|“||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.||”|
Doppelgänger is a term used to describe a supernatural double of a living person. Doppelgängers are nature's way of balancing itself by making mortal shadow-selves for truly immortal beings. For two thousands years, Amara's doppelgängers (commonly referred to as Petrova doppelgängers) and Silas' doppelgängers have appeared over the centuries to take their progenitor's places as mortal human beings and have fallen in love with each other.
The first doppelgänger line introduced in the series is the Petrova doppelgänger line, of which Amara is the progenitor and Katherine Pierce, Elena Gilbert and Tatia are doppelgängers. A Petrova doppelgänger is estimated to be born every 500 years. Another doppelgänger bloodline, ancestors to the Salvatore bloodline, originates at Silas, whose only known doppelgänger is Stefan Salvatore. According to Qetsiyah, Stefan isn't Silas' first shadow.
The phenomenon of the shadow-self (doppelgänger) 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 Travellers, created a spell for immortality. Silas stole the Immortality elixir and used it on himself and his lover, Amara. Disrupting that balance when they became truly immortal, Silas and Amara inadvertently, created a line of mortal shadow-selves, or doppelgängers.
Over two thousand years ago in ancient Greece, a young warlock named Silas was engaged to be married to Qetsiyah, a witch. Together, they were the most powerful members of a gifted people called Travellers. Silas told Qetsiyah that he wanted their love to last forever, even beyond death, and he convinced her to create a spell that would make them immortal. On the night that their wedding ceremony was to take place, Silas absconded with the elixir Qetsiyah had created, and as Qetsiyah watched plant life wither before her eyes, she knew that not only had Silas taken the elixir, he had also given her portion to someone else. She sought out Silas and found him in the wilderness with another woman – her handmaiden, Amara, was Silas' one true love, and she had taken Qetsiyah's share of the immortality elixir. Silas, having left Amara alone, returned to their hiding place to find Qetsiyah crouching over the chalice that had held the elixir. He cautiously enquired after Qetsiyah's purpose, and she explained that, to follow up her first gift of the immortality elixir, she had brought a second gift: the cure for immortality. Silas was dumbfounded, hardly believing her, but she insisted that it worked, as she had already used it on another immortal. Filling with dread, Silas ran into the tent he had shared with Amara, only to find blood soaked into every surface, as though someone had been brutally slaughtered there. Qetsiyah followed him into the tent and lifted a bloody human heart out of the chalice, admitting that she had slit Amara's throat before ripping her heart out. After Silas refused to take the cure, Qetsiyah trapped him on a desolate island in an underground cave, where he desiccated for two thousand years, entombed with the cure.
One major consequence of Silas and Amara becoming immortal was the creation of two successions of shadow selves, or doppelgängers. Their immortality had violated Nature's law that all living things must die, and so the doppelgängers came to exist as versions of Silas and Amara that can die. According to Qetsiyah, many identical replicas of Silas and Amara have been born over the centuries, finding each other time and time again as though drawn together by destiny. However, the exact number of doppelgängers that have existed is not certain, as only four doppelgängers have been identified by name: Stefan Salvatore is the only Silas doppelgänger that has been identified thus far, while Tatia, Katerina Petrova, and Elena Gilbert have been identified as Amara's.
Tatia and the Original Vampires
Tatia was a descendent and the second doppelgänger of Amara. She lived in America during the 11th century as a contemporary of the Mikaelson family. Even though she had already had a child by another man, both Elijah and Klaus fell in love with her. Seeking to end their feud, their mother, Esther, took her away. They later learned that it was Tatia's blood that laced the wine they consumed the night their mother turned them into vampires. Although it has not been explicitly stated, it is inferred that it was Tatia that Esther sacrificed to bind the hybrid curse.
