At this point, we're over that particular point of comparison. We'd rather talk about what this show is than what it's not.
- These vampires can go out in the sunlight -- but only if they're wearing a serious (and seriously ugly) talisman ring. Otherwise, it's dust city.
- However, if you break out the garlic or silver to defend yourself against bad vamp Damon, he'll just gnaw on your neck. And you know these boys are too pretty to go without mirrors.
- Becoming a vampire is a much more involved process in this world than in most. You have to get bitten, feed on the vampire's blood, die, rise from the grave, then chose to feed on a human.
- Vamps can put the mind-whammy on you -- but you can protect yourself by wearing a sprig of an herb called vervain.
- Like in most vampire mythologies, vamps become more powerful by drinking human blood -- but when they do that, the "rules" apply to them more stringently.
Not everything in the show is the same as in the book series, however. Executive producer Kevin Williamson says the show will hew to the general outline of the first three books, not book four on. And the new books being written? Those will continue along their path, and the show will continue along its path.
Book fans already know that the characters on the show don't look like their description in the books -- but "we all wanted to capture the essence of these characters, the essence of their friendships and who they are," said Katerina Graham, who plays Bonnie.
The biggest character shift comes with Elena, who is transformed from a somewhat shallow ice queen to more innocent character. "We wanted someone who had vulnerability, who was relatable," said actress Nina Dobrov of her character. "She looks for the good in everyone. Even though she's lost her parents and her brother is in a downward spiral, she still wants to fix things and be optimistic."
The vampires' backstory has undergone a shift as well. Goodbye, Renaissance Italy; hello, Civil War South.
But book fans will see plenty they recognize. Kevin promised that a series regular form the book will appear relatively quickly in the series -- and this person will have an agenda. Who will it be? We'll just have to wait for the series to start.
What's your take on this show's vampire mythology -- and on the way the show diverges from the book? Talk about it in the comments!!