|“||You feel like you could do anything. Be anyone. Beautiful things are more beautiful. Everything's heightened, you know? Just live more intensely. Love more powerfully. [...] Anger becomes rage. When you're sad, you're in despair. Grief. Loss. It can cripple you. That's why so many of us turn our emotions off. It just becomes... too overwhelming.||”|
Vampires are magically reanimated corpses who are inhabited by the spirit of the deceased and closely resemble a living body. Vampires feed and survive on the blood of the living, typically on human blood, and can transform other humans into more of their kind. Vampires are one of the many known supernatural species in The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals Universe.
- "she called upon the sun for life and the ancient white oak tree, one of natures eternal objects for immortality. That night my father offered us wine laced with blood, then he drove his sword through our hearts."
- —Rebekah explains the creation of the first vampires.
Humans who have consumed vampire blood and subsequently died with it in their system will rise as the undead. The nature of the human's death is irrelevant; however, the body must be more-or-less intact and able to function once they reawaken. Furthermore, the person must be mortally and irreversibly wounded or ill, since the vampire blood in their system will only heal any non-fatal wounds and the majority of illnesses that the victim sustained prior to dying. Upon mortal death, the undead body will awaken in a state of transition. In order to complete the transition, within the next 24 hours the person must consume an significant amount of human blood, at least a sip's worth, or else they will die. Vampires can only feed on human blood to complete this process, though once they complete their transition, they can then choose to feed on blood from other sources, such as the blood of animals, or even other vampires. Until a vampire drinks human blood to complete their transition, they will be insusceptible to the standard weaknesses of their species (i.e. they can still walk under the sun and enter homes uninvited).
It is known that humans can be changed into vampires, and werewolves can be changed into hybrids, though it requires them to have died with the blood of the Original hybrid, Niklaus Mikaelson, or his daughter, Hope Mikaelson, in their system to accomplish this. Those werewolves who die with Klaus' blood in his system will need to complete their transition into hybrids by feeding upon the blood of a human Petrova doppelgänger (the same blood that was used to create vampires in the first place), as any other kind of human blood will transform them into an unstable version of a hybrid that will ultimately die an agonizing death. However, werewolves who die with Hope's blood in their system can be successfully turned into hybrids by feeding on Hope's blood to complete their transition, as she is the first of her kind (a true vampire-werewolf-witch hybrid) whose blood possesses different mystical properties than her father's. Witches can also be turned into vampires; however, since Nature has deemed witches as their servants and vampires as abominations, it is of the belief that being both would be an imbalance of power for which it would not stand. As a result, once cannot be both a witch and a vampire, and those witches who die with vampire blood in their system will lose their connection to magic upon waking in transition; though, in extremely rare cases, former witches have regained their magic after they were cured of vampirism, such as in the case of Katherine Pierce.
Typical vampires are all descended from who are known as the Original vampires, who, unlike the majority of vampires, were turned not by dying with vampire blood in their system, but were created by a powerful spell fueled by dark magic. However, the ritual that resulted in their transformation was similar to that of normal vampires in that they had to consume enchanted blood (in their case, the blood of human Petrova doppelgänger Tatia) before being killed with the blood in their system. Afterward, they fed on human blood and were officially transformed into the world's first true vampires, from which all other vampires were created. Their blood possesses mystical properties that are passed down to all of the vampires they sired and the progeny that were turned from them, connecting all vampires to the Original vampire whose bloodline from whence they came. Because of this link, the death of an Original vampire will result in this connection being severed, and every vampire in the Original's bloodline will follow them in death within an hour, as demonstrated by the deaths of Finn and Kol Mikaelson.
During the late 10th century, in what was then the Kingdom of Norway, an Viking family (composed of the powerful witch Esther, her husband Mikael, and their young sons Finn and Elijah) abandoned their homeland due to the plague that was sweeping through Europe at the time that had supposedly killed their eldest child, daughter Freya. With the help of Esther's friend and mentor, a powerful witch named Ayana, the family decided to set sail for the New World, which they had heard was populated by many healthy and strong people who they would later learn were werewolves. Once they arrived, they settled in a village that later became modern-day Mystic Falls, Virginia, and gave birth to four more children: Niklaus, Kol, Rebekah, and Henrik. However, at the beginning of the 11th century, their family once again was stricken by the loss of one of their children when their youngest son Henrik was accidentally killed by werewolves on a full moon after he and Klaus sneaked out of their home to watch the men turn into wolves.
Devastated by their son's death, Mikael eventually convinced Esther that they needed to protect their family using an adapted version of Silas and Qetsiyah's immortality spell. Though they begged Ayana for her help, she refused, as she believed that Nature would turn against them for such an imbalance of power, and that what they were planning would start a plague of their own. Despite being warned of the consequences, Esther proceeded with their plan and asked Tatia, the object of both her sons Elijah and Klaus' affections and a Petrova doppelgänger, for her blood to be used in the ritual. Esther then cast the immortality spell on Tatia's blood, calling upon the sun for life and the eternal white oak tree for immortality, before slipping the blood into the wine her children and Mikael drank at dinner that night. Afterward, Mikael stabbed all of his children through the heart with his sword to kill them before presumably turning his blade on himself. When the Mikaelson children awakened, Mikael forced them to feed on the blood of a girl from their village, turning them into the first immortals to exist since Silas and Amara in the 1st century BC, as well as the first known vampires. Rebekah later described her first taste of human blood as a euphoric feeling, and she, her father, and her siblings all inherited supernatural speed, strength, agility, senses, healing, and an array of mind-control powers upon their transformation.
However, as Ayana predicted, Nature was furious that one of their witch servants disrupted its balance, and to counter this imbalance, it created a weakness for every strength they had, which were then inherited by the Originals' vampire offspring. The sun, which gave them life, burned them; vervain, which grew at the base of the white oak tree that gave them their immortality, also burned and weakened them, and humans who ingested or wore were protected from their powers of compulsion; they were unable to enter the homes of humans without an explicit invitation by the owner. Worst of all, they developed an overwhelming hunger for human blood that only intensified after their first taste. Also, as Ayana expected, the creation of the Original vampires created a "plague," once the Originals learned they could turn humans into their kind by feeding them their blood and killing them, though these vampire progeny were weaker than them. After this discovery, the vampire population multiplied over the following centuries.
