Vampires are magically reanimated human 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 by sharing their own blood with them. Vampires are one of the many known supernatural species that were created by Witches.
"She called upon the sun for life and the ancient white oak tree, one of Nature's eternal objects, for immortality. That night, my father offered us wine laced with blood. Then, he drove his sword through our hearts." ― Rebekah Mikaelson to Elena Gilbert about the creation of the first vampires.
A human who has consumed vampire blood in some way (whether by drinking it, having it poured into their open wound, or by being injected with it) 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, though the upper limits of physical damage upon a human body by which vampirism can recover has yet to be defined.
Vampire 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 in order to complete their transformation-- animal blood or vampire blood is not sufficient to finish the transformation from human to vampire. However, in this case, "human blood" can include the blood of a human witch, as was proven by Alaric Saltzman and Camille O'Connell, who both completed their transformations by drinking the blood of witches Bonnie Bennett and Vincent Griffith, respectively. Additionally, the blood need not be from a live human; Caroline Forbes and Esther Mikaelson (while possessing Lenore) both completed their transitions by feeding on donor bags of human blood and Vicki Donovan completed her transition by drinking from the newly-deceased Logan Fell, who would then awaken a short time later to find himself in transition as well.
A vampire in transition is neither truly living nor truly dead until they make their choice to either complete their transition or to abstain from feeding and ultimately die. This puts the semi-vampire in a strange liminal space between the two states that can affect them in different ways. For example, a vampire in transition is immune to the effects of a dark object known as The Serratura, which is said to create an impenetrable barrier through which nothing living or dead can pass; this was evidenced by the fact that Camille, while in transition, was able to activate the Serratura inside of a shipping container to trap Tristan de Martel inside without being trapped herself. In a similar vein, until a person in transition drinks human blood to complete their transformation, they will be not be susceptible to the standard weaknesses of a vampire (i.e. they can still walk in sunlight and can enter homes without an invitation).
Every regular vampire who has ever existed is descended from those of their kind known as the Original Vampires, who, unlike the majority of vampires, were turned not by dying with vampire blood in their system, but who were instead transformed using a spell that was cast using Dark Magic] at some point around 1001 AD in what is now modern-day Mystic Falls. However, the ritual that resulted in their transformation does have similarities to how normal vampires are turned, in that they had to consume blood (in their case, the blood of the human Petrova doppelgänger Tatia which had been enchanted with an adapted version of The Immortality Spell by their powerful witch mother, 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. Due 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 their entire immortal lives as Original vampires without dying and thereby severing this connection, unlike their brothers Kol and Finn, who were killed. In 2019, Elijah was killed by a cursed rosebush created by The Hollow in order to resurrect herself; since The Hollow was successful in resurrecting herself, it can be assumed that Elijah's sireline died with him.
It is has also been proven that this bloodline connection can be broken using magic, as the Harvest Witch Davina Claire, with some assistance from The Strix's coven known as The Sisters, used a spell that Davina created to break the sireline of an Original in an attempt to free all of Klaus and Elijah's sirelings from their progenitors. This spell made it possible to kill an Original without killing their sirelings in the process. This spell only ended up being partially successful, as Elijah was revived in time to escape the effects of the spell, while Klaus was unable to do so. This resulted in every vampire he or his progeny has ever sired to be free of their connection to Klaus, which means that he can be killed without the rest of them dying as well. This spell was foretold in a prophecy experienced by the witch and Seer Alexis regarding the possible deaths of the Originals, though it did not go exactly as the prophecy suggested. As a result of these events, only Rebekah's sireline is still linked to Rebekah, making every existing vampire is either from Rebekah's linked or Klaus' unlinked bloodline.
"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 Salvatore to Elena Gilbert about vampirismBlood 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 until they are eventually 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. Despite their main food source being referred to as "human blood," this term also extends to the blood of both witches and werewolves who are in their human form, as their blood seems to be functionally identical to that of regular humans.
