Katerina von Swartzschild
Katarina von Swartzschild
Biographical information

After 1495[1]


After 1507[2]
Swartzschild, Germany


December 13, 2013 (aged 500+)
Fell crypt, Fell's Church

Marital status


Physical description


Hair colour


Eye colour


Skin colour


Family information
Family members
Supernatural information
  • Dream manipulation
  • Influence
  • Weather manipulation
Animal transformation
Lapis talisman
Turned by


"Love changes you. And it never fades, no matter how much you might want it to. Don't make the mistakes I've made, Damon. Don't fight love, whatever form it takes."
—Katherine to Damon[src]

Katarina[4] von Swartzschild[5] (also known as Katherine; c.1495[1]December 13, 2013) was the Earthly Guardian daughter of Baron von Swartzschild and Elizabeth Morrow. Klaus Changed her into a vampire on her maid Gudren's urging, and, though she left him, she returned after her plan to bring peace to Stefan and Damon Salvatore failed and resulted in them becoming vampires.

With Klaus, Katherine lost her grip on sanity, and became sadistic and cruel, and also began feeding on human blood. After two centuries at most, Katherine attempted to kill Klaus, and believed that she had. In the 20th century, she saw Elena Gilbert in Fell's Church, Virginia, and theorised that they might be distant relatives due to their resemblance. Hoping to make them feel remorse for what happened in the 15th century, she Influenced Stefan and Damon to follow her to the town, where she lives in the Gilbert house in cat form. As she watched the brothers fall in love with Elena, she became angry and wanted revenge.

Katherine trapped Stefan in a well, and considered snapping Damon's neck while he was in crow form. She later drove the car Elena was driving into Drowning Creek, where she died but came back as a vampire. On December 13, Elena and the brothers discovered the Fell crypt where Katherine had been hiding, so she proceeded to attack and toy with them. However, Elena killed her by ripping off her necklace and exposing her to the sunlight. Months later, a resurrected Klaus managed to bring her back to life, with her sanity restored.


Life and becoming a vampireEdit

"I woke in the middle of the night to see Gudren, my maid, standing over my bed. And then she stepped aside, and I saw the man she had brought. I was frightened. His name was Klaus, and I'd heard the people in the village say he was evil. I cried out to Gudren to save me, but she just stood there, watching. When he put his mouth to my neck, I thought he was going to kill me. It was not so terrible after all. There was a little pain at first, but that quickly went away. And then the feeling was actually pleasant. When he gave me of his own blood to drink, I felt stronger than I had for months. And then we waited out the hours together until dawn. When the surgeon came, he couldn't believe I was able to sit up and speak. Papa said it was a miracle, and he cried again from happiness."
—Katarina to Stefan[src]

Katarina was born at some point after 1495[1] to the baron of Swartzschild, Germany and the Guardian Elizabeth Morrow. Elizabeth left Katarina when she was only an infant, staging her death so that she might fulfill her destiny. She was largely raised and cared for by her maid, Gudren, who acted as a maternal figure. During her childhood, Katarina was frail and, in her teens, she was left bedridden by a terminal disease. She was, at times, unable to breathe and was too weak to move, and her father was devastated. This led the Guardians to turn their backs on her, not believing that she would survive until the age at which new Guardians are recruited.

After the surgeon told them that Katarina was surely going to die, Gudren brought Klaus to her in her bedroom, where he exchanged blood with her. Katarina found it painful at first, but then pleasant, and was soon a vampire. Her father and his household saw this as a miraculous recovery. Gudren had a ring containing lapis lazuli made for her to act as a talisman against the Sun, and gave her possets that her son had caught for her to feed on. Gudren urged Katarina to drink human blood, which would make her stronger, but she refused, saying that she would do that only after she had found her soulmate.

As Katarina's blood was supposed to be able to kill Old Ones and her Power had not yet awoken, when Klaus exchanged blood with her, rather than killing him it bound them together in an unconventional fascination.

Holiday in ItalyEdit

"Her father, Baron von Swartzschild, had brought her from the cold lands of the German princes to the Italian countryside, hoping it would help her recover from a prolonged illness. And since the day she had arrived, everything had changed for Stefan."
Salvatores - TA

Stefan and Damon Salvatore.

