If you watched Episode 9 of Season 4 of the Vampire Diaries, then you know that Tyler (Michael Trevino) was just a hop, skip and an Original vampire away from being part of Klaus’s (Joseph Morgan) hybrid slaughter. Which leads us to wonder: Why didn’t Tyler die?

Look, we’re not complaining — we like having that hunky hybrid around. We also know that he wouldn’t have survived if not for Hayley’s (Phoebe Tonkin) warning him to leave the holiday party as soon as possible.

But if all of his comrades in howling arms perished, then what is he being saved for?

We gather that he is the twelfth sacrifice in some bizarre ritual that Klaus and, somehow, Professor Shane (David Alpay) are in on. And we also know that all Klaus wants for Christmas is the cure, and all Shane wants is a way to wake up the legend of Silas — which is also connected to the cure.

So it stands to reason that Tyler may not be alive for much longer and is probably going to be used as a way to find the cure.

On the flip side, we know that the hunters mark on Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) needs to be completed to form the map on his arm. Could Tyler be another notch on Jer’s hybrid slaying belt?

We’ll have to tune in to the return of Vampire Diaries on January 17 to find out! But if there’s a reason Tyler’s alive that we missed, let us know in the comments below.