|“||Humanity is a vampire's greatest weakness. No matter how easy it is to turn it off, it just keeps trying to fight its way back in.||”|
— Katherine about vampire's humanity
Katerina Petrova, also known as Katherine Pierce, was a witch of the Traveler subculture, the second doppelgänger of Amara, a former vampire, a major antagonist, and one of the main characters of The Vampire Diaries. She was the main antagonist of Season One (mostly through John Gilbert's and Isobel's actions, as both were working for her to kill off the tomb vampires), and one of the main antagonists of the second season, the second half of the fourth season and the first half of the fifth season.
After giving birth to a baby girl out of wedlock when she was seventeen and being forced to give the baby away, she was disowned by her father. She was then exiled to England, where she quickly assimilated into her new culture and met two nobleman brothers, Niklaus and Elijah Mikaelson. At first, she was attracted to the two brothers. However, she later learned that she was a Petrova doppelgänger and that Klaus was planning on using her as a sacrifice in order to break the curse that bound his werewolf side. She sabotaged his plan by running away with the moonstone, which bound the curse, and then tricked Rose into feeding her her blood so she could turn herself into a vampire. Because Katherine was no longer human, her blood no longer was a viable component of the ritual to undo the curse. Klaus was so infuriated with Katherine's sabotage, that she was forced to live on the run for over 500 years as he hunted her down.
Her activities during her first centuries as a vampire are unknown, but at some point between the 15th and 19th centuries, she took on the alias Katherine Pierce (an anglicized version of her birth name) and eventually met and befriended Pearl, Anna, and Emily Bennett. In the late 19th century, she traveled to Mystic Falls, where she met Stefan and Damon Salvatore while they hosted her at the Salvatore Estate. She later fell in love with both brothers, and subsequently fed them her blood, resulting in their transitions into vampires after being killed by their father. When the Town Council found out the identities of the vampires in town, she faked her death and escaped being sealed in the tomb with the aid of George Lockwood, who helped her in exchange for the moonstone.
During the 20th century, she continued to keep tabs on Stefan while still hiding from Klaus. In 2010, she came back to Mystic Falls with the intention of finally earning her freedom from Klaus by handing over the Petrova doppelgänger who came after her, Elena Gilbert. To sweeten the potential deal with Klaus, she killed Caroline Forbes, who had Damon's blood in her system and later transitioned into a vampire, and tricked Mason and Tyler Lockwood into triggering their werewolf curses, just so they could also serve as the vampire and werewolf sacrifices necessary in the ritual. She fled Mystic Falls again shortly after Klaus broke his hybrid curse, knowing that he was not done punishing her for her betrayal half of a millenia ago.
After failing to induce Klaus' forgiveness by securing the cure and handing it over to Elijah, Katherine managed to draw Klaus away from Mystic Falls by revealing to him in a letter that a witch in New Orleans named Jane-Anne Deveraux was plotting against him. Once Klaus and Elijah officially returned to New Orleans, Katherine moved back to Mystic Falls.
In Graduation, Katherine initiated a violent fight with Elena. As she was about to rip her descendant's heart out of her chest, Elena forced the cure down Katherine's throat, which resulted in Katherine returning to a human/Traveler.
Following these events, she went on the run for the summer, but when she realized that her return to humanity made her vulnerable to all of the enemies she had made over the centuries, she returned to Mystic Falls, hoping for Stefan and Damon's protection. However, she was forced to flee again when Silas came looking for her at the Salvatore Boarding House and tried to kill her. Silas revealed to Damon that Katherine's blood became the cure after she had ingested it, which is why he wanted Katherine so he could cure himself. She ran from him for weeks, but eventually, Damon helped Silas lure Katherine to the house and fed him her blood, which turned him back into a witch. Though Katherine should have died after Silas completely drained her of blood, Katherine's warrior spirit won out, and she managed to survive the attack. Unfortunately for Katherine, she learned shortly afterward that taking the cure had caused her body to start rapidly aging in order to compensate for the 500+ years she had been alive. Not ready to die, her daughter Nadia reminded her that as the daughter of a Traveler, Katherine had the magical powers necessary to become a Passenger in someone else's body. She ultimately cast the Passenger spell on her deathbed to transfer her spirit into Elena's body, with help from Nadia and a Traveler named Mia. After the gang discovered this, Stefan stabbed her with the Traveler knife, expelling her from Elena's body, but not before making amends with a dying Nadia. Upon learning she was denied entry to the Other Side, and therefore reunion with her daughter, she was dragged by unseen forces into what is presumed to be a hell of some kind.
Katherine's notable ancestors include Amara, who was Silas' true love and presumably the world's first immortal woman, and Tatia, whose blood was involved in the creation of the spell of immortality that was cast on the Mikaelson Family and the curse that bound Klaus' werewolf side. She is also the maternal ancestor of Isobel Flemming and the latter's biological daughter, Elena Gilbert. She was once the romantic interest of Stefan and Damon Salvatore, as well as Mason Lockwood. Since the late 15th century, she has also been the romantic interest of Elijah, with whom she was involved, until he effectively ended their relationship by leaving to join his half-brother, Klaus, in New Orleans.
Katerina Petrova was a member of the Petrova Family.
Katerina Petrova (Cyrillic: Катерина Петрова) was born into a wealthy Bulgarian family on June 5 1473. In 1490, when she was about 16 or 17 years of age, Katerina became pregnant by an unknown man, a Traveler, and her family disowned her for the shameful birth of an illegitimate daughter. She carried the child to term, but seconds after her daughter's birth, Katerina's father took the child away and gave the child to another family, claiming it would be better for both of them to never see one another. Katerina was devastated by this and was banished to England, where she admitted to "quickly becoming English." In 1492, she met Trevor, who introduced her to Lord Elijah, who in turn introduced her to his younger brother, Lord Niklaus. Katerina was attracted to Klaus, until she found out what he was, and that he was planning on using her as a sacrifice to break the the Hybrid Curse placed on him. She escaped with the help of Trevor, who had fallen in love with her. He led her pursuers astray and told her to go east to a cottage in the woods where she would be safe. When she arrived at the cottage, Katerina met a vampire named Rose.
