|“||I have four hundred years on you, little boy. I'll rip you limb to limb without even blinking and you know it.||”|
Zhen Zhu, commonly known as Pearl, was an older vampire and friend of Katherine Pierce. At the time of her death, she was over 570 years old. (Pearl's official birthday remains unknown, but clues within the show relating to when she was turned, as well as her mid-30s appearance, place her birth date around 1440-1480). She had a daughter named Anna, a vampire to whom she had been extremely close. She had fallen in love with Johnathan Gilbert, a mortal male, who betrayed her as soon as he discovered that she was a vampire by the Gilbert Device. Pearl was taken with the other vampires to the tomb after been discovered by Johnathan Gilbert. Therefore Pearl spent almost a century and a half entombed in the Fell's Church tomb.
A few weeks ,after being freed by her daughter and others from the tomb—on her last night in Mystic Falls in the year 2010 — she decided to leave town, but then got staked by John Gilbert while leaving the house. While she appeared to be the main antagonist of episodes 15-20 (wanting to reclaim the town for the tomb vampires), Anna later stated that her mother wasn't after revenge; she only wanted her life back.
In Season 3, Anna tells Jeremy she hasn't encountered her mother on The Other Side and fears Pearl might have moved on. However, Anna and Pearl have an emotional reunion in Ghost World, before they are being transported back to the ghost world.
Pearl was married to an unnamed man, she had four children; a daughter named Anna , two sons, and baby girl. Her birth date is believed to date at least back to the early 15th century, shortly before Pearl herself was turned. Both Pearl and her daughter could walk in daylight thanks to Lapis Lazuli jewellery created by Emily Bennett, the witch and handmaiden of Katherine Pierce, who was a decades - perhaps centuries - old friend. Pearl had a loyal follower, by the name of Harper who was a soldier, left to die and perish in the battlefield. She had helped him escape death by feeding him her blood and turning him into a vampire, which Harper was extremely grateful of. This also explains his faithfulness and subservience to her before his death.
Pearl, among many others, was a vampire who resided in Mystic Falls in 1864. She owned and operated an apothecary. Elena's ancestor, Johnathan Gilbert, had been affectionate of Pearl, and Anna later voiced that the feelings were mutual. However, when a compass designed to detect the nearest vampire pointed at her, he realized that she was in fact a vampire herself. After brief astonishment and hesitation, he eventually aided in her incarceration, which was considered an iniquitous betrayal by both Anna and her mother. She was rounded up with the other 25 vampires to be burned to death in the tomb of the church; however, Emily had cast a spell that protected and sealed them in a tomb below the church instead.
The reason for this was that Emily had been simply holding up her end of the deal she had made with Damon : he was to protect Emily's current family (including her children and all her descendants) in exchange for the protection spell over Katherine in the tomb, but what Damon didn't realize is that if Emily saved only just save Katherine she, saved the whole tomb of Vampires, even though Katherine escaped thanks to the one the Lockwoods. She, and her servant Harper, were subsequently imprisoned in the tomb for nearly a century and a half, from 1864 to 2010.
In the year 2010, after 146 years of torturous confinement without blood, she was freed from the tomb by her daughter Anna, Stefan Salvatore, Damon Salvatore (who was actually looking for Katherine), Sheila Bennett and her granddaughter Bonnie Bennett, both descendants of Emily and both witches. The tomb couldn't have been opened without their use of the counter spell to override that of Emily. Elena, who was also there, was the first person Pearl had fed on which was initially supposed to be Jeremy; Anna had wanted to use a Gilbert to feed her mother. Since Jeremy had to be used in order for Anna to enter the tomb, a desperate Anna bit Elena's wrist, drawing blood on which Pearl could then feed.
Anna later gave a quasi-apology or justification to Elena as they left the tomb by saying "I just wanted to get my mother out". Later, as Anna took Pearl back to her hotel, Damon — who had been awaiting their return — attacked Pearl by putting the gravely weakened woman in a one-hand choke hold, clamping his right hand firmly around Pearl's neck while threatening to snap it. He demanded from Anna why Katherine wasn't in the tomb, to which Pearl replied that the guard at the tomb let Katherine go after she promised him that she would turn him into a vampire, further saying she had him under her spell. Damon let her go, shocked. Anna further confessed that she had seen Katherine in Chicago in 1983, and that Katherine didn't care to see Damon. Thereafter, she apologized to a devastated and heartbroken Damon, who then left.
Feeling the need to recover their land and former property, but needing a temporary cover as she made plans and got the feel of the politics of the town (and the 21st century), Pearl attempted to reopen the apothecary, which by then was the former offices of Jenna's brother-in-law. She and her daughter later paid a visit to Damon in the Salvatore Boarding House. Pearl, knowing Damon was undercover member of the Founder's Council, intended on using him to learn the names of the people in the council, and most importantly to find out which of them were supplied with vervain.
