By Samantha Highfill
Updated January 20, 2014 at 08:11 PM EST
Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries‘ upcoming 100th episode centers around our favorite evil vixen in what could be her final moments. After Katherine Pierce had a heart attack and fell down the Salvatore’s stairs in the mid-season finale, we’re scared that it might finally be time to say goodbye to the woman who once loved both Salvatore brothers but never loved anyone more than herself. So to honor what could potentially be the most memorable death (or near-death) scene in season 5, we’re reliving similar moments from the past four seasons.

Join me and my fellow TVD-lover Mandi Bierly for the next four days as we walk down a tear-filled memory lane and pick out our most memorable death scenes leading up to the show’s return. Today, we kick things off with season 1.

Samantha’s pick:

To this day, Lexi Branson (Arielle Kebbel) is one of my favorite people to ever enter Mystic Falls. She was strong. She was feisty. And she was a good friend. Not only did she help Stefan through his Ripper days, but she also took him to Bon Jovi concerts. She was confident, and sexy, and so freakin’ wise. So you can imagine my anger when Damon killed her almost immediately upon her arrival in season 1 — and on Stefan’s birthday, no less. Yep, we’re taking a trip back to the days of bad, bad Damon.

I’m sure most of you remember the story: Sheriff Forbes and The Founders’ Council were on the lookout for vampires, which meant Damon and Stefan needed to lead them off their scent. So when Lexi showed up to celebrate the day of Stefan’s birth, Damon decided she was the perfect scapegoat. He staked her in front of Sheriff Forbes in a moment that stopped my heart. I was mad that she didn’t see it coming — she had hundreds of years on that punk Damon! — while also being mad at Damon, all while my heart was weeping for Stefan. It was a very complicated time for me as a viewer, which is why it goes down as my most memorable death of season 1. And in case you were wondering, no, I’m still not over it.

Mandi’s pick:

I chose the episode 14 death of Bonnie’s Grams (Jasmine Guy) because no matter how many times I watch the clip below, I still get chills. It’s an early example of how this show would use music (in this case, Leona Lewis’ cover of Snow Patrol’s “Run”) to move you — but not overpower the acting, which in this scene is some of Kat Graham’s best. It shows that even in a supernatural show, the consequences and reactions to them need to be heartbreakingly human. And they were.

Bonnie and Grams had used magic to open the door to the tomb that Damon believed Katherine was trapped in. Unbeknownst to Stefan, they hadn’t, however, broken the seal that kept vampires who entered the tomb from coming back out. Damon had taken Elena inside as leverage, and when Stefan heard her scream — because Anna was using Elena’s blood to revive her mother, Pearl — Stefan made the choice to go inside and save her, even if it meant he’d be forever captive. Bonnie begged Grams to help her do the spell to break the seal, and Grams relented. Later, Bonnie would find Grams, who was supposed to be resting because the spell was so draining, dead. For Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, it was reminiscent of “The Body.” The TVD scene may not have made you sob as heavily, but as Bonnie called out for Elena and wailed, “No, no, I can fix it!” you felt her pain. And this was just the beginning of the suffering.

Now it’s your turn. We’ve rounded up the biggest character deaths from season 1 in our poll below, all so you can let us know which one you’ll never forget.

Episode Recaps

The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.

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