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When the The Vampire Diaries first premiered in 2009 at the height of that other vampire franchise's fame, no one could have predicted what the show would eventually become. It didn't help that the first season felt rather cliched and silly, or that our current Queen, Katherine Pierce, was barely even a character. But once Season 2 premiered, everything changed. The series became synonymous with fast-paced storytelling and took pleasure in killing off characters left and right. 

Now in its fifth season and on the brink of celebrating 100 episodes (no, we can't believe it either), The Vampire Diaries has definitely made a few missteps along the way (the cure, anyone?), but the series still knows how to kill people off in ways that gut you... and then drag you through a field full of scorpions and broken glass, only to set you on fire afterward. Right now, we're waiting on pins and needles to find out whether Katherine will live or die as a result of being 500 years old and a human, so, in honor of this week's big celebration, and Katherine's humanity, let's count down the 10 best deaths of the series so far.

*hands you a tissue* Ready?


10. Elena Gilbert


This is by far the wettest and most beautiful death scene the show has ever done, but I suppose that makes sense given that it was Elena's. It wasn't terribly surprising that she died, but the fact that she drowned in the exact same spot where she'd nearly died with her parents made the moment especially poignant. Of course, it was kind of her fault since she made Stefan save Matt first (just as her father had done for her), but whatever. Let's focus on the fact that when Elena died, Evilaric died too. Because that's what really did me in.


9. Carol Lockwood


Klaus is one hell of jerk. I mean, we all knew this by the time he dunked Mayor Lockwood in the fountain on Christmas as a beautiful rendition of "O, Come, All Ye Faithful" played (and this was after he'd slaughtered a pack of hybrids), but he'd already caused Tyler so much pain that watching the life drain from her eyes really kind of sucked. Sorry, Carol. Sorry, Tyler. Sorry, Christmas.


8. Vicki Donovan


She was the first character to die on The Vampire Diaries, and she was Matt's sister, which means she kind of deserves a place on this list, even if we didn't have much time to spend with her. What her death lacked in sadness, though, it more than made up for in shock value. No one expected a seemingly major character death so early in the series, but there she went, and it was the first warning to fans that death would be a familiar figure in Mystic Falls. However, it wasn't until much later that I realized just how big of a role it would play. Silly me.


7. Caroline Forbes


Becoming a vampire was the best thing to happen to Caroline Forbes, because she was mostly insufferable and horribly self-centered in Season 1. Sometimes I forget that Season 1 Caroline existed, because everything is better that way, but right now I have to face the facts. Caroline was killed by Katherine in the Season 2 premiere, and it was so unexpected that I nearly forgot she had vampire blood in her system at all. Obviously, 77 episodes and a personality transplant later, Caroline is probably one of the best characters on the show, so, um, thank you for being such a horrible bitch, Katherine?


6. Grams


Setting aside the fact that this was the first time we really understood the consequences of magic, who hires Jasmine Guy and then just kills her off? I mean honestly. Sure, Grams has made ghostly several appearances over the years, but killing her off in the middle of the first season was just plain rude and inconsiderate, not to mention unbearably sad.


5. Anna


Anna was probably the best lady friend Jeremy ever had, and it sucked a big one when she died at the hands of Julian Sark John Gilbert, but that isn't the reason her death is ranked so high on this list. It's because despite her shady beginnings, she was one of the first vampires we came across who felt like a real human being. The girl just wanted her mom, okay? She wasn't a dick who murdered people for fun like Season 1 Damon tended to do, and she didn't hate herself for what she was like Stefan. Anna was Anna, and it's a shame she had to die at all.


4. Lexi


By far one of the best characters the show has ever created, especially when you take into consideration that she's one of the only people who can make Stefan happy, it was a terribly cruel move on Damon's part when he killed her. Yes, he had his reasons, but I still haven't forgiven him, and I don't intend on doing so anytime soon. Long live Lexi!


3. Aunt Jenna


Many now-deceased characters have made appearances on The Vampire Diaries after their deaths, but Aunt Jenna—poor, sweet Aunt Jenna—gave her life for Elena and was at peace with everything when Klaus killed her. Which means that, unlike many others, she didn't return when the veil dropped in Season 4. Aunt Jenna was kind of awesome, and she had just begun her relationship with Alaric when she was turned and then subsequently murdered. I'm still not over it.


