|“||That's what Anna calls it. There's not like an official brochure or anything.||”|
— Jeremy Gilbert about the Other Side.
The Other Side was a supernatural dimension where the spirits of dead supernatural beings resided in a state of purgatory or limbo. It was created by Qetsiyah with the intention of forcing Silas to spend an eternity with her on the Other Side instead of moving on and finding true eternal peace with his soulmate, Amara.
The Other Side was first mentioned by Anna when she appeared as a ghost and talked to Jeremy Gilbert, who had recently gained the ability to see ghosts after his resurrection. Anna told him she was all alone on the "other side;" though, Anna admitted that she did not know what it was officially called. However, other residents of the supernatural dimension, such as Sheila Bennett and Esther, referred to it as "the Other Side," a name that ultimately stuck and was used by the rest of the characters. This place was ruled by The Spirits.
Jeremy has been the only person in the series consistently able to see ghosts; Matt Donovan briefly had this ability after purposely drowned himself in order to talk to his deceased sister, Vicki, but she was the only ghost with whom he could communicate, and it was an ability he eventually gave up. Typically, in order to summon a ghost from the Other Side, a living person must be thinking about the person in question at the same time the ghost is.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
Although the Other Side was not mentioned by name until Season Three, Bonnie had contact with dead witches several times in the past. In Season One, Emily Bennett, Bonnie's ancestor, who lived during the 19th century, contacted Bonnie in her dreams and eventually possessed her after Bonnie, Elena and Caroline summoned her in a séance.
In Season Two, Bonnie channeled the power of a hundred dead witches, first in order to kill Klaus and later to bring Jeremy back to life after he was accidentally shot by Sheriff Forbes. The consequences of resurrecting Jeremy was that he acquired the ability to see ghosts, and Bonnie lost access to the dead witches' power.
In Smells Like Teen Spirit, Vicki reveals to Matt that she had been getting help from a powerful witch on the Other Side. She claimed that the witch would help her to be able to come and go as she pleased, though she would still remain a ghost, and would only be visible to Matt.
When Bonnie performed the spell to send Vicki back to the Other Side for good, she inadvertently helped Esther open the passage between the living world and the Other Side. The breach allowed the ghosts of supernatural beings to return and fully interact with the living. In Ghost World, Sheila helped Bonnie close this passage by destroying the talisman of the Original witch in order to break her foothold in the world of the living.
After Abby and Bonnie performed a spell to open Klaus' magically sealed coffin, Esther, the witch of the Original family, was revealed to be sealed inside, and was able to return to her body from the Other Side. She revealed to Elena that her witch friend, Ayana, had preserved her body with a spell after her death. With Bonnie and Abby's help, as well as the help of the entire Bennett line of witches on the Other Side, she was able to return to her body.
In Heart of Darkness, Damon and Elena traveled to Denver to see Jeremy when they needed his help to contact a dead vampire, Rose. Since Jeremy had never met her, Damon, who knew her best, thought about her in order to summon her to them. She revealed that she enjoyed being on the Other Side and the freedom it granted her after spending most of her life running from Klaus.
In Do Not Go Gentle, Esther explained to Elena that every time Alaric died while wearing the Gilbert ring, she spoke to him from the Other Side and encouraged his inner darkness to develop, with the intention of turning him into an Enhanced Original Vampire who could kill vampires like her husband, Mikael. This was the first time the Other Side was mentioned in connection with a human's (in this case, Alaric's) death; Esther described it as "his journey into death." She also assured Elena that Jenna was not on the Other Side, but had instead found peace as a result of her pure heart at the time of her death.
In Growing Pains, Bonnie attempted to save Elena from becoming a vampire by traveling to The Other Side to retrieve her soul, which she suspected might be in both the Other Side and the living world while she was in transition. With Jeremy's help, Bonnie stopped her own heart and was able to travel to Elena, who was locked up at the Young farm. Invisible, Bonnie tried to lead Elena "home," but was interrupted by her Grams, who warned her against using such dark magic. Later, after she has transferred Klaus's essence out of Tyler's body and back into his own, her Grams returned again to repeat her warning, but the spirits retaliated and appeared to be torturing Grams in punishment.
In Memorial, Alaric's ghost, unseen by Damon, sat near him at his grave while Damon was thinking about him and "talking" to him over a bottle of bourbon.
According to Atticus Shane, part of the legend of Qetsiyah and Silas, two powerful ancient witches, was that Qetsiyah created a cure for immortality, intending for Silas to take it and be with her on the Other Side for all eternity.
