|“||As a man of science, I always considered magic a cheat. Turns out, I cheat.||”|
Dr. Wesley "Wes" Maxfield was a professor at Whitmore College. His students described him as brilliant in spite of his arrogant teaching style. He studied all of Grayson Gilbert's research, and was aware of the existence of many supernatural creatures, including vampires, werewolves, and witches/Travelers. He was obsessed with conducting his research on vampires, and his focus was on trying to discover a way to force vampires to feed on one another to protect humans from them and eventually eradicate the species completely. Wes made his debut in Season 5 of The Vampire Diaries, during which he functioned as the primary antagonist of the first half of the season.
Not much is known about Wes' early life except for the fact he earned an MD-PhD from an unknown medical school. Wes eventually came to know about the existence of vampires while working with Dr. Grayson Gilbert and Aaron's father. At a later time, he had found a six-year-old Aaron Whitmore among his slaughtered parents at a campsite where they were staying for the weekend. After this point, he began researching vampires by experimenting on them. He was recruited by the secret society, Augustine, due to his intelligence rather than due to his family like many of the other members were. During the summer of 2011, after the death of Sarah Whitmore, Wes became Aaron's legal guardian.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
In True Lies, Wes opened his Applied Microbiology class by sharing a short history lesson with his students, encouraging them to imagine the smell of rotting corpses while they attended the bonfire later that night. He quickly called out Caroline and Elena, who had enrolled in his class on a sleuthing mission to learn why he covered up their former roommate Megan's death, and exposed them as freshmen before dismissing them from his class. Undeterred, Elena asked Jesse about Dr. Maxfield at the bonfire party, and Jesse shared with her that there was a rumor that the professor was a member of a secret society on campus, though he knew nothing of the society or its function. Later, Wes found Elena on campus to apologize for his behavior, insisting he only embarrassed her because he has a reputation to uphold. He revealed that he knew who Elena is, and that he had studied all of her father's work. He invited her to his office hours, and though she declined, he left the invitation open just in case.
In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Dr. Maxfield was working in the lab with Jesse when Caroline arrived to take Jesse to the Remembrance Day event in Mystic Falls. After Jesse returned to Whitmore, he checked Jesse's vitals after Jesse complained of not being able to remember what he did while he was out of town. Wes, who had just done tests on a sample of Jesse's blood, informed him that he had vampire blood in his system, and surmised that someone had been forced to heal him and compelled him to forget what happened. Before Jesse could ask him if he was actually being serious, Wes informed him that the upside was, having vampire blood in his system was the first step to creating a vampire. Wes then injected Jesse with a medication that caused him to go into cardiac arrest, killing him and putting Jesse in transition.
In Monster's Ball, three days after Jesse's initial transition, Wes continued to study Jesse. He took note of how he had grown weaker without any more blood and that once blood was removed from his presence, his vampire visage would return to normal. He tested Jesse's new sensitivity to light and also discovered that while Jesse's personality remained intact, his hunger was now his driving focus. With all of this in mind, Wes believed that Jesse would be the perfect candidate for the future experiments that he had in mind.
Wes later attended Whitmore's Historical Ball as Dr. Jekyll and bumped into Elena, who had hoped to run into him so she could ask him why he had helped cover up Megan's death. They shared a dance and Elena took the opportunity to ask him her questions. Wes rebuffed her attempts, telling her that it wouldn't have been so easy to say that a mountain lion had attacked her in the dorm. He then told her his real theory that a vampire had ripped out Megan's throat and thrown her from the roof. Elena was shocked, and asked him what else he knew about vampires. Wes told her that she should leave campus since many of Whitmore's employees were watching her and knew that she and her friends were vampires. He told her that if she was smart, they would never see each other again. At the end of the party, Wes took Aaron's car keys, as he was too drunk to drive himself home. He reminded him that as his legal guardian it was his responsibility to make sure he was safe and despite Aaron's protests, Wes claimed that he really did care for him.
