|“||I have to admit, at first it felt strange, the metallic taste, but then it was like electricity coursing through my body. A million stars exploding in my mind all at once. It's like nothing I ever felt before. It was amazing. And all I can think now is I want to do it again.||”|
— Camille O'Connell on becoming a vampire.
'Vampire's are magically reanimated humans corpses which are inhabited by the spirits of the deceased person and who closely resemble the living human they were before their transformation. Vampires feed and survive on the blood of the living, typically on that of humans, and they can also 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.
A human who has consumed vampire blood and has subsequently died with the blood in their system will be magically revived as an undead vampire, just like the vampire who sired them. The exact nature of the human's death is irrelevant to this process; the only condition that must be met is that the body has to be more-or-less intact and able to function once they reawaken in transition. In order to complete the transition into a vampire, the person must then consume a significant amount of human blood, at least a sip's worth, within the next twenty-four hours, or else they will die. Vampires can only feed on human blood to complete their transition. Until a vampire drinks human blood to complete their transition, they will be not be susceptible to the standard weaknesses of the species they are soon to become (i.e. they can still walk in sunlight and can enter homes without an invitation).
Vampire In Transition
- Main article: Vampire In Transition
Every regular vampire that has ever existed is descended from those of their kind 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 instead were transformed with a powerful spell fueled by dark magic that was cast in 1001 AD. However, the ritual that resulted in their transformation does have similarities to how normal vampires are turned in that they had to consume enchanted blood (in their case, the blood of the human Petrova doppelgänger Tatia that had been enchanted with an adapted version of the immortality spell by a powerful witch named Esther) before being killed while that blood was in their system.
After the Originals awakened in transition, they fed on the blood of another human from their village 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 each and every one of the vampires they sire, along with every vampire sired by their progeny, connecting all vampires to one of the six Original vampires from whom they are descending by a bloodline connection. Because of this link, the death of an Original vampire will result in this connection being severed, and every vampire in the deceased Original's bloodline will follow them in death within an hour, as demonstrated by the deaths of Finn and Kol Mikaelson, which subsequently caused every vampire turned from their bloodline to die as well. As of 2013, only three of the six Original vampires-- Elijah, Klaus, and Rebekah Mikaelson—have survived, and all vampires who are currently "alive" (or rather, "undead") are descended from one of those three Originals.
It is possible that magic can be used sever this bloodline, as the Harvest witch Davina Claire attempted to create a spell to break the connection between an Original vampire and those vampires descended from them that would allow the Original to be killed without harming his or her descendants. While all attempts thus far to do so have been unsuccessful, a prophecy foreseen by the witch Alexis regarding the possible deaths of the Originals suggests that completing the spell could still yet be possible.
During the late 970s 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 daughter, Freya. With the help of Esther's friend and mentor, another powerful witch named Ayana, the family decided to set sail for the New World, which they had heard was populated with many healthy and strong people whom they would later learn were werewolves. Once they arrived, they settled in a village that would eventually became modern-day Mystic Falls, Virginia, and gave birth to four more children: Niklaus, Kol, Rebekah, and Henrik.
However, at the very 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 on a full moon after he and Klaus sneaked out of their home to watch the men from their village transform 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, which they were sure would make them more powerful than the werewolves. Though the two begged Ayana for her help, she refused, as she believed that Nature would turn against them for causing 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, a Petrova doppelgänger and the object of both her sons Elijah and Klaus' affections, for a small amount of 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 each 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 the six of them into the first immortal beings to exist since Silas and Amara became truly immortal in the 1st century BC, as well as the first known vampires to ever exist. (Though Silas and Amara subsisted on blood to maintain their immortality just like vampires, Silas has insisted on many occasions that vampires are merely "disgusting perversions" of himself and Amara and that they are actually immortals). Rebekah later described her first taste of human blood as euphoric, and after they all completed their transitions into vampires, Rebekah, her father, and her siblings all inherited supernatural speed, strength, agility, senses, healing, and an array of psionic powers such as mind compulsion and telepathy upon their transformation, though they didn't gain control of the latter powers until much later in their eternal lives.
However, as Ayana predicted, Nature was furious that one of their witch servants disrupted its balance using their magical gifts, and so, to counter this imbalance, it created a weakness for every strength the Originals had gained through the dark magic, which were then inherited by the Originals' vampire offspring as well, sometimes in even more potent forms than their progenitors. The sun, which gave them life, burned them and kept them indoors until Esther came up with a magical protection amulet for it (though the sun wasn't fatal to the Originals, it did severely burn them, and the creation of their weaker progeny later revealed that sunlight was fatal to them); the wood of the white oak tree that gave them their immortality was also the one substance that could kill them if they were stabbed in the heart with it (and their progeny would be vulnerable to all wood used in this manner); vervain, which grew at the base of the white oak tree, also burned and weakened them and their progeny if they touched or ingested it, and humans who ingested or carried it on them were protected from the vampires' powers of compulsion; and finally, they were unable to enter the homes of humans without an explicit invitation by the owner of the domicile. Worst of all, they developed an overwhelming hunger for human blood that only intensified after their first taste, a side-effect that none of them predicted when Esther cast the spell.
As Ayana expected, the creation of the Original vampires eventually led to the start of a "plague" in 1002 after the Originals inadvertently learned they could turn humans into more of their kind by feeding them their blood and killing them, which caused the population of vampires to multiply in increasing numbers over the centuries following the species' creation. However, the progeny of the Original vampires soon proved to be much weaker than their sires, even those who were closest to them in age, giving the Originals a high status that demanded respect from their younger sired vampires.
Vampires at war
After being turned, the Original vampires became slaves to their bloodlust and their heightened emotions. When one of the Mikaelsons, Niklaus, killed for the first time, he discovered that he was also a werewolf due to being a product of his mother Esther's affair with the North East Atlantic Pack's Alpha, Ansel, making Niklaus the world's first hybrid. Mikael, furious at the discovery that Niklaus was not his child, forced his wife to suppress Niklaus's werewolf side before finding and killing her lover, Ansel, a powerful werewolf Alpha. The deaths of Ansel and at least half of his family at the hands of the new vampires turned the werewolves against the new race. After their father's rampage, Klaus, furious at his mother's betrayal and hurt that she would turn her back on him, killed her when he lost control of his werewolf anger and then blamed it on Mikael so his siblings wouldn't abandon him as well. Knowing that Mikael would hunt them down and kill them, the five vampire Mikaelson children left the New World for Europe, where they eventually settled in Marseilles in 1002, living in the woods and feeding upon the humans they came upon on back roads.
After the five of them realized they had fed on and killed four noblemen and a noblewoman, they figured out that their victims had been headed to the Court of Marseilles and decided to take on their identities and hide in plain sight from their father, giving them the opportunity to actually live in a home rather than squatting wherever they could find shelter. With the help of the Count de Martel's servant, Lucien Castle, who offered to help them by teaching them the customs of French nobility and royalty in exchange for sparing his life, the Mikaelson children went to the Count de Martel's castle and introduced themselves as the children of the Count de Guise before being invited to stay as guests in the Count de Martel's castle. Once there, they settled into their new lives of comfort as noblemen and made friends with those at court, including the Count's children Tristan and Aurora de Martel, the latter of whom was the object of both Klaus and Lucien's affections.
