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This was originally going to be a fun article listing all the things I would do if I wrote for the show and could make DE endgame. It gradually became something much more, however. In order to find a way to make DE endgame, I had to challenge all the theories and arguments SE fans had as to why STELENA should be endgame. I'm sure you've heard all of them before, and some of them have even been subject for debate in another article of mine I wrote some months ago called '9 Crimes'. According to SE fans, Stefan should end up with Elena because...
- Stefan doesn't deserve to be betrayed by his brother and his girlfriend.
- Stefan was with Elena at the beginning of the show, so the show will end with her choosing him too.
- I don't want Elena to get in the way of Stean and Damon's bond as brothers like Katherine did.
- I don't agree with the love triangle. Damon shouldn't go after his brother's girl all the time - he should find someone else.
- I don't want Stefan to get hurt.
- I'm sick of this love triangle crap; who wants to be with a girl who's in love with your brother anyway?
- But that being said, I would be quite happy to see the triangle turn into a love square with the addition of Bonnie.
- It would be interesting to see Bamon get together, given that they hated each other at the beginning.
- Then Bamon can be endgame. I like them better anyway.
SE fans make several heady assumptions as to why SE would be better off as endgame than Delena. I'll discuss them later. Obviously, as a Delena shipper, I see things differently from an SE fan's eyes. Here's a list of what I would do if I wrote the show...
Season 3 would see the gradual breakdown of SE's relationship. It wouldn't happen in one episode, but over the entire season.
The season would start with Elena being determined to save Stefan and their relationship, and end with her realising she has to let it go.
Elena begins to doubt her future with Stefan as more secrets of his are revealed to her. She questions if she really knew him. (The 'real' him, that is). The more she questions their relationship, the more she wonders if perhaps it was built on a lie. This has a huge effect on both of them.
Damon and Elena have to team up to find Stefan and rescue him from Klaus and try to ignore the fact that the dynamics of their 'friendship' has changed.
However, after Damon's deathbed confession in 2x22, their bond has ultimately deepened and their connection grows and becomes more intense over the season because of it.
After SE break up, Elena would stay single for a while. This has a big effect on her character development.
When SE meet up again and try to reconcile, they would discover how much they've changed and that they're at different places in their lives.
We would find out the truth about Katherine's feelings for Stefan, and why she strung both brothers along when she really loved Stefan, and not Damon. What was behind her idea of turning them both into vampires? Did she really want all 3 of them to be together forever, or was it because she couldn't choose?
At some point, Damon grows distant towards Elena in Stefan's absence because he doesn't want to take advantage of his brother's disappearance.
This confuses and hurts Elena who doesn't understand why Damon is being hostile to her. But, rather like the chapter in 'Shadow Souls', things take an unexpected turn when they are forced to spend a night in a motel room when a storm or blizzard hits.
Elena asks Damon about what he was like before he became a vampire and is surprised at what she learns.
Stefan would go back to Katherine. Not necessarily endgame, but they would have a relationship for sure.
Stefan and Caroline would become best friends with the potential for more.
Elena's growing connection/relationship with Damon might cause a rift in her friendship with Bonnie, who doesn't approve.
The next time Damon did something to aggravate Bonnie, and she used her powers on him to physically restrain him, Elena would get upset and angry, and challenge her. The 2 would have an argument which makes Elena realise how differently they see vampires and this could always be an issue in their friendship.
At some point, Bonnie may become resentful of the way the vampires 'use' her for her powers all the time, and may decide she doesn't want to be associated with them or help them anymore.
At a party she's at with Damon, a girl Elena knows at school asks her if Damon's her boyfriend. Elena finally says no. Girl is oblivious of Elena's discomfort and asks 'Why not? He's to die for.'
Elena makes her choice when she sleeps with Damon for the first time. There will be no going back and forth between him and Stefan - that would be totally trashy. She slept with Stefan after she blurted out that she loved him - and she hadn't even known him/been dating him that long, and consequently, it changed the state of their relationship. I don't believe Elena would sleep with Damon without being acutely aware that 1) she loves him, and 2) it will change both their lives forever. Once she spends a night with Damon, that's it. There's no going back.
But Elena will refrain from telling Damon and/or Stefan what her choice is for fear that it would cause them to become permanently estranged.
