|“||When they drank the immortality elixir, they violated the natural law that all living things must die, so Nature found a balance by creating mortal shadow selves.||”|
Doppelgängers or a doppelgänger (also known as a "Mortal Shadow Self" or a "Shadow Self") is an individual(s) who happens to be a supernatural double of an immortal being. They are Nature's way of balancing itself after the creation of a spell to make truly immortal beings by repeatedly creating mortal counterparts of them to live and eventually die in their place. Basically, doppelgängers are the "scapegoats" of immortals who are exempted from nature's rule that all living things must eventually cease to live. For over two thousand years, Amara's and Silas' shadow selves or doppelgangers have appeared over the centuries to take their places as mortal human beings that are able to die in their place. While the doppelgängers' lives don't always follow the exact same pattern of their progenitors, they have a supernatural tendency to find each other and fall in love with one another over the centuries.
There are two known types of doppelgängers: Petrova doppelgängers - who are descendants of the world's first immortal woman, Amara; and the Salvatore doppelgängers, who are descendants of the world's first immortal man, Silas. Elena is the only remaining Petrova doppelgänger, while Stefan is the only living Salvatore doppelgänger.
Introduction of the Doppelgängers
It was first believed that doppelgängers are related to one another through a bloodline; however, it was later revealed that doppelgängers appear after the creation of a truly immortal being, and are a recurrent and mystical supernatural being. Because they're supernatural, their blood can be used as a binding agent for powerful spells, such as the spell that created the Originals. Because they have no actual supernatural powers, the only way that it has been confirmed that doppelgängers are supernatural was the fact that Elena killed Alaric while wearing a Gilbert Ring and he came back to life a short time later. This also confirmed Elijah's suspicion that the Gilbert Ring wouldn't work on Elena because she was technically a supernatural being. Though doppelgängers are supposed to represent mortality in the place of an otherwise immortal being, they can achieve immortality through vampirism, as was in the case of Katherine, Stefan, and Elena.
The phenomenon of the shadow-self occurs to counterbalance a disruption to nature's law that all living things must die. Qetsiyah, one of the most powerful witches and member of a very gifted people called the Travelers, created a spell for immortality with the intention that she and Silas would drink it together at their wedding. However, Silas stole the immortality elixir and used it on himself and his lover, Amara, so that the two could be together for eternity. Disrupting the balance of Nature when they became truly immortal, Nature created copies of Silas and Amara that could die to balance itself. With Silas and Amara now both dead, it is unknown if Nature will continue to spawn more doppelgängers.
Powers and Abilities
- Blood - Because they are mystical and recurrent, doppelgängers are a source of massive magical power.
- The blood of a doppelgänger can be used to link supernatural beings to kinship with the help of magic conducted by any witch.
- Their blood can also be used to bind a en extremely powerful curse or spell.
- For some spells, the blood must come from a human doppelgänger. For other spells, the blood of a doppelgänger can still be used even if they've been turned into a vampire, as seen in Death and the Maiden when Qetsiyah used Elena's blood to transfer the Anchor from Amara to Bonnie. There are certain spells and uses that require the doppelgänger to be "pure" and human, however, like the undoing of the Hybrid Curse and the siring of hybrids.
- The blood of the last two "living" doppelgängers can be used to reverse spells cast using spirit magic (e.g. turning a vampire back into a [dead] human, undoing the spell that bound the Other Side, reversing the spells cast on daylight rings for vampires, etc).
- Linking - Because dopplegangers are modelled after Immortals and other dopplegangers, they have an inherently strong mystical connection to each other that can be used to invoke Linking Spells.
The Progenitors Of Salvatore and Petrova Doppelgangers
Amara's known doppelgängers are Tatia, Katherine and Elena, all three of which have appeared on-screen. Elena is sometimes referred to as the Petrova doppelgänger because of her striking resemblance to Katerina Petrova.
