On The Vampire Diaries

Sweet Caroline

By Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I’ve prepared a speech about Caroline Forbes. Please don’t interrupt me, because I have a lot to say on the matter, and I really want to get this right.

By this point, you may already be wondering why I would choose to write about Caroline when there are brooding vampires and butt-kicking heroines to be discussed and a dark and twisty Damon Salvatore to be pondered, adored, and dissected. The answer is simple: in a world of vampires, witches, and tragically beautiful girls who never asked to be loved nearly so well as they are, Caroline is an exception to nearly every rule–even the ones she tries desperately to follow. Tactless, shallow, materialistic, and quick to judge, our Miss Forbes is the latest in a long line of loveable TV bitcas, heir to the throne of One Tree Hill’s Brooke Davis, Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Cordelia Chase. But this Mystic Falls mean girl is a new brand of power princess: overeager, self-aware, and–unlike her predecessors–far from the top of the food chain (in more ways than one).

More than any other character on the show, Caroline is defined by what she wants and cannot have. Even Damon occasionally swerved from his single-minded pursuit of Katherine, but throughout the first season, Caroline never stopped wanting simple, everyday things: to be special, to be loved, to be seen and not found wanting. By her own tearful admission, she works so hard,  …

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