[This story includes spoilers from The Vampire Diaries.]
For nine years and eight seasons, The Vampire Diaries brought the romance, thrill and mystery from Mystic Falls, Virginia, to the small screen.
The show, which debuted on Sept. 10, 2009, is based on the book series of the same name by L. J. Smith. It follows the love triangle between teenager Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and two vampire brothers, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). But danger and disaster followed them, dragging Elena and her friends into the supernatural world of Mystic Falls, full of vampires, witches, werewolves and more. The series also starred Kat Graham, Candice King, Zach Roerig, Michael Trevino, Steven R. McQueen, Matthew Davis, Michael Malarkey and Joseph Morgan.
The show, created by Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson, continues to have a strong fan base, with viewers still sharing clips and video compilations on social media years after the teen supernatural drama came to an end.
Prior to the series finale on March 10, 2017, Plec spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about what it was like saying farewell to the beloved CW show as well as the emotional final days of filming on the Atlanta set.
“It was about as powerful as you might imagine,” she said at the time. “There were a lot of speeches, a lot of hugs, a lot of tears, a lot of ugly cries. It was extremely emotional and sometimes almost debilitating, but it was really beautiful.”
Below, THR looks at what some of the main cast has been up to since the show wrapped in 2017.
Nina Dobrev played Elena Gilbert, a teen girl torn who finds herself in a chaotic love triangle with vampire brothers Stefan and Damon and ultimately becomes a vampire as well. She also took on two other characters, Katherine Pierce and Amara, throughout the show. The actress departed Vampire Diaries at the end of season six but did return for an appearance in the series finale.
Since her run on The CW show, she has starred in several movies, including Flatliners, Then Came You, Love Hard and The Out-Laws. She also played Clem on the 2019 series Fam.
Other than acting, she also launched Fresh Vine Wine in 2021 with her friend Julianne Hough. And she has been romantically linked to Olympic snowboarder Shaun White since 2019.
Paul Wesley took on the role of Stefan Salvatore, the younger, brooding vampire brother pining for Elena’s heart. He also played characters Silas and Tom Avery at times throughout the series.
After The Vampire Diaries ended in 2017, the actor went on to star in several other TV shows, including Tell Me a Story and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
While Wesley played Ian Somerhalder’s brother in The CW show, the duo remained close friends after it ended. They also launched their own bourbon brand, Brother’s Bond, in May 2021.
Ian Somerhalder played Damon Salvatore, the charismatic, older vampire brother who is also in love with Elena Gilbert. He starred in the series throughout all eight seasons.
Following The Vampire Diaries, the actor stepped away from the screen for a few years but returned for another vampire show, V-Wars, which he starred in and executive produced. Apart from acting, Somerhalder launched a bourbon brand, Brother’s Bond, in May 2021, with his former co-star and close friend Paul Wesley.
Somerhalder was also romantically linked to his co-star Nina Dobrev for three years before they split in 2013. Then, in April 2015, he married Twilight star Nikki Reed, and they share two children togther.
Kat Graham played Elena Gilbert and Caroline Forbes’ witchy best friend Bonnie Bennett on The Vampire Diaries. Throughout the show, her character was using her powers at every opportunity to protect her friends and loved ones.
Once the show came to an end, Graham went on to star in several movies, including portraying Jada Pinkett Smith in the 2017 Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me. She also had roles in The Holiday Calendar, Collide, Emperor, The Poison Rose, Operation Christmas Drop and Love in the Villa. She voiced April O’Neil in the animated reboot of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
When she wasn’t acting, Graham was also working on her music career. She released two albums since The CW show ended – Love Music Funk Magic (2017) and Long Hot Summer (2022).
Candice King played Caroline Forbes, Elena Gilbert and Bonnie Bennett’s best friend, who ended up getting turned into a vampire. She was also Sheriff Liz Forbes’ (Marguerite MacIntyre) daughter.
Following The Vampire Diaries, King made a few appearances in the series spinoffs The Originals and Legacies. She also had roles in After We Collided, Christmas in Tune and Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story.
Apart from acting, she also has a podcast called A Superbloom Podcast With Candice King.
Zach Roerig took on the role of Matt Donovan, Elena Gilbert and Caroline Forbes’ ex-boyfriend. Though he never got turned into a vampire or other mythical creature, he remained a loyal friend to the friend group and eventually became a deputy sheriff in Mystic Falls.
Other than The Vampire Diaries, Roerig also made appearances on the spinoffs The Originals and Legacies. Other projects he’s worked on since the show ended include God Friended Me, The Last Full Measure, Dare Me, Serving Up the Holidays and Step Up: High Water.
Michael Trevino played Tyler Lockwood, a high school football player turned werewolf hybrid. His character was also Matt Donovan’s (Zach Roerig) best friend and one of Caroline Forbes’ (Candice King) love interests in the show.
After making a few appearances on The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals, Trevino went on to land a starring role as Kyle Valenti in Roswell, New Mexico, for which he also directed an episode. He has also had roles in Timberwood, The Breakup Diet, Out of Control and Sunset Park since The CW show ended.
Steven R. McQueen
Steven R. McQueen starred as Jeremy Gilbert, Elena Gilbert’s younger brother who turns into a vampire hunter. His character was also one of Bonnie Bennett’s (Kat Graham) love interests during his time on the show.
Though he parted ways with the show following season six, he did return for the series finale as well as made an appearance in one episode of the spinoff Legacies. Once McQueen was done hunting vampires, he landed roles in several other projects, including Home by Spring, The Take Off, Medal of Honor and The Warrant.
Matthew Davis played Alaric Saltzman, the new Mystic Falls history teacher who turned into a vampire hunter. Throughout the series, his character is an ally to the main group, even serving as a parental guardian to Elena and Jeremy Gilbert at one point.
After The Vampire Diaries, the actor starred in the series spinoff Legacies as well as made a few appearances on The Originals. He also landed a lead role in Hallmark Channel’s Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses. Though, before he even entered the supernatural world of Mystic Falls, Davis was most known for playing Elle Woods’ (Reese Witherspoon) ex-boyfriend Warner in 2001’s Legally Blonde.
Michael Malarkey joined the series during season five as Lorenzo “Enzo” St. John, Damon Salvatore’s former cellmate who ends up becoming one of Bonnie Bennett’s love interests.
After The CW show came to an end, Malarkey went on to land recurring roles on several projects from The Oath, Project Blue Book and Big Sky. His other credits since Vampire Diaries include Jean-Claude Van Johnson, A Violent Separation, Westworld, Quantum Leap and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
Apart from acting, Malarkey also has a passion for music. His most recent albums include Mongrels (2017) and Graveracer (2020).
Joseph Morgan first debuted his character, Klaus Mikaelson, the original werewolf-vampire hybrid who is quite impulsive, in season two. During the show, he was mostly known as the antagonist with a soft spot for Caroline Forbes.
While Vampire Diaries was still filming, Morgan also started filming the hit spinoff The Originals, which he also starred in for five seasons. He later made an appearance on Legacies as well. After he wrapped up playing one of the most powerful supernatural creatures, he landed roles in Animal Kingdom, Brave New World and Titans.
In 2014, he married his Vampire Diaries co-star Persia White, who played Bonnie Bennett’s mother, Abby Bennett Wilson.