The Vampire Diaries (season 3)
|The Vampire Diaries (season 3)|
Season 3 DVD Cover
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original network||The CW|
|Original release||September 15, 2011– May 10, 2012|
The Vampire Diaries, a one-hour American supernatural drama, was officially renewed for a third season by The CW on April 26, 2011 that aired from September 15, 2011 to May 10, 2012. The third season consisted of 22 episodes and focused on the story of Klaus' origin, his relation with his family and reveal more about the original family. The third season opened to generally positive reviews. The season takes a gap from the last season and begins with Elena Gilbert's 18th birthday with all series regulars returning with the exception of Sara Canning whose character Jenna Sommers was killed off in the previous season. Joseph Morgan's character Klaus became a series regular instead of returning as a recurring character.
- Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert / Katherine Pierce
- Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore
- Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore
- Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy Gilbert
- Kat Graham as Bonnie Bennett
- Zach Roerig as Matt Donovan
- Candice Accola as Caroline Forbes
- Michael Trevino as Tyler Lockwood / Klaus
- Matt Davis as Alaric Saltzman
- Joseph Morgan as Niklaus Mikaelson
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|45||1||"The Birthday"||John Behring||Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec||September 15, 2011||2J6001||3.10|
|Elena's eighteenth birthday arrives and Caroline holds a party. Klaus and Stefan hunt for werewolves so Klaus can create more hybrids. Stefan returns home to warn Damon to stop tracking them by killing Andie. Stefan later calls Elena, but doesn't say anything and she promises she will find him. Jeremy continues to see Vicki and Anna's ghosts. Alaric moves out. Caroline is jealous when Tyler brings a date to the party, and the two end up sleeping together. As Caroline leaves, Carol shoots her.|
|46||2||"The Hybrid"||Joshua Butler||Al Septien & Turi Meyer||September 22, 2011||2J6002||2.52|
|Elena and Alaric head to Tennessee and are followed by Damon. Klaus continues to try to create hybrids but fails when the hybrids end up bleeding to death or went crazy and Klaus had to kill them himself. Apparently so because Elena is still alive. Stefan meets up with Damon and tells him to protect Elena. Damon tells Elena that he's wrong about his brother and that Stefan can still be saved. Matt tries to connect with Vicki's ghost through Jeremy. Tyler realises his mother had captured Caroline, who is still being held captive. Tyler then shows his mother he's a werewolf as it was a full moon that night, showing that he was also a monster. Bill, Caroline's dad goes to see Caroline.|
|47||3||"The End of the Affair"||Chris Grismer||Caroline Dries||September 29, 2011||2J6003||2.74|
|Klaus and Stefan arrive in Chicago, where they knew each other during one of Stefan's previous periods as a Ripper in the 1920s. It is revealed that Klaus knew Stefan in the 1920s. Stefan met Klaus and Rebekah in a bar where they became close. Klaus and Rebekah had to leave and Klaus compelled Stefan to forget them. Klaus then daggers Rebekah. In present day, he removes the dagger keeping her demobilized as she has what Gloria (a powerful witch) needs to help Klaus create hybrids. It is revealed that what Gloria needs is the necklace Stefan had given Elena. Damon gets a tip on Stefan and Klaus' whereabouts from Katherine so he and Elena follow the trail. They go to Stefan's old apartment, where Elena sees Stefan's list of victims. While there, Stefan and Klaus arrive. Stefan sees Elena, however doesn't tell Klaus. Tyler tries to rescue Caroline, who is being tortured by her father, who believes he can change her urge to feed on blood by burning her in sunlight every time she feels the urge.|
|48||4||"Disturbing Behavior"||Wendey Stanzler||Brian Young||October 6, 2011||2J6004||2.63|
|In Chicago, Klaus uses Gloria the witch to find out why his hybrids aren't turning out the way he planned and Gloria discovers that Stefan is hiding the fact that the doppelgänger is still alive. She tortures Stefan, but Katherine saves him. Back in Mystic Falls, Damon changes his attitude and kills Alaric but Alaric comes back to life. Damon then tries to kill Bill. Caroline saves her father by giving him her blood and has a confrontation with Damon. Meanwhile, Bonnie returns to Mystic Falls and Jeremy tells her about seeing his ex-girlfriends as ghosts. Stefan also tries to find out what Klaus and his sister Rebekah are running from. The answer turns out to be Mikael. Katherine steals Elena's necklace that can contact the Original Witch and teams up with Damon. Klaus brings Stefan back to Mystic Falls to find out what he is hiding.|
|49||5||"The Reckoning"||John Behring||Michael Narducci||October 13, 2011||2J6005||2.89|
