elena in the vampire diaries

How Can You Watch ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Universe in Order? We’ve Got You.

If you’re like me and stuck in a rut, a rewatch of The Vampire Diaries could be what the doctor ordered, or if you’re new to the franchise, you might also want to know where to start.

Recommended Videos

Sexy vampires, wild werewolves, and gorgeous witches are what The Vampire Diaries universe offers all of us fantasy-loving fans. If you loved the cringey goodness that oozed from Twilight, then The Vampire Diaries is the perfect addition to your binge-worthy collection. Here’s how you can enjoy TVD and follow along chronologically.

Welcome to Mystic Falls

The Vampire Diaries Cast
(The CW)

Our story begins in Mystic Falls and starts with a vampire murdering a couple within the first few minutes of the show. The eight-season supernatural drama of The Vampire Diaries is based on the book series by L.J. Smith and Aubrey Clark. The cast of The Vampire Diaries is reason enough to tune in, with the Salvatore brothers being played by the gorgeous men Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley who now own a bourbon business.

Nina Dobrev is our leading lady Elena Gilbert, and despite what many people may say, she delivers, especially as her evil doppelganger Katherine Pierce. Elena and her brother Jeremy have faced turmoil since the tragic and sudden death of their parents. As the siblings return to high school, Elena stumbles upon a new student (ah, I love this cliché) and this so happens to be Stefan Salvatore (Wesley). 

After watching this show countless times, it honestly never gets old. The drama, the romance, the violence, and the stunning cast are just the tip of the iceberg. Luckily for us fans, we were also treated to a spinoff show, The Originals, which featured the villains who appeared multiple times through The Vampire Diaries. However, it can get confusing how you should watch the show chronologically, so I’m here to help. 

The Vampire Diaries universe

Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and Nina Dobrev in The Vampire Diaries (2009)
(The CW)

The release order of each series is as follows: The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies. Most fans usually follow this order, since it will give plenty of backstory to the characters mentioned in each show, and it will be spoiler-free—especially considering Legacies is set well after TVD

The Vampire Diaries introduces The Originals brothers Klaus and Elijah in season 2, with the family shortly following in season 3. However, TVD season 4 episode 20 is pretty much the pilot to The Originals, so you can begin your journey with the oldest vampires any time after that episode and watch TVD alongside. Just make sure that you leave Legacies until both The Originals and TVD have ended.

(featured image: The CW)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy