|“||Have a nice human life, Katherine.||”|
— Elena in Graduation
Elena Gilbert is the heroine, protagonist, and main female character of The Vampire Diaries. She is an 19 year old vampire who was turned with Damon Salvatore's blood. She lives in the supernatural town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, in The Salvatore Boarding House with her new boyfriend, Damon Salvatore, and her adoptive brother and biological cousin, Jeremy Gilbert. She used to live with Jeremy at 2104 Maple Street, but she moved out when he became a member of The Five, and later burned down the house after his death.
Elena is best friends with Damon Salvatore and Caroline Forbes. She was best friends with Bonnie Bennett too until Bonnie's death. She is also the descendant of Katherine Pierce, with whom she had a mostly antagonistic relationship throughout the series. She had an on-and-off romantic relationship with Stefan Salvatore, a 165 year old vampire until losing him when he gave himself over to Klaus in exchange for the cure to a werewolf bite, which is Klaus's blood, to save Damon Salvatore, his brother. After becoming a vampire, she broke up with him because of her feelings for Damon.
She is now in a romantic relationship with Stefan's older brother, Damon, who is known to be both dangerous and seductive. He has been in love with her for almost the entire length of the series, and ever since becoming a vampire, her feelings for him have grown stronger and she no longer hides it. She had attended Mystic Falls High School, where she was a cheerleader, honor student, and one of the most popular girls in the school. Elena wants to become a great writer; she stated this in a conversation with Stefan, and she has a diary in which she writes everything that happens in her life. She was originally turned in this direction by her mother, who gave Elena her first diary when she was 10.
Elena has been struggling to lead a normal life ever since her parents died in a car accident. Even if she had never met the Salvatore brothers, or fallen in love with them, she would still be in danger, due to being a Petrova doppelgänger. Stefan unexpectedly saved Elena's life on May 23, 2009, when her adoptive parents' car went off of Wickery Bridge. Stefan tried to save her father Grayson, who insisted that he save Elena first.
When Stefan pulled Elena out of the car, he was shocked and taken aback when he saw that Elena looked like Katherine; he could not believe the uncanny resemblance between the two. Stefan then took Elena to the Mystic Falls Hospital, and watched her from afar for four months, learning about her to make sure that she is safe, and that she is not Katherine Pierce, or even mildly like her. Elena said that it was a "miracle" that she had survived such a horrific and tragic car accident, and she questioned how it was in any way possible that she was able to escape from the car and survive. After discovering what a pure heart she had, Stefan realized he could not leave Mystic Falls without knowing her, so enrolled at her school, despite being a 163 year old vampire.
After she discovers the Salvatore brothers' secret, Elena has to deal with the murders and lies that plague her life and the community, as well as supernatural events and characters. She is described as a star student. She is popular, sporty, smart, kind-hearted, compassionate, selfless, empathetic, caring, and friendly. She can be very vulnerable and a damsel in distress, although she does possess a strong-willed, determined, passionate and fiery streak; one could say that she has a "survivor's instinct".
After the supernatural death of her brother Jeremy, she had turned off the "humanity switch" of being a vampire. Vampires and hybrids in some cases can have a Sire Bond to their "creators", or the vampire who turned them (or in Elena's case - the blood, Damon's, that was given to her by Dr. Fell to heal her injuries that permitted her to transition). Normally, a sire bond between vampires is uncommon, but it does exist between Elena and Damon because she had strong human feelings for him before she died and was turned into a vampire. He was the one who got her to turn off her emotions.
Elena Gilbert was born on June 22, 1992 in Mystic Falls, Virginia, to John Gilbert and Isobel Flemming, who fled town a few days after giving birth. John Gilbert's brother, Grayson and his wife Miranda Gilbert, who desperately wanted to have children, but were having difficulties conceiving, adopted the abandoned baby girl. Because Grayson was a doctor, he was able to tamper with the birth records, making himself and Miranda appear as Elena's biological parents on her birth certificate. If anyone ever became suspicious, Grayson and Miranda had the birth certificate for documentation proof. Elena later learned that she was a descendant of Katherine Pierce, the vampire that caused the feud between Damon and Stefan Salvatore back in 1864 and turned both brothers into vampires before faking her own death.