It was shortly after they had come to stay at the Marseilles court when they realized they could heal humans with their blood; this fact was made apparently after they found Lucien had been viciously tortured by Tristan, who mistakenly believed Lucien had made amorous advances toward Aurora (though, in reality, it had actually been Klaus). After Tristan whipped Lucien's back dozens of times and sliced his mouth open from ear to ear, Lucien angrily stabbed Klaus with a knife and caused the vampire's blood to drip into his own wounds, healing them completely as the blood circulated through his system. Incorrectly assuming that he had been turned into a vampire like Klaus, Lucien went to attack Tristan in revenge for being tortured by him and was promptly killed by the lord's guards. Klaus tried to feed him more blood to heal him, leading Elijah to presume that their blood only healed the living. However, once Klaus and Elijah prepared to give Lucien a traditional Viking funeral, Lucien awakened in transition as the first non-Original vampire to exist and the first vampire progeny to be created with Klaus' blood. Lucien then completed his transition by feeding on a servant and joined the Mikaelsons as vampires at court.
Not to be outdone, Aurora, after learning of Klaus' secret, begged Klaus to turn her as well so that she would be strong and healthy like them, but he refused, not wanting to curse Aurora to his fate. Knowing she would never be able to convince him to turn her, she slit her own wrists in a mock suicide attempt, tricking Rebekah into healing her wounds by feeding her vampire blood. She then tried to get Rebekah to kill her to turn her, as well, but when she refused for the same reasons Klaus did, Aurora angrily asked her to leave. Having what she needed to turn herself, Aurora walked over to the window of her tower and allowed herself to fall off of the ledge, killing herself and transforming herself into the second non-Original vampire and Rebekah's first progeny.
Unfortunately, in time, rumors started to spread in the village about demons who fed on blood as a result of the seven vampires' feeding habits, and it soon became clear that Mikael would be coming after them. In the middle of a heated argument between Elijah and Aurora in which Aurora confessed that Klaus had killed Esther, Elijah accidentally and unintentionally used mind compulsion for the first time to cause her to see Klaus as a monster and to stay behind rather than trying to flee with them. Before the Mikaelsons left court, Elijah, who had gotten the hang of compulsion and could now use it intentionally, fed Tristan his blood and killed him, making him his own first vampire progeny. He then compelled Lucien, Aurora, and Tristan to believe that they were Niklaus, Rebekah, and himself before forcing them to flee the castle, allowing them to be the bait that Mikael chased while the real Mikaelsons traveled on to Italy and settled in Tuscany.
Lucien, Tristan, and Aurora, who eventually became known as The Trinity, believed that they were actually Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah for over a century, until Elijah being daggered for the first time in 1114 caused their compulsion to be broken. Though they then knew their true identities, Mikael continued to chase after them, causing the three younger vampires to become incredibly resentful toward the Mikaelsons, which is what eventually pushed them to search the world for weapons they could use to destroy their sires.
The growth of the vampire race led to several attempts to end them before they grew too powerful. One attempt involved a witch descended from the powerful Qetsiyah who created an order of five magically-enhanced vampire hunters called the Brotherhood of the Five to hunt down and destroy the vampires and the immortals on Earth. They began hunting vampires in Italy during the early 12th century as the Normans conquered southern Europe. However, they attempted to defeat the Originals with white oak ash daggers created by the witch who empowered them, not knowing that Klaus' werewolf heritage made him immune to weapons made of silver.
This allowed Klaus to kill all of the hunters and undagger all of his siblings, with the exception of Finn, who he hated for his self-loathing attitude toward vampirism. However, the spell that empowered the hunters did not die with them—instead, several new hunters emerged during the following centuries with the same powers and dedication of the first. Several freelance (and often ordinary human) vampire hunters also began to appear as a result of the vampires' amoral actions, and various weapons were created to use against them, such as stake-shooting guns and vervain grenades.
At some point, the initial conflict between the vampires and the werewolves emerged once again when the vampires discovered that a bite from a transformed werewolf was fatal to them (though a werewolf bite proved to not kill the Originals, who would only become feverish and delirious with hallucinations for several hours until they healed). Determined to protect themselves, the vampires declared war on the werewolves and drove them to near extinction. Several packs survived but, by the early 2000s, most vampires believed that werewolves were merely a myth.
A vampire kingdom in New Orleans
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, where they 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 many vampires, including the former slave Marcel Gerard, who was adopted as a child by Klaus in 1820 and raised as a surrogate son before he was transformed as an adult in 1835. Although the vampires established their own community in New Orleans, several other supernatural communities cohabited in the town, including several packs of werewolves and at least nine Covens of Witches, who were, according to Rebekah, "not a lot to be trifled with." Alongside all these supernatural communities was a human faction created by Klaus and composed of pirates and dirty politicians to help maintain the balance between the human and supernatural communities. For centuries, this human 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 various 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 1919 in order to get around Prohibition, a ban on alcohol production and consumption which had recently become federal 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 in the city, but also draw their father, the Original vampire who had become a Vampire Hunter known as Mikael the Destroyer and intended on killing killing 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 and act as the public face of the ports while the brothers maintained control behind the scenes, 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, but Mikael chased after them, leaving New Orleans in shambles.
After the destruction wrought by Mikael, Marcel remained in New Orleans, where he eventually gained leadership of the vampire community and began making moves to take control of the city at large. 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 in 1925. Later, in the 1990s, Marcel attempted to form a truce with members of the Labonair family, who were in the Crescent Wolf Clan, but after his Labonair ally and his wife were killed by former Crescent Alpha Richard Xavier Dumas to prevent the truce, the vampires took advantage of the divided clan and waged a war against them that they ultimately won in retribution for ruining their peace talks. After the werewolves' defeat, Marcel exiled 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 all triggered werewolves in the 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 peak hours of the full moon.
Shortly afterward, he sent away the surviving baby daughter of his late Labonair allies with Father Kieran, the priest at St. Anne's Church and leader of the human faction, ensuring that the girl found an adoptive family. Afterward, Marcel and Father Kieran 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 limited their feedings to tourists rather than locals and kept their number of kills to a minimum in order to prevent a decrease in the tourism 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 without being forced to live in the shadows like many of their brethren in other areas of the world. 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 daytime, whereas the rest of the vampires, known as the "nightwalkers," remained nocturnal and were relegated to patrolling the town after sunset. However, 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 French Quarter Coven, who harbored hatred toward the vampires and, like many witches, believed them to be abominations of Nature. Despite Father Kieran's best efforts to maintain the peace between the communities, the tensions continued to rise.
It was this tension that eventually led to the witches' decision to go along with their ancestral coven's tricentennial Harvest ritual, which involved the sacrifice of four teenage girls in their covens to appease their ancestors, who would then give them more power and resurrect the girls as a reward for their faith. When Father Kieran found out that the ritual demanded the sacrifice of four young women, he vehemently denounced the plans during a meeting with the coven's Elders. However, the witch elder Agnes, wanting to distract Kieran enough that he would be too preoccupied to interfere with the Harvest, used the Rosary of Madness to put a hex on his nephew Sean O'Connell, causing him to slowly descend into insanity as the hex overtook his morals and led him to violent thoughts. After Sean ultimately succumbed to the hex by massacring his fellow seminary students before killing himself, Kieran left town out of grief, but not before meeting with Marcel and urging him to stop the Harvest by any means necessary. Unfortunately, Marcel and his vampires arrived to the cemetery where the ritual was being performed 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 Harvest girl, Davina Claire.
