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The Vampire Diaries: 8 Differences Between Katherine In The Books & The Show

Katherine Pierce is one of the most iconic villains in The Vampire Diaries, but how is the TV version of Katherine different from the book character?

There are plenty of shows that try to closely align themselves with the books they are based on. However, The Vampire Diaries is not one of them. The television series included next to nothing from the novels by L.J. Smith, with the exception of the names of the characters and the main love triangle.

Katherine’s character is just one of the many ways to exemplify how fundamentally different the two are, due to her drastically altered adaptation from page to screen. While Katherine is beloved by fans of The CW show, she’s not as prominent in the book series. Her storyline and personality cause her to fade into the background, and the changes the television series made were for the better when it comes to Katherine Pierce.

8
She’s Half Angel

Those who knew the real Katherine Pierce knew she was no angel, but the same can’t be said for the book series. Katherine was the daughter of Baron von Swartzchild, a human, and Elizabeth Gilbert, a Guardian.

Guardians are angels who are a part of the Celestian Court, which is located in the Dark Dimension. Because her parents were two different species, Katherine was born half human and half angel. When she’s later turned into a vampire, she becomes an angel/vampire hybrid.

7
Her Personality

Katherine wasn’t always selfish and vindictive, which is true of both her book and TV versions. But in the novels, Katherine was still rather pure and innocent when she first met the Salvatore Brothers.

As the centuries pass, Katherine changes into someone who is almost unrecognizable from her former self and the only thing she has in common with her on-screen adaptation is her hatred for Elena. She doesn’t have the same sense of humor that viewers had come to love and she wasn’t as fleshed out.

6
She’s Elena’s Maternal Sister

One of the most shocking changes is Katherine and Elena’s familial connection. They came from the same bloodline in the show as Katherine was Elena’s very distant ancestor, but they’re much more closely related in the books.

Due to a long, complicated story involving an immortal angel mother, Katherine and Elena realize that they are sisters. The two are not identical, but they do look very similar. It was the resemblance between them that initially drew Stefan and Damon to Elena in the first place.

5
Her Last Name

In the teen drama, Katherine goes by the name Katherine Pierce, but she was born Katerina Petrova and her bloodline makes her part of an important lineage. The Petrova doppelgangers are supernatural beings who are frequently sought after.

Klaus had been searching for her to use in his ritual but finds Elena after Katherine is rendered useless as a vampire. The Petrova doppelgangers don’t exist in the books, and Katherine is known as Katherine von Swartzchild.

4
The Love Triangle With The Salvatores

The basis of the love triangle stayed the same. Both Stefan and Damon fell in love with Katherine, who was staying as a guest at the Salvatore Boarding House. But the brothers were much more outraged at Katherine’s refusal to choose between them in the books than they were in the show.

Onscreen, Stefan and Damon were willing to do anything if it made Katherine happy, but they weren’t quite as passive on paper. The brothers kill each other after Katherine fakes her death, but her blood causes them both to come back as vampires.

3
She’s Turned By Klaus

In the television series, Rose force-fed Katherine her blood to heal her and turn her over to Klaus. But Katherine made the decision to turn into a vampire in order to escape him. Her plot focused on the centuries she spent running from Klaus who wanted his revenge, while Klaus is the one who turned Katherine in the books.

When Katherine was sick and dying, her maid was desperate to save her life. She goes to the original vampire for help, and Klaus turns Katherine in order to heal her. Katherine’s entire origin story differs greatly from the one L.J. Smith had previously created.

2
Her Supernatural Abilities

Most of the vampires in the show have the same abilities but to different degrees. The older they are, the stronger they are, but super speed, super strength, immortality, enhanced senses, and compulsion are the standard vampire perks.

Katherine had a much larger variety of powers in the books and was even able to shapeshift into different animals. She’s a force to be reckoned with in both versions, but her most useful weapon in the television series is her intelligence, while she relies more on her supernatural abilities in the novels.

1
She’s Killed By Elena

Katherine Pierce had spent 500 years outsmarting even the most powerful villains and her survival instincts were stronger than anyone else’s in the show. No matter how many times it seemed like she was a goner, Katherine always came out stronger on the other side.

Even after she died, Katherine popped back up in the series finale and revealed that she had taken over hell. Katherine von Swartzschild wasn’t quite as difficult to kill. She was originally killed by Elena not too far into the book series and is killed again by a hunter following her resurrection.

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