We all know a season of The Vampire Diaries runs for 22 episodes, but just how long is a season in Mystic Falls time?
Julie Plec herself admits that the show doesn't run on a traditional timeline, but how right was she when she Tweeted:
Anyone keeping a timeline of TVD is gonna be stumped, It's currently the month of xxxx. Half-past Halloween, quarter to summer!
I've been pondering the difference in pacing between the seasons and decided to figure out just how much time they span in Mystic Falls time, starting with season one and two.
So, steel yourself for a rather confusing read and get ready to be amazed by the true clock that Mystic Falls beats to.
According to the Vampire Diaries Wikia page, The Night of the Comet takes place in Mystic Falls on September 9, 2009, and seeing as this is only the second episode of the season, this date is a great rough starting point.
We know that 'Haunted' (episode seven) takes place on Halloween, so Bonnie learns she is a witch, Elena discovers Stefan's vampire secret and Damon turns Vicki into a vampire in less than two months!
The next time marker we have is on Careers Night, when Elena and Stefan first have sex, in The 'Turning Point' (episode 10). We know this night is a full moon, and if you consult the moon calendar for 2009, this makes the date November 2, 2009.
Apart from a brief glimpse of Christmas window display in 'Unpleasantville' (episode 12), we have no indication of the date until Harper asks an ill-fated hiker for the date in 'A Few Good Men' (episode 15) and he reveals it is now 2010. From everyones clothing and the timescale of previous events, we can safely say it's winter 2010.
The next few episodes in the season are pretty devoid of time pointers, but the build up to Founders Day does give us a shove in the right direction.
We can see that Founders Day is probably a summer event due to the clothes people wear, the flora and fauna and that Summer is traditionally the season for festivals with floats and processions.
Around one month before the Founders Day parade, John Gilbert opens the kickoff celebration party which takes place during a full moon and if you check out the moon calendar again, it's totally plausible that the part takes place on Friday 28 May.
This means Founders Day is probably held around Saturday 19th June as it makes the most sense that the celebration would occur at the weekend.
Rough Season One Length = 9 Months and 10 Days
Season Two kicks off the day after 'Founders Day' on what is probably a suitably bloody Sunday, where Damon "kills" Jeremy and Katherine "kills" Caroline in 'The Return' (episode one).
'Brave New World' (episode two), where Caroline completes her difficult shift into a becoming a vampire, takes place the day afterward, setting the pace for this surprisingly fast moving season.
The next time stamp that we get our hands on comes with the full moon in 'Bad Moon Rising' (episode three), which according to the moon calendar for 2010, is probably 26 July, 2010.
The Historical Society Picnic in 'Kill or Be Killed' (Episode five) takes place six days after founders day (based on the time characters wake up and go to sleep and outfit changes) and Sheriff Forbe's dose of vervain in this episode gives us another handy time marker.
It takes three days for Liz to recover from her dosage, making the date of 'Plan B' (episode 6), where Mason is tortured and killed by Damon, around 1 August, 2010.
In order not to get too repetitive here, the whirlwind of events including Katherine's entombment, the Masquerade Ball, Stefan and Damon teaming up to rescue Elena and Elijah compelling Slater to kill himself take place over just three or four days - making the timescale roughly an episode per day Mystic Falls day.
Unfortunately, here the time line gets a bit skewed.
Tyler transforms into a werewolf for the first time at the full moon in 'By the Light of the Moon' (episode 11), but the next real calendar moon for 2010 would be on 24 August, whereas common sense and the flow of events suggest that this much time can't of passed.
The season then goes on to follow the one episode a day per template between The Descent (episode 12) and The Last Dance (episode 18). This means that in less than a week The Mystic Grill burns down, Bonnie fakes her death at the '60s dance, Alaric is possessed by Klaus and Elijah dies and resurrects himself three times!
There is another full moon in 'The Sun Also Rises' (episode 22). So, when Klaus transforms himself into a true vampire-werewolf hybrid, this provides another huge time discrepancy.
According to the time markers within the previous episodes, this event only takes place around 8 days after the last full moon, but clearly this is impossible from sciences point of view!
Rough Season Two Length: 26 Days according to time markers in episodes OR just over two months looking at the cycles of the moon.
That means season one of The Vampire Diaries is over four times the length of season two in Mystic Falls time, even if you use the longer full moon timescale.