The Kingdom of Marcel
During the 18th century, the Mikaelson children returned to America after moving back to Europe for several hundred years, and ended up arriving at the shore of the penal colony that would later become New Orleans and began the process of building it into one of the major cities of the United States. During their time in New Orleans, the Originals turned several vampires, including the former slave Marcel Gerard, who was adopted as a son to Klaus as a child in 1820 and was transformed when he became an adult. Although the vampires established their own community in New Orleans, several other supernatural communities cohabited in the town, including the werewolves and the witches, who were, according to Klaus, a "force to be reckoned with." Alongside all these factions was a human faction, created by Klaus and composed of pirates and dirty politicians. For centuries, the Faction would ensure the safety of New Orleans's human population from the vampires and deal with (and often cover up) the various supernatural events that occurred as a result of the tension between the groups. Eventually, however, the various factions of New Orleans finally came together when Klaus and his brother Elijah came up with a plan to unite them in order to avoid Prohibition, which had become the law and was quickly being enforced across the country. As this new law would mean an increase in federal presence which could not only expose the supernatural community, but also draw their father Mikael, who had become a vampire hunter known as Mikael the Destroyer with the intention of destroying his children, the Mikaelsons proposed that the Guerrera Pack, a werewolf crime family, could smuggle their alcohol into the city via the ports that Klaus and Elijah owned, which would benefit both families and the town at large. However, in 1919, the Originals' father, Mikael, tracked his children down to New Orleans and, in his quest to kill his step-son Klaus, killed several of the turned vampires. The Originals managed to flee, believing Marcel to be dead, and Mikael chased after them, leaving New Orleans in shambles.
After the destruction wrought by Mikael, Marcel returned to New Orleans, where he eventually gained leadership of the vampire community and began making moves to take control of the city. Once the vampires were in a dominant position, they began enacting their plans to gain more power, including an intense attack on the Guerrera Pack that resulted in all but one of them being killed. Later, in the 1990s, he was able to exile the rest of the werewolf community from New Orleans, forcing them to live in encampments deep in the Bayou. He even went so far as to curse the well-known Crescent Wolf Clan with a spell that reversed their werewolf nature, trapping them in their wolf bodies full-time and only allowing them to return to their human form during the full moon. He formed an alliance with Father Kieran, the priest at St. Anne's church and leader of the Human Faction, with whom they made a deal regarding their respective communities: the humans would look the other way when it came to the vampires' feeding habits, so long as they only fed on tourists, never locals, and kept their number of kills to a minimum so as to not negatively affect the tourist rates that kept the city financially prosperous. Under Marcel's leadership, New Orleans became a major supernatural melting pot where vampires could have a good time and weren't forced to live in the shadows like many of their brethren in other areas of the country. He also established a hierarchy within the vampire community to keep his army motivated; his "inner circle" of close friends and loyal soldiers, known as "daywalkers," were gifted with daylight rings that would allow them to be active in the day-time, whereas the rest of the vampires, known as the "nightwalkers," remained nocturnal. Nightwalkers were given some opportunities to work their way up to a ring of their own, such as winning in Marcel's occasional "Fight Nights," or going above and beyond their duties as a soldier in Marcel's vampire army. However, as the vampire population continued to grow and their influence began to spread even farther as they gained more power, the community found themselves in an intense war with the New Orleans coven of witches, who harbored hatred for the vampires, who, like many witches, they believed to be abominations of Nature. Despite Father Kieran's best efforts to maintain the peace between the communities, the tensions continued to rise.
This tension eventually led to the witches' decision to go along with their ancestral coven's Harvest ritual, which involved the sacrifice of four of the teenage girls in their coven to appease their ancestors, who would then give them more power and resurrect the girls as a reward. When Father Kieran found out that the ritual demanded the sacrifice of four girls, he vehemently denounced the plans during a meeting with the coven's Elders. However, the witch Elder Agnes used the Rosary of Madness to put a hex on his nephew Sean O'Connell in an effort to distract Kieran with his nephew's increasing mental instability to the point that he would be too busy to interfere with the Harvest. After Sean ultimately succumbed to the hex by massacring his fellow seminary students before killing himself, Kieran left town, but not before meeting with Marcel and urging him to stop the Harvest by any means necessary. However, Marcel and his vampires arrived too late, and by the time they made their attack, the Elders had already sacrificed three of the four girls. However, they were still able to kill most of the witches in attendance and save the sole surviving witch, Davina Claire. Since the Harvest was incomplete, all of the magic of the three girls who were sacrificed before she was rescued was transferred to her, making her the most powerful witch in New Orleans and granting her with the ability to sense when any of the New Orleans witches were doing magic. Wanting to protect her while still benefiting from her abilities, Marcel took Davina in and became her guardian, and Davina, furious at the witches for betraying her, used her powers to help Marcel enforce his new rule: any witch who practices magic without express permission from him would be punished with death. With the witches essentially powerless and the werewolves exiled, the vampire community became the uncontested superior faction in New Orleans, and Marcel proclaimed himself to be king of the city.
