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The Vampire Diaries Fans Choose Who Is Better: Elena Vs Katherine

Good and evil. Light and dark. Elena and Katherine. These dichotomies are ever-present in the smash CW series "The Vampire Diaries." When Elena (Nina Dobrev) first appears in Season 1, she is the ideal good girl. Still reeling from the death of her parents, Elena tries to move past it and start the year fresh. She makes a vow to put on a brave face and get out with her friends more. But this is all complicated when she falls for two vampire brothers, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). This love triangle opens a large can of worms which leads Elena to learn that she is not just any ordinary girl but in fact comes from a long line of doppelgängers. Though this doesn't give her any interesting powers or the ability to protect herself, it does usher in the era of Katherine (also portrayed by Dobrev).

Elena and Katherine may look exactly alike, but this is where the similarities end. Where Elena is a human, Katherine is a vampire. Where Elena is self-sacrificing, Katherine is selfish. Elena clings to her humanity but Katherine celebrates being a survivor. Both characters have their weaknesses and strengths and from time to time, even make the Salvatore brothers question who they should be with. Fans have debated this very question for a long time and few have come up with an answer. Who really is better: Elena or Katherine?

Katherine was just better than Elena

"The Vampire Diaries" goes to great lengths to make Elena relatable. She always strives to do the right thing and protect her family above all else. Because Elena is the point of view of the series, her enemy Katherine is painted as the villain. But that doesn't mean that she doesn't have her merits. In a fan discussion on Reddit, some came to the conclusion that Katherine surpasses Elena in many ways.

"I started liking Elena once she turned her humanity off, I don't know if it was the fact her hair wasn't so boring or if it was because she wasn't a walking sack of grief but she was definitely more likable for me at that point," commented u/the_evil_pineapple. Though Elena's grief at the beginning of the series is warranted, she never moves past it. She wallows in her sadness even though she has a brother (Steven R. McQueen) who is going through the exact same thing. Fans note that Katherine is just more fun.

"I think Elena was just meant to be more 'girl next door' bland type and she pulled that off well," posted u/Freyaaaay. "...Katherine is [...] better than Elena ever was." Always armed with a scheme or a betrayal, Katherine acts in a way that many would consider unacceptable. But because she is a vampire, she is free from societal constraints. She can do anything she wants, no matter how deplorable, making her the more entertaining character.

Everyone agrees that Nina Dobrev killed it as both characters

Though many fans find Elena boring compared to Katherine, there is no doubt that Nina Dobrev is the true MVP. Not only does the actor have to portray both Elena and Katherine, but she plays a multitude of other characters throughout the life of the show.

"[I] think she played them both perfectly. the way she was able to play katherine, elena, Katherine pretending to be elena, elena pretending to be katherine, amara and tatia in completely different ways is so jaw dropping," Redditor u/nazzaaaaa posted. "[A]dd non-humanity Elena to the list," agreed u/kintoreite. Elena's lack of humanity could have made her a carbon copy of Katherine. Instead, Dobrev's portrayal is inspired, depicting Elena as a distinctly different character. Ever the professional, Dobrev had a method to the madness which allowed her to keep the characters straight.

"I remember carrying around two separate scripts, one for each character, because I had to break down what Elena was going through in that episode and what her intentions were and then having a separate script for what Katherine wanted out of every scene," she told Entertainment Weekly. "Even the physicalities, I had to kind of draw out and map out what I would do as each character." Ultimately this hard work paid off. Dobrev played one of the most iconic villains of the show. Sure, her methods were questionable, but Katherine's motivations were always rooted in emotion, making her a fascinating character.