The Vampire Diaries Wiki
The Vampire Diaries Wiki

The third season of The Vampire Diaries began airing in the United States in Fall 2011. It was announced on April 26, 2011 that the show was renewed for another season.[1] Julie Plec mentioned that it will be "The Year of the Originals".[2]

Season Summary[]

Season three opens the door to learn more about Klaus and The Original Family as his motives for wanting Stefan on his side are finally revealed. As Stefan sinks deeper into the dark side, Damon and Elena struggle with the guilt of their growing bond even as they work together to bring Stefan back home. The ghosts from Jeremy's past have a powerful message they're trying to deliver to him, not to mention the impact they're having on his relationship with Bonnie Bennett; as Caroline and Tyler grow closer, a war erupts between their families.

The series stars Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert, Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore, Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore, Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy Gilbert, Kat Graham as Bonnie Bennett, Candice Accola as Caroline Forbes, Zach Roerig as Matt Donovan, Michael Trevino as Tyler Lockwood, Matt Davis as Alaric Saltzman and Joseph Morgan as Klaus.

Based on the series of books by L. J. Smith, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is from Alloy Entertainment and Bonanza Productions Inc in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Kevin Williamson ("Scream," "Dawson's Creek"), Julie Plec ("Kyle XY," "Wasteland"), Leslie Morgenstein ("Gossip Girl," "Private") and Bob Levy ("Gossip Girl," "Privileged")


Main article: Antagonists in Season Three


For more information, see Character Appearances.


Note 1: *Katherine appears as a main character through 3x03 - 3x09.

Guest Starring[]

Note 2: **Finn was originally credited as co-starring minor character from 3x133x15.



Writers (14)[]

Directors (11)[]

Episodes List: 2011-2012[]

Image Title Writer(s) Director(s) Airdate #
3x01 The Birthday-Alaric-Elena~Damon The Birthday Writer: Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec Director: John Behring September 15, 2011. #3x01
On the morning of Elena's 18th birthday, Caroline is busy planning a party, but Elena is focused on searching for any clues that might help her discover where Stefan is. Damon is also searching for Stefan, while trying to protect Elena and keep her from doing anything that would draw Klaus' attention. Meanwhile, Klaus and Stefan are busy trailing a werewolf named Ray Sutton. Now working at the Mystic Grill along with Matt, Jeremy is struggling to understand why he keeps seeing the ghosts of Vicki and Anna since he was brought back to life by Bonnie's magic. Meanwhile, Alaric does his best to watch over Elena and Jeremy, while dealing with his grief over Jenna's death. Finally, Caroline and Tyler face a new and unexpected challenge.

3x02 The Hybrid-Jeremy~Matt The Hybrid Writer: Al Septien & Turi Meyer Director: Josh Butler September 22, 2011. #3x02
Klaus puts a plan in motion that will give him even more power, but even with the unwilling participation of werewolf Ray Sutton, things don't go exactly as Klaus had planned. Damon and Alaric reluctantly go along with Elena's new strategy to find Stefan, leading Damon into a dangerous fight with an unexpected enemy. Jeremy turns to Matt for help as he continues to try to understand what the ghosts from his past want from him. Unaware that Caroline is in need of his help, Tyler faces an emotional confrontation with his mother.

3x03 The End of the Affair-Flashback-Stefan-Rebekah The End of the Affair Writer: Caroline Dries Director: Chris Grismer September 29, 2011. #3x03
Klaus and Stefan arrive in Chicago, where Stefan is reunited with a vampire who hasn't really moved on from her interest in him decades earlier. In a flashback to Chicago in the 1920s, Stefan comes face-to-face with a shocking chapter from his wild past. After Damon gets a tip on Stefan and Klaus' whereabouts from an unexpected source, he and Elena follow their trail. Back in Mystic Falls, Tyler is concerned about Caroline and turns to Sheriff Forbes for help.

3x04 Disturbing Behavior~Stefan-Katherine Disturbing Behavior Writer: Brian Young Director: Wendey Stanzler October 6, 2011. #3x04
Still in Chicago, Klaus uses Gloria, a witch he knew long ago, to help him track down missing information that will explain why his plan isn't working. Gloria's spells reveal intriguing glimpses of the truth, but she soon realizes she needs Stefan's knowledge to complete the puzzle. When Stefan suddenly finds himself in danger, help comes from a surprising ally. Back in Mystic Falls, a frustrating new enemy pushes Damon over the brink and he lashes out in a way that will have lasting consequences. Caroline struggles with her own emotional issues, even as she tries to help Elena face her feelings. Jeremy makes a brief but disturbing breakthrough with one of his ghostly visitors, leaving him more confused than ever. Finally, Bonnie has a strange encounter that will affect everyone.

