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The Vampire Diaries Universe: 10 Most Overused Storylines
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The Vampire Diaries Universe: 10 Most Overused Storylines

From the story of the anti-hero and redemption to the hero who loses their way, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies have certainly shared a lot of storylines over the universe’s thirteen-year run. Unfortunately, between Mystic Falls and New Orleans, The Vampire Diaries Universe could not help but be repetitive in some of its storytelling. While some overused plot lines were specific to a show, such as The Vampire Diaries’ severe Doppelgänger problem or Malivore’s use as a long-time villain on Legacies, other plot lines in some way or another, appeared throughout the trilogy. In addition, flashbacks to explain the backstory of certain characters, such as vampires or monsters, became a trademark of the vampire franchise.

Each of the three shows featured at least one love triangle, but sometimes the overuse was in how long the love triangle lasted. Other times, constantly resurrecting characters to the point where death seemed to lack all meaning was a central plot point on various occasions. Even having a main character in some way separated from their loved ones played a role in The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies in unique ways. But perhaps the main thing that all three shows had in common was that, one way or another, someone, at some point, would become a vampire.

Related: The Originals: Why Elijah Is the Worst Mikaelson Sibling


10 Heroes to Villains

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Stefan is one of the most prominent examples, going from an animal-eating, controlled, and empathetic vampire to a ripper serial killer when his humanity is off. Caroline and Elena each followed a similar path when they went through a no-humanity arc. On Legacies, Hope goes through a similar dark period after her humanity turns off. Josie does as well after taking in all the black magic and gets a short Dark Josie arc, portraying a more vengeful side to her personality. Seeing the dark side of a usually good or kind character allows for more growth from them.

9 Flashbacks to Explain the Backstory

klaus and elijah
The CW

Throughout all three shows, flashbacks are used to show the audience what happened in the past. Stefan and Damon’s human life in 1864 and how they met Katherine are all presented in various episodes. Stefan meeting Klaus and Rebekah for the first time, is also shown, portraying them in 1920s Chicago. In The Originals, there are clips of the Mikaelson siblings throughout the centuries to better explain their relationships. Legacies used flashbacks to help explain how Jed broke his curse, the truth about who Cleo was, and reveal Malivore’s origin story.

8 Villains to Heroes

Vampire Diaries Damon
Warner Brothers Television Distribution

Damon and Klaus begin their time on The Vampire Diaries as prominent villains. However, it would not be exciting if they remained one-note antagonists forever. Damon was given a redemption arc to show his personality outside of being a villain. Over time, he became one of Mystic Falls’ biggest protectors, working with the rest of the group to help prevent others from damaging the town, even though Damon had caused plenty of it himself. Enzo was also a villain at the beginning of his time on the show and eventually transformed into a strong friend and ally.

Meanwhile, The Originals is the start of seeing Klaus’ redemption with Hope’s birth. While Klaus may be considered more of an anti-hero than a hero, as many of his actions come from a selfish desire for power and to protect his family above all else, Klaus was undoubtedly a hero to Hope by the end.

Related: The Originals: 10 Times Klaus Mikaelson Was The Worst

7 Severe Family Problems

The Originals Kol, Klaus, Hayley, Elijah, and Freya
Warner Brothers Television Distribution

There is no such thing as an uncomplicated family in The Vampire Diaries Universe. Damon promised Stefan an eternity of misery after completing his transition into a vampire in 1864. For decades afterward, Stefan and Damon’s relationship would teeter on the edge of reconciliation before again becoming destroyed. The Mikaelson family, however, is worse. Between centuries of daggering, betrayals, and attempted murders, the family is nearly always in conflict with each other in some way. Esther and Mikael try to kill their children many times. The siblings bounce around, betraying each other. On Legacies, Hope holds the weight of her family’s actions while Josie and Lizzie struggle when they discover they might have to Merge at the age of twenty-two and are nearly killed by their sociopath uncle, Kai.