2. Jeremy Gilbert


Yeah, he's back now, but there was a brief moment during Season 4 in which I kind of lost the will to live. A cave on a remote island in Canada is probably one of the last places I'd want to kick the bucket, but if it was as beautifully lit as the one where Jeremy perished after Silas broke his neck (and drank a lot of his blood), well, then maybe I'd think about it. But even though I had an inkling that the littlest Gilbert (and his magical biceps) would be back, it was still really hard to watch. And as a result, Elena switched off her emotions and then burnt down their house. I mean, all of Jeremy's video games were in there. All those moments Damon and Elena shared on that porch—boom, gone in an instant. Let's hope Jeremy doesn't die "for good" again, because I really like the Salvatore mansion and would hate to see Stefan's diaries go up in flames (oops, too late).


1. Alaric Saltzman


Look, there's no beating around the bush with this one. Alaric's death was by far the hardest thing I've ever lived through, and I'm fairly certain many of you feel the same way. Alaric was one of the best cast additions The Vampire Diaries ever made, and his transition from vampire-hunting history teacher to Elena's guardian and Damon's BFF was what made his demise so hard to handle. And the worst part about it wasn't even that it happened (though that final scene between Damon and Alaric and the bourbon and the jokes about rainbows was the most heartbreaking thing I've ever seen), it was that we had to relive those feelings over and over again every time he appeared after the fact, like when he returned as Evilaric and then died for good a few episodes later. Or when he popped up in Season 4 to tell Damon, who couldn't see him or hear him, that he missed him too. Or when his ghost returned after Bonnie had dropped the veil, only to have him disappear again once it went back up. Stop toying with our hearts this way, Julie Plec. Just bring him back for good already, because otherwise I think I have a pretty good case to sue for emotional trauma.


Which TVD deaths have hit you the hardest? And do you think Katherine will be earning a spot on the next iteration of this list in the show's 100th episode?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/29/2016

Season 7 : Episode 20

Next Episode

AIRS ON 5/6/2016

Season 7 : Episode 21

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:( very awesome list. made me very sad. can someone remind me why jeremy died when silas killed him even though he was wearing the ring? silas is a supernatural creature, is he not? or was he not wearing it? i thought he was.

why was vicki even here? i agree with people here! rose! but there's so many other deaths, even if we don't care about them. like rose's friend. or tyler's uncle. or every black guy bonnie's dated. or that lady friend damon had when stefan was a ripper. angie, right? i dont even know who else.. i like when price introduces someone "rip guy 2014-2014" hahha!
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When Jeremy became a member of the Brotherhood of the Five he became supernatural. The Gilbert Ring doesn't work for supernatural beings. Jeremy once tried to lone his ring to Bonnie (she told him it wouldn't work because she was a witch), Damon wanted to use John's ring to save Elena in the sacrifice (but Elijah pointed out that since she was a doppelganger the ring would not work for her). Matt is the only member of the main cast that isn't a supernatural being - so he now has Jeremy's ring.
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you are right! thanks for getting back at me on this! it's so hard to keep track on everything that goes on with this show xD
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1. Lexi
2. Alaric
3. Rose

I DQ anyone who "dies" and isn't really gone. These 3 bit it, permanently, and it sucks. The show is less good because they are gone, and that's why Lexi is my number 1 - there's a Lexi shaped hole in the show. Stefan needs her support. Damon needs her criticism. Her death was supposed to prove a point about Damon; a point that seems to have been forgotten now anyway. Lexi appeared and in 44 minutes became everyone's favorite character. That's incredible, and it was totally wasted. BOO.

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I liked all of those characters but I don't think the show is any worse for their deaths. In fact, the show has evolved beyond the need for any of the three. Alaric was Jeremy & Elena's adult guardian, a strength and protectiveness that also served to help fill them in on vampire stuff. Now Elena is strong and a vampire herself, starting her adult life. Jeremy no longer needs him either, with everything he's been through and the skills he's acquired. Rose was everyone's glimpse into who the Originals were and what they were capable of, and she also served to fill out some more of Katherine's back story. Beyond that she had nowhere left to stand in the story. Lexi was brilliant and much-needed to give Stefan support and lend an ear, but they basically gave Caroline that job now.

I do agree with the insinuation though that TVD deaths are generally pretty cheap and meaningless. Everybody seems to get an emotional death scene or three at some point but things get back in order and they return a few episodes later. Jeremy was the worst case of that IMO. I was starting to get bored with TVD and then when he died it entirely sucked me back in. It was so dark and heart-breaking, and it meant a lot of growing up and change for newly vampire Elena. I was excited to see who'd she become in light of all of it, but they just copped out, gave her her family back, and made her the adored, mostly-untroubled small town girl again. Not to mention that Jeremy came back only to be more useless than ever. It would have been better for him to leave in his prime, but the same can also be said of Bonnie. They've overstayed. I think the writers were right to "dismiss" Alaric, Rose, and Lexi before they did the same.
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It really cheapens the character when they do this dead-but-not-really business, doesn't it. I too thought jeremy's send off was so tragic and well done; reversing it undercut everything.

