Katherine Pierce, Iconic Trickster Villainess

Welcome to day five of Vampire Week, as well as this week’s Femme Fatale Friday.   For today’s post, I could not choose any other topic than “the myth, the legend, the baddest bitch of all”, Katherine Pierce!

On June 5, 1473, Katerina Petrova was born in Bulgaria.    In 1490, she would give birth to her daughter, out of wedlock, which led to her father banishing her from his home out of disgrace.   Two years later, Katerina found herself in England.   This is where she would first meet the nobleman Elijah Mikaelson and his brother Niklaus.   At first, she took it as obvious that Klaus’ interest in her was his desire to court her.   However, it soon became obvious that he was uninterested in her romantically.

In a flashback, she outright said to Elijah that she “knows not why he courts me” which is the same conversation that Elijah admits to not believing in love.   Katerina is shown to be a hopeless romantic in her assertion that ceasing to believe in love would be like ceasing to live!   It is after this that Elijah quickly falls under Katerina’s spell, and the two begin a love affair!   

Elijah even tried to keep Katerina alive by getting a potion that would revive her after the sacrifice ritual Klaus needed her doppelgänger blood for.   However, Katerina fled when she found out Klaus’ true intentions.   She went so far as to injure herself in order to get vampire blood in her system and hang herself so that she was in transition.   Becoming a vampire ensured that she could not be used in the ritual.   This also ensured that she would spend the next five centuries on the run!

When she tried to return home to Bulgaria, she found her entire family dead.   She was never able to locate her daughter, but we learn in season five that she did search for her for years.

In 1864 Katerina, who now went by the Americanized name of Katherine Pierce, found herself in Virginia.   She arrived in Mystic Falls claiming that she had lost all of her family in the fires in Atlanta.   This is how she came to be taken into the home of Giuseppe Salvatore.   It is also how she came to meet Stefan and eventually his brother Damon!   This was a pivotal time in the lives of both of the Salvatore brothers, as their love affairs with Katherine would lead them to become vampires.   They were shot dead by their own father, but as they had Katherine’s blood in their systems they turned into vampires instead of being dead dead!   Katherine would at this point fake her own death by pretending to have been burned in a church fire with the rest of the vampires that she sold out in order to more easily hide from Klaus.   Damon believed that she was in the tomb beneath the church, as he knew Emily Bennett had sealed the vampires within.   It was quite a shock for him to learn that Katherine had faked her death all along when the tomb was opened 145 years later in season one.   Additionally, this 1864 Katherine is how we as viewers first meet her in the flashbacks in the first season.

After this time we know that she ran for the next century and a half until she came back to Mystic Falls in the season one finale!   That sequence of her kissing Damon, getting invited in by Jenna, and then cutting off John’s fingers remains one of the best in the series!   At this point, her reason for returning is totally unknown, but she continues to claim throughout season two that she came back for Stefan.

As the second season progressed it is discovered that she had seduced Mason Lockwood because she needed the Moonstone that she had given to his ancestor George in 1864 in order to secure her escape from the church!   Mason was so hung up on Katherine that he believed that she loved him, leading to his being undone.   This is a common theme for those who trust Katherine.   In “Masquerade”, which has to be one of the very best episodes of the whole series, Katherine has the witch Lucy Bennett (a distant relation of Bonnie’s and by extension descendant of Emily) link her to Elena.   This means that whatever happens to her happens to Elena and prevents Stefan and Damon from killing her!   It was such a badass move on her part and shows that she is always a few steps ahead.   She turned Caroline at the beginning of the season to be able to have a spy, she was involved with John and Isobel to make sure Elena would be protected until Klaus got there, and she made sure Tyler activated his gene in order to have a werewolf and vampire (Caroline) to give Klaus to use in the ritual.   It was all to secure her own freedom from his pursuit once and for all!

By the end of the season, she had traded sides to help Stefan and Damon because she thought they had a chance at defeating Klaus.   She famously gets released from the tomb she had been trapped in when Elijah was daggered but would go on to be captured by Klaus.   It is Damon giving her vervain that helped her eventually get her freedom once and for all.

In season three, we see her following Stefan in hope that he doesn’t completely lose himself to Klaus’ mania.   She ends up helping Damon to find Mikael and even pretended to be Elena at Homecoming to make sure they could defeat Klaus, but this ended up with Mikael dead instead.   After this, she ran again, not really being heard from until late season four when they find her in a town she compelled into liking her with the cure (after she had killed Jeremy in Nova Scotia).   By the end of the season, she would attack Elena and get cured into being human again.   In season five she would be drained of her blood by Silas and slowly die.   It is also at this time that she finally met her daughter Nadia who had turned into a vampire to find her mother one day!

We learn in season five that Katherine was from a line of witches known as travelers making her able to use her magic to become a passenger in Elena’s body when she died!   At the end of the day, she would die alongside her daughter, but not pass to the Other Side.   We finally learn in the finale of the show that she had gone to Hell.

What is awesome is that in Hell she seduced Arcadius, the devil himself, and became Queen of Hell!   It was her who orchestrated the whole trying to blow up Mystic Falls and making Stefan and Damon do Cade’s bidding that had been the villainous plot of the final season.   At the end of the day, she was the true overarching villainess of the entire series!   I personally adore that it was Katherine and her brilliant scheming and seducing that was the last villain, as it brought the series back to the beginning.   This was a nice circular way to end things, but I do wish we could have seen her throughout the season instead of just one episode, but given Nina Dobrev had left after season six, only agreeing to return for the finale, this could not happen.

Now, I will finally bring this long and rambling post about Katherine Pierce to a close.   Thank you for joining me for Femme Fatale Friday of Vampire Week.   I hope you have enjoyed this overview of Katherine.   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Katherine.   I found the image https://www.tvfanatic.com/2020/08/the-vampire-diaries-how-katherine-pierce-overshadowed-elena-gilb/.

Further Watching

  • The Vampire Diaries (2009)