Based on L.J. Smith's bestselling book series, The Vampire Diaries has quickly become a hit television series. The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) a 17-year-old girl, who falls for a 162-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan's vicious and malevolent elder brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder) returns with a plan to wreak havoc on the town and also to plan a vendetta against his younger brother. Both brothers begin to show affection towards Elena, mainly because of her resemblance to their past love Katherine. It is revealed that Elena, a distant relative of Katherine, is Katherine's doppelganger, who eventually returns with plans against the trio.
The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history since its settlement of migrants from New England in the late 17th century. Other story lines revolve around the other inhabitants of the town, most notably Elena's younger brother Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen), Elena's best friend Bonnie Bennett (Katerina Graham), Elena's close friend, Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola), Elena's childhood friend, Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) and Elena's childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig). The town's politics are orchestrated by descendants of the original founding families, all comprising a "Founders' Council". Some of the founding families of Mystic Falls include the Salvatores, the Gilberts, the Fells, the Forbes and the Lockwoods. They guard the town mainly from vampires although they seem to be oblivious on other supernatural threats.