Tatia was born during the 10th century A.D. in the area where Mystic Falls was to be formed. She was a contemporary of the Mikaelson Family around the early 10th century. During the Middle Ages, Tatia had a child with an unknown man; later in time, she met Elijah and Niklaus Mikaelson, both of whom fell in love with her (especially Klaus, according to Elijah). Esther, the mother of Elijah and Niklaus and also the Original witch, used Tatia's blood in the spell or ritual to create the Original Vampires, as part of the wine laced with blood in which Mikael had given his children. Her blood was also part of the spell Esther used to bind Klaus' werewolf side, which resulted in Klaus' werewolf gene being dormant.
Klaus. She knew that she was going to die, so she tricked Trevor, one of Klaus' servants, into helping her escape. Katherine was clever, cunning and smart; she knew that if she became a vampire, she'd be rendered useless to Klaus. Katherine stabbed herself with a knife but was given vampire blood by Rose in an attempt to heal her stabbing wound and afterwards, Katherine hung herself and came back as a vampire. In return for her escape, Klaus made her suffer by killing her entire family in Bulgaria, thinking that the doppelgänger would never appear again. What Klaus didn't know was that Katherine had a child out of wedlock that was kept secret and this child continued the bloodline of the Petrova family, leading to the birth of Elena Gilbert. Tired from running, Katherine intended to make a deal with Klaus by giving him the ingredients he needed to break the curse in exchange for her freedom. She planned to hand over the moonstone, Elena Gilbert, Caroline Forbes (a vampire), Tyler Lockwood (a werewolf) and Bonnie Bennett (a witch). When Katherine was about to take out her own doppelganger, Elena shoves the cure, into her mouth. She is the doppelganger of Tatia and her doppelganger is Elena Gilbert.
Elijah was the first one who found out about Elena before Klaus. At first, when Rose told Elijah about this, he didn't believe it. But soon enough he found out that the Petrova family line didn't end with Katherine because she had given birth to a baby girl, thus continuing the Petrova bloodline. Once Klaus learned of the Petrova doppelgänger, Elena, he came to Mystic Falls, and he kidnapped Katherine, temporarily taking over the body of Alaric Saltzman. As with Katherine, Klaus is responsible for the death of Elena's family, most notably their aunt Jenna Sommers, Elena and Jeremy's legal guardian. He terned Jenna into a vampire and killed her for the sacrificial ritual. Unlike with Katherine, Klaus successfully killed Elena and as a result, he breaks the curse. Fortunately for Elena, John Gilbert had Bonnie form a special spell that bound Elena's life force or essence to his. This spell brought Elena back to life, but in return, killed John and took his life. In The Departed, Jeremy took Elena to Mystic Falls Hospital after discovering her lying unconscious at home. Meredith Fell discovered Elena was suffering from a serious cerebral hemorrhage and secretly injected her with vampire blood to heal her. This action fortunately saved Elena from death. The same day, Rebekah ran Elena and Matt off Wickery Bridge to save her siblings from Alaric, since his life force was tied to Elena. That way, if she died, so would Alaric. Jeremy arrives home to see Alaric, and he talks to him and Jeremy realizes that he is a ghost, and that if he is dead, that means his sister, Elena, must also be dead. Stefan hurried to Wickery Bridge, intending to save Elena, but she insisted that he save Matt's life instead, who was unresponsive after crashing into the water. By the time Stefan pulled Matt out of the water, Elena had drowned and died. Stefan brought her body back to Mystic Falls Hospital, where she woke up, transitioning into a vampire with Damon's blood in her system. She is the last of Amara's doppelgängers and being a vampire the line ends with her.
Compared to the Petrova Dopplegängers, the Salvatore Dopplegängers do not seem to be as recognized, since Klaus and Rebekah seemed to have failed at recognizing Stefan for what he was during the early 20th Century, other than an emotionless Vampire at the time.