I'm still faithfully watching TVD but am starting to prefer The Originals - it just feels like they aren't afraid to make really bold plot moves over there.
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Rose's death really must be on top 3!!! It was brilliant and terribly sad!
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yea, i loved rose. it was one of the few times damon was an actual human being.
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This, to me, is one of the best and most depressing from TVD


Still chokes me up, so sad :(
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lol. So no one cared when Bonnie died?...... *Crickets
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You forgot Rose.... one of the saddest and most beautiful scenes of the show.
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who's rose?
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To add, Alaric's death was painful. It is such a huge loss, not having him on the show. I stopped watching TVD for months after they killed him.

BRING. ALARIC. BACK.
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Alaric is and always will be #1. What a great character! What a great loss! Grams and Lexi and a close second. Imagine what it would have been like if they had both been allowed to hang around a little longer! Grams may have been able to teach Bonnie how to use her magic competently and responsibly. Lexi may have saved us from countless episodes of Stefan having pity parties for himself. *sigh*
Oh, and Jenna. Jenna, Jenna, Jenna. *sniff*
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Alaric was the saddest one for me. By far. Lexi was tough too. It's funny how much you can come to like a character or actor in one episode. Losing Jenna was tough too. The death of Rose was hard as well. As I said, we can come to like a character so quickly. Anna dying was hard to watch. I liked her a lot. But Alaric was by far the hardest!! I miss him in each episode, and wish for more episodes when he can come back to visit...
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Woah - Rose?!?!?! Am I being bonkers/ blind? It's not on there, right? The best, most beautiful and strangest death TVD has ever done is not on the list?
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I was looking for Rose as well. Yes Vicki was the 1st official major death but I would have rather Rose in her place.
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I am definitely in the "They-can't-kill-off-Katherine-camp" but the above list makes that sound kind of delusional!
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I totally agree Alaric should be number one! I cry every time he comes back and again every time he leaves. My number 2 is probably actually Anna, though for mainly the reasons stated. Number 3, Lexie. although her number has risen since her actual death scene. She was such a cool character and the fact that I started to love her even more after she died was just horrible! My 4 and 5 were two characters that didn't make your list at all. Rose's death caused me to cry buckets of tears! It was one of the sweetest things you had seen Damon do at the time. The other was Andie. While I could have just shrugged off her death as a friend of Jenna, the fact that Damon kept her around for so long said a lot about how much he liked her and the fact that Stephan killed her made it 1000 times worse!
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Elena's death scene was indeed beautiful: the music, the editing, the significance... I cried and I don't even like her so much. Jenna's dying and her funeral was the saddest, in my opinion. Still mad about Kol.
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I would say that the death of Caroline's dad was really sad - probably the saddest. Mostly because of Caroline and her relationship with him, not because i like him, but I felt for her. That episode made me cry!
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If Catherine dies, we riot! Long live the Queen!
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Poll

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Rose!
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alaric & lexi
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agreed, alaric gone is the worst thing ever
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Alaric and Anna. I miss them. I cried when they died.
Not Elena. I want to kill her my self. She is so annoying. Sometimes I have to take a break from the serie because Elena is driving me crazy
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Rose's death should replace Vicky's. I don't think anyone of us really cared *that* much about Vicky. Rose, on the other hand, was kickass.

I'd also replace Gram's death with Isobel's. Jasmine Guy was awesome, but Grams was not that big of a deal. Isobel, and the way she chose to go, with Elena having to watch, was powerful.