When Rose found out that Katerina had escaped from Klaus with the moonstone, she locked her in a room and told her that she would take her back to Klaus as soon as the opportunity arose, not wanting to suffer Klaus' wrath. Katerina tried to commit suicide by stabbing herself with a knife, saying she would rather die than go back to Klaus, but Rose force-fed her some of her blood to heal her. When Rose turned her back to confront Trevor, Katerina hung herself with a length of rope. Later, when Katerina woke up in transition, Trevor asked why she did it and claimed he would have helped her live. Katerina responds by saying that he would have been able to help her run and that running was never going to be enough.
Rose then explained to Trevor that Katerina used him to escape, and, knowing Klaus would find out their role in the escape, Rose attempted to kill Katerina with a stake. Katerina used the owner of the cabin as a shield, which resulted in her death. Katerina then gave in to her instincts and drained the little old lady, completing her transition into a vampire. She then threw the body towards Rose and Trevor and fled into the night. Katerina returned to Bulgaria in the latter months of 1492 to find her entire family brutally slaughtered by Klaus. She knew he had done it as revenge for her escape and subsequent transition. She was last seen weeping over her mother's dead body.
Sometime during 1498, Katherine returned to Bulgaria after escaping from Klaus. Katherine searched every village and cottage for her daughter, Nadia Petrova, who was eight at the time, but had no luck in finding her.
Katherine killed a man outside the French Court of Versaille. Nadia, who was in search of information on her mother's whereabouts, offered a large amount of gold to a man who witnessed Katherine commit this murder and informed him that Katherine had been on the run for 228 years by this point.
372 years had passed when Katerina arrived in Mystic Falls, Virginia in 1864, by which time she had taken the name Katherine Pierce, presumably to avoid detection by Klaus. At some point, she had become friends with Pearl and her daughter, Anna; another friend she made prior to this point was the witch Emily Bennett, whose life Katherine had saved, putting Emily in her debt. Emily forged Katherine a special piece of jewelry with a lapis lazuli stone, which allowed her to walk in the sun without being burned and helped her keep her vampire identity a secret. She was taken in by one of the town's founders, Giuseppe Salvatore, having spun a story about being orphaned by a fire that killed her family in Atlanta to win her sympathy. Katherine met and fell in love with his younger son Stefan Salvatore, though she quickly began a physical relationship with Stefan's older brother, Damon, as well. Katherine created quite a few vampires while living in Mystic Falls, which inevitably alerted the Founding Families to their existence. Pearl warned Katherine that the town knew about the vampires after discovering an elixir that Honoria Fell had asked to be sold at the local apothecary which contained vervain. Pearl tried to convince her to leave, but Katherine refused, claiming she had a plan in motion. Her plan, it turned out, was to eventually turn Stefan and Damon into vampires, having seduced them both during her stay at the Salvatore household.
Realizing how quickly the Founder's Council would take action against the vampires, Katherine struck a deal with George Lockwood: she would give him the moonstone if he would help her fake her death in the inevitable vampire round-up. Eventually, Stefan unwittingly suggested to his father that he knew a vampire, and Giuseppe guessed Katherine's true identity. Giuseppe spiked Stefan's drink with vervain, and later that same night, Katherine bit him. She was incapacitated by the vervain in his bloodstream, and, hearing the commotion, Giuseppe burst in to take her away. Damon later went to rescue her, and Stefan, upset that he had hurt his brother and jeopardized Katherine's life, helped him in the effort. They were both killed by their own father, who was so ashamed that his sons had been seduced by a "demon" that he preferred to keep the story that they had died honorably in the war against the vampires.
Katherine and the other vampires were taken to Fell's Church to be destroyed, but George helped Katherine escape, as per their previous arrangement. She gave George the moonstone, but instead of leaving right away, she turned to see Stefan's body one last time while it was still lying in the road. She ran to Stefan, kissed him, and promised they would be together again someday. After transitioning into a vampire, Damon was told by Emily that Katherine was trapped in the tomb beneath the church, and as a result, the older Salvatore never stopped loving Katherine, as he impatiently awaited the day he would be able to rescue her from the tomb. In reality, Katherine was still lying low to evade Klaus, and she admitted to Stefan that she had seen him in the front row of a Bon Jovi concert in the 1980s to prove that she had continued to keep tabs on him over the decades.
Katherine was in Chicago at the same time as Stefan, but she only observed him from afar. After a police raid cleared out the speakeasy, Katherine spotted Rebekah's necklace on the ground. She moved to pick it up, but ran away before Stefan could see or notice her. She watched him for a few moments before slipping into the shadows.
Katherine employed the talents of the vampire Will, who owned the music club and bar, Billy's in New York City. He also ran an identity theft ring that secured new identities for vampires. Damon, who was friends with Will and helped him by killing people to steal their ID cards, unwittingly helped Katherine in her mission to remain undetected, though he did not realize this fact until much later.
Anna told Damon that she had seen Katherine during this year in Chicago.
It was revealed that Katherine was watching Stefan and Lexi from afar at a Bon Jovi concert.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
When Katherine learned of the escape of the Tomb vampires, she gave her descendant and friend, Isobel, a Lapis Lazuli medallion, enabling the young vampire to walk in the sun. Katherine needed the tomb vampires dead because she didn't want Klaus to find out she was still alive, so she had Isobel retrieve Johnathan Gilbert's invention and give it to John Gilbert to use against the vampires in Mystic Falls. This resulted in the deaths of the remaining tomb vampires.
In Founder's Day after the chaos has settled, Katherine, having stolen some of Elena Gilbert's clothes, goes to the Gilbert house, where she poses as Elena in the presence of Damon. The two kiss, only to be interrupted by Elena's aunt, Jenna Sommers. Unaware of the presence of vampires or the existence of Katherine, Jenna invites her into the house. Katherine startles John Gilbert in the kitchen, still pretending to be Elena. She notices the magic Gilbert ring he is wearing and, using a butcher's knife, viciously chops his fingers off, then stabs him. Elena arrives and comes to John's aid while Katherine hovers behind her.