Stefan Salvatore was born in Mystic Falls, Virginia during the 19th century on November 5th, 1846. He was turned into a vampire along with his older brother Damon in the year 1864 by Amara's distant descendant, Katherine Pierce. Like his ancient ancestor Silas, Stefan was involved in a love triangle with Katherine and Damon. Stefan was unaware of the fact that he was a doppelgänger during his human years, and had no idea Katherine herself was a doppelgänger. Stefan was turned into a vampire against his will; Katherine had been compelling Stefan to consume her vampire blood for weeks. When Katherine is captured by the Founders Council Members, Stefan and Damon plot to rescue Katherine from being burned in a church by fire. Although Stefan and Damon do end up rescuing Katherine, Stefan and Damon are both shot dead by their own father Giuseppe. It was then that Stefan transformed into a vampire. When he first transitioned, Stefan suffered from severe hunger for blood and therefore, had problems controlling himself around human blood. Regarding the bloodline of Silas, not too much is known about it, its background and its history. Qetsiyah mentioned to Stefan that she has seen doppelgangers of Silas preceding Stefan while watching from The Other Side.
While You Were Sleeping. He is a paramedic who resides in Atlanta, Georgia. In Rescue Me, it is revealed that he was kidnapped by a witch named Hazel and put in a comatose state under a cloaking spell in order to protect him from The Travelers. He is later found by Caroline and Enzo. Caroline snaps Enzo's neck in order to prevent him from killing Tom. Caroline then takes Tom to a diner and compels him to tell her about his life. Confirming he is a good person, she compels him to run, far from the Travelers and Enzo. Before he can leave, however, Enzo catches up to them and snaps Tom's neck, killing him and making Stefan the last living doppelgänger of Silas.
|Amara †||Silas †|
|Tatia †||Unknown Doppelgänger †|
|Katerina Petrova †||Unknown Doppelgänger †|
|Elena Gilbert||Tom Avery †|
- In some traditions, when a doppelgänger is seen by a person's friends or relatives, the contact prophesies illness or danger, while a person seeing their own doppelgänger is an omen of death.
- In other traditions or legends, a doppelgänger is connected with the person copied; sometimes causing the feelings of injuries between the original and the doppelgänger. For example, if the doppelgänger is injured, the other person will also be hurt or feel pain.
- "Doppelganger" is a German word or term meaning "double walker" or "double goer"―a shadow self that is thought to accompany every person. Traditionally, it is said that only the owner of the doppelganger can see this phantom self and that it can be a harbinger of death. Occasionally, however, a doppelganger can be seen by a person's friends or family, resulting in quite a bit of confusion.
- The word doppelganger is a loanword from German, written there (as any noun) with an initial capital letter Doppelganger, composed from doppel, meaning "double", and ganger, as "walker." In English, the word is conventionally not capitalized, and it is also common to drop the German diacritic umlaut on the letter "a" and write "doppelganger," although the correct spelling without umlaut would be "doppelgaenger".
- The term has, in the vernacular, come to refer to any double or look-alike of a person, most commonly in reference to a so-called evil twin, or to bilocation. Alternatively, the word is used to describe a phenomenon where you catch your own image out of the corner of your eye. In some traditions, seeing one's own doppelganger is an omen of death. A doppelganger seen by friends or relatives of a person may sometimes bring bad luck, or indicate an approaching illness or health problem.
- The doppelgangers of folklore cast no shadow, and have no reflection in a mirror or in water. They are supposed to provide advice to the person they shadow, but this advice can be misleading or malicious. They can also, in rare instances, plant ideas in their victim's mind or appear before friends and relatives, causing confusion. In many cases once someone has viewed his own doppelganger, he is doomed to be haunted by images of his ghostly counter-part.
- Other folklore says that it is considered unlucky to try to communicate with a doppelgänger.
- Silas and Amara's doppelgangers may not be limited to a continuous 500 years recurrence as it has been speculated since Season Two: Qetsiyah said in Original Sin that "century after century" she watched versions of Stefan and Elena find each other and fall in love-- this could mean that Klaus only presumed the time period between the Petrova doppelgangers because it took him that long to find one after losing Katherine. But Qetsiyah's statement could be interpreted as just being hyperbolic.
- According to Qetsiyah, the shadows of Silas and Amara are destined to find each other and fall in love, based on her observations throughout the centuries. However, evidently, they are also capable of developing romantic feelings for other people. Examples include:
- The term doppelgänger doesn't seem to imply any hierarchy.
