|This article is about Elena Gilbert from the altered timeline in the novels. You may be looking for Elena Gilbert from the novels, or Elena Gilbert from the TV series, or Elena Gilbert from the vision created by Markos in the TV series.|
|“|| I’ve got a life in Paris, of course. Friends. A job I love.|
And none of it feels like mine.
I decided I ought to give it a chance. That last night, Damon called me brave. Running back home would be just about the farthest thing from brave I can imagine.
I chose this life, even if I can’t remember it.
And wherever I live, I’ll have to try to figure out how to be normal. Wasn’t that something I longed for, all those years?
It’s not the only thing I ever wanted. Not by a long shot.
But it’s the only one I’ve got.
— Elena in her dairy. Unmasked, Chapter 33
Elena Gilbert's (Full Name: Elena Marie Gilbert) life was altered as a result of her future, alternate self possessing her body on the day she was to meet Stefan Salvatore for the first time and changing the course of the events of the first novel to Unspoken. She is the central character, the protagonist and the alternately a heroine of The Vampire Diaries novel series. Elena is the soulmate of Stefan Salvatore, shortly the former girlfriend of Damon Salvatore, the best friend of Bonnie McCullough and Meredith Sulez, the former best friend-turned-rival of Caroline Forbes, the first love, and the childhood friend and ex-girlfriend of Matt Honeycutt. She is the daughter of Principle Guardian Elizabeth Morrow-Gilbert and Thomas Gilbert, the niece of Robert and Judith Maxwell, the younger half-sister of Katherine von Swartzschild and older sister of Margaret Gilbert.
Elena was born in the small town of Fell's Church, Virginia. Both of her parents had died in a tragic and fatal car accident when she was younger. Because of this, she and her four year old younger sister Margaret, were taken in and were raised by her Aunt Judith Gilbert, who is her father's sister. Throughout the series, Elena is called the 'Golden Girl'. In the first book of the original series, The Awakening, Elena Gilbert is a high school Senior, who is very popular, extremely beautiful, admired by all the girls and the object of affection of many boys in the town of Fells Church.
In The Salvation: Unmasked, this Elena is possessed a day after she returns from Paris by her future, alternate self, who is sent by the Celestial Guardian (the equivalent of angels or gods) Mylea to prevent her timeline from coming to pass as this would lead to her death untimely death. This alternate Elena changes her future by making sure Meredith never knows of the supernatural, letting Bonnie know who she is much sooner, not vowing to make Stefan hers and letting Katherine know they are sisters and receiving her help to prevent an event that will ultimately lead to her death, the deaths of her close friends Caroline, Matt, Meredith and most importantly her teacher Mr. Tanner at the hands of Damon, which all would have had the domino-effect of a future of death and evil and her eventual death. 
"I ...don't think it's vain to say that I am beautiful. If I did not know I was, I would have to have never looked in a mirror or heard a compliment. It's not something I should be proud of—it's just something that was passed down from Mom and Dad.|Elena into her mobile." 
Elena was described to be an angelic classical beauty. She has long, straight hair the blond color of which resembles a soft, pale gold, and its texture is silky and smooth. Her eyes are the color of lapis lazuli (a deep, dark blue), with flecks of gold in them, and her eyebrows and lashes are a darker blonde compared to her hair. It would seem that Elena's blue eyes also had violet highlights in them, given how her homecoming dress was said to bring out the purple of her eyes.
Elena's skin was described by Stefan to be like a magnolia flower, or swans, or alabaster: fair, perfect, and translucent. In fact, her skin is so fair that she does not tan easily, and can get sunburned, and the blue veins of her body are visible to the naked eye.
In terms of physique, Elena is taller than the petite and fine-boned Bonnie, but shorter than the stately and graceful Meredith, and is built sleek and slender in a gorgeous way.
Because of their familial relation, Elena has an uncanny resemblance to her older half-sister, Katherine. However, there were still numerous difference in their physical appearances, as noted by Stefan: Katherine's hair is longer than that of Elena's, to the extent where it spills on the floor and trails behind her, and it was a few shades darker to Elena's blonde. Katherine's eyes were also much bluer than Elena's, and her eyebrows and lashes were silvery-white in coloring while Elena's were a darker blonde to her hair. Last but not least, Elena is taller than Katherine.
Due to her blond-haired, blue-eyed, angelic beauty, Elena was acknowledged to be one of the loveliest and most desirable females in all Fell's Church. In fact, she was so beautiful that she had a dramatic effect on those who surrounded her most intimately: Caroline, one of her childhood friends, later turned against her out of jealousy and spite. Bonnie was occasionally plagued with feelings of inferiority due to the comparisons that she could not help but make between Elena's beauty and her own. Stefan, who guarded his heart as best as he could due to his tragic past, fell deeply and irrevocably in love with her. Even Damon, who could be cruel and capacious, and had entertained himself with many beautiful women over the many years that he had lived, ultimately choose her over Katherine.
The Salvation Series
In The Salvation: Unmasked, Elena is sentenced to death by the Celestial Guardians because Damon broke their deal and killed Henrik Goetsch, who was technically an enhanced human. Her spirit visits an astral plane where she witnesses an empty version of her town and thereafter feels the souls of her parents and the soulmate bond to Stefan calling her from a paradise-like heaven, all she must do to join them is to let go and die. She refuses this, painfully hearing the voices of her friends in the real world.
The Principle Guardian Mylea visits the Earthly Guardian, hoping to convince her to find Peace, but a stubborn Elena insists that there must be something she can do. Mylea eventually offers her something: all the death in her town was due to her decisions. Her relationship with Stefan caused the death of Tanner by a jealous Damon which inevitably lead to Elenaâ€™s first death at the hands of her sister Katherine von Swartzschild, subsequently leading to both their deaths which led Klaus to town, who turned Tyler into a werewolf and killed innocents before Elena killed him with an army of the dead and the help of the Guardians. She then returned from the dead and that event caused the coming of the Kitsune twins, Shinichi and Misao, whom Damon briefly helped and eventually murdered countless lives. Mylea blames all this on Elenaâ€™s earlier constant indecisiveness between the two brothers and that to live, she may have let them go forever. To that end, Elena must travel back in time, possess her past life and change things so her future never existed, effectively creating a new reality. Mylea also warns that whatever decisions she makes will stick and become reality in the new reality she is creating her deadline is the day Tanner was killed.
Elena accepts and awakens in the body of her past self from The Awakening the day she returned from Paris.