However, threats to Marcel rule began in 2011 when his former mentor, Klaus, returned to New Orleans after having received word that a witch named Jane-Anne Deveraux was plotting against him. However, Marcel killed her before he could question her, and became so suspicious of Marcel's motives for killing her that he and his brother Elijah followed the trail of clues to Jane-Anne's sister, Sophie. They met in Lafayette Cemetery, where Sophie admitted to the brothers that the witches, led by Sophie and the late Jane-Anne, were planning an uprising against Marcel, and had lured Klaus to New Orleans to gain his help to get close to Marcel and bring him down. As leverage, they brought out the werewolf Hayley Marshall, whom they had discovered was miraculously impregnated with Klaus' child after a one night stand few months earlier, and threatened to kill her and the baby if they didn't join their cause. Though Sophie led the Mikaelsons to believe that their sole mission was to stage a coup and overthrow Marcel, in reality, she and the witches intended to distract Marcel with Klaus' power play while they tracked down Davina so they could finish the Harvest. It was also soon revealed that the witches, who practice ancestral magic, were on a deadline to complete the ritual, because if the Harvest was not completed by sacrificing Davina, the coven's connection to their ancestors' magic, from which they drew all of their power, would fade to the point that all of the witches would lose their powers completely. At the same time, the witches were convinced that the four sacrificed girls would be resurrected by the ancestors once the Harvest was complete, and since Monique Deveraux, Sophie's niece and Jane-Anne's daughter, was one of the girls who were sacrificed, Sophie was willing to do whatever it took to complete the Harvest, resurrect the Harvest girls, and ensure that her sister didn't die in vain.
Having witnessed that Marcel (whom he thought had died during the vampire massacre of 1919) had not only survived, but had taken Klaus' place as king of the city without letting him know, Klaus became determined to reclaim his city and ultimately agreed to join Sophie's cause. To that end, Klaus apologized to Marcel for his previous action and rekindled their friendship in order to start dismantling his empire from the inside, with the ultimate goal of becoming the new leader of the vampire community once Marcel's regime had ended.
Blood is the main component of a vampire's diet; be it human, animal or vampire blood. According to Rebekah, the reason why vampires crave blood more than anything else was due to the immortality spell used by Esther to create the Original vampires. Esther used the blood of a doppelgänger as the catalyst for the immortalization of her family via transition from death, which awakened the Mikaelsons into their new lives as Originals. It was later explained by Atticus Shane that human blood is the key to immortality, which is why vampires and the first immortals Silas and Amara needed to drink it to maintain their immortality. If a vampire fails to regularly drink blood, their body will become severely weak, and will ultimately desiccate into mummification. Blood (especially human blood) will not only satisfy a vampire’s thirst, but will also increase their supernatural abilities, making them stronger, faster, and able to heal much more quickly. The longer a vampire abstains from blood, the more likely the vampire will becoming feral and unable to resist feeding on whomever they come upon. Eventually they will lose all sense of their humanity and rationality until they are so overwhelmed by hunger that they finally give into their bloodlust.
Due to their acute senses, a vampire can detect whether or not a human has recently consumed alcohol or drugs, because their blood tastes unclean and can leave a vampire with a chemical aftertaste. Due to a vampires amplified senses and feelings, their hunger cravings are much stronger and harder to control than when they were humans. Vampires seem to be preserved in the physical state that they were in when they died, therefore making a vampires body a freshly dead corpse, though magically protected from decay. Vampire's have human-like systems, since they stay in their human bodies that are imbued with enhanced traits and the ability to slightly transform itself, resulting in a vampire's true face and fangs. A vampire has human-like physiology, and their bodies continue to function normally as long as they have a steady diet of human blood. Vampires can get intoxicated on things like alcohol and marijuana just like humans, although they do have much higher tolerances due to their rapidly regenerating cells. They are immune to all human diseases and illnesses, assuming they did not die of cancer (as cancer cells rapidly regenerate in the presence of vampire blood), and the only substances that can have a negative effect on vampires are vervain and werewolf venom. The mystical effect of vampirism is the only thing that keeps vampires and their bodies alive. If vampirism is removed through a cure or the Magic Purification spell, will rapidly deteriorate as the vampire's age catches up with them, or will physically revert them into the final state it was in before awakening in transition, leaving it a corpse with the physical damage of whatever it was that killed them. (e.g: drowning, slit throat, snapped neck, tuberculosis, etc.)
Vampires have the capacity to be extremely feral, predatory creatures, and are far more beast-like and savage than their human appearance suggests. They growl, hiss, snarl, and curl their lips back when provoked, baring their fangs as a sign of aggression.
The bite of a vampire can sever the limbs of both animals and humans, as vampires are known for having extremely sharp and strong teeth. Despite their nature, vampires are also capable of human emotions, such as compassion, love, and self-control. However, it's in a vampire's nature to be violent, and no matter what their morality or kindness, they will always resort to such acts if it's necessary. While vampires typically maintain their human personalities (though magnified by the magical properties of vampirism), they are usually dehumanized to some degree, and due to in-fighting within the vampire community and tensions between vampires and other supernatural communities, violence, tragedy, and death seem to follow vampires around even despite their best efforts to the contrary. Many vampires are inherently selfish and consider others, especially humans, to be inferior to themselves, and even the most compassionate of their kind will resort to cruelty and torture if it means protecting themselves and their loved ones.
For example, Stefan, despite his generally kind and gentle attitude, has been shown to be unafraid of killing, though he does his best not to harm or kill humans unless absolutely necessary. Similarly, Caroline, while saving Stefan and Damon from her mother and her police force, ended up slaughtering two of her deputies in an animalistic, and stealthy manner and was completely calm and unfazed by the end, showing the difference that just a few weeks of being a vampire had made for her, as she had broken down in tears upon seeing her true face and the first man she had killed out of hunger. Elijah and Rebekah, over the course of their immortal years, have been dehumanized by being vampires, despite their kind and gentle nature, and refrain from killing many of their feeding victims and making large demonstrations of violence and cruelty more out of their desire to protect them from exposure than a desire to not harm others. Though they have mellowed out in recent years, both Mikaelsons have been known for being ruthless against their enemies and anyone who tries to harm their family, and have shown no discomfort in torturing others to get the answers they need.
However, the emotions of vampires are far more intense than the emotions of humans, and as such, they have a much more difficult time controlling their emotions, all of which are tied to their hunger in some way. Whenever a vampire is overwhelmed by powerful feelings (such as hunger, anger, happiness, love etc.) their faces become pale, and blood rushes into the veins surrounding their eyes, darkening them tremendously. Their canine teeth will lengthen into fangs, giving them a more predatory look to scare off or threaten their prey and to aid them in feeding on humans and animals.
