|“||Doppelgängers. They're powerful, mystical, naturally recurring...||”|
Doppelgängers, also known as Shadow Selves or Mortal Shadow Selves, were a supernatural occurrence that were created by Nature. After Silas and Amara became true immortals by consuming Qetsiyah's immortality elixir, they violated the natural law that all living things must die. Nature found a balance by creating mortal shadow selves that could die. For this reason, doppelgängers have existed for as long as immortals, having been born and died in the place of Silas and Amara.
There are only two doppelgänger "lines" that rippled throughout history, colloquially known as the Salvatore and Petrova doppelgängers. Stefan Salvatore and Tom Avery are Silas' doppelgängers while Tatia, Katerina Petrova and Elena Gilbert are Amara's.
With Elena's death in I Was Feeling Epic, doppelgängers are extinct.
Qetsiyah, one of the most powerful witches of all time and member of very gifted people called the Travelers, created a spell for immortality with the intention that she and her true love, Silas, would drink it together at their wedding. However, Silas stole the immortality elixir and used it on himself and his true love, and Qetsiyah's handmaiden, Amara. When they drank the immortality elixir, they violated the natural law that all living things must die, so Nature found a balance by creating mortal shadow selves of Silas and Amara that could die in their place.
According to Qetsiyah, many identical versions of Silas and Amara have been born over the centuries, finding each other time and time again as though drawn together by destiny. However, it was later revealed by Markos that he had cast the spell on the two respective lines of doppelgängers to draw them together so they could eventually break the curse on their people by harvesting the blood of the sole remaining doppelgängers of each line.
Over two thousand years ago in ancient Greece, a young witch named Silas was engaged to be married to Qetsiyah. Together, they were the most powerful members of a gifted people called the Travelers. 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 the plant life around her wither before her eyes, she realized that not only had Silas taken the elixir and left her at the altar, 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.
Silas returned to their hiding place to find Qetsiyah crouching over the chalice that had held the elixir they were to drink at their wedding. He cautiously inquired after Qetsiyah's purpose for being there, so 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. Filled 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. She then gave him an offer to take the cure and spend the rest of his human life with Qetsiyah, an offer that Silas refused.
In retribution for betraying her, Qetsiyah used Amara's petrified immortal body to create the Anchor to her supernatural purgatory ,known as the Other Side. She then lured Silas to an island off of what is now Nova Scotia, Canada, where she trapped him inside a tomb and gave him a choice: he could take the cure and eventually die a mortal death (which would then cause him to pass on to the Other Side, where he would be trapped with her for eternity in the afterlife) or he could stay immortal and starve into petrification for the rest of his immortal life. Silas ultimately chose the latter and desiccated for the next two thousand years while the cure was left untouched.
Tatia was a descendant of Amara and was her first known shadow-self. She lived in the New World in what eventually became Mystic Falls, Virginia, in the late 10th and early 11th centuries as a contemporary of the Mikaelson Family. Even though she had already had a child by another man, a Viking warrior who had died in battle, both Elijah and Klaus fell in love with her and fought each other for her affections. Tatia ended up choosing Elijah over Klaus in the autumn of 1001 AD. Shortly afterward, their mother, the powerful witch Esther, came to Tatia to ask her for some of her blood to use in a spell, presumably because she knew Tatia was a doppelgänger due to her plan to use a modified version of Qetsiyah's immortality spell to turn her husband Mikael and her five surviving children into immortal creatures after the death of her youngest son. Using Tatia's blood she crafted a spell that turned her family into the Original vampires. This eventually lead to the revelation of Esther's infidelity after Klaus made his first human kill and triggered his werewolf gene. Tatia later found out of the monster that Elijah became and he inadvertently lashed out and killed her due to his uncontrolled blood-lust when she injured her hand. Esther would eventually use her blood once more to cast the Hybrid Curse on Klaus to make his werewolf side dormant in a futile attempt to make up for her sins to her husband and the Spirits of Nature for disrupting the balance.
Powers and Abilities
- Blood: Doppelgängers, being mystical and recurrent, are sources of great magical power.
- The blood of a doppelgänger can be used to link supernatural beings with the help of magic conducted by any witch.
- Their blood can also be used to bind an extremely powerful curse or spell or to use as a power source in spells that require more magic than the witch in question possesses on their own.
- For some spells, the blood must come from a human doppelgänger. For other spells, the blood of a doppelgänger can still be used even if they've been turned into a vampire, as seen in Death and the Maiden when Qetsiyah used Elena's blood (along with Katherine and Amara's blood) to transfer the Anchor from Amara to Bonnie. There are certain spells and uses that require the doppelgänger to be "pure" and human, however, like the undoing of the Hybrid Curse and the siring of hybrids.