In Handle with Care, Dr. Maxfield was in his lab studying when Caroline and Katherine (who was impersonating Elena) entered the lab to speak with him. They questioned him on what he knew about Elena and Caroline and when Wes resisted, Katherine injected him with a sedative. When Wes came to, he was strapped down to a chair as Katherine and Caroline prepared to drain him of his blood so they could get the vervain out of his system, so they could compel him to forget they were vampires. Wes worried that they didn't knew what they were doing and would accidentally kill him in the process but Katherine proved him wrong, finding his vein and beginning to drain the blood out of his arm with a tube.
They began their interrogation, asking him about his threats to Elena and who else knew about them. Wes told "Elena" that she should have left when he told her to. When they brought up the secret society that Wes was rumored to work for, Wes told them that the group was having a meeting in the Whitmore House and that they were looking to find new candidates to join them. They thought of inviting Elena but chose not to once they suspected she was a vampire. Katherine realized that she just had to convince them that Elena wasn't a vampire, and when Wes countered that she wouldn't be able to even get into the house uninvited, Katherine didn't care, as she was now human and would be able to without a problem, unknown to Wes. While Katherine went to the society's gathering, Caroline was left with Wes, who had lost enough blood to be able to be compelled. She compelled him to tell her about the secret society and he revealed it was called Augustine, and that the group chose new members based mostly on legacies but sometimes would recruit talented people like him. When Caroline asked why Wes covered up Megan's death, he spoke truthfully that Megan hadn't been killed by an ordinary vampire, but instead had been murdered by the Augustine Vampire, the society's own personal vampire. Before Caroline could ask who the Augustine Vampire was, there was a knock on the door and she compelled Wes to forget what happened and that she and Elena weren't vampires.
Wes was greeted by fellow Augustine member, Dianne Freeman, who told him that he'd missed the gathering. Wes, with his memories clouded by compulsion, thought that he just must have lost track of time. She told him Elena had attended and that he had entered without a problem. Convinced Elena wasn't a vampire, she asked him why he had been so sure. Wes wasn't sure, and realized he must have been wrong, not realizing what had actually happened to him. Later on, Katherine returned to Wes Maxfield's lab after losing her tooth, and revealed that she wasn't Elena. She told him that she thought she was dying and wanted his help to save her.
In Death and the Maiden, Wes spoke with Katherine about her recent problems, where he confessed that Katherine's health problems were a result of the fact that she was a 500+ year old vampire who had just been turned back into a human, and her body was aging to compensate for all the time she had been alive. Katherine demanded to know what she could do to stop it, but Wes insisted that there was nothing they could do, and informed her that she only had a few more months left if her aging continued on the rate it was going.
In Dead Man on Campus, Wes still experimented on Jesse two weeks after he had first been turned. Wes gave him an infusion of Augustine Vampire blood. Wes was surprised to learn that feeding Jesse the vampire blood gave him the strength he needed to break out of his restraints. Wes desperately rushed to try and push an emergency button on the wall but Jesse intercepted him with his newfound speed. He attacked Wes, biting into his neck. Jesse escaped from Wes' lab but left Wes alive, partially due to not feeling extreme hunger for human blood.
Soon after Wes was trapped in the lab by Damon Salvatore, who had been sent by Elena to get answers from him. Wes was tied up and injected with various contagious pathogens to interrogate him. Wes revealed that he wanted humans to no longer be vampires' food source. He had been working on conditioning vampires to crave vampire blood instead of human blood, thus leading the vampires to feed on each other until the species completely devoured itself and died out. He also revealed that he had succeeded in doing just that to Jesse, who was at the party being thrown by Caroline and Elena. Jesse arrived and demanded to know what Wes had done to him, confirming to Wes that he wanted to feed on Caroline. Jesse moved toward Damon, wanting to feed on him next but Damon stopped him, informing Jesse that since he was older, he was stronger but Wes revealed that it wasn't necessarily true for an Augustine Vampire. Jesse surprisingly overpowered Damon and started feeding on him. Elena appeared was forced to stake Jesse to stop his bloodlust for vampires.
With Jesse dead, Damon returned to the lab and sorted through Wes' vials, wanting to wait until he could compel him to forget everything. However, Damon noticed blood bags in the fridge with various ID numbers on them. Damon recognized the coding, leading him to realize that Wes was a member of Augustine, the vampire-experimenting group that had held him captive several decades earlier, which Damon believed was long gone. Wes realized that Damon had been a former test subject and Damon decided to just kill Wes, to end Augustine once and for all. Wes, who had been cutting his restraints with a scalpel, was able to break free and press a button that released atomized vervain gas into the room, which weakened Damon enough that Wes could lock him in his old cell in Whitmore House in preparation to be experimented on again.
