Despite vampirism initially believed to be permanent, The Vampire Diaries saw four different vampires using the Cure through the show, each with various outcomes. Over the years and through its end with season 8, The Vampire Diaries expanded its characters to include various supernatural creatures, and the series developed a complex (albeit sometimes convoluted) canon. One integral component of the show’s mythology was the Cure for vampirism, which was used on several occasions and became a significant plot driver more than once.

The Cure, long thought to be a myth, was revealed to be very much real in The Vampire Diaries season 4. A significant portion of that season involved various characters trying to find it to use for their own ends. Even beyond the fourth season, however, the Cure continued to pop up and impact the plot throughout the following seasons.

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Understandably, giving up one’s vampirism and thus one’s immortality and supernatural powers is a big deal. That didn’t stop a number of characters in The Vampire Diaries from wanting to take it, however, yearning for a human life. Other vampires saw it as a weapon, a means to get rid of a powerful threat or to be used as a bargaining chip. Whatever the intent of using the Cure, those who did use it were profoundly changed. Here’s every character in the Vampire Diaries who used the Cure and what happened to them.


Vampire Diaries: The Cure Explained

Far from being discovered thanks to new science, the vampire cure was very old. It was created by the powerful witch Qetsiyah, Bonnie Bennett’s ancestor, thousands of years ago in order to punish her immortal lover, Silas, for betraying her with another woman. The Cure remained hidden and thought to be nothing more than a myth for 2,000 years until the characters discovered that the Cure was real in The Vampire Diaries season 4 and set out to find it.

There have actually been three different cures for vampirism between The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Still, the original cure for immortality and vampirism created by Qetsiyah for Silas is the most potent and the most well-known. Technically, Silas wasn’t a vampire but the world’s first immortal, but, as the immortality of vampires operates in the same way, the Cure still works on them. Once a vampire drinks the Cure, it reverts them to a mortal state, enabling them to be harmed or killed. Of the other two cures, one was the Immortality Reversal Spell created by the witch Esther in order to undo the curse she’d placed on her children, the Original Vampires. The third was discovered by the Travelers and it involved mixing the blood of the last pair of dopplegängers and casting a Magic Purification Spell on it.


Did Damon And Elena Become Human Again?

Damon and Elena stand on the clock tower together

In a word, yes. By the series finale of The Vampire Diaries, both Nina Dobrev’s Elena and Ian Somerhalder’s Damon were human, living a happy, married life. The series somewhat glossed over the details with more of an “And they lived happily ever after…” approach, but there are a few things that were confirmed, whether in the finale or later in the spinoff shows. Elena became the town doctor, pursuing the path of medicine she always wanted. She and Damon lived a long and happy life together, and had multiple kids: Jenna, Sarah Lillian, and a son, Grayson. In the spinoff series Legacies season 1, it’s also mentioned that they have another daughter named Stephanie, albeit in an alternate timeline.


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Elena taking the vampire Cure isn’t much of a surprise. From the start, she was never that enamored with being a vampire, having been made one against her will, as well as the bloodlust of Vampire Diaries‘ vampires running contrary to her compassionate nature. It’s a little more surprising for Damon, however, as he loved being a vampire; when the Cure first presented itself, he was adamant that he’d never take it. Still, it’s not that shocking considering who and how Damon had been as a human before he’d been turned into a vampire. Back then, Damon had actually been the more naive and idealistic of the two brothers and had absolutely not wanted to become a vampire. Getting to be a husband and a father and live out his life with Elena gave him back the human life he’d had taken away from him.


The finale also revealed in a flash-forward one last way in which Damon and Elena’s Mystic Falls humanity played out in their old age. In the future, when Elena dies, she finds peace in the afterlife with her deceased loved ones, including her adoptive parents Grayson and Miranda, her aunt Jenna, and her biological father John. Damon, who had feared for so long he’d be trapped in Purgatory or go to Hell, also found peace in the afterlife after dying of old age, reuniting with Stefan. In the current era playing out in Legacies, Elena and Damon are still very much alive and have been referenced a few times, though they have not made cameo appearances.

