In the tumultuous fourth season of The Vampire Diaries, the world of Mystic Falls was turned upside down when the beautiful and compassionate Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) came face-to-face with her worst nightmare – life as a vampire.
While Elena struggled to control her new powers and the overwhelming thirst for blood, the astonishing news that a cure for vampirism may actually exist reached Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) Salvatore, the two vampire brothers who love her.
Their search for the cure leads the brothers, along with Elena's brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and her best friends Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Caroline (Candice Accola), to a horrifying confrontation with the ancient and all-powerful immortal, Silas, who has been entombed with the cure for more than 2,000 years.
But Elena isn't the only vampire who longs to return to life as a human, and the question of who will take the cure is resolved in the heart-stopping season finale, along with moments of unexpected joy, unspeakable sorrow, and a confession of true love.
The series heads into its fifth season with some characters headed off to college, a newly cured vampire trying to survive as a human, and a shocking Salvatore secret.
As season five begins, Damon and Elena have spent a blissful summer in love, unaware that Silas is free and Stefan has been suffering agonizing pain every day for months.
Damon believes Stefan is staying away because it would be too painful for him to see Damon and Elena as a couple, but Elena can't escape the uneasy feeling that Stefan needs their help.
While Elena is reluctant to leave Damon and Jeremy, she is also thrilled to be heading off to a new start at nearby Whitmore College with Caroline as her roommate.
Still unaware that Bonnie is dead, Elena and Caroline are waiting for their friend to join them at college. Jeremy is the only one who can see and talk to Bonnie who is trapped on the Other Side. Caroline is also waiting impatiently for Tyler to return and join her at Whitmore.
Matt and Rebekah have spent a wonderful summer traveling through Europe, and the newly cured Katherine is having a tough time adjusting to being human after 500 years as a vampire.
Returning to town after months on the run, Katherine asks Damon to help her now that she is vulnerable to her many enemies.
Although everyone in this tight-knit group of friends is trying to move on to a new and better phase of their lives, the past is always with them, and Silas is determined to use his powers and the secrets of dopplegangers to make sure no one remains unscathed.
Based on the series of books by L. J. Smith, The Vampire Diaries is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Outerbanks Entertainment, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios.
The series was developed by Kevin Williamson (The Following, Scream) and Julie Plec (Kyle XY, Wasteland), who serve as executive producers along with Leslie Morgenstein (Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars) and Caroline Dries (Melrose Place, Smallville).