The Vampire Diaries (TV)

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Name: The Vampire Diaries
Abbreviation(s): TVD, VD
Creator: Kevin Williamson,
(loosely) based on the books by LJ Smith
Date(s): 2009- present
Medium: Television
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Official Site, Wikipedia
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Vampire Diaries is a television show on the WB based on the book series by LJ Smith. In 2013 a spin-off series, The Originals, premiered. A second spin-off series, Legacies, premiered in 2018.


The show centers around Mystic Falls high school student Elena Gilbert, her boyfriend Stefan Salvatore, who turns out to be a vampire from the Civil War era and his charming and vindictive older brother Damon.

Also her friends Bonnie, a witch; Caroline, cheerleader and daughter of the sheriff; her ex-boyfriend Matt; his friend Tyler Lockwood; and Elena's younger brother Jeremy, aunt Jenna, and a few other relatives who show up later. Oh, and vampire-hunting history teacher Alaric Saltzman, plus Stefan and Damon's long-dead vampire girlfriend Katherine, who turns out to be a dead ringer for Elena and really not so dead.

For individual character pages on Fanlore, see Category:Vampire Diaries Characters


There is a large overlap between fans of the long-running book series and the show; however the canon is quite different so most fanfic and fanworks are based on one or the other, not both.

While a lot of viewers/fans consider the show a guilty pleasure, and the majority of fan creations produced is made for the purposes of squee, there is some analitycal content out there.

There’s often this implicit assumption in fandom that TV should be inspirational, but one of the things I find unique and fascinating about TVD is all the ways in which it’s unrelentingly realistic and even cynical in its depiction of human interaction[1].

As the show progressed, some fans started to express their annoyance and frustration at the show's declining quality of plot lines and character development. Many hold Julie Plec personally responsible for plots and characters they don't like and don't approve of.


For a more complete list see List of Vampire Diaries Pairing Names

The show is a very rich shipping ground and over time a lot of pairings became canon (as an actual relationship on the show or a simple hook up). Writers of the show have a tendency to throw shippy moments to fans of popular non-canonical pairings. A flirty look between Bonnie Bennett and Kol Mikaelson in season 4 is a good example of that.

Due to an incredibly large and varied fandom tendencies when it comes to shipping characters, a detailed (though incomplete) list of pairings is available here.

Notably, first slash pairings that gained fandom interest were Jeremy/Tyler, Damon/Stefan (also called Salvatoreslash and Damon/Alaric.

Biggest het pairings from the start were Damon/Elena and Stefan/Elena, with Damon/Bonnie and Klaus/Caroline gaining popularity later on.

Threesome pairings are popular in the fandom as a way of combining two OTPs that share characters. For example; Damon/Elena/Stefan as a combination of Damon/Elena and Stefan/Elena (sometimes with incest of Salvatoreslash thrown in). Or Klaus/Stefan/Caroline as a combination of Klaus/Caroline, Klaus/Stefan and Stefan/Caroline.

Femmeslash is the least popular genre in the fandom, with very few fanworks. The most popular among them being Elena/Caroline and Elena/Bonnie.

Common Tropes in Fanworks

  • Time travel - most often sue to a spell cast wrong/by mistake (more often than not by Bonnie) one or more character is sent back in time. It's most often used in fics where at least one side of the pairing is a vampire as a plot device that allows the younger/human part of the ship to get to know their lover better, or see them in a different light. Additionally, this trope is often combined with the premise/plot twist that the character sent back in time tries hard not to change anything, only to find out at the end that it all happened as it was supposed to. Compulsion is sometimes used as a plot device to ensure lack of time paradox.
Example: Wings of a Butterfly by Traxits, a Jeremy/Damon time travel story. When Bonnie's new teleport spell backfires, Jeremy wakes on the front lines in 1863, fighting the Civil War alongside a human Damon Salvatore. Getting back to Mystic Falls is only the first hurdle he must face as he struggles not to change the past.
  • All Human AU - a most common AU used by fanfic writers, often modified and/or combined with other tropes or common plotlines, such as BDSM, Futurefic, Royalty AU, etc. All characters are human and the supernatural world either doesn't exist or the characters aren't a part of it in any way. Sometimes, the characters are still in high school, sometimes they already graduated and are pursuing their careers.
Example: The Only Hope for Me is You by livingdeadblondegirl, a Klaus/Caroline All Human AU. Niklaus Mikaelson is a single father but is also a business man who needs someone to take care of the kids for him. When their current nanny retires, he finds himself needing a replacement. When Stefan offers a solution, Klaus agrees to interview Caroline Forbes.


Lack of Diversity

Since the start, the show has been criticised for the lack of diversity and the overwhelmingly white straight cast of characters.

