Once turned, Mikael and their children gained enhanced strength, speed, reflexes and healing superior to the werewolves that would ensure their protection from their supernatural neighbors, and their new species eventually became known as the vampires.However, the ritual had unexpected side effects, and the newly-turned family's lust for blood eventually led them to inadvertently shatter the peace of their village, as their lack of control over their newborn vampire hunger led to them being unable to resist feeding on the innocent inhabitants of the town.After the gene is triggered, however, they become immune to vampire mind control.In Voodoo in My Blood, the origins of the Werewolf Curse and Werewolves were revealed.
They also lived alongside humans, although to protect their human and untriggered loved ones, the wolves made sure that they had access to natural means of protection during the time that they were changed.
These creatures are the most dangerous enemies of vampires due to their venomous bite, which is lethal to them.
Werewolves are also hardwired to kill vampires on sight in their wolf form, though they still hunt human prey whenever there are no vampires to kill.
A werewolf who has yet to trigger his or her curse only exhibits one characteristic of lycanthropy: increased aggression and anger on a general basis, which can become overwhelming fits of violent rage leading up to and during the nights of the full moon.
Also, until their werewolf genes are activated, untriggered werewolves can be compelled by vampires just like any human, as proven when Damon Salvatore was easily able to compel away Tyler Lockwood's memories of seeing Vicki Donovan "vamped-out" before Tyler had triggered his werewolf gene.