One summer in the early 16th century, Baron von Swartzschild took Katarina, accompanied by Gudren, to Florence, Italy to stay in the household of Count Giuseppe Salvatore, believing that the warmer climate would be good for her health. There, Katarina met the count's youngest son, Stefan, and they fell in love. Soon, both of their fathers began speaking of wedding plans.

Though Conte di Salvatore noticed that Katarina only left her chambers at twilight, he overlooked her odd behavior due to her innocent personality, and she claimed that it was due to her studies. One night, she took Stefan into the gardens and told him that she was a vampire and that she had been turned by Klaus. She also told him that she would soon have to leave her father before he got suspicious.

However, any talks of marriage plans were halted after Damon Salvatore returned to the estate from the Univeristy of Florence, as she was instantly attracted to his dark, seductive charm. It was only after Katarina intervened in an argument between Damon and Giuseppe that Stefan began to feel jealous of their relationship, which grew so that Katarina also shared her secret with him as well.

In August, Damon pointed out that the Baron would soon return to Swartzschild with Katarina unless she was married and had a reason to stay. She could not decide between the brothers, who began to fight over her, and instead asked them to give her until the next Sunday to decide what to do after a speech about whomever she married would have to leave his old life behind did not deter either of them.

Staging her deathEdit

"The three of us will be companions, joyous companions, for ever. We will be together always, never feeling sickness, never growing old, until the end of time! That is my choice."
—Katarina's decision[src]
Salvatore feeds

Katarina (or Elena Gilbert) giving her blood to one of the brothers.

Following the announcement that she would choose between them, Katarina had Gudren make two more lapis lazuli rings for the brothers, not wishing to choose between them and instead planning for them all to be together as joyous companions forever.

To this end, she turned both Stefan and Damon on the Saturday night, feeding them both her blood, and presented them with their rings the following night. Both of them rejected her decision, refusing to share her, which greatly upset Katarina and left her to run away in tears.

Katarina then conceived a plan to bring the brothers together again and make peace between them. She left her white dress, which was given to her as a present from her father, under her favorite pear tree, filled with ashes taked from her fireplace and mixed with animal fat so as to make them smell like burned flesh. She had Gudren make a new talisman against the Sun for her, and left her ring near the dress.

The following day, Stefan and Damon found the dress, and the note that she had left, and they believed that she was dead. However, instead of finding solace in each other as Katarina wanted them to, they both got swords and killed each other, though they still had Katarina's blood in their systems.

Time with KlausEdit

Klaus: "She came back to me after two little Italian boys jilted her. She'd done everything for them, changed them into vampires, given them eternal life, but they were ungrateful and threw her out. Very strange."
Stefan: "That isn't how it happened."
Klaus: "What was even stranger was that she never got over you, Salvatore. You especially. She was always drawing unflattering comparisons between us. I tried to beat some sense into her, but it never really worked."
— Klaus and Stefan[src]

Katarina was left angry and upset by Stefan and Damon's actions, and returned to Klaus in Swartzschild, saying that the brothers had thrown her out. Klaus taught her cruelty and to feed on humans. However, her feelings for the brothers, Stefan and Damon, remained, and she often made comparisons between Klaus and Stefan, prompting him to "beat some sense into her". He also implied that he sexually abused her.

Katarina remained with Klaus for two centuries at the most, during which she became power-hungry and insane, losing all of her childlike personality and innocence that she used to have. After "a century or two", Katarina tried to kill Klaus, and believed that she had succeeded, though she was mistaken. She increased her Power by killing humans and other vampires alike, gaining more and more strength over the centuries.

At some point, Katarina also began using the Anglicized name of "Katherine".

