The Vampire Diaries Wiki
The Vampire Diaries Wiki

The Awakening is the first book in The Vampire Diaries novel series. It was first published in 1991.


A deadly love triangle

Elena: beautiful and popular, the girl who can have any boy she wants.

Stefan: brooding and mysterious, desperately trying to resist his desire for Elena . . . for her own good.

Damon: dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him.

Elena finds herself drawn to both brothers . . . who will she choose?


Elena starts her senior year of school in the town of Fell's Church with her friends, Meredith Sulez, Bonnie McCullough, Caroline Forbes, and Matt Honeycutt. Caroline promptly becomes competition with Elena for the position of most popular girl. A mysterious, handsome foreign boy named Stefan Salvatore, also enrolls. As Stefan goes to the office, Elena watches him talk to the admissions secretary, Mrs. Clarke, who looks at a list until he starts looking at the secretary. Elena notices that Mrs. Clarke looks somewhat dazed and pulls a form out for him to sign, then handing him a schedule for his classes. All of the girls within the entire school want his attention, but Stefan just brushes them off. This deeply shocks Elena, who has never been brushed off by a boy before. As Elena sits in Ms. Halpern's trigonometry class, she thinks of a way to break the bad news to Matt that she's breaking up with him. After her class, she asks another student, Frances Decatur, to get Stefan's schedule and give it to her at lunch. At lunch, she greets Caroline, but is taken aback by the bitterness and hostility that the girl gives her. She joins Meredith, Bonnie and Frances at the lunch table, being told Stefan's name and given his schedule. Bonnie reveals to her that the biology teacher, Mrs. Endicott, tried to get Stefan to take off his glasses, but he stated that he had a medical condition. Elena sees that she has seventh period, History of Europe, with him and Mr. Tanner as their teacher. Elena decides as a member of the Student Council to show Stefan around, but he treats her coldly, which hurts her.

Stefan joins the high school football team with Matt and plays the position of wide receiver. Through flashbacks, we learn that Stefan is a vampire who was born in Renaissance Florence as the second son of Giuseppe Conte di Salvatore. There he fell in love with a German girl, Katherine von Swartzschild, who had brought to Florence by her father, Baron von Swartzschild, and had been changed into a vampire by Klaus, who had been brought to Katherine by her maid, Gudren, when she was ill and dying. Although Stefan hoped to marry Katherine, their romance became complicated when Stefan's seductive older brother, Damon Salvatore, appeared. Although Katherine told Stefan that she loved him, she also seemed romantically interested in Damon. Katherine was almost an exact double of Elena. Vampires survive in sunlight when they wear lapis lazuli. Katherine has a ring of lapis lazuli and gold. Meanwhile, a number of mysterious and frightening events occur in Fell's Church. A large crow exhibits un-birdlike behavior. Elena and her friends make a blood oath to keep a secret and do whatever Elena asks in relation to Stefan, even giving him the cold shoulder. While at first Bonnie protests since swearing with blood is dangerous, Meredith remarks she knows considering years ago Bonnie had went out with Michael Martin. As it becomes darker, the three girls feel a threatening force that causes them to flee from the town's old cemetery, and Elena loses her hair ribbon in the flight. When Elena and Meredith go to Bonnie's house, they are greeted by the pet Pekingese Yangtze and Bonnie's older sister, Mary. Mary asks them where they had been running from last night, and Bonnie mentions the Wickery Bridge. She tells her not to go out there again, especially alone and at a night as a homeless man had been attacked and partially drained of blood. At first, they thought it might've been an animal, but Dr. Lowen says it's a person, which scares the three girls as they could've been attacked instead.