During her sophomore year, Elena was dating Matt Donovan, her oldest friend with whom she had formerly shared a crib with as children. At a bonfire, the two of them got into an argument where, afterwards, she called her parents to pick her up. While waiting to be picked up, she met Damon Salvatore, who confused her with Katherine, not yet aware of doppelgängers.
She told him, "I don't know what I want," she said."That's not true. You want what everybody wants," He answered. "You want a love that consumes you. You want passion, and adventure, and even a little danger." After talking to her, Damon told her that he wanted her to get everything she wanted in life, but compelled her to forget their meeting, because he didn't want anyone to know he was in town yet. Elena's parents arrived to take her home in their car, and she then had no recollection of meeting him. They were later reunited in The Night of the Comet but she didn't remember him.
After leaving the bonfire with her parents, their car unexpectedly drove off of Wickery Bridge. Elena somehow miraculously ended up in the hospital, alive, but her parents were not so lucky, had died. It was later revealed that Stefan Salvatore arrived at the scene during one of his visits to his nephew, Zach and, after hearing the car crash into the river, he dove into the water and swam to the car. He tried to save Grayson, who was still conscious, but he gestured to Elena to indicate that he wanted her to be saved first. Stefan therefore took Elena to safety and she survived the accident, but unfortunately, her adoptive parents died before Stefan could save them too. It was later revealed that John, her supposed uncle, was actually her biological father due to a relationship with Isobel during their teenage years.
|“||Take the cure with me! That’s how much I know this is real, that’s how certain I am that I’m gonna love you even after all this is over. Take the cure. Be human with me. We can be together, grow old together… this doesn’t have to be hard anymore.||”|
— Elena to Damon
As a human, she was the sociable, popular girl in school who was the girl next door. She’s compassionate, caring, empathetic, kind, smart, beautiful, friendly and easy to get along with. Elena is also athletic and was a cheerleader on the cheerleading squad. Elena's favorite hobby was writing in her journal. Elena has said that she had always wanted to be a writer. In The Vampire Diaries, Elena's "dark side" from the books as a human was never explored, because it "didn't ever feel like a characteristic" the show wanted for their heroine. Elena's actual dark side is her "deep, deep connection to other people. As we see in almost every episode, Elena is always surrounded by drama. She's always helping around in her community events like the Founders Party, school dances. As Caroline puts it, Elena is a mothering type.
- "She already is like me!"
- —Damon to Bonnie about Elena
As a vampire, Elena's personality is heightened. In some ways, Elena is considered to be the opposite of Katherine; Katherine wanted to become a vampire as a way to better protect herself from Klaus, but Elena had no interest in becoming a vampire, even as she fell in love with one, and as a result has had a harder time adjusting to vampirism. In terms of blood consumption, Elena wanted to live on a diet of animal blood, like Stefan, in an attempt to not hurt anyone. However, after she is unable to keep down animal blood, human blood from a blood bag, or vampire blood, she begins to feed from Matt, who feels guilty about her death and desperately wants to help her. It is later revealed that her inability to consume other sources of blood was unintentionally due to her sire bond to Damon, and eventually begins to live on a diet of blood bags from a human blood bank. Now that Elena is a vampire, her feelings are magnified, including her feelings for Damon, and they're much harder for her to ignore and push aside. She also struggles with magnified grief from the loss of so many family members, and anger towards those who put her remaining friends and family in danger, such as Rebekah or Klaus. As she's learning to live as a vampire, she begins to learn that she has more in common with Damon than she does with Stefan, and while it scares her, but it also makes things more exciting and opens her eyes a bit and let's her see that Damon isn't that bad after all. These feelings eventually lead to her break-up with Stefan, as well as the discovery of the sire-bond, which pushes everyone to find the cure for vampirism, hidden with Silas in a tomb.
- "I'm going to kill you"
- —Elena responding violently to Stefan and Damon's torture to get her humanity back[src]
When her brother Jeremy died during their failed attempt at obtaining the cure, Elena was in complete denial that he was dead, believing the Gilbert ring would bring him back and completely rejecting anyone who tried to tell her otherwise. When she finally accepted that he was gone for good, she broke into tears. Damon hugged her and tried to calm her down, but even he couldn't take away the pain she was feeling. After several failed attempts at calming her down, Damon's only other recourse was to use the sire-bond to get Elena to turn off her human emotions, and when she complies, she stops crying immediately with a numb look on her face.