6 Old Foes Return

Vampire Diaries Katherine
Warner Brothers Television Distribution

Katherine Pierce may have the best entrance of any character. However, she is also the most prominent example of an old foe returning and creating chaos over a century later. It is a personal history of pain between Katherine, Stefan, and Damon, which is apparent in every interaction they share. On The Originals, Esther, Mikael, and Finn’s returns as villains, and threats to Klaus and Elijah make them primary villains and perhaps the best the series introduces. Legacies features villain returns in the forms of Aurora and Kai Parker, who, although their previous interactions were not directly with Hope, Josie, and Lizzie for the most part when they initially appeared, Legacies certainly makes the most of their appearances.

5 Resurrections

The Vampire Diaries Home Bonnie
Warner Brothers Television Distribution

Jeremy died several times, as did Bonnie. Every The Vampire Diaries main character died at least once and was revived somehow. Resurrections were practically expected a few seasons into the show, as no one was particularly dead for long. While Kol, Finn, Esther, and Mikael were killed on The Vampire Diaries, they were each resurrected on The Originals. Although Kol also died in New Orleans, he was later revived by Davina. Resurrections were constant on Legacies, with Landon Kirby being a Phoenix, allowing him to die and come back to life. When Landon took on a job in Limbo, he became capable of resurrecting his friends and sending them back to life, which allowed MG, Jed, and Kaleb to rejoin the Super Squad for a fight.

4 The Love Triangle

Legacies Lizzie and MG
Warner Brothers Television Distribution

Mostly well-known in The Vampire Diaries, the long-time love triangle between Elena, Stefan, and Damon became a trademark of the series. While it was not the only love triangle, it was certainly the longest. Others included Stefan, Katherine, and Damon, and Caroline, Tyler, and Klaus. While The Originals created one between Elijah, Hayley, and Jackson as a subplot. Legacies also dipped a toe into the love triangle storyline with Hope, Landon, and Rafael in season one; Hope, Josie, and Landon in season two, and Lizzie, MG, and Ethan in season four.

3 Separation from Loved Ones

The Originals Klaus, Elijah, Marcel, and Rebekah
Warner Brothers Television Distribution

When Bonnie and Damon are left on the Other Side, they end up in a 1994 Prison World with Kai Parker. Eventually, Damon and Kai each escape leaving Bonnie there alone. Bonnie spends the next several episodes trying to escape, nearly succeeding until she can get the help she needs and eventually save herself. When Elijah has his memories compelled away, and his emotions toward his family detached, Elijah is left alone for years, not knowing how much he loved and cared for the family he had left behind.

Klaus had previously faced a different type of separation when he allowed Marcel to lock him up, allowing him to live, and Freya to tether the Mikaelson siblings to Klaus until Hayley could save them. Hope also faces separation when everyone forgets who she is after jumping into Malivore. Only after Josie returns everyone’s memories of Hope does she get her life back. Finally, Landon also experiences separation after ending up in Malivore and, eventually, in Limbo.

2 Becoming a Vampire

Vampire Diaries Caroline
Warner Brothers Television Distribution

By season four, nearly every main character was either a vampire or a werewolf-vampire hybrid. Caroline’s transition was the most successful vampire transformation as Caroline truly came into her own following embracing her life as a vampire. Elena and Tyler also joined the ranks of vampires at later points. Hayley becomes a hybrid in the aftermath of Hope’s birth when she dies while Hope is born. While Cami would have preferred to remain human, she also ended up a vampire. Sadly, her transition was not as successful as Caroline’s, nor did she survive long after transitioning. On Legacies, Hope activates her vampire side and later accidentally turns Lizzie into a Heretic, as Lizzie had previously ingested vampire blood.

1 Powerful Blood

Legacies Hope
Warner Brothers Television Distribution

Bennett blood is a powerful tool in The Vampire Diaries Universe. In addition to being powerful witches, Bennett blood is an integral ingredient to escaping a Prison World. Doppelgänger blood is also a massive plot device. Elena is sacrificed in Klaus’ ritual because she is Katherine and Tatia’s Doppelgänger. Elena and Stefan’s blood is the key to powerful spells and breaking many curses. In addition, Klaus, as a Hybrid, and Hope, as a Tribrid, can heal a vampire’s werewolf bite with their blood.