|A senior prank night takes a deadly turn when Klaus finds out that Elena is still alive. Klaus threatens Elena by feeding Tyler his blood and kills him. He tells Bonnie that if she doesn't find a way to create hybrids, Tyler dies. He also tells Stefan to feed on Elena. Stefan tries to stop his urge, but Klaus makes him turn off his emotions and feed on her. Klaus finds out that Elena's blood is needed to create more hybrids. Meanwhile, Katherine and Damon go on a road trip to find a way to kill Klaus. Katherine remembers that Pearl told her about Mikael, the vampire hunter who was also a vampire. Matt, in an attempt to connect with Vicki, commits suicide. In a vision he sees her, and she tells him she can come back to life and has a message for Bonnie. Elena is in the hospital while a nurse, compelled by Klaus, takes her blood. Klaus is waiting to abduct Elena, but he flees when Damon tells him that Mikael is coming. Damon then saves Elena. Moments later, Stefan returns. Jeremy and Katherine find Mikael's tomb and watch as he opens his eyes.|
|50||6||"Smells Like Teen Spirit"||Rob Hardy||Julie Plec & Caroline Dries||October 20, 2011||2J6006||3.03|
|Elena and her friends begin their senior year of high school and she remembers that it has been one year since she met Stefan. Elena is frustrated by her helplessness, so she convinces Alaric to teach her about protecting herself from vampires. Mikael wakes up and bites Katherine. Bonnie and Jeremy are having issues since Jeremy keeps seeing Anna. Klaus' sister, Rebekah, moves in with the Salvatores and attends school. Matt continues to see the ghost of Vicki, and she convinces him to perform a ritual that allows her to come and go from his world as she pleases. She says a witch from the other side promised her that if she killed Elena she can come back forever. The gang attends a bonfire, where Elena and Alaric try to capture Stefan. Tyler feels beholden to Klaus since Klaus essentially made him who he is. Elena saves Stefan from a fire after Vicki tries to kill Elena in Alaric's van. Vicki is eventually restored back to the other side by Bonnie while Damon goes home, where Mason Lockwood appears in front of him.|
|51||7||"Ghost World"||David Jackson||Rebecca Sonnenshine||October 27, 2011||2J6007||3.28|
|Bonnie learns about the ghosts and tries to send them away but instead gives them physical form. Elena catches Jeremy kissing Anna, Bonnie is reunited with Grams, Damon can see Mason, Stefan sees Lexi, and the tomb vampires come back. Mason tells Damon that he knows where to find a weapon that can kill Klaus, so they search for it. Lexi attempts to help Stefan find his humanity, and the tomb vampires attack the founding families. In the end, Bonnie sends all the ghosts away. But before that, Mason shows Damon a secret cave containing the story of the Originals.|
|52||8||"Ordinary People"||J. Miller Tobin||Story by: Nick Wauters
Teleplay by: Julie Plec & Caroline Dries
|November 3, 2011||2J6008||3.51|
|With help from Elena and Bonnie, Alaric tries to decipher the meaning behind his recent discovery. From the writings on the cave wall, he deciphers that Mikael is 'Papa Original', as Damon puts it, the father of Elijah, Rebekah and their other siblings. Elena and Rebekah engage in a mean-girl power struggle, until Rebekah reveals some of her family's ancient secrets and the violent past she shares with Klaus and Elijah. She reveals how the family became vampires. They were once neighbors to a village of werewolves and one night, Klaus and their brother, Henrik, snuck out to see the men change into wolves when it went wrong, and Henrik was killed. The family was distraught and the loss made Mikael obsessed with making the family invulnerable. His wife, a witch, the Original witch, aided them in becoming vampires but nature found ways of ensuring that they had weaknesses. Rebekah also tells Elena that it was Mikael who killed their mother when he found out about her infidelity to him but it is later on deciphered from the writings on the cave wall that it was actually the hybrid, Klaus, who killed his mother, in a fit of temper and rage. This new revelation causes Rebekah to lose faith in her brother. Damon tries a reckless new approach to make a breakthrough with Stefan by releasing him from his imprisonment and they're both surprised by an unlikely ally, Mikael, who has been freed by Katherine.|
|53||9||"Homecoming"||Joshua Butler||Evan Bleiweiss||November 10, 2011||2J6009||3.17|
|On the night of the Homecoming dance, Rebekah opens up to Elena about why the evening is so important to her, leaving Elena with conflicting emotions, Elena then stakes Rebekah leaving her unable to attend the Homecoming dance, Meanwhile, Damon and Elena team up with Mikael to come up with a plan to kill Klaus. However Klaus is saved by Stefan as he pushes Damon out of the way as he is attempting to stake Klaus, Klaus then stakes Mikeal leaving him to burn to death. Caroline and Matt are shocked at Tyler's behavior throughout the evening, it is then revealed that Tyler's action were to keep Caroline safe. The night takes a surreal turn when Klaus puts his latest plan in action. Determined to outsmart Klaus, Damon enters in a dangerous partnership leading to a terrifying turn of events. Stefan is finally able to trap Klaus in a conflicting position.|
