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The Only Vampire Diaries Characters To Appear In Every Episode

In The Vampire Diaries' world of vampires, werewolves, doppelgängers, and witches, it's no surprise that so many characters get written out of a few episodes — or even forever. With all of the doom, gloom, and vampy goodness the show sets forth, not many of the series' actors can say that they were there for all 171 episodes of the vampire drama. Not even main character Elena Gilbert, played by Nina Dobrev, sticks it out for the entire series. Most of the other mainstay characters either die a few times, or have to get lost for a while when the villain of the week is hot on their trail.

However, despite the trials and tribulations of living in Mystic Falls, hotbed of the supernatural, a few characters do manage to show up in every single episode of The Vampire Diaries. Whether they survive the show because of their keen otherworldly abilities, or just happen to be the luckiest humans in the world, these are the only Vampire Diaries characters who appear in every episode.

Damon Salvatore

Mystic Falls' resident bad boy Damon Salvatore has been breaking the hearts and biting the necks of Mystic Falls women since 1864. Unsurprisingly, he has more than a few skeletons in his closet. In the pilot, he rolls up to town to make things difficult for his little brother Stefan and his new girlfriend Elena ... who happens to look exactly like their mutual ex Katherine from over a hundred years ago. Can you say "awkward?"

Between the love triangle Damon embroils himself in with Stefan and Elena, his unlikely friendship with the sheriff and the resident vampire hunter Ric Saltzman, and the daily brother drama he has with Stefan, there's always room for some Damon antics in the script. Fans are still hoping that Damon Salvatore might grace their screens once more, but Ian Somerhalder would rather his character live as an immortal vampire on Netflix than mess with the happy ending he gets at the series' close. Regarding unfounded rumors of a ninth season, Somerhalder joked with Andy Cohen during a radio interview, "I mean, like, what would happen? [...] Damon has like, gray hair, and they have canes?" Blown away that the show is still popular on streaming services, he added, "Listen, it ran a great course, and now it's still living. That's what's so amazing. It's still living."

Stefan Salvatore

No character skirts the line between good and bad more than Paul Wesley's Stefan Salvatore. Throughout the series, we're given little snippets of his less-than-desirable history. There's the time he turned his brother into a vampire without his consent, for example, to say nothing of those uncomfortable periods of time when he turned off his humanity to become the Ripper. Indeed, Stefan has enough angst to fill up the entire show, especially since he appears in every episode. But the series wouldn't be the same without his gloomy outlook, or his surprising bursts of lighthearted fun. 

It's hard to imagine anyone else besides Wesley furrowing their eyebrows well enough to play Stefan. Still, the actor revealed to EW that he initially tried out for the role of Damon. He said, "They wouldn't see me for Stefan because they thought I was too old." According to co-creator Kevin Williamson, Somerhalder had a rocky audition for Damon — but Williamson was ready to walk from the show if Somerhalder wasn't Damon. Williamson declared, "It was the only time in my career where I said, 'If he doesn't get the part, I'm going to have to leave the show.'" Luckily, that meant Wesley could audition for Stefan, as he's younger than Somerhalder. The rest, as they say, is history.

Bonnie Bennett

Kat Graham's Bonnie Bennett is the glue that holds the supernatural and human worlds together. Sure, she's been known to cause a rift or two herself, but this witch is always there when those pesky vampires do something wild to mess up the natural order — which is a daily event. Even when she dies in season four after getting into some shady magic, she still manages to appear in every episode until she rejoins the land of the living. Now, that's commitment. 

Fans have often criticized The Vampire Diaries for its treatment of characters of color, and Bonnie is no exception. Between frequent arcs of being used by everyone around her and shallow storylines of her own, Bonnie's path is marked by a pattern that's not hard to see when you look closely.  

While Graham is grateful for her time on The Vampire Diaries and the fans she gained through the show, the actress is currently focusing on projects that make a difference. She revealed to POPSUGAR, "I look for things that help raise the awareness of what people might not know about or communities that might be overlooked or marginalized societies that are not getting the proper attention or support that they need." It doesn't look like we'll be seeing her saving the supernatural world on Legacies anytime soon, but never say never. Maybe if the right storyline surfaces, we could see our favorite witch back in action. 

Caroline Forbes

Not only is Caroline Forbes, played Candice King, in every single The Vampire Diaries episode, she also appears in a handful of The Originals episodes — and her presence is palpable in the second in-universe spinoff, Legacies. Caroline might start the series as a vapid and deeply self-conscious mean girl, but she transforms into the most compassionate and well-adjusted vampire on the series. 

You know what's even more impressive? King was pregnant with her first child during season seven of the series — and she still managed to appear in every episode without missing a beat. The writers' decision to magically implant Alaric's dead twins into Caroline's equally dead vampire body is, admittedly, a bit of a head-scratcher. Yet King pulled off the plot twist admirably, and now the twins, Josie and Lizzie, are all grown up and headlining Legacies

King has yet to make her way onto the Legacies screen, but the twins talk about her often, even mentioning off-screen visits. It's always nice to hear that our favorite Miss Mystic Falls is living the fabulous life she deserves, but fans are dying for a King cameo in the spinoff. They sort of get their wish in the season three musical episode, "Salvatore: The Musical!," as King lent her voice to a letter penned by Caroline to her daughter Lizzie, offering advice and assurances that she's not broken, just different — and changing. However, we're still waiting for King to show up in person.

Matt Donovan

Matt Donovan, played by Zach Roerig, is the luckiest character ever to grace Mystic Falls. With a friend group comprised exclusively of supernatural beings, it's nothing short of a miracle that he stays alive without ever taking an extended vacation when the going gets tough. 

Sure, Elena and company try to keep him out of the fray as much as possible, but Matt still manages to involve himself in a fair number of supernatural squabbles. Unlike most of the town's humans, he comes through relatively unscathed. The boy next door certainly has many emotional scars from losing his sister Vicky and dealing with his flaky, alcoholic mother, but fending for yourself tends to make you a pretty strong person when you're a teenager. Matt is no exception.

Refreshingly, Matt is one of the few characters who rejects most of the paranormal nonsense his friends get involved in, remaining the token human for every episode of the series. Outside of Alaric, he's also the only main character from the original series to play a somewhat significant role in Legacies, where he picks up where Sheriff Forbes left off. However, fans don't get to see Roerig reprise his role for long. After his two-episode stint in the show's debut season, Alaric mentions a "Mayor Donovan," so it looks like our favorite human got a promotion. Who knows? Maybe we'll see Matt again.