She even offered to reveal Katherine's possible whereabouts in return, which she assumed to know since she had been best friends with her for centuries. However, Damon (who supposedly no longer cared for Katherine after her deceit) attempted to intimidate Pearl by once again chocking her, this time with little to no avail; being well-over three times as old as Damon and at the full extent of her strength, Pearl had little problems overpowering him. She then turned the tables, gouging Damon's eyes when he remained intransigent, which made it very clear that he had no choice but to do what she would tell him.
She had initially been as vengeful as the other tomb vampires, seeking retribution against the descendants of the Mystic Falls' Founding Families. However, as time went on she eventually mellowed and no longer desired revenge; she just wanted to reestablish her life in Mystic Falls and recover her property. She even went as far as saying "These people are not our enemies; we don't hold grudges and resentments. We'll get our town back, we just have to have patience."
This put her on the wrong side of Frederick, one of the other tomb vampires, who still burned with the desire for vengeance. She had given off the impression of being the leader of the tomb vampires despite being constantly challenged by Frederick. At one time Fredrick and his vampire girlfriend Bethanne, in defiance of her instructions, attacked the Salvatores in their home with the intent to kill them. Frederick failed, getting Bethanne killed by Stefan in the process. In retaliation, Pearl staked him in the stomach with a wooden spatula, which led to no fatal consequences, but rather served as a punishment and a reminder of who was in charge.
However, after the other tomb vampires abducted and tortured Stefan Salvatore in Miss Gibbon's home, she had lost all faith in the few survivors, dislodging them all from the house, except for Harper. He had tried to prevent what was going on and actually saved Stefan's life, to which he was almost killed by Fredrick and the other tomb vampires for his betrayal. As this was occurring Pearl was at the Mystic Grill talking with Mayor Lockwood impressing him with her knowledge of the town's history including how his ancestors came into property in 1864. The implication is that the Lockwoods and other leading families had obtained at least some of Pearl's and some of the other tomb vampire's property at the time, given a meaning to the phrase "take their town back".
Pearl also learned at the Mystic Grill from Mayor Lockwood that the boy that was staring at Anna obviously was Jeremy Gilbert, something that Pearl was not pleased with. She later reminded Anna his family was the reason she was stuck in the tomb. Pearl warned her that Jeremy will drop and betray her just like Johnathan Gilbert did. Jeremy was the a descendant of the man she loved and had betrayed her, perhaps seeing a reflection of her own love with a Gilbert man and was afraid that history would repeat itself. However, Anna told her that he already knows and like it. With that Pearl gave Anna an uncharacteristic slap, possibly from Pearl's point of view endangering them all for revealing such a secret, especially to a Gilbert.
Later after Pearl and Anna learned of the events in their house over the abduction of Stefan from Harper, Anna went to the Salvatore's home and would express her and Pearl's apologies for what happened to Stefan to Damon. Pearl was devastated over what happened and Anna told Damon that the other vampires had left the farmhouse save Harper. Pearl was too prideful to make the apology in person originally, but later that day Pearl and Anna would run into Damon and would make a half-hearted attempt at an apology and gave the device that Jonathan Gilbert had invented Damon had asked for earlier to show that she was serious. Damon asked what it was. At the time Pearl didn't know what the device was either. She originally thought it was the vampire detecting compass but she realized her error when it was used against her the night she was taken and she still didn't know. That device would later have grave consequences for Damon, most of the remaining tomb vampires, even Mayor Lockwood and indirectly John Gilbert, but most of all her daughter Anna.
After learning of Pearl's presence in Mystic Falls, Elena's uncle, John Gilbert, contacted Pearl through Jenna ostensibly to discuss the sale to Pearl of the building Pearl's old apothecary was in in person at the Mystic Grill, but she knew better. She knew through Damon that John Gilbert knew exactly who and what she was and the real reason for the meeting to persuade her to give him the invention and she had no intention of giving it to him. John told her he intended to change her mind. She wanted to know why he wanted it even if the device didn't work and John quipped that it was a family heirloom.
He then tried to manipulate her sentimentality by using her love for Johnathan Gilbert, his ancestor, to get her to tell him where Johnathan's invention is. Sadly, it worked. He first told her that, having read his ancestor's journals, he knew that Johnathan regretted having betrayed her, and then laughed and said that the latter actually hated her and his only remorse was having not killed her himself. Pearl angrily told him that she gave the device to Damon and to rot in Hell.