Since the Harvest was incomplete, all of the magic of the three girls who were sacrificed before she was rescued, which was meant to be an offering to the earth and their ancestors who resided on the Ancestral Plane, 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 other New Orleans witches were performing 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 lying to her and betraying her and her friends by killing them, used her powers to help Marcel and the vampires enforce his new rule: any witch who practiced magic without express permission from Marcel himself would be sentenced to death. With the witches essentially powerless in subjugation and the werewolves exiled from the city, the vampire community became the uncontested dominant faction in New Orleans, which allowed Marcel to proclaim himself to be king of the city.
However, threats to Marcel rule began in 2011 when his former mentor and sire, 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 Klaus 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 in infiltrating Marcel's empire with the hopes of bringing it down from within. 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 her 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 ability to practice magic 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, even if it meant going up against Marcel and the vampires.
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 actions 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. This eventually worked, because when Marcel—with the help of Rebekah—staged an attack against Klaus, Klaus ended up coming out the victor, even despite the fact that he was outnumbered at least 100 to 1. Afterward, Klaus reclaimed the compound—which had been the Mikaelsons' residence in the 19th and 20th centuries and had become the vampire headquarters in the years after they fled—and took control of the vampires and the supernatural community at large.
After he had learned of his sister Rebekah and Marcel's betrayal in 1919, when they summoned Mikael to New Orleans to chase him out of town, Klaus banished Rebekah and sank into a bit of a depression, leaving Elijah to take control of the vampires and the Faction in his absence. Shortly afterward, Francesca Correa and her brothers, who had revealed themselves to actually be Guerrera werewolves who had been living undercover as humans for decades, staged a coup at the Mikaelson compound, stealing the moonlight stones that Klaus commissioned Genevieve to make for Hayley and the Crescents, triggering their own werewolf curses, and attacking all of the vampires in revenge for how their family was treated by them in the past. The few vampires who survived the so-called Battle of New Orleans were exiled by the Guerreras to the neighborhood across the river known as Algiers, and the werewolves under their command had orders to kill any vampire who was caught in the French Quarter on sight.
Months later, Marcel, Klaus, Elijah, Josh Rosza, and the newly-turned hybrid Hayley staged a coup of their own, killing all of the Guerrera werewolves, destroying their moonlight rings, and breaking most of their control over the Quarter. However, the recently-resurrected Esther and Finn Mikaelson (possessing the bodies of the witches Cassie and Vincent Griffith) quickly filled the power vacuum in the werewolf community, which kept the vampires from fully regaining control of the city. Despite this, Elijah and Marcel began a partnership and began rebuilding their vampire community in Algiers in the hope that once Esther and Finn were dealt with, they would be able to retake their leadership of the supernatural population of New Orleans. Finn was eventually neutralized after the werewolves and the vampires formed an alliance and worked with Klaus and Elijah.
After the powerful and ancient witch Dahlia was killed following a lot of bloodshed on all sides, control of the vampire community of New Orleans was once again given to Marcel, who has continued to work with Elijah to replenish their numbers and regain the stronghold of power they once possessed. It was Marcel's status as a vampire personally turned by Klaus and his reputation for the thriving permanent community of vampires that led the powerful organization The Strix to come to New Orleans and offer him membership into their ranks, which he ultimately joined after passing his initiation. Since then, The Strix and The Trinity have been working together to lock away the Original vampires (Elijah, Klaus, and Rebekah) using a dark object called the Serratura, which would not only allow them to get their revenge against their sires for what Elijah did to The Trinity as well as to protect themselves from a prophecy foretold by a cypher witch in Lucien's emply named Alexis. In this prophecy, Alexis predicted that the rest of the Originals would be killed, which would ultimately lead to the end of the vampire species as a result of the magical sireline link and the spawn of a mysterious creature known as "The Beast." It was foretold that one Original would die at the hands of a friend, one at the hands of a foe, and one at the hands of family members, and this prophecy threatens the very existence of the vampire species, leading The Trinity and The Strix to decide to lock them away to prevent anyone from killing the Originals and thus ensuring their own survival.
- "Look. We're vampires. We're a toxic species. Whether you wanna blame it on magic or biology, it's just who we are. When a human gets ravenously hungry, they eat a double cheeseburger. We kill people. Some of us are more extreme than others, but that's just who we are. When humans want to break free of complicated relationships, they go to therapy. Vampires get a pass."
- —Stefan to Elena
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, which used the blood of a doppelgänger as the catalyst in the process that made her husband and children immortal, transitioning 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, along with the first immortals Silas and Amara, need to drink it to maintain their eternal life. If a vampire fails to regularly drink blood, their body will become severely weakened, and will ultimately desiccate into mummification until they are able to get blood into their system.
Blood (especially human blood) does not only satisfy a vampire’s thirst, but it also heightens their supernatural abilities, making them stronger, faster, and able to heal much more quickly than they would after not eating for a significant period of time. 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. In many cases, a vampire who has been starved for a long period and is risking desiccation will eventually become so overwhelmed with hunger that the lose all sense of their humanity and rationality altogether and finally give into their bloodlust. It has been demonstrated that vampire blood, just as with human and animal blood, can be used to revive a vampire who has been desiccated (even if they ordinarily do not partake in the consumption of vampire blood), and it can also help a badly injured vampire heal more quickly if human or animal blood is not available. However, human blood is most compatible with a vampire's dietary needs, and because of this, the majority of vampires rely on it as their sole food source.
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. This also extends to vervain as well, as vampires who feed on a human who regularly ingests vervain will be burned and weakened upon contact with their blood. Due to a vampire's amplified senses and feelings, their hunger cravings are much stronger and harder to control than those they felt when they were humans, and will often be connected to powerful emotions.
Vampires are magically preserved in the physical state that they were in when they died, therefore making a vampires body a freshly dead corpse, though it is reanimated and protected from decay with dark magic. Vampire's bodies remain in the exact same state as they were just prior to their deaths as humans (aside from the injuries or effects of most illnesses) from an anatomical standpoint, except when it comes to their supernaturally-enhanced abilities and the addition of vampire's true face. Their true face is a slightly transformed version of their human face, which includes red, blood-shot sclera with protruding veins around the eyes and elongated fangs. The bite of a vampire is so powerful that it can sever the limbs of both animals and humans, as vampires are known for having extremely sharp and strong teeth. Similarly, a vampire has human-like physiology, and their bodies continue to function normally as long as they have a steady diet of human blood. Because of this, vampires can eat human food, though it doesn't sustain their life or provide any nutrition like blood does. Regardless, many vampires continue to eat regular food out of human habit, to maintain human appearances to prevent their exposure, and to help sublimate their eternal hunger for blood.
