The Petrova Family (Bulgarian: Петров or Петрова) is one of the oldest and most powerful families of The Vampire Diaries, second only to the The Original Family in terms of current power. The family's earliest known relative was Amara, who was one of the two oldest and most powerful immortal beings to ever live along with her lover, Silas. The latter was also one of the most powerful witches of all time, perhaps only second to Qetsiyah in terms of raw magical power and ability to make powerful spells, although this is debatable.
When Amara became truly immortal, nature had to find a balance, and so a 'killable version' of herself would appear around every 500 years as one of her descendants, one who would be human, who would look exactly like her physically and who would have blood with magic properties. This is known among the series' fans as the Petrova Doppelgänger line, as the earliest known of her descendants to be her Doppelgänger is Katerina Petrova. The last descendant of the lineage is presumably Elena Gilbert, as she died before giving birth to a child. Furthermore, even though Katerina became human again by ingesting the cure for immortality, she was dying too quickly to have the time to give birth again, and there are no other known relatives of the Petrova family in the story to still be alive.
Both Katerina and her daughter, Nadia Petrova, became vampires in the prime of their youth and grew up to over 500 years of age, ranking them among the most powerful vampires in the series' universe. Many of the family members were also members of The Travellers by birth, making them witches with special magical abilities, such as the one to escape death by living on inside of another human's body upon dying.
Almost an entire generation of the family was wiped out by Niklaus Mikaelson during the 15th century, in revenge for Katerina's sabotage of his plan to break the magical curse that had been placed on him by his own mother over half a century before. However, Nadia wasn't found by Klaus and presumably gave birth to a child before becoming a vampire. The Petrova Family has been linked to both the Salvatore Family and the Bennett Family since 1st century B.C, also known as the Biblical Times.
- Amara: Amara (Ancient Greek: Αμάρα, Roman or Latin: Āemāerā) was born some time in the 1st century B.C. Her origins are from Ancient Greece. She is the earliest known ancestor of the Petrova family bloodline. As a human, she was handmaiden to Qetsiyah, however in a secret relationship with her fiance, Silas. Silas desired immortality so he and Amara could be together for eternity however after betraying Qetsiyah's trust after she created the spell, she wanted revenge. After Silas and Amara drank the elixor, Qetsiyah found the later and forced her to become the Anchor to The Other Side, binding it's existence to her immortal life and desiccated her. After her awakening two thousand years later, the pain of her existence was too much to bear and wished to die. She consumed the Cure in order to become mortal again and after Qetsiyah performed a spell so the Other Side was no longer bound to her life, she had a final farewell with Silas before stabbing herself and passing onto the afterlife.
- Unknown Woman born during 5th century (1st Petrova Doppelganger): This unknown lady is assumed to be the first Petrova doppelganger. Nothing is known about her background or history. Her doppelganger is Tatia.
- Tatia (2nd Petrova Doppelganger): Tatia was born during the 10th century and lived in what would be America during the 11th century and was a contemporary of the Mikaelson family. Tatia is first mentioned by Rebekah, though not by name, when she comments humorously that the original Petrova was much prettier than Elena. In Bringing Out The Dead, Klaus and Elijah reveal Tatia's name while dining with Damon and Stefan Salvatore. Tatia's doppelganger is Katherine Pierce.
- Tatia's Child (Name Unknown): He/She was born around the turn of the 11th century. According to Elijah, Tatia had the child out of wedlock. Eventually, either it or its descendants migrated to Europe.
- Katerina's Father (Mr. Petrov): He was a Bulgarian man who lived during the 15th century. He watched his daughter, Katerina, give birth to a daughter in the year 1490. He took the baby away from Katerina moments after she was born, ashamed of his daughter for bearing a child out of wedlock. He disowned Katerina and banished her to England. He was murdered by Klaus.
