It’s been no secret that over the past three and a half seasons of The Vampire Diaries the line between good and evil has blurred to the point of no return. No one character resides on either side of the line, often running back and forth in an exhausting race of morality and immorality. Perhaps that’s why the show is so addicting, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats most episodes. Perhaps it’s why the fandom is so passionate, constantly debating every decision made on the show. What is the definition of right or wrong on The Vampire Diaries anymore?
In season 2 and into season 3, we were slowly introduced to the ‘Original’ family, the Mikaelsons. Made up of matriarch and witch, Esther, patriarch Mikael and their children: Elijah, Finn, Klaus, Kol, and Rebekah (as well as two other children who died as humans). To save her family from a werewolf lead feud 1,000 years ago, Esther used witch craft to turn her husband and children into vampires, making them the original family of vampires. They are (debatably) stronger, faster, and are the only ones who can compel other vampires. All vampires on The Vampire Diaries are part of a bloodline, with one member of the Mikaelson clan as the very beginning of the line.
In season 3 it was revealed that the one and only way to permanently kill an Original was to use a stake fashioned from an old White Oak tree. Thinking that all remnants except for a bottle of ashes (and one last stake that was used on father Mikael by Klaus) of the White Oak were gone, the Originals were thought to be indestructible. The only way to “kill” them was to temporarily put them down with a special dagger, using the ash from the tree. History revealed that another tree did exist, its wood used to make the old Wickery Bridge located centrally in Mystic Falls. Elena, Stefan, Damon, and the rest of the gang became hell bent on destroying “villain” Klaus and the rest of his family.
The gang succeeded in taking down Finn, the most detached of the Mikaelson family. It was one down and four more to go. But, it wasn’t so simple. Killing Finn meant that his entire bloodline of vampires also died. Who knows how many people were turned on behalf of Finn’s bloodline. 1,000 years of turning could have rendered tens of thousands of vampires. All dead because of Finn’s death. A vampire genocide.
Everyone seemed almost horrified by this information, given that it was hard to pin point which Original had spawned the vampire line of Stefan, Damon, Caroline, etc. The gang made it their mission at the end of season 3 to find out who was at the head of their line. They wanted to be able to safely eliminate any other Mikaelson family member without also killing themselves in the process.
Which is where season 4 has lead us to. One stake still remains, an indestructible White Oak stake created by Esther with Alaric’s ring (the one that kept him alive even when killed at the hands of a supernatural creature), a stake that will permanently kill any Original and their entire bloodline. In the end of last weeks episode, Elena came up with a master plan of her own. To kill Kol Mikaelson, the youngest brother of the clan. This would ensure that Kol, who had been wreaking havoc on Mystic Falls, would be put down for good. Kol had compelled Damon to kill Jeremy and his death would mean the end to Damon’s compulsion. But, instead of simply daggering Kol for a short period of time, Elena wanted Jeremy to kill Kol to grow Jeremy’s vampire hunters mark. A mark only capable of growing when a vampire is killed at Jeremy’s hands, a mark that would lead the gang to finding a “cure” for vampirism. A cure Elena and everyone else is so desperate to find. Killing Kol would mean ending his bloodline of what was sure to be thousands and thousands of vampires deep.
To mine (and most of the fandom’s) dismay Elena and Jeremy succeeded. Kol was killed. Jeremy’s mark was completed. What did Kol’s death spawn? Another vampire genocide. One that Elena seemed not to think twice about. Elena was looking out for herself and her brother. Except there were other options. Ones that wouldn’t have lead to the murdering of a countless number of vampires. Who knows what kind of vampires were created at the hands of Kol and his progeny? They could have been just as evil, killing without remorse. Or, they could have been vampires just trying to blend in, do good, and lead a normal-ish life, just like the folks of Mystic Falls are trying to do.