|“||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
Johnathan "John" Gilbert II was Grayson Gilbert's brother and Elena Gilbert's biological father. He met and fell in love with Isobel 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 Founder's Council. John, along with Alaric Saltzman, possesses a ring that prevents its bearer from being killed. 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 died, John took 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.
This character is a member of the Gilbert Family.
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.
Season OneIn Under Control, John returned to Mystic Falls where he was warmly greeted by Mayor Richard Lockwood and the other members of the founder's council. However, he knew much more than them, including that the tomb vampires had been released and he was secretly planning to eliminate them all.
He blackmailed Damon with the knowledge of his secret, trying to get him to help him to find part of Johnathan Gilbert's invention. The device emits a noise tone on a certain frequency that is harmless to humans but renders vampires totally helpless by a deafening sound. The vampires can hear it and so can Werewolves, it seems to be even more effective than vervain. John had already owned part of The invention, but Pearl had stolen a piece of the invention that she had mistaken for the Gilbert Compass. Pearl gives it to Damon after he asks Anna about it, wanting John to not get it. John killed Pearl before she could leave Mystic Falls and called Isobel with whom he was partners with to come and help him.Isobel used her vampire abilities against Elena and Damon handed over the part of the device. It was revealed at the same time that Isobel and John were secretly working for Katherine, the vampire who had turned the Salvatore brothers and who was the reason why the vampires were locked in the tomb. Katherine wanted John to kill the tomb vampires so that they wouldn't come after her and sent Isobel to help him get the part of the invention to make the device which was harmful to vampires. Secretly, Isobel and John wanted the Salvatore brothers dead to save Elena from a life where the vampire world could threaten her life.
In the season finale, John talked Richard Lockwood into striking against the tomb vampires by using the invention. Knowing that the Sheriff, Elizabeth Forbes, would not approve their plan, they went over the plan with her deputies before confronting her. Forbes was furious and still refused to go through with the plan. John knocked her out and cuffed her to a table so that she wouldn't disturb them.When the fireworks started during the Founder's Day celebration, John activated the invention and neutralized every vampire in Mystic Falls. The deputies injected them with vervain and they were thrown in the basement of Grayson's old building. Among those captured were Damon, Anna (Pearl's daughter), and Richard Lockwood who did not realize he may had vampiric tendencies and was caught by the tone generator. The deputies spread the vampires with fuel and, after staking Anna, for unknown reasons, John lit a fire to kill them. This was a replicate of the 1864 Fell's Church fire. Richard died in the fire while Stefan, with help from Bonnie Bennett, saved Damon.
Believing his quest to be finished, John returned to the Gilbert house were he talked to Elena, who had discovered that he was her father, telling her why he had done it. However, she then cut off his fingers to dispose of his ring before stabbing him. Before being stabbed, John realized that it was Katherine, not Elena, and that she no longer needed him. Then the real Elena comes home and hears a grunt coming from the kitchen.
Season TwoElena entered the kitchen and was horrified to find John on the floor bleeding. She immediately called for an ambulance and he made her aware of someone else's presence in the house. John was taken to the hospital and panicked when he saw Elena enter with Stefan, mistaking her for Katherine. Elena gave him his ring and asked him if he had any information of Katherine's whereabouts, but John had never had direct contact with her. he openly insulted vampires in front of them and how he had hoped that his own daughter would just kill her vampire boyfriend. Elena was offended and left. Stefan stayed behind and became hostile with John, forcefully feeding him blood and threatening to turn him into the creature he despised. Stefan warned John to get out of town in 24 hours, or he would kill him and be turned into a vampire. John did as he asked and packed to leave. He spoke to Jeremy about how Grayson Gilbert would behave towards the vampires, and John admitted that they were raised to hate these creatures. Jeremy asked why his father's ring hadn't saved his father, but John admitted that they were vulnerable to non-supernatural death. He gave Jeremy his father's ring before leaving, enabling Jeremy to return to life after Damon broke his neck.
John Gilbert returned at the end of The Descent after a call from Stefan Salvatore wanting help with the situation with Klaus to save his daughter from dying in the sacrifice, that Klaus had planned for like he planned for Katerina 500 years ago.In Daddy Issues, John tells Elena he is in Mystic Falls to protect her and then goes to the grill where he meets Jenna and Alaric and ask if he can join them but they don't want that then Damon comes and ask John of what he knows but John don't trust him. John comes in the bathroom and asks whats going on but Damon means he should go away John makes sure Elena is at the grill until she says that even if he is her father, she is never going to be his daughter. John later walks to The Salvatore House and talks to Damon that The Originals can be destroyed with the White Wood Ash and gives it to him. When Elena went to kitchen to get something to drink John surprised her and began to talk to her about how his brother Grayson and his wife Miranda was more of a parent to her then her real parents. John then gives Elena something that Miranda used to wear when she was young and left before he started crying. John also comes to talks to Katherine about how he is there and not Isobel, and also talks about her release of the Tomb.
In Crying Wolf, When John comes to The Lockwood Mansion he asks Alaric what Damon and Elijah are doing in the other room, Alaric ask John why would he know what he is up to with Elijah, John says because Alaric is Damon's little helper and then Alaric comments on John being a dick. John then tells Alaric that he want his ring back or he threatens to tell Jenna about Alaric's wife's death and how her body haven't been found. When Jenna comes home John is taking a little wine and ask where Elena is Jenna said that she is gone for The family Lakehouse for the weekend and then John ask if she was with Stefan witch Jenna confirmed. John then begins to tell Jenna that Alaric has not been hones with her about what happened to his wife, in order to cause a strain on their relationship (as a way of getting Alaric to give John his Ring back). Then John walked a way since the damage was now done.