In Stand By Me, Silas, disguised as Shane, revealed to Bonnie that the Other Side was created by Qetsiyah, who sought to prevent Silas from ever finding peace with his true love. By ensuring that all supernatural beings went to this purgatory after death, instead of finding peace and moving on, she ensured that if Silas chose to die, he would end up with her on the Other Side forever. Silas convinced Bonnie that she had the power to be able to "drop the veil" between this side and the Other Side, thereby destroying it and allowing all the dead there to return to this world.
In Because the Night, Silas persuaded Bonnie to complete an Expression Triangle by sacrificing the lives of 12 witches, having already manipulated Shane into completing the first two sacrifices of humans and hybrids. He explained that the triangle was necessary to harness enough power to perform the spell to drop the veil to the Other Side.
In She's Come Undone, Bonnie explained to Katherine that Silas wanted her to channel the power of the full moon to perform the spell to drop the veil to the Other Side. Katherine figured out that Bonnie wanted her to hand over Silas' tombstone so that she could use its power and start the spell early without Silas, instead of waiting for the full moon. Bonnie bribed her with the promise that once the veil is dropped, she would speak to Qetsiyah to find out how she made Silas invulnerable to any weapon, and then share the secret with Katherine.
In The Walking Dead, after harnessing the mystical energy left by the three massacres of the Expression triangle, Bonnie used the power of Qetsiyah's blood, which was calcified in Silas' tombstone, to drop the veil, allowing Alaric, Kol, Jeremy, Lexi, Alexander, Connor, and Vaughn to return to Mystic Falls. However, they were limited by the bounds of the triangle; only within the triangle (which fell within the city lines of Mystic Falls) could they interact with this plane. Bonnie tried to contact Qetsiyah on the Other Side, but was interrupted when Elena showed up and stabbed Katherine in revenge for killing Jeremy, which injured Bonnie, as she had linked herself to Katherine earlier in the day to ensure Katherine wouldn't rat her out to Silas. Silas further delayed Bonnie's efforts with psychic manipulation by forcing her to believe that she was suffocating. Later, after Damon had helped Bonnie subdue and desiccate Silas, she attempted to perform a spell that would resurrect Jeremy before putting the veil back up. Unfortunately, in her desperation, she tried to use all three forms of magic to which she had access (Spirit Magic, Dark Magic and Expression) which resulted in her death from overuse of magic; she later awakened to find her own body lying on the ground.
In Graduation, because the veil was still down, Bonnie was able to interact with her friends for one more day without revealing that she died. After she effectively neutralized Kol as a threat to the veil being down, she returned to the center of the Expression triangle to finally put the veil back up. Jeremy met her there, wanting to say goodbye before he returned to the Other Side, but once she finished putting the veil back up, Jeremy realized that Bonnie was on the Other Side, not him; she had sacrificed her chance to be resurrected so that he could live instead.
In True Lies, Silas killed Matt while he was wearing the Gilbert ring. Matt woke up on the Other Side, confused as to why Jeremy and Katherine ignored him when he called out to them. Bonnie appeared to Matt, explaining that every time he dies while wearing the Gilbert ring, his soul comes to the Other Side; in order to return to the living world, he must find his body and reunite it with his spirit. Bonnie also admitted to Matt that she was dead, but Matt rightly concluded that once he returned to his body, he wouldn't remember his experience on the Other Side, and thus wouldn't remember that Bonnie is dead.
In Monster's Ball, Bonnie explained to Jeremy that for the Other Side to still exist after 2,000 years, it must be bound to something that had existed just as long, like the moon, a comet, or a doppelgänger, for example. Later, Silas revealed to Damon that this "something" was a mystical anchor, which bound Qetsiyah's spell to the Other Side. Silas' goal was to find the anchor and destroy it so he could finally die without risking being sent to the Other Side with Qetsiyah. However, Qetsiyah wanted to find the anchor and protect it until she could finally kill Silas and die knowing that she had finally won. After the Travelers killed Qetsiyah 2,000 years ago, they took possession of the anchor and had ever since kept moving it constantly to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. At the end of the episode, Qetsiyah found where the mystical anchor was hidden via a locator spell.
In Handle with Care, it was revealed that Amara was the "mystical anchor" to the Other Side and that Qetsiyah used Amara as a physical anchor for The Other Side because she needed the anchor to be both indestructible and eternal to ensure it would last forever, two characteristics which Amara possessed as a result of being a true immortal.
In Death and the Maiden, Tessa performed a spell to transfer the role of the anchor from Amara to Bonnie Bennett. As the anchor, Bonnie was a fully corporeal and visible ghost who could interact with both the spiritual and physical realm; however, a consequence of this role was that as the tollbooth between the living world and the Other Side, Bonnie would feel the death of every supernatural creature when they 'passed' through her.
