Ever wonder why the actor playing the iconic role of Castiel is always the same age as the actor playing John Winchester (aka Jack)?

The short answer is that the writers of The Vampire Diaries always want to put the characters in scenes that are relevant to their current status in the show. For example, look at how many times we’ve seen Bonnie and Castiel fight over the centuries.

Since they’re both around 150 years old, they’ve really got their work cut out for them. It seems like most of their fights revolve around whether or not they can eat each other. Even when the stakes aren’t literal food, it’s basically a cat-and-mouse game where neither wants to back down. It’s fun to watch because the bickering is always relevant to the story and never boring.

Beware The Vampire Diaries’ Big Changes

Like any good soap opera, The Vampire Diaries constantly changes and evolves with the times. From the types of attacks inflicted to the weapons used, the stories often reflect shifts in societal mores and fashions. As a result, it’s important to keep an eye out for when things deviate from what we’ve seen in the past.

Let’s take a look at some of the significant changes we’ve seen since the first season and how these changes have (or haven’t) affected Castiel and John Winchester.

Vampire vs Vampire

The most significant and, arguably, most shocking change to hit The Vampire Diaries in its eight-season history was the introduction of Vampires. Up until that point, the series had stayed roughly within the bounds of classic mythology — the monsters were almost always Dracula’s or Frankenstein’s creations, and the occasional werewolf — but the new creatures shattered that illusion with shocking suddenness.

The first appearance of a vampire on TVD was in the form of Klaus (Joseph Morgan). Originating from Germany (where else?), Klaus came to America looking for a fresh start. After meeting the love of his life, Hayley, he decided to make her family his own and turned her into a vampire. But you know what? He could have just stayed home. Much like Michael and the archangel Gabriel before him, Klaus brought the apocalypse to Mystic Falls when he unleashed a legion of bloodsucking monsters on the town. It turned out that Hayley wasn’t the only original vampire in town, and a massive battle for the survival of humanity ensued. During the course of this battle, the sheriff was killed, leaving his post temporarily vacant. Who killed him? Why, Klaus of course! He was ultimately defeated and trapped in a tomb for the next 200 years. Now he’s back, bearing a grudge against humanity and ready to wreak havoc once more.

This time around, the battle for survival will be even more complicated as more and more creatures from the night side emerge from their eternal slumber to join the fight. The Vampire Diaries is often called a “monster of the week” series, and while that’s mostly true, it’s clear that the monsters are always going to play a role in the story. It wouldn’t be much of a story if the monsters didn’t exist, now would it?

New Media

Since the early 2000s, media has evolved from something that was only available in print to something that can be accessed instantaneously and from anywhere. This evolution is something that TVD has taken advantage of with each passing season.

The first season was primarily focused on establishing the case that the monsters were real and that they were dangerous. Some of the more memorable scenes from that season include Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) discovery of a Ouija board as a child and Jeremy (Steven McQueen) fighting to save his friends from the monsters’ attack.

Since then we’ve seen the invention of the internet, which has given birth to fan fiction and made it easier for creators to connect with audience members. As a result, TVD has taken advantage of this technology with each passing season to better engage with its audience and find a way to keep them interested in what’s happening in Mystic Falls. New scenes that feature social media and the internet offer possibilities for connecting with fans that weren’t available before. For example, in the eighth season premiere, “The Salvage Project,” Hayley uses social media to get the word out about a fashion show she and her friends are putting on. This scene features many of today’s tech innovations and, perhaps more significantly, gives us a glimpse into how Hayley would use social media in the years to come.

The technology that is available today allows creators to tell us stories that were previously unimaginable. The potential is there to create something that can genuinely feel like a “next generation” story, where characters exist in a world that is constantly changing around them and yet they aren’t completely oblivious to what is happening. This kind of storytelling is a testament to just how much potential modern technology has to transform the way we tell stories.

Weapons-wise, Stakes Are Out

In addition to changing the make-up of the monsters, the second season saw a significant shift in the way that the creatures wreaked havoc. Gone were the days of Dracula bringing his “sickness” to America in the dead of night. Nowadays, the creatures from the night side emerge from their graves in the full daylight. One of the more significant changes is that, from that point forward, weapons-wise, stakes are out. Gone are the days of killing vampires with wooden stakes through the heart. Nowadays, even silver is good enough to kill them. Gone too are the days of turning vampires into wooden dolls by beheading them. Some of the more memorable scenes from that season include Alaric’s (Andrew J. West) fight with his biological father, Klaus, and his battle with the witch Greta (Shanti Roney). You’ll notice that the majority of these scenes feature someone with a weapon in hand fighting the monster. This is by design. The weapons have evolved along with the monsters’ capabilities, and now the monsters have evolved along with the weapons.

It is clear that the weapons in hand are not meant to be toys. When used against a vampire, they are almost always lethal. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re only used to kill. These weapons have become a part of the story, and in many cases, they’ve become integral to the narrative.

More Women In Varsity Jackets

One of the more significant developments in recent years is the fact that more and more characters are donning varsity jackets. This is a significant development for a number of reasons, but one of the most prominent is the fact that these jackets often mark the characters as “regular” people and not “monsters.” While some still wear their former costumes — most notably vampires and werewolves — more characters are opting for the tried-and-true American tradition of school pride when it comes to clothing.

It’s interesting to note that the characters that wear these jackets are often part of the show’s more modern stories. The first season didn’t feature many scenes where characters wore varsity jackets (at least not intentionally), but since then it’s been a constant trend. One of the more significant scenes that features a varsity jacket is the third season premiere, “The Return,” where Bonnie teams up with her football coach, Henry Wilczek (Kevin Chapman), to save her brother Jeremy from the monsters. It is significant in part because it marks a turning point in the series. Up until that point, Bonnie had mostly worn plain black clothing, with the occasional pale yellow and blue outfit. While these were typically associated with school spirit, they were also sometimes used in connection with funerals and other somber affairs. Since then, Bonnie has largely abandoned the sober attire in favor of warmer, fuzzier, school colors. It is also interesting to note that the majority of the survivors of that tragic incident were found in the woods dressed in school colors. Is there a connection here?

The Sheriff’s Death

Since the outbreak of the Civil War between the Union and Confederate armies in 1861, the town of Mystic Falls has been the scene of numerous violent crimes. As the town’s population exploded thanks to the opening of the iron mine, these crimes followed suit. The first half of the 19th century was a time of great change in America, and while many people benefited from the opportunities that the War created, there was also great heartbreak and trauma that was felt by many families. As a result of this trauma, many of the characters on The Vampire Diaries have carried grudges throughout the years, and some of these grudges have led to some extraordinary conflicts.