'Vampire Diaries' Finale Week
The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries Finale Countdown: Nina Dobrev's Doppelgängers, Ranked

Over the course of The Vampire Diaries‘ eight seasons, “doppelgänger” went from being that word you couldn’t spell to that word you couldn’t escape. And if you thought it was exhausting keeping up with it all, just imagine what Nina Dobrev went through.

Between her appearances on TVD and The Originals, Dobrev has assumed four (very) different roles, ranging from Tatia — the ancient, exotic village lady trapped in a hopeless triangle with two brothers — to Elena, a human-turned-vampire-turned-human… also trapped in a hopeless love triangle with two brothers. (OK, I guess some aspects of her characters remained consistent.)

In celebration/denial of the show’s upcoming series finale — airing Friday at 9/8c on The CW — we’re playing favorites, ranking Dobrev’s doppelgängers from Amara to best:

4. AMARA | It might seem a little unfair dumping Amara in the No. 4 slot, considering our time with her was so limited — and when we did see her, she was either screaming, back-stabbing or begging for her life — but I’m sticking by it. Did Qetsiyah go a little too far by faking Amara’s death, then anchoring her immortal body to the Other Side, forcing her to experience literally every death for the next 2,000 years? Of course she did… but not enough to bump Amara up to No. 3. (Sorry, girl. Thanks for giving us all the doppelgängers, though!)

3. TATIA | You want to talk about building hype for a character? Try hinting at her existence in Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries (2011), then waiting until Season 2 of The Originals (2014) to finally introduce her. By the time we met Tatia, she was dripping with rich, familiar history. A cautionary tale for all undead brothers, Klaus and Elijah’s love for Tatia — whose blood was used in the spell that turned them into vampires — is what led to their initial estrangement. (Too bad they can’t blame her on all of their subsequent estrangements.)

2. ELENA | Elena might be the most basic person on this list — if she had an Instagram, it would be all inspirational quotes and hot dog legs — but she’s also the most invaluable. Despite Stefan taking ownership of the story in the pilot, it was through Elena’s eyes that we entered this crazy world of vampires, witches, werewolves and, of course, doppelgängers. She also got to live out every viewer’s fantasies, first by bagging both Stefan and Damon (and Matt), then by getting to see what life would be like as a vampire… before quickly curing herself and returning to normal. Like Hannah Montana before her, Elena got to experience the best of both worlds. If you hate her, it’s only ’cause you ain’t her.

1. KATHERINE | Seriously, who else did you think I’d put on top of this list? Like the world’s sexiest cockroach, Katherine Pierce has proven herself to be equal parts devious and indestructible. When Klaus planned to sacrifice her in the 15th century, she had Rose turn her into a vampire; when she was turned back into a human and her body began deteriorating, she had her spirit secretly transferred into Elena; and when she was finally defeated and sent to hell, she took over as its damn queen. Frankly, I’m curious to see how she’s dealt with in Friday’s series finale — because you know she’s not going (back) down without a fight.

Does our ranking match yours? Vote for your favorite doppelgänger below, then drop a comment with your thoughts.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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29 Comments
  1. Wrstlgirl says:

    Hahaha, this was the reason I dumped The Vampire Diaries, sorry not sorry, the doppel nonsense was bad. Then I came back and dumped it again this season during the Siren arc. Now I’m back for the end :-) Katherine is by far the only character Nina played that I liked.

  2. Drew says:

    I honestly never had a favorite doppelganger, but Katherine was definitely the most mischievous. I loved when she and Elijah had a road-trip (was that on TVD or TO?) and she always evoked the most emotional responses from the Salvatores.

    But what I’m really looking forward to the ranking of all of the villains on TVD. That story is coming, right Andy??? Pretty please?? But how to rank them is going to be fun: Least worthy to most worthy opponent? Prettiest? Most enduring? Most charming? Most impactful? So many ways to go with this…. I expect a slide show!

    • Sarah says:

      Oh, I love that idea. Since part of the love I felt for this show was always due to it’s good villains. My favorit character of all time is a villian. So please, that ranking has to come.

    • jbj says:

      If TVLine hasn’t done it already, check with TVGuide. I’ve definitely seen one around.

  3. Todd says:

    These retrospectives are painful because they remind me of how good the series was in its first three seasons. The breakneck pace of the storyline as it unfolded throughout season one and especially season two was made more compelling by the doppelgänger mythology and Nina’s performances. Introducing Tatia in The Originals briefly was also a nice bonus for fans, and I wish they had left the doppelgänger story at that. Introducing Amara, and Silas as Stefan’s doppelgänger, was not only overkill but inconsistent with and a retcon of the brilliant mythology established in season two.

