She has an adoptive aunt named Jenna Sommers who serves as her and Jeremy's legal guardian in the first two seasons of the series.
She is the descendant and doppelgänger of Katherine Pierce.
During a confrontation with Katherine, Elena shoves the cure down Katherine's throat, forcing her to become human again.
In season five, Elena starts at Whitmore College after spending the summer with Damon.
The sacrifice later takes place, but Elena is saved because John sacrificed himself for her after Bonnie magically enchants him.
However, her Aunt Jenna is turned into a vampire and, as part of the sacrifice, is killed by Klaus, leaving Elena without a guardian.
In the season two finale, while Damon is dying from a werewolf bite, she forgives him for forcing her to drink his blood and kisses him. However, in order to convince Klaus to give his blood to Damon, Stefan had to turn into his "Ripper" self and accompany Klaus.
In season three, Elena does everything in her power to make Stefan regain his humanity, which he switched off to satisfy, and tolerate, Klaus.
It is eventually revealed that Elena met Damon the night of her parents' death, though he compelled her to forget.
She eventually chooses Stefan in the season finale but before she can tell him, Elena drowns while having vampire blood in her system; she then awakens as a vampire in transition.
Stefan reveals that this woman caused the brothers to feud 145 years ago, and turned them into vampires.