Plan in Fell's ChurchEdit

"I brought you here, both of you. I put the thought in your mind, Stefan, the way you put thoughts into a human's. I guided you to this place. And then I made sure Damon followed you. Elena was here. I think she must be related to me somehow; she looks like me. I knew you'd see her and feel guilty. But you weren't supposed to fall in love with her! You weren't supposed to forget me!"
—Katherine to Damon and Stefan[src]

Possibly after sensing the concentration of ley-lines or thanks to Inari's influence,[6] Katherine visited Fell's Church, Virginia, where she came across half-sister Elena Gilbert. Noticing the physical similarities between them and believing that they might be distantly related, Katherine planned to use Elena to make Stefan and Damon feel guilty about her supposed death, starting with Influencing Stefan into enrolling at Robert E. Lee High School and ensuring that Damon followed him there.

Katherine took up residence in the Fell crypt, which she could use to cross running water by passing under it, and scattered Honoria Fell's bones, rousing her spirit and causing her to attempt to help the townspeople against Katherine through Bonnie McCullough. Katherine chased Elena, Bonnie and Meredith Sulez in the cemetery, and, for her own amusement, attacked and tormented Vickie Bennett, making her strip in public and do all sorts of "silly things". She also followed Damon around in the form of an owl, and several times had the urge to snap his neck while he was in crow-form. Katherine followed him to the McCullough house, where she scared Elena, Bonnie and Meredith by killing Yangtze.

She infiltrated Elena's house by transforming into a kitten and ensuring that Margaret Gilbert (her other half-sister) took her in. After a fight between Stefan and Damon in the Old Wood, Katherine followed Stefan and captured him, trapping him in a well on the Francher property and planning to toy with him. However, Bonnie's psychic powers led to his rescue. At Judith Gilbert's thanksgiving dinner, Katherine, in cat-form, attacked Damon, who she had been following in owl-form as he watched Stefan. After Stefan gave Katherine's ring to Elena and proposed to her, Katherine was enraged, and tried to kill Elena by chasing her to Wickery Bridge as she drove Matt Honeycutt's car. The bridge could not hold the weight of the car and collapsed, and Elena drowned. However, due to the two blood exchanges that she had done with Stefan and Damon, she Changed into a vampire. She decided that she was not simply going to toy with Stefan anymore, but kill him.

Revenge and deathEdit

"I wish you had died. You should have died. I kept you in the river long enough. But you were such a tramp, getting blood from both of them, that you came back. Oh, well. Now I can play with you longer. I lost my temper that day, because I saw Stefan had given you my ring. My ring! Mine, that I left for them to remember me by. And he gave it to you. That was when I knew I wasn't just going to play with him. I had to kill him."
—Katherine to Elena[src]

With the townspeople believing that Elena was dead, Katherine tormented Judith Gilbert by appearing to her in her dreams, pretending to be Elena and blaming her for her death. She sent Influenced dogs to disrupt Elena's memorial service, which was what alerted Stefan, Damon and Elena to the presence of another supernatural presence in Fell's Church.

When Elena, Stefan, Damon, Meredith, Bonnie and Alaric Saltzman descended into the Fell crypt, Katherine attacked them in the form of a tiger, fighting Damon, who was in wolf-form. While the humans escaped, Katarina knocked out and tied up the brothers and Elena, removing their lapis lazuli. Upon their awakening, she revealed her past deeds in the town to her captives, starting with a "guessing game". She offered Damon her forgiveness and love, but he rejected her, and she decided to kill all three of them. However, Elena managed to break free of her bonds and knocked Katherine into the sunlight, ripping off her talisman and killing the both of them. Katherine was reduced to dust and ashes.

In deathEdit

"You'd be surprised how much you learn, being dead. I saw everything."

In death, Katherine did not simply disappear as the Celestial Court believed that vampires did. Instead, her continued existence after death gave her the time to reflect on her actions in life and to forgive Elena. Through unknown means, she also learnt the truth behind Elizabeth, her relationship with Klaus, and the fact that she and Elena were part-Guardian half-sisters. She regained the sanity that Klaus had beaten out of her during their century or so of companionship.


Stefan: "If you hurt her [Elena], or any of the innocent people here, I'll find a way to kill you. And this time, you'll stay dead."
Katherine: "Poor Stefan. So loyal, so loving. I've missed your passion, you know. It's good to see you again."
— Katherine speaking with Stefan[src]

In September, 2014, Klaus used the blood of a number of vampires that he had Changed to cast a resurrection spell, bringing back Katherine.[7] Shortly after her resurrection, she fought against Stefan in a battle between Klaus's vampires and the supernaturally-aware students of Dalcrest College — Stefan, Elena, Meredith, Bonnie, Alaric Saltzman and the Original Pack. While she believed that she owed Klaus, she did not have any intention of devoting herself to his cause any more than was necessary to repay her debt.