- The blood of the last two "living" doppelgängers can be used to reverse spells cast using non-traditional forms of magic, especially Spirit Magic (e.g. turning a vampire back into a (dead) human, undoing the spell that bound the Other Side, reversing the spells cast on daylight rings for vampires, removing a triggered gene in those cursed with lycanthropy, etc).
- Magic: Doppelgängers are still susceptible to the powers of witchcraft. Given the right spells, casting a spell on one doppelgänger will affect that of another.
- Mortality: Despite their mystical occurrence, doppelgängers share similar weaknesses as humans (e.g. age, decapitation, disease, heart-failure, suffocation, etc.).
|Tatia||Tatia was born during the 10th century A.D. in the area where Mystic Falls was to be formed. She was a contemporary of the Mikaelson Family around the early 10th century. During the Middle Ages, Tatia had a child with an unknown man; later in time, she met Elijah and Niklaus Mikaelson, both of whom fell in love with her (especially Klaus, according to Elijah). Esther, the mother of Elijah and Niklaus and also the Original witch, used Tatia's blood in the spell or ritual to create the Original vampires, as part of the wine laced with blood in which Mikael had given his children. Her blood was also part of the spell Esther used to bind Klaus' werewolf side, which resulted in Klaus' werewolf gene being dormant.||Deceased|
|Katerina Petrova||Katerina Petrova (a.k.a. Katherine Pierce) was born in Bulgaria during the 15th century on June 5, 1473. In the year 1492, when she was still a human, she was captured by Klaus. She knew that she was going to die, so she tricked Trevor, one of Klaus' servants, into helping her escape. Katherine was clever, cunning and smart; she knew that if she became a vampire, she'd be rendered useless to Klaus. Katherine stabbed herself with a knife but was given vampire blood by Rose in an attempt to heal her stabbing wound and afterwards, Katherine hung herself and came back as a vampire. In return for her escape, Klaus made her suffer by killing her entire family in Bulgaria, thinking that the doppelgänger would never appear again. What Klaus didn't know was that Katherine had a child out of wedlock that was kept secret and this child continued the bloodline of the Petrova family, leading to the birth of Elena Gilbert. Tired from running, Katherine intended to make a deal with Klaus by giving him the ingredients he needed to break the curse in exchange for her freedom. She planned to hand over the moonstone, Elena Gilbert, Caroline Forbes (a vampire), Tyler Lockwood (a werewolf) and Bonnie Bennett (a witch). When Katherine was about to take out her own doppelgänger, Elena shoves the cure, into her mouth.||Deceased|
|Stefan Salvatore||Stefan Salvatore was born in Mystic Falls, Virginia during the 19th century on November 1, 1846. He was turned into a vampire along with his older brother Damon in the year 1864 by Amara's distant descendant, Katherine Pierce. Like his ancient ancestor Silas, Stefan was involved in a love triangle with Katherine and Damon. Stefan was unaware of the fact that he was a doppelgänger during his human years, and had no idea Katherine herself was a doppelgänger. Stefan was turned into a vampire against his will; Katherine had been compelling Stefan to consume her vampire blood for weeks. When Katherine is captured by the Founders Council Members, Stefan and Damon plot to rescue Katherine from being burned in a church by fire. Although Stefan and Damon do end up rescuing Katherine, Stefan and Damon are both shot dead by their own father Giuseppe. It was then that Stefan transformed into a vampire. When he first transitioned, Stefan suffered from severe hunger for blood and therefore, had problems controlling himself around human blood. Regarding the bloodline of Silas, not too much is known about it, its background and its history. Qetsiyah mentioned to Stefan that she has seen doppelgängers of Silas preceding Stefan while watching from The Other Side. Stefan later received the Cure and became human again, and died a while afterwards.||Deceased|
|Elena Gilbert||Elena Gilbert was born in Mystic Falls, Virginia during the 20th century on June 22, 1992. Elijah was the first one who found out about Elena before Klaus. At first, when Rose told Elijah about this, he didn't believe it. But soon enough he found out that the Petrova Family line didn't end with Katherine because she had given birth to a baby girl, thus continuing the Petrova bloodline. Once Klaus learned of the Petrova doppelgänger, Elena, he came to Mystic Falls, and he kidnapped Katherine, temporarily taking over the body of Alaric Saltzman. As with Katherine, Klaus is responsible for the death of Elena's family, most notably their aunt Jenna Sommers, Elena and Jeremy's legal guardian. He terned Jenna into a vampire and killed her for the sacrificial ritual. Unlike with Katherine, Klaus successfully killed Elena and as a result, he breaks the curse. Fortunately for Elena, John Gilbert had Bonnie form a special spell that bound Elena's life force or essence to his. This spell brought Elena back to life, but in return, killed John and took his life. In The Departed, Jeremy took Elena to Mystic Falls Hospital after discovering her lying unconscious at home. Meredith Fell discovered Elena was suffering from a serious cerebral hemorrhage and secretly injected her