Katherine Pierce (And Silas)

The first person to get the Cure in The Vampire Diaries was Katherine Pierce, who loved being a vampire and received the Cure against her will. During a brutal showdown with Katherine, Elena was forced to shove the Cure down Katherine’s throat to save herself. The Vampire Diaries season 5 picked up months later, and Katherine was still in Mystic Falls, miserable and ill-equipped to live as a human. Throughout 500 years, Katherine acquired many enemies, and she went to Damon, begging for protection. Damon offered to turn her back into a vampire, but since nobody had taken the Cure before, Katherine couldn’t be sure it would work. It turned out that Katherine preferred a mortal life than no life at all.


Further complicating matters was Silas’s reappearance. He still wanted the vampire Cure, and the only dose of it in the world was running through Katherine’s veins. Silas transferred the Cure to himself by drinking all of Katherine’s blood, becoming mortal once again. Shockingly, this didn’t kill Katherine. However, Silas’ actions revealed a dangerous side effect of the Vampire Diaries Cure: once it was removed from Katherine’s body, she began to die of old age. It wasn’t the end for Katherine, whose trademark was to survive no matter what, but her essentially being the guinea pig did reveal much about how the Cure worked. As for Silas, his mortal life didn’t last long. He soon is caught up in a trap of his own making and sucked into the darkness of oblivion.

Related: Vampire Diaries: Did Katherine Ever Really Love Damon?

Elena Gilbert

Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert The Vampire Diaries Elena Salvatore MD The Originals Reference

After the Cure bounced around for a while, it reappeared in The Vampire Diaries season 6 and was taken by Elena, who had been the initial intended recipient of it before being forced to burn it on Katherine. Once Elena drank the Cure, Damon planned to feed on her, and as long as nobody sucked it out of him, he and Elena could live the rest of their lives together as mortals. Unlike Katherine, Elena wouldn’t be affected by having the Cure removed to her blood as she’d only been a vampire for a short time. Despite their uncertainties about their future, Elena took the Cure, regaining her memories of Damon. However, Kai Parker meddled and kept Damon from taking the Cure; he wasn’t able to take it and become human with Elena until the end of the series.


Stefan Salvatore

The Vampire Diaries’ final season played a little loose with the canon of the Cure, and episode 11, “You Made a Choice to Be Good,” introduced new and inconsistent information about the Cure. The rules regarding the Cure were fluid, depending on what suited the storyline. Previously, in order to gain the benefits of the Cure from someone who had already taken it, the recipient must drink every drop of their blood. However, The Vampire Diaries’ last season changed this up, revealing that multiple doses of the Cure could be extracted from Elena’s blood, but only one at a time.

When a humanity-free Stefan arrived at Bonnie’s house planning to kill Elena, the Bennett witch injected Stefan with the Cure, making him the first vampire to successfully transition into a human without drinking the Cure directly. Stefan relived every murder he committed, and everyone he ever compelled began to remember the things Stefan wanted them to forget. He was arrested for his past crimes (Caroline made the charges disappear by erasing the victims’ memories) and shot by Dorian Williams, whose father and sister Stefan Ripper-ed. In The Vampire Diaries series finale, Stefan died a hero and very much human. He ultimately joined his best friend Lexi in the afterlife, and, crucially, Stefan sent Elena a goodbye message after his death.


Damon Salvatore

When the Cure first surfaced during The Vampire Diaries season 4, unlike humanity-hungry Stefan, Damon told Elena he couldn’t imagine anything more miserable than being human and even after he told Elena he’d take the Cure with her, it was unclear how committed he was to that idea. But like Stefan and Katherine, somebody chose for him. During the series finale, both Salvatore brothers were willing to sacrifice themselves to save Mystic Falls. However, Stefan secretly injected his older brother with his blood, which carried the Cure, and took Damon’s place, sacrificing himself to save the town and finding redemption in the end.

Related: A Vampire Diaries Season 5 Scene Proves Damon Was Always The Better Brother

Presumably, Damon made a better human than anyone anticipated. While The Vampire Diaries finale’s final moments confirmed he and Elena lived a happy life together, details were scarce. They’ve presumably managed to keep knowledge of the Cure from spreading as it has not yet been a story arc or mentioned in Legacies. The vampire Cure does presumably live on, however. In the series finale of The Originals, Klaus told Rebekah that the Cure was in Mystic Falls and that Caroline would give it to her. This implies Rebekah will be the last vampire to use the Cure; however, as of her cameo appearance in Legacies season 4, episode 5, “I Thought You’d Be Happier to See Me,” Rebekah was still a vampire. Whether or not the Cure will come back into play in the future is anyone’s guess.


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