Back for an eighth and final season of people dating, hating or becoming vampires is The Vampire Diaries, based (kind of) on the novels (kind of) of L. J. Smith.
The town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, is home to super-hot vampires, super-hot werewolves, super-hot ghosts, super-hot witches and the super-hot humans who love them. Occasionally, the mostly teenage humans with whom we deal become the vampires, werewolves, ghosts and witches. Even more occasionally, they go to class.
High school kids Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and her brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) think they have things tough after the death of their parents. But pretty soon Elena is entangled with new kid in school, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), who she discovers is a — gasp! — more-than-a-century-old vampire, and Jeremy’s girlfriend Vicki (Kayla Ewell) dies after becoming a vampire. Many others die also. Elsewhere, Elena’s friend Bonnie (Kat Graham) is a witch, Stefan’s estranged, deranged brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) falls for Elena, Elena’s biological parents are revealed, Elena appears in at least one beauty pageant and Elena’s doppelgänger, the vampire Katherine, is up to no good. There is just a lot about Elena here. And Stefan’s blood addiction!
Kidnappings: Elena, Bonnie, Amber.
Treasure Hunts: A pocket watch, a journal and the key to opening a vampire tomb.
Vampire Protection: Vervain is a thing that wards off and/or kills vampires.
Who is Jeremy Dating? First Vicki (poor, dead Vicki) and then vampire Anna.
Troublesome Katherine turns Caroline into a vampire and sets the brothers Salvatore at odds, really just because she can. Elena’s friend Tyler (Michael Trevino) learns he comes from a family of werewolves, and we learn of the existence of Original vampires, meeting their ruthless representative, the body-jumping Klaus (Joseph Morgan), and good cop, Elijah (Daniel Gillies). Klaus wants to perform a ritual that would see his own werewolf nature unleashed, making him the first vampire/werewolf hybrid (no, that is Michael Corvin) and he needs to kill Elena to do it. He doesn’t, because of magic, but still the hybrid is born, because of nonsense. Stefan and Damon still like that Elena a real lot.
Kidnappings: Elena, Tyler, Caroline (and warlock Luka’s sister Greta, off screen).
Treasure Hunts: The moonstone, essential for the ritual.
Vampire Protection: A dagger dipped in ash wood, through the heart, will kill an Original. How the hell did anyone ever figure that out?
Who is Jeremy Dating? Bonnie — though he also hooked up with Anna, the jerk.
Elena and Jeremy’s aunt, Jenna (Sara Canning) — oh yeah, they live with their aunt — is dead and her boyfriend Alaric (Matt Davis) now stands in loco parentis. Super-hot Alaric is totally down with the kids and their wacky supernatural world, so that works out nicely, right up until it is revealed that he is a vampire hunter! He has a specific hatred of the Originals; lucky for him, then, that a whole bunch more of them come to town, Klaus and Elijah’s siblings Rebekah (Claire Holt) and… those other two. Klaus is energetically attempting to make more vamp/were hybrids, without success — since Elena is secretly still alive — and Stefan is on the rampage, shutting off his emotions to be a badass killing machine. Klaus possesses Tyler. Elena and Damon get close (even though he slept with Rebekah), but in the end she chooses Stefan… and then she’s in a car accident and has to be given vampire blood to save her life!
Kidnappings: Elena, Tyler, Caroline. It’s always Elena, Tyler, Caroline.
Treasure Hunts: A necklace.
Vampire Protection: White oak works on Originals too, apparently.
Who is Jeremy Dating? Still Bonnie, but he is seeing his dead girlfriends’ ghosts all the time.
Tyler gets unpossessed and Elena becomes a vampire. The Mystic Falls town council has had enough of all this supernatural silliness and gets a fundamentalist head who will not suffer a witch, or vampire, to live, and so… blows up the council, for some reason? Despite his extremism, it’s a little hard to disagree with his position when even our friendliest of vampires goes feral this time out, and witch Bonnie goes OVER THE EDGE. And we meet Silas (played by pretty much everyone, but he’s a doppelganger of Stefan’s), the first Immortal being. He is bad news. Elena and Damon get together and the Originals get a new home in New Orleans, along with their own spin-off show.
The kids graduate high school.
Kidnappings: Elena, Tyler, Caroline. Jeremy. And Stefan!
Treasure Hunts: A necklace and The Vampire Cure. (For Elena, of course.)
Vampire Protection: The Five, a centuries-old group of vampire hunters, have an Ultimate Weapon they can bring to bear against their enemies. There’s also a ring that one can wear that prevents death at the hands of supernatural beings. We’ve seen it in other seasons, but it is used to great “Psych!” effect here.