|54||10||"The New Deal"||John Behring||Michael Narducci||January 5, 2012||2J6010||3.32|
|Bonnie has a dream about the witches' massacre house, where she finds the coffins of the Originals. One coffin opens and she sees the body of Klaus with the Original Witch's necklace. Back in reality, Stefan asks Bonnie for help in hiding the coffins from Klaus. Bonnie, with help from the dead witches, can make the coffins invisible. She informs Stefan that the coffin she saw opening in her dream is the key to tormenting Klaus but it is sealed with a spell. Klaus wants Elena and Damon to find Stefan in order to get his coffins back but when they refuse, he gets a hybrid to run over Jeremy who has been off vervain due to Tyler's influence and has been compelled by Klaus. Alaric pushes Jeremy out of the way and gets run over. His ring brings him back to life but doesn't heal him; he needs vampire blood to heal him. Alaric meets Dr. Meredith Fell (Torrey DeVitto), who is intrigued with his amazing ability to heal. Stefan reveals to Damon that he stopped the plan to kill Klaus to save Damon's life. Stefan then reveals his plan to torment Klaus in revenge for what Klaus turned him into and refuses to return the coffins, despite Klaus' attempts to kill Jeremy. Elena makes a deal with Klaus to spare Jeremy's life in return for Rebekah's daggered body. When Elena reveals to Klaus that Rebekah wants him dead because he killed their mother, Klaus keeps the dagger in her. Elena asks Damon to compel Jeremy to leave Mystic Falls and move away with family friends so he can have a normal life away from the supernatural. Elena thanks Damon for everything and Damon admits that because Stefan saved him, he can't feel guilty for wanting what he wants (Elena, his brother's girl). He then says "if I'm going to feel guilty, I'll feel guilty about this" and kisses Elena.|
|55||11||"Our Town"||Wendey Stanzler||Rebecca Sonnenshine||January 12, 2012||2J6011||2.86|
|Although Caroline is in no mood to celebrate her 18th birthday, Elena, Bonnie and Matt surprise her with a small party in an unusual location. Damon and Stefan disagree on the best way to handle Klaus, and a reckless Stefan decides to test his theory by taking things to dangerous extremes. Bonnie is concerned when Elena tells her about Jeremy's new plans. At a Founder's meeting, Alaric once again runs into Dr. Fell, who is in the middle of an argument with her ex-boyfriend, the medical examiner. Klaus asked Tyler to bite Caroline. Tyler refuses to go along with Klaus' latest demand, and is surprised when Klaus seems to accept his decision. Tyler went to meet Caroline where she was having her birthday party and told her that he loves her and kisses her but accidentally bites her. Klaus gives Caroline his blood and saves her. Jeremy left Mystic Falls as he was compelled by Damon. Dr. Fell's ex-boyfriend is found dead in the woods with a stake in his heart although he is not a vampire.|
|56||12||"The Ties That Bind"||John Dahl||Brian Young||January 19, 2012||2J6012||2.71|
|Bonnie is reunited with her estranged mother Abby, Klaus negotiates with Stefan to control the coffins of his family members, Tyler tries to regain his free will with the help of Caroline's father Bill, and Damon becomes intrigued by Alaric's new friend Dr. Meredith Fell which leads Alaric to discover a new secret about her: she uses vampire blood to treat her patients. Elena tells Stefan about her kiss with Damon. At the end of episode Klaus gets his family back by compelling Abby to get the location of the coffins out of Bonnie, but Damon hides the big, sealed coffin. Also, Damon resurrects Elijah.|
|57||13||"Bringing Out the Dead"||Jeffrey Hunt||Turi Meyer & Al Septien||February 2, 2012||2J6013||2.74|
|Elena and Alaric are shocked when they learn of Elena's fingerprints on the wooden stake that killed medical examiner Brian Walters. After being accidentally attacked by Tyler, Bill suffers the consequences of having vampire blood in his system which was given by Dr. Meredith Fell; when someone stabs him, killing him and turning him into a vampire. Along with the lively company of Elijah; Damon, Stefan and Klaus agree to consult a truce over dinner, except everything takes a turn when the daggers are pulled out of Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic), Finn (Casper Zafer), and Rebekah (Claire Holt), who are Klaus's siblings. Bill decides not to complete the transition leaving Caroline distraught, and Elena and Matt arrive back home to find Alaric wounded, and to save him Elena being a supernatural doppelganger had to kill him, so that he could come back to life. Bonnie and her mother Abby manage to open up the locked coffin, which contains the supposedly deceased mother of the original family. Stefan told Damon that he loved Elena and Damon said "so do I".|
|58||14||"Dangerous Liaisons"||Chris Grismer||Caroline Dries||February 9, 2012||2J6014||3.08|