The Originals Series
Katherine was possibly mentioned for the first time in The Originals by Elijah in Apres Moi, Le Deluge, Elijah explained to Hayley that he had only been in love twice in 1,000 years — Celeste and Katherine (or Tatia) and that when he finds it, he honors it.
1400's (1st Time)
- "I was you before you even existed!"
- —Katherine to Elena
In her early life, Katherine was a young and beautiful girl who was punished by her family for having a child out of wedlock. Initially named Katerina, she had loved her daughter very much and was heartbroken as she was taken from her and she never even got to held her. After she was banished from Bulgaria, she relocated to England and seemed quite capable of making independent and intelligent choices. Katerina was characterized as a caring and polite person. She was quick to adapt to her relocation and enjoyed socializing and playing games with others. Katerina was also known to fall quick for men and yearned to be in the affections of others, even declaring to Elijah that life was not worth living if they did not believe in love. Despite her banishment from Bulgaria and estrangement with her relatives, Katerina maintained affection for them and was particularly close to her mother.
Despite her innocence and naivety, Katerina had a sense of self-preservation and immediately sought to protect herself against Klaus by stealing the moonstone and escaping the ritual that meant her death in the process. She had sought out vampires, Rose and Trevor for assistance, but betrayed them by consciously deciding to become a vampire herself for survival and igniting Klaus's wrath upon them all.
Present Time (2nd Time)
- "Do you think that, after all horrible things I've done...it would be possible to be forgiven?"
- —Katherine to Nadia
After Elena forced The Cure down her throat when she had tried to kill her, Katherine was rendered a weak human and had to spent two months on the run from all of the enemies she had acquired in her 500+ year lifespan. She enlisted the help of Damon, but was momentarily sold out when Silas offered Stefan for Katherine. After that failed, Katherine was granted reluctant protection under Jeremy, Matt, and Damon from Silas. Her transition to human left her weak, disheveled, and miserable as she struggled to get used to her vulnerability. Katherine's personality as a human is largely the same as when she was a vampire. She maintains her sassiness, insensitivity, independence, pride, selfishness, and sense of self-preservation. She had initially left Jeremy to die after a car crash while on the run from Silas and immediately accused Elena of being Katherine while held at gunpoint. However, Katherine soon starts to show some signs of shifting away from her "psychotic bitch" demeanor. She willingly goes back to save Jeremy's life from Silas despite risking her own survival and agreed to help rid Matt of the passenger inside him named Gregor.
Katherine also becomes slightly less hostile with certain members in the Mystic Falls gang, creating a strained but not entirely unfriendly alliance with Caroline, Matt, and Jeremy. She seems to have a soft spot for them somewhere, shown in her decision to save Jeremy from Silas and most prominently her interactions with Caroline to get Wes Maxfield unsuspecting of her and Elena being vampires in return for using her college dorm for a few days. Katherine also helped Matt with his passenger and went to him to help her put off her death by exercises, though Matt still sticks to the belief "Katherine cares only for Katherine."  She also met her long-lost daughter Nadia Petrova from 500 years ago and has genuine though complicated love for her, even attempting to cut off all ties with her for the sake of protecting her from Katherine's inevitable death since she couldn't be there for her.
Perhaps one of the most marked differences in Katherine's actions is her increased openness with her true emotions and vulnerability, particularly with Stefan. As she was dying of eventual old age after Silas drained The Cure out of her, Katherine falls into a depression with her loneliness and impending death to point she briefly lost the will to survive. Her misery climaxed into a suicide attempt by jumping off a clock tower, but failed when Stefan saved her. However, Katherine's inspired with a will to live through the recent support of Stefan. She becomes emotionally dependent on him in her darkest hours and quickly fell in love with him again, admitting that he was the only reason she wanted to live. Katherine's softer sides are made more obvious than ever before, wondering to Nadia if she could be redeemed for her past misdeeds and is worthy of forgiveness; a sharp contrast from her vampire self who had no remorse over anything and justified it as means to survival.
- "We manipulate, we thirst for power, we control, we punish, but our actions are driven by one singular place deep inside. We're alone, and we hate it."
- —Katherine about Klaus and herself
After she had turned, she immediately fled the only vampires she knew and apparently learned to survive as one on her own. The large gap of time from her transition to her arrival in Mystic Falls is a mystery, but she likely befriended Pearl during this time. In 1864, she seduced both Damon and Stefan Salvatore, revealing to a compelled Stefan that she had big plans for the three of them to be together. Although she did develop genuine affection for both brothers, and even love for Stefan, she was also calculating and selfish, selling out the other vampires in town in order to fake her own death. Her actions both in 1492 and 1864 demonstrate an extremely well-developed sense of self-preservation, almost always at the expense of any human compassion or remorse.
In present day, Katherine remains very much the same in this respect. She returns to Mystic Falls with the goal of securing the moonstone as well as a vampire, a werewolf, and the second Petrova Doppelgänger, solely for the purpose of handing them over to Klaus in exchange for amnesty. In the process, she manipulates and seduces Mason Lockwood to have him do her bidding, orchestrates the activation of both Mason's and Tyler's werewolf gene, turns Caroline into a vampire, compels Jenna to stab herself, lures Jenna out of her house to be sacrificed in Klaus' ritual, and leaves behind her a trail of other casualties, all in the name of securing her freedom. However, she redeems herself to the Salvatores, if only slightly, first by delivering the antidote to Damon's werewolf bite and later by helping in the plan to kill Mikael.
Despite her ruthlessness, it is clear that Katherine has deep, genuine feelings for Stefan. Unable to reveal herself to him without ruining the usefulness of being dead, she still observed him from afar over the years, admitting as much to Stefan in the present day. In fact, Katherine is usually at her most honest about her true feelings when she believes she is unobserved, as when she kissed an unconscious Stefan before leaving Mystic Falls, and when she looked on at him in the 1920s speakeasy.
