The Vampire Diaries Elena Gilbert Versus Katherine Pierce and Katerina Petrova

The Vampire Diaries Leading Lady

The Vampire Diaries TV Show is well into it's 3rd season and continues to garner viewers. The Bulgarian beauty, Nina Dobrev plays the role of the lead female character and most of the action revolves around the characters she portrays.

Elena Gilbert is the role Nina Dobrev portrays most often, but without Katerina Petrova, more commonly known as Katherine Pierce, Elena Gilbert would never have existed. The decisions made by Katerina Petrova and later Katherine Pierce have continued to haunt Elena's life.

I have provided a detailed account of each of the characters played by Nina Dobrev and how she excels at making the differences clear between them.

For many fans of The Vampire Diaries, Nina Dobrev is their favorite actress and Elena Gilbert or Katherine Pierce are their favorite on screen characters. Some fans like these characters for their looks but others like them for their personality and attitude.

Elena Gilbert
Elena Gilbert
Elena and Stefan in love
Elena and Stefan in love

The Vampire Diaries Elena Gilbert

The Vampire Diaries Elena starts off as very naïve and also depressed and lonely. Her parents died a few weeks ago in a car accident going over Wickery Bridge. Elena was the sole survivor of the accident and has no idea how she survived. She was asleep in the back of the car when the accident happened.

Elena keeps a diary and writes down her daily thoughts and feelings. We soon find out that keeping a diary is a popular tradition in Mystic Falls and countless generations before Elena have also kept Diaries.

The Vampire Diaries TV show starts with Elena and her younger brother Jeremy Gilbert going back to school, after the Summer holidays. Elena and Jeremy are still living in their parents home in Mystic Falls, as their Aunt Jenna is now responsible for them. Elena is only 17 years old and is still in High School.

Although Elena misses her parents greatly, she puts on a brave face for her brother Jeremy. Elena speaks with her best friends Bonnie Bennett and Caroline Forbes. She awkwardly speaks with her ex-boyfriend Matt Donovan. Although Elena is no long attracted to Matt, the same can not be said for Matt. Matt is still in love with Elena.

You Can Wear the Same Jewellery as Elena Gilbert

Stefan Salvatore is a new student in Mystic Falls and Elena finds herself attracted to him, much to the disappointment of Matt. However, because of Elena's recent loss, she is slow to show her feelings for Stefan but she soon realizes Stefan is very different. Stefan is a Vampire.

Elena learns that Stefan saved her from the car accident and she continues to fall in love with him. Elena soon becomes involved in a love triangle between Stefan and his evil brother Damon. Stefan and Elena become a couple, while Damon bides his time.

Old Picture of Katherine Petrova
Old Picture of Katherine Petrova

Elena also comes across a diary written by Stefan. When she see's a picture of herself over a century before she becomes confused and asks Stefan about the picture. Stefan explains to Elena that she looks just like Katherine Pierce, who is the Vampire that "made" Damon and Stefan.

Elena realizes that she is not a Gilbert and she was actually adopted as a child. She finds out her Uncle, John Gilbert, is actually her biological father and her natural mother is Isobel Flemming.

Stefan and Damon Salvatore both loved Katherine and now love Elena
Stefan and Damon Salvatore both loved Katherine and now love Elena

After much investigation, Elena comes to realize that she is the "Doppelganger" and is central to an ancient ritual. The Original Vampires have been seeking her over the centuries and this is the key to why she looks exactly like Katherine Pierce.

Although Stefan tries to keep Elena safe, and later Damon does too, Elena is found by the Original Vampire Klaus. Elena is killed during a spell which allows Klaus to reach his full potential as a Hybrid.

Elena comes back to life but loses her biological parents and suffers further heartache with the death of Jenna. In order to protect Jeremy, Elena makes the tough decision to send her brother away to safety.

As the Doppelganger, Elena discovers that she is no mere ordanary Mortal. She is also a supernatural creature and her blood is the secret to the creation of Klaus's Hybrids. Without Elena there can be no more Hybrids.

Elena decides she is no longer willing to wait and see what happens and starts training to fight against the Vampires.

Now that Stefan is evil, and Damon is now the good brother, Elena finds herself falling for Damon. Elena and Damon kiss, and Stefan is angered.

Elena does her best to protect those around her. She never asked to be the Doppelganger but she does her best to deal with it. She still believes in love and although uncertain of whether she has a future, since everyone she loves is either a Supernatural being, dead or been sent away, she does her best to face each new day.