Katherine visited Stefan at his dorm, and flirted with him. She told him that she was no longer angry at Elena, but Stefan did not believe her and threatened to kill her if she harmed any person at Dalcrest. She later talked to Damon at a football game, where she explained how she owed Klaus, before Influencing the cheerleaders to dance a bassadanza as she and Damon had the day they met. They then went out hunting for humans to feed on.

Physical appearanceEdit

Katherine had pale white skin, jewel-blue eyes and golden-blonde hair, which, by 2013, had grown past floor-length. She had "almost silvery" eyebrows and eyelashes. She could also become a white kitten (named "Snowball" by Margaret Gilbert), a snowy-white owl and a large, white tiger.

Personality and traitsEdit

"Klaus taught me the truth. He showed me how the world really is. You have to be strong, and take the things you want. You have to think only of yourself. And I'm the strongest of all now. I am. You know how I got that way? Lives. So many lives. Humans and vampires, and they're all inside me now."

During her early days as a vampire, Katarina was fragile, innocent and naïve. She was ignorant to the darker aspects of life, and failed to understand the rift between Stefan and Damon Salvatore. Her childishness caused her to refuse to choose between the brothers, and believed that faking her death would resolve their issues.

After Stefan and Damon killed each other, Katarina felt betrayed that they had not taken the full advantage of the "gift" she had given them. She ran back to Klaus, who taught her to become strong, fearless and cruel. His abuse caused her to become quite insane, and became hungry for power and revenge.



"Mein lieber Papa... [My dear father] "


"I tried to beat some sense into her, but it never really worked. Maybe I should have just killed her myself, I don't know. But by then I'd got used to having her around. She never was the brightest. But she was good to look at, and she knew how to have fun. I showed her that, how to enjoy the killing. Eventually her brain turned a little, but so what? It wasn't her brains I was keeping her for."
Klaus on Katherine[src]

Stefan SalvatoreEdit

Damon SalvatoreEdit

Elena GilbertEdit


Behind the scenesEdit


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 It was mentioned in The Return: Nightfall that Stefan and Damon were Changed by Katarina "almost five-hundred years ago". As the year in Nightfall was 2014, this means that Katarina's stay in Italy was at some point after 1514. Girls were usually married between the ages of 15 and 19 during this period, which means that Katarina must have been born after 1495.
  2. In The Hunters: Destiny Rising, it is mentioned that the Guardians believed that Katarina would not live to the age at which Earthly Guardians are recruited (12), though they were incorrect. This means that Katarina was Changed by Klaus at some point after turning twelve.
  3. Elena's physical appearance was what made Katarina consider that they might be related somehow. James Campbell, in The Hunters: Moonsong, said that Elena looked very much like her mother, Elizabeth Morrow, making it possible that Elena was related to Katarina through Elizabeth. This was later confirmed in The Hunters: Destiny Rising, where it is learnt that Elizabeth was Katarina's mother.
  4. In The Awakening, when Stefan and Damon attempt to enter Katherine's chambers, Gudren referred to her as "my mistress Katerina". In an email (see image), L.J. Smith instead used the spelling "Katarina".
  5. "It was Katherine. Her father, Baron von Swartzschild, had brought her from the cold lands of the German princes to the Italian countryside, hoping it would help her recover from a prolonged illness." (The Awakening - Chapter 4)
  6. Theophilia Flowers: Why have you watched others try — or were they all your pawns, Inari? Katherine, Klaus, poor young Tyler — were they your pawns, Kitsune Goddess? (The Return: Midnight - Chapter 36)
  7. "Could these all be vampires Klaus had turned, all gathered together like some kind of vicious tribe, some kind of family? And had Klaus used their blood to resurrect Katherine, to raise his most beloved child as he himself had been raised?" (The Hunters: Destiny Rising - Chapter 20)
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