3x05 The Reckoning-Matt-Rebekah-Bonnie-Elena The Reckoning Writer: Michael Narducci Director: John Behring October 13, 2011. #3x05
Despite all that has happened, Caroline is determined to see that Elena, Bonnie, Matt and Tyler all enjoy a traditional Senior Prank Night before the school year begins at Mystic Falls High School. However, when uninvited guests show up, it doesn't take long for the evening to take a deadly turn. Damon convinces Jeremy that he can use his new connection to the other side to help find a way to defeat Klaus. Finally, Klaus deepens his hold on Stefan and uses him for increasingly violent and dangerous purposes.

3x06 Smells Like Teen Spirit-Stefan-Elena Smells Like Teen Spirit Writer: Julie Plec & Caroline Dries Director: Rob Hardy October 20, 2011. #3x06
On the first day of their senior year, Elena, Caroline, Bonnie and Matt are still reeling from recent events, while Tyler seems to be enjoying everything a little too much. Damon is annoyed by a new house guest, and everyone is surprised by the arrival of a new student in Alaric's history class. Matt asks Bonnie for help when he realizes he made a serious mistake. Meanwhile, Stefan continues to carry out his latest assignment from Klaus.

3x07 Ghost World-Anna-Jeremy Ghost World Writer: Rebecca Sonnenshine Director: David Jackson October 27, 2011. #3x07
As Mystic Falls prepares to celebrate the traditional Illumination Night, the town is invaded by spirits of the dead. After a particularly violent encounter with an angry spirit, Damon asks Bonnie to find the reason behind the ghosts' surprising power. Elena convinces Jeremy to use his connection to the other side to help her find a new way to reach Stefan, leading Jeremy to a terrible choice. Finally, Alaric discovers a long-hidden clue to the past.

3x08 Ordinary People-Flashback-Klaus-Rebekah Ordinary People Writer: Nick Wauters
Teleplay: Caroline Dries & Julie Plec
Director: J. Miller Tobin November 3, 2011. #3x08
With help from Elena and Bonnie, Alaric tries to decipher the meaning behind his recent discovery. Elena and Rebekah engage in a mean-girl power struggle, until Rebekah finally reveals some of her family's ancient secrets and the violent past she shares with Klaus and Elijah. Damon tries a reckless new approach to make a breakthrough with Stefan, and they're both surprised by an unlikely ally.

3x09 Homecoming-Klaus Homecoming Writer: Evan Bleiweiss Director: Joshua Butler November 10, 2011. #3x09
On the night of the Homecoming dance, Rebekah opens up to Elena about why the evening is so important to her, leaving Elena with conflicting emotions. Caroline and Matt are both shocked at Tyler's behavior throughout the evening. The night takes a surreal turn when Klaus puts his latest plan into action. Determined to outsmart Klaus, Damon enters into a dangerous partnership, leading to a terrifying turn of events. The band My Morning Jacket performs in the party scenes.

3x10 The New Deal-Elena-Klaus-02 The New Deal Writer: Michael Narducci Director: John Behring January 5, 2012. #3x10
Stefan has hidden the coffins containing the bodies of Klaus' family, and Klaus quickly turns to violence to convince Damon and Elena that no one will be safe until he finds Stefan and gets his family back. Tyler continues to make the most of his new abilities as a hybrid, but he has to face the disturbing consequences of his actions as well. After a terrifying incident, Elena and Alaric grow increasingly concerned about Jeremy's attitude and, ultimately, his safety. Alaric meets the beautiful Dr. Fell, who is intrigued with his amazing ability to heal. While trying to strike a deal with Klaus, Elena delivers news that truly shocks him.

3x11 Our Town~Elena-Caroline~Bonnie Our Town Writer: Rebecca Sonnenshine Director: Wendey Stanzler January 12, 2012. #3x11
Although Caroline is in no mood to celebrate her 18th birthday, Elena, Bonnie and Matt surprise her with a small party in an unusual location. Damon and Stefan disagree on the best way to handle Klaus, and a reckless Stefan decides to test his theory by taking things to dangerous extremes. Bonnie is concerned when Elena tells her about Jeremy's new plans. At a Founder's meeting, Alaric once again runs into Dr. Fell, who is in the middle of an argument with her ex-boyfriend, the medical examiner. Tyler refuses to go along with Klaus' latest demand, and is surprised when Klaus seems to accept his decision.