Being intensely emotional, it is not uncommon for vampires wishing to maintain self-control to document their lives after their transition in journals. Though they have consistently shown considerable powers in recollection, vampires still need to peruse in order to reflect the occurrences of their lives. Another function of the vampire nature is the ability to "turn off" their humanity in order to make it easier for them emotionally to feed on humans to maintain their immortality. Vampires who have used this coping mechanism, such as Damon and Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert have described it as "flicking a switch," which essentially numbs their emotions and disables their ability to be empathetic, allowing them to shut out painful feelings such as guilt, grief, and sadness and turning off the part of them that makes them ashamed for their actions. Vampires with their humanity turned off often think of themselves as purely rational and logical, and not being ruled by emotions. They also have no problem feeding indiscriminately on whomever they please, either using compulsion to make them forget afterwards or killing them outright with no shame.
Society and Culture
Attitudes Toward Humans
Vampires coexist with humans. Humans are mostly oblivious to the existence of vampires, which makes it easier for vampires to commingle with their human cohorts. Most of the few people who do know about vampires have either been compelled to forget, or are compelled not to speak of it to anyone, which lessens the chances that the vampire species will be exposed to the public. Attitudes of vampires towards humans vary from individual to individual. Some see humans as simply food, servants, and/or entertainment, while others feel compassion for humans, remembering their lives before becoming vampires. Overall, vampires in general are known to see humans as less compared to themselves, and ultimately regard their lives as being almost insignificant, as they are mortal whereas vampires live forever. As a result of their immortality and the death they experience on a regular basis, the death of a human who has no significant connection to the vampire is typically a non-event for them.
Human Awareness of Vampires
Only a handful of humans are aware of the existence of literal vampires. In history, there were periods of time where vampires were not so secret, but as of the 21st Century, the majority of humans regard vampires as superstition, fiction, and myth.
Powers and Abilities
- "[..] he wanted to fight and be superior to the wolves. Where they could bite, we had to bite harder. Where they had speed we had to be faster. Agility, strength, senses."
- —Rebekah explains the powers of a vampire.
The supernatural forces that sustain vampires also endow them with superhuman physical abilities as well as powers of mind control. Their physical abilities such as strength, speed, agility, durability, healing and senses all grow stronger with age and experience. Vampires who feed on animal blood will not be as powerful as those who feed on human blood. Human blood is also known to increase the speed of healing when ingested by a vampire after being seriously wounded.
- Super Strength - Vampires are noticeably much stronger than average adult humans and slowly grow stronger with time. They always have the advantage of superior strength in direct combat with a human. Even new vampires who are still in transition can toss an average size fully grown human across a room with great speed and force. Their other feats include single-handedly lifting grown men high off the ground by the throat and snapping their necks, cutting off a person's head with their bare hands, and ripping out internal organs such as hearts with little to no effort. Their strength is also more powerful than that of werewolves that are in human form. Their strength allows them to jump higher and further than any natural creature. Vampires who feed on humans are stronger than those who feed on animal blood. In Fifty Shades of Grayson, Damon, a vampire roughly 170 years of age, was seen smashing his hand continuously into a stone wall, causing a large portion to chip off. However, young vampires may have difficulties while dealing with truly heavy objects, such as when Caroline, who had been a vampire for roughly three years, couldn't move a large safe by herself in The Cell and asked for Stefan's help.
- Super Speed - Vampires are much faster than humans and werewolves in human form. Vampires can accelerate their movements to cover short distances in an instant, usually faster than the human eye can see. When running across long distances, they appear as vibrating blurs of motion. Their reflexes are similarly heightened. Like their strength, their speed increases with age.
- Super Agility - Vampires possess superhuman agility. They have shown that they can move, jump very high, climb, and run incredibly fast without difficulty or exhaustion. Vampires can jump with their super speed too. Vampires that feed on human blood can jump much higher than vampires that feed on animal blood. This ability also increases with age. For example, Stefan picked up Elena and jumped high enough to propel both of them to the top of a Ferris wheel at a carnival. Elena jumped from the ground up onto the rough of a two-story school, and she also jumped down into a ravine that was hundreds of feet deep, landing on her feet with no injuries whatsoever.
- Enhanced Emotions - Vampires experience emotions more powerfully than humans. Emotions like love, joy, and happiness are magnified for vampires, allowing them to live life more intensely. This ability allows vampires to feel emotions at their peak regardless of their age. Original vampires have been shown experiencing emotions as powerfully today as they did 1,000 years ago. Conversely sadness, depression, guilt, fear and anger are also amplified causing many vampires to "turn off" their humanity to block out the more painful emotions. After time and practice, the overwhelming sensations of heightened emotions fade as the vampire learns to overcome their emotions without turning off their humanity all together.
- Emotional Control - Vampires have the supernatural ability to remove or dull their emotions by "turning off" or "switching off" their humanity, which is directly connected to their emotions. Doing so allows them to block out their emotions, such as fear and guilt, allowing them to feed and kill without remorse, go against any opponent without fear, and relieve themselves of painful emotions such as grief, loss, depression, and shame. A vampire without their emotions is far more calculating and direct than one who keeps them on. However, the vampire will become a remorseless killer, and are almost unrecognizable from the person they truly are. This ability fades with time and vampires who are over 500 years old are said to lose it altogether.
- Dream Manipulation - Vampires can control dreams and the subconscious. They have the ability to produce and modify dreams, bestow nightmares and lucid dreaming, distort peoples perception of reality and trap someone in their dreams. Vampires can manipulate and enter the subconscious of other vampires and even an Original vampire if they are weak enough. However, this is a learned skill that requires practice to achieve, and like other vampire abilities, the power with which they can use this ability is directly related to the vampire's strength and age. Caroline is also a practioner of this ability.
- Super Senses - Vampires have extremely keen senses of hearing, sight and smell that far exceed those of humans and werewolves. They can hear whispered conversations, even ones in far of buildings and on phones, though, most ambient noises must be consciously focused on due to the vampire often tuning out most of the noise when they're concentrating on other things. They can also smell blood from several meters away, and see in total darkness. These senses improve and grow stronger with age and experience.
