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Franchise / The Vampire Diaries Universe

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The Vampire Diaries Universe is the name of the Shared Universe based on The Vampire Diaries book series by L. J. Smith. The original books were eventually adapted into a TV show, The Vampire Diaries, based on them for the CW. Both follow Elena Gilbert as she discovers the existence of the supernatural through her relationship with a vampire, Stefan Salvatore. The success of the TV show led to the creation of the spin-off The Originals, which follows the Mikaelson siblings as they try to protect Klaus' daughter. This in turn led to its own spin-off, Legacies, concerning the adventures of Klaus' daughter, Hope. There was also a series of comic books published by DC Comics and two web series that tied into the shows. The books were also adapted into a 1996 video game. Works in the franchise include:


Live-Action TV

Web Series

Comic Books

Video Games

Tropes shared across the franchise:

  • Anti-Hero: Damon is a self-proclaimed serial killer, who only cares about a few things, his brother, Elena, and his friends. He will do about anything to protect those things, up to and including backstabbing the people he loves. However, it is always in the service of fighting off a worse evil.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: In the first season of Legacies, The Necromancer makes a big show of arriving, only to find out that no one remembers him.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The heroes of the verse are all willing to do horrible things to save the day, particularly Damon, Klaus, and Hope, but the villains are played as almost evil enough to justify the extreme means.
  • Love Triangle: Every series has at least one:
    • The Vampire Diaries has Elena start off with Stefan, but quickly develop feelings for Stefan's brother Damon. Eventually, Elena ends up with Damon.
    • The Originals' first season has both Klaus and Marcel interested in Cami, though this is quickly dropped as Marcel is still interested in Rebekah.
    • Legacies had one between Hope, Landon, and Josie in the second season. Hope starts dating Landon in season 1, but Landon and Josie start dating when everyone forgets Hope exists. Following everyone regaining their memory of Hope, she and Landon get back together.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: At absurd levels. Literally every character in every series seems to conform to this particular trope. Anything heinous perpetrated by the protagonists is easily forgiven by everyone, often even by their victims. But when a close friend, relative, lover or the victim himself seeks revenge against the protagonists, that someone is treated by everyone as an irredeemable sociopathic monster. In real life, almost all of the main characters in these shows would be treated as complete lunatics and executed without mercy, but in the series, everyone is portrayed as sympathetic because they've been through hard times in life, even if they don't feel any regret for all the misfortune and death that caused.

Alternative Title(s): The Vampire Diaries