The show has many issues with heteronormativity, all of the relationships on the show are male and female pairings, throughout five seasons there has never been a non-heterosexual character a part form Caroline’s father, who only appears for two episodes (Disturbing Behavior and The ties that Bind) in season three and is shown only in a negative light. First he left his family for another man, leaving his wife to take care of their daughter by herself and then he only shows up after his daughter is turned into a vampire. He then tries to torture Caroline out of vampirism. He later gets turned into a vampire himself and choses to die rather than complete the transition. So not only is the only character to show diversity in sexuality portrayed negatively but he is killed off. This demonstrates that the show is uncomfortable with portraying different sexualities.[2]

In fact, the longest living LGBT character to date is a witch named Luke, introduced in season 5; who had no on screen love interest and his sexuality was only spoken of, never shown. The LGBT Fans Deserve Better movement was highly critical of the show for its treatment of queer female characters, writing in June 2016:

The CW features not one but two shows that have managed to kill off all of the queer women ever introduced: The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural. We have dubbed this "The Julie Plec" phenomenon, reserved for shows and writers so unaware of the "bury your gays" trope that they manage kill 100% of the characters they introduce.[3]

The show doesn't fare better with characters of color either. The only non-white main character is Bonnie Bennett, who is a witch (a character that was a white redhead girl in the books) and has been accused numerous times of being boring and pointless by fans who felt she had no substantial storyline of her own for the longest time[2].

Bonnie's magical talents has also been a cause for criticism from fans, who felt that she was used as a Magical Negro. It was also worrying that the majority of witches were also black.

the only African American on the show is a girl with caramel skin color. She is a witch on the show, which technically isn’t the stereotypical black character, but it is racially biased when every other African American that makes an appearance on the show is also a witch. Basically they’re all from the same bloodline, The Bennett line, which goes back to the Salem Witch Trials and delves into their beginnings in slavery. Yet in 2013 their all still witches and fans have begun to joke that every black character is obviously a witch.[4]

After the majority of season 1 of The Originals airs, there have been fans who joked that in one season, the spin off managed more characters of color and LGBT characters than The Vampire Diaries has during their entire run.

Sexualized Violence

In The Vampire Diaries, feeding is often shown as a painful experience for the victim, unless compulsion is involved. It is a violent experience for both parties, and one that is usually sensual, if not sexual, for the vampire. And this sexual violence is almost always against women. Even if the vampire is a woman.[5]

However, those same aspects are rarely addressed by the fans, with a few exceptions of meta here and there. And while the sexually violent source material isn't questioned, it also isn't mirrored in fanworks very often.


Notable Fanworks


For a full listing of VD fanfiction on Fanlore, see Category:Vampire Diaries Fanfiction



Websites, created in March 2009 features the latest news on the TV show and books, as well as a comprehensive wiki, fanfiction archive, fanart gallery, and forum. There is also a twitter account and LiveJournal community.[6] An official but less comprehensive and more profit-oriented website,, was later created by Alloy Entertainment to promote the TV show and books.




  • tvdnewsletter - a newsletter for the television show
  • tvd_fans - anything and everything that is related to The Vampire Diaries, be it based on the books, the game, or the television series. 1600 members.
  • ontd_tvdiaries - Oh No They Didn't comm for the show
  • ontd_tvd - Oh No They Didn't comm for the Vampire Diaries (both show and books)
  • vd_fr - French LJ community (both show and books)
  • The Vampire Diaries - a fan community on fanpop




Challenges, Fests and Exchanges

  • Vampire Diaries Exchange - Secret Fic Exchange. Sign-ups open for the first round on October 1 2010 and begin posting on February 1 2011.
  • Vampire Diaries Big Bang Posting begins for the first round on October 15th 2010.
  • Vampire Big Bang - includes TVD fic and crossovers. Posting began for the first round on September 25 2010.

Rec lists



  1. ^ Caroline Forbes and the art of manipulation by candyumbrella, accessed on December 12, 2014.
  2. ^ a b The (heteronormative, hegemonic) Vampire Diaries, accessed on December 26, 2014.
  3. ^ The CW Breakdown 2015-2016 on
  4. ^ Networks Lack Diversity In Their Programming, accessed on December 26, 2014.
  5. ^ The Sexually Violent Diaries, accessed March 6, 2015
  6. ^

Related Links
People characters: Elena GilbertStefan SalvatoreDamon SalvatoreBonnie BennettCaroline ForbesMatt DonovanTyler LockwoodJeremy GilbertJenna SommersAlaric SaltzmanKatherine Pierce
Things The Vampire Diaries (novels)The Originals