|Elena is surprised to receive an invitation to a formal ball, and when Damon and Stefan hear the party is being hosted at Klaus's newly renovated mansion, they both insist on attending the event with her. Caroline and Matt also receive invitations to the ball from unexpected admirers. Caroline ends up with Klaus as her date and Matt - with Rebekah. At the elegant party, Elena learns that Esther intents to kill the originals by linking them all together and then sacrificing Finn by his own will. Then she must decide who she can trust with her new information. Caroline discovers a more sensitive and romantic side of Klaus no one would have suspected. Elena reaches out to Stefan but he says that if he feels again all he feels is pain. Finally, after an evening of violence and dashed hopes, Damon finds a new way to cope by sleeping with Rebekah.|
|59||15||"All My Children"||Pascal Verschooris||Evan Bleiweiss & Michael Narducci||February 16, 2012||2J6015||2.90|
|After Elena finds out about Damon's latest indiscretion, she is frustrated with her friends for not agreeing with her on how they should react about the Original family's internal power struggle. Meanwhile, Bonnie and her mother, Abby, find themselves playing a part in a ritual to appease the spirits of nature (by killing all the Original vampires with a spell requiring 2 generations of Bennett witches). Stefan and Damon are given an ultimatum from Elijah that puts Elena in danger: they either stop Esther from completing the ritual or Rebekah kills Elena. This they turn to Meredith and Alaric for help in killing Kol, which ends up being a terrible choice: Klaus finds out about the ritual as well. Finally, the only solution is for Damon to turn Abby, thus preventing her to be a witch anymore. Esther and Finn flee after they are discovered by the other originals.|
|60||16||"1912"||John Behring||Julie Plec & Elisabeth R. Finch||March 15, 2012||2J6016||2.64|
|The present-day murders in Mystic Falls remind Damon of a similar crime spree a century earlier. In flashbacks to 1912, Damon recalls a beautiful vampire, named Sage (Cassidy Freeman), who showed him a whole new way to exist: a woman is not only a prey, but also a pleasure. Sheriff Forbes warns Damon not to get involved in her investigation of the murders, but Damon is convinced she's going after the wrong suspect, Alaric. Meanwhile, Elena and Matt resort to breaking and entering in their search for evidence to prove Meredith is the killer, they find a hidden door in her closet with a Gilbert journal that belonged to the original Jonathan Gilbert's granddaughter.|
|61||17||"Break On Through"||Lance Anderson||Rebecca Sonnenshine||March 22, 2012||2J6017||2.69|
|Damon finds the way to kill the originals with the help of Sage: the old Wickery Bridge was made of white oak tree. However, Sage finds out that the Originals are linked and that Finn, whom she loves, will be killed as well, so she betrays Damon. Alaric attacks Meredith, but luckily Stefan and Elena arrive in time. Bonnie's mother leaves after losing control and attacking her "son". Bonnie heals Alaric while Stefan and Damon find another way to kill the Originals, at the end of the episode.|
|62||18||"The Murder of One"||J. Miller Tobin||Caroline Dries||March 29, 2012||2J6018||2.44|
|Damon and Stefan make plans to destroy Klaus with their new weapon. Klaus and Rebekah convince Finn to cooperate with their plans to break the link when they reunite him with Sage. Rebekah gets carried away with her own plans out of revenge against Damon for using her to steal her memories of the remaining white oak wood. She stakes Damon with a dagger, then takes him to Klaus' mansion, chains him to the ceiling and cuts him to bleed out his protective vervain. Klaus coerces Bonnie into breaking Esther's linking spell. Bonnie is unsure if she can perform the unlinking spell, but Klaus threatens her mother and shows her that he has Kol watching Jeremy. Stefan lures Finn out of the bar where he was having tequila with Sage, and fails to stake him, but Elena and Matt manage to use Matt's stake to kill Finn. As Finn expires, Bonnie successfully breaks the linking spell making Finn the only Original to die. At the mansion, Rebekah manipulates Damon's hallucinations so he believes he and Elena are about to kiss after she saves Damon and urges him to drink her blood to recover. But then Damon realizes how desperate Rebekah is for attention and love, and that she is actually torturing him for violating these feelings rather than for tricking her to access her memories. Stefan is attacked by Sage, who is upset over Finn's demise. Sage is about to end Stefan when she coughs up blood and dies. Stefan, Elena, and Caroline realize that if an Original is killed, their entire vampire bloodline dies. Stefan goes to negotiate with Klaus and finds Damon bloody and half-conscious. To Damon's disappointment he brings eight of the stakes with him in exchange for his brother. Klaus compels Damon to admit there are actually eleven stakes in total. After failing to use his own stake to kill Klaus Stefan hands it over and promises to bring the other two. Tired of revenge, Rebekah releases Damon as a sign of good faith and leaves with the eight stakes. Caroline and Elena puzzle over the vampire bloodlines and realize that Tyler is a part of Klaus', and he would die if Klaus were killed. Stefan and Elena share a conversation about their feelings and Elena admits she doesn't know how to feel about her love for both Stefan and Damon. Damon goes to retrieve the last white oak stake but finds that Alaric's vampire hating alter ego has hidden it and Alaric can not even guess where.|