And thank you for putting Carol Lockwood there. For the life of me, I cannot imagine why fans want Caroline with a character as awful as Klaus.
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Alaric hands down is the most missed character. Lexie should have stayed and been that constant for Stephan. Thankfully with flashbacks and veils dropped and what not she's been back but way too little. And back to Alaric, if it weren't for him getting Cult, I sure hope they weren't planning on killing him off anyway. I miss the old Gilbert house with Jenna around. Things move on and stories change but sometimes too much change.
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If I recall correctly, they were planning on killing Alaric off (and Matt Davis' contract was up anyway), but he also wasn't necessarily very happy with the way Alaric's story was progressing. Cult came right as he found out Alaric would be dying.
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Okay, thanks. Definitely don't agree with Plec then for killing off Alaric but it's the type of show that does these things. :P
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Alaric was the only death that made me hurt and want to curl up in a ball and pretend it didn't happen. The rest were awesome plot devices and some were painful, but Alaric's...sheesh. I believe I may have uttered "Ugh no just kill me now" when I realized he was actually going to die and it wasn't just some "He'll come close and we'll scare you but NOPE he's still alive!" moment.
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Vampire Caroline the best thing in this show. No wonder the writers had to get rid of Tyler and Klaus because they overshadowed stupid Elena/Stefan/Damn. I feel though, that these days the writers are just being silly with her character. She is so awesome an actress and character that she can easily over shadow Elena. Tis a shame, so much awesomeness there. I want her to grow up and move to New Orleans ;)

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alaric :'( :'( and rose aw well both were heartbreaking but alaric's hit me the most cos we had to see him turn evil first.Also,lexi's death because i kind of imagine if she was around the show would ve been much better.
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Rose, Aunt Jenna's, Alaric's, Anna's and Lexi's Deaths were what meant the most to me. i mean come on rose isnt even here.

Rose's Death was perfect and so beautiful. and when she came back in season 3 i was squealing with joy, and when she a private conversation with Jeremy about Damon and Elena and how she's rooting for them. absolutely beautiful.

Rose's Death should be in the top 3
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"Becoming a vampire was the best thing to happen to Caroline Forbes, because she was mostly insufferable and horribly self-centered in Season 1. Sometimes I forget that Season 1 Caroline existed, because everything is better that way. Obviously, 77 episodes and a personality transplant later, Caroline is probably one of the best characters on the show."

While I would agree with you wholeheartedly about Caroline being a better character after becoming a Vampire, I also want to stress that I'm really disappointed in the writers decision to let "the old Caroline" creep in whenever the plot needs it.
Lately, whenever they need a character to be really stupid and rude - it's Caroline. She was great in Seasons 2 & 3 but throughout Season 4 her bimbo-self-centered-ditz persona started to slowly resurface.

Writer #1: Ummm...we need someone to keep reminding Elena that Damon is a Duche? Like over and over again....but it can't be Stefan. Who could we use?

Writer #2 (writer in charge whose name is most likely Julie Plec): Well who do we ALWAYS use for verbal-diarrhoea, obnoxious dialogue and ditzy behaviour?

Writer #1: Ummm....Elena?

Writer #2: No silly. Elena is the audience surrogate so she can't be too stupid.

Writer #3: I know! Caroline?!?

Writer #2: Ding, ding, ding! Ofcourse it's Caroline! She's our part-time moron! Well done writer #3, you're getting a raise!


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Agreed. They're using Caroline's personality from season 1 to remind us and the character all the bad things Damon has done. We don't need that, we do remember.
They're ruining her character.
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Alaric/Evilaric
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Alaric definitely deserves the first place. Just reading about it made me start to tear up... :(
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For me Carol Lockwood and the hybrids deathes are the most powerful scenes in TVD because of the difference between what's happening and the Xmas songs is kind of disturbing and making these scenes more powerful.
On the emotional side I think Alaric death was one of the sadest.

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ALARIC :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( (and it doesn't really count as death if they come back. so Elena, Jeremy, Caroline are out-well that's my opinion, because technically they were deaths). But the way that the Salvatores, SIlas-Amara-Tatya and Bonnie died were better than Vicky's
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ROSE????????????
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Vicky Donovan, really? She was the worst, I wanted her to die since the pilot, when they finally killed her I was really happy. Uncle's John death was more significant for me, yes, he was awful, but he died so his daughter, that he tried so hard to protect, wouldn't became a vampire (ironic, that she turned anyway a season later).
OMG Anna, I still can't believe they killed her and by doing that, they forced us that "relation ship" between Jer and Bonnie.
Klaus killing the hybrids was great! Is it wrong that I found Klaus really hot in that scene? Because I do, a lot. Of course, killing Carol was something terrible, but I can't help to blame Tyler for it a little bit. I'm sorry just hate Tyler.
Number 1 is, of course, Alaric's death, that scence with Damon broke my heart. In that scene you can see that they were truly good friends, and the fact that he dies and Damon lost the first friend he had in decades kills me.
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"OMG Anna, I still can't believe they killed her and by doing that, they forced us that "relation ship" between Jer and Bonnie."

