'The Vampire Diaries': Everything you need to know

"The Vampire Diaries": Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert, Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore, and Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore
"The Vampire Diaries": Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert, Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore, and Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore (The CW)
Despite the title, the CW's "Vampire Diaries', now in its third season, is not all about vampires.
Though it started out eerily similar to the overrated "Twilight series" — human girl falls in love with vampire boy (or really an old man stuck in a boy’s body) — the show has progressively added onto its supernatural storyline.
Throughout the first two seasons we were introduced to witches and werewolves. Now, in the third season we’re dealing with an idea other vampire/werewolf shows and movies have not yet tackled (or have been smart not to) — a hybrid. The hybrid is a half-vampire, half-werewolf.
To understand the show is to really understand the characters. I'll be starting "VD" recaps this week for TV Lust, so read up because I’m only going to explain this once.
Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev)
As the show’s main character, Elena is complex. But I’ll just give you the highlights. She’s in love with vampire Stefan, but she also has feelings for his brother, Damon. This love triangle plays into nearly every episode, and yes, you’ll likely get sick of it.
Elena’s parents, whom she later discovers were not her birth parents, died in a car accident. Her birth parents, Isobel (human-turned-vampire) and John (uncle-turned-father) are also dead at this point in the series. So is Elena’s aunt Jenna who was her caretaker for a while. Elena turned 18 at the start of this season, so it seems like she’s largely left on her own to play with the vampires this season, except for Alaric (see below).
Oh, and how could I forget: Elena is the doppelganger (don’t you just love that word!) of vampire Katherine Pierce.
Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley)
Elena’s primary love interest, Stefan, is of course a vampire. He rescued Elena from the car crash in which her parents died. Stefan was drawn to her because she looked like Katherine, the vampire he was in love with and whose blood helped turned him to a vampire 100 some years ago after his father shot him for trying to rescue her.
Stefan spent most of the first two seasons protecting Elena. Now, after being indebted to Klaus for helping save his brother’s life, Stefan has left Mystic Falls to go on a werewolf hunt. He still loves and misses Elena. I’m sure they’ll be back together soon.
Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder)
Stefan’s older brother, Damon, was also in love with Katherine 100 some years ago. Damon has the same transition story as Stefan, but he was less excited to become a vampire. He held a torch for Katherine for a while (and by a while I mean more than 100 years), but then started to get feelings for Elena.
At the end of last season, Damon almost died from a werewolf bite, but Stefan got Klaus to give him some of his wolf-bite curing blood. Elena kissed Damon when she thought he was dying. This season, with Stefan absent, Damon’s taken to protecting her (though he has been protecting her since he fell in love with her in the first season).

Katherine Pierce (Dobrev again)
I’ve pretty much covered the important things about Katherine in the past three summaries. The real question is: Where has Katherine been this season? At this point, we don’t even have an explanation for her absence. Though I kind of haven’t missed her character, I’m sure she’ll be back.

Klaus (Joseph Morgan)
The hybrid. Klaus was born human but somehow became one of the original vampires (that makes him probably 1,000 years old). But unlike his siblings and fellow originals, Klaus also had werewolf in his blood (his mom had an affair of course!).
But a curse was placed on Klaus to keep his werewolf side from coming out. To break the curse, Klaus had to sacrifice a vampire, werewolf and the doppelganger (except Elena came back to life). Now, he’s trying to create an army of hybrids. But his first attempt to convert a pack of werewolves into hybrids fails because the doppelganger is not dead, but he doesn’t know that.

Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola)
One of Elena’s best friends, Caroline was quite the annoying character until she was turned into a vampire. Ever since then she’s really grown on me. Lately, she’s been hanging out a lot with Tyler (see below).
After they had sex to start off the season, Tyler’s mom tranquilized her and handed her over to a vampire hater, which in the shocker at the last week’s episode, we learn is her dad. (This series has had a few jaw dropping moments. That was literally one for me.)
I’m interested to see how her relationship with her dad plays out in the next episode (Am I mistaken, or did the scenes show Caroline’s dad trying to beat the vampire out of her?)
Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino)
Despite being the central werewolf character, Tyler’s pretty boring. But I do like him as a love interest for Caroline, so I don’t mind if he sticks around.
Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig)
Introduced to us as Elena’s ex-boyfriend, Matt maintained a presence in the series as Caroline’s boyfriend. But when he found out last season she was turned into a vampire, he broke things off. Now Matt is hanging out with Jeremy, who’s seeing dead people (see below).
Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham)
The resident witch and Elena’s other best friend, Bonnie has been largely absent this season. And that’s fair. She deserves a vacation after saving a bunch of lives last season. Bonnie nearly died last season from overusing her powers. Since she’s dating Jeremy, I’m sure she’ll be back later in the season (if not in the next few episodes) to help him with his problems.
Jeremy Gilbert (Stephen R. McQueen)
Elena’s younger brother (well, not technically since he was actually born to the parents she had thought were her birth parents), Jeremy is a rebel — that is if you think doing drugs and drinking is rebelling; some would just call that high school.

Even though his girlfriend, Vicki Donovan (Matt’s sister) was turned into a vampire and then killed shortly thereafter in the first season and he dated a vampire named Anna, Jeremy was one of the last to know about the vampires in town. When Jeremy was accidentally shot and killed last season, Bonnie did some of her witchcraft and brought him back to life. But now Jeremy is seeing the ghosts of girlfriends past. The ghosts of Vicki and Anna do not seem to be on the same page, and that will come into play soon this season.  
Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis)
Being that Alaric was introduced as a high-school history teacher, it’s amazing that he’s become one of the show’s main characters. Alaric was married to Isobel, Elena’s birth mother, before she turned into a vampire. Then he dated Elena’s aunt Jenna, before she was sacrificed in Klaus’s hybrid ceremony. Now, he’s living with Elena and Jeremy, feeling like he’s a lost cause but trying to help them nonetheless.
So now that you’ve got the characters and their history down, you should be ready to watch Thursday’s episode of "The Vampire Diaries." Check back here shortly after the show for our recap/commentary. In the meantime, here are some questions to think about:
·     Where the hell is Katherine?

·     What do the ghosts of girlfriends past want from Jeremy?

·     Will Caroline’s dad be able to exorcise the vampire out of her?

·     Will Caroline and Tyler hook up again?

·     What will Klaus do when he figures out Elena is not dead (we know he’ll figure it out eventually)?

·     Will Elena ever choose Damon over Stefan?

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