20 Most Iconic Elena Gilbert Moments

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12. Teaming up with Katherine and Mikael against Klaus (3.09)

It’s hard to just praise Elena in this episode, as the whole team effort was one of the best of the entire series. It’s all planned down to every last detail, and even Katherine and Mikael are #TeamGoodGuys for this one – all the with the common goal of taking down Klaus, with their own reasons for wanting to. It’s smart, and it’s maybe the best plan they all ever came up with – really, most of the characters on this show have a habit of acting rashly – and while it didn’t work out, it was still a memorable episode.

For Elena, it brought out a ruthless side we hadn’t really seen before. After manipulating and bonding with Rebekah, who had opened up to her and started to trust her as a friend, Elena stabs her in the back (literally) – just as she finishes getting ready for her first ever homecoming dance. She may apologize as she (temporarily) kills Rebekah, but it doesn’t really change anything – Elena Gilbert is no longer taking chances, and sometimes, harsh calls need to be made.

As Damon points out to her, it was very Katherine of her. (And that wasn’t necessarily an insult.) And speaking of Katherine, in a surprising move for Elena – she lets Katherine take her place in the action, knowing it’s the smarter move and knowing it’s the right thing to do, even if it keeps her away from the fray. Historically, Elena runs onto the battlefield without question – and often without much of a plan.

Later, when everything falls apart – Stefan stopping them from killing Klaus (to save Damon, it turns out) – and Damon is ranting, knowing that was their one chance and now they are really and truly out of luck and in trouble, Elena is the rock.

"“We’ll survive this. We always survive.”"

It was a strong, evolved episode of her, and showed how much she was truly growing into a warrior woman and a strategic player.