|63||19||"Heart of Darkness"||Chris Grismer||Brian Young & Evan Bleiweiss||April 19, 2012||2J6019||2.21|
|Stefan tells Elena he believes she has feelings for Damon. He sends them on a trip together: first, to make sure Jeremy is safe in Denver and to see if his special abilities can reveal from which Original they are descended and second, to find out if Elena has feelings for Damon. While they are gone, Stefan will try to get the location of the final white oak stake out of Alaric's alter-ego. Damon and Elena find Jeremy and ask him to talk to Rose on the other side, but they are interrupted by Kol, whom Damon neutralizes with a stake. Damon and Elena take Jeremy to a motel where he speaks to Rose who sired Katharine who in turn sired the Salvatore brothers. She tells them she was sired by Mary Porter and that she'll find out where Mary is. Meanwhile, Stefan fails at trying to get the location of the stake out of Alaric until Klaus comes by and snaps Alaric's neck. Back in the motel, Damon and Elena give in to their passion and kiss. Meanwhile, Stefan is forced to beat up Alaric to trigger his evil alter-ego, who, after some persuasion, tells Stefan that the last white oak stake is in the underground cave, where no vampire can get it. Meanwhile, Damon, Elena and Jeremy go to the house where Mary lives. Damon and Elena go inside and find Mary staked on the wall. Kol has murdered Mary before Damon and Elena talk to her. Kol then beats Damon up with a metal baseball bat to get even with him. Damon later asks Elena about the kiss, and she admits that Stefan thinks she loves him and was testing her feelings. Damon becomes upset and tells her he's not going to make this decision easy for her, that she must decide completely on her own. Caroline is thrilled when Tyler returns to town, but Tyler soon suspects that something has been going on between Caroline and Klaus, when he finds the picture Klaus drew for Caroline. Elsewhere, Matt has his hands full trying to keep Rebekah busy organizing the school's upcoming 1920s Decade Dance so Caroline can spend some romantic time with Tyler. Esther shows up at Klaus' house where she confronts Rebekah and dies after undergoing a strange fit. At the end of the episode it is revealed that Esther tricked Rebekah into giving her body to her and she wants alter-ego Alaric to work with her.|
|64||20||"Do Not Go Gentle"||Joshua Butler||Michael Narducci||April 26, 2012||2J6020||2.22|
|Alaric finds an unexpected ally, Esther, to guide him on his dangerous new path of killing vampires, while Damon and Meredith try to figure out what their next move should be to bring the real Alaric back from his alter-ego form. At the school's 1920s Decade Dance, Bonnie asks Jamie to go with her, and, at Caroline's suggestion, Elena asks Stefan to be her date. Caroline is pleasantly surprised when Tyler shows up at the dance determined to sweep her off her feet, but Klaus does his best to come between them and tells her that he believes Caroline will eventually come to him, even if she's not ready at the present moment to let go of her "small town boy [and her] small town life" because he knows that eventually "it won't be enough" for her. The dance takes a deadly turn when Damon and Stefan realize they need the help of Matt and Jeremy to protect Elena because the two Salvatore brothers are immobilized on one side of a boundary Esther created. They asked Bonnie to undo the spell that could prove devastating for everyone. Finally, Esther turns Alaric into an Original vampire to kill Klaus and other Originals. Esther also uses Alaric's ring to render the last White Oak stake indestructible so that it can be used multiple times on all the Originals. However, the real Alaric kills Esther and decides not to complete the transition. Stefan, Elena, Damon, Jeremy, Meredith, Bonnie, Caroline, Matt and Tyler mourn Alaric's last moments before he isolates himself to die. Elena finds comfort with Stefan, while Damon stays with Alaric until his last breath. Alaric seems to have died, but Esther compels Bonnie to give Alaric some blood to complete the transition to an Original.|
|65||21||"Before Sunset"||Chris Grismer||Story by: Charlie Charbonneau & Daphne Miles
Teleplay by: Caroline Dries
|May 3, 2012||2J6021||2.54|