Stefan experiences fugue states and fears that he has been attacking people during them, even though he has no memory of doing so when he awakes. He remembers that he saw Elena, Meredith and Bonnie at the cemetery until a strong surge of power came through, leaving them to run quickly. As he joins the football team and desires for Elena, he goes up the stairs of Mrs. Flowers' boardinghouse and heads to his room. He begins having more thoughts of Katherine as he lays there, remembering what she had told him about she can only go out in sunlight as long as she wears her lapis lazuli ring. While at school, Elena, Bonnie and Meredith pretend to not be interested about Stefan as Frances comes up to them to tell them a rumor going around. Elena mentions she wants to be loyal to Jean-Claude, who in actuality was a gardener. Elena devises various schemes to pursue Stefan, but Stefan continues to repeatedly avoid her. Stefan is magnetically and strongly drawn to Elena, she reminds him of his past and first love Katherine, and because of this, he is strongly tempted to drink her blood. After Elena, Bonnie and Meredith finish getting ready for Homecoming, her soon to be uncle, Robert Maxwell, mentions he just realized Elena's name is a form of Helen and had thought of Helen of Troy. The girls are escorted by Matt, Raymond Hernandez and Ed Goff to the Dance and Elena begins searching for Stefan. On her search for Stefan, she spots Mr. Tanner, Sue Carson, Tyler until she nudges Matt over to the refreshment table where Coach Lyman is. Elena finally corners Stefan at the Homecoming Dance. She believes he will be unable to refuse her invitation to dance with her, the Homecoming Queen. However, Stefan's date for the evening is Caroline, who foils Elena's plan. To show she is not hurt, Elena leaves the dance with Tyler Smallwood and Dick Carter, two boys who are on the football team and who have shown themselves to be hostile to Stefan in the past. Another girl, Vickie Bennett, goes with them. The four go to the cemetery to deface the funerary statues of Honoria Fell and Thomas Keeping Fell. Elena perceives one statue moving and revealing an empty space beneath, but no one else shares her vision. A drunken Tyler sexually assaults Elena. Stefan appears and rescues Elena by beating up Tyler. Stefan takes her to his room at the boarding house so that she can clean up before he drives her home.

Elena confronts Stefan to ask why he's been avoiding her. His responses are evasive, but they lock hands and then kiss, at which point Elena is completely certain that she's found her other half and her romantic destiny. When Stefan drives Elena home, she learns that Vickie has been found wandering on the road, scratched and raving about having been attacked by some supernatural force. To Elena's confusion, Stefan then seems to draw away from her emotionally. The next day Stefan tries to break up with Elena, but she refuses to let him do so. Without his knowing, she opens a small casket on Stefan's dresser and finds the hair ribbon she lost when fleeing from the cemetery the first week of school. This convinces her that he has secretly loved her from that time. She writes about the hair ribbon and the romance in her diary, also noting that Stefan still seems to be hiding something from her. Elena, Bonnie, and Meredith plan the school's Haunted House for Halloween. Mr. Shelby, the janitor, tells them to leave the door shut and locked so nobody can get it in. After they decide to go with Bonnie's idea involving a druid sacrifice, they hear the football team come inside the gym to take showers. The lights go off and a seductive college-aged boy enters. He nearly persuades Elena to kiss him despite her love for Stefan. When she refuses, he says he may finally have found the girl he's been looking for.

Then he disappears. Elena brings her diary to a slumber party with Meredith and Bonnie. They hold a dumb supper at which Elena invites her future husband to enter Bonnie's house. She does not see Stefan, but the seductive college-aged boy appears. He quotes love poetry and tries to kiss Elena. Elena's head swims and she nearly succumbs, but she manages to resist. The boy reacts with anger but leaves when Elena asks him to do so. Elena then learns that Bonnie's dog has unexpectedly died during the dumb supper and that her diary has been stolen. Over the next few weeks, Elena becomes more concerned at how Stefan seems to be drawing subtly away from her and keeping secrets. For example, he is wearing an object on a chain around his neck, hidden underneath his clothing, and he refuses to talk about it. He appears haunted and sad. Elena is determined to bring them back together and persuade Stefan to trust her completely. Because Stefan confronted their European History teacher, Mr. Tanner, on the first day of school and corrected him about how teenagers behaved during the Renaissance, Elena plans to wear a Renaissance ball gown as her Halloween costume. She believes this will overcome Stefan's resistance to her. Much to her distress, however, Stefan's reaction to seeing her in the dress is shock.

