Never Really Gone! Every ‘TVD’ Character Who Died and Came Back to Life

Welcome to Mystic Falls, home of the casual death and resurrection cycle! The Vampire Diaries introduced fans to beloved characters in its eight seasons, making their goodbyes — even if brief — all the more crushing.

The CW hit made a sport out of killing off its main characters, only to bring them back to life episodes or even seasons later. Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen), Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) and Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis) were among the show’s most frequent victims. Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), Caroline Forbes (Candice King) and Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) also dealt with the high mortality rate.

Other characters were not so lucky. Once they died, they were just allowed back in ghost form. Remember Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) and Enzo St. John (Michael Malarkey)?

For some, the series only allowed so many resurrections. Stefan, for one, died once and for all during the series finale, which aired in March 2017. “To be honest with you, the show probably could’ve ended maybe a year earlier. I felt like we kept it going, but we all knew this was the best possible thing to do,” Wesley told Us Weekly exclusively in October 2018. “You start to run out of story, and I think we had told all the story that needed to be told.”

The actor added: “As far as the Stefan and Damon of it all, I think those guys … they needed to hang up their hats and retire.”

The Vampire Diaries premiered on The CW in September 2009. The supernatural series inspired two spinoffs. The Originals, starring Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin, Charles Michael Davis and Claire Holt, ran for five seasons from October 2013 to August 2018. Legacies, with Danielle Rose Russell, debuted in October 2018.

Scroll to revisit the Vampire Diaries’ frequent deaths and resurrections!


Talk about a rough go of it! Bonnie first died in season 4 when she brought Jeremy back to life. She returned to the land of the living in season 5 but only by becoming the anchor to the Other Side. Her second death took place later that same season when she and Damon became trapped in a ‘90s-era prison world after the Other Side crumbled. The besties made their way back in season 6.

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In season 2, Damon shockingly snapped Jeremy’s neck, killing him in front of Elena. However, the Gilbert ring protected him. Sheriff Forbes accidentally shot Jeremy later in the season, but Bonnie was able to summon him back. Jeremy volunteered to let Bonnie stop his heart for a spell in season 3, but she saved him from total annihilation yet again. Season 4 delivered more mortality for the youngest Gilbert, first dying at Elena’s hand when she stabbed him in the throat while hallucinating and later having his neck broken by Silas. Bonnie resurrected her on-off boyfriend by the end of the season.

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Another frequent victim! Thanks to the Gilbert ring, Alaric repeatedly died and came back to life while human, which led him to turn into his murderous alter ego in season 3. Damon stabbed Alaric with a stake in season 1 when confronted about killing the hunter’s wife. In season 3, his human self was transformed into an original vampire upon his death, though this darker version of Alaric met his end too. Bonnie resurrected the nicer, more lovable, human Alaric in season 5 as the Other Side was destroyed.

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Damon used Matt as bait in his attempt to flip Elena’s humanity switch in season 4, snapping her best friend’s neck in front of her. The gag worked, while the Gilbert ring saved the day. Good ole Sheriff Forbes stabbed Matt in season 5 while possessed, though he later returned to his body via the ring. Earlier in the season, Matt was killed by Silas while wearing the bauble.



Tyler, while possessed, ripped out Stefan’s heart during season 5. Bonnie later brought him back from the Other Side in a mass wave of resurrections.

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The seemingly perpetual human at the center of vampire drama turned in season 3 after Rebekah forced Matt’s truck off the bridge. Elena drowned, only to come back as a blood sucker.

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After surviving a car accident, Katherine suffocated Caroline in the hospital during season 2. With Damon’s blood in her system, she transformed into a vampire upon her resurrection.


Damon and Elena sacrificed themselves to kill a group of travelers during season 5. Their plan to immediately return from the Other Side was thwarted when Bonnie became unable to transport anyone else, leaving the Bennett witch and Damon stuck in a prison world. The pair found a way to Mystic Falls by season 6, though.

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