She doesn’t care who sees her doing what. As well as losing her humanity, she’s lost her modesty. She’s out to shock. It’s not even that she’s trying to show them anything, she just doesn’t care about the rules. Elena always lived by her set of rules, what she thought was right and wrong, and now it’s like she’s kind of thrown all the rules to the wind and she just does whatever she wants to do. Elena is more blunt and honest and, “It is what it is, and I am what I am and want what I want. And right now I would like to feed on that girl over there. And I resent you for trying to stop me.” Elena is just more direct about getting exactly what it is that she wants.. The beauty of Elena with no humanity is that she’s speaking the truth all the time, and it’s brutal and not fun for the people who have to listen to it.
Without her human emotions, such as compassion and grief, she doesn’t care about anything anymore. She feeds indiscriminately, walks around without clothes, and does what she pleases. While she and Katherine differ in their personalities, with Katherine always lying and flirting and playing games, Elena is more blunt and brutally honest, speaking without any tact for anyone's feelings, and saying whatever she has to to get her way. She and Katherine are similar in their abilities to manipulate others, and to think several steps ahead of Stefan and Damon, who are trying to save her from the edge. Elena has always lived by her set of rules, what she thought was right and wrong, and now it’s like she’s kind of thrown all the rules to the wind and she just does whatever she wants to do. Her actions without her emotions push Stefan and Damon to track Katherine so that they can steal the cure back from her and give it to Elena, hoping it will solve her problems, but they are pushing their beliefs and what they want on her so hard that she feels resentful and frustrated with them, which causes her to act out in unexpected ways, such as getting into a physical fight with Sheriff Forbes and Caroline. She tells them she has no interest in the cure now that she's taking advantage of the perks of being a vampire, and wants them to respect her choice; the more they push her, the more she pushes back. While Damon and Stefan are worried that she will cross the line while her human emotions are shut off and won't be able to take it back. Nevertheless, Elena has warned the brothers that she has no intention of taking the cure, and if they don't accept her decision, that there will be consequences.
- Main article: Elena Gilbert/Appearance
Physically, Elena is a very beautiful young woman with an oval face, light olive complexion, almond-shaped brown eyes which are sometimes mistaken as doe-eyes, and smooth, long, straight dark brown hair. Her height is 5'7" and she has a slim, slightly athletic physique. Elena has an uncanny physical resemblance to her ancestor and her doppelgänger, Katherine Pierce, who often poses as Elena in order to trick others, mainly Stefan and Damon. However, even though Elena and Katherine look exactly the same in terms of physical appearance as a result of being Petrova doppelgängers, there are some slight differences between the two girls in terms of fashion and style, and especially personality. Elena physically resembles the original Petrova Doppelgänger, Tatia, who is Katherine's doppelgänger.
In terms of fashion sense,while Elena was still human, she was much more casual, sporty and "girl next door" and doesn't wear a lot of make-up or favor fashionable clothing (unless attending a formal event). Elena favors wearing dark blue jeans with T-shirts of various colors and Converse sneakers. Elena primarily wears fashionable clothing or dresses up for special occasions or formal events. Katherine's fashion sense or style, on the other hand, is much more high maintenance, expensive and trendy. Katherine favors wearing tighter clothing, both shirts and pants (mostly in the color black), and often wears high heels (mostly spike heels). Another distinct difference between Elena and Katherine's physical appearance is that Elena always wears her hair flat and straight, which Katherine does not like, while Katherine wears her hair curly. However, Katherine often straightens her hair in order to fool people when she's posing as Elena. Elena wore a special necklace containing the herb vervain in it as a human, which is really the Original witch Esther's talisman which cannot be destroyed; it was given to her by Stefan Salvatore. It protects her from vampire compulsion.