The Vampire Diaries Elena is such a popular character that there's even an Elena GIlbert doll.

Katerina Petrova
Katerina Petrova

The Vampire Diaries Katerina Petrova

Katerina Petrova was born in Bulgaria in 1475 and we see through flashbacks that she was the daughter of a very wealthy family. She is quickly disowned when she becomes pregnant to an unknown gentlemen. Katerina Petrova gives birth to a healthy daughter but the baby is whisked away before Katerina can do anything.

Katerina is then banished to England by her family. She meets a man Trevor, who introduces her to Lord Elijah and in turn Lord Niklaus. Katerina is quite taken with Niklaus until he reveals he is a Vampire and that she is central to unlocking his Hybrid abilities.

Katerina Petrova Hangs Herself
Katerina Petrova Hangs Herself

Katerina is held hostage as she is the "Doppelganger" and is central to breaking the curse Lord Niklaus is trapped within.

When Katerina finds out her death is what is required to break the curse she uses Trevor to escape. Trevor agrees to help Katerina as he loves her. He sends her to a cottage in the woods and to his Vampire friend Rose. When Katerina tries to kill herself Rose heals her with Vampire Blood. Katerina tries to kill herself again and this time is successful, but because she has Rose's blood in her system she becomes a Vampire.

The Vampire Diaries Katerina is very wiley and manipulative. She has had to survive banishment and looking after herself when an evil cult of Vampires is hunting her. She leaves the cottage and goes on the run.

Katerina travels back to Bulgaria and finds her family have been slaughtered by Lord Niklaus as punishment for her escape. Katerina realizes she will never be safe from Niklaus and travels to America.

Katherine Pierce
Katherine Pierce

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce

Katerina Petrova changes her name to Katherine Pierce and does her best to elude Niklaus.

In the 1860s, Katherine Pirece saves a witch called Emily Bennett. Emily feels she owes Katherine and makes her jewelry from Lapis Lazuli and imbues it with a spell which allows Katherine to walk in the daylight. Since all the superstition around Vampires states they can not appear in the daylight Katherine is able to move around town, without raising alarms as to her true nature.

Katherine continues to act like an Artistocrat and becomes a guest of Giuseppe Salvatore in Mystic Falls. Katherine meets both of Giuseppe's sons - Stefan and Damon Salvatore. She compells them to love her and plays both brothers against each other.

Katherine Pierce as a Vampire
Katherine Pierce as a Vampire

Katherine consolidates her power by making lots of Vampires. However, the Founding Families of Mystic Falls start to realize things are wrong. They realize that Katherine is a Vampire and decide to trap all the Vampires in the local church.

Katherine evades capture by making a deal with George Lockwood. He wants the Moonstone which is integral to the Sun and the Moon curse. Katherine gives him the stone in return for her freedom.

Stefan and Damon are killed during the capture of the local Vampires. Katherine see's Stefan dead on the ground and tells him she loves him and that they will be together someday. Stefan and Damon awake later, as they both had Katherine's blood in their system.

Katherine continued to watch Stefan from afar over the centuries. We know she saw Stefan in the 1920s in Chicago, but he didn't see her.

Katherine returns to Mystic Falls shortly after Stefan's return to Mystic Falls. She realizes that Damon wants to free the Vampires who were trapped in the basement of Fell's Church back in the 1860s because he believes the love of his life, Katherine Pierce is still in there. Katherine needs these Vampires to remain incapacitated as they could tell Niklaus that she is still alive and where she is.

Stefan and Katherine
Stefan and Katherine

Everyone mistakes Katherine for Elena and she is able to kill all the Vampires from the tomb. Katherine tells Stefan that she always loved him and never loved Damon. When Stefan chooses his love for Elena Katherine is enraged and decides to wreak a little havoc of her own.

Katherine kidnaps Caroline Forbes and turns her into a Vampire.

Katherine is back in town to find the Moonstone she gave George Lockwood back in the 1860s. She uses Mason Lockwood to retrieve the Moonstone by seducing him. However, Mason dies and Katherin is forced to find another Werewolf.

Katherine manipulates people around Tyler Lockwood, forcing him to kill one of his friends and trigger the "Lockwood Curse".