- Katerina's Mother (Mrs. Petrova): She was a Bulgarian woman who lived during the 15th century. She helped her daughter, Katerina, give birth to a daughter in the year 1490. Although Katerina's mother was more sympathetic towards her daughter, Katerina's father immediately took the child away, ashamed of his daughter for having a child out of wedlock. her husband disowned Katerina and banished her to England. When Katerina returned to Bulgaria in the year 1492, she discovered that her mother, along with the rest of her family, had been murdered by Klaus.
- Katerina's Sister: She was a Bulgarian girl who lived during the 15th century. She helped her sister, Katerina, give birth to her daughter in 1490. When Katerina returned to Bulgaria in 1492, she discovered that her sister, along with the rest of her family, had been murdered by Klaus. She is a distant descendant of Amara.
- Katerina Petrova (a.k.a. Katherine Pierce, 3rd Petrova Doppelganger): Katerina Petrova, or Katherine Pierce (Bulgarian and Russian: Катерина Петрова) was born June 5th, 1473, in Bulgaria. In 1490, Katerina gave birth to a daughter, continuing the Petrova bloodline, but she was disowned for having a baby out of wedlock and the child was given away. She was then banished to England, where in 1492 she met the Lord Niklaus and his elder brother, the Lord Elijah. She made their acquaintance and was friendly toward them, unaware that the brothers were vampires and Klaus intended to use her in a sacrifice. Eventually Katerina discovered the truth about Klaus and his plan and fled. In order to thwart the plan to murder her, Katerina orchestrated her own death and transformed into a vampire. Having escaped England, she returned to Bulgaria later that year, only to discover that Klaus had murdered her entire family as revenge for her escape and suicide. Many centuries later, near the end of the American Civil War in the year 1864, Katerina had assumed the name Katherine Pierce and moved to Mystic Falls, where she lived with the Salvatore Family. The brothers Damon and Stefan competed for her affections, sparking a lifelong rivalry between them. Katherine eventually faked her own death in the interest of her lifelong career of evading Klaus, and managed to lay low for 145 years before returning to Mystic Falls. Her return to the town was motivated by the desire to secure the moonstone and the doppelgänger, both of which she intended to hand over to Klaus in exchange for her freedom. Katherine was recently turned back into a witch by her descendant and doppelganger; Elena. After her struggle to survive, in Gone Girl, Katherine was finally killed after being expelled from her host body.
- Nadia Petrova: Nadia (Bulgarian: Надя Петрова, Russian: Надежда Петрова, Greek: Νάντια Πέτροβα) was born in the year 1490 in Bulgaria. Katerina gave birth to her when she was a teenager between the ages of seventeen and eighteen. The daughter was born out of wedlock, much to Katerina's parent's disapproval, and she was given away to an unknown family. Her existence remained unknown throughout the supernatural world for many centuries; those concerned with the Petrova doppelgänger bloodline (namely Klaus) believed the line had ended when Katerina died and became a vampire. The truth did not emerge until the existence of another Petrova doppelgänger was discovered. She was shown to still be alive as a vampire for over 500 years. She made her identity known to Katherine in Monster's Ball. After a brief scuffle with Tyler Lockwood, Nadia was bitten and infected with werewolf venom, she died minutes before her mother in Gone Girl.
- Isobel Flemming: Isobel was a distant descendant of Katerina Petrova, and thus Amara, the world's first immortal woman. Born in 1978, she grew up in Mystic Falls and as a teenager had a child by John Gilbert. She gave her daughter up for adoption to John's brother Grayson and his wife Miranda, who named the girl Elena. Years later, Isobel was married to Alaric Saltzman when she asked Damon Salvatore to turn her into a vampire. After she became a vampire, Isobel went looking for Katherine, who helped her get a Lapis Lazuli necklace so she could walk in the daylight unharmed. Isobel helped Katherine research about the tomb vampires and got the Gilbert Device for John Gilbert to destroy the tomb vampires so that Katherine could return to Mystic Falls. Isobel was later compelled by Klaus to betray Katherine and then kill herself. She removed her daylight necklace in front of Elena and burned to death in the sun, ironically in front of her own tombstone.
