Vampires, witches and werewolves, oh my! The Vampire Diaries’ 2009 premiere introduced fans to one of the most memorable vampire-themed series to date.
The CW show, which ran for eight seasons until 2017, took place in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, home to mythical creatures and humans alike. In addition to tales of people becoming vampires, or finding out they have powers — which was the case with Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) — the series brought to life one of the most memorable TV love triangles.
After teenager Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) fell for vampire Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and later his bad boy brother, Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), fans were forced to decide which of the two heartthrobs they’d want to romance. Although Elena did choose one over the other by season 8, many of the show’s fanbase are divided between Team Stefan and Team Damon.
“The recipe for a love triangle is as old as the recipe for gingersnap cookies, but the ingredients, it’s something that you can’t control, which is chemistry,” creator Julie Plec told E! News after the show’s 2017 finale. “So, as a writer, you can create as much as you want, but when it all comes down to it, you need the three parts of the love triangle to work.”
Luckily, the leading trio had the right mix of chemistry as lovers, brothers and friends.
“Ian and Nina had chemistry as the bad boy and the good girl, and the hero/heroine chemistry between Paul and Nina was just so beautiful, so that worked, and you can’t force that, and you can’t write that on the page,” she added. “It just has to exist.”
Offscreen, the cast — which also included Candice Accola, Michael Trevino, Joseph Morgan and many more — formed a lifelong bond, which has remained strong partially due to a group text.
“I talk to them all of the time,” Graham exclusively told Us Weekly in December 2017. “I talk to Michael Malarkey a lot. Nina and I text a lot. So yeah, I have a good relationship with them.”
The Cut Throat City actress noted that after nearly a decade together, the former costars have each other’s backs.
“We have a lot of support for each other,” she explained. “A lot of us are entering this new chapter and it’s important that everyone really supports each other especially right now.”
Scroll down to see what TVD cast has been up to since it premiered.