|This article is about the character, Isobel. You may be looking for the episode named after her, Isobel.|
|“||My parents - your grandparents - they put it here when it became clear that the police weren't gonna find my body. They visit every week, and they bring flowers, even though there's no one buried here. The Isobel they knew is dead. So maybe there's a part of me buried here, the human part, the part that I abandoned when I chose to become a vampire, the part that used to dream about the day that she'd know her daughter. And instead you got to meet the other part... The part that would betray her own flesh and blood. I'm so sorry, Elena... That I was such a disappointment to you.||”|
Isobel Flemming was the wife of Alaric Saltzman and the biological mother of Elena Gilbert. She was good friends with her ancestor Katherine Pierce, a vampire she often conspired with. When Isobel was still in high school, she met John Gilbert and became pregnant with Elena. Isobel absconded a few days after Elena's birth, and John's brother Grayson and his wife Miranda adopted Elena. Many years later, Isobel met Alaric Saltzman. At first, she did not like him and even had restraining order against him, but later she changed her mind and they married. While Isobel was still married to Alaric, she became obsessed with paranormal research. She met a vampire, Damon Salvatore, who turned her into a vampire at her request. After being compelled by Klaus, she committed suicide by walking into the sun while her daughter Elena watched.
Isobel Flemming was born on January 18, 1978. She was raised in a small town near Mystic Falls and spent much time there when she was young. As a teenager, she met John Gilbert and the two began dating. Although John ended up falling in love with Isobel, she did not reciprocate his feelings. Shortly thereafter, Isobel becomes pregnant by John. After John tells Isobel about vampires, it sparks her curiosity and she dedicates her life's work to supernatural research.
Isobel was sixteen at the time and had run away from home. John brought her to his brother's office for the delivery and he delivered a baby girl. Isobel was heartbroken to give up her daughter but did so anyway, knowing that she would have a better life with Grayson and his wife, Miranda. They named her Elena. Isobel would always dream that she would one day be able to meet her daughter and tell her who she was.
Isobel later attended Duke University, where she studied folklore and parapsychology. She also met Alaric Saltzman during this time and they eventually married, whilst he accepted she wanted no children. Isobel later earned her degree and started teaching at Duke. Isobel's devotion to her work led Vanessa to go into folklore full-time.
Isobel was later killed and turned by Damon Salvatore after seeking him out and sleeping with him. The police couldn't find her body and she was assumed dead, however, Alaric witnessed Damon killing her. After that she met Katherine Pierce, who was also her ancestor. The two then became close and genuine friends.
Throughout The Series
She views humans at the most a means to an end to her, as a source of food, entertainment (including sexual), puppets to be robbed of their free will using them as "muscle" against other humans if she wish not to condescend to do it herself. She has no compassion, even colder than Damon and has no compunction in programming a human as a messenger boy and having him kill himself after the message is delivered. She feels absolutely no guilt in killing and feeding, voluntarily "turning off" any such evidence of conscience . It is only with her daughter and former husband does she display any affection in any form and it is often fleeting. However, she worries about Elena's relationship with Stefan and can see how Damon is attracted to her daughter.
She shows she never stopped loving her daughter despite becoming a vampire and apparently not caring for human life. Isobel is also an expert researcher who usually finds what she wants. Amongst her significant finds, she found Damon Salvatore and Katherine Pierce. She also managed to find Klaus although he had become so reclusive that many believed him to be a mere legend, this ended up being downfall as he begun compelling her and forced her to commit suicide after she did everything he asked.
- John and Isobel (Ex-Boyfriend)
- Alaric and Isobel (Ex-Husband)
- Damon and Isobel (Ex-Fling)
- Katherine and Isobel (Former Allies/Ancestor)
- Elena and Isobel (Mother and Daughter)
- John, Isobel and Elena (Parents and Daughter)
The meaning of the name Isobel is "God's promise". It is a variation on the name Isabella or Elizabeth.
Flemming comes from Danish, English and Old French origins. In Danish, it comes from a medieval nickname meaning "from Flanders".
- Isobel was called "Izzie" by Trudie Peterson.
- Kevin Williamson originally wanted Neve Campbell for the role. He had previously worked with her on Scream in 1996. Eventually Neve Campbell was replaced by fellow Canadian actress Mia Kirshner.
- Mia Kirshner participated on another vampire show - the 1990 Canadian TV Series Dracula.
- Jenna states that Isobel was sixteen when she had Elena. However, given Isobel's birth year on her tombstone (1978), Elena would have been born in 1994. Elena was 17 years old in 2009, so she was born in 1992. Maybe Isobel's tombstone information is incorrect. There is conflicting information, a different birth date (1975), from a picture of her driving license.
- Isobel, Katherine, Rose, and Klaus are the only characters thus far to have an episode named after them. Isobel was the second of these characters to die (after Rose).
- The three women (Isobel, Katherine, Rose) all had a sexual relationship with Damon at some point, whilst Klaus tried to kill Damon.
- All the three women are dead
- Like her ancestor Katherine, she had a daughter as a teenager that was given away.
- Isobel was considered to be an expert researcher by Katherine and Alaric.
- In the episode Isobel, Isobel says that Katherine found her, but in the episode By the Light of the Moon, Katherine says Isobel found her.
- It is likely that Isobel lied, and that she was the one who found Katherine.
- Katherine did help Isobel obtain a necklace that allows her to walk in the sun.
- Isobel made two surprise appearances at the end of an episode, which is was followed by an episode in which she plays a major role, and then she does not appear for the remainder of that season.
- Isobel does not show affection or love as a mother to Elena, but it is shown that she does love her and feels remorse for being such a disappointment.
- Isobel is the first vampire shown in the series with their humanity switch off.
- She was the first vampire seen to actually die from sun exposure, though Damon, Katherine, Rose, Slater and her daughter Elena have come very close. Luka was burnt to death, though he was a witch. The second vampire seen to die from sun exposure was the male vampire that Alexander had captured.
- Isobel and Jenna were both lovers of Alaric and both were destroyed by Klaus.
- Isobel's ancestors Katherine and Nadia, were vampires as well as her daughter, Elena.
- Isobel is the first human we know of that was turned into a vampire by her own request.
- She is the second of her family who have slept with Damon Salvatore (that we know of). The first one is her ancestor Katherine Pierce and the third one is her own daughter Elena Gilbert.
- According to her license, Isobel is 5'4.
- After Isobel was declared missing, Mr. and Mrs. Flemming had a gravestone erected for her daughter. They visited the grave every week for four years, and they left flowers for her.
- Since she was a vampire, it is most likely she either found peace or was sucked into oblivion when the Other Side collapsed.