Her relationships with other characters also sometimes reveal a crack in the "psychotic bitch" facade. Although she claims to his face that she never loved him, Damon still holds some of her affection, and she has offered him genuine help more than once. With regard to her doppelgänger, although she was willing to trade Elena's life for her freedom from Klaus, she never demonstrated any real animosity toward her. In fact she freely admitted an admiration for her descendant's tenacity, a quality she values in herself. And despite fearing Elijah nearly as much as Klaus because of her escape centuries earlier, she has since become his ally, and even seems to genuinely care about and possibly love him.
Katherine's extremely heightened sense of self-preservation has helped her develop a knack for creating elaborate plans and deceptions. Even when she takes a risk, which must be well worth it, she proceeds with caution and a means of escape in place. Thus, despite whatever feelings she has for Stefan, Damon, and now Elijah, it cannot be certain whether she would save their lives over her own, though the evidence so far suggests Katherine could not help but choose her own survival above all else.
Moments before her death, she took advantage of Elena and possessed her because of her traveler heritage. In Elena's body, she tried to keep it a secret and one of the first things she did was break up with Damon. Her ultimate goal was to assimilate herself in Elena's life and discard Elena's soul/essense and try to have a romantic relationship with Stefan. Katherine first tricked Matt into thinking she was her, and got information from him to know more about Elena's life, compelling him to forget that she is in Elena's body. She pulls it off for a while, hiding from Elena's friends most of the time, but eventually everybody finds out, even though she had the help of her daughter, Nadia, who was also trying to keep it a secret. Stefan called her to the Salvatore house, and Katherine accepted her death in the end, but before she is finally gone revealed that she injected Elena with the ripper compound.
Throughout her centuries-long life, Katherine has always been tough, feisty, independent and smart. If a task needs doing, she'll find a way to accomplish it, usually through a combination of uncompromising will and skilled manipulation of people and circumstances. Her personal motto - "Better you die than I" - does well to encapsulate her instinct for self-preservation as well as the detached cruelty which many vampires choose to adopt. But in her private moments, there is yet a glimpse of the human girl who once said that life is too cruel to live without love.
- Main article: Katerina Petrova/Appearance
Katherine and Elena are remarked to be identical, but once you know what to look for, you can distinguish the two easily. Katherine's hair seemed to be a shade darker than Elena's, and she parted it on the left, while Elena parts hers in a deep part on the right. Elena seems to have naturally wavy hair, while Katherine's hair naturally had loose or tight curls. Katherine wore make-up very differently than Elena; Katherine favored a dark smoky eye with thick winged eyeliner, and her choice in lipstick was a darker, sultry pink appearance, while Elena preferred a bronze smoky eye and thin eyeliner. Katherine, having much curlier hair, seemed to have a much greater volume than Elena's, especially when Elena wore her hair stick-straight.
There are even more subtle differences that only a true fan of Katherine or Elena can detect. Katherine's irises seemed to be a shade darker than Elena's, and Katherine seemed to squint slightly, while Elena's eyes are wide open, reminiscent of doe-eyes. Katherine was also incredibly theatrical in her movement, exaggerating almost everything as though she had rehearsed any given situation over and over again.
Katherine's choice in clothes was drastically different than Elena's. In seasons 2, 3, and 4, Katherine was seen wearing either leggings or dark super-skinny jeans to show off her fit figure, along with either blue, purple, or black tank tops. She would almost always wear a black leather jacket over her clothes, either cropped, full length, buttoned or with a zipper. An obvious way to distinguish Katherine's style from Elena's is by looking at Katherine's shoes. Katherine was always seen in black high heeled booties, open-toed pumps, or tall, black "500 dollar boots." Katherine was also seen to wear a lot more jewelry than Elena, including her lapis lazuli daylight bracelet, chain bracelets in either silver or gold, and a watch. In Season 5, she was seen to care less about her appearance, but was still seen in cute, fashionable outfits. She was shown in dark grey J-Brand jeans, lower heeled boots than when she was a vampire, and either black camisoles or long-sleeved shirts with lace sleeves. In Fifty Shades of Grayson, she was seen in sports gear, a baseball cap, and, during her final scene, a dark burgundy cardigan. When deducing where Katherine bought most of her clothes, she was quoted as saying that she bought most of her shoes in Paris. The majority of her jeans are J-Brand, and almost the entirety of her tops, especially those worn in Season 5, were from Bebe.
Whenever Katherine pretended to be Elena, she parted her hair in a deep right parting, and styled the front of her hair in loose curls and waves, leaving the back of her hair straight or slightly wavy. However, Katherine would choose clothes that Elena wouldn't wear, and the main distinguishing feature was usually her thick abundance of hair.
Powers and Abilities
Katherine had possessed all the standard powers and abilities of a non-original vampire. Being 538 years old made Katherine one of the most powerful vampires in the series, until she was forced to take the cure which turned her back into a witch of the Traveler subculture. She then possessed little fighting ability and also possessed a weak form of traditional (Traveler) magic, due to belonging to a cursed culture of witches. However, she was shown using her witchcraft only once, in order to possess Elena's body.
- "Humanity is a vampire's greatest weakness. No matter how easy it is to turn it off, it just keeps trying to fight its way back in."
Based on what has been shown in the series, Katherine has no regard for human life. To her, humans are a means to an end, whether as victims to feed on or pawns in a plot for personal gain. The notable exceptions to this general disregard are Stefan and Damon Salvatore.
In 1864, Katherine took sadistic pleasure in demonstrating to a human Damon how a vampire lures in a victim by playing the role of a lost woman in order to stop a coach on a deserted road, anticipating the concern this would draw from its passengers. She fed on and killed her victims without any apparent remorse. In the present day, though she has shown no qualms about harming humans, her violence towards them is usually attended by a vague sense of purpose: she chops off John Gilbert's fingers and stabs him as she infiltrates the Gilbert home; she turns Caroline into a vampire as part of her plan to plead amnesty with Klaus; she maims and kills Aimee Bradley to emphasize how badly she wants the moonstone and compels Matt and Sarah to provoke Tyler into killing them; she knocks out Jeremy to use him to get to Mikael; she kills cemetery visitors in order to feed and awaken Mikael; and she kills various people on the island in order to get to the cure.
