Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stefan's Diaries: My thoughts on how the fans could have done it better

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!: If you have not yet read Stefan’s Diaries but plan to, bookmark this page and come back when you’re done to read and comment. If you, like me, have already finished or don’t plan on reading it at all, continue on!:

Completely devoured the new Vampire Diaries book last night. This latest called “Stefan’s Diaries,Vol. 1 Origins” is not a continuation of the original series but based entirely on the CW show (which was based on the original series). Don’t get dizzy. It makes complete sense. What’s funny about it (to me) is that no actual author is listed. It simply states “Based on the novels by L.J. Smith and the TV series developed by Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec.” Huh. Who knows. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn’t put it down once except to tweet how much I was loving it. That said, I do think my fellow, serious TVD watchers and I could have done a few things better. Here’s why:

  1. Several times throughout the book, Honoria Fell is mentioned by name. Except that she’s called Honoria FELLS. Each instance of this made me growl under my breath. Even fans who haven’t read the original book series would notice this mistake due to the handful of Fell characters already named on the show.
  2. In Stefan’s Diaries we finally learn the origins of Pearl and Anna and are able to confirm that they are in fact real mother and daughter. They came from Charleston, South Carolina and were human as of the end of the Revolutionary War (1783) when a tuberculosis epidemic hit and Katherine saved them from certain death. However, in episode 1x16 of the show Pearl tells Damon that she’s got 400 years on him. You do the math. Does quite add up does it?
  3. Founders Ball: several inconsistencies here but first is the order of events. Chapter 22 of the book goes into detail about all events surrounding the party starting with Stefan & Katherine skipping out without a dance and never seeing Damon and ending with their entire night spent together once arriving home. Yet in episodes 1x4, 1x6 and 2x4, it is made apparent that Damon was at the ball and watched Stefan & Katherine dance. Also made clear in episodes 1x6 and 2x4 is Damon spending time with Katherine once arriving home. My other question about this event is whether the ball in 1864 was the first one its kind as the show says it is or was already an annual event as the book states.
  4. How exactly does this compulsion thing work? On page 202 of the book, before Stefan dies or begins any part of his transformation he begins to recall feeling “woozy” each time Katherine had stared into his eyes to ask something of him and he immediately believes all his feelings for her were her idea and hers alone. This doesn’t really gel with what has been explained so far on the show including episode 2x2 where Caroline doesn’t get her compelled memories back until after she’s fully turned.
  5. There were a few other small differences between page & screen. Things like Katherine’s clothing and exact wording of conversations. The problem for me is that I can see and hear in my head these bits from the show as I read and when they don’t match up it feels like watching a badly dubbed foreign film. Also rubbing me wrong is the book’s complete dismissal of the few tomb vamps that the Salvatore brothers recognize in present day Mystic Falls: Henry, Frederick, Harper & Beth-Anne.
What kept me awake hours after reading were the millions of questions swimming in my head. Questions frustratingly still unanswered and questions newly formed. Do I dare hope future book and show installments holds the answers?:

  1. What exactly happened to Emily Bennett? Was she playing both sides throughout the events of 1864 or was Katherine aware of/insistent upon all she did to help the Founders entrap the vamps? Somehow her grimoire ended up in Giuseppe Salvatore’s coffin who, according to the book, was buried a week after the death of his sons and the fire at the church. Did she die shortly thereafter? Did those she help with taking down the town’s vampires kill her and take her book by force? Where were the children Damon swore to protect?
  2. What is up with that damn crystal? Did Katherine know it could be used to release the vampires from their tomb? If so, was this a concern she was willing to brush off for the time being so that she could escape what ever force was hot on her trail? I’m assuming Damon hid it in the Lockwood mansion during Katherine’s final vervain infused tryst with Stefan. He obviously didn’t know then what its power was or he would not have been so willing to die thinking Katherine had gone down in flames. Yet present day Katherine seems upset that Damon knew she wasn’t dead. Was that something she hadn’t wanted Emily to share with him?
  3. Due to the confusion surrounding the magic of compulsion (see #4 above) it is still impossible to know for sure if Stefan’s love for Katherine was ever real. I think each and every reader (and watcher of the show, as this is a recently visited question there too) is left to make the decision for themselves. Do we really want the answer or is this one better left in the grey?
And while I’ve gone on and on about what was done wrong with this book, there were enough things done right to make me jump up and down with impatience and excitement, waiting for the next installment. It brought joy to my cribbage loving heart to read that it was a game played by Stefan with his father and Katherine. And, as a tried and true member of Team Stefan I could not help but smile throughout as his voice was so true to character it felt like Paul Wesley himself was reading the book aloud to me.

So friends. What did you think? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have the answers to my questions? Do you have new questions of your own? Please go crazy in the comments. I can’t wait to read your thoughts


  1. Another thing I noticed in the TV series was that one way or another both Anna and Pearl were much older and stronger than Damon. So why did Anna and Damon seem to be on even ground when they were choking each other in her motel room?

  2. uff i read what u think, but i haven't read the book. i'm looking forward to read it!! i promise i'll come back :) Team Stefan :D

  3. Finally I can comment on this!! Only like 7 months after it was written :P

    So once again I have to say I agree with you. Shocking, right??
    Although I do not know the show as much as you do. I don`t pay attention as much but I have to say it did bother me (just to name something) when the dialogues didn`t match what we saw on screen or when they described a scene it wasn`t really what we saw on screen. (For some may be details, I know but they still kind of bother me)

    Overall I like the book. Too bad I didn`t think of imagining Paul`s voice while reading it but I will do the next time.

    Anyway looking forward to read the other books so I can read what you wrote about them