Vampires can also become intoxicated by drugs such as alcohol and marijuana just as humans can, although they do have much higher tolerances due to their rapidly regenerating cells. In fact, most vampires frequently drink alcohol throughout the day to help them deal with their perpetual hunger, much in the way that some vampires eat human food to help curb their cravings. Vampires are immune to the majority of human diseases and illnesses. One exception of this rule is cancer, though the vampire had to have had the cancer before they are turned. These aforementioned vampires continue to have cancer even after their transition is complete, as cancer cells rapidly regenerate in the presence of vampire blood due to the cells being functionally immortal; normal human cells have "suicide buttons" that allow them to die once their organelles have worn out, but cancer cells have no such button, and vampire blood only serves to accelerate the regeneration of cancer cells. The only known substances that can have a serious 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 the cure to immortality, the body will return to the state of a healthy alive adult so long as the cure remains in their blood. However, once a vampire is reverted to being a human after ingesting the cure, the cure will remain in their bloodstream, allowing any other vampire who wants to be cured to do so by feeding on the cured vampire's blood to nearly full consumption. When Silas fed on Katherine's cure-laced blood, he returned to his previous status as a witch, but it caused a side-effect to be discovered—should the cure leave the veins of a cured vampire, their bodies will rapidly begin to age to catch up with the time they spent as vampires. This usually poses no problem in vampires who have only been turned for several years, but in the case of Katherine, her body began to age so rapidly to compensate for her 538 years of life that she ultimately died of a heart attack due to old age within weeks.
Conversely, if vampirism is stripped away by The Magic Purification Spell, it will physically revert the body to the final state it was in before awakening in transition, leaving it a corpse with the physical damage of whatever it was that originally killed them. (e.g: drowning, slit throat, snapped neck, tuberculosis, etc.) The only exception to this was Alaric Saltzman, who was successfully transformed from an enhanced Original vampire into a human as a result of a his serious (but not absolutely fatal) injury being instantly treated by Dr. Josette Laughlin. The only remaining cure for immortality currently resides in Elena Gilbert's blood, as the other copy of the cure was destroyed along with the 1903 Prison World after the Gemini Coven was murdered. Similarly, since the Travelers have more or less become extinct, it is unlikely that a magic purification spell could be performed again, making the chances of being cured this way nearly impossible.
It has been recently discovered that while vampires are sterile and cannot have biological children (with the exception of the hybrid Klaus, whose werewolf side and magical transformation canceled out his vampire sterility), certain forms of magic can transport a fetus or fetuses from a human's body into a vampire's. This was demonstrated by the Gemini Coven, whose livelihood was dependent on the existence of twins to continue the coven, and who had a spell to magically transport fetuses from a pregnant mother whose life is in danger into another womb. Joshua Parker and his fellow coven members used this spell to transfer the twin fetuses from the dying Josette Laughlin into the vampire Caroline Forbes' womb to make sure the coven would survive on without them. Since a vampire who consumes a steady diet of blood can also consume human food and has the same physiology as a normal human, Caroline will be able to carry the babies to term, likely with help from the coven's powerful magic. Additionally, her vampirism actually makes it more likely that the twins will survive.
Vampires have the capacity to be extremely feral, predatory creatures, and can be 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.
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 for their survival. While vampires typically maintain their human personalities after their transformations (though magnified by the magical properties of vampirism), they are usually dehumanized to some degree, and due to both the violent tensions between witches, werewolves, and vampires (along with the in-fighting within the vampire community itself), violence, tragedy, and death seem to follow vampires wherever they go, even despite their best efforts to avoid it. Many (though not all) vampires are inherently selfish and consider other beings, especially humans, to be inferior to themselves, as they see themselves as the top of the proverbial food chain. Even the most compassionate of their kind will often resort to cruelty and torture if it means protecting themselves and their loved ones from danger.
For example, Stefan Salvatore, despite his generally kind and compassionate attitude, has been shown to be unafraid of killing when the situation calls for it, though he makes it a point not to harm or kill humans unless absolutely necessary. Similarly, Caroline Forbes, while saving Stefan and his brother 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 afterward; this contrasted greatly with her reaction after she had accidentally killed a carnival worker out of hunger just hours after she had completed her transition, which upset her so much that she began to sob and insisted she was a monster. This suggests the longer one spends as a vampire, the more tolerant of violence and murder they become. Additionally, over the course of their millennium of life, Elijah and Rebekah have also become somewhat dehumanized after spending so much time as the most powerful beings on earth, even despite their generally kind and gentle nature; their penchant for the "snatch, eat, erase" method of feeding and their dedication to avoiding unnecessarily large demonstrations of violence and cruelty if at all possible is typically more out of their desire to protect themselves from exposure than a desire to not harm others. In recent years, both Elijah and Rebekah have mellowed out, and are not as quick to harm or kill out of anger, they still are known for being ruthless against their enemies or anyone who tries to harm their family and friends, and have shown no discomfort in torturing others to get the answers or results they need.
However, vampires experience sensations and feelings much more intensely than humans, and as a result, 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 extreme hunger, fear, 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.
Due to their intensely emotional nature, 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 of specific memories and dates, vampires still need to peruse their journals in order to reflect on their feelings and other minute details during certain events. Another function of the vampire nature is the ability to "turn off" their humanity in order to make it easier for them to emotionally deal with feeding on (and occasionally even killing) humans to maintain their immortality. Vampires who have used this coping mechanism, such as Elena Gilbert, Damon Salvatore, Stefan Salvatore, Caroline Forbes, and Lorenzo, have described the process 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 of their actions. Vampires with their humanity turned off often think of themselves as purely rational and logical and are not ruled by their emotions. They also have no problem feeding indiscriminately on whomever they please, either using compulsion to make the humans forget the experience or killing them outright with no shame.
Society and Culture
From their portrayal so far on the shows, it seems that many vampires are nomads of sorts who periodically move around from place to place to make sure their immortality and lack of aging do not lead to their exposure as vampires to the general public. Some of them appear to attempt to take on identities within the human world and exist alongside humans (such as Stefan Salvatore, who used to take on a new identity, location, and career every thirty years) while others instead appear to enjoy living among humans mostly anonymously (such as Damon Salvatore, Lily Salvatore, the Heretics, and the Mikaelsons throughout the majority of their lives) and travel often to new places for a change in scenery.
While most of the world does not appear to have an official rule-based vampire government, at least one place, the American city of New Orleans, Louisiana, has had a thriving permanent community of vampires throughout most of the 20th century and into the early 21st century. For most of the community's existence, it was been ruled by Klaus and Elijah Mikaelson from the 18th to early 20th centuries; then, after they were forced to flee with their sister Rebekah after the arrival of their father, Mikael, the control of the vampires was taken by Marcel Gerard, who proclaimed himself to be the king of the city. Upon gaining leadership of the community, Marcel created many rules that he strongly enforces within the borders of New Orleans, which includes the following: vampires can only feed on tourists (though feeding on consenting locals seems to be allowed); and all vampires are responsible for keeping the number of vampire-related killings of humans to a minimum so as to not negatively affect tourism rates, which thereby affects their food supply.
The number one rule of the community, however, is that vampires are forbidden from killing any of their own kind, and vampires who have violated this rule have faced strict punishment, such one hundred years of solitary confinement and starvation in the Garden prison or even death. The only known vampires to avoid punishment for such a crime are the Originals, who are far too powerful for any vampire in the community to be forced to abide by the laws. Marcel's original community was eventually destroyed by the various wars that took place in the city in 2012, leaving only Marcel Gerard, Joshua Rosza and Elijah Mikaelson the only surviving true vampires (not including the hybrids Klaus Mikaelson and Hayley Marshall.) For the next year after the decimation of their community, the vampires moved to another neighborhood of New Orleans across the river from the French Quarter called Algiers, where they began to rebuild their vampire army by turning select individuals who proved themselves as having what it took to "move up a notch on the food chain." In 2013, control of the French Quarter was once again returned to Marcel Gerard and his vampires, who have returned to the neighborhood to begin to regain the power they once held throughout the city while maintaining tenuous truces with both the Crescent werewolves and the French Quarter Coven.
