I have been reading the Vampire Diaries books, well the first four anyway, since they came out in 1991 and have loved them. Even as an adult I still go back and visit Elena, Stefan, Damon, Meredith and Bonnie once in a while. I have wore out more than fifteen copies of each of the four original books. When I hear that the Vampire Diaries was being made into a TV series I was so excited until I saw the cast.
I was wicked pissed when I saw the cast and found out who was who. Now truth be told, Damon and Stefan were fine even though Damon’s eyes were blue instead of dark and Stefan didn’t have green eyes. I was good with them. It was Elena, Bonnie, Caroline and the lack of Meredith, the insertion of Jeremy and the lack of Margret. Who are Meredith and Margret you ask? I will get to them I promise.
First and foremost Elena. Elena is described in the books as tall, slender, blonde with blue eyes and porcelain skin. She has been through a lot and has an inner fire and strength. She was looking for a place to belong at the beginning of the series. She feels out of place. Elena in the books cared about being popular and boys. Elena of the TV series displays some of the personality of Elena of the book. She looks nothing like she should though.
Now in the show Jeremy was Elena’s brother. In the books there was no Jeremy or brother. There was Margret. She is Elena’s little sister and not even school age yet. I can see where having a child that young on the show would be a pain but they went too far the other way in my opinion.
Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie. Bonnie in the books was short, translucent white with red curly hair and freckles. She was a scaredy cat with a steel core of strength and a romantic. Some ways weirdly romantic about death. While the Bonnie in the show was a witch, Bonnie in the books was descended from Druids. So at least they made her magickal. Everything else they got wrong. She lived with her parents and sister Mary not her just her grandmother.
Caroline, ugh what a mess. They should have cast Caroline as Elena as far as looks go and Elena as Caroline. It would have been closer to the mark. At the beginning of the books Caroline was oddly pissed at Elena and set out to destroy her. They had been friends since childhood but something had changed over the summer and Caroline now hated Elena. They weren’t friends anymore. Not even a little. Caroline had copper hair, green eyes and very tan skin. She was not turned to a vampire nor was she Klaus’s lover for any period of time.
Where was Meredith? She was in the books but nowhere to be found in the show. They gave Bonnie in the show a lot of Meredith’s character strengths. She was cool under fire and stress. Elegant and beautiful were synonymous with her. She was brave and went toe to toe with Damon. She was darker complexioned like Greek is what comes to mind. Dark hair and eyes were definitely hers.
And finally Klaus. Klaus was a secondary character, just mentioned in the first three books. He was called an Original but was never very fleshed out in the. Klaus was made out to be an older man in the fourth book where he had more to do with the story.
A few other things that bothered me in the show that were different from the books are: Aunt Judith and Robert. Aunt Judith doesn’t die in the books. She loses Elena when she died as a human made into a vampire but stays in Elena’s parents house to raise Margret. The books take place in Fell’s Church not Mystic Falls. Alaric and Meredith have a thing not Caroline and Alaric.
I tried watching The Vampire Diaries on TV. I couldn’t do it. I understand it is “based” on the books and that the writers of the show did what they could to adapt it to the screen but come on. Couldn’t you at least get the basics right? Even last names are changed! No matter what all I could think was “These aren’t the characters I have loved since middle school!”
I will be reviewing the first four books too. I found out years later that there were more books in the Vampire Diaries Series and tried reading those too. I was saddened to find they were so far out in left field, for example in one book they were looking for Japanese demons, that I couldn’t read it anymore. I also found out that subsequent Vampire Diaries books were not all written by Smith. Try reading the Vampire Diaries The Awakening, The Struggles, The Fury and The Dark Reunion and let me know what you think in the comments below. Til next week…