Nightfall (Harper Teen)
The Return: Nightfall

L.J. Smith

Publication information


Release date


Preceded by

Dark Reunion

Followed by

The Return: Shadow Souls

"Elena Gilbert is alive - again"

The Return: Nightfall is the fifth novel in the Vampire Diaries series, and the first volume of the The Return arc. The book was written by L.J. Smith and was first published in the United States in 2009 by HarperTeen.


"For Kathryn Jane Smith, my late mother, with much love."

Book descriptionEdit

"When Elena sacrificed herself to save the two vampire brothers who love her—the handsome, brooding Stefan and the sleek and dangerous Damon—she was consigned to a fate beyond death. Until a powerful supernatural force pulled her back.

Now Elena is not just human. She has powers and gifts that were bestowed on her in the afterlife. What’s more, her blood pulses with an overwhelming and unique force that makes her irresistible to any vampire.

Stefan wants to find a way to keep Elena safe so that they can make a life together. Damon, however, is driven by an insatiable desire for power, and wants Elena to rule as his princess. When Stefan is lured away from Fell’s Church, Damon seizes his chance to convince her that he is the brother she is meant to be with… But a darkness is infiltrating the town, and Damon, always the hunter, is now the hunted; he becomes the prey of a malevolent creature that can possess him at will, and who desires not just Elena’s blood but her death."



Seven days after returning from the dead, Elena is having trouble adapting to the world of the living but is being helped by Stefan, with whom she attempts to communicate using telepathy. She cannot read or write and worries that Stefan will fall for someone else due to her childlike state. However, her worries dissipate when he agrees to feed from her and their minds touch.

Chapter 1Edit

Damon is watching Caroline in her room from a tree, having become aware of a strange ritual where she speaks to her reflection at 4:44am every morning. Whilst waiting for her to wake, he felt a small pain on his neck that he assumed was a mosquito bite, a bee sting or a conifer needle. When Caroline wakes up, Damon detects Power buzzing around and watches as her reflection promises to take care of her and deal with her enemies. Using Influence, he gets Caroline to invite him in and feels an intense urge to feed on her, which he realises was someone else controlling him. He sends out a surge of Power to kill the attacker but to no avail. He swings out of the window and leaves.

Chapter 2Edit

Damon goes out looking for somebody to feed on. In a store that sells sunglasses, he charms and feeds on a girl called Page and steals a pair of glasses. He obtains a video camera from a shop and notes how unusually hungry he feels despite having recently fed, before entering an antiques shop to charm another girl.

Elena has been told by Stefan that she is going to have visitors today, although she does not know what a visitor is until Stefan explains it to her. She has only been wearing a nightgown, if anything, and gets visions when she wears clothes made in sweatshops. Damon arrives and the Salvatores argue about Damon's thefts before physically fighting. Damon bites him, causing him great pain and humiliation. Elena has watched the whole thing and throws down the jacket that Damon had come to collect, after which Damon drives off.

Stefan notes that something was strange about Damon and goes to Elena for comfort.

Chapter 3Edit

Caroline, Matt, Meredith and Bonnie sit talking to Stefan over the phone, arranging when to meet Elena. The group agree to make a vow to keep Elena's resurrection a secret, with Meredith distrusting Caroline and being suspicious of her sudden interest in Elena. Caroline insists that she wants to thank Elena for defeating Klaus. Meredith writes a vow which they each sign and mark with a drop of their blood. A crow lands on the contract and pecks violently at it, leaving a red message reading, "D. Elena is mine."

Chapter 4Edit

Chapter 5Edit

Chapter 6Edit

Chapter 7Edit

Chapter 8Edit

Chapter 9Edit

Chapter 10Edit

Chapter 11Edit

Chapter 12Edit

Chapter 13Edit

Chapter 14Edit

Chapter 15Edit

Chapter 16Edit

Chapter 17Edit

Chapter 18Edit

Chapter 19Edit

Chapter 20Edit

Chapter 21Edit

Chapter 22Edit

Chapter 23Edit

Chapter 24Edit

Chapter 25Edit

Chapter 26Edit

Chapter 27Edit

Chapter 28Edit

Chapter 29Edit

Chapter 30Edit

Chapter 31Edit

Chapter 32Edit

Chapter 33Edit

Chapter 34Edit

Chapter 35Edit

Chapter 36Edit

Chapter 37Edit

Chapter 38Edit

Chapter 39Edit

List of deathsEdit



In adaptionsEdit

Video gameEdit

Television seriesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

The Vampire Diaries books
First arc
The Awakening · The Struggle · The Fury · Dark Reunion
The Return
Nightfall · Shadow Souls (Tumbleweeds · Dinner Disaster) · Midnight
Paradise Lost · The War of Roses · Into the Wood
An Untold Tale
Blood Will Tell · Matt & Elena: First Date · Matt & Elena: Tenth Date: On Wickery Pond · Elena's Christmas · After Hours
Ghostwritten books
The Hunters
Phantom · Moonsong · Destiny Rising
The Salvation
Unseen · Unspoken · Unmasked
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