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, which can often be used to the human's advantage. Due to a vampire's amplified senses and feelings, their hunger cravings are much stronger and harder to control than the mundane hunger for food that they felt when they were humans, and this hunger will often be connected to and amplified by 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 that caused their death) 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, as well as 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; for example, their heart still beats to pump the blood they've consumed through their system to maintain their vitality. Because of this, vampires can eat human food, though it doesn't sustain their life or provide any nutrition like blood does, and their digestive system will continue to process it and produce wastes just as a healthy human's does. Regardless, many vampires continue to eat regular food for several reasons, including out of human habit, to maintain human appearances in order to prevent their exposure, and to help sublimate their eternal hunger for blood and thereby keep their bloodlust at a manageable level.
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 accelerated healing, which rapidly regenerates the cells damaged by these drugs which causes the sensation of being drunk or high. 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 vampires cannot actually develop it-- they have to have had the cancer prior to being turned, as vampire blood cannot cure it in humans. 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 were turned young and/or have only been vampires for several years, but in the case of Katherine, her body began to grow old so rapidly to compensate for her 538 years of life that she ultimately died of a heart attack due to advanced 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 or illness 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 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 the magical nature of his vampire transformation canceled out the sterility all other vampires possess), 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 was able to deliver the twins with the help of the Heretics', and Bonnie's, magical assistance. Additionally, her vampirism actually makes it more likely that the twins will survive, since they are functionally immortal and are much harder to kill than humans.
However, it has also been discovered that, since vampires were created by magic, which also gave them their powers, their vampirism can be absorbed by certain rare witches of the Gemini Coven called Siphoners. This was revealed when the twins Caroline was carrying, Lizzie and Josie, began to siphon her powers when Caroline was nearly at term, causing her skin to desiccate and putting her at risk of death by losing her vampirism. Siphoners can also draw on vampires for more power for spells, and, since they exist as a loophole in the rules of Nature, they can also be transformed into witch-vampire hybrids while maintaining their powers of Siphoning; even more, they are able to practice magic as though they were a full witch since they can draw on their own vampirism as a limitless source of magical power. As of Gods and Monsters, there are only two such hybrids left currently living at this point-- Valerie Tulle and the newly incarcerated, resurrected Malachai Parker.
She is a different person. She's a vampire. We're a predatory species. We enjoy the hunt, the feed, and the kill. When the guilt gets too bad, we switch off our humanity and we revel in it. - Damon Salvatore to Bonnie Bennett about a vampire's nature
You feel like you could do anything. Be anyone. Beautiful things are more beautiful. Everything's heightened, you know? Just a little bit more intensely. Love more powerfully. [...] Anger becomes rage. When you're sad, you're in despair. Grief. Loss. It can cripple you. That's why so many of us turn our emotions off. It just becomes...too overwhelming.
Vampires 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 when faced by a threat.
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 almost 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 of the aforementioned groups and humans caught in the crossfire 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. This intensification of emotions experienced by vampires also extends to their personalities as well, both the good and the bad aspects of it. For example, Elena and Stefan were both compassionate and kind as humans, which amplified these traits to the point of being self-sacrificing as vampires; conversely, Vicki Donovan, who was a troubled teenage girl with addictions to drugs, carried these personality traits into her vampire life as well, making her subject to violent mood swings and making it even harder for her to resist her cravings for human blood until she had to be killed to save Elena and Jeremy from being killed.
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, Damon, Stefan, Caroline and Enzo, 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 mind compulsion to make the humans forget the experience or killing them outright with no shame or remorse.
Society and Culture
"And you know what makes me able to drink my fill and leave someone breathing and not rip their head off like my brother? It's that I can revel in it. I can make it fun." ― Damon to Bonnie and Elena in The FiveFrom 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) without making human attachments and then choosing to travel to new places for a change in scenery whenever the urge strikes them.
While the world does not appear to have an official rule-based vampire government (neither in an international level nor a national level), 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 as long as they're willing to keep the secret or can be compelled to do so); 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 and the city's general prosperity.