|Klaus acts on his intentions to leave town with Elena, but finds resistance from a surprising new enemy, Alaric the Original vampire hunter. Bonnie calls on Abby to help her with a difficult spell that will stop Alaric's heart, the same desiccation spell Abby used on Mikael. Abby warns Bonnie that this will make her subject to temptation she might not be able to resist. Alaric forces Elena to come to the school after he captures and tortures Caroline and tries to persuade her to kill Caroline, as Elena had previously expressed her interest in killing vampires. When Elena tries unsuccessfully to save Caroline and is held captive by Alaric, the Salvatore brothers and Klaus rush to save her. Klaus reveals that it is his bloodline to which the Salvatore brothers and Caroline are linked. As Caroline is escaping, Klaus grabs her and makes sure that Caroline gets home safely. A stunned Caroline agrees to let Klaus, Damon and Stefan save Elena, thanks Klaus, and leaves. Klaus goes to save Elena, taking on Alaric, but Alaric quickly turns the tables and is ready to stake him, but just as Alaric is ready to kill Klaus, Elena correctly assumes that she is Alaric's lifeline and that if she dies, so does he. Klaus escapes with Elena, intending to bleed her dry before he leaves town because he wants to kill Alaric. Tyler, Stefan, and Damon use the desiccation spell on Klaus, "killing" him without killing Tyler. Damon and Stefan have a surprisingly candid conversation about the future: if Elena chooses one brother, the other leaves town. Alaric outs both the Sheriff and the Mayor in front of the Council for failing to protect the town from vampires as both their children are vampires. Elena collapses at the end of the episode.|
|66||22||"The Departed"||John Behring||Story by: Brett Matthews & Elisabeth R. Finch
Teleplay by: Julie Plec
|May 10, 2012||2J6022||2.53|
|Determined to protect his sister, Jeremy makes a decision that will change everything. In the harsh reality of the present situation, Elena longs for simpler times when her parents, Grayson and Miranda, and Aunt Jenna were still alive and her biggest concern was her relationship with Matt. Stefan and Damon leave Mystic Falls together on a mission, but soon split up when Elena needs one of them. When Alaric reveals to the founder's council that they are vampires, Caroline and Tyler are forced to make a life-changing decision and flee from Mystic Falls at the urging of their parents. Alaric kills Klaus (who was revealed to have made Damon's, Stefan's, Caroline's, Abby's and Tyler's bloodline). Bonnie finally makes a secret deal to reincarnate Klaus in the body of Tyler so that her friends wouldn't die (however no one else knows this, as they all believe that Klaus was lying about being the head of their bloodline). Elena has to decide, not knowing Klaus is still alive, to see Damon or Stefan. She rings Damon to tell him that she is going to Stefan and that is who she chooses to be with and says "Maybe if we met first..." It is then shown in a flash back that Damon and Elena met the night of the car crash involving Elena and her parents, but after meeting her, Damon compelled her saying that "No one can know I'm in town yet." Elena and Matt get into a car crash (while this is happening Elena is having flashbacks to when her and her parents were dying in the car). When Stefan comes to save them, she signals him to save Matt instead of her, killing her, which made Alaric go down with her (he then says goodbye to Jeremy in ghost form). At the end of the episode Dr. Fell reveals to Damon that Elena wasn't suffering from a concussion, but a bleeding in the brain and that she did what she had to do to save her, by giving her vampire blood.|
On April 26, 2011, The CW officially renewed The Vampire Diaries for a third season. On May 19, 2011, with the reveal of The CW's 2011-12 schedule, it was announced the series would stay on Thursday's at 8:00 pm Eastern/7:00 pm Central as a lead-in to The Secret Circle which is also produced by Kevin Williamson. Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec, Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy are executive producers for the series.
The third season premiered on Thursday, September 15, 2011.
The series stars Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce, Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore and Silas, Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore, Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy Gilbert, Kat Graham as Bonnie Bennett, Candice Accola as Caroline Forbes, Zach Roerig as Matt Donovan, Michael Trevino as Tyler Lockwood, Matt Davis as Alaric Saltzman and Joseph Morgan as Klaus.
7th Heaven's David Gallagher was cast as werewolf Ray Sutton who has a run-in with Klaus in Tennessee. Australian actress, Claire Holt has been cast as Rebekah the sister of Klaus and Elijah, a beautiful vampire who had the pleasure of Stefan's company back in the early days when he was feasting on human blood. Sebastian Roché has also been cast as Mikael a vampire hunter, who is more specifically after his son Klaus. He feeds on vampires and is hunting Klaus. It is later revealed that he is the father of the Originals and Klaus's stepfather. When his plan to kill Klaus backfires, Mikael is killed by Klaus instead. Heroes star Jack Coleman was cast as Bill, a former resident of Mystic Falls and the father of resident vampire Caroline, who first believes his daughter has become a monster, but later accepts her.
