If you are a fan of ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ then you know how fond the writers are of the film “Gone with the Wind.” For one, it’s the book Damon Salvatore keeps by his bed. Caroline Forbes is obsessed with GWTW, and “exudes Scarlett daily.” Another hint, includes the actually use of the film in the season 2 finale, “As I Lay Dying.” Here is the synopsis of “Gone with the Wind” for the uninitiated.
The epic tale of a woman’s life during one of the most tumultuous periods in America’s history. From her young, innocent days on a feudalistic plantation to the war-torn streets of Atlanta; from her first love whom she has always desired to three husbands; from the utmost luxury to absolute starvation and poverty; from her innocence to her understanding and comprehension of life. – IMDB
The main story of ‘The Vampire Diaries’, tells the tale of Elena Gilbert, a young human woman who falls in love with two vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon Salvatore. The comparison of ‘TVD’, and ‘GWTW’ isn’t with these three characters though, but similarities can be drawn between the brothers, and Katherine Pierce.
Katherine Pierce / Katerina Petrova
Scarlett O’Hara was born on a plantation in the south, and saw her life change during the course of the Civil War. From the destruction of her family’s home, Tara, to the man she loved marrying another, Scarlett know what it’s like to lose the things you hold dear. Forced to take charge after her father died, and save her family from ruin, Scarlett evolved from a spoiled girl to an ambitious woman. Like, “Gone with the Wind’s” protagonist, Scarlett O’Hara, Katherine Pierce knows what it’s like to lose “everything.”
Katherine Pierce, born Katerina Petrova, lost her home after bearing a child out-of-wedlock. Exiled from her family’s home in Bulgaria, she found her way to England where she met a man named Niklaus. She believed she would marry this man of means, only to learn that he intended to sacrifice her to break a curse. Fearing for her life, Katerina became a vampire so she would no longer be of any use to Klaus, and fled back to her home Unfortunately, her family had been murdered by Klaus in retribution for her “crimes”. Katherine survived being on the run from Klaus for over 500 years, and changed from a tender-hearted girl, to a hardened, manipulating woman. Like Scarlett, Katherine fell in love with a man who went on to love another.
Scarlett loved Ashley Wilkes her whole life, and never gave up hope that she would end up with him. Not even when he married another, Melanie Hamilton, or through three marriages of her own. Scarlett’s last husband, Rhett Butler, was the only man who truly was perfect for her. Ashley was a good man, but he wasn’t suited for her. Rhett, however, was adventurous, charming, and loved Scarlett just the way she was. Unfortunately, Scarlett didn’t realize how much she loved him, until it was too late. Katherine Pierce now finds herself in this situation.
Katerina Petrova fled to the New World, and changed her name to Katherine Pierce. In 1864, Katherine came to Mystic Falls, Virginia as an orphan who lost her family in the fires of Atlanta. The Salvatores, one of the founding families, took pity on her, and took her in. While living in the Salvatore home, Katherine fell in love with both Stefan and Damon Salvatore. Or so she claimed. While Stefan took her to social functions, and played the gentleman, Damon was the one who shared her bed at night. This was all due to the fact that he was presumably the first to learn her secret. She was a vampire. Once she revealed herself to Stefan, the dynamics changed (a little), and she began carrying on with them both.
Since Katherine has returned to the boys lives, she has claimed to only love Stefan. The problem is, Stefan doesn’t believe her. When Stefan first met Katherine, he believed her to be a young, innocent southern belle. When Stefan learned the truth about her, he was terrified. Since he loved her, Katherine compelled his fears away so she wouldn’t lose his love. Now that Stefan has his memories back, he feels that she manipulated all his feelings. Katherine still seems to hold out hope that she can win him back, even though he is now in love with another woman.
As for Damon, Katherine says that she’s never loved him, but sometimes her actions say differently. As we’ve seen in flashbacks like “Children of the Damned” (season 1), Katherine spent a lot of time with Damon. She also talked to him about some of her plans, brought him around her friends, and taught him how to be a vampire. In “As I Lay Dying” (season 2), Katherine willing let Damon have her blood (1865), and helped save his life (present day). This doesn’t seem to be the actions of a person who could care less about another.
Ashley Wilkes, the object of Scarlett O’Hara’s obsession, was a gallant, and honorable man. So honorable, in fact, that he waited 22 years to tell Scarlett that he could never love her more than a friend. Scarlett was not like any woman he had ever known, and Ashley was attracted to her beauty, fearlessness, and vivacious nature. In truth, he was a creature bred for the time in which he lived, and could never be compatible with a woman who was beyond her time. His love was his wife Melanie. Stefan Salvatore is very much like Ashley Wilkes.
The youngest son of Giuseppe Salvatore, Stefan was raised to take over the families plantation. His older brother Damon, the black sheep, was deemed too irresponsible for this responsiblity. Stefan is a loving, honorable man, who loves his family, and was constantly the peacemaker between his father and brother. When he met Katherine, he was intrigued, and attracted to her. She was so unlike other women he had ever known, and seemed worldly. Once he realized the danger she posed to his family, he was willing to give her up. Now, that she is back in his life, he has no plans to reunite with her. He has found a woman who represents everything he thought Katherine was, without any of her shortcomings. That woman is Katherine’s doppelgänger, Elena Gilbert. While Stefan has forsaken Katherine, his brother Damon carried a torch for her for over 150 years.