The only humans that Katherine, as a vampire, has seemed to not view as mere collateral damage were Damon and Stefan, whom she lived with in 1864. Although her relationships with both brothers seem to have had a certain amount of manipulation and scheming involved, Katherine demonstrated both before and immediately after Stefan's transition-death that she genuinely cared for him. Her relationship with Damon does not appear to have had the same depth of such feelings, but she cared enough about him to want to turn him into a vampire. Still, her behavior around the Salvatores was so wrapped up in whatever her ulterior motives happened to be that it's not always clear where the selfish manipulation ended and the genuine affection began.
Katherine's attitude toward vampires does not diverge far from her attitude toward humans; she merely has to be more clever in how she manipulates them. She was willing to sell out those she considers friends, like Pearl and the other vampires in Mystic Falls at the time. She regards werewolves to be little better than humans: she only deals with George Lockwood in order to procure her escape from Mystic Falls in 1864, and uses Mason and Tyler Lockwood in her plan to strike a deal with Klaus. She deals with witches with a bit more wariness, though her arrogance sometimes gets the better of her. Although she apparently lived with Emily Bennett for years and treated her as a confidante, she betrayed her during her escape from the town. Later, Lucy Bennett helps Katherine to repay a debt, but Katherine underestimates the witch's willingness to turn against her after the debt is paid.
Like most vampires in the series, Katherine's attitude towards the lives of others has been significantly influenced by the end of her human life and how her vampirism affected her family. She suffered the heartache of being separated from her illegitimate daughter and disowned by her family, and not long after suffered the despair of finding her entire family dead, brutally murdered by Klaus. Any trace of the human girl who still believed in love seemed to evaporate after this last great loss, though it peeks through occasionally when it comes to Stefan.
Overall, Katherine has no respect for anyone's life but her own, and will not spare a life unless it suits her interests to do so. Although she has risked her life in the past to save Damon and Stefan, doing so was in the context of repaying a debt and killing Klaus, it remains untested whether her affection for the brothers could ever truly transcend her sense of self-preservation.
Katherine's attitude towards humans may change as she is human now. Her interaction with humans will increase now as she is a human.
Based on what has been seen, Katherine doesn't really care about her fellow vampires, and would do anything to get things from them. Katherine has been seen to toy with certain vampires as shown with the Salvatore brothers. Katherine has had relationships with original vampires, and betrayed those as well.
Katherine had once been running from Klaus, whom she feared for his power. She has always proven to be much stronger than most vampires in the series except for the originals. She also is able to manipulate certain vampires very well.
Now as a human, her personality has not changed much as she was as a vampire. But she has become afraid of them as she has people after her and she is not able to defend or protect herself.
- Emily Bennett - She was Katherine's handmaiden in 1864 as well as a powerful witch. Katherine betrayed her when she told the people in town that Emily was a witch.
- Henry - He was a vampire who helped Katherine to investigate the werewolf attacks within the town of Mystic Falls back in 1864. Henry was staked and killed by Alaric Saltzman in the 21st century.
- George Lockwood - George was a werewolf and the co-conspirator in Katherine's faked death. She and George made a deal in which George helped her escape, telling no one of it, in exchange for giving George the moonstone.
- Will - He had a business to get vampires fake identities, but since he was unable to walk in sunlight and kept busy with his work at his bar, he made a deal with Damon where Damon could feed on his customers in exchange for stealing their IDs for him. He was said to have provided many, if not all of Katherine's identities over the last few decades, many of which were during the 1970s.
- Mason Lockwood - Mason was a werewolf and a romantic partner of Katherine's in the 21st century, whom she manipulated in order to obtain the moonstone. Mason was killed by Damon.
- Jimmy - He was a friend of Mason Lockwood. Katherine used her power of mind control on Jimmy and compelled him to attack Mason after accusing him of sleeping with his girlfriend, Marla. Mason accidentally killed him, which triggered his werewolf curse.
- Isobel Flemming - Isobel is Elena's biological mother and Katherine's descendant. She helped Katherine in her plan to destroy the tomb vampires and seek information about The Originals. Katherine also helped her obtain a lapis lazuli necklace to allow her to walk in daylight. Isobel later betrayed Katherine.
- John Gilbert - Isobel, acting as a proxy for Katherine, asked John to get a device, enchanted by Emily Bennett, that was taken from Johnathan Gilbert in 1864. John failed to get the device, so Isobel managed to get it herself by kidnapping Jeremy in order to trade him for it. She then gave it to John, who used it to destroy the vampires who had been freed from the tomb. Katherine was the one to instigate the plan to kill the tomb vampires.
- Jenna Sommers - Katherine used compulsion on Jenna to spy on Elena and Stefan. After Katherine learned of Mason Lockwood's death, she ordered Jenna to commit suicide by stabbing herself, though Jenna thankfully survived her injuries.
- Caroline Forbes - Katherine turned Caroline into a vampire by smothering her with a pillow in her hospital room after Damon had healed her with his blood. Afterward, she continued to threaten and manipulate her to do her bidding. She ordered Caroline to keep Elena away from Stefan and to occupy her for the day so that Katherine could spend time with him.
- Matt Donovan - After learning of Mason's death, Katherine used her power of compulsion on Matt by ordering him to provoke Tyler Lockwood into killing him in order to trigger Tyler's werewolf curse. She then planned to hand over Elena, Tyler, Caroline and Bonnie to Klaus, along with the moonstone, so that he would have all the components needed to break the Hybrid Curse. Her hope was that she could leverage these items for her freedom, but her plan ultimately backfired.
- Sarah - Katherine compelled Sarah to attack Tyler if Matt failed, and when Caroline broke up Matt and Tyler's fight, Sarah attacked Tyler and he accidentally killed her by shoving her away from him, resulting in Sarah breaking her neck when she fell and hit her neck on the corner of a table. Sarah's death triggered Tyler's werewolf curse.