- Main article: Hybrid Curse
The notion of the doppelgänger as a class of supernatural beings was introduced in the episode Rose by the character of the same name. Until that point, the term was used simply to describe Elena's uncanny resemblance to the vampire Katherine. Rose explains that Elena is a Petrova doppelgänger, and that she is one of the necessary components in a ritual to break the Sun and the Moon curse, which allegedly caused vampires to be ruled by the sun and werewolves to be ruled by the moon. Rose had originally tried to hand Elena over to Elijah, in an effort to earn back his and Klaus' favor, but after Elijah kills her friend Trevor, Rose decides to tell Elena and the Salvatores what she knows about Klaus. Rose's story is corroborated by Katherine, who tells Elena about how Klaus had wanted to use her in the sacrifice five hundred years before – to "drain every single drop of blood" from her body.
In the episode Klaus, Elijah reveals to Elena that the Sun and the Moon curse was fake, and the real curse was one that had been placed on Klaus to suppress his werewolf nature in order to prevent him from becoming a hybrid. He explains that five hundred years ago, Klaus had intended to sacrifice Katerina in the ritual, but she thwarted him by turning herself into a vampire, thus rendering herself useless – the doppelgänger had to be human for the ritual to break the curse.
In The Last Day, Elena surrenders herself to Klaus, and in The Sun Also Rises, after Jules the werewolf and Jenna the vampire have been sacrificed and their blood spilled over the moonstone by the witch Greta, Klaus drains Elena of her blood until she dies, and thus successfully breaks the Hybrid Curse.
Fortunately for Klaus, Elena actually survives the sacrifice, and in The Reckoning, Klaus discovers from Esther (via Bonnie and Matt, who had contacted Vicki on the Other Side) that the blood of the Petrova doppelgänger is required to create more hybrids like himself. After a werewolf drinks Klaus' blood and he kills them, once they reawaken they must drink Elena's blood in order to complete the transition and become a hybrid.
Silas' Return and Qetsiyah's Resurrection
In the twenty-first century, a man named Atticus Shane sets in motion a series of events that leads to the resurrection of the immortal Silas. Once he has regained his strength, Silas manipulates those around him to further his agenda: Bonnie must complete the Expression Triangle and destroy the veil, while Klaus must find the cure and return it to Silas. These things all occur to some extent – Bonnie completes the triangle and drops the veil, while Silas gets a hold of the cure – but Silas' plan goes awry when Bonnie subdues him and turns him to stone, and Alaric nabs the cure and gives it to Damon.
Later, while trying to resurrect Jeremy, Bonnie dies and the spell on Silas breaks. When Stefan is about to dump Silas' body into the quarry, Silas appears and reveals to Stefan his true form; they look exactly alike, and Silas explains that Stefan is his shadow self and doppelgänger, before locking Stefan in a safe and dropping it into the quarry.
Sometime when the veil was down, Qetsiyah managed to return from the Other Side in order to take matters into her own hands. After freeing Stefan and telling him her version of the story between her, Silas, and Amara, she uses Stefan in a spell to link him to Silas, then fries his brain, which in turn deprives Silas of his mind control abilities.
Powers and Abilities
- Blood: Because they are mystical and recurant, doppelganger are a massive source of power such as a Full Moon or a Comet. The blood of an doppelgängers can link supernatural beings (vampires, werewolves, witches and hybrids) to kinship with the help of magic conducted by any witch/warlock. The blood of a doppelgänger can also be used in the realization of a curse or spell which is extremely powerful.
Tatia was born during the 10th century in the area where Mystic Falls was to be formed. She was assumed to be the 2nd Petrova doppelganger. She was a contemporary of the Mikaelson Family around the early 11th century. During the Middle Ages, Tatia had a child with an unknown man; later in time she met both Elijah and Niklaus, both of whom fell for her. Esther, the mother of Elijah and Niklaus, used her in the spell to create the Original Vampires, with her blood as part of the wine laced with blood 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.She is the descendent of Amara, the very first immortal woman. Tatia's doppelganger is an unknown lady who was born during the 5th century and her doppelgänger is Katherine Pierce.