During the Haunted House, Elena sees that many of the seniors that had been present an hour earlier, such as the Student Council, football players, the Key Club, among others, are barely recognizable in their costumes. Mr. Tanner is given the role of Bloody Corpse after Meredith reveals to Elena that Coach Lyman's sick. This requires him to be covered with fake blood with a knife lying nearby; he is supposed to sit up unexpectedly to frighten visitors. When Bonnie leads visitors to see the Bloody Corpse, however, she finds that Mr. Tanner actually is dead and covered with blood. A panic results. Tyler tells everyone that the murderer is probably Stefan Salvatore because the strange violence in Fell's Church began at the time that Stefan arrived in town. This spurious logic turns the crowd into a mob. Elena passes a warning to Stefan through Matt, and Stefan flees back to the boarding house to prepare to leave Fell's Church. Elena follows him and finds Stefan on the roof of the boarding house with blood smeared on his lips, his fangs extended, and dead birds at his feet. In her shock, she falls off the roof, but Stefan leaps after her and catches her in mid-descent. Elena is unhurt. Elena demands explanations at last. Stefan tells her he became a vampire when he and Damon both pressed Katherine to marry them. Katherine told them that she would make her choice between them, and that night she came to Stefan's bed and turned him into a vampire. Stefan believed he had been chosen.

The next day, however, she told Stefan and Damon that she had gone to both their beds, drank both of their blood, and gave them both her blood. She gave each a ring and told them she expected they would all live happily ever after together. Stefan and Damon rejected Katherine's plan and demanded that she choose between them. Katherine fled in tears. The next day, they found her empty dress in the garden and ashes in the dress. A note nearby told them that she had taken off her lapis lazuli ring to commit suicide and thereby bring the brothers back together. Distraught and blaming one another, Stefan and Damon then dueled with swords. Damon stabbed Stefan through the heart. When Stefan fell and Damon bent over him, Stefan stabbed Damon fatally. Both brothers were thereby locked permanently into their vampiric state. Stefan was buried with Katherine's ring and beside Damon. When both woke, they separated in fear and confusion. Stefan lived on animal blood in the streets of Florence until Damon, who had become a powerful mercenary soldier, returned and threatened to kill him unless he left. They saw one another intermittently since that time, with Damon invariably threatening to kill Stefan.

Stefan also explains to Elena that vampires have Powers that include the ability to influence and read minds, the ability to turn into animals, and the ability to influence the weather. Damon drinks human blood and so is more Powerful than Stefan, who tries to lead a moral existence by drinking only animal blood. Lapis lazuli protects vampires from sunlight. The mysterious object Stefan wears on a chain around his neck is revealed to be Katherine's ring. Elena assures a guilt-ridden Stefan that he is not responsible for Katherine's death or Damon's. She also persuades Stefan that he is not responsible for the violence in Fell's Church as he had feared. She now is able to identify Damon as the seductive college-aged boy who nearly persuaded her to kiss him. Since Damon is in Fell's Church and is evil, Elena concludes Damon must be responsible for the violence. He has not shown himself because he has been trying to make Stefan blame himself. Stefan finds Elena's argument convincing.

Over Stefan's objections, Elena then persuades Stefan to drink her blood in order to erase the last boundary between them. After returning Elena to her home, Stefan goes to the woods and uses his Power to call Damon, who appears. Damon admits to killing Mr. Tanner and tells Stefan that he must abandon Elena to Damon, who wants her for himself. Stefan refuses. Damon attacks Stefan and drinks his blood against his will, a process that is extremely painful. When Damon releases Stefan, Stefan attempts to stagger back to his car but is attacked again from behind, after which he falls unconscious. The next day Elena finds Stefan has disappeared. Furious and certain as to who should be blamed, she goes to the cemetery and shouts Damon's name to summon him. Here, the book ends.


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