As previously stated, there is no international vampire government, or even a vampire government within specific nations. However, there have been vampire societies over the thousand years or so that the species has existed. The most well-known among them being The Strix, a congregation of the most ancient and powerful vampires the world has ever known, which was originally founded by Elijah Mikaelson, who sought to seek out vampires with the time, resources, and inclination to enrich the world. However, Elijah was eventually forced to abandon the organization, as he was dismayed by the realization that he had gathered a large group of narcissistic and sociopathic vampires who were only concerned with gaining power, status, and wealth with which they could use to further their own agendas. After Elijah's departure, Tristan de Martel became the leader of the organization, and, with the exception of Marcel Gerard, every vampire initiated into the society belongs to either Elijah or Rebekah's sireline.
Age is a powerful status symbol in the global vampire community. One such reason for this is because the amount of history the vampire has experienced gives them certain bragging rights, especially when they interact with younger vampires, werewolves, witches, and in-the-know humans. There are many examples of how vampires use their age to gain respect and status, including (but not limited to) the following: the vampire Shen Min was the torture consultant to Genghis Khan prior to being turned; Elijah and Klaus were close friends with Sigmund Freud and Ferdinand Magellan, among other famous historical figures; Klaus compelled the artist Edgar Degas to mentor him in art; Rebekah was hinted to be the creator of the legendary vampire Casquette Girls in Louisiana in the 1800s; Marcel was a member of the Brotherhood of the Damned (the name for the 369th regiment in World War I); the Heretics, Lillian Salvatore, and Julian attended the funeral of Queen Victoria; and Damon Salvatore and Stefan Salvatore served in the Civil War and World War II, respectively.
However, the main reason why age is a status symbol in the vampire community is because a vampire's age directly correlates to how physically powerful they are. As a vampire ages, their supernatural physical and mental abilities become even stronger and more advanced as well. For example, because Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah are each between 1,028 and 1,038 years of age and are Original vampires, they are universally known as the most powerful supernatural creatures on Earth. The only vampires known to be even close to as strong as the Originals are the first three vampires they each sired around a year after they were turned—Lucien Castle, Aurora de Martel, and Tristan de Martel. Even then, as regular vampires, their strength is still inferior to that of their sires, though they are still much more powerful than any other regular vampire because of their age. While attitude, training, and catching an older vampire off-guard can occasionally compensate for another vampire's young age in a fight (such as Elena Gilbert nearly besting Katherine Pierce in battle), an older vampire will nearly always win in a fight against a younger vampire.
According to Stefan and Damon, the sharing of blood between vampires is considered an intimate act and is not typically taken lightly, though it is not always this way; for example, Klaus and Elijah have been shown feeding their own blood to their siblings and vampire friends to heal them after they have been seriously incapacitated by injury or desiccation.
Attitudes Toward Humans
Vampires generally 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 killed to ensure their silence, compelled to forget their encounters with them, or, in some cases, 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 and not wanting to cause any more harm to them than necessary. In general, vampires are known to see humans as less compared to themselves and ultimately regard their lives as being essentially insignificant, as humans are mortal whereas vampires live forever. As a result of their immortality and the fatal violence they witness 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, which is how most vampires prefer it to be.
Powers and Abilities
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 members of The Five, true immortals and 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 in their human form and, depending on the age of the vampire, can be equal to that of evolved werewolves. 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 173 year old vampire, 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, though this could be because the safe was taller and wider than Caroline was, making it more difficult for her to wrap her arms around it to lift it. Although noted that a vampires strength enhances with age, it can also be noted that the emotional status of the vampire takes a toll on the strength. For example, Caroline was able to fight on par with Damon after only being recently turned, this was according to her, because she was 'angrier'.
- Super Speed: Vampires are much faster than members of The Five, true immortals, 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, allowing them to catch certain projectiles such as arrows and thrown stakes in the air with ease. Like their strength, their speed also increases with age.
- Super Agility: Vampires possess super-human agility. They have shown that they can move quickly, 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. Similarly, Elena jumped from the ground up onto the roof 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.
- 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 vampires typically learn how to tune out most ambient noises when it's not necessary to hear them—Josh, a newborn vampire, explained that vampires can turn their enhanced hearing off, which explains why they can occasionally miss auditory warnings (such as the footsteps of approaching enemies) when they're paying attention to other things. Vampires can also smell blood from several meters away, and see in total darkness. These senses improve and grow stronger with age and experience.
- Super Durability: Vampires can take a great amount of physical damage without being slowed down. Even vampires who have been shot with wooden bullets, which have a weakening effect on vampires, have been seen to continue fighting so long as they were not shot in the heart or the head. Vampires still react to physical force in a human manner, particularly young vampires, who will occasionally be affected even by human-strength-level force. Vampires can also still be stunned and dazed by strikes and trauma, though their tolerance for it will increase as they get older.
- Healing Factor: Vampires recover tissue from any form of physical damage to their bodies within seconds, though they still feel the pain of a wound before it heals. Vampires can snap their bones back into place after they have been broken and have been seen to fully recover from gunshots, stab wounds, and torso impalement very quickly, so long as they had consumed a regular diet of human blood prior to the injury. Those vampires who feed on animals will still heal much faster than a human, but their injuries, especially severe ones, will take much longer to heal than a vampire who feeds on human blood. The only injury a vampire can sustain that cannot be healed on its own or by consuming more blood is a werewolf bite, which requires Klaus' blood or a very rare scientifically-created serum to cure. Also, a vampire's enhanced healing is limited to physical damage to their bodies—many forms of magical damage (such as the damage caused by the Phoenix Stone's dagger) and psychological damage (such as the aftermath of Elijah's "red door" causing him emotional pain) are beyond its capability. Vampires cannot grow back body parts, they can only reattach the body part back.
- Immortality: A vampire stops aging once turned. Upon their transformation, vampires become immune to all conventional illness, diseases, viruses and infections. While vampires who were cancer-free as humans will be immune to cancer after they are turned, those humans who were turned while they had cancer will not only still have it as a vampire, but their newly-enhanced healing factor will accelerate the progression of the cancer cells over two-fold, nearly always causing the cancer-stricken vampire to kill themselves to end their suffering.
- 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 become so overwhelmed that they "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 more negative 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 feelings 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 can become a remorseless killer, and are almost unrecognizable from the person they truly are, as blocking out negative emotions also causes their positive emotions to become dulled or nonexistent as well. Vampires are capable of turning their humanity back on and bringing back their emotions, but it is difficult as a result of the fact that they will be bombarded with all of their repressed emotions in addition to the guilt of anything they did without their humanity (such as killing or torturing innocent people or loved ones) with enhanced intensity. This ability fades with time and vampires who are over 500 years old have said that they have lost the ability to turn off their humanity altogether.
- Mind Compulsion: Vampires have the ability to influence and control thoughts, emotions, and behavior and can alter or erase memories. There is a sort of hierarchy as to how this ability works. Original vampires can compel humans, doppelgängers, untriggered werewolves, regular vampires, and vampire-werewolf hybrids. Regular vampires, as weaker forms of their Original progenitors, cannot compel hybrids or other vampires, though they can compel the other aforementioned species. However, no vampire can compel a witch, a triggered werewolf, or a member of the Brotherhood of the Five, and Original vampires cannot compel other Originals.
