|“||The sun is killing me. My eyes are on fire... I'm hungry... Could you just not talk so loud? My head, it hurts. I need quiet!||”|
The Transition is the process in which a human, witch or werewolf, who undergoes the process of transitioning into a vampire, and is noted as being neither alive nor dead due to the effects of vampire blood in the body after death. The transition between vampire and human can lead to either death or vampirism.
A human who had consumed vampire blood and has subsequently died with the blood in their system will be magically revived as an undead vampire, just like the vampire who sired them. The exact nature of the human's death is irrelevant to this process; the only condition that must be met is that the body has to be more-or-less intact and able to function once they reawaken in transition. If the head, or the heart are missing in the time of death, the person in question will not wake in transition; but simply stay dead. Currently, it is unknown what will happened to a person who lost other organs, such as a liver, or kidneys, and woke up in transition. Most fatal injuries, such as snapped necks, slit throats, stab wounds, and shattered bones from falls will be healed before the fledgling vampire awakens in transition. Furthermore, the person must be mortally wounded or ill to the point that conventional means cannot save their lives, otherwise the vampire blood in their system will only heal whatever non-fatal wounds or illness that the victim sustained prior to dying. This was demonstrated by Jeremy Gilbert when he attempted to turn himself into a vampire in Founder's Day—he drank a vial of Anna's vampire blood before taking an entire bottle of Vicodin to kill himself, and since the medication wasn't enough to end his life, the vampire blood simply healed him of the damage it caused. However, in recent years, it has been discovered that there are several illnesses and conditions that cannot be cured by ingesting vampire blood, such as cancer and tuberculosis. In the case of tuberculosis, those who have the disease will not be healed by ingesting vampire blood, and if they die from the condition, they will be healed of the diseases effects and will awaken in transition, as demonstrated by both Lillian Salvatore and her progeny, Lorenzo St. John. Those who die of cancer with vampire blood in their system will still have cancer even as a vampire, as the mutated cells will continue to rapidly multiply as a result of the vampire blood speeding up their regenerative capabilities.
Following a human's mortal death after consuming vampire blood, the recently deceased will awaken in a state of transition. In order to complete the transition into a vampire, the person must then consume a significant amount of human blood, at least a sip's worth, within the next twenty-four hours, or else they will die. Vampires can only feed on human blood to complete their transition, though once they complete this process, they can then choose to feed on blood from other sources, such as the blood of animals, or even that of other vampires. Until a vampire drinks human blood to complete their transition, they will be not be susceptible to the standard weaknesses of the species they are soon to become (i.e. they can still walk in sunlight and can enter homes without an invitation). However, some vampires and hybrids in transition have demonstrated vampire abilities despite having yet to feed on the blood they need to officially become vampires; most commonly, these abilities are super-strength and the appearance of vampire fangs. Stefan Salvatore is one such case of the former, as he accidentally threw his middle-aged father across the room when he went to say goodbye to him, as he had originally planned not to transition. Once the vampire completes their transition, they will develop the rest of their supernatural abilities, such as super senses, speed, accelerated healing, mind compulsion, and their true vampire face.
As far as the general public of the supernatural community knows, only humans can be changed into vampires, and werewolves can be changed into werewolf-vampire hybrids. However, to become a hybrid, it requires the werewolf to have died with either the blood of the Original hybrid, Niklaus Mikaelson, or the blood of his daughter, Hope Mikaelson, in their system in order to be transformed. Those werewolves who die with Klaus' blood in his system will need to complete their transition into hybrids by feeding upon the blood of a human Petrova doppelgänger (as the same blood that was used in the spell to create the Original Vampires, which spawned their regular-vampire progeny). Because of this requirement, a hybrid whose first consumption of blood comes from any other human besides a doppelgänger will be transformed into an unstable version of a hybrid that will ultimately become rabid and die an agonizing death; this unstable hybrid becomes so out of control that they are typically mercy-killed before that point. However, werewolves who die with Hope's blood in their system can be successfully turned into hybrids by also feeding on Hope's blood after they awaken to complete their transition, as she is the first of her kind (a true vampire-werewolf-witch hybrid who was born as such and the only known vampire/hybrid who is fully alive) whose blood possesses different mystical properties than her father's.