Now that Elena is a newly turned vampire, Elena is currently wearing a small lapis lazuli daylight ring, made by Bonnie and given to her by Stefan, in order to protect her from the sunlight. Elena’s appetite isn’t the only thing changing now that she’s a vampire. Her wardrobe is going through a transition too. Elena will have a slightly more sophisticated look and will be trading in her usual jeans-and-T-shirt ensembles for more dresses and boots on season 4 of the supernatural series. And since Elena now has the freedom to accessorize, she’ll be dipping into her jewelry box more often. We’ll be seeing Elena in more chain necklaces this season. The new Elena will be rocking out a hot, sexy, more womanly look starting in Because the Night. And for her hair, she will add red streaks and stylish new waves to her tresses. Her wardrobe will be a little hipper, a little more contemporary more skirts and belts and accessories.
- Main article: Elena Gilbert/Relationships
- Main article: Elena and Jeremy
- Main article: Elena and Damon
Damon Salvatore is Elena's new boyfriend, best friend and Stefan's impulsive elder brother. As the series progressed, they fell in love with each other. Damon is a 170 year old immortal who is described as seductive, cocky, acts arrogant, impulsive, dangerous, and charming. Elena first met Damon when he was in Mystic Falls looking for his object of obsession for over a century, Katherine Pierce. He then talked to Elena but afterwards, compelled her to forget their meeting. Elena then met Damon again at the Salvatore Boarding House when she went to look for Stefan. After a while, she started to view Damon as self-centered, violent, sociopathic and cruel, especially when she found out that he continuously abused and used her close friend, Caroline Forbes against her will. She was horrified to discover that Damon was also behind all of the murders and unusual "animal" attacks in Mystic Falls. Originally, Damon disliked Elena and was rather apathetic about whether Elena lived or died. Damon was drawn to Elena, mostly due to the fact that Elena bears an uncanny resemblance to the object of his obsession for over a century, Katherine. Although Damon and Elena often bicker and don't get along, Elena began to slowly warm up to him as she got to know him, befriending him in the process. But she still kept her distance due to Damon's constant immoral and impulsive behavior. Damon and Elena's friendship deepens with time and the two become closer, Damon fallen for Elena and Elena developing feelings for Damon. Damon once told Elena that he loved her, but that he didn't deserve her, but Stefan does. He then compelled her to forget his confession afterwards. As opposed to Stefan, Damon is seen to be extremely selfish when it comes to Elena, willing to put the life of Elena's before anyone else's, including Elena's loved ones. But throughout the series, he has grown and changed, protecting Elena, her family, and friends. It has been a consistency throughout the series that even though Elena cares deeply about Damon and has feelings for him. But Elena and Damon are still closer than ever, and the sexual tension between them has even increased as Elena's emotions were heightened. During Season Four, Stefan ends his relationship with Elena because of her no longer fighting the feelings she has for Damon. Elena admitted to Damon that he was the reason for her breakup with Stefan and with Jeremy trying to kill her, Elena was forced to move into the boarding house with Damon. Stefan moved out when she moved in because of the awkward situation and relationship between her and Damon. Damon and Elena also make love for the first time and became a real couple the night she moved in with him. Damon has never, not once, given any indication that Elena would “lose” him, under any circumstances really. Quite the opposite, he promised never to leave her again. The passion they share is hard to define. Damon once again had the opportunity to prove his worth and show Elena his humanity. She brings out the good side of him — that he doesn’t have to kill for fun and drink blood from innocent people. This humanity makes it only harder for Elena to hide her true feelings for Damon. She cares very much about him. Throughout the series, she maintains a rocky relationship with him but they manage to overcome anything. She confessed her love for him after the sirebond was broken in the latest episode.
