I’m a declared fan of the Vampire Diaries, and like all fans of the TV show, I felt and continue to feel a lot of nostalgia since the final chapter was aired on March 10, 2017, after eight years of history. This nostalgia that I have felt and continue to feel has been the one that had caused me to take back from my library the novels of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ that I started reading the year before the first season was broadcasted in 2009. Books that, in the beginning, I did not really like to be honest and stopped reading. But now that I’ve seen the entire series and decided to give the novels a second try, to my amazement, I’ve found I’ve drunk 8 of the 17 books in less than two weeks! The first Vampire Diaries book was released in the early 90s and didn’t become a series until almost twenty years later. That explains some of the differences between the two series, how the teen drama was created for a completely different generation, but some changes will shock those who have only seen the CW series. Here are some things that were changed from the book series and some things that stayed the same.
The Series of Novels Are Divided into Four Cycles:
- The first cycle has been published between 1991 and 1992 and contains four books.
- The second has been published between 2009 and 2011 with six books.
- The third cycle presents four books and has been published between 2011 and 2012.
- The last one has three books and has been published between 2013 and 2014.
The first point against novels is the change of authors. The first and second cycles have been written by Lisa Jane Smith, the third by a ghostwriter, and the fourth by Aubrey Clark. These changes have caused the differences in the stories and the ways of telling them to be evident, and although no book is boring or ugly, I was not fond of the change very much. On the other hand, it should also be noted that the differences between novels and TV series are many and very marked, so many that they almost seem like two different stories. The only things that practically remain the same are the names and the Elena-Stefan-Damon trio. So, what are the differences? Too many to write of all, but I’ll summarize the most prominent and important.
#1. Elena’s Physical Appearance and Character
In the novels, she is described as a girl of immense beauty, blonde and with blue eyes, surrounded by people, strong, and with a past full of different boys. On the other hand, in the TV show, she’s a gorgeous brunette girl with brown eyes, simple, sweet, good, and very selfless.
#2. Elena’s Friends: Caroline Forbes, Bonnie Bennett / McCullough, Meredith Sulez
In the novels, Elena is part of a trio of friends with Meredith and Bonnie. Caroline is an old childhood and high school friend who becomes envious and an enemy of Elena at the novel’s beginning. Meredith is described as a confident, brave, and thoughtful girl, while Bonnie is more immature and weaker. Everyone knows that Elena’s best friends are Bonnie (who changes her last name) and Caroline. However, Meredith does not exist, and Bonnie is much stronger and braver than in the novels.
In the novel, she is a human who becomes pregnant with a werewolf and turns herself into a werewolf. In the tv series, she is a human who transforms into a vampire.
#4. Stefan and Damon’s Eye Color
While in the books, Damon has black eyes, in the series, he has striking, piercing, intense blue eyes, contrasting wonderfully against dark eyebrows and eyelashes (drooling, already?). The same happens in the case of Stefan, who in the series has gray eyes and in the books green.
#5. The Plot
The plots, stories, antagonists, and characters are totally different. There are characters in one that does not exist in the other and vice versa. Almost none of the protagonists’ stories and adventures exist in the tv series, although there are elements in common between the two, such as the cure for vampirism or Katherine and Klaus. Despite the appearance of these two characters, it should also be noted that the way they appear and are part of the story is very different between the novels and the series.
#6. The Healing Powers of Vampires Are Also Different
While in the tv series, you only need to drink a drop of vampiric blood to hide any type of wound, in the novels, it is more complicated and unclear.
#7. The History and Character of Alaric
In both, he is a history teacher with a secret: in the tv series, he is a vampire hunter, while in the novels, he limits himself to studying them. In the TV series, he is an adult man with a history and a past marriage that lead him to cross paths with the protagonists. In the novel, he is a young man, a little older than the protagonists. He has a secondary role in the series, maintaining a relationship with Meredith. The common point is that also in the tv series, he begins a relationship with a certain Meredith Fell.
#8. The City’s Name
The city in the TV show is Mystic Falls, where the protagonists live, while in the novels, it is Fell’s Church. I have to say that the books are not bad at all – they are entertaining enough to continue reading, but in my opinion, the tv series is a million times better. The plot and stories told in the series are much more entertaining than those said in the books, and the characters are better in everything and everything—all of these reasons why the series has managed to involve me much more than the novels. On the other hand, the books have not aroused an emotion or feeling other than a deep nostalgia for my favorite series.
And what about you, what do you prefer? The books or the TV show? Let me know in the comment section below!