Ranking the Worst to the Very Best :: Seasons of The Vampire Diaries

Becca here! I haven't been on the blog in a long, long while, but Krista and I often talk about our fav television shows and recount the oh-so-amazing seasons to the not-so-good ones that we wish we could forget. And a lot of our favorite television shows were first books! Beware: this ranking is super subjective, based mostly on season arcs for plot & characters. So without further wait, here's my ranking of The Vampire Diaries: Season 1 - 7

*disclaimer: there will be typos in this post. I've shut down my editing brain for now*

Ranking the Worst to the Very Best . . .

Seasons of The Vampire Diaries


SHORT BACKSTORY
The Vampire Diaries is about Elena Gilbert -- a human girl who keeps a diary of her life (ha, sort of) -- and her encounter with the freaky supernatural in a town called Mystic Falls. The freaky supernatural just so happens to be two very hot vampires. Oh and they're brothers! And there may be a very strange connection between them via dopplegangers. It gets weird. It gets hot. And it's highly addicting. Not all seasons pan out, but the ones that do are A+++ television.




7. The Season Elena Goes to College & Weird Things Happen (SEASON FIVE): We can also call this the season of the (snooze-fest) travelers. The season of the best boy-girl friendship coming to an end (RIP Caroline & Stefan - the writers just had to make them start a freaking romance.) Also the season where we meet Enzo, Katherine is human, and there's a mini mystery on Campus that's not as shocking as I hoped. 

This season is more like a reboot. Elena goes to college, starting anew. 



But when did new things mean dropping all the cool aspects of the previous seasons? Katherine human? It's just plain sad. And lacks chaos. Jeremy seeing a ghostly Bonnie? He was a damn hunter of all hunters and he's relegated to keeping a secret that we all know will eventually come out. The travelers? They might as well be the least threatening and interesting foe since...well, since ever. 

And Silas. 



WTF. Silas. His entire arc amounted to some of the most anti-climactic moments I've ever witnessed in TV history. And I watch entirely too much TV. 

Worst season, by far. To put this in perspective: you can even skip season 5 and still understand season 6. And it's not The Vampire Diaries entire fault this season was so...lackluster. This is the year The Originals began, and TVD lost half its cast, subsequently missing a chunk of its soul without the original family to spice things up. They struggle to reignite the spark was real. 

  • Biggest Tease: the writers dangling Klaus x Caroline in front of us for one solid episode (remember them hooking up against the tree?), only to basically erase their history for good by never mentioning them. So mean. 


6. The Season Elena Leaves & Caroline Tries to Fill the Void (SEASON SEVEN): This is the most current season, still ongoing, so time can only tell if it'll be better than it is. Elena was never my favorite character, but losing her has lost the focus of the show. I love Caroline. Caroline, you'd think, would fill the void easily. But putting Caroline in this position has somehow...changed her character. She's more grating, and her romance with Stefan is still as frustrating as ever. 

Not to mention, the new cast of side characters bombards the viewers all at once. 



I was having to mentally check off who everyone was while trying to understand their personalities. I've still struggled to connect to them or care about their fate. And it was confusing as hell. Because season six, we were introduced to some great side characters but they were strangely let go for season seven. 

  • Biggest Sadness: you can count on your hand the number of original actors still left, and even then, how many truly want to be there? 


5. The Season that Started the Love Triangle of all Love Triangles (SEASON ONE): I'm not really a nostalgic sap about first seasons unless it's Supernatural (the ultimate exception). I tend to believe first seasons of great shows are the weakest ones. Kind of like book series. The first season really sets up the epic-ness of seasons to come by introducing us to Mystic Falls, Elena, and the two vampire brothers who have a serious infatuation with her that spans decades worth of time. 

Damon is dark. 

He uses Caroline like a personal blood bag. He goes after people in a way that gets dropped in subsequent seasons. Like...he was truly evil. Stefan, unfortunately, is a bit boring and kinda stalker-ish, but thankfully his character grows further down the road. What makes this season better than the last two: the whole town is impacted by Damon's sudden appearance. The woes begin and the tears don't stop. Just remember Jeremy. Poor Jeremy. And you'll wish Damon left some of the townspeople alone. 

Positive: Lexi episodes! She has spunk that lit up the screen. Another plus, Alaric is introduced in season one, and I very much missed him in season five. 

  • Biggest Why-Oh-Why: Bonnie has such a bland storyline in season one. It was hard to love her character, and it was so clear that she could've been as dynamic as Caroline. It took many seasons before Bonnie got the spotlight she deserved. This just wasn't one of them. 


4. The Season Bonnie Becomes the Reason to Watch (SEASON SIX)After season five, I almost lost all hope. Then Bonnie & Damon ignite this season with one of the best overall arcs since the original vamps appeared. They're stuck in the past. In a prison world. Where a day repeats over and over. It's simple enough, but through each episode, we learn more and more about where they are. 

And they're not alone. In comes some of the best side characters in a long time. And the best villain / big bad since Klaus. 