In The Cell, Wes examined Damon, wanting him to be his new test subject after he lost Jesse. When Damon asked if he was just continuing what Dr. Whitmore had been working on back in the fifties. Wes reminded him that he had conditioned Jesse to feed on ther vampires and told Damon that he wanted to go further than the Augustine society had before. Ambushing Elena, Wes revealed to her that Grayson Gilbert was one of the best members of Augustine that the society ever had. He then drugged her and placed her in the cell next to Damon's cell in the Whitmore House basement.
A furious Aaron demanded answers, having watched Wes capture Elena. Wes then revealed to Aaron the existence of vampires and how the Whitemore family was aware of them, and even pioneered the study of species. Wes gave Aaron a watch that belonged to his father, and had passed down through generations, which contained vervain in order to protect the wearer from compulsion, and informed Aaron of the truth of his family's death and legacy. When he asked Aaron to join him, Aaron became furious that he was lied to him for years and punched Wes in the face, which knocked him unconscious. Wes then brought Elena to a new location away from the Whitmore House to continue his experiments.
In Fifty Shades of Grayson, Wes began to experiment on Elena, bringing her to her father's former clinic's basement, which was now just a condemned building where no one would look to find them. While conducting his examinations, he chastised her for how she could justify being with Damon, when he had systematically slaughtered the Whitmore family. She countered, asking Wes how he justified kidnapping and torture. He responded that science was his sole justification for all of his actions. Wes showed her the journal that contained the research of her father, Grayson Gilbert, revealing that his introduction to experimenting on vampires came from Grayson.
Wes received a call from Aaron who told him that Damon and Stefan Salvatore were holding him hostage in exchange for Elena. Wes was surprised that Damon had escaped his cell and told the Salvatores to meet him at his classroom. However, he then sent the the Augustine Vampire in his place to subdue Damon and Stefan. He injected Enzo with a poison that would stop his heart and cause him to desiccate, using it as insurance that Augustine's long-held test subject would return for the antidote and wouldn't try to escape. He gave Enzo fresh blood, reminding him that he and Damon Salvatore had a lot of catching up to do since their time in the Augustine cells together. Returning to the captive Elena, he informed her that he let Enzo go on a day trip to settle his unresolved issues with Damon.
As he began to experiment on Elena, Wes revealed that to her that Grayson Gilbert had been experimenting on vampires with the hope that he could use their blood as a cure for all diseases. He also told her about Megan's history as a patient Grayson cured with vampire blood and how she grew curious, snooping into the Whitmore House and was killed after accidentally stumbling on Enzo's cell. Wes assumed that she'd gotten too close and Enzo had killed her due to his starved desire for fresh blood. Wes covered up Megan's death to protect Augustine. Wes prepared to inject his "Augustine Vampire compound" into Elena and revealed it to be the cause of Jesse's undoing: the compound caused vampires to crave vampire blood over human blood in order to protect humans and eventually lead to the destruction of the vampire species. It was a modified, upgraded compound that would create the intense hunger for vampire blood much more quickly than the conditioning it took to change Jesse's diet. Elena realized that it would turn her into a ripper and Wes admitted that it would and then prepared to make Elena his patient zero and punctured her with the syringe. He nearly injected the compound but Stefan arrived just in time to rescue Elena.
Wes was knocked out by Elena and when Aaron returned and asked Wes if he really thought all of his vampire experiments were really going to help people. Since learning what Wes had done, including risking Aaron's life by sending Enzo after the Salvatores, he became even more angry. Wes tried to apologize, but Aaron didn't want to hear it and punched him in the face for selling him out. He told Wes to stay out of his life and that he never wanted to see him again.
In The Devil Inside, Aaron told Caroline that he cut off Augustine and Wes' funding so that Wes could no longer continue experimenting on vampires.