In Gone Girl, after Nadia died from a werewolf bite, her soul passed on to the Other Side. When Katherine's spirit was finally expelled from Elena's body, she attempted to go to the Other Side as well. However, an unseen force prevented her from passing on and joining her daughter, and she was instead dragged into a dark oblivion by unknown forces.
In Home, the Other Side was officially destroyed due to the doppelgänger blood that was ingested by the dozens of Travelers who killed themselves and passed through Bonnie as the anchor. The combination of Stefan and Elena's doppelgänger blood was found to undo spirit magic, and as a result, unraveled the Other Side until it eventually imploded within itself, taking Bonnie and Damon, who had accidentally got stuck in the dissolving dimension, with it once it was truly destroyed. While the rest of the residents of the Other Side are thought to have either found peace or been sucked into oblivion, it is likely that Bonnie and Damon were sucked into a yet-unknown dimension after the Other Side's destruction.
Throughout The Originals Series
In A Closer Walk With Thee, the weaken state of The Other Side allowed Mikael to interact with the real world haunting Klaus, Hayley, and Elijah. Klaus later contacted Bonnie who told him The Other Side was imploding. It was also mentioned by Genevieve that the witches of New Orleans do not go to The Other Side when they die and instead their power flows back into the Earth.
- Non-witch species, such as vampires, are unable to see or interact with other spirits on the Other Side unless orchestrated by a witch who resides there.
- Through magic, witches can see and communicate with each other across the barrier separating this world from the Other Side.
- A human who died and is resurrected as a human can become a medium, allowing them to see and communicate with residents of the Other Side.
- Witches on the Other Side can still use their magic to affect the realm of the living; however, in order to do, it requires them to possess a physical tether in the physical plane, like a talisman, or a witch in the realm of the living who is channeling their power.
- A dead witch can appear to a living descendant in dreams, and can also possess them.
- A living witch can channel the power of many dead witches if they were massacred in one place; such a mass killing marks the earth with mystical energy, and a witch can harness said energy once she finds its location. However, these spirits can also deny a witch this power if they believe it is being misused.
- A powerful dead witch can allow supernatural beings on the Other Side to gain a foothold on the world of the living, giving them the power to interact with the physical plane of the living. In turn, a living witch can perform a spell that will reveal them to everyone on this plane, not just mediums.
- If the body is preserved, a witch can return to it from the Other Side, though only by channeling a great amount of magical power; for instance, the power of an entire bloodline of witches.
- The Veil is an invisible wall that separates earth's physical plane from the Other Side, or the plane of all dead supernatural creatures. It can be lowered using Expression magic, though this spell also requires the power provided by an Expression Triangle and another magical source, such as a celestial event or magical object.
- The Other Side is bound to a powerful "mystical anchor" which keeps the dimension active. It was revealed that the Anchor was Amara, but Qetsiyah later performed a spell which transferred the Anchor status to Bonnie Bennett to ensure the Other Side remained intact.
- All supernatural beings must make physical contact with the Anchor in order to pass on to the Other Side. However, doing so causes the Anchor to experience the death of that being.
- If The Other Side is lifted by using an Expression Triangle, all the dead supernaturals will return to life (or, in the case of vampires and hybrids, they will return to the undead state they were in when they died). If the Other Side is destroyed by destroying the Anchor, the spirits will be freed and can find peace.
- As revealed in Gone Girl, there exists a dark dimension alternative to the Other Side, a void of sorts, where Katherine Pierce was sent following her expulsion from Elena Gilbert's body. It is currently unknown if all "evil" supernatural beings are sucked into the Void. Katherine was the first shown on screen as she attempted to pass through Katherine. As she could not, Katherine asked "What's Happening?" and Bonnie replied, "I don't know." Later, Vicki, Maria, and Silas were also seen being sucked into the same black hole as Katherine.
- In Rescue Me, the Anchor became overwhelmed due to a Traveler's spell that used mixed doppelgänger blood, which resulted in the resurrection of Markos and the eventual implosion of the Other Side.
People who were used as the Anchor for the spell of the Other Side were able to live on both the Other Side and the realm of the living, and as a result, they gained the abilities of mediumship; however, unlike typical mediums, the Anchor can see and interact physically with every ghost, even if they don't know them personally. Amara was the first Anchor to the Other Side, and held the role for over 2,000 years, until the role was eventually transferred to Bonnie, who at the time was a ghost on the Other Side. Being given the role of Anchor allowed Bonnie to have all the perks of being alive: she could interact with her friends and the world of the living, go to college, spend quality time with her boyfriend, etc. However, since she was still technically dead, she no longer had her connection to magic. Another negative side effect of this role was that she was the gateway to the Other Side, and all dead supernaturals had to pass through her to gain entrance there after they died. Dead supernaturals crossed over by touching her, and this caused her to feel the pain of the death of every being who did so.
