Doppelgänger is a living breathing double of ones self.
The first doppelgänger line introduced in the series is thePetrova doppelgänger line, of which Amara is the progenitor and Katherine Pierce, Elena Gilbert and Tatia are doppelgängers. A Petrova doppelgänger is estimated to be born every 500 years. Another doppelgänger bloodline, from the Salvatore bloodline, descends from Silas, whose only known doppelgänger is Stefan Salvatore, although according to Qetsiyah, there were Salvatore doppelgangers that preceded Stefan.
- Katherine Pierce - Deceased
- Stefan Salvatore - Undead
- Silas - Deceased
- Amara - Deceased
- Elena Gilbert - Undead
The phenomenon of the doppelgänger occurs to counterbalance a disruption to nature's law that all living things must die. Qetsiyah, one of the most powerful witches and member of a very gifted people called The Travellers, created a spell for immortality. Silas stole the Immortality elixir and used it on himself and his lover, Amara. Disrupting that balance when they became truly immortal, Silas and Amara inadvertantly created a line of mortal shadow selves, or doppelgängers.
Over two thousand years ago in ancient Greece, a young warlock named Silas was engaged to be married to Qetsiyah, a witch. Together, they were the most powerful members of a gifted people called Travellers. Silas told Qetsiyah that he wanted their love to last forever, even beyond death, and he convinced her to create a spell that would make them immortal. On the night that their wedding ceremony was to take place, Silas absconded with the elixir Qetsiyah had created, and as Qetsiyah watched plant life wither before her eyes, she knew that not only had Silas taken the elixir, he had also given her portion to someone else. She sought out Silas and found him in the wilderness with another woman – her handmaiden, Amara, was Silas' one true love, and she had taken Qetsiyah's share of the immortality elixir. Silas, having left Amara alone, returned to their hiding place to find Qetsiyah crouching over the chalice that had held the elixir. He cautiously enquired after Qetsiyah's purpose, and she explained that, to follow up her first gift of the immortality elixir, she had brought a second gift: the cure for immortality. Silas was dumbfounded, hardly believing her, but she insisted that it worked, as she had already used it on another immortal. Filling with dread, Silas ran into the tent he had shared with Amara, only to find blood soaked into every surface, as though someone had been brutally slaughtered there. Qetsiyah followed him into the tent and lifted a bloody human heart out of the chalice, admitting that she had slit Amara's throat before ripping her heart out. After Silas refused to take the cure, Qetsiyah trapped him on a desolate island in an underground cave, where he desiccated for two thousand years, entombed with the cure.
One major consequence of Silas and Amara becoming immortal was the creation of two successions of shadow selves, or doppelgängers. Their immortality had violated Nature's law that all living things must die, and so the doppelgängers came to exist as versions of Silas and Amara that can die. According to Qetsiyah, many identical replicas of Silas and Amara have been born over the centuries, finding each other time and time again as though drawn together by destiny. However, the exact number of doppelgängers that have existed is not certain, as only four doppelgängers have been identified by name:Stefan Salvatore is the only Silas doppelgänger that has been identified thus far, while Tatia, Katerina Petrova, and Elena Gilbert have been identified as Amara's.
Tatia and the Original VampiresEdit
Tatia was a descendent and doppelgänger of Amara who lived in America during the 11th century as a contemporary of the Mikaelson family. Even though she had already had a child by another man, bothElijah and Klaus fell in love with her. Seeking to end their feud, their mother, Esther, took her away. They later learned that it was Tatia's blood that laced the wine they consumed the night their mother turned them into vampires. Although it has not been explicitly stated, it is inferred that it was Tatia that Esther sacrificed to bind the hybrid curse.
- Main article: Hybrid Curse
The notion of the doppelgänger as a class of supernatural beings was introduced in the episode Rose by the character of the same name. Until that point, the term was used simply to describe Elena's uncanny resemblance to the vampire Katherine. Rose explains that Elena is a Petrova doppelgänger, and that she is one of the necessary components in a ritual to break the Sun and the Moon curse, which allegedly caused vampires to be ruled by the sun and werewolves to be ruled by the moon. Rose had originally tried to hand Elena over to Elijah, in an effort to earn back his and Klaus' favor, but after Elijah kills her friendTrevor, Rose decides to tell Elena and the Salvatores what she knows about Klaus. Rose's story is corroborated by Katherine, who tells Elena about how Klaus had wanted to use her in the sacrifice five hundred years before – to "drain every single drop of blood" from her body.
In the episode Klaus, Elijah reveals to Elena that the Sun and the Moon curse was fake, and the real curse was one that had been placed on Klaus to suppress his werewolf nature in order to prevent him from becoming a hybrid. He explains that five hundred years ago, Klaus had intended to sacrifice Katerina in the ritual, but she thwarted him by turning herself into a vampire, thus rendering herself useless – the doppelgänger had to be human for the ritual to break the curse.
In The Last Day, Elena surrenders herself to Klaus, and in The Sun Also Rises, after Jules the werewolf and Jenna the vampire have been sacrificed and their blood spilled over the moonstone by the witchGreta, Klaus drains Elena of her blood until she dies, and thus successfully breaks the Hybrid Curse.
Fortunately for Klaus, Elena actually survives the sacrifice, and in The Reckoning, Klaus discovers fromEsther (via Bonnie and Matt, who had contacted Vicki on the Other Side) that the blood of the Petrova doppelgänger is required to create more hybrids like himself. After a werewolf drinks Klaus' blood and he kills them, once they reawaken they must drink Elena's blood in order to complete the transition and become a hybrid.
Silas' Return and Qetsiyah's ResurrectionEdit
In the twenty-first century, a man named Atticus Shane sets in motion a series of events that leads to the resurrection of the immortal Silas. Once he has regained his strength, Silas manipulates those around him to further his agenda: Bonnie must complete the Expression Triangle and destroy the veil, while Klaus must find the cure and return it to Silas. These things all occur to some extent – Bonnie completes the triangle and drops the veil, while Silas gets a hold of the cure – but Silas' plan goes awry when Bonnie subdues him and turns him to stone, and Alaric nabs the cure and gives it to Damon.
Later, while trying to resurrect Jeremy, Bonnie dies and the spell on Silas breaks. When Stefan is about to dump Silas's body into the quarry, Silas appears and reveals to Stefan his true form; they look exactly alike, and Silas explains that Stefan is his shadow self and doppelgänger, before locking Stefan in a safe and dropping it into the quarry.
Sometime when the veil was down, Qetsiyah managed to return from the Other Side in order to take matters into her own hands. After freeing Stefan and telling him her version of the story between her, Silas, and Amara, she uses Stefan in a spell to link him to Silas, then fries his brain, which in turn deprives Silas of his mind control abilities.