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John Gilbert

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Johnathan "John" Gilbert
Biographical information
  • 1970's
Family information
Family Members
Supernatural information
Significant kills
Cause of death
  • Broken Neck (1st time)
  • Drained of Blood (2nd time)
  • Sacrificed Life (3rd time)
Killed by
Played by
First seen
Last seen
Whether you are now reading this as a human or as a vampire, I love you all the same as I’ve always loved you and always will.
— John to Elena in The Sun Also Rises

Johnathan "John" Gilbert II was Grayson Gilbert's younger brother and is Elena Gilbert's biological father. He met and fell in love with Isobel Flemming when she visited Mystic Falls before she turned into a vampire. After she turned, John left town for a while before coming back in Under Control. He was a member of The Town Council. John, along with Alaric Saltzman, possesses a ring that prevents its bearer from being killed by something supernatural. John and Grayson inherited these rings. John gave his ring to his first former lover Isobel who then gave it to Alaric, her husband.

After Grayson Gilbert died, John inherited his ring. When he first came back to Mystic Falls, he conspired with Isobel to destroy the tomb vampires under Katherine's orders. Around that time, Elena learned he was her biological father. After finishing his job, Katherine attempted to kill him, but failed and John left. A few months later, he returned with Isobel to help protect Elena from Klaus. After Klaus killed Elena, John sacrificed himself to bring her back to life, by which he needed a witch to bind his soul for her, so Bonnie offered to do the spell, for him to save his beloved daughter.

John was a member of the Gilbert Family, a relative of the Petrova Family and a member of the Town Council.

Early life

In his teenage years, John learned about the vampires that had once threatened Mystic Falls from his older brother, Grayson, whom he held in high regard. Later on, he met and fell in love with Isobel Flemming and they went out a couple of times. One day, Isobel told him she was pregnant and John brought her to Grayson so that she could give birth to a daughter, Elena. Isobel left Elena in the good hands of Grayson and his wife Miranda, who didn't know that John was the father. Reading Johnathan Gilbert's journals, John discovered a number of secrets such as the existence of the tomb under Fell's Church and that Damon and Stefan Salvatore were vampires. John also discovered the existence of The Originals and of The White Oak Ash dagger witch came from an old tree called the White Oak tree and after it burned the ashes from the White Oak Tree was forged with the daggers that the witches created.

Sometime later, Isobel came to see him and asked him if he knew about the vampires. He told her that he knew Damon and he sent her to meet him. When Isobel was turned into a vampire at her own request, John harbored a deep hatred for the vampires who stole his 'true love' from him and felt guilty at having sent Isobel to Damon.

Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series

Season Five

John appears as a hallucination in 500 Years of Solitude. 
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He appears when Katherine is dying, and her mind is haunted by her past mistakes, and it only gets worse as Damon manipulates her mind. As part of Damon messing with Katherine's head John appears and greets Katherine. "Hello fingers. Goodbye fingers" Then John cuts off Katherine's fingers as she did to him in Founder's Day. She screams and snaps out of her trance, and is angry at Damon for getting into her head. She still seems to not care about what she did to John.


John Gilbert was always close to his older brother Grayson Gilbert and held him in high regard, and when he met a woman named Isobel whom he fell in love with. After a time it was known that she was pregnant and then John took her to his older brother who is a doctor and helped Isobel receive her child. John was not ready to be a father and asked his brother if he could take the role of fatherhood for the child and he agreed, but he would eventually tell the child who the real father was. John continued his hunt for vampires while his brother took care of his daughter and protected her from any vampire that would come for her. John became very vengeful when he found out that Isobel was sent to a vampire that she had become one herself and hated even more than he did. After his brother dies he plans a way to get rid of the vampires from Mystic Falls.

Attitude towards Vampires

At early age John Gilbert learned about the existence of vampires from his older brother Grayson Gilbert and both of them started hunting and killing vampires with weapons they had from their summer house. They later became members of the town council and protecting the town of Mystic Falls from every vampire threat that would come. both John and Grayson had each a Gilbert ring that protected them from death from any supernatural species, that they both have inherited the ring from their father. One of the main reasons John hates vampires is because of what happened to his former girlfriend Isobel, the mother of their daughter Elena. Even due to Isobel became a vampire, John still trusted her and loved her still.


