|“||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 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.
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.
Seasons One, Two and Three
In Under Control, John returned to Mystic Falls and went the Gilbert house where he saw Elena, Jenna and Jeremy, Jenna asked John why he is back and John told Jenna that he won't let Jenna sell his older brother's office were he used to be a doctor. later he was warmly greeted by Mayor Richard Lockwood and the other members of the town council. John told all of the founding members that nothing has been solved and that the vampire problem is very real. However, he knew much more than them, including that the tomb vampires had been released and he was secretly planning to eliminate them all. Before going to the founders party he and Jeremy was eating dinner together and when Jeremy told his uncle he wasn't interested in going to the party, John told him he had since being a Gilbert and told him one he will him about the Gilbert legacy.
When John came to the founder's party, he went to the balcony and met with Damon Salvatore and introduced himself and started to tell him something about their vampire problem saying it would just be like "1864 all over again. Vampires running a muck. Guess we're gonna have to hunt them down, throw them in church burn them to ash." Damon knew he was onto something and played along. John then told Damon about off how there was a tomb under the church they burned the vampires in, saying they where hidden in that tomb until someone would set them free. John then revealed that he knew Damon was the one who set them free. when Damon asked him why he told him that John said he just wanted to get the introductions out of the way. Damon knew he was on vervain so he just snapped his neck and threw him off the balcony, although John returned to life with a similar ring Alaric has.
When he returned to life he just walked right past Damon and in to where the other Founder's were as he was going to the honor of ringing the official charter bell, after his speech. John said off they take care off each other, look after each other and protect each other while looking at Damon. Damon then saw something and went to Alaric and told him to look at John's ring. John then went and rang the bell of their celebration, and was welcomed by everyone while he was leaving. Later when John was leaving the founder's party Damon and Alaric Saltzman joined him for a little talk and walk. John stated he doesn't want to be the last one to leave the party.
John then asked Damon if he was going to kill him again or if he was gonna let Alaric do it. John knew that Alaric was history teacher and also a vampire hunter, John then revealed that he knows more than both of them deed and even the council knows about vampires and more. And John tells Damon if Damon tries to take from his ring kill him, then everything he knows goes to the council, "including a fascinating little tale of the original Salvatore brothers, and their present-day return to Mystic falls." Alaric then asked off how he got that ring, John says he inherited one like his brother, and said he gave his to Isobel, but wouldn't handed it over to her if he knew she would give it to another guy. John then revealed that he was the one who sent Isobel to Damon and not Katherine Pierce.
Damon asked off how he could know so much and John just replied off how do he know anything, he then left. Next day he and Damon and the Sheriff had a little council meeting about some bloodbags were stolen and John mentioned the vampire used mind compulsion to hide the theft. John had earlier alerted the recent discrepancies at other hospital blood banks in the county. John offers the sheriff that he and Damon can work together and track down who ever is doing this. Later John went to the Salvatore boarding house to see Damon, and asked were should they start looking for vampires. John says that he cares of tracking them down and he and Isobel share a mutual interest. John then was trying to get him to help him to find part of Jonathan 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. John begins to threaten Damon with getting it back or he'll expose Damon. But fails to do so. Later he drives to the Lockwood mansion where they hold the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant.
John is seen with Jeremy talking about what it means to be a Gilbert. John later sees Jeremy with a girl. later he and the sheriff finds some blood in a room on the window. Before the party's over he asks who the girl with Jeremy is, Jenna tells her name is anna not her mother is Pearl in witch John knows off. Later His ancestor Johnathan Gilbert's invention is given to Damon by Pearl.
In Blood Brothers, When Elena is about to leave the house John appears in her room and John tells her that he knows that she know about the vampires and says what would her mother say if she knew her daughter was dating a vampire, Elena replied with 'which mother?'. Later, Pearl meets up with John and are eating together. Pearl knows that he knows what she is, and tells him she won't give back Johnathan invention, but John thinks he can with his Gilbert charm. John told her of how much Johnathan Gilbert hated her and that he would have driven a stake through her heart. She, in return told him she gave Johnathan's device to Damon before she then left and went home to pack up and leave before she get killed by John or someone else. When Pearl was leaving she and Harper were both staked by John Gilbert.
