There may be no dearth of vampires in The Vampire Diaries universe, but the range sure is complex. There are a few branches of supernatural understanding that need to be grasped before anyone can begin to understand how vampirism works in the TVD universe and how it all began.
Though the Originals were pegged as the most powerful vampires when they were first introduced, it became quite evident that they could be overpowered by certain people with unparalleled strength. Then there are hybrids, upgraded originals, doppelgangers, and even a tribrid. It may sound like a lot but here’s an easy ranking of the powerful vampires in the TVD universe.
Updated on September 1st, 2022 by Amanda Bruce: While The Vampire Diaries introduced its own mythology surrounding the supernatural creatures, The Originals and Legacies expanded those stories for audiences. The two spinoff series introduced whole new backstories for some of the vampire lineage. With the conclusion of Legacies in 2022, however, the vampire stories in this universe have officially come to an end. Fans can relive them on streaming sites and continue to debate power levels of their favorite vampires for years to come.
Caroline Forbes goes through a lot over the course of the show. When she first becomes a vampire, like most vampires, she has trouble controlling her basic instincts, but she very quickly adjusts to life as a vampire. Caroline’s power largely comes from her intense control of herself, which is impressive.
She might not be the strongest vampire in the franchise, but she knows to surround herself with powerful allies, and she, surprisingly, holds her own against original vampires more than once.
Elena was quite formidable as a newborn vampire because not only was she the descendant of a doppelganger but she had also received some combat training from Alaric on how to defeat vampires physically.
But it helped that she wasn’t a clueless newborn and was aware of her situation and was ready for the changes to her body, so barring some minor hiccups during the first days of her transition (her body rejected vampire blood as well as animal blood), Elena seemed to cope well with her change. If Elena hadn’t chosen to become a human, she could have evolved into a really powerful vampire.
It has been implied in The Vampire Diaries that Stefan didn’t entirely acquire the strength of a vampire who’s as old as him, as he refused to drink human blood. Of course, Stefan’s Ripper episode saw him survive on human blood almost exclusively, but irrespective of his diet, Stefan had an intimidating range of skill sets.
He was unusually gifted when it came to resisting compulsion since he could trick Klaus who was an Original. He could also manipulate dreams and had telepathic abilities. Not to mention super ability and excellent combat skills that he had mastered over decades.
In the pilot of TVD, it was suggested that Damon could turn into a crow or a dog, and could even manifest fog. Later on, in the show, his powers are more logically explained but he’s stronger than Stefan as he’s on a steady human blood diet and is thus physically more intimidating than his brother.
He also has telepathic abilities that he often uses to communicate with Elena and some instances suggest that he was more agile and alert than Stefan because he was quick to act on a threat.
Tristan and Aurora
Tristan and Aurora are some of the first sired vampires to ever exist. The original family of vampires create Tristan and Aurora. While Aurora was the first vampire turned by Rebekah, her brother Tristan was the first vampire turned by Elijah – in the year 1002.
With over 1,000 years of experience as vampires, even if most of that time was spent locked away and suffering, the two really know how to use their skills. Even though Aurora’s mind is fractured from everything that she’s endured, she manages to go up against Klaus and Hope multiple times, being smart enough to flee when she sees that she isn’t strong enough to beat them. While Aurora really seems to be the stronger fighter of the siblings, Tristan was able to control Aurora for much of their time together, making him even more powerful.
When The Vampire Diaries first began, it didn’t seem like anyone could be more than one supernatural being at a time. Witches and vampires were separate creatures. Witches, however, could become vampires, and even still maintain a link to their magic in death.
That’s true of the Heretics, a coven of witches who were all turned by the mother of Damon and Stefan Salvatore. In life, they all had the ability to siphon magic from other sources, which is what seemingly allowed them to maintain use of magic in death.
A lot has been speculated about the source of Katherine’s powers, but the fact that she was 500 years old gave her enough experience and wisdom to trick every vampire in the world. Katherine’s instincts were her biggest strength. Besides her super strength and telepathic abilities, she also had extraordinary powers of manipulation.