In Total Eclipse of the Heart, Wes was revealed to have moved into abandoned warehouses to continue his research underground, under poor conditions and with few financial prospects. He had turned a Whitmore University employee into a vampire so he could continue experimenting, and started working on recreating his "Ripper serum" to create more Augustine vampires. He was in the middle of his research when he was approached by Sloan, who informed him that Aaron was dead and that he was in danger, and who offered to sponsor him in exchange for studying some blood samples she had taken. At the end of the episode, Damon and Enzo have finally tracked him down to kill him, but Wes was waiting for them with the Travelers, who incapacitate them long enough for Wes to inject Damon with the "ripper serum," turning him into an Augustine vampire that had an insatiable hunger for other vampires.
In No Exit, Wes and the Travelers tracked down Enzo and Damon after the two had set off in order to seek out people to turn into vampires so Damon could feed on them. They found the two at a farmhouse where Damon had just drained the blood of a newborn vampire, and Wes instructed the Travelers to cast a boundary spell so that Damon and Enzo were unable to leave, knowing that Damon would need to feed every eight hours or risk losing control and feeding on Enzo. Wes used the opportunity as an experiment to observe just how capable a vampire was of fighting back against hunger for its own kind after being subjected to his serum.
As expected, once their eight hours were closing in, and Enzo had chained Damon to a chair, Wes shot Enzo from outside, and the smell of Enzo's blood caused Damon to break free from his chains and uncontrollably feed on his best friend. The Travelers, under Wes' instruction, cast a spell that acidified Enzo's blood enough to stop Damon from killing him, and Wes gave Enzo the choice to stay and risk being killed by Damon, or leave with him and do one last favor for Wes before getting his freedom. After being convinced to leave by Damon, Enzo reluctantly left with Wes and the Travelers, leaving Damon trapped in the house until he was rescued by Elena and Stefan.
In Gone Girl, Wes received a call from Katherine, who explained that her daughter Nadia had been bitten by a hybrid. She asked him if he could take a sample of her blood and create an antidote for the werewolf venom, and he agreed to come and help her. When Wes arrived at the warehouse they were hiding in to take her blood, Nadia was immediately afraid of him, but Wes claimed he was there to help them. Though Wes said he would help them create a cure, it was later revealed that Wes had only said that in order to get access to the werewolf venom in Nadia's blood, which he wished to use to create a more lethal version of his ripper serum that would cause the Enhanced Ripper to become even more rabid with bloodlust.
When he had finally created this enhanced Ripper serum, he had just put the syringe away when he heard a noise and turned around to find Damon, still under the influence of the original Ripper serum, demanding a cure for it. When Wes refused and insisted that curing Damon wouldn't change the fact that he was a monster, Damon lost his temper completely and slammed Wes down on his exam table before shoving his fist into Wes' abdomen. He then insisted that it was his turn to play doctor, and picked up a scalpel so he could experiment on Wes like he was experimented on during his years as an Augustine vampire, eventually killing Wes after being tortured to death.
Later on, Katherine came to the warehouse to check on Wes' progress on the cure, only to find Wes's mutilated body and his last audio recording of his research, which explained that he had created an even more potent version of the Ripper serum that included the werewolf venom he extracted from Nadia's blood. Realizing that Nadia was going to die from her hybrid bite and that the Mystic Falls Gang would certainly be coming after her for taking possession of Elena's body, she decided to get her last revenge by injecting Elena's body with the werewolf-venom-laced Ripper serum, ensuring that Elena would be stuck with the consequences now that Wes was dead and unable to make a cure.
While generally described as brilliant by his students at Whitmore College, Wes often came off as arrogant when it came to his knowledge of microbiology and medicine. He was also somewhat of a disciplinarian, as he thoroughly embarrassed both Caroline Forbes and Elena Gilbert when they tried to sneak into his class as college freshmen. Wes was also shown to be very observant, as he knew Aaron was drinking just by walking past him and took his keys and gave him money for a cab.
Despite his bias towards vampires, he did show some genuine concern for Aaron. However, he was willing to lie in order to protect Aaron from the supernatural. After Aaron's death, Wes displayed a more fearless side of himself, and even spoke defiantly against Damon despite knowing that the vampire could kill him at any moment (which he ultimately did). He also showed characteristics of a mad scientist, as he claimed to be doing his research in order to protect the human race, but was perfectly okay with killing and turning innocent humans in order to experiment on them to create his Ripper serum and force them to feed on other vampires. Being a scientist, he did not create anything that he had no means of controlling, and ensured that he had security precautions in place in case his work put him in danger. He also initially viewed the use of magic as a "cheat", though he became much more open to using it after he lost his research funding.