I wouldn't tease the BD fanbase by making vague statements which hinted at the possibility of a BD hookup in the future when I knew I had no intention of making it happen. I would hate it if Kevin and Julie led us on and made us believe DE had a chance when they had already decided SE would be endgame. I don't see why they should do it to Bamon either. Instead:
I would give the Bamon fandom a run for their money by giving Bonnie a hot new boyfriend. I like Beremy very much, but I'm aware that BDers aren't enthralled by it. Bonnie's love interest could be someone with supernatural powers, most likely a werewolf, like Tyler, but definitely not a vampire. Or someone older, possibly in college, perhaps European; mysterious and very sexy. Maybe a vampire hunter.
Bamon would never happen, but Bonnie and her new guy would be so hot, most fans would eventually lose interest in the idea of Bamon.
After being apart, trying to make up, and being apart again, SE would realise that they needed each other for a specific time in their lives: Stefan needed to love Elena to live life to the full without feeling guilty, and Elena needed Stefan to re-adjust after losing her parents...
But they were never meant to be together forever.
Elena would struggle very much with her feelings for Damon, and would have an incredibly tough time as she fights against her heart and her growing attraction for him.
Elena would have dreams about meeting the brothers in 1864 and having to choose which one she wants as her escort to the Founders Ball - like Katherine did. In her dream, Elena knows she wants to go with Damon more but is afraid of hurting Stefan and causing a rift between them if she makes a choice. The purpose of the dreams would be to show how unlike Katherine she is when it comes to people she cares about.
From what we've seen so far, we know that Elena would go out of her way to keep those she loves from being hurt on her behalf. She would probably try to cook up a plan to ensure that she wouldn't get in the middle of Damon and Stefan's relationship the way Katherine did. But it doesn't go the way she wants it to.
She may even decide that the only way forward is if she DOESN'T choose one of them, and takes herself out of the running entirely. But she would just be miserable in the long term.
Damon and Stefan's bond as brothers would be tested to the very limit, but never ever severed beyond repair.
I would take key DE scenes from the books and adapt them for the show. They wouldn't be exactly the same, but the scenes would be unmistakably inspired by chapters in the books - like 'Nightfall' when Damon takes care of Elena in the globe house, and when they're in the motel in 'Shadow Souls'.
I would honour L.J. Smith's wishes and make DE endgame.
I had heard the 'Stefan = Elena's first and last choice' theory before, but I thought it was such a strange way to base an argument on why SE should be endgame, I didn't quite know what to make of it. Just because the show began with SE, it doesn't mean it has to end with them too. Do people also assume that because the show began with Damon being evil and terrorising innocent people, it will end with him being the same way? That would be too stupid for words!
To say that a show should end the same way it began implies that instead of showing the conclusion of six seasons, the show should go BACK six seasons, which doesn't make any sense and would in fact, be completely pointless.
It's ironic that SE fans who are so fond of spouting the 'It began with SE so it should end with them' theory also think it would be interesting if Bamon got together for the very opposite reasons. Do they argue that 'because Bonnie hated Damon at the beginning, the show should end with her hating him?' No. They say something quite different. 'It would be so interesting and hot if Bamon became a couple, seeing as they hated each other at first,' they sigh dreamily. But at the beginning of the show, Bonnie didn't HATE Damon, she was SCARED of him. They shared a meagre number of scenes - too few for the 'I hate him/her' dynamic to become a regular feature or focus in the show. The writers didn't turn B/D hating each other into a central theme in Season One or 2, or use it to develop their characters, or build any kind of rapport, which indicates that they were uninterested in developing a real relationship between them, or simply viewed Bamon as insignificant. It takes a lot more than 2 people 'hating' each other to make a relationship they might have intriguing to watch. They would have to understand each other underneath that hatred, and have a connection that overrided everything. Bonnie and Damon don't have that. It would be the single WORST plot twist in the history of the show if, at the end of 6 seasons, Damon suddenly realised that Bonnie was the girl for him all along, and miraculously got over his 'obsession' with Elena enough to fall in love with her. How can it be a satisfying ending when the show took us on a journey with Delena, made a massive detour and ended that journey with Bamon? Why should we care about them when we emotionally invested in Delena for the best part of six years?? The worst part about this is that it would render Damon's love for Elena as something that was never real, which would be catastrophic for his character. (To any Bamon fan who might be reading this: if I believed Bonnie was a better match for Damon, then I would absolutely ship Bamon. I mean that. But I don't.) Attempting to incorporate Bonnie into the love triangle could only succeed in causing random and negative drama as it would ultimately be futile and invalid because (let me be blunt here alright) - Damon is never going to choose Bonnie over Elena at such a late and therefore, critical stage in the show, and he'll never love her the way he loves Elena even if he did.