- Main article: Elena and Bonnie
- Main article: Elena and Caroline
- Main article: Elena and Stefan
Stefan Salvatore is Elena's ex-boyfriend and Damon's younger brother. Stefan is a 163 year old immortal who is described as handsome, athletic, mysterious, brooding, kind, compassionate and thoughtful. After returning home to Mystic Falls after years of being gone, Stefan unexpectedly "met" Elena on May 23, 2009, after he heard Elena and her parents' car accident while he was out at Wickery Bridge. The Gilbert's car had submerged deep into the water under the bridge, where Elena and her parents were facing death by drowning. It was then that Stefan miraculously saved Elena's life, although unfortunately, Elena's parents, Grayson and Miranda, didn't survive the tragedy. After the accident, Elena spent months wondering how she made it out of the accident and believed that her survival was a "miracle". For the next four months, Stefan remained in Mystic Falls, while studying Elena's background from afar. Stefan investigated Elena's background in order to find out whether or not Elena was really Katherine Pierce due to Elena's uncanny physical resemblance to her. Stefan eventually discovers through the info that he has researched and gained, that Elena is not Katherine and Stefan is relieved by this. He slowly starts to fall for her from afar and he stays in Mystic Falls because he has to know her. Elena fatefully and unexpectedly meets Stefan for the first time at the beginning of the new school year outside of the men's washroom. Elena is undeniably drawn to Stefan and the two have an instant, deep and indescribable connection. Stefan and Elena begin to bond and slowly start to develop a romantic relationship. They both realize that they share many qualities, hobbies, traits, values and beliefs in common. As Elena and Stefan start falling deeper in love with each other, Elena unexpectedly discovers Stefan's deep, dark secret: Stefan is a century old vampire with a mysterious past. Although Elena is at first scared of Stefan and what he is, Elena eventually accepts Stefan's vampire-ism. As opposed to Damon, Stefan is known to respect Elena and honor her choices and wishes, even if he doesn't agree with them. Stefan and Elena no longer have a strong love and connection. There have been many different obstacles over the course of the series that have tried to come between them. Some of these obstacles include Stefan's brother, Damon, Stefan's blood addiction issues, the unexpectedly events in Mystic Falls, Klaus, Rebekah, the Originals, Katherine Pierce, John Gilbert, Stefan's Ripper phase and most recently, Elena's new found vampirism. Stefan ended their relationship in Season 4 because of her finally revealing she is in love with Damon. Elena admitted she no longer loves Stefan because he treats her like a project and looks at her like a broken toy and that she can't be with someone like that.
- Main article: Elena and Rebekah
Powers and Abilities
Some of these powers are more potent when the vampire gets older and feeds on human blood.
- Super Strength - Vampires are much stronger than humans and grow stronger with time. Even new vampires who are still in transition can toss a fully grown human across a room with great speed and force. Their strength is also more powerful than werewolves that are not in wolf form.
- Super Speed - Vampires can accelerate their movements to cover short instances in an instant, faster than the human eye can see. When running across long distances, they appear as vibrating blurs of motion.
- Emotional Control - Like all vampires, Elena has the ability to switch off her humanity.
- Dream Manipulation - Vampires can control dreams and subconscious. The vampires can produce and modify dreams, bestow nightmares or lucid dreaming. Other effects of this ability is the distortion of reality and trapped in the dreams.
- Heightened Senses - They can hear whispered conversations, even ones in far off buildings, smell blood, and see in total darkness.
- Mind Compulsion - Vampires have the ability to control minds, plague people's dreams, and alter/erase human memories.
- Immortality - A vampire stops aging once turned. Upon their transformation, vampires then on become immune to all conventional illness, disease, virus and infection. The only known disease or infection that can kill a vampire is a Werewolf bite.
- Healing Factor - Vampires can snap their finger bones back into place after being broken and have been seen to fully recover from gunshots, stab wounds, and torso impalement.
- Lapis Lazuli - She possesses a Lapis Lazuli ring that enables her to walk in daylight without being harmed.
- Vervain: When ingested, vervain causes a vampire to become severely weak and feverish. Also, If a vampire's skin is exposed to vervain, it can result in burning them.
- Wood: If a vampire is wounded by wood it will cause the vampire to become severely weak and if a vampire takes a wooden stake through its heart it will result in death.
- Heart Extraction: The act of removing a vampire's heart will result in death.
- Werewolf Bite: The bite of a werewolf is extremely lethal to normal vampires.
- Magic: Witches are able to give supernatural aneurysms that cause the blood vessels of vampires to explode.
- Decapitation:The act of dismembering or removing the head of a vampire will result in death.
- Uninvited Invitation: Vampires cannot enter a house without being invited in. If they are in the house without being invited in they will become disoriented.
- Vampire bloodline: Vampires who were turned by an original who turned others will die if the original is staked by the white oak stake.