In Isobel, When Isobel had returned to Mystic falls she threatened to kill everyone in Mystic Falls if she didn't have Johnathan's invention soon. John met up with Isobel at a house she was staying in. John didn't really like the way Isobel was using people the way she wanted. Isobel don't believe John can get the invention so she takes matter's into her own hands, but John thinks that's a bad idea. Later John went to the kitchen were he heard Jeremy and Jenna and asked Jeremy if he had trouble, Jeremy said no and John thought it was her from the founder's pageant. John then asked Jeremy how well he knew Anna and Jeremy said he knew extremely well. John said that he would help Jeremy with what ever it was since his older brother Grayson would want him to.
Later Isobel calls him and he meets up with at her house and asks if she has gotten the invention, she says not yet but has something else and wonders what until he sees Jeremy. John tried to deal with Isobel about leaving Jeremy out of this and to let him go. Isobel wouldn't and said he had to take out his ring, John didn't believe she could possibly hurt a kid. Isobel said she could to prove him, John then said to her. "Really? you're that far gone?" John still believed the old Isobel was still in there, Isobel then made her minion Frank beat him up a little and she took his ring off. When John was able to get himself up Jeremy got him a towel and asked John what she was after and John explained that his ancestor Jonathan Gilbert invented a weapon against vampires. Jeremy asked why they wanted it. John said that there is a group of vampires wanting to get revenge on the town. Jeremy didn't understand since Isobel, herself was a vampire, John said that she has her own reasons.
John said they have to destroy all of them, Jeremy was against it and said there are some good vampires to. John says there is no such thing then said that both him and his older brother Grayson believed vampires to be pure evil, demons. He tells Jeremy that Grayson told John about the family's secrets. They were later released by Isobel since she knew she was getting it, and John and Jeremy made up a lie about him falling and hit his head. Isobel later called John and had left him the device. She told him not to fail and to add more vampire to the list that will die. Then it was revealed by Isobel that he was Elena's father.
In the season finale, John talked with 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 however 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 had been effected by the device due to his werewolf heritage, unknown to others who believed him to be a vampire.
The deputies spread the vampires with fuel and, when Anna woke up and tried to get up John staked her as Damon watched. 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.
Later at the Gilbert House, John closes the fridge revealing Elena. She apologizes for scaring him and he admits that he fell in love with Isobel, and part of the reason he hates vampires is due to what she had become. Elena looks at him, and he says it's his fault before asking if she needs any help cleaning up. Elena catches sight of his ring and cuts his fingers off. Whilst screaming in pain, he sees 'Elena's' eyes turn red and fangs emerge. He immediately recognizes her as Katherine, who then stabs him.
Elena 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 Oak Ash Dagger, 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 arrives at 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 saving her. She reads John's letter, with John's voice reading the letter in the background.
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.
In 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 Elena Gilbert, when Caroline Forbes asks her: "What was the hardest part for you? when you lost your 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.
In Memorial, Elena and her friends were going to grieve over their love ones who had died. And Elena mentioned her mother and father as one of the persons she had lost and is grieving over them, one last time as memorial for her dead family including her own father, John Gilbert.
In Stand By Me, right after Jeremy died, Elena wanted to burn down the Gilbert House to create a cover story and tells Caroline, Stefan and Damon: "There's nothing here for me anymore, Stefan. Every inch of this house is filled with memories of the people that I love that have died-- my mom, my dad, Jeremy, and Jenna and Alaric, John, even John. I mean, they're all dead. Everyone is dead. So what am I supposed to-- I mean, how am I gonna-- I can't even-- There's nothing left for me-- aah!"
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.
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.
- Elena and John (Father and daughter)
- John and Damon (Enemies)
- Jenna and John (Ex-Girlfriend)
- John and Alaric (Enemies)
- John and Isobel (Ex-Girlfriend)
- Jeremy and John (Uncle and nephew)
- 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 amuck. 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 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- 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: (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."
- 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 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 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.