Not only was she able to take over hell as its new ruler after Arcadius’ death, but it was revealed that she was the one who had originally manipulated Arcadius.
Hope is a tribrid, activating her werewolf, vampire, and witch sides in The Originals. With the combination of skills and strengths of three different supernatural beings, Hope is easily one of the most powerful characters in the franchise. With Legacies being cancelled just as she came into her powers though, it’s hard to know the full extent of what she can do.
Her blood can already heal and can be used to sire vampires and hybrids, which is an ability only one other vampire has, her father Klaus, the hybrid. But considering Hope’s age, she will need to work on channeling her powers at the Salvatore School to be able to master her strengths.
The Original Siblings
It’s easier to club the Original siblings (all except Klaus) in terms of power because although Elijah (followed by Freya) was revered as the most powerful and competent original, the breadth of their powers was more or less the same.
They were all turned vampires together so, in spite of being incredibly powerful, their range of abilities looks very similar give or take certain skill sets. Elijah is widely deemed to be the best fighter and is super agile, and perhaps the most skilled in combat.
Marcel was already a vampire when he was turned into an upgraded original vampire which means his already competent skill sets were enhanced, and he became even more powerful. Marcel is more than two hundred years old, and he proved to be very skilled in vampiric combat as he has even overpowered Klaus on a few occasions.
It’s also important to note that Marcel’s powers were superior to the other Originals. The spell had amplified his powers and made his bite lethal; he became so strong as an upgraded original that he was even seen throwing Elijah around.
Initially, Alaric studied vampires and hunted them because he believed a vampire had murdered his wife. Because he already had so much knowledge about how to defeat vampires, he was an especially good fighter when he transitioned to become one himself.
Of course, his transition was tied to magic, and he was enhanced beyond just being a normal vampire. Alaric had the strength of an enhanced original vampire, and then an original vampire, before he was stripped of his supernatural connections. He might not have had the years of experience that Klaus or Elijah had, but he had the same level of strength and reflexes they did when he was a vampire.
Like Tristan and Aurora, Lucien is turned into a vampire in 1002, though he is turned by Klaus, and encouraged by Klaus to be a bit more reckless with his power. Lucien spends centuries with both Tristan and Aurora as part of the Trinity of childhood friends. Like his friends, his years provide him with an edge over new vampires.
Lucien also had another edge though. Thanks to an immortality spell, he had increased strength and stamina to make him on par with an enhanced, or upgraded, original vampire. Lucien is even stronger than Alaric as a result.
Klaus was quickly established as the most fearsome vampire when he was introduced in TVD. He wasn’t just an Original vampire but also a hybrid. From his strength to senses to healing powers and even telepathic abilities, Klaus was more superior to his siblings since he had both vampire and werewolf genes in him.
His blood almost carried a powerful sire bond which enabled him to create an army of loyal hybrids, entirely subjected to his wishes. Plus, Klaus was also more invincible than the rest of the Originals since he could only be killed by the white oak stake.
Mikael has proved many times that he’s stronger than Klaus, and of course much more powerful than his other children. Many fans have questioned this detail, but it makes sense. Mikael was already a revered Viking warrior when he was turned by Esther into an original vampire, while Klaus was an untriggered werewolf.
Upon turning, Mikael became the strongest of them all, considering his prowess in warfare. In the present day, Klaus is a deft hybrid who is in command of all his abilities, Mikael overpowered him quite easily, despite not being a hybrid. Also, he only drank from vampires which may have made him stronger.
Silas is the world’s first immortal who’s also the most powerful vampire in the TVD universe, although his powers have only been used as plot holes. His telepathic abilities are so heightened that he can create really convincing illusions; at one point he was able to make Klaus believe that he was dying, so he can make people see or believe whatever he wants.
He can also shape-shift and was a witch as a human so advanced sorcery is also part of his skill set and makes him such a feared supernatural being.