‘The Vampire Diaries’ series finale: Closing the chapter and looking back at the show’s best villains

One of The CW’s veteran shows, “The Vampire Diaries,” ends after eight seasons tonight, Friday, March 10. The two-hour block begins with “Forever Young,” a retrospective with recollections from the actors and executive producers about the supernatural adventures of siblings Stefan and Damon (Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder) and their friends and enemies. Immediately following is the actual series finale, “I Was Feeling Epic,” and it’s no secret that founding cast member Nina Dobrev — alias Elena — returns for it. Here’s a look back at the show’s best villains.

Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan)

In Seasons 3 and 4, Klaus was the series’ main antihero, a powerful hybrid werewolf/vampire working to build an army of hybrid followers. And that meant danger for anyone who crossed him, including Elena, Katherine, Damon, Stefan, Bonnie and Rose.

Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev)

A doppelganger and ancestor of Elena Gilbert (also played by Dobrev), the ruthless Katherine was a lover of both Salvatore brothers and may have started their feud. She also had some of the series’ best one-liners and most shocking moments. The primary villain of the first two seasons, she was finally killed off in Season 5 by getting sucked into a dark dimension.

Kai Parker (Chris Wood)

This innocent-looking though remorseless psychopath stopped at nothing to get what he wanted – to take over the world – and he enjoyed the pain he inflicted along the way. Among his crimes: killing his brother and sister, putting Elena in a Sleeping Beauty curse and torturing many others. So evil was he that the Gemini witches trapped him in a prison world.

Esther Mikaelson (Alice Evans)

Anyone who plots to kill her own children, as she did with Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah, among others, deserves mention on any “Diaries” villain list. Killed by daughter Freya in the third season.

Dr. Wes Maxfield (Rick Cosnett)

As one of the few human villains, the good doctor had a plan for the vampires: to make them feed on their own and eradicate the species altogether. Was tortured and killed by Damon at the end of Season 5.

Silas (Paul Wesley)

Powerful and dangerous, Silas could get inside his victims’ minds and make them see and do things they didn’t want to, but he seemed more interested in reuniting with his true love. And he also provided the series with some of its more humorous moments, such as the knock-knock joke he made about killing Bonnie’s father. Nonetheless, fans found him terrifying. Killed by Stefan in Season 5.

Qetsiyah (Janina Gavankar)

She may have lasted for only a few episodes in Season 5 but the antics of this witch scorned were pure insanity – and very entertaining. Stalked true love Silas and cut her own wrists after his death.

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