- "I went back. For you."
- —Katherine to Nadia
Nadia Petrova is the daughter of Katerina Petrova. Katherine gave birth to Nadia back in 1490 but Nadia was taken from her before she even got the chance to hold her. When Katherine returned to Bulgaria after being exiled to England and escaping Niklaus Mikaelson, she found that he killed her entire family and was devastated. She then began her search for her daughter who was 8 years old at the time, but to no avail, she was not able to find her. Over the years, Nadia was turned into a vampire, learning the story of her mother and searched for her for 500 years. When they meet again, Nadia introduces herself and begins to test Katherine, telling her she killed her mother in Paris. Katherine sees through this lie and Nadia reveals she did kill her mother, only in 1492 in England after she was exiled by her family. Katherine is shocked to learn that Nadia is her long lost daughter and although despite her conflicting feelings, she pushes Nadia away after learning of her impending death. Nadia is angered and clearly upset at her mother's attitude and actions towards her, and that she seemingly cared more about earning Stefan's forgiveness than her own. However, despite her anger, she wishes Katherine would desire to live longer and is conflicted between her anger towards her for her wishing to give up her life, or her wish to be at her mother's side as she dies. Katherine ends up choosing to say goodbye to Nadia as Nadia dies of Tyler's werewolf bite over running away and saving her own life. This choice results in her death at the hands of Stefan.
- "Stefan, I love you. I’ve always loved you. I guess this is how our love story ends."
- —Katherine to Stefan in Gone Girl
- Main article: Stefan and Katherine
Katherine fell in love with Stefan when she met him in Mystic Falls in 1864. Although she was also seeing Damon, she had a clear preference for Stefan. She secretly watched over him while running from Klaus, and later admitted she had never once stopped caring about him. Katherine was unwilling to put her love for Stefan above her own survival and when she returned, they became enemies, as Katherine wanted to deliver Elena to Klaus in exchange for her freedom and Stefan was in a relationship with her. Nonetheless, Katherine persisted in her affections for Stefan despite his supposed hatred of her and declared she would wait for him forever if need be. Some time later, Elena tried to kill Katherine in revenge and almost succeeded before Stefan came and saved her. As Katherine's health began to deteriorate after through the loss of The Cure, she developed a friendly but complicated relationship with Stefan. Katherine helped him deal with his PTSD while Stefan in return prevented her from committing suicide. She locked herself and Stefan in the safe where she prompted Stefan to realize he was unable to accept the reality of the loss of Elena and that physical pain was easier to handle. Afterwards, Stefan admitted to Katherine he should move on and they end up sleeping together. Katherine's feelings towards him are stronger than his and her dying wish is for Stefan to find her worthy of redemption.
- " I just keep wanting to believe you, but how can I when, at every turn, you give me reason to doubt you? I don't know you."
- —Elijah to Katherine in American Gothic
- Main article: Elijah and Katherine
The relationship between Katerina Petrova and Elijah Mikaelson, was once sweet and friendly up to the point where Katherine betrayed Elijah for her own freedom and that broke his relationship with his half-brother Klaus. When Elijah found Katherine in the vampire tomb, he compelled her to stay there until he said otherwise. Elijah later revealed that he made Katherine pay for betraying him, by running away from him as he was trying to save her life. She later witnessed his brother Klaus daggering Elijah. In American Gothic, it is revealed that Elijah and Katherine have been sleeping together and was in relationship together, as they both have admitted to being in love with each other, although it is questionable whether Katherine's love for Elijah is genuine or just another ploy to get freedom. However in The Originals, Elijah left Katherine behind in Mystic Falls and went to New Orleans after saying and kissing her goodbye, ending their relationship. Even though he was a hallucination in 500 Years of Solitude, Katherine was happy to see him and had shown to have missed him.
- "I forgive you. You weren't born evil. Life made you that way."
- —Elena and Katherine in 500 Years of Solitude
The relationship between Katherine Pierce and Elena Gilbert has been mostly antagonistic throughout the series. When Katherine first came back to Mystic Falls in 2010, she's jealous of Elena for earning the affections of Stefan (and Damon whom she had also loved). Katherine also planned to deliver Elena to Klaus in exchange for his forgiveness for running from him. Katherine, however, has also stated that she's more indifferent to Elena than anything else. She merely saw her as someone who had the same fate as her. After Katherine killed Elena's brother Jeremy, they were each other's only remaining family. After Elena turned her humanity off, she impersonated Katherine for the first time, as it was usually Katherine to impersonate Elena. Katherine later attacked Elena, resulting in Elena giving Katherine the cure, and making her human.
- " I thought I'd give it a shot. Truth is, you just don't do it for me anymore."
- —Damon to Katherine in The Reckoning
- Main article: Damon and Katherine
The relationship between Katherine Pierce and Damon Salvatore has been complicated since their meeting in 1864, when Katherine stayed in their estate and Damon was serving in the Confederate army. Damon fell deeply in love with Katherine, but unbeknownst to him, she'd also been seeing his brother Stefan, sparking the brothers' lifelong rivalry. Their relationship ended when the town began eradicating the vampires. She was then taken away, and Damon and Stefan were shot by their own father while in an attempt to save her, causing the latters' turning into vampires. Damon since then, has spent the following 150 years obsessed with freeing her from her tomb, only to find out that she was never in it in the first place.
