Credit: The CW Photo: Elena or Katherine? Who's Your Doppelganger Bestie?

In sloshing through questions we’ve received from Vampire Diaries fans, we found this little gem waiting for us like a shiny newborn vamp: Why does Elena (Nina Dobrev) look like Katherine (Nina Dobrev)?

Brace yourselves, folks, because the answer is as simple as it is complex. To address what is the more obvious part of this question: Elena and Katherine are played by the same actress, and that’s why they look... exactly the same. Buh duh bump!

But why have two twins haunting the same small town? Well, that’s where the convoluted part comes in. Turns out that Elena is a doppelganger of Katherine. More specifically, though, they are both Petrova Doppelgangers, which are extremely rare and have a kind of good twin/bad twin edge. (We bet you can guess who the good twin is!)

The doppelganger history also explains why Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) felt so drawn to Elena for them, it was like seeing the ghost of loves past.

Interestingly enough, a Petrova is also necessary for people like Klaus (Joseph Morgan): he need them in order to complete rituals. (As in, turning werewolves, like Tyler (Michael Trevino), into hybrids.) Which explains why Klaus was ever so distraught at Elena’s recent roll to the world of the undead. Now that she’s a vamp, there goes his Petrova Doppelganger and all those precious hybrids...For now, at least.

Does that answer your question? Make sure to keep sending us more!

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