- 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 before they were turned. Those vampires or hybrids with a sire bond are supernaturally loyal to their sires to the point that they will go out of their way to do whatever their sire asks them to do, even if they don't actually want to do it. However, this bond doesn't affect how they truly feel about their sire, it only affects their behavior.
- Telepathy: Vampires have a limited form of telepathy that allows them to easily enter the minds of humans, and with more effort, the minds of witches, werewolves, doppelgängers. They can also enter the minds of other vampires, though this ability is dependent on the vampire being younger or weaker than the one using telepathy, such as Klaus delving into the younger Aurora's mind, or Sage being able to delve into Rebekah's mind after she had fallen asleep in a vulnerable state after having sex with Damon. Other ways to weaken a vampire to use telepathy on them are to starve them/drain them of blood, inject them with vervain, or expose them to werewolf venom. It is one of the hardest abilities to master, and because of this, it is usually the last of the mind-control-related abilities a vampire learns after becoming proficient in mind compulsion. Normally, this ability works through tactile contact, usually by the vampire placing the palms of his or her hands on the temples of the vampire whose mind they want to enter. The vampire then closes their eyes and focuses on the information they wish to seek, allowing them to sort through their victims' memories until they see what they're looking for. However, Damon and Elijah have been shown to mentally communicate with others from a short distance without tactile contact in order to send distress calls and mental images during emergency situations. Like their physical attributes, a vampire's mental strength increases with age, making it difficult for a vampire to invade the mind of an ancient vampire such as one of the Originals unless they are of similar age. Klaus, as the Original Hybrid, has been shown to possess the strongest mind of any vampire or hybrid in the series, and his mind has only been invaded on one occasion, and that was after he had been severely weakened by the effects being stabbed with Papa Tunde's blade.
- Dream Manipulation: Vampires can also use their power of telepathy to control dreams and the subconscious. This is an aspect of telepathy that is much easier to learn, and with it, a vampire has the ability to produce and modify dreams, bestow nightmares and lucid dreaming, distort people's 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 vulnerable enough. However, this is a learned skill that requires practice to achieve. Known users of this skill are Damon Salvatore, Stefan Salvatore, Katerina Petrova, Rebekah Mikaelson, Sage and Caroline Forbes.
- Illusions: Vampires have the power to trick the minds of other younger vampires into seeing/feeling things that aren't actually happening, such as when Lexi made Stefan believed he had been starved of blood for years.
- 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 extend into razor-sharp fangs. On some occasions, a vampire's fang teeth can include both their canines and their lateral incisors, in the case of Katherine, Elena, Isobel, and Lexi, or both their canines and their premolars, such as in Klaus, Lucien, Damon, and Tyler's case. 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 fear, 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 they drink human blood for the first time or shortly afterward. With the fangs come the darkened veins under the eyes as well.
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, to send a message to Caroline, and to 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 to increase their immunity.
- Animal Blood: Animal blood weakens a vampire's strength.
- Broken Neck: Breaking a vampire's neck will not kill them, but it will render them unconscious for varying amounts of time, depending on the diet and age of the person in question. It was shown when the Enhanced Original Alaric, snapped Damon's neck, he recovered quickly due to the fact that he is an older vampire.
- The Cure: If a vampire takes the cure, they will revert back to being mortal again. Once taken, the cure prevents them from being immortal again, causing the body to reject vampire blood. Additionally, their blood becomes the cure once they've ingested it, making them a target to any vampire who wants to cure themselves. If the cure-laced blood should be drained from a cured vampire, that vampire would begin to rapidly age to compensate for the years they spent as an undead, unaging vampire. In the case of older vampires (usually those who have been a vampire for more than 30 to 50 years), this can cause them to age so quickly that they die in weeks or months if the cure has been drained from their body by another immortal being, as demonstrated by Katherine after the cure was removed from her body by Silas - after she ingested the cure, she spent four months without any major changes to her body (aside from becoming human in the first place), but within a day of losing her cure-laced blood, Katherine's hair began to turn gray, several of her teeth began to fall out, and she began to develop wrinkles, bad eyesight, exercise intolerance, and other symptoms of aging that were meant to compensate for the 500+ years she lived as a vampire. These symptoms worsened over the course of a few weeks until she finally had a heart attack and died a day later.
- Decapitation: Dismembering or manually removing the head of a vampire will result in instant and permanent death.
- Desiccation: Vampires who abstain from blood for extended amounts of time will eventually desiccate and mummify. Witches can also use magic to desiccate vampire.
- 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. This quality has been proven to be useful in disposing of the remains of a dead vampire without any physical evidence. However, in some cases, vampires have used this vulnerability to their advantage, such as when Elijah and Elena removed their daylight rings and exposed their hands to sunlight near an open gas leak, causing explosions and fireballs to incapacitate or kill their enemies and dampening the flames before they can do harm to themselves.
- 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 humans (including witches, doppelgängers, and Brotherhood of the Five members), werewolves, or other vampires, allowing them to punch their hand through the thorax of a person and pull out their heart. If it is a vampire who has been subjected to this, then they will desiccate upon their 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. Demonstrated by Aurora through Camille, if a vampire that wasn't invited in a human house this will start to bleeding and feel pain, like Pain Infliction. It has been revealed that invitation can be granted long-distance and even by someone who hasn't lived in the house in years (such as when Jo Laughlin invited Stefan into her parents' home despite the fact that she had not been there in nearly twenty years).
- Magic: Vampires are susceptible to the powers of witchcraft. This is inclusive of mystical objects such as the Gilbert Device, Papa Tunde's Blade and Dark Objects. A Siphoner can also siphon the magic from a vampire to fuel their spells. Witches have been seen to use magic to cause agonizing pain by inducing aneurysms in their brain or muscle spasms, telekinetically ripping out their hearts or snapping their necks, magically increasing their hunger for blood to unbearable levels, setting them ablaze with a single thought, and desiccating or petrifying them to the point of mummification.
- 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 so long as they haven't been weakened by other means such as vervain or werewolf bites.
- Poison: There have recently been various poisons shown invented by people such as Dr. Wes Maxfield and Aya that are capable of incapacitate or desiccate a vampire when administered. Klaus also used a poison to kill Tim that not even vampire blood could cure.
- Sunlight: Sunlight and UV rays burn vampires on contact, and prolonged exposure will cause them to burst into flames and die. However, this weakness can be mitigated by the use of a lapis lazuli stone enchanted with a specific protection spell by a witch for a particular vampire, which is usually affixed to jewelry, though it requires the vampire to wear the stone at all times.
- Vampire Bloodline: If an Original vampire dies, all vampires descended from their bloodline will slowly perish as well. Members of Klaus's bloodline were delinked from him; thus they no longer did if he dies.
- Vervain: Exposure to or ingestion of vervain causes a vampire to become severely feverish and weak to the point that it can even hinder their healing abilities as well. 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 small amounts of diluted vervain to protect themselves from Original vampires' compulsion and to reduce its effects when used against them by enemies.
- 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 is the only surefire way to cure the bite, though one of the doctors allied with the Travelers managed to come up with a cure for the enhanced Ripper compound, which contained small amounts of werewolf venom. Recently, it has been revealed that Lucien Castle also possesses a scientifically-created serum that, when injected into a werewolf bite wound, will cure the vampire of the venom's effects and allow them to heal the wound. Vampires suffering from the bite seem to always hallucinate either significant moments from their past, significant people in their lives, or specific actions of the vampire that they feel guilty or ashamed about. 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 for several hours or even days, depending on how many bites/how much venom was ingested, until their body heals itself.