With this revelation Pearl decided to leave town. Anna came home to find her packing. Then Anna asked why she was leaving, to which Pearl replied that it was a mistake to think they could live there after all. Too many people knew the truth, too much history and it was not safe. Anna bitterly resisted implying that Pearl was just giving up. Pearl correctly says Anna's resistance was due to Jeremy. Anna protests that wasn't it, only that she finally had a chance to build a life of her own. Pearl grudgingly gave her daughter the right to make her own choices. She said to Anna, "You gave me my life back. I'm just trying to protect yours. I can't force you. It's your decision!" 
Later with Anna gone, but expected back, Pearl tells Harper that he doesn't have to come with them. He wanted to since Mystic Falls was never really his home and he had not forgotten that she saved him when he was left for dead on the battlefield. As she and Harper were walking out the door with their luggage, John Gilbert took them by surprise and staked both of them with a rifle like stake gun from a long distance. Later Anna returned home and was horrified to find their corpses. Pearl was last seen dead on the ground with Anna sobbing next to her body.
Attitudes toward humansEdit
While she maybe was willing to use some of her powers of compulsion on humans (but again it was not shown on screen nor was said she did), like Mrs. Samantha Gibbons for the use of her farmhouse she did seem to value human life. After she was released from the tomb she started feeding on hospital blood bank supplies. Elena was the sole known time Pearl fed directly from a human, at Anna's urging. Other than that she wasn't known to hunt humans and drink directly from them at all in her short existence in the 21st century. In 1864 she drew romantically close to Jonathan Gilbert even loved him showing that she looked upon humans much more than food or toys. Indeed, she is not known to have fed on healthy humans during that time. Whether she was always like that is unknown. The harvesting and storage of human blood for transfusion purposes was yet to be invented so if she did partake in human blood it was likely from a live human or at least a freshly dead one. Harper was a civil war soldier that was dead or dying on the battlefield she turned, her only known sire, but as noted she was not noted to hunt humans, Harper is the only known human other than Elena that she has fed on. If she did not drink human blood regularly, it is likely she fed on animal blood at the time like Stefan Salvatore does presently.
|“||These people are not our enemies. We don’t hold grudges and resentments. We'll get our town back. We just have to have patience.||”|
— Pearl to the tomb vampires regarding the town's people
In any case she is certainly not inherently hostile to humans. She at first intended to settle in Mystic Falls to retake the town and make at least the town council pay for what their ancestors did to her and the other vampires, finding out who was on the council and finding out that the same families were in positions of power as they were in her day. but she eventually mellowed, putting aside her desire for vengeance on the town's descendants and the Gilbert's whom she had a personal grudge against, putting aside her hurt over Jonathan Gilbert's betrayal and gave her reluctant blessing for Anna to be romantically involved with Jeremy Gilbert, a human after being hostile to it. She eventually tried to persuade and even order the tomb vampires to put aside their need to avenge themselves against the town but failed and she and the other tomb vampires with the exception of Harper went their separate ways. Still she desired to stay in town since it was her home. However, when it became apparent to her that too many people, including a clearly hostile John Gilbert, knew that she and her daughter were vampires. Knowing this and the intent of the tomb vampires she likely saw the inevitable war coming. She decided to move (as ironically she originally intended to do in 1864) and get herself and Anna to safety (although Anna wanted to stay with Jeremy Gilbert whom she loved). As she was doing so she and Harper would be killed by John Gilbert working for both his own aims and with Isobel Saltzman desired who was intern operating under the orders of Katherine Pierce, Pearl's 19th century best friend, possibly thinking that she wanted revenge on her for what she did to Pearl saving herself and not Pearl.
She at least allowed Miss Gibbons to be compelled and probably considered killing the town council members for payback what their ancestors did to her, but despite her great suffering especially during the first few weeks trapped of enduring searing pain due to the lack of intake of blood of any kind (this was told to Stefan by Frederick a tomb vampire bent on murderous revenge on the town) in addition of 146 years of isolation, she was able to put aside her anger and wanted to live in peace just wanting to purchase back her old building where her apothecary business was and wanted to reestablish, but both fate and hatred between vampires and humans took her and soon after, her daughter's life.
On the spectrum of tolerance of humans she was very close to Lexi if not her equal.
- Pearl and Anna (Daughter)
- Pearl and Katherine Pierce (Former best friends, Betrayed/Enemies)
- Pearl and Harper (Good friends)
- Pearl and Fredrick
- Pearl and Richard Lockwood (Enemies)
- Pearl and Jonathan Gilbert (In love, Betrayed/Enemies)
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Some of these powers are more potent when the vampire gets older and feeds on human blood.
- Super Strength - Vampires are much stronger than humans and grow stronger with time. Even new vampires who are still in transition can toss a fully grown human across a room with great speed and force. Their strength is also more powerful than werewolves that are not in wolf form.