    • Jane says:

      I actually enjoyed Silas, he was funny. But yes, Stefan being a doppelganger was stretching imagination too much and it didn’t do any favours to Stelena who were then explained as just two doppelgängers magically attracting to each other or smth

    • Ella says:

      There were some truly amazing things in the first few seasons. I loved having Katherine as the big bad only to have her be completely terrified of Klaus when he was introduced. They really never matched her and The Originals in terms of villians. Kai was fun, I’ll admit but not nearly as menacing seeming and most of the others kinda flopped.

      • Gift says:

        Katherine’s was bad but to be compared to Klaus when he was first introduced. He was was terrifying nd so was is whole family besides klaus, kol was the other waste of them, he never played nice at all not to his family or anyone else. Then came kai too who had no heart at all.

  4. Eliza says:

    The only basic thing is your understanding of the characters, Andy.

  5. Jane says:

    1. Katherine
    2. Katherine
    3. Katherine
    4. Elena in small dosses

  6. IgE says:

    Katherine Pierce forever HBIC. Even when she turned back human she remained as fierce as ever. I’ll never forget when she crashed that car into the tree!
    I agree with the Amara and Silas thing being overkill. As far as I’m concerned Tatia is the the first doppelganger.

  7. Gospino says:

    #1 Elena. The show could survive without Katherine, who was ok only in small doses. Really went downhill without Elena, though,

  8. Superwoman says:

    I like Vampire Elena…human Elena ..nah!

  9. Superwoman says:

    Andy I’m sure going to miss your TVD articles…I have to say though, in reading your articles over the years, I have to commend you for being so neutral….Even to this day I have no clue as to which endgame you are most hoping for. Hopefully you can clue us in before the finale.

  10. BrianR says:

    Katherine is #1 and Elena is whiney little ***** who only became interesting as a vampire and then ruined that by having an escape route of a cure that Bonnie had to procur from an alternate dimension. They never should have killed Katerine or her daughter for that matter. Come on guys keep a few handy doses of Klaus werewolf bite cure around for emergencies that seem to happen every other week.

  11. BrianR says:

    As an aside, one thing I always hoped to happen was for Katerine to take vamp Elena under her wing and teach her how to be a real vampire and not so emo. That would have been a great arc but oh well great ……………………….grandma Katherine just didn’t play well with her progeny. A shame, could have be real cool to watch as Damon and Stephan try to chase down the doppleganger twins as they lay waste to the south.

    • Katherine Pierce says:

      I wanted this to happen too. The small Katlena scenes we got were so powerful and Nina has insane chemistry with herself lol. The tiny nice scene they had where Katherine thanks Elena for choosing to let her live when Katherine was trying to kill her gave me feels.

      We could’ve had it aaaalll but no, gotta have more shots of Ian eye acting.

  12. Stedelerine says:

    there is no point making this list all of them was #1
    1, Katherine, Elena, Amara, Tatia
    but the writers should have screw up Katherine after 5×11 with the body-swapping mess

  13. Robert45 says:

    The first season finale was one of the best finales that i had seen in a very long time between Damon and Elena’s make out scene on the porch and then when she walked into the house and revealed herself to be Katherine and cut off David Anders fingers. Great finale – shame it went downhill after that. I think I dumped it when Klaus wouldn’t disappear and the show became all about Delena. Did Kevin lose all of his Dawson’s Creek writers? Now that was how you tell a good love story where you were guessing right up until the last episode who the girl would end up with.

  14. Deion says:

    Great list. Elena was the worst. The show wasn’t it’s best after Nina Dobrev’s departure, but it sure wasn’t because of a lack of Elena. A lack of Katherine we can talk about, but her story was pretty well wrapped up, so I can’t complain. Someome tell me when Kat Graham is next on TV. Preferably something with her and Ana Naomi King.

  15. Gift says:

    it’s Katherine Katherine Katherine Katherine Katherine all the way.

  16. jbj says:

    I’d switch Amara and Tatia, if only because Amara allowed Nina Dobrev to show off her physical comedy skills.

    On a side note: I recently listened to the How Did This Get Made Podcast for the new XXX movie, and the hosts totally gave her props without even knowing who she was. They are a bunch of comedians, and they even speculated that the filmmakers gave her extra “unscripted” material to punch up the movie. They played back a couple of her scenes to demonstrate how Vin Diesel’s dialogue was so generic compared to her zippiness that they were probably recorded in post. Granted, it’s not hard to outshine Vin Diesel…

  17. Katherine Pierce says:

    Yesss Andy Swift Yessss. Katherine is by far the best. She’s the best character of all time in my eyes so I’m slightly biased but unlike Elena, Katherine got to have her own goals.

    Elena really got shafted in the show once it turned away from Elena and co save the day/Elena, too Elena tries to figure out if she’s going to break up or make up with Damon today or tomorrow.

    Even when Katherine was turned into a comic relief character and was kind of out of character from the evil mastermind we’ve grown to love, she still got to pursue her own interests.