Katherine Pierce, Why We Love the Villain

For today’s post, I have decided to look at one of my all-time favorite television characters, Katherine Pierce from The Vampire Diaries.    In particular, I want to focus on her through the lens of why we love villains, oftentimes (at least for me), more than we care about the heroes.   

Katherine Pierce was born Katerina Petrova on June 5, 1473, in Bulgaria.    In 1490, Katerina gave birth to a daughter, who was given away due to her birth being out of wedlock.   Later, we learn that she was named Nadia Petrova, and she got herself turned into a vampire in order to one day find her mother.   By 1492, Katerina had found herself in England, in the home of Noblemen Elijah and Niklaus Mikaelson, who were Original Vampires.   When Katerina realized that Elijah and Klaus wanted to sacrifice her in a ritual because she was a Petrova Doppelgänger, she fled.   Soon she was helped by Trevor, who took her to Rose.   It was Rose’s blood that would heal her of a self-inflicted wound, and that would be in her system when she hung herself!

She would spend the next five centuries on the run from the Original family!   Klaus slaughtered her entire family, which she found upon returning to Bulgaria.    This was a horrible blow that would seriously impact her need to preserve herself even more.    When she meets her daughter, we learn that she had in fact looked for her daughter for years, but never found her!   That would be another horrible blow to Katherine’s life, as she was likely beginning to go by Katherine as she began to run from Klaus.

By the time Katherine found herself in Mystic Falls Virginia in 1864, she had gathered a group of supporters, other vampires willing to help protect her.   She also began to gain support from werewolves, willing to protect her secret if she protects them.   After all, it was George Lockwood who helped her escape from Fell’s Church before it was burned to the ground.   

Her time spent with the Salvatore brothers is the most iconic that we see her in the flashbacks.    We get to know pretty much the whole story of this time in her life in flashbacks during the first two seasons.    For those interested in knowing even more, I suggest reading the series companion novel series Stefan’s Diaries, the first of which tells the story of the brothers and Katherine from Stefan’s point of view!

Katherine fed both brothers her blood, as well as drank from each regularly.    She was sexually voracious with both brothers, which leads to her perception as the villain willing to manipulate everyone around her to get her way.   Later she would also have a sexual liaison with Mason Lockwood to make sure he activated his werewolf gene, in order to eventually hand him over to Klaus.   When that did not work, she made sure Tyler activated his gene to hand him over!

When we get to see her in the modern day, she is attesting that she is back in town to get Stefan back, however soon it is obvious that she is planning to turn others over to Klaus to save her own life!    Her manipulation of Damon leads to the iconic ending sequence of season one.    I adore her kissing Damon whilst pretending to be Elena and then going inside to cut off John’s fingers and stab him!   It was the best character reveal we got in the whole series!

The best we see her in season two is at the Masquerade Ball!   I cannot get enough of this episode, as it is a favorite to rewatch.   She was on top of things by having a witch on her side and pretending to be Elena at the party.   Her interactions with Damon and Stefan are incredible and I adore that they could not kill her because she was linked to Elena magically!   The end of the season sees her being more relaxed in that she is stuck in Alaric’s apartment when Klaus compelled her.    I love that she was dancing and drinking trying to make life tolerable even in this situation.   That showed her being a survivor to me, in a strange way!

The arc of her manipulations of getting Michael out of the tomb in season three and of Elijah in season four is much less at the forefront.    Her killing Jeremy to release Silas and steal the cure is still badass!    The season five plot of her reconnecting with Nadia, conspiring with Caroline, and stealing Elena’s body is just epic!   I honestly wish she got to keep Elena’s body, as she was always the superior doppelgänger.   I also would have liked to see Katherine and Stefan end up together, as they had reconciled a bit in season five.   Caroline deserved to end up with Klaus, as they were much better suited!

By season eight, Katherine had been dead for three seasons, but she comes back with a vengeance as Queen of Hell!   What better way to end a series than to wrap it up fighting the original baddest bitch of all once again!    

So, this post makes it obvious that I adore Katherine Pierce, as she and Caroline sort of tie for best Vampire Diaries female for me!    The question is, why do we love the villain?   I probably answered this by gushing about plot points, but I believe we love the villain because this is the character that unabashedly does what we wish we could do!   She is the icon who does things for her own self-absorbed reasons and delights in torment and being a trickster.   It is a really fun thing to watch and imagine ourselves as that evil character!   This is the ultimate form of living vicariously through a character!   Either you want to be them or sleep with them, or both.    I hope you have enjoyed this post.    What are your feelings about Katherine?   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Katherine from the 1490s flashbacks.   I found the image on https://www.peakpx.com/en/hd-wallpaper-desktop-oxznv.

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Further Watching/Reading

  • The Vampire Diaries (2009)
  • The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries Series (Companion Books)