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 force them 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, Joshua Rosza and Elijah the only surviving true vampires (not including the hybrids, Klaus 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. Upon Marcel's transformation into an "upgraded" Original vampire also known as the Beast, he has regained full control of the city's supernatural population after putting Klaus in a torturous coma with Papa Tunde's Blade, biting Elijah and Kol, and poisoning Freya, forcing them to be put in a magical slumber and Chambre de Chasse to avoid death until Hayley can find cures for them, as well as a cure for Rebekah's curse. This effectively evicted the Mikaelsons from New Orleans, leaving Marcel with no one even close to his level of power to go against his rule.
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, who sought to seek out vampires with the time, resources, and inclination to enrich the world with the powers they possess. 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. Tristan was then overthrown in 2013 and replaced by Aya and Marcel in turn.
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 a great deal of knowledge, which translates to certain bragging rights in the community, especially when the elder vampires interact with the younger vampires, werewolves, witches, and in-the-know humans they encounter. There are many examples of extremely old vampires whose age and history have gained them respect and status, including (but not limited to) the following: the vampire Shen Min was the torture consultant to Genghis Khan prior to becoming a vampire around the turn of the 12th century; 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 the American Army in World War I), whom he turned into vampires in order to defeat the Germans trying to overpower their line; the Heretics, Lillian Salvatore, and Julian attended the funeral of Queen Victoria; Damon served in the Confederate Army in the American Civil War, and Stefan and Enzo served in the American and British Armies, respectively, during World War II.
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 "The Trinity" were the first three vampires sired by the Originals, and around a year after they themselves were turned-- Lucien Castle, Aurora de Martel, and Tristan de Martel, making them over a thousand years old. They are much more powerful than any other regular vampire because of their age. Only the Originals and their modified version outmatch the Trinity in raw power. 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.
In 2013, the creation of the so-called "Upgraded Original Vampire", also known as "the Beast" due to a prophecy foretold by witch and seer Alexis, made the now-deceased Lucien and current ruler of New Orleans, Marcel, more physically powerful than even an Original vampire despite their younger ages. Between their extremely immense super strength, speed, durability, senses, and healing in addition to their bite, which possesses the venom of the seven original werewolf bloodlines and is fatal to even an Original vampire, they are now among the most powerful supernatural creatures in the TVD/TO universe and are easily the strongest vampires in the world.
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. Between romantic partners, however, this is an incredibly intimate act that denotes the love between the two vampires, as well as the trust they share.
Attitudes Toward Humans
Vampires generally coexist with humans due to their shared origins and appearances. Humans are mostly oblivious to the existence of vampires, which makes it easier for vampires to commingle with their human cohorts without detection or exposure. 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, and even regarding certain humans as close friends, lovers, or family. 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, and is either shrugged off as collateral damage or seen as a means to an end in part of whatever the vampire in question's current agenda is.
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, as it makes it easier for them to move through the world without detection. There are small pockets of in-the-know humans, however, and they usually are in one of two groups: either they are aware of vampires because they are acquainted with at least one of them, either due to friendship, alliance (such as the Human Faction in New Orleans), or, in rare cases, being attacked and not compelled to forget the encounter; or, they belong to a family or are associated with an organization who hunts vampires (such as the Founding Families of Mystic Falls or the Town Council) or studies them to gain more knowledge of how they work (such as Whitmore College's Augustine Society).
Powers and Abilities
"[..] He wanted to fight and be superior to the wolves. Where they could bite, we had to bite harder. Where they had speed we had to be faster. Agility, strength, senses." ― Rebekah Mikaelson explains the powers of a vampire to Elena Gilbert.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 Supernatural Hunters, Immortals and Humans and slowly grow stronger as they grow older. 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, which was demonstrated when 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 at this point, 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." This happened again in a fight between the newly-turned Elena Gilbert and the 500+ year old Katherine Pierce, since Elena was both furiously enraged for Katherine's role in her brother Jeremy's death and managed to catch Katherine off-guard in the fight.
- Super Speed: Vampires are much faster than supernatural hunters, 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 allowing them to appear or vanish quickly and quietly. Their reflexes and dexterity 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, smell, and taste 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. Their senses of taste are also enhanced as well, allowing them to detect the presence of drugs, alcohol, or vervain in someone's blood.