- 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 than if the wounds were caused by any other substance. 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, though he's still not fully immune to its effects.
- White Oak Ash Daggers: It is said that if a vampire daggers an Original vampire, they will die while the Original vampire is neutralized.
- Doppelgänger Blood Magic: 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.
- Vampire Bloodline (Unique to Klaus's Sireline): Every vampire of Klaus bloodline is now free; they were unlinked from Klaus by Davina so if he dies, they will remain alive without any consequence.
- Phoenix Stone/Sword Side Effects: The Phoenix Stone, when attached to the sword with which it is paired, has the power to kill the body of a vampire and trap their soul in a prison within the stone. This prison has been described as a hell dimension where time has no meaning and where the vampire souls inside it are emotionally tortured with horrifying images such as being forced to kill their loved ones. Though the souls inside can be released with a spell cast on the stone, it requires the vampire's original body for it to be successful. If it is placed in the wrong body, the vampire spirit will experience amnesia, confusion, and an insatiable hunger for blood that will turn them feral. In one case, when the soul of a vampire inside the stone was placed in a human body with the spell, the human's body rejected the soul and eventually deteriorated until both the vampire soul and the body died for good. The blade was destroyed by Nora and Mary Louise.
- Cancer: Although vampires cannot catch diseases and illnesses such as cancer, if a human has active cancer and is turned into a vampire, the effects of the cancer will increase. The regenerative properties of vampire blood will speed up the replication of cancer cells of and exceed normal stages of the condition. 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."
- 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.
|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. He was once again killed by Klaus.||Deceased||1,060+|
|Finn Mikaelson||Finn Mikaelson is 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 was possessing Vincent. He was resurrected by unknown means as of now however died after being bitten by Lucien Castle.||Deceased||1,039+|
|Elijah Mikaelson||Elijah Mikaelson isone of the Original Vampires, and the third-born child of Mikael and Esther. He was bitten by Marcel Gerard but Freya Mikaelson linked his life to Niklaus Mikaelson's so he'd slumber until Hayley Marshall-Kenner would find a cure for the bite.||Unconscious (Linked to Klaus)||1,035+|
|Kol Mikaelson||Kol Mikaelson is 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 was possessing Kaleb. He was killed by Finn. He was then resurrected in his Original Vampire body by Davina Claire. He was bitten by Marcel Gerard but Freya Mikaelson linked his life to Niklaus Mikaelson's so he'd slumber until Hayley Marshall-Kenner would find a cure for the bite.||Unconscious (Linked to Klaus)||1,000+|
|Rebekah Mikaelson||Rebekah Mikaelson is one of the Original Vampires, and the sixth-born child of Mikael and Esther. She was daggered with a Cursed Stake and as result of that has been hexed but Freya Mikaelson linked her life to Niklaus Mikaelson's so she'd slumber until Hayley Marshall-Kenner would find a cure for her.||Unconscious (Linked to Klaus)||1,000+|
|Lucien Castle||Lucien is the first vampire ever turned by Klaus, and is a member of the Trinity.||Deceased||1,000+|
|Tristan de Martel||Tristan is the brother of Aurora, and the first vampire ever turned by Elijah, and is a member of the Trinity.||Neutralized (Constantly Drowning)||1,000+|
|Aurora de Martel||Aurora is the sister of Tristan, and is the first vampire ever turned by Rebekah, and is a member of the Trinity.||Unknown||1,000+|
|Mohinder||Mohinder was a vampire who had mentored Aya, and was one of the few vampires who drank vampire blood. He was killed by Tristan de Martel.||Deceased||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+|
|Aya Al-Rashid||Aya was a vampire turned by Elijah and a member of The Strix. She has been staked by Hayley Marshall who took revenge for her husband's death which Aya was responsible for.||Deceased||900+|
|Shen Min||Shen Min was a vampire and a member of The Strix, who was sired by a member of Elijah Mikaelson's sireline, and killed himself, after refusing to hand over secret information about The Strix's plan to the original vampires, and their allys. Shen was one of few non-Original vampires that even the Original Vampires were wary of.||Deceased||800+|
|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. It has been confirmed that she was part of Niklaus' bloodline.||Deceased||600 to 800 years|
|Pearl||Pearl was one of the tomb vampires and was staked by John Gilbert.||Deceased||570+|
|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|
|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||550+|
|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||550+|
|Nadia Petrova||Nadia Petrova was the daughter of Katerina Petrova. For an unknown amount of time she was a member of The Travelers. She died as result of a werewolf bite from Tyler Lockwood.||Deceased||522|
|Julian||Julian was a vampire who was turned on the early 1500's, and has been the lover of Lillian Salvatore for over a century and a half. Julian was killed by Rayna Cruz in 1903, and his soul was sealed in the Phoenix Stone. He was later brought back to life by the Heretics. He has been killed by Stefan Salavatore with the help of Valerie to avenge Lillian's death.||Deceased||475+|
|Gaspar Cortez||Gaspar was a vampire of Klaus' sireline and was a former warlord back in the 1700s with his father and 5 unnamed brothers. He was killed by Niklaus Mikaelson.||Deceased||400+|
|Raphael was a painter in Florence during the 1600's and was turned by Julian.||Undead||400+|
|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|
|Dirty Robin was a nun in a convent who was turned by Julian in 1802.||Undead||200+|
|Marcel 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||203|
|Lillian Salvatore||Lillian "Lily" was the mother of Damon and Stefan and was the one who turned the Heretics and Lorenzo. She killed herself in a failed attempt to kill Julian so that she could save Damon and Valerie's lives.||Deceased||193|
|Seth was turned by Julian during the Gold Rush in California between 1848-1855.||Deceased||180+|
|Damon Salvatore||Damon Salvatore is a vampire who had been turned by Katherine Pierce on November 1, 1846 and is the son of Lillian and Giuseppe Salvatore, older brother of Stefan Salvatore and the current boyfriend of Elena Gilbert. He was the primary antagonist of Season One and has been a protagonist since then.||Undead||174|
|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 Wattles||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 Salvatore is a vampire who had been turned by Katherine Pierce on November 1, 1846 and is the son of Giuseppe and Lillian Salvatore, the younger brother of Damon Salvatore, the former boyfriend of Elena Gilbert and Caroline Forbes. He is the current boyfriend of Valerie. He was an antagonist in Season Three when his humanity was shut off.||Undead||167|
|Lorenzo St. John||Lorenzo "Enzo" is a vampire who was turned by Lillian Salavtore on November 1, 1903. Later he 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||140|
|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||100+|
|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 set her free, breaking the sire bond between them.||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||70+|
|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+|
|Lenore||Lenore was a powerful witch who was owned by Esther and turned into a vampire by Rebekah. She was killed by Freya.||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||41|
|Kieran O'Connell||Kieran was a priest who had becomed hexed and turned into a vampire. He was killed by Klaus.||Deceased||40+|
|Tripp Cooke||Tripp was a vampire hunter who was turned into a vampire by Enzo and then killed by crossing the barrier.||Deceased||40+|
|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||32|
|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|
|Farmer John||Farmer John was a vampire made by Enzo used for Damon to feed and kill.||Deceased||30+|
|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||30+|
|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|
|Troy||Troy was a progeny of Sage. He was indirectly killed by Matt.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Camille O'Connell||Camille is a bartender and a psychology student who initially moved to New Orleans to find out the truth about the death of her brother, Sean O'Connell. She was compelled to kill herself by Aurora de Martel. She had Aurora's blood in her system and became a vampire.||Deceased||25|