Katerina Petrova (Katherine Pierce) was born in Bulgaria on June 5th, 1473. She is assumed to be the 3rd Petrova doppelgänger. In the year 1492, when she was still a human, she was captured by 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, the fourth Petrova doppelgänger. 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 (the fourth Petrova Doppelgänger), 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.
Elena was born in Mystic Falls, Virginia on June 22nd, 1992. She is assumed to be the 4th Petrova doppelgänger. 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 that was given away by her father, thus continuing the Petrova bloodline. Once Klaus learned of the second 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.
Stefan was born in Mystic Falls, Virginia on November 5th, 1847. Stefan is assumed to be the 4th Salvatore doppelganger. He was turned into a vampire along with his brother Damon in the year 1864 by Amara's descendant, Katherine Pierce. Not much is known about the Salvatore doppelgänger bloodline, Silas' background and Silas' history, but it could be assumed that there were preceding doppelgängers of Silas before Stefan, considering that Silas is 2,000 years older than Stefan. This seems to be true according to Qetsiyah, who tells Stefan that she has seen doppelgangers preceding Stefan while watching from The Other Side. As for how the Salvatore doppelgänger bloodline was created, when Silas made himself truly immortal, nature made shadow selves or doppelgängers of Silas as a version of himself that could die. Silas' doppelgängers and descendants are something that is able to die while Silas is not, thus maintaining the balance of nature.
|Unknown Doppelgänger||Unknown Doppelgänger|
|Katerina Petrova||Unknown Doppelgänger|
- 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.
- 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:
- Doppelgängers are humans for most intents and purposes. However, they are a supernatural occurence. 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 comes back to life if killed by the doppelgänger.
- The Gilbert rings do not protect supernatural creatures and is, thus, theorised not to work on a doppelgänger. It 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.
- Katherine and Elena both became vampires, though Katherine has been cured and is now human.
- Silas and his doppelganger, Stefan, both have first names beginning with the letter "S".
- Seeing as Amara's doppelgängers follow a pattern in naming, it is reasonable to assume that the other unknown doppelgängers of Silas follow this pattern.
- Only Elijah has met three Petrova women and also developed emotional attachments to them: he was in love with Tatia in the early 11th century; he cared for Katerina in the 15th century and was romantically involved with her in the 21st century; and he has developed a close bond with Elena as a friend and kindred spirit. Klaus also met all three Petrovas, but only fell in love with Tatia, not Elena or Katerina.
- Both the Salvatore brothers and the Mikaelson brothers have had relationships with a Petrova lady: Elijah with Tatia, Katerina, and Elena; Klaus with Tatia; and Damon and Stefan both with Katerina and Elena.
- 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 Originals but her doppelgängers have influenced the deaths of all three deceased Originals.
- Now that Stefan has been revealed to be a doppelganger of Silas, in retrospect, it seems more than just a mere coincidence that Stefan too influenced the deaths of the three originals.
- 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 in the safe under a quarry.
- The very danger, of being prematurely undone by his doppelganger, 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 Doppelganger" comes from the last name of Katherine Petrova, the third doppelgänger of Amara, formerly known as Katerina Petrova.
- The term "Salvatore Doppelganger" comes from the last name of Giuseppe Salvatore, a very distant descendant of Silas.
- Qetsiyah has said that the Salvatore and Petrova doppelgangers 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 Petrova doppelganger, was used by Esther to make the Mikaelson family vampires and was also used to suppress Klaus' werewolf side, there were possible Salvatore and Petrova doppelgangers who were born every 100 years or every century, since Qetsiyah said that they fall in love century after century, not every 500 years.
- It is uncertain whether or not the doppelgangers of Silas are born every 500 years like the last three doppelgangers of Amara have.
- It is possible that the Petrova and Salvatore doppelgangers are finding each other and falling in love on The Other Side. Doppelgangers 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 has been watching them find each other and fall in love on The Other Side.