Who is Jeremy Dating? No one. Jeremy is DEAD. (Jeremy is not dead.) Bonnie is DEAD.
College! Ghost Bonnie convinces Jeremy to hide her death from everyone, while Elena realizes Stefan is missing — after three months — and he is freed from a watery coffin. (Someone on the writing staff had been watching their Angel for homework.) Silas is still causing mischief, Elena’s ex-boyfriend Matt (Zach Roerig) — oh yeah, there’s the guy called Matt, he is just always kind of around and dating people but is otherwise boring as hell — reconnects with an old flame, Nadia (Olga Fonda), who it turns out is Katherine’s daughter! Bonnie rejoins the living but becomes a conduit for deal supernatural creatures to travel to the other side. Stefan kills Silas, and loses his memory. College professor Wes (Rick Cosnett) does not like vampires. And Katherine dies in flesh, but her spirit takes over Elena’s body! Then she dumps Damon (as Elena) because her heart belongs to Stefan. Pretty much everyone gets possessed at one point or another; Stefan dies, but is resurrected; Alaric is back! But Bonnie and Damon are trapped on the Other Side…
Kidnappings: Elena, Amara, Katherine, Matt, Stefan
Treasure Hunts: A marker and an amulet.
Who is Jeremy Dating? Bonnie… kind of? And there is some major flirtation with Liv (Penelope Mitchell), a witch.
The college years continue as Elena mourns Damon and Jeremy can’t deal with Bonnie being dead (again). The resurrected Alaric compels — oh yeah, the vampires use this a lot, hypnotic Jedi mind tricks — Elena to forget she ever loved Damon, at her request. But then Damon comes back; he wasn’t dead, merely in an alternate universe time loop! (Bonnie takes a little longer to return.) Elena dates muggle Liam (Marco James Marquez) for a bit, which does not go well for him. The whole of Mystic Falls was surrounded by a magic-neutralizing border last season, and that causes problems. There is a dude called Kai (Chris Wood) who keeps betraying the alternate universe Bonnie, and continues to do so when they make it back to the regular timeline. There’s another dude called Enzo (Michael Malarkey), who we should hate but don’t. Caroline loves Stefan, and he reciprocates, but then her mother dies and she goes off the deep end. Tyler is human again, and dating Liv. Matt hates vampires and wants to become a cop. Damon agrees to give up immortality for Elena. There are vampire/witch hybrids now, one of whom is the Salvatore boys’ mom. They and Kai disrupt Alaric’s wedding to Jo (Jodi Lynn O’Keefe) — oh yeah, there’s this woman called Jo — killing the bride and sending Elena into a coma for as long as Bonnie lives. (Fortunately, that is never for very long.)
And Sheriff Jack Carter is there.
Kidnappings: Sarah, Elena, Bonnie, Caroline, Stefan
Treasure Hunts: The Cure to Vampirism, an “Ascendant” (basically, a mystical totem that does stuff).
Vampire Protection: Send them to an alternate dimension!
Who is Jeremy Dating? Who is Jeremy NOT dating? Well, not Bonnie, actually. And then no one at all, that we know of, when he goes off on his own to be a vampire hunter…
Mystic Falls is ceded to the witch/vampire coven, though Damon and Bonnie are not on board. Mama Salvatore, Lily (Annie Wersching), is mad as hell when the love of her life is attacked. Enzo wants only to please Lily, until he falls for Caroline. Caroline, meanwhile, discovers she is pregnant with Alaric and Jo’s twin babies — Stefan doesn’t love it. When the witches are ousted from the town, vampires take over, under the aegis of Julian (Todd Lasance), who is a jerk. But Matt is just THE WORST now. Tyler is a werewolf again. The season is peppered with three year flash forwards that make everything very, very tense and upsetting, especially as Caroline and Alaric are engaged: which, not okay. Then we see three years later and boy, everyone is super mad at everyone else, Bonnie tries to kill Damon repeatedly (pretty much everyone tries to kill Damon repeatedly, actually) and then he and Enzo are taken by some kind of monster. Cliffhanger!
Elena is still in a coma.
Kidnappings: Caroline, Stefan, Damon, Nora, Mary Louise, Enzo
Treasure Hunts: The Huntress, a supernatural vampire hunter from ye olde times; a herb that can hide vampires from her.
Vampire Protection: The Phoenix Sword, which traps a vampire’s soul inside the Phoenix Stone for later resurrection; the mark of the Huntress, which will kill all vampires when she finally dies.
Who is Jeremy Dating? Jeremy’s GONE.
Tune into the CW on Friday, October 21 for the eighth season premiere.