- Mind Compulsion - Vampires have the ability to influence and control thoughts, emotions, and behavior and can alter or erase memories. Normal vampires cannot "compel" witches, werewolves, or other vampires, whereas Original vampires can compel other vampires and vampire/werewolf hybrids. Original vampires cannot, however, compel other Originals.
- Immortality - A vampire stops aging once turned. Upon their transformation, vampires become immune to all conventional illness, diseases, viruses and infections, though the exception is cancer, which can only be exacerbated by vampirism.
- Healing Factor - Vampires recover tissue from any form of physical damage to their bodies in seconds, but still feel the pain of a wound before it heals. Vampires can snap their bones back into place after being broken and have been seen to fully recover from gunshots, stab wounds, and torso impalement. The only injury that cannot be healed on its own is a werewolf bite. Also, their enhanced healing is limited to physical damage to their bodies.
- High Resistance - Vampires can take a great amount of physical damage without being slowed down. Even vampires who have been shot with wooden bullets have been seen to continue fighting, as long as they were not shot in the heart, or the head. Vampires still react to physical force in a humans manner, even that generated human strength if the vampire is not over centuries in age. Vampires can be stunned and dazed by strikes and trauma, As vampires get older they become more powerful.
- True Face- A vampire's true face is the appearance they are hiding under their normal human face. When a vampire's true face is revealed, the sclera of their eyes turns blood-red, dark veins appear under their eyes as the blood pumps forcefully through them, and their canine teeth (along with, in some cases, both canines and lateral incisors, like Elena or Lexi, or both canines and first premolar in Klaus and Damon's case) extend into razor-sharp fangs. A vampire's true face can be revealed whenever they wish, but it will appear against their will whenever they are aroused by the scent of blood, or are feeling intense emotions such as anger, lust, sadness, etc. A vampire's fangs are extremely sharp which gives them the ability to tear into almost any substance (including and especially flesh) and tear off limbs. A vampire's true face will appear for the first time, either while or after they drink human blood for the first time. With the fangs come the darkened veins under the eyes as well.
- Sire Bond - Although rare among them, sire bonds can be formed when a human is turned with the blood of the vampire for whom they had strong romantic feelings when before they were turned.
- Telepathy- An advanced form of mind control that allows vampires to mentally communicate over a vast distance. Damon and Elijah have been shown to mentally communicate with others from a distance sending distress calls and mental images. Elijah also inadvertently shared his thoughts with Hayley while he was hallucinating memories with his former lover Celeste due to a hybrid bite. Klaus has also been shown to show others, such as Cami, memories of his past, and using his powers to search through a person's mind for answers by placing his hands on the person's temples.
- Illusions - As seen with Lexi, vampires have the power to trick the minds of others into seeing/feeling things that aren't actually happening, such as when she made Stefan believed he had been starved of blood for years.
Former Powers and Abilities
Originally, vampires had additional powers in the early episodes of the show, but these powers were later written out of the plot by the writers after they were deemed "too supernatural." These powers were:
- Weather Manipulation - Damon Salvatore was able to create fog, haze, and mist from nothing, and then return the weather to normal later. (In the novels, Klaus, Katherine and Damon also used this power).
- Compelling Animals - Damon was able to compel a crow to spy on Elena, and go through the window in Stefan's room. (In the novels, Damon was able to transform into a crow).
- Flight - In the intro of the pilot episode, a female victim was carried into the sky by an unseen Damon Salvatore.
If vampires are killed by a wooden object stabbed through their heart, their body desiccates into a gray color, and their vampiric veins thicken and protrude from their skin. Vampires can build up tolerances to some weaknesses, such as vervain, allowing them to protect themselves from compulsion by an Original and to help lessen the likelihood that it will seriously incapacitate them when used by enemies. However, it will still burn them upon contact, but if ingested, it will not weaken them as much if they take small amounts over time.
- Decapitation - Dismembering or manually removing the head of a vampire will result in instant and permanent death.
- Fire - Vampires are highly flammable and sensitive to fire, and will quickly burn and die from it if the flames are not extinguished in time. If they so much as touch a fire for more than a second, they will be covered in it instantaneously and run the risk of death. It is mostly useful in disposing of the remains of a dead vampire.
- Sunlight - Sunlight and U.V. rays burn vampires on contact, and prolonged exposure will cause them to burst into flames and die.
- Wood - Wounding a vampire with a wooden weapon such as wooden bullets will incapacitate them, and it will take longer for them to heal their injuries. Stabbing a vampire through the heart with a wooden stake will result in instantaneous and permanent death. Its revealed that because Enzo was experimented on for many decades, he built a resistance to being hurt by vervain and wood.
- Vervain - Exposure to or ingestion of vervain causes a vampire to become severely feverish and weak. Also, physical contact with vervain will burn a vampire's skin. Vampires cannot compel anyone who has ingested vervain or has it on their person. Many vampires drink vervain to protect themselves from Originals vampires compelling them and to reduce its effects when used by enemies.
- Heart Extraction - Removing the heart of a vampire will result in permanent death. Vampires have the strength to plunge their hands right through the flesh of a human, werewolf, or another vampire. This allows them to plunge their hand into the chest and pull out the heart of their victims. If it is a vampire that has been subjected to this, then they will desiccate upon death, causing their bodies to become a grey, dry husk with their vampiric veins exposed all over their body.
- Invitation - Vampires cannot enter a home without an invitation by the owner. When Elijah awakened inside the Salvatore boarding house after having the white oak ash dagger removed he began to suffocate painfully and presumably would have desiccated had he not escaped, as the ownership of the house had been transferred to Elena and she hadn't invited him in.
- Magic - Vampires are susceptible to the powers of witchcraft - including spells, potions, rituals and dark objects.
- Desiccation - Vampires who abstain from blood for extended amounts of time will eventually desiccate and mummify. Witches can also use magic to desiccate vampire.