Wes was a pale, blonde man with blue eyes who looked to be in his mid-30's. He usually dressed in a preppy manner due to his occupation as a teacher, wearing lots of collared shirts, sweaters, and ties. He had an athletic build and a tall stature.
- True Lies
- For Whom the Bell Tolls
- Monster's Ball
- Handle with Care
- Death and the Maiden
- Dead Man on Campus
- The Cell
- Fifty Shades of Grayson
- The Devil Inside (Mentioned)
- Total Eclipse of the Heart
- No Exit
- Gone Girl (Death)
- While You Were Sleeping (Voice)
- Wes is a variant of Wesley (Old English), and the meaning of Wes is "western meadow".
- Maxfield is of English origin and means "mac's field".
- Wes was an antagonist in Season Five.
- In True Lies, Jesse tells Elena that there is a rumor that Wes is a member of a 'secret society' at Whitmore College, which was eventually revealed to be an analogue to the Founder's Council. It was later revealed that Wes is a member of Augustine, a society that had existed at Whitmore at least since the 1940s.
- In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Wes found out that someone had fed Jesse vampire blood, and he injected him with a medication that caused his heart to stop, killing him and turning him into a vampire on whom he could experiment.
- In Monster's Ball, Wes hinted that he knew that Elena is a vampire, and warned her that she should drop out and move back to Mystic Falls.
- It was revealed in The Cell and Fifty Shades of Grayson that Wes knew and worked with Elena's father while conducting vampire experiments for Augustine.
- Wes wished to turn Elena into a vampire blood craving Ripper with a compound he created, though he ended up using it on Damon instead.
- In Gone Girl, he created a werewolf venom enhanced Ripper serum using Nadia's blood, which Katherine ultimately used on Elena.
- Wes is one of only ten recurring characters who appeared in more than ten episodes in their inaugural season. The other nine are Annabelle, who appeared in eleven episodes during Season One; Elijah Mikaelson, who appeared in twelve episodes during Season Two; Rebekah Mikaelson, who appeared in seventeen episodes during Season Three, Atticus Shane, who appeared in eleven episodes during Season Four; Nadia Petrova & Enzo, who both appeared in twelve episodes each in Season Five; Josette Laughlin & Malachai Parker who appeared in 17 and 16 episodes respectively in Season Six and Rayna Cruz who appeared in 13 episodes in Season Seven.
- Wes was the only major recurring character to have met or had scenes with the other two major recurring characters of this season (Nadia and Enzo).
- Wes was also the only one among them who was human, since both Nadia and Enzo are vampires.
- Wes is also the only major recurring character of Season Five who didn't appeared in both the season premiere and season finale.
- Wes became the legal guardian of Aaron after all of Aaron's biological family members had been killed off by Damon in retaliation for the torture the Whitmore Family inflicted upon him while he was held captive by Augustine.
- He shared many similarities with both Ethan Crane and Jack from the novels.
- Wes was the second main human antagonist who had survived over a story arc. The first was Atticus Shane, who also taught at Whitmore College.
- Damon liked to make doctor-related pop culture references when speaking to or about Wes:
- Damon referred to him as Doogie, the name of the main character of Doogie Howser, M.D.
- Damon called him Dr. Frankenstein, the famous mad scientist from the novel Frankenstein.
- When confronting him, Damon asked, "What's up, Doc?" which is a famous Bugs Bunny line.
- An MD-PhD is a dual doctoral degree that requires 7–8 years of post-graduate study, which is 3–4 years longer than it takes someone to earn an MD alone. MD-PhD programs however, covers all tuition, provide students with a stipend, and cover their health insurance, allowing them to have financial equality with MDs who earn full clinical salary sooner but have to pay off large amounts of student loan debt.
- Wes managed to team up with the Travelers to take down both Damon and Enzo.
- With confirmation that human souls are found in the dimensions, Wes either found peace or went to Hell.