3x12 The Ties That Bind-Bonnie-Abby The Ties That Bind Writer: Brian Young Director: John Dahl January 19, 2012. #3x12
Bonnie believes her recurring dreams about Klaus' coffins will tell her how he can be killed. The dreams also lead Bonnie to a reunion with her mother, Abby, whom Bonnie hasn't seen for 15 years. At Abby's remote farmhouse, Bonnie and Elena meet Jamie, the young man Abby took in years earlier. Bonnie's sudden appearance catches Abby off-guard, but she does her best to explain the past. Tyler turns to an unexpected ally in his quest to regain his free will. Damon is intrigued by Alaric's new friend, Dr. Fell, and Klaus continues his bitter negotiations with Stefan over control of the coffins containing his family members.

3x13 Bringing Out The Dead-Klaus-Elijah Bringing Out The Dead Writer: Turi Meyer & Al Septien Director: Jeffrey Hunt February 2, 2012. #3x13
Sheriff Forbes delivers some disturbing news to Alaric and Elena about the weapon used in a recent murder. In the Salvatore brothers' escalating quest to kill Klaus, Stefan turns to Bonnie and Abby, while Damon reaches out to an old acquaintance for help in setting up an elaborate plan. Intent on a plan of his own, Klaus hosts a strange dinner party, where he reveals another story from his family's violent past until an unexpected guest brings the party to an end. Meanwhile, Caroline is heartbroken when she is unable to stop a tragedy from unfolding.

3x14 Dangerous Liaisons Writer: Caroline Dries Director: Chris Grismer February 9, 2012. #3x14
Elena is surprised to receive an invitation to a formal ball, and when Damon and Stefan hear the party is being hosted at Klaus' newly renovated mansion, they both insist on attending the event with her. Caroline and Matt also receive invitations to the ball from unexpected admirers. At the elegant party, Elena learns of a horrifying plan that could lead to numerous deaths and she must decide who she can trust with her new information. Caroline discovers a side of Klaus no one would have suspected. Finally, after an evening of violence and dashed hopes, Damon finds a new way to cope.

3x15 All My Children-Kol-Rebekah All My Children Writer: Evan Bleiweiss & Michael Narducci Director: Pascal Verschooris February 16, 2012. #3x15
After starting her day with a startling discovery of Damon's latest indiscretion, Elena is frustrated to find that none of her friends agree with her on how they should react to The Original Family's internal power struggle. Once again caught up in the destiny of the Bennett witches, Bonnie and Abby find themselves playing a part in a ritual to appease the spirits of nature. When Elijah gives Damon and Stefan a dangerous ultimatum that puts Elena in danger, they turn to Alaric and Meredith for help with a plan that leads them to a terrible choice.

3x16 1912-Flashback-Sage-Damon 1912 Writer: Julie Plec & Elisabeth R. Finch Director: John Behring March 15, 2012. #3x16
The present-day murders in Mystic Falls remind Damon of a similar crime spree a century earlier. In flashbacks to 1912, Damon recalls a beautiful vampire, Sage, who showed him a whole new way to exist. Sheriff Forbes warns Damon not to get involved in her investigation, but Damon is convinced she's going after the wrong suspect. Elena and Matt resort to breaking and entering in their search for evidence to prove Dr. Fell is a murderer. For reasons known only to her, Rebekah, becomes interested in locating one of the town's oldest landmarks. Finally, Elena comes to a new understanding of the path her life has taken, and Damon makes an emotional confession to Stefan.

3x17 Break On Through-Rebekah-Damon~Sage Break On Through Writer: Rebecca Sonnenshine Director: Lance Anderson March 22, 2012. #3x17
A century after their first encounter, Damon and Sage meet again at the ceremony to kick-off the restoration of Wickery Bridge. Damon is surprised to learn the reason Sage has returned, and pleased when she devises an unusual method to help him figure out what Rebekah is up to. Abby is having a hard time adjusting to her new reality, despite Bonnie and Caroline's efforts to help. When Damon informs Elena of Stefan's latest struggles, she reaches out to Stefan to help her save a friend in danger, in hopes that it will help bring Stefan even closer to his humanity. Finally, when Damon discovers a new secret weapon, he lets Stefan in on the news.

