Katherine from The Vampire Diaries, the TV series, would have to be one of my favorite female vampires. Much of the reason for my choosing her as one of my all time favorite vamps is the show itself. It is unfortunately very common for vampire films and TV shows to focus on nothing but “the action” but The Vampire Diaries take the time to go a little deeper.
Here in this TV show we are treated to a great deal of information about the folklore of the vampire. How they have interacted with human society throughout the ages, and the way they have had to change their ways in the show to cope with the modern world - it portrays a sobering glimpse at how we mortals have changed in that same time period.
The story of Katherine from The Vampire Diaries begins with an "original vampire", Klaus, wanting to sacrifice her in a ritual. Katherine uses her charm and sexuality to convince a young male vampire to instead turn her, and as a new vampire, she flees to England. When she returns to her home country in Eastern Europe, she finds that Klaus has slaughtered her family.
From this moment onward, Katherine becomes a vampire in the worst sense of the word. She kills the innocent, looks out only for herself, and cares not for others. And after that kind of beginning, who can blame her? What does any hungry animal do when backed into a corner?
Still, there are moments in the screenplay when we glimpse that her cold hearted facade, hides a battle between her vampire instincts of self preservation, and a softer, more human side to Katherine. We get a glimpse of her genuine feelings for Stefan, the male lead. Though she quickly stifles them, it was clearly the director’s intention to let us see that those feelings were there.
Her struggle between these two sides of her personality sums up everything I, and I expect many of you reading this, love about the myth of the vampire. A vampire with a human love interest is the ultimate example of tragedy in romance. To love something that you were always intending to kill - so sad.
That kind of love is a love that surely must exceed that between two humans, meant for each other as we are. After all, if you see a sheep tending a lamb, you might think it’s sweet. But if you see a lioness raising a lamb as her own, that love is extraordinary.
You cannot overlook the fact too, that Katherine from The Vampire Diaries is simply stunning. Played by the beautiful Nina Dobrev, or Katerina as she was called in her homeland, blends the calm confidence of a killer, with a sweet vulnerability, and a naked sex appeal that has been the downfall of many a man, human and vampire alike. Her ability to manipulate and get her own way is as fascinating as her story, which slowly unravels to the viewer as the episodes progress.
We are treated to a rich sub plot of unfolding vampire folk lore and history, and of course, their ever present relationship with the werewolves. Albeit with an interesting twist which I will not give away here! You just need to see it for yourself.
To finish, it’s wonderful getting the chance to see her transformation from human to vampire. She sums up perfectly the duality of character that draws millions of people to these romantic and beautiful killers. Katherine from The Vampire Diaries - Best Vampire ever? Maybe not - but definitely a high possibility if you ask me.
"Lestat: Lord, what I wouldn't give for a drop of good old-fashioned Creole blood.
Louis: Yankees are not to your taste?
Lestat: Their democratic flavor doesn't suit my palate, Louis." -- Interview with the Vampire