Movies & TV Shows

10 Times The Vampire Diaries Villains Outsmarted The Heroes

For most of its history, The Vampire Diaries was famous for its villains, and while it and its spin-offs are now completed, it’s still a valuable guide on how to make the heroes lose in satisfying ways. Frequently, the villains won, but the heroes were able to scramble just enough to keep from being completely destroyed.

While the villains got what they wanted a surprising amount of the time, it wasn’t always because of their clever planning. In some cases, it just came down to the heroes being outnumbered and outmatched. While those victories still fundamentally changed the TVD universe, they aren’t quite as impressive as when characters found a way to outsmart the heroes by thinking 10 steps ahead, a strategy very few villains manage to do in any media.

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Seline Becoming Josie and Lizzie’s Nanny

While Sybil was busy puppeteering Damon and Enzo, Seline had a long-term plan in the works. In order to free herself and Sybil from their deal with Arcadius, Seline gradually works herself into the lives of the Mystic Falls gang. Masquerading as Josie and Lizzie’s human nanny, she has the opportunity to get close to the twins and evaluate their value to Cade.

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Because she had so much time with the family, Seline is able to groom the girls for her intended purpose and take them with her when her identity gets revealed. Unfortunately for her, Sybil offers Cade a deal he finds more intriguing. Even so, her planning nearly shattered the heroes in a way nobody else could manage.

Shane’s Manipulations

Although Shane was at least partially under Silas’s control, he was an incredibly intelligent TVD villain in his own right. He was able to keep his motives secret for a long time, charming Bonnie and helping her powers grow before pushing her to help him.

While nearly every other villain had abilities and strengths that directly overpowered the heroes, Shane’s biggest advantage was how innocent and helpful he seemed. In addition to leading Bonnie further into Expression, he also worked with Hayley, offering her information in exchange for doing his dirty work. Only Damon truly suspects him of having ulterior motives, so he’s able to set everything the way he wants it before his true objectives came to the surface.

Klaus Turns Stefan’s Humanity Off

Klaus attempting to compel Stefan

Klaus never wanted to be alone, and that desperation for companionship led to him taking Stefan with him on his post-Sacrifice victory tour. He made Stefan drink human blood to reactivate his Ripper side, but he had another trick up his sleeve when Stefan continued to resist him.

Klaus reveals his past interactions with Stefan and compels him to do his will, but Stefan does an impressive job resisting. Rather than continuing with brute force, Klaus thinks creatively, compelling Stefan to turn off his humanity so he no longer has emotional attachments keeping him from being the ripper Klaus wants him to be.

Silas’s Manipulations

Silas was determined to beat Qetsiyah, which started with accepting 2,000 years of desiccation and ended with what amounted to a suicide pact. He used illusions of lost loved ones to trick passersby into feeding him, and then convinced Shane to help free him.

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He then manipulated Bonnie and Klaus, through promises and threats, to get all the ingredients he needed to destroy the Other Side. Though he had psychic powers, he used his wits as much as his abilities to defeat Qetsiyah, reunite with Amara, and die.

Katherine and Silas Pretending To Be Their Doppelgängers

One of the biggest strategies implemented by Katherine and Silas was simple impersonation, and while the technique was relatively basic, they were able to use it to great effect. Katherine was able to trick Elena’s loved ones repeatedly, which earned her useful information and ended up coming in handy when she briefly took over Elena’s body.


Silas also used this technique, though his ability to change his appearance was arguably more useful. However, in the long game, Silas’s impression of Stefan was successful enough to keep him trapped at the bottom of the quarry for months. Although the doppelgänger shenanigans got tiring over time, they were effective strategies that Katherine and Silas used strategically to advance their greater missions.

Connor Jordan’s Brilliance At Hunting

Connor Jordan was less of a villain and more of an antagonist, but he certainly proved himself to be intelligent and capable. To detect vampires, he wore vervain-soaked gloves and used bleeding humans as bait. He also got innovative with his vampire killing techniques, poisoning beer with werewolf venom and creating unique weapons that worked better than traditional stakes.

Although many villains had higher death counts than Connor, few were nearly as intelligent. He managed to track down most of the vampires in town and successfully killed several. He then continued to work toward his goal as a ghost, making him one of the best, but most underrated, villains in The Vampire Diaries.

Rebekah Kills Elena

Rebekah is often considered the most tender-hearted Original vampire, but that doesn’t mean she was entirely innocent. Rebekah wanted to survive, and the centuries of running from her father, followed by her mother’s creation of Enhanced Original Alaric, made her desperate to find a way out.

Rebekah didn’t hate Elena, but she was willing to do what she had to do to stop Alaric. In this case, that meant killing Elena, as his life was tied to hers. Everyone had underestimated her, but she proved that she was smart and cruel enough to kill Elena and risk killing Matt in order to win her freedom.

Wes Developing The Ripper Serum

It took quite the impressive human to be a real threat to the supernatural community, and Wes Maxfield was the man for the job. As part of the Augustine secret society, he experimented on vampires to learn how to neutralize them. Wes’s big plan was to turn as many vampires as possible into vampire-hunting rippers, hoping they would eventually wipe themselves out.

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It was a brilliant idea, and could easily have changed the supernatural world for good if he’d been able to implement it properly. Even with the difficulties he faced, he partnered with the Travelers to infect Damon with the Ripper serum and indirectly caused Elena to also be infected, ensuring his plan and legacy continued long after his death.

Klaus Completes The SacrificeKlaus and Elena in The Vampire Diaries

The better part of season 2 revolved around Klaus trying to complete “The Sacrifice,” and while Elena ended up surviving it, he was successful due to centuries of planning and creative strategizing. He spread rumors about the Sun and Moon Curse to get others to do his dirty work, used Katherine’s fear of him to his advantage, and held the trump card to keep Elijah from killing him.

While the Sacrifice didn’t end up having many serious repercussions for the core Mystic Falls group, it was a masterclass in strategizing. Despite having to spend so many years hiding from his father, Klaus was focused and laid the groundwork for his plans. It was this saga that kept fans in awe of his power for years to come.

Kai’s Revenge

Of all the villains on The Vampire Diaries, none were able to torment the heroes quite as much as Kai Parker, who had few motivations beyond survival and gaining power. He had a small weakness for Bonnie, but that turned into rage when she left him in the 1903 Prison World.

The heroes thought they had gotten rid of him for good, but he was able to escape and get his revenge by stabbing Jo, cursing Elena and Bonnie, and killing himself in order to take out the entire Gemini Coven. He took everyone by surprise and took actions that had serious, long-lasting consequences even after he was killed for good.

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