The Vampire Diaries Villains Ranked From Worst to Best

The Vampire Diaries, which ran on The CW network from 2009 to 2017

The hit show followed the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), a teenage girl in the town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, and the un-lives of vampire brothers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) Salvatore. Apart from the inevitable love triangle between the three, Vampire Diaries wove a deep mythology that recounted the history of the town and the Salvatore brothers, while also weaving in the lives of other townspeople, friends, and family… and a constant struggle to guard Mystic Falls against all manner of vampires and other supernatural threats. You may be thinking why two vampires are not the central antagonists, and rightfully so: it’s not like vampires have great press. If they’re not the enemy, then how bad must the people be that are the enemy? Grab a bite and follow along as we look at the best of the baddest.

9. Atticus Shane

Atticus Shane (David Alpay) arrived in season 4 as a professor of the Occult at Whitmore College. Shane is cunning, and maniacal, but it is his grief over the loss of his family that really makes him dangerous. He will do whatever is necessary to bring them back to life, using his ability to manipulate others into helping him revive Silas (Paul Wesley), or commit mass murder.

8. Qetsiyah

Qetsiyah (Janina Gavankar), said to be the most powerful witch of all time, was to be married to Silas. She created the original immortality spell, so they could be together forever. Silas betrayed her and took the immortality elixir with Qetsiyah’s handmaiden, who he loved. Enraged, she created the cure for immortality, and a supernatural purgatory called The Other Side, expecting Silas to take the cure and be banished once she buried him alive. His betrayal turned Qetsiyah paranoid and unhinged, so when he was released she came for revenge. So, as far as villains go, her pursuit of vengeance left some collateral damage (tortured Stefan may argue) but otherwise, meh.

7. Dr. Wesley

“Wes” MaxfieldDr. Wes Maxfield (Rick Cosnett) is a professor at Whitmore College in season 5. He comes across as brilliant and arrogant, a front for his twisted reality: an obsession with the supernatural, and driven to find a way to make vampires feed on one another in order to wipe them off the face of the Earth. If he was anything more than human, Maxfield would place much higher on this list.

6. Sybil

The Armory’s Monster, Sybil (Nathalie Kelley) and her sister Seline (Kristen Gutoskie) are the world’s first Sirens, granted immortality and eternal youth by Arcadius (Wolè Parks), at a price: in order to stay youthful and immortal, they have to feast on human flesh, while the souls of their victims are sent to Hell. Seline abandons Sybil in 1882, leaving Sybil to be resealed into a vault, where she would stay until 2017 when the vault is opened again. Oops. She eats and kills hundreds of people, bathes in their blood, forces Damon and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) into bringing her people for snacks, and uses her psychic abilities to manipulate Damon by replacing images of Elena in his memory with her.

5. Silas

Speaking of Silas, the man is downright chilling. The world’s first immortal and a witch with extraordinary power, he is a master manipulator who instills fear in those who cross his path. He tricked Atticus Shane into releasing him from his tomb, took on the role of his doppelgänger Stefan, and left the real Stefan to drown over and over again at the bottom of a river, and slit the mayor’s throat. Guess he doesn’t care for the mayor’s policies too much.

4. The Mikaelson Family

It is perhaps a bit of a cheat to lump the Mikaelson’s together as one (with one exception), but they all really are a nasty bunch. The first family of vampires, or more formally known as the Originals, they each would rise up to bring havoc throughout the run of the series. Esther Mikaelson (Alice Evans), mama, plans on murdering her own children. Mikael (Sebastian Rochè), the father of the vampire race as a whole, and a powerful vampire that hunts vampires. Rebekah (Claire Holt), an evil hothead whose anger begets multiple deaths. Elijah (Daniel Gillies), first arrived as a force to be feared, until it became clear he is noble (and pretty much the sole voice of reason in the family).

3. Katherine Pierce

Conniving, evil, manipulative, observant, and smart… and those adjectives probably still don’t capture the villainous Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev). She is Elena’s doppelgänger and the one who turned the Salvatore brothers into vampires before abandoning them in 1864. When she returns 145 years later, Katherine picks up where she left off and starts playing games with Damon and Stefan. What makes her truly dangerous is how well she knows everyone, anticipating their actions well ahead of time, and uses that for her own advantage. Number one on the list of reasons why Katherine is not in the good books with the folks in Mystic Falls? Killing Elena’s brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and her friend Caroline (Candice King) will do that.

2. Klaus Mikaelson

The nastiest of the Mikaelson bunch, so much so that he warrants his own entry on this list. Klaus (Joseph Morgan), like his family, is an Original vampire, but unlike the others he also has werewolf blood, a unique Original Hybrid. This makes Klaus virtually unstoppable, and even if he could be stopped, the death of an Original causes those in the sire line to die as well. Guess who’s in his sire line? Yep – pretty much every vampire on the show. He will do anything to get his way, like forcing Stefan to turn his humanity off and go off on a murderous journey as a Ripper with him, simply because they got along well in the 1920s. Even his siblings aren’t free of his selfishness. Should any of them stand in his way, he stabs them with a White Oak Ash dagger, rendering them lifeless for decades, sometimes even centuries, until he decides they’ve learned their lesson. It’s this violent, selfish nature and unpredictability that makes Klaus one to be feared.

1. Kai Parker

Arguably the number one pick for most evil antagonist on Vampire Diaries across the entire fan base. Kai (Chris Wood) is a siphoning Gemini witch who happily murders his own parents and siblings in order to absorb their magic, commits mass murder at Jo (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) and Alaric’s (Matthew Davis) wedding, and also tries to kill his nieces. Not convinced? Darkly funny, Kai adapted quickly to modern times and created a Twitter account. Which he uses to Tweet his violent exploits. Kai cast The Sleeping Beauty spell, the one that put Elena in a magical coma until such time as Bonnie (Kat Graham) dies. Sociopathic, fearless, cruel, heartless, and with a gleeful willingness to kill on sight: Kai earns his space here, at the top.

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