|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||25|
|Caroline Forbes||Caroline is a vampire and the best friend of Elena Gilbert and Bonnie Bennett, the former girlfriend of Damon Salvatore, Matt Donovan, Tyler Lockwood and Stefan Salavtore. She is the former fiancée of Alaric Saltzman and surrogate mother of Lizzie and Josie Saltzman. 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||24|
|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||25|
|Gia||Gia is a vampire who was turned by Marcel. She becomes Elijah's protégé, and later his lover. She was killed by Klaus.||Deceased||20|
|Joey was an Augustine vampire who was killed by Damon.||Deceased||20+|
|Ivy||Ivy is Stefan's girlfriend that was turned by Enzo. She was killed by Tripp.||Deceased||20+|
|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||19|
|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||19|
|Anton||Anton was a vampire, and a friend of Lucien Castle, who came to the city as a favor to Lucien, and was staked not long after by Niklaus Mikaelson.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Gregory||Gregory is Former Navy SEAL. Lucien Castle turned him personally, so he can be the head of his security team.||Undead||Unknown|
|Max||Max was a vampire turned by Marcel, who was killed by Thierry.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Tomas||Tomas is Marcel's informant.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Felicia||Felicia is part of Marcel's Army. She participated in the Fight Night.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Otto||Otto is part of Marcel's Army. He participated in the Fight Night.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Colin Phelps||Collin was a cancer patient whom Caroline fed vampire blood to and then died.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Xi was a vampire recently turned by Julian in Portland.||Undead||20+|
|Krystal||Krystal was a vampire turned by Julian and was killed by Rayna Cruz.||Deceased||20+|
|Sofya||A vampire that works for Lucien Castle and is a hired gun.||Undead||Unknown|
|Ashlynn||Ashlynn was a vampire from the Phoenix Stone, and was killed by one of the members of The Armory.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Katerina Petrova||Katerina Petrova (now known as Katherine Pierce) was a Petrova Doppelgänger until she was turned into a vampire by Rose. She was the sire of Stefan and Damon Salvatore. During her fight with Elena at Mystic Falls High School, she took the cure forcibly, meaning that she's human again.||Deceased||538|
|Alaric Saltzman||Alaric "Ric" Saltzman was a vampire hunter and a history teacher at Mystic Falls High School. He was made into an Enhanced Original Vampire by Esther but was later killed (indirectly) by Rebekah when she caused Matt and Elena drive off of Wickery Bridge. More Recently, he managed to be resurrected only to have his vampirsm stripped by the Magic Purification Spell, he is now a human again.||Alive||37|
|Sloan||Sloan was a witch of the Traveler coven and briefly made a vampire through Tyler Lockwood's blood. She was cured when she volunteered to test the spell which was a minor version of the Magic Purification Spell, dying from her injuries.||Deceased||25+|
|Elena Gilbert||Elena was the current Petrova Doppelganger until she became a vampire with the help of Damon's blood. More recently, she drank a copy of the cure from the 1994 prison world of her own accord, becoming human once again. However she was spelled by Malachai Parker to be under an enchanted coma until Bonnie Bennett dies.||Unconscious||20/21|
- 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. However, where the neophyte vampire's soul now resides during their transition has yet to be discovered.
- In the books, the most important vampires are: Klaus, Katherine von Swartzschild, Damon Francesco Salvatore, Stefan Antonio Salvatore, and Sage.
- Vicki Donovan is the first vampire shown in the TV series to complete their transition.
- It is shown that their fangs appear once they drink human blood for the first time and successfully transition into a true vampire.
- 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 using their supernatural abilities to remaining undetected.
- 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 either series.
- It is disputed whether removing non-vital organs will kill a vampire. When Damon's eyes were clawed out by Pearl, they later regenerated, and he was also able to regenerate portions of various internal organs that were removed by Dr. Whitmore during his captivity by Augustine, but as far as it is known, no vampire has had a whole non-vital organ removed.
- Dr. 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 with dark magic and was able to conceive a child with a fellow werewolf as one of Nature's loopholes, since his werewolf ability to reproduce canceled out his vampire sterility.
- However, it has recently been revealed in Mommie Dearest that magic can be used to transfer a human woman's fetus(es) into a female vampire's womb, such as when Joshua Parker and the Gemini Coven used magic to transfer Jo and Alaric's twin daughters from the dying Jo's womb and into Caroline's so that she could carry on the Gemini Coven's legacy.
- Although Silas did refer to himself as a vampire in season four, he later (during season five) expresses his hatred of being labeled as one, leaving his status as a vampire up for debate. However, as he was required to drink human blood to function and stop himself from desiccating, he could be considered a vampiric being.
- Vampires cannot technically own property with respect to supernatural protection through invitation. This is why many vampires prefer to live in a home owned by a human, usually one they've compelled to obey their wishes—if an unfriendly vampire comes to visit, the vampire in question can simply compel the human not to let the hostile visitor in under any circumstances, preventing them from entering.
- However, it has been shown that vampire's can force non-compelled humans to invite them in under duress by threatening their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Vampires have also been seen to kill compelled humans to bypass the invitation rule, or to burn down or otherwise destroy a home in retribution for not allowing them entry.
- 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 Six, 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 with regards to a vampire's transformation.
- Jesse, Damon and Elena were the only known Augustine Vampires in existence. They fed on other vampires' blood, and the urge to feed on vampire blood rather than human blood was so strong that they became a Ripper in a similar way to how Stefan has been in the past. However, though Stefan's Ripper tendencies were likened to an addiction or eating disorder, Damon and Elena's urges to feed seemed to be hard-wired into their DNA and were more-or-less uncontrollable.
- Jesse was killed by Elena in Dead Man on Campus to save Damon from being beheaded as a result of how viciously he was feeding on him.
- After the events of While You Were Sleeping, both Elena and Damon were cured of their respective Ripper compounds. As a result, there are no longer any known Augustine Vampires in existence.
- Elena's enhanced 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 isn't physically present, as Jo invited Stefan into her family home over the phone from thousands of miles away despite not having even been to the house in nearly 20 years.
- In the episode, Christmas Through Your Eyes, it was suggested that cancer cannot be 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 with this method after having staked another.
- Some witches like Josephine LaRue consider vampires "monsters wearing the skin of humans."
- In I Could Never Love Like That Damon's mother Lily reveals to him and Elena that over time a vampire's taste in regular food can change, as Damon found he did not like the "eggs in a basket" breakfast that he loved as a human child.
- In Best Served Cold, it is revealed through Caroline Forbes and the Gemini Coven, that while non-hybrid vampires are incapable of natural procreation, female vampires can become surrogate mothers by magical means.
- In Mommie Dearest, Alaric theorizes that despite being technically dead, a vampire body still has basic human functions so long as they have a healthy diet of blood, such as having a beating heart, the ability to breath, and the ability to eat and digest human food (though vampires themselves derive no nutrition from it), so it should be capable of supporting a baby or two.
- List of Vampires - a complete list of all vampires that have appeared in the series.