|“||Stronger than a human. My reflexes are faster, and I'm more resilient. I have to be. I'm a hunter.||”|
Vampires are the chief supernatural species within The Vampire Diaries novel series. By definition, a vampire is a corpse reanimated by supernatural forces and inhabited by the spirit of the deceased person in question. Vampires are nocturnal by nature, as the touch of direct sunlight burns their skin, though there are magical means by which they can prevent this reaction. Vampires are characterized by their need to drink blood to maintain their immortality.
The origin of the vampire race remains a mystery, but it is known that The Old Ones are the world's first vampires, as well as the most feared and powerful of all vampires in existence. They have never been human, and they have existed long before the pyramids were built. It is unknown when and how The Old Ones appeared, but Klaus says that his first memory is related to the Bronze Age (between 4500-3200 BC). In The Return series, vampires who are destroyed are sent to the Netherworld, a purgatory for vampires. Possibly this place and the Dark Dimension are related to the beginning of The Old Ones, as well as the vampire species in general. In the books, The Old Ones do not live or travel together; Klaus arrived alone to Fell's Church and participated in many major battles in history, but he mentioned that he is one of The Old Ones, the Originals, which confirmed that there are more of the species than just himself.
Blood is the main component of a vampire's diet. If a vampire fails to drink blood, their body will become severely weak, and they eventually die of starvation. The oldest vampires do not require a lot of blood to survive, unlike newborns, who have more voracious appetites. For example, Katherine attacked a man for food in her youth, but after, that there was no mention of another victim. Likewise, Klaus was never seen killing a human purely for food.
Powers and Abilities
The supernatural forces that sustain them beyond death also endow them with superhuman physical and mental abilities.
- Mind Compulsion: The supernatural ability to control and manipulate the body, mind, and soul of an animal or person.
- Weather Control: The supernatural ability to influence meteorological energy patterns, such as creating rain, wind, hail, lightning, snow, sleet, fog, and temperature changes.
- Elemental Manipulation: The supernatural ability to control and manipulate the elements of air, earth, fire, water, lightning, etc.
- Animal Control: The supernatural ability to control the behavior of any kind of of wild or domestic animals. However, a vampire can typically only control one species at a time.
- Healing Factor: The supernatural ability to heal all infections and injuries at an accelerated speed.
- Immortality: The supernatural ability to possess eternal life and youth.
- Super Senses: The supernatural ability to hear, see, smell, and also taste beyond the human limit.
- Shapeshifting: The supernatural ability to alter and change the physical form of one's self.
- Super Speed: The supernatural ability to jump, move and run at superhuman velocity.
- Super Strength: The supernatural ability to possess abnormal physical strength, which can be used to single-handedly lift even an overweight grown man high off the ground by the throat and hurl him across a long room with enough speed and force to send him through a wall. As predators of humans, vampires are naturally stronger than their prey; they generally have the advantage of superior strength when in a physical battle with a human, allowing them to restrain and manhandle grown men with relative ease. While limited, the exact limit of their strength remains vague. Another critical factor to a vampire's strength is his or her age; older vampires are stronger than younger vampires. Other feats of their considerable strength include striking opponents with enough force to break bones even by accident, snapping necks without effort, jumping several feet into the air in a single bound, and ripping out a person's heart.
- Illusion Casting: The supernatural ability to be capable of disrupting the reality of one or more beings at once. This power is limited, due to the short time span of an illusion, but it can be used to neutralize the enemy without harming the victims.
- Telepathy: The supernatural ability to communicate mentally with other vampires and other supernatural beings without physical contact and over long distances. It also allows one to probe the minds of others.
Unlike the television series, vampires in the novels are more severely affected by weaknesses the older or stronger they are.
- Decapitation: The act of dismembering or removing the head of a vampire will result in death.
- Fire or Sunlight: Any exposure to fire or sunlight will result in death to a vampire, though the amount of exposure necessary to kill a vampire depends on their age; younger vampires can survive for longer periods of time than older vampires, who burn up much more quickly.
- Heart Extraction: The act of removing a vampire's heart will result in death.
- Uninvited: A vampire cannot enter a home without an invitation from the homeowner.
- Wood: If a vampire is wounded by wood it will cause the vampire to become severely weak. However, if a wooden stake is penetrated through a vampire's heart, it will result in instant death.
- Running Water: A vampire can not cross above running water but can tunnel beneath it.
- Veiled Matter (Ghost): A vampire can not hurt and defeat a ghost. But ghosts can manifest and send a vampire to a place where they can not do more damage.
- Vervain: Just like in the television show, vervain is harmful to a vampire and protects humans from a vampire's mind control.
- Religious Symbols: Stefan mentions that religious symbols (such as Christian crosses) will boost a human's mental resistance to a vampire's psychic powers tremendously, but only if the user truly believes it will protect them.
Physical and Psychological Traits
The emotions of vampires are far more intense than the emotions of humans. Anger, depression, happiness, love, sadness, etc. are more powerful and much more overwhelming than when they were as a living human. This explains why newborn vampires are easily annoyed and angered; due to their unsettling feelings, they will continue to have mood swings until they adjust to their new emotions. Physically, vampires have human forms, although their canine teeth elongate into fangs when they feed; and, because their bodies are technically deceased, they can be characterized by their lack of heartbeat as well as lack of body heat. However, the Old Ones were never human, but still have a humanoid form as well, though it has not been revealed if Old Ones have a different physical form as well.
Virtually all vampires were originally humans who were converted into vampires, the only exception being the Old Ones, who were supposedly either born or created to be vampires. In order for a human to become a vampire, they must die within 24 hours of consuming vampire blood. The nature of the human's death is irrelevant; however, the body must be preserved and able to function upon reanimation. If the human is killed by decapitation, fire or corrosives, damage to or removal of the heart, or excessive loss of body mass, reanimation will not occur. Upon physical death, the magic of the vampire blood prevents the spirit from leaving its corpse, causing the undead body to awaken in a state of transition. In order to complete the transition, the pre-vampire must consume a significant amount of fresh human blood within the next 24 hours or else he or she will die.
|Klaus †*||Celine †*||Davos †*||Solomon †*||Milimo †||Pachacuti †|
|Cristian Sulez †*||Alexander †||Benevenuto †||Chihiro †||Gunnar of the North †|
|European Lady||Katherine †*||Sage||Anne Grimmsdotir||Sophia Alexiou||Abioye Ogunwale|
|Vampire Army †*||Jessalyn D'Aubigne||Chivean †*|
|Ethan Crane †*||Stefan Salvatore †*||Damon Salvatore||Jack Daltry †*|
|Vitale Society †*||Elena|
- In the television series, Damon was initially able to control fog and could control animals (specifically crows) similar to the abilities used by vampires in the novels, but these abilities were ultimately abandoned, as the showrunners thought they were "too supernatural."
- In the books, there is only one known vampire bloodline, which starts with Klaus and ends with Elena.
- Klaus turned Katherine, she then turned Damon and Stefan, and finally Stefan turned Elena.
- In The Hunters book series, Cristian Sulez is no longer a vampire and his sister Meredith is not supernatural. However, in the original series, they were both derived from a species of vampires.
- In Dark Reunion, Tyler mentions that Klaus made a pact with "the Devil," however, not confirmed whether this information was true or false, nor was the origin of The Old Ones confirmed.