Alice Evans joined the cast as the original witch Esther, Klaus' mother. She was first seen in a flashback in episode eight. Daniel Gillies will also return first appearing in a flashback during episode eight as Klaus' brother, Elijah. Persia White has been cast as Bonnie's mother, Abby Bennett. On November 10, 2011, it was announced that Paul Wesley's wife Torrey DeVitto was cast as Meredith Fell (based off Meredith Sulez from the source novel), a young doctor who is fascinated by Alaric, when she notices how quickly he recovers from an injury. She uses vampire blood to cure people and starts dating Alaric. On November 16, 2011, it was announced that Robert Ri'chard was cast as Jamie a new love interest for resident witch Bonnie. On November 22, 2011, it was announced that Daniel Newman was cast as Daniel Warren, appearing in one episode. Australian actor Nathaniel Buzolic has been cast to play Klaus and Elijah's brother Kol and English actor Caspar Zafer has been cast as their other brother Finn. On January 13, 2012, it was announced that Cassidy Freeman was cast as Sage. On March 31, 2012, Sara Canning was confirmed to return as Jenna Sommers in a flashback in the last episode of the season, "The Departed". On April 9, 2012, Jason MacDonald and Erin Beute were confirmed as Elena's parents, will appear in a flashback in the last episode of the season. Lauren Cohan re-appeared in the episode 'Heart of Darkness,' as ghost Rose, to contact Jeremy and find Mary, who turned Rose into a vampire.
Season three begins in the aftermath of Jenna's death and the ceremony which lead the creation of Klaus being the first hybrid this has heavily affected Alaric, Elena, and Jeremy. Stefan is on a ripper binge where he can not control his urges for human blood and continues to become a darker character. In trying to help Stefan, Elena and Damon spend time together and they begin to realize that they have feelings for each other. The both feel guilt over this and do not speak about it out loud but it is a silent truth between the two of them.
Jeremy is still having trouble with his ghosts and they are trying to convey an important message to him. He and Bonnie are becoming more distant as the distractions of ghosts from his past in his every day life are distracting him.
Klaus is intent on creating an army of hybrids (half vampire half werewolf) that are sired to him. In the beginning he enlists Stefan to help him but Stefan eventually leaves. The season also has an focus on how the Original family of vampires came to be vampires by their father, Michael Mikaelson, asking Esther to make them stronger then their neighbours who were werewolves. It also delves deeper into the physiology of the family specifically the siblings and shows the reason behind their motto "Always and Forever" and how bonds formed between some of the siblings.
|No.||Title||Air date||18–49 rating (Live + SD)||Viewers
|Total 18-49 increase||Total viewers
|1||"The Birthday"||September 15, 2011||1.5||1.1||2.0||3.98|
|2||"The Hybrid"||September 22, 2011||1.2||1.00||1.7||3.52|||
|3||"The End of the Affair"||September 29, 2011||1.3||1.05||1.8||3.79|||
|4||"Disturbing Behavior"||October 6, 2011||1.2||1.05||1.7||3.68|||
|5||"The Reckoning"||October 13, 2011||1.4||1.4||1.2||3.76|
|6||"Smells Like Teen Spirit"||October 20, 2011||1.3||1.6||1.7||3.88|
|7||"Ghost World"||October 27, 2011||1.5||1.31||2.1||4.59|||
|8||"Ordinary People"||November 3, 2011||1.6||1.12||2.2||4.63|||
|9||"Homecoming"||November 10, 2011||1.4||2.0||1.8||4.78|
|10||"The New Deal"||January 5, 2012||1.5||0.88||1.9||4.20|||
|11||"Our Town"||January 12, 2012||1.2||1.43||1.8||4.29|||
|12||"The Ties That Bind"||January 19, 2012||1.2||1.13||1.7||3.84|||
|13||"Bringing Out the Dead"||February 2, 2012||1.2||1.37||1.8||4.11|||
|14||"Dangerous Liaisons"||February 9, 2012||1.3||1.17||1.8||4.25|||
|15||"All My Children"||February 16, 2012||1.4||1.04||1.9||3.94|||
|16||"1912"||March 15, 2012||1.2||1.32||1.8||3.96|||
|17||"Break on Through"||March 22, 2012||1.3||1.03||1.8||3.72|||
|18||"The Murder of One"||March 29, 2012||1.2||1.02||1.7||3.46|||
|19||"Heart of Darkness"||April 19, 2012||1.0||1.32||1.6||3.53|||
|20||"Do Not Go Gentle"||April 26, 2012||1.1||1.01||1.6||3.23|||
|21||"Before Sunset"||May 3, 2012||1.1||0.88||1.7||3.42|||
|22||"The Departed"||May 10, 2012||1.2||0.98||1.8||3.51|||
DVD and Blu-ray release
|The Vampire Diaries - The Complete Third Season|
|Set Details||Special Features|
Exclusive bonus features for Blu-ray Disc version:
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|September 11, 2012||August 20, 2012||October 3, 2012|
- Gorman, Bill (September 16, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Vampire Diaries,' 'Wipeout' Adjusted Up; 'The Secret Circle' Quarter Hour Ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (September 23, 2011). "Thursday Finals: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'The X Factor,' 'Parks & Recreation' and 'Whitney' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (September 30, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'X Factor,' 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'The Office' & 'The Secret Circle,' 'Mentalist' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (October 7, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'X Factor,' 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'The Office,' 'Person of Interest,' 'Parks & Rec' Adjusted Up; 'Private Practice' Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
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- Seidman, Robert (October 28, 2011). "TThursday Final Ratings: World Series Game 6 Finals + 'Big Bang,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Office,' 'Person,' Adjusted Up; 'Rules,' 'Secret Circle,' 'Whitney,' 'Prime Suspect' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (November 4, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'The X Factor,' 'Parks & Recreation,' 'The Office,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