- 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 Sword) 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, though they can reattach the severed limb with some effort, as evidenced when Bonnie cut off Enzo's hand to use it to get into the basement of the Armory and Alex reattached it while he was passed out.
- 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 werewolf-vampire 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 or a Siphoner, a triggered werewolf, or a Supernatural Hunter 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 two occasions, once by Silas, an Immortal and another time 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, Stefan, Katherine, Rebekah, Sage and Caroline.
- 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.
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, while somewhat satisfying a vampire's hunger and sustaining their undead life, will make the vampire considerably weaker than they would be if they had drank human blood, causing their physical abilities to be inferior to a human-blood-consuming vampire, making them heal much more slowly, and making their compulsion less effective.
- Broken Neck: Breaking a vampire's neck will not kill them, but it will render in a death like state for varying amounts of time, depending on the diet and age of the person in question. It was shown when the Enhanced Original Vampire 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 vampire blood from having any effect on them, as it will not heal their wounds, and, if the vampire dies with vampire blood in their system, they will remain dead and not awaken as a vampire in transition. 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, un-aging vampire. In the case of older vampires (usually those who have been vampires for half a decade or more, depending on how old they were when they were turned), 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 when Silas drank the cure-laced blood of Katerina Petrova, causing her body to begin to rapidly age to compensate for her 538 years of life, 521 of which were spent as a vampire. This was proven to be because of losing the cure in her blood, as she had spent four months as a newly-returned human before Silas consumed her blood, after which point she began developing gray hair and losing teeth within a day. She then began to develop wrinkles, bad eyesight, exercise intolerance, and other symptoms of aging that worsened over the course of several weeks until she finally had a heart attack and her body 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 use magic to desiccate a vampire, and Wes Maxfield also developed a serum that would cause desiccation in a vampire if they were not given an antidote within a short matter of time.
- 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 supernatural hunters), 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 her torture of Camille, if a vampire that wasn't invited in a human's house is forcefully shoved into the threshold, they will begin to bleed from the nose and eyes and feel immense pain in a similar manner to a Pain Infliction spell. 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, Cursed Stake 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 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 unlinked from him; thus they no longer die 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. Lucien Castle has invented an advanced strain of venom with no known cure deriving from the seven strains of werewolf venom which has been infused in his bite as an Upgraded Original Vampire, otherwise known as a Beast. A vampire will die in a manner similar to that of a werewolf or hybrid bite, only much faster and more painfully. It is even fatal to Original vampires making it so potent that not even the blood of Klaus or Hope Mikaelson can cure it.
- 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 (Klaus's Sireline): Every vampire of Klaus bloodline is now free due to a spell cast by Davina with help from The Sisters that unlinked their sireline bond. As a result, Klaus' sirelings will survive if Klaus is killed, though the sireline connection still exists between the sirelings created from Elijah and Rebekah's bloodlines. It is unknown if new vampires sired by Klaus are linked to him.
