Sometimes when watching The Vampire Diaries, we feel a bit like we’re perpetually drowning in a lockbox filled with mythology. Just when we think we’ve figured something out, the show throws another historical twist at us to complicate the series’ backstory. Is there such a thing as too much mythology? And has TVD reached that point?

Season 5 mythology

This season, we have been more thoroughly introduced to Qetsiyah/Tessa and Silas, the 2,000-year-old witch and warlock, respectively, who started this whole doppelganger business. Basically, Silas tricked Qetsiyah into falling in love with him so that she would concoct an immortality spell to use with his true love, Amara (aka the Original Petrova doppelganger). When Qets finds out about the betrayal, however, she un-immortals Amara, rips out her heart, and entombs Silas in a tomb to dessicate for a few thousand years. There’s also some stuff in there about a supernatural purgatory called “The Other Side,” doppelgangers as a form of universal balance for the creation of immortal beings, and a gang of “gifted” sorcerers called “the Travelers.” Got it?

Too much mythos

You feel that pounding around the sinuses? That is what we like to call a mythology headache. It’s like a brain freeze, but with vampires, and it makes watching TVD feel decidedly more like taking a Medieval History quiz than watching supernaturally-charged television. We love our TVD mythology when it’s sprinkled sparingly throughout the series, but when the present-day storylines are entirely spurred by events that occurred 2,000 years ago concerning people we recently met, it’s hard to get too invested. More importantly, we need our heroes to be largely driving the storyline because TVD is their story. Right now, it feels a bit like all of these Big Bads have come in with their mythology to muck things up and take all of the plot twists away from our favorites.

It ties everything together

On the other hand, TVD mythology is the force that drives the show. Without it, TVD would just be Twilight. OK, maybe it’s not that drastic, but the complex setting and backstory of TVD has always been an important component of the series. And the Season 5 mythology has done a crazily cohesive job of tying together mythology from past seasons with one, big bow. It’s hard to judge this mythos-heavy plot when the season is still in its infancy, but right now we think it has the potential to hatch a whole series of believable and compelling storylines. Who are the Travelers? Is Amara somehow still alive? Are there other doppelgangers out there? And will destiny really bring Stefan and Elena together? Those are a lot of fresh questions to explore for a show that is currently in its fifth season.

Do you think TVD throws too much mythology at the viewer? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, October 31, 2013, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.