Spoiler alert: There’s a lot of death on The Vampire Diaries. Sometimes it’s a character you’ve come to know and love over many years. Sometimes it’s just a pizza-delivery girl you just met for the first time in last week’s episode and who presumably had a long, fruitful life ahead of her — it’s not like she was going to be a pizza-delivery girl forever. She had plans. But somehow the characters that deserve to die never get killed, and all we can do is wonder why. Well, while we can’t answer why, we can answer when. These are those answers:
When he should have died: As soon as he broke out of his brother's private prison and killed Zach way back in season one.
Why: This would have saved Lexi and countless other victims that aren't as cool as Lexi. Sure, Damon is a good vampire now that love has transformed him. It's wonderful. He's noble. But that doesn't change the fact that he killed lots of nice people over the many years when he wasn't so nice. Probably the only reason you want to cut Damon some slack is that he's gorgeous. Imagine if he were horribly ugly. Would you still defend him so much? If he were as monstrous outside as he has been on the inside? I don't think so.
When he should have died: Stefan should have been killed as soon as he became the Ripper.
Why: Not only because his Ripper persona is devoid of humanity, but also because his name is hacked from a way more famous killer, Jack the Ripper. More like Stefan the Rip-Off.
When she should have died: Before she was even turned into a vampire and did anything wrong.
Why: Just for being annoying. (Additionally, this logic could be applied to Matt and Tyler as well.)
When she should have died: Before she started making a charm for every vampire to be able to go out in the sunlight unharmed.
Why: The whole point of the vampire's aversion to the sun is so that we can tell them apart from humans, which she effectively made impossible. Now we just have to go by who dies when you stick a wooden stake through their heart. Except that works on humans, too. Nice job, Bonnie.
When she should have died: Way early on, like the first time she pretended to be Elena.
Why: Because it was confusing.
When he should have died: Alaric should have been killed even more times than he was.
Why: Because it was always fun seeing the magic ring bring him back to life. His tombstone should read “Alaric: Died a Lot, But Not Enough,” or maybe “If This Tomb's A-Rockin', DO Come A-Unlockin', Because I Was Buried in Error.”
When he should have died: At the end of the season when he was the big, bad guy that everyone was afraid of.
Why: Because after that, he became just another vampire in town. Sure, killing him might have killed all of the other main characters in the show, as a result of his having sired their bloodline, but he was a real dick that deserved it, no matter the cost.
When she should have died: Vicki was killed real early. Perfect.
Why: When they get it right, maybe it’s best not to question.
When he should have died: When his girlfriend was a ghost.
Why: So he could join her on the other side. They were cute together.
When she should have died: When she stopped writing in her diary regularly.
Why: The show's not called The Vampires, Elena. Some of us are tuning in because we love DIARIES, and we're all caught up on the basketball and Anne Frank versions.
Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert and Jenna (Elena's parents and aunt)
When they should have died: They shouldn’t have.
Why: Maybe some adult supervision would have provided some more guidance for their wayward kids, and a lot of problems could have been avoided pretty early on. But then … there’d be no show. So it looks like they died exactly when they should have.