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The main catalyst for her change can be due to her turning into vampire and her hatred for Klaus and Katherine. Her strong desire for revenge and to keep her loved ones safe from the many dangers that they face can contribute to her misdeeds. Elena Gilbert has killed innocent people when she was a human and a vampire. She calls people out for their actions against her while she ignores the crimes she has committed against them. She is usually easily forgiven and rarely has to answer for her actions. She took the cure and became human again towards the end of the sixth season.
Her main villainous arc is when she loses her humanity and all that is good with her. She has to deal with the aftermath of her actions when she gets her humanity back. Her appearance also changes when she loses her humanity.
- She had Damon compel Jeremy in order for him to forget the past events that led to Vicki's death. She lied to both Jeremy Gilbert, her brother, and Matt Donovan, Vicki Donovan's brother, about what really happened to Vicki. She consoled Matt Donovan when he Vicki's body was found dead as she continue to lie to him.
- She has lied and kept the truth from her loved ones in order to protect them. Elena could have prevented some harm from happening to her friends if she have told the truth. An example are when Bonnie found out about vampires by having Damon bite her neck when her ancestor, Emily, had possessed her. Another time when she kept the truth is when she hid the secret about what Damon did to Caroline in the beginning of Season 1. She lied to Tyler about what really happened to Tyler's uncle, Mason, knowing how he died and even knew that it was going to happen before he was killed.
- She lied to Damon in order for him to help her get information from Katherine Pierce making him believe she should forgive him for his past actions. She later reveals to him that she lost him forever after he has given her the information. He later compares her to her ancestor, Katherine Pierce.
- Daggering Rebekah - she got the information she needed from Rebekah and she daggered her knowing how much going to the dance meant to her. She convinced Rebekah to help her kill her own brother by letting her know that her brother killed her mother. She continues to sway her to her side even though she sees how heartbroken Rebekah is of this news. She reminds Rebekah Mikaelson that her brother, Niklaus Mikaelson, needs to die. She later convinces Niklaus Mikaelson that Rebekah was helping her to kill him in order to keep her dagger because she didn't want Rebekah to come after her when she comes back. Elena has shown no remorse for betraying and using Rebekah. It is revealed that she doesn't feel guilty In All of My Children when she admits that she only pretended that she cared about her in order to get her way. Rebekah tries to get revenge on Elena after she is undaggered. Elena constantly reminds Rebekah and her friends that Rebekah tried to kill her even though she tried to kill her because Elena daggered her. Elena has hurt Rebekah various times without remorse or apologizing even though Rebekah apologizes when she hurts Elena. Elena refuses to forgive Rebekah.
- She conspires with Esther Mikaelson, the mother of the Mikaelson siblings, in order to get rid of Klaus once and for all. She learns that Esther plans on killing all of the Mikaelson siblings. Elena, knowing that they don't all deserve to die, agrees to this plan and lies to Elijah. Elijah has been noble towards Elena and went as far as going against his brother in order to keep her alive. She betrays his trust and lies to him even though she knew that her actions would lead to his death and all of the Original siblings. She continues to lie even when she is confronted by Elijah.
- A major villainous act Elena is in the episode The Murder of One when she contributed to the killing Finn Mikaelson, the least harmless Original sibling. Elena continues with her plan to kill all of the Originals knowing that killing one Original would kill all of the Original's vampires they created. Her goals was not to kill all of the Originals. She continues to attack Finn even though the love of her life, Sage, is standing there pleading for them to stop. She was willing to kill an innocent person in front of the person she love in order to kill someone who has hurt her loved ones. She shows no pity for Sage as she lays there crying even though Elena has experienced the loss of a loved one. It is later revealed that killing an Original would lead to the death of their whole bloodline as well.
- She later tries to find the Original bloodline of the Salvatores so she would know which Original they can't kill and to find out if they can still kill Klaus. Elena knew that Tyler was part of Klaus' bloodline and killing Klaus would kill Tyler, her childhood friend. She was willing to kill more bloodlines as long as they weren't her friend's bloodline even though there could have been innocent vampires in the bloodline. She laters tries to use the white oak stake on Rebekah on various occasions out of anger knowing that she would kill thousands of vampires.