- Vampire Bloodline - If an Original vampire dies, all vampires descended from their bloodline will slowly perish.
- Werewolf Bite - The bite of a werewolf, which involves injecting a toxic venom into the wound, is extremely lethal to vampires. It will cause them to hallucinate, grow severely weak and go rabid until it kills them. Klaus' hybrid blood can cure the bite. Vampires suffering from the bite seem to always hallucinate moments from their past. While typical vampires will eventually die from werewolf bites, it isn't lethal to Original vampires, though they still will experience the sickness and hallucination that accompanies it until their body heals.
- Broken Neck - Breaking a vampire's neck will not kill them, but it will render them unconscious for few minutes. It was shown when the Enhanced Original Alaric snapped Stefan and Damon's necks, they recovered quickly due to the fact that they are older vampires.
- White Oak Ash Dagger - Its rumored that if a vampire daggers an Original with the white oak ash dagger, they will die when the Original is neutralized. However, this has not been demonstrated to be true, as no vampire has been willing to risk death to try it.
- Hunter's Curse- If a vampire kills a member of The Brotherhood of the Five, they will be tormented by visions until they kill themselves or until the hunter is replaced by a new hunter, who has activated his membership by killing a vampire.
- The Devil's Star - The Devil's Star can cause one thousand cuts onto another's body, including vampires.
- Animal Blood - As revealed in Season 1, animal blood weakens a vampire's strength.
- Physical Trauma - Minor physical injuries such as gunshots, stab wounds and broken bones will cause a pain and also slow them down. However, this is momentary as they will heal completely within seconds.
- Cancer - Although vampires cannot catch diseases and illnesses such as cancer, if a human has cancer and is turned into a vampire, the effects of the cancer will increase. Something about vampire blood will speed up the replication of and exceed normal stages. This was first proven when Caroline fed a terminal cancer patient vampire blood to test if it could cure cancer. When Jo ran tests on the patient after he was turned into a vampire, she referred to his tumors as "stage 10." It is unknown what would happen if a vampire consumed the blood from someone who has cancer.
- Gilbert Device - Invented by Johnathan Gilbert (and enchanted by Emily Bennett), the device was a weapon designed to emit a high-frequency noise that could only be heard by vampires and werewolves. The noise was so high-pitched that it will incapacitate vampires long enough for them to be killed. However, the device was only enchanted to work once, and since it was used in 2009, the Gilbert device no longer works.
- The Cure - If a vampire takes Qetsiyah's cure for immortality, they will become human again. As the only cure for immortality was taken by Katherine Pierce, it no longer exists.
- The Magic Purification spell - This spell was cast by the Travelers in 2013. The spell is designed to use the combined blood of the last remaining doppelgängers of each line to unravel and reverse any non-traditional form of magic, and as such, it strips away the magic that makes humans into vampires and returns them to the last state the vampire was in before awakening in transition, killing the vampire. This effect could be achieved by feeding the combined blood to a vampire, or by casting the spell in a large group. The spell was broken when the spell's magic was absorbed by Kai Parker.
- Garlic - The vampire's supposed repulsion towards garlic may have been a fabricated lie, similar to how werewolves are not actually immune to silver. This myth was presumably started to hide the fact that vampires are actually vulnerable to vervain.
- Holy Items - The myth that vampires could be harmed using holy artifacts like crosses, blessed ground, and holy water may have circulated from the belief that they are unholy creatures originating from Hell and in league with the Devil.
- Mirrors - The myth that vampires did not cast a reflection may have come from the belief that vampires had no souls.
- Shapeshifting - The origin of the myth that vampires had the power to morph into a bat, wolf, rat, or a cloud of mist is unknown. It may be the result of a mistake of perception between vampires and werewolves. Or it may even be related to Silas, who has the ability to cast psychic illusions to appear as anyone he chooses.
- Soulless - The belief that vampires are soulless beings may have stemmed from their ability to shut down their humanity, causing them to block out their emotions and behave without remorse or regret, giving off the impression that they have no conscience and by extension, lack a soul.
- Death - Contrary to popular belief, vampires have beating hearts and they cannot function without oxygen. They will, however, be forced to revive after suffocation or oxygen deprivation but will only die again if the circumstances of their revival are less than favorable.
- The future of the vampire race is uncertain now that the Other Side is destroyed. As seen in Growing Pains, when in transition, the vampire's soul is on the Other Side until he or she drinks blood and completes the transition. With the Other Side gone, it might dramatically affect the vampire race forever.
- As of Black Hole Sun, there seems to be no adverse effects to newly made vampires, proven by Ivy being made by Enzo.
- In the books, the most important vampires are: Klaus, Katherine von Swartzschild, Damon Francesco Salvatore, Stefan Antonio Salvatore, and Sage.
- It is shown that their fangs appear once they drink human blood.
- As predators, vampires enjoy stalking and toying with their victims before biting and drinking their blood. Stefan Salvatore once explained to Elena how the hunt is often more enjoyable to vampires than the actual feeding.
- Vampires are excellent predators, as they can hunt their victims while remaining unseen.
- Vampires can suppress their bloodlust to a limited degree by consuming alcohol or eating human food to sublimate their cravings, though they cannot serve as replacements for actual blood. They may also consume coffee to keep their body warmer to avoid spooking humans when touched.
- Vampires are the most killed-off species in the series. Out of the 54 vampires that have appeared on the show, 38 have died.
- It is disputed whether removing non-vital organs will kill a vampire. When Damon's eyes were clawed out by Pearl, they later regenerated.
- Professor Wes Maxfield, Dr. Whitmore, and Dr. Grayson Gilbert are all doctors who have been known to scientifically study vampire physiology, often through torturous surgical procedures without anesthetic.
- In Handle with Care, vampires are shown to have an accelerated cellular growth rate due to their healing factor.
- Vampires are infertile. They are unable to have children. The exception to this rule is Klaus Mikaelson, who was born a werewolf who was turned into a vampire/hybrid and was able to conceive a child with a fellow werewolf as one of Nature's loopholes.