Katherine Von SwartzchildKatherine von Swartzschild (born Katerina von Swartzschild) was a young German girl, who was the daughter of Baron von Swartzschild. She was very sickly, weak, and fragile as a young human girl and during her childhood, and was told by a surgeon that she was going to die. After this news, her maid, Gudren, fetched the village vampire Klaus and asked him to turn her into a vampire. He did so, though Katherine had no say in the matter, and she became a vampire. Believing she was still sick, her father took her to the Salvatore Boarding House to cheer her up. There she met Stefan Salvatore, the younger human son of Conte di Salvatore, and she fell deeply in love with him. However, she also displayed interest in Stefan's elder human brother, Damon Salvatore. In The Awakening, she said to both of the brothers that the only way to stay in Salvatore Estate was if she chose which Salvatore to marry. She said that she would tell them which one she had chosen for marriage on Sunday in twilight. Katherine first came to Stefan during the night, presumably during lovemaking and she gave him her blood. However, Katherine also gave Damon her blood as well. Both brothers were furious when they found out that Katherine had given both of them blood and not just one of them, displaying Katherine's coy, selfish and childish tendencies. Katherine told both of the brothers that she refused to choose between the two of them, leading the rivalry and competition between the brothers to heat up even more intensely. Katherine believed that if she turned both Stefan and Damon, then she, Stefan and Damon could all live happily ever after together. The brothers refused Katherine's wish and it turned the brothers against each other even more. Katherine became extremely distraught and upset by both Stefan and Damon fighting over her, so Katherine decided to commit "suicide". The next day, Stefan and Damon had found her ashes outside alongside her small lapis lazuli ring, which protected her from the sunlight and her dress, along with a note saying that she was selfish. Damon and Stefan both blamed each other for her death, and ended up fighting each other to death with swords. Stefan and Damon both ended up stabbing each other, and both died. They woke up in their tombs, with their lapis lazuli rings on, having both been transformed into vampires, bounding the Salvatore brothers to each other for all of eternity.
Stefan describes Katherine as being very beautiful, when she first arrives to Mystic Falls, even though he is supposed to be engaged to Rosalyn Cartwright. She and Stefan kissed in the library at the Veritas Estates for the first time. She stays in the carriage house with Emily and she killed Rosalyn out of jealousy. She acts as innocent to avoid being uncovered as a vampire. Katherine was with Damon before Stefan and compelled him to take her secret better. Stefan believed her to have died. He tells Damon that he is wasting away Katherine's gift.
- Katherine is a feminine first name of uncertain origin. It appears to come from the Greek Αικατερινη meaning "each of the two", or possibly from καθαρος (Katharos) meaning "pure". There are several famous bearers of this name, including Catherine de' Medici and Catherine the Great from Russia. The name is common in English.
- Petrov/Petroff (masculine) or Petrova (feminine) is one of the most common surnames in both Russia and Bulgaria. The surname is derived from the first name Pyotr (Пётр, Russian) or Petar (Петър, Bulgarian), both equivalent to the English name Peter. Petrov means "son of Peter" in Russian and Bulgarian.
- Katherine's birthday is June 5 and her astrological sign is Gemini.
- In a deleted scene of season two, her original birthday was June 22, ironically and coincidentally the same birthday as Elena. But this was later retconned or changed.
- Most people use the the Anglo version of Katherine for her name. However Klaus, Elijah, Rose, Trevor and Nadia refer to her by her original name Katerina.
- She shares some similarities with Hayley Marshall
- Both came from old supernatural lineage.
- Both are called by an other name that their birth one; Hayley being born as Andréa Labonair and Katherine as Katerina Petrova.
- Both were involved with the Mikaelson brothers.
- Both of their astrological sign are Gemini.
- Both gave birth to a baby girl in hard conditions and their respective child was taken away from them (for Katherine it was her father who took Nadia, while Hayley was killed while the New Orleans Witches took Hope, who she later took back, but sent her to live with Rebekah).
- She shares some similarities with Hayley Marshall
- Katherine's doppelgänger blood could have been useful when she was human, making her a target if Klaus had desired to create more hybrids.
- Klaus is seemingly no longer interested in doppelgänger blood, something he needed for creating hybrids. He has instead reunited with his siblings in New Orleans.
- Silas had sought Katherine because the cure was running through her veins. He used her cure-laced blood to turn back into a witch in Handle With Care.
- Katerina, Isobel, Rose, and Klaus are the only characters to have an episode named after them.
- Nina Dobrev who plays Katherine Pierce, was born in Bulgaria (България) and speaks Bulgarian (Български). For this reason, Katherine, who was German in the books, became Bulgarian in the TV series.
- In the books, Katherine von Swartzschild was German, a vampire of great beauty, but also immature, manipulative and selfish. In the TV series, Katerina is Bulgarian, a vampire of great beauty, but is also self-centered and ruthless. Katherine Pierce and Katherine Von Swartzschild are both vain, sadistic and manipulative woman who faked their deaths.
- Katherine Pierce and Katherine von Swartzschild are very much alike; both closely associated with Klaus, evil in Mystic Falls /Fell's Church, have easygoing attitude and hate Elena. The only difference between them is Katerina Petrova has black curly hair with brown eyes, and Katherine von Swartzschild is blonde with blue eyes.
- Rose was the vampire responsible for turning Katherine on the TV series. However, Klaus was the one who turned Katherine in the novels, completely changing the back stories of Katherine and Klaus for the series. Klaus felt emotion for Katherine, so wanted to avenge her death in the novels.
- Katherine was a "birthday gift" from Trevor to Klaus in 1492.
- Katherine's life is seriously affected by Klaus in the books and the series. In the books, Katherine Von Swartzschild becomes insane, paranoid, unstable, selfish, cruel, and sadistic because of Klaus's influence for centuries. In the series, Katherine Pierce becomes the same, but because her child was taken away from her, and her family was slaughtered by Klaus.
- Katherine's parents are the first of Klaus' victims to be seen in the TV series.
- When Katerina first arrived in Mystic Falls, she said she was an orphan who lost her family in a fire. She may have burned down her house with her family inside after they were murdered by Klaus.
- Vanessa Monroe, a research assistant and former student of Isobel, mentions in Bad Moon Rising that Katherine arrived in Mystic Falls in April 1864, but this is inconsistent with Katherine's story that her family perished in the Atlanta campaign fires, which occurred in September of that year.
- Katherine wore a cameo lapis lazuli necklace until the 1920s.
This necklace is seen in all 1864 flashbacks and in 1920s flashback. After this she wears a different necklace, then turns it into a bracelet.