- The Phoenix Sword: 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 was one of the Original Vampires and the second-born child of Mikael and Esther. He was killed by the human Matt Donovan. He was the brother that was possessing Vincent. He was resurrected as an original vampire by unknown means, however died again after being bitten by Lucien Castle.||Deceased||1,039+|
|Elijah Mikaelson||Elijah Mikaelson was one 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 slumbered until Hayley Marshall-Kenner found a cure for the bite. He was willingly killed by his brother Klaus a few years later in order to be with him - even in death.||Deceased||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.||Undead||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.||Undead||1,000+|
|Lucien Castle||Lucien was the first vampire ever turned by Klaus, and the first sired vampire overall. He was a member of the Trinity. He was killed by Klaus.||Deceased||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.||Undead (Slumbering)||1,000+|
|Tristan de Martel||Tristan was the brother of Aurora, and the first vampire ever turned by Elijah, and was a member of the Trinity.||Deceased||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-Kenner 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||550+|
|Rose-Marie||Rose was a lover of Damon Salvatore, and an ally to him and his friends. She was staked by Damon as a means of ending her misery after being bitten by Jules, after saving Damon from it.||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|
|Iliyana Petrova||Iliyana Petrova is the daughter of Katerina Petrova. She has been travelling with her mother, but eventually she was abandoned by her, starting to live on her own.||Undead||522+|
|Liv||Liv is a student at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted and the best friend of Emma Kirby.||Undead||519+|
|Sofya Voronova||A vampire that works for Lucien Castle and is a hired gun. She now works for Marcel Gerard.||Undead||500+|
|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 1600s 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's progeny. Marcel has ruled NOLA since the originals run from the city in 1919. Klaus has taken control of the city after he returned, but a while later, he gave it back to Marcel. After the death of the witch Davina Claire by the hands of the Mikaelsons, Marcel swore vengeance against Klaus, turned into The Beast after his death by Elijah, and banished the Mikaelsons from the city.||Undead||209|
|Lillian Salvatore||Lillian "Lily" was the mother of Damon and Stefan Salvatore, and was the one who turned the Heretics and Lorenzo into vampires. She killed herself in a failed attempt to kill Julian, so that she could save Damon and Valerie's lives.||Deceased||193|
|Mandy Salvatore||Mandy is the daughter of Stefan Salvatore. She believes to be a vampire at first, but later finds out she's actually an Immortal created by Emily Bennett. With the help of Serena diMarlon she is turned into a vampire by her father's blood.||Undead||167+|
|Marisol Baker||Marisol is the believed mother of Mandy Salvatore. In reality she is the surrogate mother of Mandy, after the baby was transferred into Marisol's womb when Valerie presumably lost the baby. She is also Stefan's ex-girlfriend.||Undead||160+|
|Arthur||Arthur is the husband of Marisol Baker and step-surrogate father of Mandy Salvatore.||Undead||160+|
|Seth was turned by Julian during the Gold Rush in California between 1848-1855.||Deceased||180+|
|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 also served with Damon Salvatore in the army. 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+|
|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+|
|Lorenzo St. John||Lorenzo "Enzo" was 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 was imprisoned by Dr. Whitmore and forced to endure his torture for decades. 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. Only to be killed 5 years later by Stefan.||Deceased||140|
|Alistair Duquesne||Alistair was a vampire from Klaus' line, who came to New Orleans to see Klaus suffer, after the latter compelled him to kill his wife and child so he could escape Mikael. He was later killed by Klaus himself as part of Marcel's plan.||Deceased||100+|
|Joe Dalton||Joe was a vampire friend of Marcel from World War I, who owned a record shop in New Orleans. He was killed by the werewolves.||Deceased||100+|
|Poppy||Poppy was one of New Orleans vampires, who was accidentally killed by Hope's new hybrid, Henry Benoit.||Deceased||100+|
|August Müller||August was a purisit vampire who lived in Germany in the 1930's. Killed by Klaus.||Deceased||93+|
|Greta Sienna||Greta was the wife of the late August Müller, and the adopted mother of A and Roman. She was killed by Hayley.||Deceased||93+|
|Antoinette Sienna||Antoinette is the adopted daughter of Greta and August, and the fiancee of Elijah Mikaelson.||Undead||93+|
|Roman Sienna||Roman is the adopted son of Greta and August, and was a friend of Hope Mikaelson, and a student at the Salvatore Boarding School.||Undead||93+|
|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+|
|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+|
|Joshua Rosza||Joshua "Josh" Rosza is a vampire living in New Orleans. He served as a spy for Klaus, until his compulsion was rid of by Davina. He later turned to Marcel's second in command, when most of the NOLA vampires died from the wolves, or fled the city.||Deceased||35|