Kai is crazy, delusional, power-hungry and pretty much a psychopath. Witches. Lore involving twins. Pancakes. 90s theme. A new best Boy-Girl friendship that has not been turned into a romance (Bonnie & Damon). Elena & Damon solidly together. From beginning to end this was a smart season of television, and even though we said goodbye to Elena, it felt like saying hello again to a show I dearly loved. 

  • Biggest OMG: that (bloody) wedding. I'll never be able to erase that scene from my mind. 


3. The Season of Intense Love for Tyler x Caroline (SEASON TWO): this could easily be called the season that Katherine becomes a fan favorite. She dominated this season by being quick-witted, sassy and badass compared to Elena's constant moral compass. Though Tyler's painful transformations into a werewolf and his undeniable chemistry with Caroline was the best entertainment for those who don't prefer the never-ending love triangle between Elena, Stefan, and Damon. 



This is the height of the werewolf arcs. The height of Tyler and his overall storylines. Since he's not in the love triangle, it always feels like his character can die. At any moment. True tension. Real risks. And it only gets better from here. 

  • Biggest Devastation: Jeremy has endured more loss than humanly possible. Poor Jeremy.


2. The Season of Super Emotional Vampire Elena & Super Sexy Klaroline (SEASON FOUR): First off, Jeremy. I don't curse often, but I say this with passion: Jeremy has been shit on for so long. I never expected him to get a good arc, and then season four actually utilizes him without devastating his character by enduring yet another death of a loved one. (Seriously, everyone he loves eventually dies.) He is turning into a hunter. A badass hunter. A hunter that is linked to major conflicts of the whole season-arc. 

Cool, right? This season is even better with some of the most memorable episodes -- that Christmas episode everyone, do you remember the scene where Klaus slaughters all of his hybrids and then goes and kills Tyler's mother? All soundtracked to a freaking Christmas song! 

Hybrids. A creepy church. The beginning of a romance between Klaus & Caroline which sounds oh-so-wrong but their chemistry is palpable. (Too bad the writers like to tease and then take away.)



While lots of people had reservations about a vampire Elena, the change-up was refreshing, and it was actually interesting to see Damon & Stefan's differences on how to help her. 

It ends with graduation and actually feels like the series finale. 

  • Biggest Sob Fest: Damon talks to Alaric's grave in one of the best monologues ever. It summed up their friendship, but also how Damon perceives himself amid this cast of young characters. When he's not young at all. To top it off, Alaric is listening in at the very end, as a ghost, and responds. Even though Damon can't hear him. 


1. The Season The Originals Overtook Mystic Falls and Killed It (SEASON THREE): By far, the best season. Still in high school, season three is the series high. Klaus is truly evil. An evil that TVD hadn't seen up until this point. He feels not only unstoppable but a threat to everyone we love. 



We see the Original family and the depths of every character -- including sidelined ones like Matt (the best episode listed below is Matt at his greatest). Even Stefan has emotional depth. 



This is the season where I turned to people in my telecom classes, and I'd go, "The Vampire Diaries is the best show on television." Yep. I said that. Without flinching and with pride. And just so you know, my major -- telecommunications -- is really television production. So I was among lots of tv junkies. They thought I was crazy, but I believed everything I said. I still do. 



This is an amazing season of television. Start to finish. You will laugh, cry, gasp, swoon, and even scream at the tv. This is when the internet was a flurry of TVD lovers. This is when Elena, Damon, and Stefan graced the cover of Entertainment Weekly scantily-clad beneath silky sheets. Suffice it to say, the world loved The Vampire Diaries, and it was on fire. 

Best Episode of All Time: "The Reckoning" -- nothing will ever beat the time Klaus trapped everyone in the high school gym to die. I sum it up poorly, but even some of the creators have called this a series best. 

Do you agree? What are your fav seasons? Sound off below! 

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  4. I so agree with you. But to me, the best episode in TVD history was The Departed {Season 3 finale}. And the second best was Graduation. Without The Departed, I would have never continued watching TVD. And without Graduation, I would've stopped watching TVD at season five. Season 6 really overtook Season 5 and I was really happy with it. And then season 7 just ruins everything! Ugh!

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  19. I completely agree with season 3 being the best season. Klaus was an amazing character, the show was never more interesting than when all the originals were on it, plus Katherine, the Damon and Elena love story that we were all chomping at the but for was starting to come to fruition, it was all genius. Hands down best season and really makes me miss the originals. Too bad that show doesn't have nearly the same bite.
    One thing I don't agree with in your list is your ranking for season 6. IMO, this should have been the second best season on the list. Next to Klaus, Kai is the best villain TVD ever had. Not just that though, the background behind him and his family, the storyline with Damon and Bonnie and how that all intertwined together was just incredibly thought out and highly entertaining. Not to mention the nod to all the great 90s songs. Plus, coming off the snore feat of season 5 that was so awful and confusing it's a wonder the show survived past that, season 6 was a blessing and just the recharge that the show needed. And lest we forget the best part of season 6, Elena finally left the series and we were no longer forced to listen to her incessant whining and constant "i love you Damon, but I can't be with you," saga that was stuck on repeat for about two seasons straight.
    So, hands down agree that season 3 was by far the best, but for all reasons listed above, season 6 should be right there at the tippy top for runner up. 👍🏻👍🏻 - Amber

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