- Super Speed - Vampires can accelerate their movements to cover short distances in an instant, faster than the human eye can see. When running across long distances, they appear as vibrating blurs of motion.
- Emotional Control - The supernatural ability to control and manipulate the emotions of oneself.
- Heightened Senses - They can hear whispered conversations, even ones in far off buildings, smell blood, and see in total darkness.
- Mind Compulsion - Vampires have the ability to control minds, plague people's dreams, and alter/erase human memories.
- Immortality - A vampire stops aging once turned. Upon their transformation, vampires then on become immune to all conventional illness, disease, virus and infection. The only known disease or infection that can kill a vampire is a werewolf bite.
- Healing Factor - Vampires can snap their finger bones back into place after being broken and have been seen to fully recover from gunshots, stab wounds, and torso impalement.
- Vervain - When ingested, vervain causes a vampire to become severely weak and feverish. Also, If a vampire's skin is exposed to vervain, it can result in burning them.
- Wood - If a vampire is wounded by wood it will cause the vampire to become severely weak and if a vampire takes a wooden stake through its heart it will result in death.
- Heart Extraction - The act of removing a vampire's heart will result in death.
- Werewolf Bite - The bite of a werewolf is extremely lethal to normal vampires.
- Magic - Witches are able to give supernatural aneurysms that cause the blood vessels of vampires to explode.
- Decapitation - The act of dismembering or removing the head of a vampire will result in death.
- Uninvited Invitation - Vampires cannot enter a house without being invited in. If they are in the house without being invited in they will become disoriented.
- Vampire bloodline - Vampires who were turned by an original who turned others will die if the original is staked by the white oak stake.
- Season 1
- Children of the Damned (flashback)
- Fool Me Once
- A Few Good Men
- There Goes the Neighborhood
- Let The Right One In
- Miss Mystic Falls
- Blood Brothers
- Season 3
Pearl told Stefan that their family had been fortunate during the war (for Independence), but after the war, Anna became deadly sick so Pearl took her to Katherine because even though she was surrounded by medicine, she couldn't save her daughter. Katherine changed her too. Her sons, baby daughter and husband had died from the illness. She was masquerading as a widow with Anna as her daughter.
She had a husband, two sons and a baby daughter, who were all killed by a wave of consumption.
- The name Pearl comes from the Latin, "Perla" the concretion formed inside molluscs. It was widely used in English as a given name. However, Pearl is over 570 years old (as a Vampire), so she was born about the time that the Portuguese sailed around the Cape of Good Hope. That mean that in all likelihood she was born in Japan or China, so she should not have an English name. It could be a nickname or the translation of her original name.
- It is said that Pearl and Katherine were best friends long before they arrived to Mystic Falls, but still, Katherine betrayed her along with the other vampires in order to lead Klaus to think that she had been killed in the church, back in 1864.
- It is entirely possible that Katherine used Pearl and Anna for protection against the Originals.
- Pearl is the second know of many parents to be turned in to vampires. The first was Mikael, followed by Pearl, Katherine, Isobel, Jenna (she is considered a parent), Bill, and Abby. However we do not know if Pearl was really the birth mother of Anna , or only her "maker".
- Pearl is one of the oldest vampires who have appeared in the series (Klaus, Elijah, Mikael, Rebekah, Finn, Kol and Sage are the others).
- Pearl does not appear in the books.
- The reason why Katherine wanted Pearl dead after she left the tomb, is by her power and knew she would take revenge against her.
- In the episode The Reckoning, Katherine reveals that Pearl knew of a way to kill Klaus. Pearl knew about Mikael, a vampire who hunts other vampires, and the one person Klaus seems to fear. This was also Pearl and Anna's leverage against Katherine which makes the attempt on Anna and Pearl's lives pointless as it would ultimately screw Katherine over.
- Pearl strongly disliked, potentially even hated, John Gilbert and heartbroken by Jonathan Gilbert. As a result, she disapproved of Anna seeing Jeremy Gilbert because he was apart of the Gilbert family.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Stefan's Diaries: Origins - Chapter 19
- ↑ It translates from Chinese as Pearl
- ↑ 1.13 Children of the Damned
- ↑ 1.20 Blood Brothers
- ↑ 1.09 History Repeating
- ↑ 1.13 Children of the Damned
- ↑ 1.14 Fool Me Once
- ↑ 1.16 There Goes the Neighborhood
- ↑ 1.16 There Goes the Neighborhood
- ↑ 1.17 Let The Right One In
- ↑ 1.19 Miss Mystic Falls
- ↑ 1.20 Blood Brothers
- ↑ 1.20 Blood Brothers
- ↑ 1.20 Blood Brothers