This. Bonnie and Jeremy are worst couple ever.
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I agree with every death u mentioned (maybe not Elena's) but I would put Jer's death in the season two premiere instead of that in season four.I didn't care that much then.I would also put Rose's death in number 1.It's been three yrs and that scene is still killing me!!Special mention to Katherine killing herself and Elijah killing Trevor!!Oh, and Pearl and Slater and Stefan killling his dad!!!OK mylist would be the top 15 deaths! No,I don't think the show has the guts to kill Katherine.She'll probably inhabit Elena's body.
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You're right. Jeremy's death in season 2 was way more surprising and intense than the season 4 one
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I chose Jeremy's death in Season 4 for the way it affected Elena and the rest of her storyline. His death in Season 2 was shocking, but that's about it.
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Agreed. Rose's death should have been #1
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I know a death that wasn't hard to watch: Bonnie's. What was hard was to have her back. Please Julie Pleck please get rid of her!!
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YES! Should we start a club or something?
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The deaths featured in The Vampire Diaries first season are actually what kept me watching the series, Vicki and Caroline's in particular. I probably would have stopped watching, like you said Kaitlin 'the first season felt rather cliched and silly', but I was so surprised that a series would be so willing to kill it's main characters (as well as turn them into vampires) that I stuck with it. And I'm glad I did because, again, your words are so fitting, 'once Season 2 premiered, everything changed. The series became synonymous with fast-paced storytelling and took pleasure in killing off characters left and right.'

Pardon the pun, but since then The Vampire Diaries has sort of lost some of it's bite with killing off characters, mostly because they refuse to left them stay dead. Both Jeremy's and Bonnie's deaths would have been very memorable for the series, had they stayed dead, and majority of the other people in this list have returned in some form or another multiple times.

For me, Elena's will always be quite memorable. I know she's still around, but I haven't read the books, and the concept of Elena becoming a vampire is still very entertaining to me (despite the fact little has been done with it). Other than that I'd say Jenna, because she stayed dead.
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Caroline died in season 2, so your argument is kind of confusing?
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Ermm no offence but honestly death on TVD had lost its value over the year and does not have that shock value anymore. I mean whats its value if character returns back whether by being Vampire or anchor or another loophole. Apart from Alaric, aunt Jenna and Lexi and may be Carol no other death was anything significant. Hell I remember Klaus beheading an random witch with the graduation hat more fondly than the death of most other major characters.
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I know Jenna was never a prominent character, but that was still possibly the saddest to me. I liked her, and having her find out the truth about everything just to be turned into a vampire and used as a sacrifice was just sad. That, and obviously Elena had to watch her die.

And as you said, the scene where Elena dies is definitely one of best scenes in general of the show because of how it was filmed, the music, the significance of it, etc.

Another one of the better scenes was Alaric seeing all his friends in the cemetery with "Be Still" playing, saying their silent goodbyes to him.

I hated seeing Anna go. I liked her from the moment she showed up.

Jeremy's death was more of an "Oh shit!" moment to me than a sad one. And as far as "Oh shit!" Jeremy deaths go, I preferred when Damon snapped his neck. He came back from both of them, though, lol.

And yes, becoming a vampire was the best thing to ever happen to Caroline.
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I wouldn't put Jeremy's death so high but it's a good list nevertheless.
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Alaric! Definitely. It broke my heart.
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I'd say Carol's death deserve #2 spot. Because of how brilliantly it was executed. Basically it was the coolest one.
Other deaths just matter because regular characters died. So I agree with Alaric being #, but others? Huh, never even cared about Anna; Caroline, Elena and Jeremy are still here. They changed, but they are all here.
And Vicky was immortalised in that "Enjoy the silence" dance, but her death was kind of meh.
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Agreed! Alaric was definitely the hardest to watch mostly because of Damons reaction.

A couple of Jeremy's deaths were tough too, like when he was shot by sheriff Forbes and especially when Elena switched off her humanity and burnt the house down.
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There is no contest between any of them Alarics death was by far the saddest and hardest death to watch either time, I never expected it and didn't want it to happen I cried like a baby seriously I was a bubbling mess. However I think carol lock woods death for me had a different impact i was in utter shock and just the manner in which klaus slaughtered those hybrids was just brilliant but and then coming in so calmly to kill her combined with the almost creepy version of the song playing I don't know it hit me
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No contest that Alaric was the death that hit hardest and character most missed. Next would be Anna.
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I miss him
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where is rose?!
otherwise good list.
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Definitely should have been on the list she was a great character!
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She put up a good fight, and I almost switched someone out, but in the end, I just couldn't do it.
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as long as bonnie isn`t on the list.
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Grosssssssss. I wish she'd have stayed dead when she died.
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sobbing....
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