- Although many refer to Silas as a vampire, he said himself that he doesn't ever want to be called a vampire. However, as he was required to drink human blood when he was an immortal in order to prevent desiccating, he could be considered one.
- Vampires cannot technically own property in respect to supernatural protection through invitation.
- Although most vampires were born human, their souls still go to the Other Side when they die. This could mean that the transition from a human to a vampire changes their essence as well. (As of Season 6, it is uncertain what happens to the souls of those who die with vampire blood still in them and wake to transition. Ivy's transition shows there doesn't seem to be any adverse effects.)
- Damon and Elena are the only known Augustine Vampires in existence. They feed on other vampires' blood, and the urge to feed is so strong that they become a Ripper, similar to how Stefan has been in the past, although Damon and Elena's urges to feed seemed to be hard-wired into their DNA and were uncontrollable. The Ripper Compound that Elena was injected with was different from Damon's, in that it contained a small amount of werewolf venom extracted from Nadia Petrova's blood after she was bitten, which gave her hallucinations in addition to the lust for vampire blood.
- Elena's improved Ripper Compound was made with werewolf venom. This makes Elena the first person to be cured of werewolf venom without the use of Klaus' blood.
- In the episode, Fade Into You, it is revealed a vampire can be invited into a house by a resident even if that resident is far away, as Jo invited Stefan into her family home over the phone from thousands of miles away.
- In the episode, Christmas Through Your Eyes, it was suggested that cancer cannot healed by vampire blood.
- This was confirmed in the episode Woke Up With a Monster.
- It is likely that vampire blood does not differentiate healthy cells from cancer cells and would accelerate the growth of cancer cells and kill the cancer patients. The cancer cells or tumors would stay with the patient as he or she completes their transition into a vampire, and would continue to grow, resulting a vampire suffering endlessly from the cancer.
- This was confirmed in the episode Woke Up With a Monster.
- In Gonna Set Your Flag On Fire it was revealed that a witch can use magic to magnify a vampire's thirst for blood and make their hunger so strong that they will be unable to stop feeding if they bite someone. This was demonstrated when Finn cast the spell over the entire vampire community of New Orleans, causing them to be ravenous with hunger to the point of attempting to attack their friends and allies. This is similar to a natural Ripper or a vampire infected with the Ripper Compound.
- The Devil is Damned revealed that a witch can kill a vampire through heart extraction using magical telekinesis, as Finn pulled out the heart of one of Marcel's new vampires after having staked another.
|Mikael||Mikael was one of the Original vampires and a vampire hunter. He was the husband of the Original witch Esther, father of the Original Vampires and the step-father of Niklaus. He is later brought back to life by Davina.||Undead||1,000+|
|Esther||Esther was a powerful witch until she became a vampire.||Desicated||1000+|
|Finn Mikaelson||Finn Mikaelson was one of the Original Vampires and the second-born child of Mikael and Esther. He was killed by human Matt Donovan. He is the brother that is possessing Vincent.||Possessing Vincent||1,000+|
|Elijah Mikaelson||Elijah Mikaelson is an Original Vampire, and the third-born child of Mikael and Esther.||Undead||1,000+|
|Kol Mikaelson||Kol Mikaelson was one of the Original Vampires, and the fifth-born child of Mikael and Esther. He was killed by hunter Jeremy Gilbert. He is the brother that is possessing Kaleb.||Possessing Kaleb||1,000+|
|Rebekah Mikaelson||Rebekah Mikaelson is one of the Original Vampires, and the sixth-born child of Mikael and Esther.||Undead||1,000+|
|Sage||Sage was the former lover of Finn Mikaelson. Sage died as a result of Finn's murder, due to the fact that she was a member of his bloodline.||Deceased||900+|
|Mary Porter||Mary Porter was a vampire who turned Rose back in the 15th century. She was staked by Kol in an attempt to keep Damon from figuring out where his bloodline originated.||Deceased||800 to 600 years|
|Rose-Marie||Rose was an ally of Damon and his friends. She was staked by Damon as a means of ending her misery after being bitten by Jules.||Deceased||560|
|Trevor||Trevor was a vampire turned by Rose. He and Rose had been running from the Originals ever since they helped Katerina Petrova escape. Rose was very loyal to him, up until he was killed by Elijah as his punishment for trusting and helping Katerina escape.||Deceased||538+|
|Nadia Petrova||Nadia Petrova is the daughter of Katerina Petrova. For an unknown amount of time she was a member of The Travelers. She is killed after a result of the werewolf bite from Tyler.||Deceased||522|
|Pearl||Pearl was one of the tomb vampires and was staked by John Gilbert.||Deceased||500+|
|Annabelle||Anna was a vampire whose goal was to open the tomb and free her mother and the other vampires. She fell in love with Jeremy Gilbert but was staked by his uncle John.||Deceased||500+|
|Alexia Branson||Lexi was Stefan's companion and best friend. She was killed by Damon to make others believe that she was the Mystic Falls killing vampire and was finally dead.||Deceased||350+|
|Marcellus Gerard||Marcel is Klaus' former protege and a vampire that he turned back in the day. Marcel has created a whole set of rules and a whole society for the supernatural community which he is in charge of making him resident king of the supernatural community of New Orleans.||Undead||201|
|Damon Salvatore||Damon is the older brother of Stefan Salvatore and the current boyfriend of Elena Gilbert. He was the primary antagonist of Season One. As of Total Eclipse of the Heart he is an Augustine vampire, and once again, an antagonist.||Undead||173|
|Lorenzo||Lorenzo "Enzo" was found by the Whitmore family after he left his post in Eastern Europe during WWII. He is was imprisoned by Dr. Whitmore and forced to endure his torture for ten years. In the 21st century, Enzo along with Elena were prisoners of Wes Maxfield. He purposely kills himself by Stefan's hand, but is later resurrected.||Undead||Unknown|
