Vampires, hybrids, witches, and werewolves. It's hard to keep track of all of The Vampire Diaries species. And things only get more confusing when you throw in all the other characters, historical events, mythology and supernatural objects.
Based on a series of books, the show stars Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert as a former high school cheerleader whose world was turned upside when her parents died. Soon after she met the mysterious and handsome Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and his brother Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) and before she knew it was thrown into the world of the Mystic Falls supernatural. (And little did she know at the time, she too had some "special" characteristics.)
Now in its fourth season, The Vampire Diaries has introduced viewers to Elena, Stefan and Damon's expanding group of allies and enemies and has opened up the tomb, so to speak, on the mythology that lies among them. In anticipation of the CW show's return from its winter hiatus (woo hoo!), we decided to offer a little extra help in keeping everything straight. Below, we break down every aspect of the show, from A to Z.
A: Alaric, the history teacher/vampire hunter/father figure to Elena who was killed in the Season 3 finale.
B: Bunnies, an alternative that allows vampires to feed without killing humans.
C: Council, the group created by the founding families to protect the town from vampires.
D: Doppelgangers, a handful of women descending from the Petrova family line that includes Elena. Their blood can link different beings with the aid of a spell and can be used to fulfill curses. For example, it was used to turn Klaus, an Original (see below) into a hybrid.
E: Elijah, the brother to Klaus and a fan-favorite character, who comes and goes as he sees fit. Some see him as the most moral of the Original vampires.
F: Founder's Day, a yearly Mystic Falls event and also the name of the Season 1 finale that ended with many of the town's vamps getting killed.
G: Grimoire, a witch's book of spells.
H: Hybrids, the species that are half vampire, half werewolf.
I: Isobel, Elena's biological mother who ended up marrying Alaric before becoming a vampire and being presumed dead.
J: Journals, the documentation Jonathan Gilbert left behind about the Mystic Falls vampires from the 1800s. Elena and Stefan have carried on the tradition of keeping diaries.
K: Katherine, Elena's doppelganger who turned the Salvatore Brothers into vampires in 1864.
L: LJ Smith, the author of the Vampire Diaries book series upon which the show is based.
M: Mystic Falls, the mythical town in Virginia where the series is set.
N: Naked, the state of dress in which Damon loves to be. (And we don't mind.)
O: Originals, the first existing group of vampires that cannot be killed except by a dagger made of ash from the white oak tree.
P: Pearl, a vampire, who was friends with Katherine (a Petrova doppelganger). She was entombed in Fell's Church from 1864-2010, but was killed by Uncle John (Elena's biological father) a few weeks after being released.
Q: Qetsiyah, the witch, who, along with Silas, created the spell of immortality.
R: Ripper, Stefan's nickname from his wild and reckless days as a raging vampire in the 1920s.
S: Sire bond, the link between a species and his/her creator that makes them inherently loyal. Rare in vampires, it was recently discovered Elena is sired to Damon.
T: Talisman, a tool used by witches to carry out more powerful spells. The first ever witch Ayanna gave her talisman to Esther (Klaus and Elijah's mom), who used it to turn her family into the first group of vampires.
U: Undead, the state vampires live in until they're permanently staked.
V: Vervain, the deadly concoction that is a vampire's biggest weakness.
W: Wickery Bridge, the place where all bad things happen (i.e. Elena's parents die, Elena dies).
X: X-ray vision, a super power that vampires actually don't possess.
Y: Young, the last name of the pastor/vampire hunter who was also the head of the Town Council and was eviscerated in a suicide explosion.
Z: Zero, the number of times the gang has been successful in taking down Klaus for good.
What would you include in you're A-to-Z list? The Vampire Diaries returns Thursday at 8/7c on The CW.