- Qetsiyah has, in one instance, mentioned Silas as Stefan's doppelgänger.
- Silas himself referred to Amara as Elena's doppelgänger.
- Silas and Stefan can be called doppelgängers of each other. Similarly, Tatia, Katherine, Elena and Amara are all doppelgängers of each other since they are all lookalikes of each other.
- The term "Shadow" has some implied hierarchy as opposed to doppelgänger.
- Katherine referred to Elena as her shadow self and Silas did the same to Stefan.
- Elena is the shadow of Amara, Tatia and Katherine, while Katherine is that only of Amara and Tatia.
- Doppelgängers are humans for most intents and purposes. However, they are a supernatural occurrence and are therefore, considered to be a supernatural species. The difference between regular humans and doppelgängers is that spells that use a doppelgänger can be broken using another doppelgänger.
- Death by a doppelgänger counts as a supernatural death. A person wearing a Gilbert ring will come back to life if killed by a human doppelgänger.
- The Gilbert rings do not protect supernatural creatures and is, thus, theorized not to work on a doppelgänger. This has never been confirmed.
- They can, however, be compelled by vampires like any regular human.
- It seems that the men who spend a lot of time with doppelgängers of Amara can't help but fall in love with her or fall vulnerable to her charms. Back in the 11th century, it was stated that every man in the village fell in love with Tatia, though Elijah and Klaus more than any others. Trevor, Elijah, Damon, Stefan, and Mason fell in love with Katherine, and Noah was obsessed with her. Matt, Stefan, and Damon fell in love with Elena.
- Similarly, it seems that many women also fall madly for Salvatore doppelgangers, almost to psychotic and crazy proportions. An example is Elena, Bonnie, Caroline, Katherine, Qetsiyah and Rebekah all finding Stefan appealing and all of them being attracted to him. It could easily be assumed that Silas was also very attractive to the opposite sex as well, since he had two women who were passionately (and one psychotically) in love with him in Qetsiyah and Amara.
- Katherine and Elena both became vampires, though Katherine was cured of her vampirism and returned back to a human/witch before eventually dying of old age.
- Silas and his doppelgänger, Stefan, have first names beginning with the letter "S".
- All of the known shadows of Amara, like herself, have first names that rhyme with each other. All of the known Petrova doppelgängers, including the progenitor Amara, all have first names which end with an "A" (AmarA, TatiA, KaterinA, ElenA).
- Aside from Tatia, Katherine and Elena, there is presumed to be another doppelgänger of Amara who precedes Tatia, born during c. 5th century A.D. She is presumed to be Amara's very first doppelgänger, although this is not confirmed and is just a theory.
- A person and his or her doppelgänger will look identical in appearance, but the differences stem from their rearing and community standards (such as their expressions, speech, reason, and connections with others).
- According to some myths, doppelgängers tend to undo the lives of each other. Tatia was used to create the Original Vampires but her doppelgängers have influenced the deaths of all three deceased Original Vampires.
- Now that Stefan has been revealed to be a doppelgänger of Silas, in retrospect, it seems more than just a mere coincidence that Stefan too influenced the deaths of the three original vampires.
- Stefan intervened when Damon tried to take a shot at Klaus which led to the death of Mikael.
- Stefan took the first shot at Finn and was disarmed immediately by Sage. In his process of recovering the stake, Elena shot Finn with the crossbow.
- Stefan spent an entire evening trying to obtain the dagger from Rebekah which, at the very least kept her at bay, while Elena and Jeremy went about killing Kol.
- On more than one occasion, Katherine has actively harmed her doppelgänger Elena. Silas made his doppelgänger, Stefan, suffer for a whole summer by stabbing him, locking him in a safe and throwing the safe off a cliff into the water under a quarry, where Stefan would drown repeatedly and die over and over for three months.
- The very danger, of being prematurely undone by his doppelgänger, is probably why Silas locked Stefan in the safe and left him to drown repeatedly - he might have wanted to keep Stefan out of the way for as long as he remains immortal. As it turns out, Stefan's release from the safe allowed Qetsiyah to neutralise Silas' mental powers.