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- Gorman, Bill (January 6, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Vampire Diaries' Adjusted Up; 'Wipeout,' 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- Seidman, Robert (January 13, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' Adjusted Up; 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
- Gorman, Bill (January 20, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' Tops 'American Idol' 1st Half Hour; 'Office,' 'Mentalist,' 'Grey's' Adj. Up; 'Person,' 'Rob,' 'Parks' Adj. Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
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- Gorman, Bill (February 17, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Big Bang Theory,' '30 Rock,' 'Office' Adjusted Up; 'Person Of Interest,' 'Mentalist,' 'Secret Circle' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (March 16, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol', 'The Office', 'Missing' Adjusted Up, 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down + NCAA Game Ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- Seidman, Robert (March 23, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol,' 'Touch,' '30 Rock,' 'Up All Night' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- March 30, 2012. "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol',"The Big Bang Theory', 'Missing' and 'Vampire Diaries' Adjusted Up, 'Rules' and 'Touch' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (April 20, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol', 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Awake' & 'Missing' Adjusted Up; 'Scandal' & 'Parks and Recreation' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (April 27, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Idol', 'Big Bang Theory', 'Grey's', 'The Vampire Diaries', 'Mentalist' & 'Missing' Adjusted Up; 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
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- Gorman, Bill (April 26, 2011). ""The Vampire Diaries," "Gossip Girl," "90210," "Supernatural" & "America's Next Top Model" Renewed By The CW". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
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- "Spoilers: Joseph Morgan Becomes A Regular On The Vampire Diaries. - Vampire Diaries News - Soaps.com". Soaps.sheknows.com. 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
- Matt Webb Mitovich (2011-07-15). "Exclusive: Vampire Diaries Has 7th Heaven's David Gallagher Over for a Bite". Blog.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
- "'The Vampire Diaries': Claire Holt cast as Stefan's vampire ex, Bex - From Inside the Box - Zap2it". Blog.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
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- "Exclusive: Heroes' Jack Coleman to Guest Star on The Vampire Diaries - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
- "'The Vampire Diaries': Original mother cast! Alice Evans as Klaus's mom - From Inside the Box - Zap2it". Blog.zap2it.com. 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
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- "'The Vampire Diaries': 'Pretty Little Liars'' Torrey DeVitto Joins Cast as Recurring Character (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. 2011-11-09. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
- "Robert Ri'chard Joins the Cast". Vampire Diaries Guide. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
- Jenny McGrath. "The Vampire Diaries Brings Paul Newman's Grandson to Mystic Falls - The Vampire Diaries". Wetpaint.com. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
- Jenny McGrath. "Vampire Diaries Casts Caspar Zafer and Nathaniel Buzolic as Klaus' Brothers Finn and Kol - The Vampire Diaries". Wetpaint.com. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
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- "The Vampire Diaries Casts Elena's Parents". TV Fanatic. 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
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- "Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Tops Absolute Gains, 'The Secret Circle' Tops % Gains In Week 3". TV by the Numbers. October 24, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- "Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Big Bang Theory' Top Absolute Gains, 'Supernatural' Tops % Gains In Week 6". TV by the Numbers. November 14, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- "Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Tops Absolute Gains, 'House' Tops % Gains In Week 7". TV by the Numbers. November 21, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- "Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Tops Absolute Gains; 'Pan Am' Tops % Gains in Week 16". TV by the Numbers. January 23, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- "Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Tops Absolute Gains; 'Grimm' Tops % Gains in Week 17". TV by the Numbers. January 30, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- "Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Tops Absolute Gains; 'Fringe' Tops % Gains in Week 18". TV by the Numbers. February 6, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- "Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Glee' Tops Absolute Gains; 'Grimm' Tops % Gains in Week 20". TV by the Numbers. February 20, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- "Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Tops Absolute Ratings Gains; 'Pan Am' Tops % Gains in Week 21". February 27, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- "LLive+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Tops Absolute Ratings Gains; 'Fringe' Tops % Gains in Week 22". March 5, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- "Live+7 DVR Ratings: "Modern Family' Tops Absolute Ratings Gain; 'Nikita' & 'Ringer' Top % Gains in Week 26". TV by the Numbers. April 2, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
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