|Caroline Forbes||Caroline is a vampire, and the best friend of Elena Gilbert and Bonnie Bennett. Damon Salvatore feeds Caroline his blood to heal her after she suffers from internal bleeding. Caroline is smothered to death with a pillow by Katherine Pierce who found out that Damon gave her some of his blood; so she can use her as leverage in her plan to break free of Klaus. She is the former fiancée of Alaric Saltzman, and the surrogate mother of Lizzie and Josie Saltzman - being the only known pregnant vampire.||Undead||33|
|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 was later compelled by Klaus to committed suicide by walking into the sun.||Deceased||32|
|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|
|Camille O'Connell||Cami was a psychology student who moved to New Orleans to find out the truth about the death of her brother, Sean O'Connell. She was compelled by Aurora de Martel to kill herself with Aurora's blood in her system. Not long afterward she was killed by Lucien Castle.||Deceased||25|
|Jesse||Jesse was a college student that was fed blood by Caroline Forbes to heal his injures, and was killed by Wes Maxfield. He was later killed by Elena Gilbert.||Deceased||22|
|Gia||Gia was 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+|
|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+|
|Ivy||Ivy was Stefan's girlfriend that was turned by Enzo. She was killed by Tripp.||Deceased||20+|
|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|
|Vicki Donovan||Victoria "Vicki" Donovan was Matt's sister and the first character that becomes a vampire since the Salvatore brothers returned to Mystic Falls. She was also Jeremy and Tyler's love interest. Damon Salvatore turned her, and Stefan later staked her.||Deceased||18|
|Violet Fell||Violet was a high school student at Mystic Falls, who were turned by Stefan, and was later killed by him, as an offering to Cade.||Deceased||16|
|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|
|Colin Phelps||Collin was a cancer patient whom Caroline fed her vampire blood to, and then died.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Troy||Troy was a progeny of Sage. He was indirectly killed by Matt.||Deceased||Unknown|
|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|
|Diego||Diego was a vampire that was turned by Marcel. He was killed by either Mikael or the werewolf bite.||Deceased||Unknown|
|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|
|Ashlynn||Ashlynn was a vampire from the Phoenix Stone, and was killed by one of the members of The Armory.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Emmett||Emmett is one of the puritist vampires who lives in New Orleans.||Undead||Unknown|
|Landry Danson||Landry is a vampire attending Mystic Falls High School and the best friend of Mandy Salvatore.||Undead||16+|
|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|
|Felicia||Felicia was part of Marcel's Army. She participated in the Fight Night.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Otto||Otto was part of Marcel's Army. He participated in the Fight Night.||Deceased||Unknown|
|Tomas||Tomas was Marcel's informant.||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|
|Damon Salvatore||Damon Salvatore was a vampire who was turned by Katherine Pierce on September 25th 1864. He is the son of Lillian and Giuseppe Salvatore, and the older brother of Stefan Salvatore. He is smart and witty, and not afraid of facing vampires centuries older than he is; even The Originals. He was the primary antagonist of Season One and has been a protagonist since then.
When trying to compel human Stefan that he should live instead of sacrificing himself to kill Katherine, Stefan injected Damon his blood making him human again. In a flash-forward he's shown to have grown old in Mystic Falls with Elena.
|Alive (Deceased in flash-forward)||178|
|Stefan Salvatore||Stefan Salvatore was a vampire who was turned by Katherine Pierce on September 25th 1864. He is the son of Giuseppe and Lillian Salvatore, and the younger brother of Damon Salvatore. He is known among the vampire race as the "Ripper of Monterrey" - for killing hundreds of humans there. He was an antagonist in Season Three when his humanity was shut off. Recently, he was injected with the cure by Bonnie Bennett, he is now a human doppelgänger again. He sacrificed himself so that Katherine could be dragged back to hell by hellfire.||Deceased||171|
|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||41|
|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. After Bonnie's heart stopped for a second Elena woke up and grew old with Damon in Mystic Falls.||Alive (Deceased in flash-forward)||25|
- 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.
- Originally, Vampires were suppose to turn to dust when staked through the heart instead of leaving a body behind. This was originally intended to happen in Haunted. In the original script, when Vicki gets staked you see her disappear into dust. But in the [reshot scene that aired], Stefan pulls the stake out and Damon takes her corpse away. 
- 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 Alaric and Jo'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 if not technically a vampire.
- 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 who lives in the home who they have 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 vampires 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 drug addiction or an 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.
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