with vampire blood to heal her. This action fortunately saved Elena from death. The same day, Rebekah ran Elena and Matt off Wickery Bridge to save her siblings from Alaric, since his life force was tied to Elena. That way, if she died, so would Alaric. Jeremy arrives home to see Alaric, and he talks to him and Jeremy realizes that he is a ghost, and that if he is dead, that means his sister, Elena, must also be dead. Stefan hurried to Wickery Bridge, intending to save Elena, but she insisted that he save Matt's life instead, who was unresponsive after crashing into the water. By the time Stefan pulled Matt out of the water, Elena had drowned and died. Stefan brought her body back to Mystic Falls Hospital, where she woke up, transitioning into a vampire with Damon's blood in her system. She is the last of Amara's doppelgängers. She later reverted back to human after taking the Cure and lived a long life before her death.||Deceased (Flashforward)|
|Tom Avery||Tom Avery was born during the 20th century. He was a doppelgänger of Silas who is discovered in the episode While You Were Sleeping. He is a paramedic who resides in Atlanta, Georgia. In Rescue Me, it is revealed that he was kidnapped by a witch named Hazel and put in a comatose state under a cloaking spell in order to protect him from The Travelers. He is later found by Caroline and Enzo. Caroline snaps Enzo's neck in order to prevent him from killing Tom. Caroline then takes Tom to a diner and compels him to tell her about his life. Confirming he is a good person, she compels him to run, far from the Travelers and Enzo. Before he can leave, however, Enzo catches up to them and snaps Tom's neck, killing him and making Stefan the last living doppelgänger of Silas.||Deceased|
|Amara †||Silas †|
|Tatia †||Unknown Doppelgänger †|
|Katerina Petrova †||Unknown Doppelgänger †|
|Unknown Doppelgänger †||Stefan Salvatore †|
|Elena Gilbert †||Tom Avery †|
Doppelgängers are for most intents and purposes humans; however, they are a supernatural occurrence. In some ways they are considered a supernatural species while in others they are human.
- Death by a doppelgänger counts as a supernatural death. A person wearing a Gilbert Ring will come back to life if killed by a human doppelgänger. This was proven when Elena killed Alaric in Bringing Out The Dead and he resurrected.
- The Gilbert rings do not protect supernatural creatures and is theorized to not to work on a doppelgänger. This has never been confirmed.
- Human doppelgängers, however, can be compelled by vampires like any regular human. Elena was compelled multiple times prior to Stefan giving her a necklace that contained vervain.
- Despite being "supernatural," or at the very least mystical, human doppelgängers cannot be siphoned. For example, Kai attempted to siphon magic from Stefan's vampirism, however unknown to him, he had already been cured. Despite being a doppelgänger, having potent blood used as binding agents in spells, at having the mystical cure within him, Kai was unable to siphon any magic from him.
- Silas and Amara are colloquially, yet wrongly called "doppelgängers" themselves. They are however the progenitors of the doppelgängers.
- The true number of doppelgängers is never addressed and known information seems contradictory based on what is stated in canon or by the executive producers and actors.
- In Original Sin, Qetsiyah states "Century after century, I watched versions of Stefan and Elena find each other, like magnets, always the same story—conquering all, falling in love. You didn't think your brother was Silas' first shadow? Destiny has been trying to get the doppelgängers together forever." Despite this statement, in Death and the Maiden Qetsiyah states "Well, if it isn't the face that launched a thousand doppelgängers." It would seem that the two statements were meant to be literal and hyperbolic, respectively.
- Klaus presumed that at least in regards to the Petrova doppelgängers, they only appeared every half-millennium. Seemingly this is perhaps it took him that long to find one after losing Katherine. This would mean, for example, there would be Amara, the progenitor, (1st century BC), her first unnamed doppelgänger (5th century AD), Tatia, the second, (10th century AD), Katherine, the third, (15th century AD) and Elena, the fourth and final (20th century AD).
- Julie Plec however calls Tatia the "first Petrova doppleganger" while Nina Dobrev states that "[Tatia]'s the original [...] and doesn't have all of this previous history of the doppelgangers preceding her". Michael Narducci goes on to state that" Tatia, the woman who came before that long line of lookalike doppelgangers. [...] Tatia did have a husband prior to her relationship in the past with Elijah. He died in battle, and through that marriage with the man who died, she had a child. That child would have begat the Petrova line, and then after generations and generations, bloop, there would be another doppelgänger, and then after generations and generations, there would be Elena." 
- Since Tom Avery was born in the 20th century chances are is that he was meant for Elena, had she not met Stefan. If the prophecy held truth, then that means that Stefan may have never been meant to meet neither Katherine or Elena, nor fall in love with them. This is perhaps a direct result of their respective vampirism altering their lifespans during the century in which they were born.