As Damon complains in The Vampire Diaries Season 5 promo, “If I have to hear the word ‘doppelganger’ one more time, I’m going to have to learn how to spell it.” While we’re relatively certain we’ve got the spelling down, we totally understand Damon’s point: doppelgangers are popping up everywhere in Mystic Falls, and we know so little about them! For example, what is all this doppelganger on doppelganger hate about? We speculate below.

Doppelganger Recap: Petrova Edition

For some doppelganger context, right now we have two sets of look-alikes making their way around Mystic Falls. Old favorites Katherine and Elena (Nina Dobrev), and the newfound Silas and Stefan (Paul Wesley) doppelganger team. Now, Katherine has been bothering Elena since Season 1, but most recently (and arguably most terribly), she killed Elena’s only remaining family when she fed Jeremy to Silas in Season 4. He’s back now (long story), but that doesn’t take away from the heartlessness of the move. In the Season 4 finale, Katherine tried to kill Elena once and for all, but Elena managed to save herself by shoving the cure for vampirism down Katherine’s throat. No word on how Katherine’s newfound humanity will affect their relationship, but we can’t see these two braiding friendship bracelets anytime soon.

Doppelganger Recap: Silas Edition

Apparently, Stefan has been a doppelganger all along, but we just discovered this truth in the Season 4 finale when Silas - aka the world’s first immortal - revealed his true face and called Stefan his “shadow self” (whatever the heck that means). Silas then proceeded to lock Stefan into a box and push said box into a quarry where Stefan has spent the summer drowning, dying, and coming back to life again and again. Yeah, so much for paternal instincts, or whatever. It doesn’t seem like Silas is losing any sleep over the decision either, given that in the Canadian promo for Season 5, we see him telling Damon that Stefan is “suffering, like I suffered.” Harsh.

Jealousy

So, what is it that has these doppelgangers hating on their descendants? You’d think sharing a face might foster a little camaraderie, but no dice. Is it simply a case of familial jealousy? This makes particular sense when it comes to the Katherine/Elena situation. Katherine once had the Salvatore brothers wrapped around her finger. Now, Elena currently holds that position. When Katherine tries to kill Elena in the Season 4 finale, she accuses her of stealing her own happiness, telling her that she doesn’t deserve it. As for Silas, we suppose he could be jealous of Stefan’s relative freedom (well, you know, pre-quarry). When he tells Damon that Stefan is suffering like he had been, it sounds like he resents Stefan for living his life while Silas was desiccating for a few thousands years below ground. In both Katherine and Silas’ cases, they seem to enjoy impersonating their doppelgangers, which implies that they would like aspects of their lives for themselves.

Part of the doppelganger deal

As previously mentioned, there’s still so much we don’t know about doppelgangers - and so much of the doppelganger deal is steeped in magic and mysticism. Is there some less petty reason for Katherine and Silas to hate their doppelgangers i.e. is it somehow built into the doppelganger magic? It makes some sort of TVD sense that only one version of these beings would be able to survive, that they would battle it out until the universe held a single version of each person. According to the “doppelganger” Wikipedia page, in some traditions, seeing one’s doppelganger is a harbinger of death - and we can totally see the TVD Powers That Be buying into that concept. Does this mean that either Katherine or Elena, and either Stefan or Silas has to die? Well, you know, again.

Do you think there is anything supernatural behind the doppelganger hate? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the Season 5 premiere of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, October 3, 2013, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.