via IMDb

Here’s the official watch order for ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘The Originals’

Let's get back to Mystic Falls. Here's how to watch episodes of your favorite vampire television franchise in order.

When The Vampire Diaries premiered to audiences on Sept. 10, 2009, fans were immediately enamored with the storyline of Elena Gilbert, a high school student who lost her parents in a tragic accident and moved in with her aunt alongside her brother, Jeremy.

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The six seasons that followed introduced viewers to a world of vampires, witches, hybrids, and werewolves. There were species so far hidden within the town’s history that only a select few knew of their existence, and they were hell-bent on keeping it a secret.

In addition to all eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies both helped grow TVD’s universe. The expanded realm allowed fans to learn even more about the vampiric stories they loved so much. Of course, The Vampire Diaries also introduced a few key players from The Originals, and the same goes for Legacies.

How should you begin your Vampire Diaries Universe watch?

Without vampires, humans, witches, and werewolves forming those initial bonds (or becoming enemies), the other series wouldn’t have been possible. How do the various episodes work in tandem with each other? Whether you’re a fan of TVD who has never ventured into the other realms, are starting entirely from scratch, or just want to rewatch your favorite vampire series, how do you get started?

You most definitely want to begin with The Vampire Diaries. You’ll undoubtedly fall in love with Stefan or Damon, root for Elena to dive deeper into her relationships with them, and understand why her heart is torn. You’ll relate to the characters within the series, and then you’ll get to the episodes where outsiders are introduced, where your real journey begins.

You can start by watching the first four seasons of The Vampire Diaries before intertwining TVD episodes with The Originals. If you’re wondering how best to do this, a pop culture fan has laid it out for you in a well-developed and likely time-consuming list.

On Quora, an account named Shivam Upadhyay laid out an episode-specific watchlist for fans of The Vampire Diaries and the series that follow. We’re forever grateful for their contributions, as we’ve watched all of the series on their own, but watching it this way is truly something special.

This list will help you navigate the story in its entirety, and it provides a fascinating way to watch the series for new or existing fans:

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The official watch order for The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies

  • The Vampire Diaries Season 1
  • The Vampire Diaries Season 2
  • The Vampire Diaries Season 3
  • The Vampire Diaries Season 4
  • The Vampire Diaries Season 5, Episode 1
  • The Originals S1, E1
  • The Originals S1, E2
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E2
  • The Originals S1, E3
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E3
  • The Originals S1, E4
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E4
  • The Originals S1, E5
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E5
  • The Originals S1, E6
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E6
  • The Originals S1, E7
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E7
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E8
  • The Originals S1, E8
  • The Originals S1, E9
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E9
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E10
  • The Originals S1, E10
  • The Originals S1, E11
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E11
  • The Originals S1, E12
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E12
  • The Originals S1, E13
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E13
  • The Originals S1, E14
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E14
  • The Originals S1, E15
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E15
  • The Originals S1, E16
  • The Originals S1, E17
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E16
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E17
  • The Originals S1, E18
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E18
  • The Originals S1, E19
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E19
  • The Originals S1, E20
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E20
  • The Originals S1, E21
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E21
  • The Originals S1, E22
  • The Vampire Diaries S5, E22
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E1
  • The Originals S2, E1
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E2
  • The Originals S2, E2
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E3
  • The Originals S2, E3
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E4
  • The Originals S2, E4
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E5
  • The Originals S2, E5
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E6
  • The Originals S2, E6
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E7
  • The Originals S2, E7
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E8
  • The Originals S2, E8
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E9
  • The Originals S2, E9
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E10
  • The Originals S2, E10
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E11
  • The Originals S2, E11
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E12
  • The Originals S2, E12
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E13
  • The Originals S2, E13
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E14
  • The Originals S2, E14
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E15
  • The Originals S2, E15
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E16
  • The Originals S2, E16
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E17
  • The Originals S2, E17
  • The Originals S2, E18
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E18
  • The Originals S2, E19
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E19
  • The Originals S2, E20
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E20
  • The Originals S2, E21
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E21
  • The Originals S2, E22
  • The Vampire Diaries S6, E22
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E1
  • The Originals S3, E1
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E2
  • The Originals S3, E2
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E3
  • The Originals S3, E3
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E4
  • The Originals S3, E4
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E5
  • The Originals S3, E5
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E6
  • The Originals S3, E6
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E7
  • The Originals S3, E7
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E8
  • The Originals S3, E8
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E9
  • The Originals S3, E9
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E10
  • The Originals S3, E10
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E11
  • The Originals S3, E11
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E12
  • The Originals S3, E12
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E13
  • The Originals S3, E13
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E14
  • The Originals S3, E14
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E15
  • The Originals S3, E15
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E16
  • The Originals S3, E16
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E17
  • The Originals S3, E17
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E18
  • The Originals S3, E18
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E19
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E20
  • The Originals S3, E19
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E21
  • The Originals S3, E20
  • The Vampire Diaries S7, E22
  • The Originals S3, E21
  • The Originals S3, E22
  • The Vampire Diaries Season 8
  • The Originals Season 4
  • The Originals Season 5
  • Legacies Season 1
  • Legacies Season 2
  • Legacies Season 3
  • Legacies Season 4

Wait, what is ‘Legacies?’

You might have clicked into this article anticipating only reading how to watch The Vampire Diaries and The Originals in order, but we decided to talk about Legacies, too, because it’s the final installment in the story that first captivated us so many years ago.

Legacies picks up ten years after the conclusion of The Vampire Diaries and around three years after The Originals with some familiar names and faces that hardcore fans of all things vampiric will know. There is also a slew of new characters that helped flesh out the rest of the exciting story, and Legacies is an important chapter in the still compelling story that started so many years ago with two brothers, an unexpected meeting, and enough romance to keep us all coming back for more. If you’ve never seen an episode of Legacies, you can watch the once CW-housed series now on Hulu.

There you have it⏤the all-inclusive and perfect watch order for your favorite vampire shows, and while there’s so much good to be found in the realm of The Vampire Diaries, we can’t talk about the show without making one general statement: we still wish things had ended differently for Elena and Stefan. We’re hopeless romantics, okay?

We have a thing for romances of all kinds; especially summer love stories and those that involve love triangles — but there’s something about Elena and Stefan that we can’t get over, and while most of our OTPs have finally become endgame by their series end, we didn’t get that happily ever after with these two, and we’re clearly not over it.

However, that doesn’t stop us from watching The Vampire Diaries often, and it’s never the wrong time to start your vampire obsession all over again.

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Author
Ashley Marie
Ashley Marie is a staff writer, beat leader, Disney fanatic, and Yellowstone expert. When she's not filling her friends in on all the entertainment news they can handle, she's drinking her go-to Starbucks order — a caramel macchiato, thank you — and wishing she was at Disney World or spending time at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. With a focus on positivity and kindness in journalism, Ashley has been writing for a decade and hopes to keep bringing you articles for decades to come.