- In the novels, Vickie and Matt aren't related. Vickie's parents are both alive, while Matt's father is dead.
- Kelly and Vicki were not shown to be communicating and in fact, seemed to have an estranged relationship.
- It is unknown what had happened with Matt and Vicki's father up until season eight; however, Vicki mentioned he wasn't worth knowing, indicating that he's a deadbeat.
- Peter, Matt and Vicki reconcile in the series finale, leading her to find peace.
- This family has the least amount of members, as only six are known.
- Only four have been shown on screen: Kelly, Peter, Vicki and Matt. Grandma Maxwell was only mentioned by Peter and Harvey was introduced as a skeleton.
- An original version of the Donovan family showed Julie Plec trying to write Kelly as a succubus, but the idea was scrapped after the thought of having too many supernatural creatures was brought up.