In The Dinner Party, John comes to The Salvatore House as a surprise since he was hearing Jenna was there and because he wants to be there when Elijah dies. Then when Elijah comes they begin the dinner party, Elijah begin to tell a story about the massacre of witches in Salem for hundreds of years ago, John replied of this story of some kinda ghost story. Then when Alaric and Damon found out that when a vampire uses the dagger they will die along with The Original, they both got back to the table and Damon stared at John and John stared back at Damon. Damon then commented to Elijah even tough he is Elena's father she doesn't really care about him so he doesn't have to protect John from anything. John then asks Elijah how he has intended on killing Klaus, Elijah then begin to threaten both John and Damon by taking Elena away from both of them. Alaric then kills Elijah by staking him with the White Oak Ash dagger right in front of both Damon and John. Then after the dinner party John appears when Jenna and Alaric argues about what happened to Isobel. John then tells that he can clear all the things about Isobel if he want or not, Alaric then gives John his ring back and tells him that he will be needing After having almost Damon killed.
In The House Guest, Katherine revealed that John and Isobel promised to get her out of the tomb if she promised to stay and help deal with Klaus. John threatened to kill Stefan if she didn't comply and he also told her that one of the brothers had to die. Katherine chose Damon and John gave him the dagger with the white ash knowing full well that Damon would die when he used it against Elijah. With Elijah dead, Klaus became the main threat, causing Isobel to return to Mystic Falls.John trusted Isobel and allowed her to have her say in the matter of protecting Elena, despite Elena's open contempt for her mother, Isobel and John told Elena that they killed the Tomb vampires from spreading the word around of Katherine or a look a like. Isobel went to the Lockwood mansion where John was and then bit and killed John as a distraction so Katherine could kidnap Elena, but Damon found that John wore his Gilbert Ring and then took him to the Salvatore boarding house and left his body with the door. John's ring brought him back to life later that day and then Damon took him and lifted him, but John swore that he didn't know what Isobel was up to and said that he is really sorry about that. John then talked with Elena and told her that he trusted Isobel because he still loved her and that he was there when Isobel gave birth to Elena and he knew how heat broken she was. John then said to Elena that he was willing to leave town if Elena didn't want him around. Realizing that John is her only parent left after Isobel's death, Elena grudgingly allows him to stay, telling him that maybe she can learn not to hate him. After Elena is kidnapped by Klaus for the sacrifice. John comes and knocks on the Salvatore boarding house, Damon answers and then John tells Damon he needs to speak with his daughter, but then Damon informs him that Klaus has her. Damon also informs him that she has his blood in her system, John then becomes angry at him and takes his arm on his shoulder hard but then Damon pushes him on the wall. John then tells Damon that he round her life and Damon says he knows he did but doesn't care about it. John then later begins to works with Elena's friends to save her. John volunteers to let Bonnie Bennett cast spell on him that will connect his vital energy with Elena's and will bring her back to life if she dies. At the end she does die and before Elena will be resurrected by her fathers energy, John writes Elena a letter witch he gives to his nephew who will give it to Elena, John also give Jeremy his Ring to Elena. Then when Damon got Elena to the witch house John went upstairs and took a last look at his daughter and then went outside, then Elena was resurrected by her fathers energy and then John closed his eyes and then he collapses. John left a letter and his ring to Elena to some day she gives to her own child. He also apologizes to her in his letter, telling her that all he did, all the terrible things he did, were done for her. He was buried alongside his brother Grayson, his sister-in-law Miranda and Jenna. During his and Jenna's funeral, Elena places a rose on his tomb as a token of thanks for having saved her reads John's letter.]]life as you can hear John's voice reading the letter out loud.
It can be said that in death, John achieved what he most wanted: To make peace with Elena, to have a relationship. Because in death and through reading his letter to her, Elena realized just how much she meant to John and how much he loved her even though Elena was in love with a vampire.
Season ThreeIn The Hybrid, John Gilbert was mentioned by his daughter Elena Gilbert, when she tries to give Alaric Saltzman John`s ring. But Alaric says it is her fathers ring and that he gave it to her, but she says it doesn't work on her since she is supernatural. Alaric then says to her to keep her fathers ring to future generations, but Elena says he could have her fathers ring until then. Later on that day Elena says that she has lost her family and she is now lost because of her last parent died, her own father (John Gilbert).
In Bringing Out The Dead, John Gilbert is once again mentioned by his daughter Elena Gilbert, when Caroline Forbes asks her What was the hardest part for her ? when she lost her dad ?. Elena says to Caroline: You realize all the things he was there for, the things that you just need your dad for you know ?.
In Do Not Go Gentle, When Alaric Saltzman was going to die from transformation, Elena Gilbert was once again lost and thought about when she lost her father and her aunt Jenna and said that now one more close to her and Jeremy is going to die who was a friend of the family and who took care of them after the death of Jenna and her Father.
- 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 cruzade 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 Ander's 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 John Anders and Dawn Olivieri appeared in the show "Heroes" and are both killed.