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|“||My wife didn't die in a car accident. She was murdered. Drained of her blood right in front of me. And the killer made me believe I was responsible. Then, I find out what kind of monster could do all that. Vampires. They are real. And one murdered my wife. But this is the one who murdered Jay. And I'm gonna get him to name all his vampire buddies, starting with the one who bit your friend, Sarah.||”|
Thomas Vincent Fell III (later known as Tripp Cooke) was a recurring character who made his first appearance in the Season 6 premiere. He was given the nickname 'Tripp' because he was a clumsy kid who was known for falling down a lot. Tripp chose to take his mother's maiden name after his father left them.
Tripp was born and raised in Mystic Falls by his mother and father before they divorced. His mother had custody of him and he took her maiden name after they split up. He mentioned that he was friends with the Gilbert family to Matt, specifically Grayson Gilbert.
His wife Kris competed with Liz Forbes in field hockey when they were in high school, so Tripp and Liz Forbes didn't get along, even as adults.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
In I'll Remember, Tripp was seen taking a jog with the community protection squad he founded, whose members including Matt Donovan. Later, after Monique (using the alias Sarah) was attacked by Elena, he was seen acting in an insisting manner to figure out who (or what) attacked her, suggesting he knew something about vampires. He even went so far as to tell Sheriff Forbes, who was attending to the case, that she wasn't properly doing her job.
In Yellow Ledbetter, he mentioned to Matt that he was looking for Sarah, and appeared to trust Matt a lot. At the end of the episode, he revealed he was actually a member of the Fell Family, and as such, he is a Founding Family as well. Though he didn't admit to it to Matt, it was revealed that he was aware of vampires and of at least the properties of the Travelers' Magic Purification Spell that covered Mystic Falls, as he was seen driving random captured vampires over the border to kill them.
In Welcome to Paradise, Tripp was seen washing dark red stains out of the back of his van with fellow community protection squad member Jay, and when Matt asked him about it, he claimed it was from red mulch he used to clean up a playground. Unbeknownst to Matt, it was actually the bloody remains of the vampires he had killed with the anti-magic border around town in the previous episode. When Matt informed him that he was attending a party at the swimming hole, Tripp encouraged him to bring Jay along, to which Matt agreed. Later that evening, Tripp, who was alerted to the presence of a vampire near town when a local waitress was killed, staked out a diner just outside of town where he captured the waitress' killer, Enzo, with Stefan's help. Though Stefan was ready to finish Enzo off, Tripp admitted that he had a certain way he liked vampires to die, so Stefan allowed him to take him.
In Black Hole Sun, Tripp was seen talking to Jay's parents to inform them of their son's death. Matt then entered his office and offered to accompany him to the Sheriff's Office to give a statement, as he may have been the last person to see Jay alive. Later, Matt remarked on the fact that Tripp and Sheriff Forbes didn't seem to get along, so Tripp explained that his wife Kris and Liz were high school rivals on the field hockey team, and that they held a grudge against each other. When Matt was surprised to hear that Tripp was married, Tripp informed him that his wife had died in a car accident, and he subsequently left Mystic Falls to escape all of the memories of her. The two began to discuss what Tripp told the sheriff about Jay's death, and when Matt, who was fishing for information for Elena and Caroline, brought up that Jay told him he was tracking a vampire, which he claimed "sounded crazy," Tripp admitted that he had something he needed to show him. Tripp brought Matt to a cabin in the woods and led him inside, explaining that he only brought people he trusted to this place. Once inside, Tripp showed him that Enzo was chained to the floor by his wrists. He explained that when he returned to Mystic Falls over the summer to check on his grandmother after the "gas leak," he crossed over the border and suddenly got a rush of memories that he had forgotten-- that his wife had actually been killed by a vampire right in front of him, and he was compelled to believe that he caused it. After showing Matt the captured Enzo, Tripp explained that vampires are real, and that they have the power to modify memories. He also added that while Enzo didn't kill his wife, he was still going to question him to learn about all of his vampire friends, including the one who bit Sarah.