Rhett Butler was nothing like the typical Southern Gentleman. He came from well-to-do family, but his wild ways made him a pariah. During the war, he became a profiteer, and made his fortune. Like Rhett, Damon Salvatore was considered to be a rebel.
Damon Salvatore never got along with his father, and knew that his father preferred his younger brother. Damon is impulsive, charming, and stubborn. Not agreeing with the war, Damon left the Confederate Army, and returned home. Giuseppe was appalled by Damon’s “lack of civil duty,” and even more so by Damon’s “hobbies”. Besides hanging with his brother, Damon enjoyed playing cards, drinking, and chasing women. Pursuits that were looked on by his father to be low-class. When Damon met Katherine, she seemed like a kindred spirit. Someone who shared his love of life, and adventure. Someone, who he could bear spending eternity with. Even after learning Katherine’s “secret”, Damon continued to love her anyway, without compulsion.
Believing Katherine to be entombed, Damon spent the next 150 years of his life trying to free Katherine, just because he loved her. After learning the truth, she was never being held prisoner, Damon still loved her. Once Katherine told him she never truly cared for him, he began to let go of the past, and move on with his life. Like his brother, Damon saw in Elena a woman who looked like the love of his life, but was more worthy of his affections.
The dynamics in “GWTW” are different from the ones in ‘TDV.’ One main difference, is that the two main male characters are not in love with the same woman. Despite this, the relationships involved are just as complicated.
Melanie Hamilton was a trusting, humble, selfless woman. Everything Scarlett O’Hara wasn’t. When Ashley revealed he was going to marry Melanie, Scarlett never could understand why he would be attracted to a woman like Melanie. This is similar to how Katherine is dumbfounded that two men who once loved her could ever fall for her “dull as dishwater” mirror image. Elena Gilbert may have Katherine Pierce’s face, but she is quite different.
Elena is selfless, caring, and still possesses some of that Petrova Fire. While Katherine only cares about looking out for herself, Elena would do anything to protect to people she cares about. Even if it means sacrificing her life. Elena is everything that Stefan and Damon originally believed Katherine was when they first met her. One of the biggest tragedies in “Gone with the Wind,” is how Scarlett never recognized love when it was right in front of her.
“You’ll never mean anything but misery to any man.”
By the end of the film, Scarlett found herself alone. She had lost the only true friend she’d ever had, and the true love of her life as well. Her blind obsession with Ashley Wilkes alienated all of her friends, and drove away the only man who truly loved her. Scarlett suffered from the malady of not knowing what you’ve got til it’s gone. Like, Scarlett, Katherine has also found herself in this same situation.
Katherine has been so consumed with hiding from Klaus, that she played fast-and-loose with Stefan and Damon’s feelings. She might have been able to get them back, but her destruction of the Salvatore brothers’ relationship, and seeming disregard for them has caused her to alienate them. While Stefan has written her off as being a deceitful, superficial bitch, Damon still carried a torch for her. Until she told him she never loved him.
“The truth is, I never loved you. It was always Stefan.”
What Katherine doesn’t seem to realize, is that Stefan didn’t truly love her, but loved the idea of her. The person Katherine pretended to be. Once he discovered her true self, he was disgusted. Only because of her compulsion did he stay romantically involved with her. Now that he has found the qualities he originally believed Katherine to posses in her double Elena, Stefan has found the woman he truly loves. Damon, however, felt differently.
Damon loved Katherine despite who she truly was. It didn’t matter to him that she was a “monster,” he loved her anyway. For him, the sun and moon set on her, and all he ever really wanted was to be with her, and be loved by her. Unfortunately, Katherine didn’t feel his love was ever enough. She wanted a challenge, and having someone who loved her so freely wasn’t much of one. Now that Damon has also fallen in love with Elena, Katherine is beginning to see what she’s taken for granted.
In “The Reckoning” (season 3), Katherine tried to put the moves on Damon during their road trip. Was it because she truly wanted him, or was simply trying to manipulate him, we’ll never know. This is Katherine Pierce we’re talking about after all. One thing we do know, however, is that she was not pleased when he told her, “You just don’t do it for me anymore.” In the past, she could always use sex to sway Damon’s emotions, but this refusal signified how the tide has turned. But this isn’t what hurt her the most.
What wounded her the most was when Damon left Katherine to run to Elena’s aid. Katherine said, “The Damon I knew would never be that stupid.” “That’s because I would never so it for you,” Damon replied. The look on Katherine’s face was heartbreaking. All these years she had taken Damon’s love for granted, and now it is truly gone.
After last weeks episode, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” we’re not too sure of Katherine’s fate. I, for one, believe that Katherine is alive, and well. For how long, I do not know. I just hope that before she dies she realizes who she should have chosen as her partner, and makes peace with the mistakes she’s made in her life. Scarlett was lucky enough to realize her mistakes, and had the opportunity to correct them. The way things are shaping up this season, I fear Katherine may never be as fortunate.