Witches can also be turned into vampires, but with one caveat—since Nature has deemed witches to be their servants and considers vampires to be abominations of nature and therefore cannot retain their magic as a result of their immortality. Nature's belief is that having the supernatural abilities of both species would be an enormous imbalance of power for which it could not stand. As a result, one cannot be both a witch and a vampire, and those witches who die with vampire blood in their system will lose their connection to magic upon waking in transition and will instead become vampires instead of hybrids. There is only one exception; siphoners. They are unique, aberrant witches that stems from the Gemini Coven who does not possess or generate their own magic but can still practice witchcraft by absorbing or "siphoning" the magical power from enchanted objects and supernatural beings. Upon their transition, they're turned into witch-vampire hybrids and retain their ability to siphon, and subsequently use, magic. This also allows them to siphon from their own own vampirism, a source of limited magic that they can siphon and cast spells as they desire. Cast out from their coven, they were taken in by Lillian Salvatore and formed their own coven, known as the Heretics.
Powers and Abilities
The Transition does bestow certain vampiric abilities to the transitioning would-be vampire as he or she undergoes the process.
- Memory Gain: Vampires who wake up in transition always remember the memories of things they were compelled by vampires to forget while they were still human. This is due to the rule that vampires cannot be Compelled except by an Original.
- Super Strength: Although not yet fully vampire, a person in transition is stronger than they were as a human. They can easily, even accidentally, throw a grown man across a room with enough speed and force to injure them.
- Super Speed: While not possessing the blurring speed of a transitioned vampire, humans in transition are able to move with enough speed and force to, when combined with their super strength, thrown grown men across a whole room.
- Enhanced Senses: People seem to have some degree of enhanced senses before completing their transition, though they appear to be very unfocused and cause lots of distraction and pain, such as things seeming too loud. This is all shown in detail during Elena's transition in Growing Pains but Vicki Donovan also showed shades of this (saying things like that people were talking too loudly when they weren't). Enzo also said that the sound of waves was "deafening" and the faint glow of the night "blinding" when he transitioned.
- Plane Walking: A person in transition is able to pass through the physical plane to other planes such as the Ancestral Well, however, they need a witch to aid doing so.
- Lack of Blood: If a vampire in transition does not consume blood within twenty-four hours after their human death, they will die. After Bill Forbes was woke up in transition, he decided not to consume blood and eventually chose a human death. Likewise, Ivy chose to die a witch and refused to complete her transition. However, if blood is consumed, the transition will be completed and the former human (or witch) becomes a vampire.
- Hunger: Vampire in transition will often be really hungry, a sign that what the body is pushing them to feed and complete the transition. Stefan recounts that after he woke up in transition, his muscles ached and he felt sick. After Vicki started to turn, she was very hungry. On the other hand, some people who go through the transition, will find food taste to be terrible; so was the case for Elena, when Stefan made her a sandwich.
- Cancer: Vampires in transition are still affected by cancer. The regenerative capabilities gained by the vampire blood within their system however speeds up the cancer resulting in their human death. Josette Laughlin described the effects as a "Stage X," which doesn't exist as Colin was previously terminal at Stage IV. Such affects result in a beyond terminally ill, immortal-vampire patient with heightened emotions.
- Sunlight Sensitivity: The sun doesn't burn a vampire in transition, but they will be sensitive towards it, their eyes will hurt, and they will get uncomfortable in the sun.
- Pain: The gums of vampires in transition often hurt, as their canine teeth or their lateral incisors is pushing to extend from the inside of their jaws into razor-sharp fangs.
- A vampire in transition is not affected by the Serratura, as they are immune to the spell bound device. The reasoning behind this, is since the Serratura only affects the living and the dead, vampires in transition are not considered dead nor alive.