I remember the exact moment I fell in love with The Vampire Diaries.
Our relationship got off to a troubled start. I watched the pilot episode with my sister and my dad (he was absolutely not a fan) and I wasn’t as impressed with the episode as I thought I would be, but I gave it another chance. I watched the Friday encore and then I watched it again for good measure. But I still wasn’t in love. That didn’t come until episode two, “The Night of the Comet.”
The episode had some good moments and some slow ones and I remember thinking to myself that I’d give the show one more episode to catch my attention. Then came the rooftop scene with Stefan and Damon (Vicki was there too, but her presence wasn’t that important). Damon mocked Stefan for eating bunnies to get extra strength (still funny) and Stefan had his hero hair on (also never gets old) and wanted to save Vicki, but Damon had another idea.
He compelled Vicki to say that Stefan was the one who attacked her. Stefan begged Damon to undo it (he couldn’t do it himself because his compulsion skills weren’t strong enough because he wasn’t drinking human blood). Damon wanted to make Stefan pay. Stefan was overwhelmed by guilt, but he still needed to do the right thing. Eventually Damon compelled Vicki again and Stefan was in the clear, but there was no mistaking that this was not the end by any means.
I was captivated by this scene. There was just something about these two brothers that drew me in and from that moment, I knew this show was going to be one of my favorites, but I don’t think I realized just how much I truly loved it until I spent the past few weeks watching all 99 episodes again (plus the nine episodes of The Originals because they’re a package deal) in preparation for tonight’s 100th episode celebration.
Episode three has always been what I considered the official beginning of my love affair with the show because it was the first time I went into an episode expecting the show to awesome and that’s how I’ve gone into each episode ever since. Is it perfect? No. It has hit some bumps along the road and some plots were too much for me or too dull for me to do anything other than hope they’d be over soon. But that doesn’t matter because it has been my favorite since the beginning and it will continue to be my favorite until the credits roll on the final episode (and then you’ll find me bawling in a corner).
I wanted to write this piece to try and explain what this show means to me, but it’s not something I can put into words. I can’t explain why Thursday nights made me so happy or express how fun it was to have Chinese food and vampires to look forward to each week (as was my ritual for three seasons). Then when the episode was over, it was time to talk about it, theorize over it and spend countless hours on social media gushing about it until the following week when it was time to do it again.
People who watch the show, the ones who have hung in there through the highs and lows and who love the characters and the actors and the writers like family, those people know what I’m talking about. Maybe some of you have felt this kind of love for a different show and understand the dedication and the appreciation that goes into this level of obsession. Or maybe you’re someone who has never experienced that and you’re reading this and wondering what the hell is wrong with me. That’s fine too. We all love what we love.
Even though I just completed the marathon viewing session, I still don’t think I can choose my favorite episode or moment. I can say without hesitation that no death has hurt more than Alaric’s and the “Be Still” moment remains haunting to the point that typing this makes me want to cry.
Other unforgettable moments: Stefan pulling Damon out of the fire in the season one finale, Katherine showing up in the present day and slicing off Uncle John’s fingers, Elijah calmly slapping off Trevor’s head, Klaus stepping out of the wardrobe, Rebekah appearing in the flashback, Caroline being at Tyler’s side during his first werewolf transformation, Stefan taking Elena to the top of the Ferris wheel, Katherine killing Caroline, Klaus killing Mikael, Elena choosing Stefan, Alaric telling Damon he missed him too, Klaus’ speech to Caroline on her birthday, Damon telling Elena he loved her and compelling her to forget, Stefan catching Katherine after she jumped off the clock tower…
I’m going to stop there because I could go on and on and this will never be finished. Instead, I’m going to say thank you to everyone involved in the show: the cast, the crew, the writers, the producers, the studios, the network, my fellow fans and most of all Julie Plec, Kevin Williamson and Caroline Dries. Thank you all for my favorite show and for all the memories and all the new ones that are going to come next (and an extra special thank you for The Originals spinoff because an extra vampire day each week is one of the greatest gifts ever).
Please feel free to hit the comments and share your favorite moments from the first 100 episodes and tell us when and why you fell in love with the series.
The Vampire Diaries airs its 100th episode tonight at 8/7c on The CW.