|Harper||Harper was a vampire who fought in the Civil War. He was turned by Pearl in 1864 but was stake by John Gilbert in 2010.||Deceased||160+|
|Noah||Noah was a vampire who became obsessed with Elena, due to her being physically identical to Katherine Pierce. He unsuccessfully attacked Elena on several occasions. He was staked by Stefan Salvatore.||Deceased||160+|
|Bethanne||Bethanne was one of the 26 vampires trapped in the tomb, also she was Frederick's girlfriend. She was staked by Stefan Salvatore.||Deceased||160+|
|Henry||Henry was a tomb vampire and the friend of Katherine Pierce. He was staked by Alaric Saltzman.||Deceased||160+|
|Frederick||Frederick was one of the vampires who was trapped in the table with Anna's mother, Pearl. He was also Bethanne's lover, the one responsible for turning her. He was staked by Stefan Salvatore.||Deceased||160+|
|Billy||Billy was a tomb vampire. He was killed by Alaric.||Deceased||160+|
|Jacob||Jacob was a tomb vampire who was killed by Damon.||Deceased||160+|
|Charlie||He was the leader of the tomb vampires after Frederick died. He was presumably killed in the fire caused by John Gilbert.||Deceased||160+|
|Stefan Salvatore||Stefan is the younger brother of Damon Salvatore and the former boyfriend of Elena Gilbert. He was an antagonist of season three.||Undead||163|
|Cody Webber||Cody Webber was a vampire who was in contact with Slater. Shortly after showing up to find Elena, he was killed by Elijah who ripped his heart out of his chest.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Joe Dalton||Joe was a vampire friend of Marcel who owned a record shop. He was killed by the werewolves.||Deceased||70+|
|Thierry Vanchure||Thierry Vanchure was dying of a war wound in the 1940's, Marcel Gerard found him and turned him into a vampire.||Deceased||70+|
|Diego||Diego is a vampire that was turned by Marcel. He is killed by either mikael or the werewolf bite.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Charlotte||Charlotte is a vampire who was turned by Damon in the 1940s. Charlotte was also sired to Damon, until he let her go.||Undead||70+|
|Will||Will was a vampire who knew Damon back in the 1970s and owned a bar. He was killed by Damon because he was suffering from a hybrid bite.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Slater||Slater was a vampire who was a friend of Rose and also Alice's boyfriend. He was compelled by Elijah to kill himself.||Deceased||50+|
|Abby Bennett Wilson||Abby Bennett Wilson is the daughter of Sheila Bennett and mother of Bonnie Bennett. Abby was once a witch, but when she abandoned Bonnie, her magic was weakened to the point where she could not use it. She is now a vampire, after being turned by Damon Salvatore.||Undead||39|
|Isobel Flemming||Isobel Flemming was the wife of Alaric Saltzman and the biological mother of Elena Gilbert. She was turned by Damon Salvatore by request. She later committed suicide by walking into the sun.||Deceased||36|
|Lee||Lee is a vampire who was turned by Lexi, his late girlfriend, many years ago so they could be together forever. He attempted to kill Damon as revenge for him killing Lexi.||Undead||Unknown|
|Logan Fell||Logan Fell was a news reporter at WPKW9 in Mystic Falls and Jenna Sommers' ex-boyfriend. Logan was later turned into a vampire by Anna, who compelled him to drink her blood, but he was killed by Damon Salvatore after Logan attempted to kill him.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Jenna Sommers||Jenna Sommers was Elena and Jeremy 's aunt, who became their legal guardian after their parents were killed in a car crash. She was turned by Klaus and sacrificed in a ritual to make Klaus a Hybrid.||Deceased||30|
|Ben McKittrick||Ben was a football player that went to school with Elena and her friends. He was turned by Anna and killed by Stefan.||Deceased||29+|
|Troy||Troy was a progeny of Sage. He was indirectly killed by Matt.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Jesse||Jesse is a college student that was fed by blood by Caroline Forbes to heal his injures and was killed by Wes Maxfield.||Deceased||24+|
|Caroline Forbes||Caroline is the best friend of Elena Gilbert and Bonnie Bennett. Damon Salvatore feeds Caroline his blood to heal her after she suffers from internal bleeding. Caroline is smothered to death with a pillow by Katherine Pierce, who found out that Damon gave her some of his blood.||Undead||19|
|Elena Gilbert||Elena was the current Petrova Doppelganger until she became a vampire with the help of Damon's blood.||Undead||19|
|Joshua Rosza||Joshua "Josh" Rosza is a vampire living in New Orleans. He did serve as a spy for Klaus, until his compulsion was rid of by Davina.||Undead||18|
|Vicki Donovan||Victoria "Vicki" Donovan was Matt's sister and the first character that becomes a vampire since the Salvatore brothers returned to Mystic Falls. She was also Jeremy and Tyler's love interest. Damon Salvatore turned her, and Stefan later staked her.||Deceased||18|
|Joey was an Augustine vampire who was killed by Damon.||Deceased||Early Age|
|Farmer John||Farmer John was a vampire made by Enzo used for Damon to feed and kill.||Deceased||Early Age|
|Gia||Gia is a vampire who was turned by Marcel. She becomes Elijah's protégé.||Undead||Young|
|Ivy||Ivy is stefans girlfriend that was turned by Enzo. She was killed by Tripp.||Deceased||Young|
|Max||Max was a vampire turned by Marcel, who was killed by Thierry.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Kieran O'Connell||Kieran was a priest who had becomed hexed and turned into a vampire. He was killed by Klaus.||Deceased||Middle aged|
|Tripp Cooke||Tripp was a vampire hunter who was turned into a vampire by Enzo and then killed by crossing the barrier.||Deceased||Middle aged|
|Tomas||Tomas is Marcel's informant.||Deceased||Deceased|
|Felicia||Felicia is part of Marcel's Army. She participated in the Fight Night.||Deceased||Deceased|
|Otto||Otto is part of Marcel's Army. He participated in the Fight Night.||Deceased||Deceased|
|Lenore||Lenore was a powerful witch who was owned by Esther and turned into a vampire by Rebekah.||Unknown||54|
|Colin||Collin was a cancer patient whom Caroline fed vampire blood to and then died.||Deceased||?|