- She is the first of three women in her family to have slept with Damon Salvatore. Both of her descendants Isobel Saltzman and Elena Gilbert have also slept with him.
- Many people have fallen in love with or felt attracted to Katherine. Vampires and humans alike Stefan, Damon, Mason, Trevor and Elijah have all been in love with her. Noah was also obsessed with her. It is thought that the Petrova doppelgängers have an uncanny ability to win others affections, especially from men, as evidenced by all of the love triangles the three Petrova women have been involved.
- Others can usually tell Katherine apart from Elena by their hair, make-up and wardrobe choices. (See Physical Appearance.)
- Katherine is quite adept at disguising herself as Elena. She has been mistaken as Elena by Jenna Sommers on many occasions, which resulted in Jenna inviting Katherine into the Gilbert's home and being lured into a trap after receiving a frantic call from "Elena".
- Katherine used mind compulsion on Jimmy, Matt and Sarah to activate the werewolf curses in first Mason Lockwood and then Tyler Lockwood.
- Despite claiming to know all about The Originals in The House Guest, she did not know that Klaus wanted to become a hybrid, that the dagger and white oak ash would not work on him, or that the curse was fake, until after The Sun Also Rises.
- Katherine is the first vampire shown to be fed on by another vampire.
- She has been absent from Mystic Falls since Homecoming, but came back in Pictures of You.
- She, Damon, Stefan and Caroline have all been bitten by either a werewolf or a hybrid, and were all healed with Klaus' blood.
- Katherine's remorseless behavior suggests she may have "turned off" her humanity, However she did - deliver Klaus's blood to cure Damon, warn Stefan about how dangerous Klaus was and rescued him from the witch Gloria, alerted Stefan to Klaus's intention to possibly kill Damon - plus her own admission, Katerina may still have human emotions.
- Katherine possibly knew about Tatia, when Elena asked her in Katerina what the Petrova family has to do with Klaus.
- She is present in Pictures of You, The Originals, She's Come Undone, The Walking Dead and Graduation, and she plays a role in Bonnie's plan to defeat Silas.
- She is the first vampire to be cured of her vampirism and was technically the second oldest living mortal at 538 years old.
- During Season Five, her continuity as a main character will continue and will indeed be a significant part of the season; unlike how she was a recurring character in the third and fourth seasons.
- Katherine is the 3rd Doppelgänger of the Petrova line.
- Katherine met her daughter Nadia in the episode Original Sin when Nadia kidnapped Katherine.
- Nadia is Katherine's daughter and maybe the reason that Katherine became the person she was.
- Nadia reveals to Katherine that she is her daughter in the episode Monster's Ball.
- Katherine and her ancestor, Tatia, have both had a child with an unknown man.
- Katherine, Nadia, Silas, Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah all speak multiple languages.
- It is hinted in Katherine's letter to Klaus that she knows about Marcel and Hayley and the baby , "I have caught wind that there is a witch in New Orleans named Jane-Anne Deveraux plotting a move against you. Hunt her down. What she has to say will rattle you so deeply to your core that chasing little old me will be the least of your concerns".
- In the novels, Katherine's relationship with Klaus is very different from the TV series. Klaus is the one to save her from a certain death as a human by turning her into a vampire, and, shortly after her death as a vampire, he brings her back to life in order to fight the Salvatore brothers and their friends. Katherine is shown to have been loyal to Klaus for centuries, although it is implied that her companionship with him drove her insane and made her selfish and cruel.
- As of Fifty Shades of Grayson, it is revealed that Katherine was never human, but a Traveler Witch, as she received the gene from her father.
- She suffered from a heart attack in Fifty Shades of Grayson.
- She was the oldest witch alive prior to her death.
- Katherine performed her first spell as a Traveler in 500 Years of Solitude.
- Katherine admitted, that Stefan is her one true love in The Devil Inside.
- Katherine and all her known doppelgängers and predecessor's names all end with an A, Amara, Tatia, Elena and Katerina.
- Both Katherine and Elena were terrorized and eventually drained of blood by powerful immortals in order to achieve a certain goal (Klaus drained Elena to break the Hybrid Curse and Silas drained Katherine to cure himself of immortality).
- Katherine is the first doppelgängers to possess and take over the body of her doppelgängers descendant.
- Katherine is the 9th main character in the TVD & TO universe to die after Vicki, Jenna, Alaric, Jeremy, Bonnie, Silas, Davina and Sophie.
- Like her Ancestor Amara and her Doppelganger Elena, Katherine had a close relationship with a Bennett Witch. Amara was Qetsiyah 's handmaiden, Bonnie is Elena's best friend and Emily was Katherine's handmaiden.
- Ironically in ancient times, Qetsiyah's handmaiden was Amara, Katherine's ancestor, but in 1864 Emily Bennett was Katherine's handmaiden, Qetsiyah's descendant.
- Unique among other ghosts in the series, Katherine was the first denied access to the Other Side before being dragged to the "Dark Side".
- Even more peculiar is the fact that Katherine was sent to the "Dark Side" at a time when the Other Side was stable. Other ghosts were dragged there because the Other Side was slowly disintegrating, whereas Katherine was simply not allowed to cross over. Whether Katherine's situation will be explained is currently unknown, however Bonnie implied that some being or "higher power" decides who is allowed into the Other Side, meaning Katherine may be in the "Dark Side" because of this "higher power's" decision.
- Katherine died still believing the doppelganger prophecy was real, which was actually revealed to be false and she still believed that her and Stefan were "made" for each other.
- A Day in the Limelight - has an episode named after her, plus frequent flashbacks into her origins.
- Briarpatching - Katherine uses this technique on Damon when she tells him not to dagger Elijah as she would be stuck in the tomb forever.
- Magnificent Bastard - "Plan B"
- Katherine fits the Light Feminine And Dark Feminine trope, especially with Elena. Elena and Katherine are both doppelgängers who share an uncanny physical appearance. Elena is the Light Feminine (good, moral) and Katherine is Dark Feminine (bad, immoral). Both share a common love and interest in Stefan and are often in competition with each other for his affections.