Welcome to Mystic Falls, home of the casual death and resurrection cycle! The Vampire Diaries introduced fans to beloved characters in its eight seasons, making their goodbyes — even if brief — all the more crushing.
The CW hit made a sport out of killing off its main characters, only to bring them back to life episodes or even seasons later. Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen), Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) and Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis) were among the show’s most frequent victims. Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), Caroline Forbes (Candice King) and Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) also dealt with the high mortality rate.
Other characters were not so lucky. Once they died, they were just allowed back in ghost form. Remember Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) and Enzo St. John (Michael Malarkey)?
For some, the series only allowed so many resurrections. Stefan, for one, died once and for all during the series finale, which aired in March 2017. “To be honest with you, the show probably could’ve ended maybe a year earlier. I felt like we kept it going, but we all knew this was the best possible thing to do,” Wesley told Us Weekly exclusively in October 2018. “You start to run out of story, and I think we had told all the story that needed to be told.”
The actor added: “As far as the Stefan and Damon of it all, I think those guys … they needed to hang up their hats and retire.”
The Vampire Diaries premiered on The CW in September 2009. The supernatural series inspired two spinoffs. The Originals, starring Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin, Charles Michael Davis and Claire Holt, ran for five seasons from October 2013 to August 2018. Legacies, with Danielle Rose Russell, debuted in October 2018.
Scroll to revisit the Vampire Diaries’ frequent deaths and resurrections!