A Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls - By Red



red and vee

Women Who Love Vampires Who Eat Women


Sarah Rees Brennan

Bonnie Bennett: A New Kind of Best Friend


Bree Despain

The War between the States


Claudia Gray

Ladies of the Night, Unite!


Jon Skovron

In Which Our Intrepid Heroines Discuss the Merits of the Bad Boy Versus the Reformed Bad Boy with the Help of a Couple of Dead Women Who Know About Such Things.


Alyxandra Harvey

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• A V i s i t o r ’ s G u i d e t o M y s t i c F a l l s •

You're My Obsession


Vera Nazarian

Don't Be Fooled by that Noble Chin: Stefan Sucks 103

Kiersten White

Case Notes: Salvatore, Stefan and Salvatore, Damon 117

Heidi R. Kling

Damon Salvatore: Vampire Hunter


Mary Borsellino

Sweet Caroline


Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Dear Diary . . .


Karen Mahoney

A Visitor's Guide to Fell's Church

A Book Series Primer for TV Series Fans


Red and Vee

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• red and vee •

If you’re reading this book, chances are you’ve seen more than a few episodes of The Vampire Diaries, and chances are you’ve used the tried-and-true “vampire love triangle” one-liner when attempting to woo your hold-out friends to the pleasures of Thursday nights on the CW. Maybe you added a comment about Ian Somerhalder’s wicked smirk, Paul Wesley’s abs, or the sex—yes, the sex—as the cherry on top.

But does that really describe the show you’re watching every week? While editing A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls, we attempted an experiment: we asked our Twitter followers to sum up Vampire Diaries as thoroughly as they could . . . in 140 characters. For every response that contained the word

“shirtless,” there was another making a valiant attempt at condensing the show into a bite-sized hook. Sure, the love triangle between Elena Gilbert and Stefan and Damon Salvatore was the focal point (as one person quite memorably put it, “a love triangle told with eyebrows”), but just as many brought up the town of Mystic Falls itself.


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• A V i s i t o r ’ s G u i d e t o M y s t i c F a l l s •

TVD is about a town with a supernatural history. It’s centered around a woman who’s brought chaos to the town, past and present. @GroundedSouls In a small town, descendants of the Founding Families are plagued by secrets & mysteries, suffering the sins of their fathers. @thetelevixen

In the months leading up to the show’s premiere, execu-tive producer Kevin Williamson repeatedly stressed that The Vampire Diaries was also the story of Mystic Falls; the town isn’t merely a backdrop, but a character in and of itself.

While the pilot episode may not have supported that description, each episode following did, right up to the season one finale, “Founder’s Day.”

In her essay on the titular diaries, Karen Mahoney expresses surprise that Stefan begins the pilot with the declaration that

“this is my story.” And yes, the story of the Salvatore brothers is inextricably linked with Mystic Falls, but the brothers are almost treated as collateral damage within a much, much bigger arc of the town’s history. In The Vampire Diaries, the plot is not merely driven by a first-class case of history repeating.

The past, as Claudia Gray and Vera Nazarian argue, is a per-petual shadow over everything that happens in the present.

The past and present are emphasized equal y and this colors almost every interaction, instigating life-changing events and personal growth amongst our diverse cast of characters.

And a diverse group it is: humans, vampires, vampire hunters, witches, and—dare we say it?—werewolves make 6882 Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls[FIN].indd 10

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• I n t r o d u c t i o n •


for a supernatural melting pot of epic proportions. Not only are these characters diverse in their species and roles, they’re also complicated, defying the definitions of what we’ve come to expect from such character types in the past. The sidekick best friend is a kick-ass leading lady in her own right, the high school “mean girl” has a heart of gold, and the man we thought was the villain of the tale turns out to be a victim himself. The characters in The Vampire Diaries cannot be filed into simple boxes labeled with stereotypical character traits; they frequently say and do the last thing we anticipate.

And, as in life, they refuse to be pigeon-holed as “good” or

“evil.” Even the show’s most clear-cut villains—John Gilbert, Isobel—are firmly in the