In The World Has Turned and Left Me Here, Tripp is first seen calling Stefan, telling him that he hasn't killed Enzo yet. Stefan asks why he hasn't killed him yet, Tripp replies with that he will he just wants Enzo to tell him all of his vampire friends and that he is doing everything he can to make him talk. Later on in the episode, Tripp is seen driving past Ivy on the road. Once he sees blood on her face he presumes that she is hurt and quickly gets out of his car to see if she is okay. After she attempts to bite him, he shoots her with a vervain dart, knocking her out and puts her in his van and drives off, unaware that Caroline was watching in the distance.
In The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get, Ivy wakes up in Tripp's van with a bunch of other vampires that he much of caught not long ago. Ivy tells him to let her go while Tripp drives along the road to Mystic Falls. He tells her that 'she wouldn't want this life' and drives across the border to Mystic Falls killing all of the vampires in the van. Later, due to the fact that Caroline was at the top of Ivy's cell phone list, he goes to her dorm, Caroline wasn't there, however Damon took her place. He attempted to shoot him with a vervain dart, but was caught by Damon. He then throws it at Tripp's knee, wounding him. Damon is about to finish him off when two guys walk into the room, capturing Damon. Next, Tripp is seen driving his van to the border to Mystic Falls, when, in the way of the town line, Alaric's car parked stopping anything getting past. Alaric then waves Tripp down and asks if he can have a lift. He refuses, before Alaric punches through the window, making Tripp step on the peddle, smashing into Alaric's car and entering Mystic Falls' border before skidding off the road and flipping over. While Alaric is being purified of his vampirism, Tripp gets out of his car and runs away towards Mystic Falls.
In Do You Remember the First Time?, Tripp is captured by Matt and locked up. He is then questioned by Enzo and Stefan in order to tell them about other vampire hunters. Tripp then, tells them that they know about Caroline. Stefan rushes off to see if Caroline's alright. While Stefan is gone, Enzo feeds Tripp his blood and snaps his neck. Enzo then brings restrained Tripp, over to the border of Mystic Falls. They prepare to exchange Liz for Tripp. Once Tripp enters the border of Mystic Falls he begins to die only then, his neck magically snaps and falls to the ground, dead.
- "My dad called me "Tripp", I was such a clumsy kid that ... I took my mom's maiden name when he bailed - I mean could you imagine? Tripp Fell? "
- —Tripp about his name and heritage to Matt in Yellow Ledbetter
Tripp was described as handsome, strong, and disciplined. He was also the head of a community militia and surrogate father to his young trainees, who would do anything to protect his town. He ended up giving Sheriff Forbes a run for her money as protector of Mystic Falls until his death.
Powers and Abilities
Tripp possessed all the standard powers and abilities of a non-original vampire.
Tripp had the typical weaknesses of a non-Original vampire.
Physically, Tripp appeared to be in his 40's and had handsome and bold features, blue eyes and brown hair.
- I'll Remember
- Yellow Ledbetter
- Welcome to Paradise
- Black Hole Sun
- The World Has Turned and Left Me Here
- The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get
- Do You Remember the First Time? (Death)
- I Alone (Mentioned)
- His original casting call name was Mitch.
- His real name was Thomas Vincent Fell III, but he went by the nickname Tripp because he was known for falling down a lot.
- He legally changed his last name to Cooke after his parents' divorce.
- He knew Jeremy because he grew up with his father, Grayson Gilbert.
- He had a specially modified prison transport van to hold vampires, which he could use to kill them by opening a sunroof and allowing the sunlight to come through. He also used it to cross over the anti-magic border around Mystic Falls before the spell was absorbed by Malachai Parker.
- Tripp was aware of the Travelers anti-spirit magic spell around Mystic Fall, or at least understood the gist of its properties, as he took Ivy and two other vampires across the border at night to kill them by reversing their vampirism and returning them to their stage of death in The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get.
- According to Stefan, he's appointed himself the vampire hunter of the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.
- He suffered a karmic death at the hands of Enzo, who turned him into the creature he hated, a vampire.