Guest Post: The Vampire Diaries Caroline is “Seriously Badass”

By September 17th, 2010 10 Comments

We’ve got a treat for you: During the second season of The Vampire Diaries, the contributors of A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls will be writing recaps, blog posts, and just generally sharing their thoughts on the season. So, tune in each week, both to the show and our blog.

First up, we have a blog post from Jen Barnes, whose essay “Sweet Caroline” is all about, well, you can probably guess: my personal favorite character, Caroline Forbes. Jen’s post expands on her pro-Caroline stance.

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Caroline is the voice of normality in the show: the one with ordinary relationships and ordinary traumas and a very human desire to connect with another person and really matter.

—“Sweet Caroline” in A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls

After the end of season one, I chose to write a Vampire Diaries essay on Caroline’s character–about how underrated she is and how she gets stuck with a lot of labels like “shallow” or “mean,” none of which fit nearly as well as Caroline’s friends and family (and maybe even the audience) seem to think they do. Ultimately, I concluded that Caroline was just very human–so, of course, in the first episode of season 2, she gets turned into a vampire. I am also a curse on whatever football team I try to cheer for and the kiss of death for any show I start watching after season four.

That said, I present for your consideration two equally important caveats to my essay. First, I’d like to argue that Vampire Caroline still seems to want the same, very human things that Human Caroline did. And second, I would like to suggest that Vampire Caroline is seriously badass and quite possibly the most awesome non-Damon character on the show.

I will start with the second point first: badass comma seriously. After watching Damon use Caroline as a chew toy for an extended period of time in season one and listening to him tell her that she’s shallow and stupid and nothing–well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get some level of pleasure out of watching her saunter, vampire style, down the halls of the high school, cool and calm, to tell him off. In the first season, when Damon tried to compel Elena into kissing him and she slapped him across the face, I cheered, but when Caroline–who never had a chance against Damon and went an excessively long time without any friends or family members giving her vervain–knocked him twenty feet through the air, I was ecstatic.

I love Damon as much as the next girl, but he seriously had that one coming, and the fact that Caroline got to do it herself–finally–brought me untold amounts of joy.

Now, having established Vampire Caroline’s baseline awesomeness level, I’d like to return to the main point of this blog entry, and that’s that even as a vampire, Caroline still seems–to me, at least–like the most human person on the show. Elena (who I also love dearly, just FYI) can declare that she is going to have a human day and be a normal teenager to her heart’s content, but Caroline’s still the one who’s struggling to figure out who–and now, what–she is. Her first two orders of business as a vampire are to (a) tell off Damon (see above, re: awesome) and (b) to try to spend time with Matt, her very human boyfriend.

Vampire Caroline is just as vulnerable as her human counterpart was. She’s still concerned with doing things right and being the kind of person other people could love–and just as convinced that she will never be that girl. She worries about being “hideous.” She apologizes profusely to everyone she bites. And she’s devastated by Bonnie’s rejection. How many vampires would, after their first time hunting, break down sobbing that the closest thing she had to a best friend hated her, like that was the straw that broke the camel’s back?

Vampire Caroline is still Caroline–earnest and insecure and wanting desperately to believe that she’s worth something, that she’s not a monster. And I, for once, absolutely adore her.

I’ll end this blog entry talking about another thing I really loved in this episode–and that was Stefan. From day one, everyone on the show has seemed more than willing to say bad things about Caroline. In this episode alone, nice-guy (yeah, right) Matt called her “insecure,” “neurotic,” and “a basket case,” multiple times, and preceded his confession of love by saying that he wanted to “throttle her”–all after she’d just been released from the hospital! But Matt wasn’t the only one slinging the Caroline dirt this episode–Damon dismissed her outright, saying in that patronizing voice he saves for talking about “Blondie” that “Caroline, of all people” would not make it as a vampire. Clearly, Damon didn’t think Caroline was up to snuff–a message he’s conveyed to her over and over again since the day they met.

But at the end of “Brave New World,” for the first time, someone also looked at Caroline and told her that she could be strong. Someone held her and believed in her–and when Stefan promised Caroline that he wouldn’t let anything happen to her–effectively telling her that she was worth saving–I loved him for doing that and for saying those things to her, because as a viewer, I wondered if anyone in Caroline’s life had ever looked at her and told her that she could be the strong one.

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing her be just that.

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Great post, Jen. Thanks for it!

If you love this show as much as I do, you’ll want to check out A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls (pre-order today!).

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10 Comments On "Guest Post: The Vampire Diaries Caroline is “Seriously Badass”"

  1. Erin

    Great article and I totally agree with all your assessments about Caroline. She was a character I was predisposed to dislike, but she’s become my favorite on the show. She’s compelling, sympathetic, funny, and downright awesome. I’m ecstatic she’s a vampire now and can’t wait to see what’s in store for her. I feel like she’ll be a nice vampire amalgam of Stefan and Damon, someone who wants to do the right thing but isn’t above being a little petty and having some fun with her powers. My one gripe: her eye make-up. Becoming a female vamp makes you go crazy with the smokey eyes?

    Reply

    • jennifer

      Erin, I noticed the eye makeup myself! My first thought, “whoever packed her hospital bag sure included a nice stash of eye shadow.”

      Reply

      • Erin

        Yeah, I was like, “did she compel doctor into giving her a makeover?”

  2. helps

    Awesome! My favorite moment was when Caroline kicked Damon’s butt [tho, I love him to the bits, but he so deserved it] or when she seriously cared more about carneval organization than the fact, she was just turned into a vamp XD Lol she’s fun! I really like her and hope she’ll stick around for awhile

    Reply

  3. amysbp

    Great post. It’s so nice and refreshing to see someone else out there that loves Caroline as much as I do. Also, agreed with the fact that it was so nice to see Stefan actually sticking up for Caroline and telling her positive things as opposed to everyone else in her life. I do believe Matt means the best when he puts her down, I feel like he’s just as lost as she is.

    Reply

  4. rehabber

    I admit to never liking Caroline until she got turned and I have never been prouder of anyone than I was of her when she controlled herself around Matt,loved that scene with Stefan showing her how to do that. And of course throwing Damon down the hall. Good for you Caroline. I just may become one of your biggest fans.lol This is an excellent article.

    Reply

  5. Mac

    “Caroline–who never had a chance against Damon and went an excessively long time without any friends or family members giving her vervain”

    Now there’s a good point. I remember when Damon was trying to worm his way into the council, Mrs. Mayor was telling him that they needed enough vervain for all their kids and blah blah blah….
    So how come Sheriff!Mom wasn’t slipping Caroline vervain in her juice or whatever? Even before Damon & Stefan showed up? Although Sheriff!Mom is about as sharp as a sledge hammer, so it’s entirely possible that she never thought of it. Shame on you.

    Reply

    • Jens

      Though the Lockwoods weren’t supplying Tyler with any vervain either. Damon compelled him easily enough when Vicki was about to go after him after being turned.

      Terrible mothers over there in Mystic Falls.

      Reply

  6. Brittany

    Fabulous post, I totally agree that Caroline is the “most awesome non-Damon character on the show” now. I’m really really looking forward to seeing how she handles being a vampire and hope beyond hope they don’t kill her off, at least not anytime soon! She’s far too great :).

    Reply

  7. midnightblack07

    Amazing assessment!! I, like man people, was very skeptical about them making Caroline into a vampire… but after seeing Candice’s performance and the way the writers were able to maintain the essence of her character even in the midst of such a transformation won me over and a HALF!! Now my only worry is that she’ll get the axe amd I’d hate for that to happen because she truly is one of my favorite characters :(

    Reply

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