Pearl, a vampire John killed.

After the death of his older brother Grayson Gilbert, came back to Mystic falls and would put an end to the vampire threat. John met a vampire named Damon when he returned and wanted to kill him from the start and along the way threatened to expose him and his brother if he got killed without his ring on him. When John uses his ancestor Johnathan Gilbert device to take down every vampire in Mystic Falls he makes sure that every police officer have vervain with them and take them to a building owned by him and burn them alive. just before he leaves he stakes Anna while Damon's watching and then he burns the rest along with the mayor who is not a vampire but a werewolf. John later explains he`s reasons to Elena who reveals herself to be Katherine before she stabs him with a knife.



Season One

Season Two

Season Five


John (to Damon): "So what do you think, Damon? You know this vampire problem is real, right? It's a potential bloodbath. Oh, I think it's like 1864 all over again. Vampires running amok. Guess we're gonna have to hunt them down, throw them in church burn them to ash."
John (to Damon): "You see, it seems there was a tomb under the church - where the vampires were hidden away waiting for someone to set them free. But then you already knew that, didn't you? Being that you're the one that did it."
John (to the Founding families): "One hundred and fifty years of community, prosperity, family. We take care of each other. We look after each other. We protect each other. It's good to be home."
John (to Damon): "My knowledge of this town goes beyond anything that you or the council knows. So if you were planning on some clever high-speed-snatch-ring-vamp-kill move - know that if I die, everything I know goes to the council. Including a fascinating little tale of the original Salvatore brothers and their present-day return to Mystic Falls."
- Under Control

John (to Jeremy): "You can fight it if you want, but it's part of being a Gilbert."
John (to Jenna): "Her mother's name is Pearl? I believe I already know all about her."
- Miss Mystic Falls

John (to Pearl): "That's why I wanted to meet with you. I'm planning on changing you mind. With my Gilbert charm. I know you have a weakness for it. May I buy you a drink?"
John (to Pearl): "I can help you. I'm connected around here. Town council's eating out my hand. They do whatever I say. I know you just wanna live your life with a picket fence, I can help you."
John (to Pearl): "I read his journals. They're very extensive. He actually wrote about you. You were his one regret. He loved you and he hated himself for what he did to you. On his last days, he wrote how sorry he was. You were the only women he only loved. (Laughing) Good god. You vampires you're so emotional. Johnathan Gilbert hated you. His only regret was he didn't drive a stake through you heart himself."
- Blood Brothers

John (to Isobel): "They're people, and you're treating them like they're dolls. We're in a partnership because we share a mutual goal. Don't ever confuse that for an acceptance of you lifestyle."
John (to Jeremy): "Know that you can talk to me about anything. I'm here to answer any questions that you have. To help you in any way I can. Because your dad would want me to."
John (to Isobel): "Come on. Come on, Isobel. I know you. Okay? It's me, John. You can't hurt a kid. Look, I know you're changed, okay? But the old Isobel is is there somewhere still. Isn't she?"
John (to Jeremy): "Your ancestor invented a weapon, A device that's extremely harmful to vampires. We've been trying to get it. Because there's a group of vampires from a long time ago that wants revenge on this town. Look Jeremy... no one ever thought vampires would return to this town. Not in modern times. But they have. And we have to destroy them."
- Isobel

John (to Mayor Lockwood): "This is the key. Once inserted, the device will be activated. It will work only once for an estimated time of five minutes. It's a high-pitched frequency that humans can't hear. Any vampire within a five-block radius will be incapacitated, exposing them. At that time, the sheriff's deputies will inject them with vervain and bring them here, where we'll finish them off."
John (to Elena): "Because I'm doing what should've been done 145 years ago? This is the right thing, Elena."
John: (To Elena) "You know, I first met Isobel when I was a teenager. I fell in love with her instantly, although I'm pretty sure she never loved me. She was special. Part of why I hate the vampires so much is because of what she became. How it ruined her. And I never would've sent her to Damon had I known she wanted to turn. It's my fault. I'm telling you this because I hope... maybe you'd understand."
- Founder's Day