- Killing the hunter Connor. She kills Connor after he holds her friends and her brother hostage. She viciously attacks him after getting close enough to him. He is her first kill as a vampire.
- She kills her brother, Jeremy, due to the hallucinations from the hunter's curse.
- Elena starts to fall in love with Damon and later informs Stefan of her feelings for Damon. This leads to their breakup. She immediate sleeps with Damon after their breakup. She has caused the relationship between the Salvatore brothers to drift apart even though they were just starting to make amends with each other. Stefan later hears about her sleeping with Damon. This causes Stefan to hate Damon. Even though Elena is with Damon, she refuses to allow Stefan to move on by showing disgust for his love interest and trying to keep him from dating girls like Rebekah, Tessa and Katherine. She doesn't show respect when she is with Damon around Stefan as she kisses and love Damon in front of Stefan.
- Her plan to kill Kol and his bloodline can be viewed as one of the most selfish acts, if not the most, that she has committed so far. Her reasons to kill Kol was to grow the map in order to get the cure. Kol was willing to stop tormenting her brother and trying to hurt her if she stopped looking for the cure. Instead, she decided to plan his death. This action put her brother and her friends in danger knowing that it would be very difficult to go against an Original Vampire. She knew that killing him would kill a whole bloodline of vampires from the "moon and back" because she has stated that killing an Original would do so. Her reason to kill Kol was so she could kill his bloodline and grow the hunter mark faster in order to get to the cure. She called Kol so she can lure him to her house and kill him. She also informed her friends of her plan and gave them no choice but to participate in the plan. She also planned to have Rebekah daggered again because she know she would be devastated to lose her brother and she might even foil her plans if she hears about her plans. She also gave some of them roles that could be dangerous. She was also informed that getting to the cure could possibly raise Silas, a creature that could lead to the end of the world. She only pretended to care in order to distract him long enough to kill him. Her brother, Jeremy, had to kill a whole bloodline of vampires and listen to his sister. Klaus later
- Elena lost her humanity after losing her brother when Damon use the sire bond to make her turn off her humanity. She starts to act more selfish, vindictive and even tries to kill her friends. She shows no remorse for her actions when her humanity is off. She tells Caroline that she isn't going to give her an apology because she can't handle talking about it right now. She also tells Rebekah that they aren't friends even though Rebekah was there for her and took her into her home when no one was able to tolerate her with her humanity off.
- Her way of handling the bad things she did was to try to kill Katherine. her attempt on Katherine's life also hurt her friend Bonnie since Bonnie and Katherine are linked together.
- In Season 5, she and Damon fed Katherine to Silas in order to wake him so he could help her bring Bonnie back to life. She shows no concern or guilt when Katherine begs for her life and lies on the floor. Elena shows disappointment when she finds that Katherine didn't die. This leads Katherine to age rapidly and starts to die.
- Elena kills Jesse, Caroline's love interest, when he is suffering with bloodlust and attacks Damon even though there was a better way. She felt that he was beyond saving even though she and Damon goes through the same thing and they are given a chance that she didn't give Jesse.
- Elena causes Stefan to suffer PTSD when she tells him that she needs him to be okay and find so she won't feel guilty about him being trapped while she was having the time of her life with her brother. Her words causes him to suffer even more.
- Elena has no sympathy for Katherine dying. She is even disrespectful at her funeral by toasting to her death in front of her daughter. She acts disrespectful when she learns that Nadia is her daughter and shows no sympathy for someone losing their mother.
- Elena and her friends treats two new witch twins as their servants by forcing them into doing the magic bidding. She injures Liv and blackmails her into letting her go out of the magic shield or she would kill Liv. Elena reprimands her and tortures her when she tries to kill Elena in order to save Mystic Falls and to save magic. She was willing to let her die even though she had recently tried to kill Liv in a previous episode and her friends threatened her to force her to help them with her magic. She later chases her and her brother down and forces them to help her by killing her brother.
- Knowing that Bonnie feels pain every time someone passes through her, she decides to die with Damon causing her twice the amount of pain that she would have felt if it was only Damon because she couldn't be a minute without Damon. She failed to think about the pain that Bonnie would have felt.