3x18 The Murder of One-Sage The Murder of One Writer: Caroline Dries Director: J. Miller Tobin March 29, 2012. #3x18
Damon and Stefan focus a new project that will bring them closer to destroying Klaus, and they quickly bring Elena, Caroline and Matt in on the plan. After Klaus threatens someone close to Bonnie, she has no choice but to work on the spell he needs. Meanwhile, Klaus and Rebekah find the perfect motivator to convince Finn Mikaelson to cooperate with them, but Rebekah is more interested in her own brutal plan to take revenge on Damon. Stefan's emotional turmoil leads him to a dangerous confrontation with Klaus and, later, to a heartbreaking moment with Elena.

3x19 Heart of Darkness-Jeremy Heart of Darkness Writer: Evan Bleiweiss & Brian Young Director: Chris Grismer April 19, 2012. #3x19
Elena and Damon set off together to make sure Jeremy is safe in Denver, and to see if his special abilities can help reveal the information they need about ancient vampire bloodlines. It doesn't take them long to learn that Jeremy has been hanging with the wrong people. Stefan and Klaus both go to brutal extremes in their search for the missing weapon. Caroline is thrilled when Tyler returns to town, but Tyler soon suspects that something has been going on between Caroline and Klaus. Matt has his hands full trying to keep Rebekah busy organizing the school's upcoming 1920s Decade Dance.

3x20 Do Not Go Gentle~Bonnie-Meredith Do Not Go Gentle Writer: Michael Narducci Director: Joshua Butler April 26, 2012. #3x20
Alaric finds an unexpected ally to guide him on his dangerous new path, while Damon and Meredith try to figure out what their next move should be. At the schools 1920's Decade Dance, Bonnie asks Jamie to go with her and, at Caroline's suggestion, Elena asks Stefan to be her date. Caroline is pleasantly surprised when Tyler shows up at the dance determined to sweep her off her feet, but Klaus does his best to come between them. The dance takes a deadly turn when Damon and Stefan realize they need the help of Matt, Jeremy and especially Bonnie to undo a spell that could prove devastating for everyone.

3x21 Before Sunset-Damon-Bonnie~Stefan Before Sunset Writer: Charlie Charbonneau & Daphne Miles
teleplay:Caroline Dries
Director: Chris Grismer May 3, 2012. #3x21
Klaus acts on his intentions to leave town with Elena, but finds resistance from a surprising new enemy. Bonnie calls on Abby to help her with a difficult spell. As events spiral out of control, Elena is determined to protect Caroline, Damon and Stefan enlist Tyler's help, while Bonnie and Jeremy take a terrifying risk to make sure her spell is effective. Damon and Stefan have a surprisingly candid conversation about the future.

3x22 The Departed-Flashback-Dream-Jenna-Miranda-Grayson The Departed Writer: Brett Matthews & Elisabeth R. Finch
teleplay:Julie Plec
Director: John Behring May 10, 2012. #3x22
Determined to protect his sister, Jeremy makes a decision that will change everything. In the harsh reality of the present situation, Elena longs for simpler times when her parents, Grayson (guest star Jason MacDonald) and Miranda (guest star Erin Beute), and Aunt Jenna (guest star Sara Canning) were still alive and her biggest concern was her relationship with Matt . Stefan and Damon leave Mystic Falls together on a mission, but soon split up when Elena needs one of them. Caroline and Tyler are forced to make a life-changing decision. Finally, Bonnie makes a secret deal that has heartbreaking consequences.


  • Joseph Morgan (Niklaus Mikaelson) was updated to series regular status this season.
  • Rebecca Sonnenshine has been hired to write a few episodes. She is known for writing psychological horror.
  • Meredith Fell appears in the tenth episode and thus being the last main book character to appear in the series.
  • Sara Canning reprises her role as Jenna Sommers in The Departed.
  • Unlike the two previous seasons, the end of the third season does not end at the Gilbert House, but with a member of the Gilbert Family.
  • Every previous regular cast member is present this season.


Main article: Timeline

A time jump occurs at the beginning of the season from last season's finale As I Lay Dying. If the deleted scenes from Season 2 are canon, then season 3 will begin close to June 22, 2010, which is Elena's birthday. Note: Since Senior Year begins during 3x06, then it's unlikely Elena's birthday is June 22, but has been changed to August, assuming senior year in the show starts up in late August and early September. The Hybrid occurs during a full moon so it's Tuesday, August 24, 2010 according to a full moon calendar. It follows the story until the night of November 6, 2010, with Season 4 beginning on November 7, 2010.



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