John (to Jeremy): "Not all, but enough. For now. Can you tell Elena I said goodbye?"
John (to Jeremy): " You know Jeremy, I was taught to hate them, the vampires. That's what I know; that's what your father knew."
John (to Jeremy): "No, he may have done things differently but there's no other way to see it."
John (to Jeremy): "What happened to your parents wasn't supernatural, it was an accident. There's nothing that can save us from that."
John (to Jeremy): "He would think that you're still young. You're still finding yourself but you are a Gilbert and you've been exposed to this town's darkest secret and with that comes responsibility."
- The Return

John (to Elena): "Not exactly. Hello Elena."
- The Descent

John (to Elena): "I’m here to protect you. That’s all I can say for the moment."
John (to Jenna): "I’m Elena’s biological father. There, now you know."
John (to Jeremy): "You didn’t miss much. Let’s say that no one’s happy to see me would be an understatement."
John (to Damon): "I’ve been alright, Damon. It’s good to see you."
John (to Damon): " Is that any way to convince me that you and I are on the same side? First, I need to know that I can trust you, Damon, that I can count on you. Then we’ll talk."
Damon (to John): "First dad duty: ground your daughter. Keep her here."
John (to Damon): "No, no, no, no, no. I’m with Damon on this one. No, stop, stop. You’re not going anywhere. Just tell me what’s going on."
John (to Elena): "Yes I can. You want to know why? Because I’m here to make sure you stay safe"
John (to Damon): "I’ve been thinking. Personal feelings aside Damon, I think you and Stefan will do all you can to protect Elena."
John (to Elena): "Miranda and Grayson were your parents, Elena, and I know I’m nothing to you. You have no reason to believe me or trust me. I’ve done so many horrible things, but when you lost your parents, I lost my brother, my family. I lost my way. I know that I probably won't ever make things right with you, but I’m gonna do everything I can to protect you and protect this family."
- Daddy Issues

John (to Elena via letter): "Elena... it's no easy task being an ordinary parent to an extraordinary child. I failed in that task. And because of my prejudices, I failed you. I'm haunted by how things might have played out differently. If I'd been more willing to hear your side of things. “For me, it's the end. For you, a chance to grow old and someday do better with your own child than I did with mine. It's for that child that I give you my ring. I don't ask for your forgiveness or for you to forget. I ask only that you believe this. Whether you are now reading this as a human or as a vampire, I love you all the same as I've always loved you, and always will. John.
- The Sun Also Rises

John (hallucination): "Hello fingers. Goodbye fingers."


  • John derives from the Greek Ιωαννης (Ioannes) meaning "Yaweh is gracious". The name is the most popular in the English name, probably because there are two saints with this name. After the First Crusade this name was given to one fifth of all British boys. There are several variations.


  • John gave his Gilbert Ring to Isobel when they were young.
  • After Grayson's death, John took his brothers ring to be protected from the supernatural.
  • In Know Thy Enemy, John died, but was saved by his Gilbert Ring.
  • John seriously affects Alaric`s relations with Isobel and Jenna, along with Jeremy's relationship with Anna.
  • John dies in the episode The Sun Also Rises.
  • John along with Isobel, Elizabeth and Carol are guest stars that appear in the first and second season.
  • Isobel and John die in the last episodes of season two to save Elena. Despite David Anders' current popularity, it is probable that John will stay dead.
  • Although John was the main antagonist of the five last episodes of season one, he returns as a protagonist in season two. However, he does retain an antagonistic role due notably to his prejudices against vampires, and particularly Damon. He also has a deep rivalry with Alaric.
  • David Anders who played John is actually eight years older than Nina Dobrev who played Elena.
  • Before John's death he shared the same pattern as Alaric, who died one time in each season before dying his second and final time in season 2.
  • Both David Anders and Dawn Olivieri, who played Andie Star on the show, appeared in the show "Heroes" and were both killed.
  • Both John Gilbert and Jenna Sommers were both mentioned by Elena Gilbert and Alaric Saltzman in Season 3.
  • Long after John Gilbert's death, Elena still seems to be grieving over him and his sacrifice. As seen in Memorial.


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