In , the Other Side was officially destroyed due to the doppelgänger blood that was ingested by the dozens of Travelers who killed themselves and passed through Bonnie as the anchor. The combination of Stefan and Elena's doppelgänger blood was found to undo spirit magic, and as a result, unravelled the Other Side until it eventually imploded within itself, taking Bonnie and Damon, who had accidentally got stuck in the dissolving dimension, with it once it was truly destroyed. While the rest of the residents of the Other Side are thought to have either found peace or been sucked into oblivion, it is likely that Bonnie and Damon were sucked into a yet-unknown dimension after the Other Side's destruction. Thus Bonnie is no longer the anchor.
Note: * Although not actually shown on The Other Side, it is presumed that every supernatural creature who has died in the last 2,000 years is stuck on The Other Side. Therefore, some on the list do not need concrete evidence.
- Qetsiyah created The Other side to trap Silas, be with him for an eternity, and separate him from Amara.
- The Other Side was intended as a purgatory for supernatural beings; unable to find peace and move on, they could only observe the life they left behind.
- Rose was the only known vampire who enjoyed being on the Other Side; since she spent over half a millennia running from Klaus, the ability to go where she pleased without worry was comforting to her.
- Jenna was the first vampire to find peace.
- Lexi was the second.
- In the novels, there are other species that are trapped in the Dark Dimension, which is similar to the Other Side. These include kitsune, phantoms, and guardians.
- In The Five, Atticus Shane implied that there are more than one realities or dimensions of existence.
- The Other Side was created by a grieving Qetsiyah to ensure that, should Silas take the cure and die a mortal death as a witch, he would end up on the Other Side with her for eternity. It seemed that before this time, supernatural creatures and non-supernatural creatures would have ended up in the same place upon death, though it's possible that there are multiple dimensions where one's spirit could end up in this universe. The Other Side was simply a dimension that divided supernaturals and humans in the afterlife, because Qetsiyah wanted to separate Silas and his true love, Amara, forever.
- Amara was revealed to be the Anchor to the Other Side, until Qetsiyah performed a spell to switch the role to Bonnie.
- Bonnie was the second and last Anchor to the Other Side, with Amara being the first. This allowed them to exist between the physical planes and the Other Side, so they could interact with both the living and the spirits of the dead, however, only Bonnie has been shown to do so.
- The Anchor to the Other Side felt the pain of every supernatural death as the spirits of the dead supernaturals passed through them on their way to the Other Side. This was only revealed by Qetsiyah after she died in Death and the Maiden, and Bonnie was not informed until after it was already too late.
- It was shown in Gone Girl that a ghost could be denied passage to the Other Side when Katherine tried to pass over after her death, and something prevented her from doing so. She was then dragged from the room by some unseen force. It is unknown where ghosts who were denied passage to the Other Side went, or who it was that decided who could pass over.
- After Katherine was denied passage to the Other Side, several more spirits were sucked into the same dark abyss that took her, as well, including Silas, Markos, Maria, and Vicki.
- Due to the destruction of the The Other Side, there are no more witch spirits to use as a source of power for Spirit Magic anymore. It is presumed that spirit magic can now no longer be practiced.
- The ritual the Travelers performed to resurrect Markos was responsible for the Other Side disintegrating. They used the mixed doppelgängers' blood in conjunction with the Anchor, and because the spell that created and kept the Other Side in existence was bound to the Anchor, the doppelgängers' blood slowly began to undo the magic that created it, explaining why the Other Side was ultimately destroyed.
- Unlike most witches, The Ancestors do not live on the Other Side, but instead live as a part of the Earth, so they can fuel the energy of those witches who practice Ancestral Magic. This also allows the Ancestors to use magic to affect the physical world, although to a limited extent. Because of this, the destruction of the Other Side has no effect on those witches who practice ancestral magic.
- As of Home, the Other Side has been destroyed and no longer exists.
- In Wheel Inside the Wheel, it's revealed that Esther pulled out Klaus' biological father, Ansel, before the Other Side collapsed.
- Its implied that the Other Side was created with Expression Magic.
- Caroline Forbes, Niklaus Mikaelson, Elijah Mikaelson, Rebekah Mikaelson, Freya Mikaelson, Marcel Gerard, and Hayley Marshall-Kenner are the only main characters in the TVD/TO universe to never set foot on the Other Side.
- This is not the case was Hayley as of A Closer Walk With Thee, where she temporarily crossed over to the Other Side and was attacked by Mikael.