- Main article: Elena Gilbert (novel)
In the novels, Elena is described as a very beautiful, popular girl in high school. All of the boys want her and all of the girls want to be like her. Elena was born July 6, 1974 in Fells Church, Virginia to Thomas Gilbert and Elizabeth Gilbert (née Morrow), who were tragically killed in a car accident years back. Elena is 17 at the beginning of the very first book, and she is the most beautiful, popular girl at Robert E. Lee High School (mainly called the Queen). Physically, Elena is extremely beautiful, drop dead gorgeous and she is every boy's dream. She has an 'angelic' physical appearance. Elena has a thick, long, straight pale golden hair, which reaches just above her waist and is so fair in color, it almost seems to shimmer in the sunlight like gold. Elena has an unusual, unique eye color of blue, which is described to be the same color of lapis lazuli (a deep, dark blue) stone (which is the stone vampires use to protect themselves from sunlight) with flecks of gold (but have also been described to be the color of violets). She has a fair, pale, and creamy skin (compared to the color of swans, alabaster or porcelain) with light rosy pink cheeks, long dark-blonde lashes, and dark blonde eyebrows.
Elena is of average height for a teenage girl and she is described to have a slender, gorgeous body. According to Stefan, Elena is about a good hand span taller than Katherine. Although Elena has a strong physical resemblance to Katherine, there are slight physical differences among the two girls. While Katherine has lighter, silvery eyebrows and eyelashes, Elena's brows and lashes are darker blonde. Katherine is described to have extremely long (it pools and trails behind her on the floor) darker blonde curlier hair while Elena has pale gold blonde straight hair. Elena sees herself as beautiful, therefore, she is quite proud and vain. Elena is said to strongly resemble Katherine, so much so that Stefan is strongly reminded of Katherine when he unexpectedly meets Elena for the first time in the first novel. There are repeated references as to her looking like an angel or "angelic". Personality wise, Elena is described as loyal, protective, caring, strong-willed, determined, popular, sociable and active. However, she is also selfish, self-absorbed, vain, spoiled, childish and headstrong. Over the course of the series, Elena transforms from a shallow, self-centered, vain "Ice Queen" to a much more loving, compassionate, understanding, and open-minded person.
Most of this extreme change in Elena's personality and outlook had to do with her meeting Stefan. In terms of love and romance, Elena often used the boys or the opposite sex as toys, prizes and objects to help boost her self-esteem. Elena always felt that even though all of the boys in Fells Church desired her and wanted to be with her, she felt that she was yearning for something "more" and that something (or somebody) was "missing". Elena's first love was her childhood friend, Matt Honeycutt, who is the good-looking, all-American, star athlete. At the very beginning of the school year, Elena breaks up with Matt because she feels that there are no sparks in their relationship and that she discovers that she loves Matt in more of a platonic, cousin, brother or best friend way.
Elena's life changes forever when she unexpectedly encounters a handsome, mysterious, foreign boy, Stefan Salvatore. Elena is deeply, passionately in love with her soul mate Stefan (to whom she is connected and bound to by a "silver cord"), but she also has deep feelings of desire for Damon (Stefan's dangerous, malevolent elder brother). Elena dies several times in the series, going from a regular human, to a vampire (after she consumes enough vampire blood from both Salvatore brothers), to a ghost/spirit of the afterlife, to a supernatural human with special powers and abilities.
Most recently, Elena has discovered that she is a Guardian on Earth, a very rare species. Guardian's are said to create balance between good vs. evil on Earth and are destined to fight all darkness and evil vibes on Earth, restoring good on Earth as much as possible.
- Elena is a feminine first name of Greek origin ‘Ελενη (Elene) or ‘ελενη (Elene) which means "torch". The meaning of Elena is "the bright one" or "light". It is a variation of the name Helen.'
- Gilbert, which is Elena's surname, is a surname of Germanic origin. The English-language surname is derived from Giselbert, a medieval personal name composed of the following Germanic elements gisil ("pledge", "hostage", "noble youth") and berht ("bright", "famous"). This personal name was very popular in England during the Middle Ages. Gilbert, as a first name, is a British Isles given name of Norman-French and Old German origins. Original spellings included Gislebert, Guilbert and Gilebert. The prefix, Gil-, comes from gisil, meaning "a noble youth", while the suffix, -bert comes from beraht, meaning "bright" or "famous". Variant spellings have evolved throughout Europe, including the Romance language version, Gilberto, and the Latin version, Gilbertus. The diminutive, Gil, is popular as a given name or nickname.