Katherine calls on the aid of her witch friend Lucy to help her retrieve the Moonstone. When Lucy realizes she is being used to fight a witch she is related to, Bonnie, she switches sides and helps trap Katherine in the Vampire tomb. Before Damon seals off the tomb, Katherine tells them Elena is in danger. Katherine tells them about the Sun and the Moon curse and that Elena is the 2nd Petrova Doppelganger and central to the breaking of the curse.

Katherine tells them of her past and how she first met Klaus and how he wanted to sacrifice her. Since she is now a Vampire he needs the human doppelganger, Elena, to break the curse. Katherine explains that Elena can't run as Klaus will kill everyone she loves, just like he did to her.

In order to escape the tomb, Katherine tells Damon not to kill Elijah, one of the Original Vampires or she would be trapped in there forever. When Elijah is killed, Katherine is automatically released from the tomb and decides to join forces with the Salvatore brothers to protect her ancestor, Elena Gilbert.

Katherine vows to help them against Klaus but no-one is taken in by her. Klaus eventually captures Katherine and compells her to tell him everything. Klaus uses Katherine to gather the required elements for breaking the Sun and Moon curse. He needs a Vampire, a Werewolf, a Witch and the Doppelganger.

Katherine lures Jenna out and she is turned into a Vampire. Klaus already had a backup Werewolf and a Witch. All he was missing was the Moonstone and Elena.

Katherine is finally released from Klaus's control and sent to save Damon. She saves Damon, even though she didn't have to. She leaves town but returns to tell Damon where he can find Stefan.

Katherine continues to look out for Stefan and approaches him while he is in unwillingly in league with Klaus. Katherine saves Stefan's life by killing Gloria, who has used her majic to trap Stefan.

Katherine is desperate to kill Klaus and steals the talisman from Bonnie, kidnaps Jeremy and invites Damon along for the ride. They resurrect Mikael as they know he is a Vampire that hunts other Vampires, and is the only thing Klaus is scared of.

Mikael agress to help them kill Klaus. Katherine and Damon make a plan to kill Klaus. Katherine is forced to change the plan when she realizes Damon will be killed if they are successful in killing Klaus. Katherine and Stefan leave town after their plan to kill Klaus goes awry. Katherine admits her humanity got the better of her and convinces Stefan to steal Klaus's most valuable possession, his family.

Stefan agrees and Katherine leaves putting as much distance as possible between her and Klaus.

Although everyone sees Katherine as a manipulative devil, once you understand her life, it's easier to understand her motives. She tries her best to dull her emotions and humanity as she has suffered so much loss and heartache.

She was disowned by her family and the only child she ever gave birth to was snatched from her and she was never given the chance to say goodbye. She was then banished and chased by Vampires trying to sacrifice her in a ritual. She became a Vampire to survive, while foiling Klaus's plans, only to have her family pay the price. She went on the run for 500 years and then found the Doppelganger, who she did try to protectThe asfety of Katherine Pierce always comes first but she did do the best she could with the tools she had at hand.

Elena Gilbert or Katherine Pierce?
Elena Gilbert or Katherine Pierce?

Who's Your Favorite Petrova Doppelganger?

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Elena Gilbert Versus Katherine Pierce (Katerina Petrova)

Although Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce look exactly alike there a number of differences. These are not always easy for her friends and family to see, which has made it easier for Katherine to fool them in the past.

However, Katherine Pierce is different from Elena as she is a Vampire. This gives Katherine some strengths that Elena lacks such as super strength and speed. She's able to control her own emotions and even swtich them off.

Katherine also has heightened senses which allow her to hear more acutely, smell blood and see in the dark. Katherine can also compell people to do as she wishes, as long as they are not on Vervain.

Katherine will never age and will remain her current age forever. She will never sicken and it is extremely hard to kill her. She also heals from wounds exceptionally fast. However she does possess weaknesses.

Katherine's biggest weaknesses are Vervain, wooden stakes and Werewolf bites. Katherine also has to make sure she keeps her Lapis Lazuli bracelet on during the day or she will be burned to death by the sunlight.

Also Katherine has to be invited in to your home, whereas Elena could just walk straight in.

Elena's weakness comes from being Human and from caring for others. The more Elena has feelings for someone the more she can be manipulated and used against her will. However, at times, this is also her strength, as she is willing to do anything to save someone she loves.

The table below makes some of the differences between Elena and Katherine clearer.