- The term "Petrova Doppelgänger" comes from the last name of Katherine Petrova, the second doppelgänger of Amara. It is a term used by those who strived to find Katherine's doppelgänger and once discovered, directly referred only to Elena.
- Qetsiyah has said that the Silas' and Amara's doppelgängers have been finding each other and falling in love century after century. This could possibly imply that before the 10th century, when Tatia, the second doppelgänger of Amara, was used by Esther to make the Mikaelson family vampires and was also used to suppress Klaus' werewolf side, there were possibly Petrova doppelgängers being born every century or every few centuries, since Qetsiyah said that they fall in love century after century, not every 500 years. However, it's also possible that Qetsiyah was just being hyperbolic to emphasize her annoyance at watching Silas and Amara's shadows constantly falling in love over the last 2,000 years.
- It is uncertain whether or not the doppelgängers of Silas are born every 500 years like the last three doppelgängers of Amara have. It is also uncertain if Petrova doppelgängers being born every 500 years theory is actually true.
- It is possible that the doppelgängers were finding each other and falling in love on The Other Side. Doppelgängers are known to be supernatural beings and hence, would go to The Other Side when they die. This could possibly be what Qetsiyah meant when she said she has watched versions of Silas and Amara find each other and fall in love century after century; she could have been watching them find each other and fall in love on the Other Side. However, with the destruction of the Other Side, this is presumably no longer possible.
- Doppelgängers can be born or the doppelgänger "gene" can be passed down the bloodline without the doppelgänger himself/herself having children or a direct bloodline due to having children. For example, Silas and Amara, the progenitors of the Salvatore and Petrova doppelgänger bloodlines respectively, were assumed to not have had any children before they became truly immortal. Therefore, it is very likely that they had a sibling(s) which would have passed down the doppelgänger "gene" through Silas and Amara's respective bloodlines. So, doppelgängers would not need to have children in order for the doppelgänger "gene" to be passed down the bloodline. It should be noted that all of the known Petrova doppelgängers (i.e. Tatia and Katherine), with the exception of Elena due to becoming a vampire, have had children. It could be assumed that Silas' doppelgängers all had children as well, with the exception of Stefan, since he became a vampire and therefore, could not reproduce.
- The two known doppelgänger lines are, both, the result of the Immortality Spell being cast. It is possible that other spells (such as the Hybrid Curse while it was active) may also produce doppelgängers depending on their nature.
- As of fifth season of The Vampire Diaries, both Amara and Silas had become mortal and died. Theoretically, being cured of immortality and their deaths means the end of their doppelgänger lines, as nature would no longer require their shadow selves to die in their places.
- Since Tom Avery was born in the 20th century chances are is that he was meant for Elena, had she not met Stefan. If the prophecy held truth, then that means that Stefan may have never been meant to meet neither Katherine or Elena, nor fall in love with them. Katherine may have had another Salvatore doppelgänger that was meant for her, and Stefan could have had a different Petrova Doppelganger that was meant for himself, IF, of course, the prophecy meant that two doppelgangers were born in the same century and were meant fall in love with each other.
- It was revealed that the reason why the Travelers want the blood of the doppelgängers was because they wanted to break the curse that was placed on them by Luke and Liv's coven 2,000 years ago.
- Qetsiyah's belief that the shadows of Silas and Amara were destined to find each other and fall in love was proven to be incorrect; it was revealed that the reason why the Salvatore and Petrova doppelgängers find each other and fall in love is because of the spell that was placed on them by Markos 1,500 years earlier.
- It was coincidental how Amara was the handmaiden of Qestiyah in 100 BC, while in the 19th century, Qestiyah's descendant Emily Bennett was the handmaiden of Amara's doppelganger and descendant, Katherine. Another one of Qetsiyah's descendants, Bonnie Bennett, was best friends with Petrova doppelgänger Elena Gilbert, showing a pattern of Qetsiyah's descendants being involved in some way with Amara's doppelgängers.
- According to this interview and the synposis for Red Door Tatia was Amara's first doppelganger.