This article is about William Tanner from the TV Series. You may be looking for Mr. Tanner from the novels.
Mr. Lockwood, is there anything you're good at? 'Cause it isn't history, and it sure as hell isn't defending the ball!
Tanner to Tyler in Friday Night Bites

William Tanner was a character who first appeared in the first episode of the first season in The Vampire Diaries. He was the history teacher and football coach at Mystic Falls High School. He was killed by Damon Salvatore, who wanted to prove that he had no humanity left in him.

Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series

Season One

Tanner was a very elitist, smug, and arrogant character, demeaning different people on several occasions. During class he was seen picking on Elena when she wasn't paying attention to him, prompting Stefan to openly challenge and correct him on several occasions.

As the football coach of Mystic Falls High School, Mr. Tanner appeared fair, he allowed Stefan to try out despite their tendency to butt heads in class and also let him on the team when he saw what a good player Stefan was. Before Stefan tries out, Mr. Tanner made a snide remark about asking Stefan who won the Superbowl a while back in the 1900s. Stefan started to answer, but stopped, looking at the expression on Tanner's face.

In Friday Night Bites, Damon attacked and killed Mr. Tanner to spite Stefan and to prove that Stefan was wrong to think there was any humanity left in him.


William was a teacher who was elitist, smug, arrogant and was often seen demeaning his students. Even though he let Stefan try out for the football team, he made a snide remark about who was the Super Bowl back in the 1900s and when Stefan was going to answer, William had an expression on his face that he was getting slightly angered.

Physical Appearance

He was an average looking man with dark, black hair, brown eyes and stood at 6'2.


Season One

Season Three


The Awakening

In the novels, Mr. Tanner is a European History teacher. Like his TV counterpart, he liked to question his students who weren't able to answer correctly. He was corrected and embarrassed by Stefan Salvatore on how Renaissance European youths behaved and lived their lives—because he was born in that era. At the hollow party he was killed by Stefan's brother Damon.


  • William is of Old German origin, and the meaning is "will helmet, protection".[1]
  • Tanner is of English origin and means "worker in leather".[2]



  • With confirmation that human souls are found in the dimensions, he either found peace or went to Hell.


See also

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