Compare Katherine Pierce to Elena Gibert

Katherine Pierce
Elena Gilbert
Vampire
Human
Over 500 years old
18 years old
Is selfish, vindictive, cunning and can not be trusted. Looks out for number 1, herself.
Trustworthy, nice and caring. Is even willing to sacrifice herself
Is a more trendy dresser and generally prefers darker clothers, especially likes leather.
Prefers casual clothes such as a t-shirt and jeans. Commonly wears converse sneakers
Likes to wear a lot of makeup, especially dark eye makeup and red lipstick
Prefers the natural look and wears very little makeup
Prefers to have her hair curly and typically straightens it to look like Elena
Wears her hair straight
Elena is her only known surviving descendant
Has Jeremy Gilbert as her brother/cousin
Is no longer important to Klaus
Is central to Klaus's plans as he needs her blood to make more Hybrids
No idea where she lives or her current location
Lives in Mystic Falls
Would give her friends lives up if it meant saving her own
Has friends who would give their lives for her
Blonde Nina Dobrev??
Blonde Nina Dobrev??

The Book Versus the TV Show Characters

There are a number of key differences between the book characters and the TV series characters.

Katherine and Elena are blonde in the book and is clearly a brunette in the TV series.

In The Vampire Diaires books, Katerina Petrova is called Katherine von Swartzschild. In the book Katherine is German but in the TV series the decision was made to change Katherine to being Bulgarian. This decision was made because Nina Dobrev would be able to do the Katerina Petrova scenes in her native language, rather than try to fake the ability to speak German.

I don't think it makes much difference whether it is in German or Bulgarian to the storyline. It does make it more realistic when Katerina is crying and talking in Bulgarian to her mother.

In the books, the history between Katherine and Klaus is completely different. In the book Klaus loves Katherine and he is the one that makes her a Vampire. In the end his love for Katherine makes her insane. He comes looking for Elena because he loved Katherine so much. Basically he's looking for a replacement.

Whereas in the TV series Katherine escapes from Klaus and it's Rose that makes her a Vampire.

Also in the TV series, Katherine is a lot older than she is in the book by around 200 years.

The biggest difference between Elena Gilbert in the books and the TV series is that she is turned into a Vampire.

Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev Dating
Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev Dating

Get a Signed Poster of Nina Dobrev with Both Her Leading Men

Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder

Looks like this is a great example of real life imitating art. Nina Dobrev has confirmed she is dating Vampire Diaries co-star Ian Somerhalder, who plays Damon Salvatore.

The couple tried to keep the relationship quite for a long time saying they were just good friends. However, it became clear they were more then good friends Nina and Ian were seen kissing each other at an airport and then flew to Paris together.

Hopefully, Damon and Elena will officially become a couple on The Vampire Diaires. The sexual tension between them is amazing and Damon always has a dangerous edge to him, which would make the relationship more exciting and unpredictable. Although Elena and Stefan were good together, they were very predicatable and boring at times.

Maybe this would leave the door open for Katherine to steal Stefan's heart again. Afterall, she always said she loved him and would come back for him.

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Comments 9 comments

urgurl_bri profile image

urgurl_bri 4 years ago from Holland, MI

Great hub. I loved the layout, the pictures, and all of the great info. And that was a great idea to put the table in with the comparisons between the 2. Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Lauryallan profile image

Lauryallan 4 years ago Author

Thank you urgurl_bri. I am glad you liked it and I took a lot of time to put this Hub together.


Loren 4 years ago

"8192 characters left." Hi nice blog author! i'm so happy and i add "Like" (facebook) to lauryallan.hubpages.com


Lauryallan profile image

Lauryallan 4 years ago Author

Thx Loren. Yeah there are lots of TVD characters and I won't be writing about them all... that's for sure.

Thx for liking me on facebook too!


ariel 3 years ago

oh i prefer elena as a Human


Lybrah 2 years ago

Nina is striking as a blonde! She's absolutely gorgeous anyway. I like the characters she plays, and I think Klaus is such a likable villain. Good hub!


Charlotte 2 years ago

Katherine is hot, sexy and gorgeous while Elena is simple but still pretty :)


Stargrrl 23 months ago

I want to finish reading this hub, but will come back when I am caught up on the first three seasons of TVD. Don't want spoilers! But I will come back!


Discombobulated Mindset 2 months ago

In the books stephen & damom are 500 yrs old. And was turned by Katherine. Shes older in the books

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