- Elena Gilbert (4th Petrova Doppelganger): Elena was born on June 22, 1992, in Mystic Falls, Virginia. She is the biological daughter of John Gilbert and Isobel Flemming, and is therefore a descendant of Katherine Pierce, to whom she bears a striking physical resemblance. Elena is also the final descendant and doppelganger of Amara, the originator of the Petrova doppelgänger bloodline. Elena's death and transition into a vampire ended the Petrova doppelgänger bloodline, as she has no descendants, though it is possible that Katherine's reinstated human status may allow another branch of the bloodline to continue.
- John Gilbert: John met and fell in love with Isobel Flemming during their teenage years and they dated each other for a while. When Isobel was just 16 in the year 1992, Isobel told John that she was pregnant and John brought her to his older brother, Grayson Gilbert, who was the local pediatrician or OB/GYN, so that she could give birth to a daughter named Elena. Isobel left Elena in the good hands of Grayson and his wife Miranda, who didn't know that John was actually the biological father of Isobel's baby. John later sacrificed himself to resurrect Elena after Klaus had killed her for his ritual to trigger is werewolf gene, having Bonnie Bennett channel his life force into Elena's body once she died. Though John and Isobel never married, he is considered a relative of the family.
- Alaric Saltzman: Alaric was the history teacher and a vampire hunter is the former husband of Isobel Flemming and the stepfather of Elena Gilbert . It was later revealed that he thinks his wife, Isobel, was killed by a vampire, who he suspects to be Damon. Later he find out that Isobel wanted to become a vampire, and begged Damon to turn her, thus making Isobel a vampire. Isobel later came back and compelled Alaric to move on from her and Alaric begins a new life with Jenna Sommers and takes in Elena and Jeremy as his own by becoming their guardian. Alaric is turned into an Original by Esther. Alaric dies after Elena drowns in season three due to his sired connection to Elena.
The lineage of the Petrova family is anchored by Katerina Petrova and Elena Gilbert, who are doppelgängers of their ancestor Tatia: Tatia lived during the 11th century, Katerina was born in the 15th century, and Elena was born in the 20th century. This bloodline ended with Elena, who died and became a vampire without bearing any children. As Katherine died without bearing another child, it can be assumed that there is no possibility for the line to continue again.
|Tatia's Child †|
|Mr. Petrov †||Mrs. Petrova †|
|Katerina Petrova †||Unnamed Daughter †|
|Nadia Petrova †|
|Flemming Family||Gilbert Family|
|Alaric Saltzman †||Isobel Flemming †||John Gilbert †|
- Petrov or Petroff (feminine: Petrova) is one of the most common surnames in Russia and Bulgaria.
- The surname is derived from the given name Pyotr (Пётр, Russian) or Petar (Петър, Bulgarian), both of which are equivalent to the English name Peter. These names derive from the Greek "Πετρος" (Petros), meaning "stone".
- In the books, Katherine is a member of the von Swartzschild Family, while in the series, she is a member of the Petrova Family.
- In the books, the von Swartzchild family is German, but in the series the Petrovas are Bulgarian. This change was made because Nina Dobrev, who plays both Katherine Pierce and Elena Gilbert, has Bulgarian heritage; she was born there and speaks the language.
- The Petrova family is referred to using the feminine form of the surname (masculine: Petrov) because so far only female members of the family are significant to the show's plot. The bloodline from Tatia to Elena Gilbert could be considered a Matriline.
- Deleted scenes of the second season show other Petrova family members, but they are not canonical.
- The Petrova Family is one of the oldest families in the TV Series.
- It is worth noting that three members of the Petrova family have slept with Damon Salvatore: Katherine, Isobel, and Elena. Also, Elijah Mikaelson has kissed three members of the Petrova ladies: Tatia, Katherine and Elena.
- While not confirmed, the Petrova Family may contain werewolf ancestry as Tatia was living among them during the 10th century.
- Following Katherine and Nadia's death in Gone Girl, Elena Gilbert is the only known, remaining Petrova.