As for the 'Poor Stefan, he lost his girl and his brother betrayed him' line of thinking, I think that actually, this underestimates Stefan's strength of character, and negates Damon's quest for love and struggle with his humanity which has been such an integral part of his character development, and to the show overall. It's interesting that SE fans - including those who claim to 'love' Damon - can only think about Stefan: ('What about Stefan? Poor Stefan!'). They don't seem to understand how much this would affect Damon. If they did, I think they would see that Damon would take losing Elena much harder, probably never being able to get over her, and very likely resulting in him taking his ring off and walking into the sun. This isn't the first time he's lost the girl he loved to his brother remember; it's the second, and Damon loves Elena far more than he loved Katherine. I believe that Damon is far more vulnerable to being hurt than Stefan is. Everything the writers have shown us about the brothers has proved to be the opposite of what we initially perceived them to be, so I think Stefan is a lot stronger and more resilient than people give him credit for.
Another thing that's curious: SE fans seem to think that only STEFAN will get hurt and betrayed by the love triangle. But if Elena chooses Stefan in the end, then Damon will get hurt as well. Only it will hurt a hundred times more for him, because he's been through this numerous times before. Like being betrayed by Katherine and finding out that she never loved him. And 2x01 when Elena said 'It'll always be Stefan.' And 2x08, when Damon staked Elijah and stood by and watched as Elena ran straight into Stefan's arms. Like Damon says at the end of 2x12 'There's only so much hurt a man can take.' How much heartbreak and pain can one person go through without it destroying them for good?
Some SE fans like to portray Stefan as this tragic, 'little boy lost' figure who will be cruelly betrayed and abandoned by those he cares about the most, but that won't happen. People see a DE endgame as a car crash waiting to happen, but that's a very sceptical way of looking at things. They are so afraid that the triangle in the present day will mirror the one in 1864 but that would be too predictable. We already know how the triangle in 1864 ended. It would be absurd if the triangle between Damon, Elena and Stefan ends up exactly like D/K/S. There would be NO POINT in watching!
SE fans argue that Elena should be with Stefan in the end because he was her first love, and he's too good a person to be hurt like that. But isn't that besides the point? I don't think that's what the show is about at all. I know lots of fans out there feel strongly about why DE should be endgame. Delena reminds me of 'Beauty And The Beast'. Only, Damon is the prince BEFORE he is turned into a beast. He has been warned what fate awaits him, and is given a chance to turn things around. If he can love somebody and be loved by them in return, then the curse will be lifted and he'll never have to become a beast. Enter Beauty (Elena). The prince grows to love her in a way he never has for anyone, and he hopes that she'll be the one who can break the curse. Just when it looks as if she could feel the same way and prevent the curse from ever coming true, she looks into his eyes and says: 'I care about you a lot. You know that, right? But we can never be together. I'm in love with someone else.' And she walks off with another prince (Stefan), leaving Damon cursed to become a beast. The End.
What if that was how 'Beauty And The Beast' really ended? 'WHAT. THE-?' readers would howl in outrage. 'How can it end like that?! How could she do that to him??! I wish I'd never read this stupid book;' before proceeding to throw it on the floor and burst into tears.
That's exactly how most DE fans would feel with an SE endgame. It would be emotionally unfulfilling and unsatisfactory. It would offer no resolution to the journey we shared with Damon over the course of six years. Stefan isn't doomed to become and die a beast like Damon is if love doesn't save him. Stefan didn't need to love Elena before his curse could be broken. I know that this probably won't make a difference to SE fans, because their number one priority is for Stefan to be happy at the end of the show. They will no doubt argue that Damon can be happy if he finds someone else, but if he ever DID, it would NEVER come right on top of the triangle and losing Elena to his brother. (That's why the 'Bamon' theory is a total cop-out). If Damon did meet someone else he loved as much as Elena, it could take 250 years for him to find her. I'm not joking. Think how long he was willing to wait for Katherine, and that for a vampire, 'the rest of your life' means eternity. It could easily take him more than 200 years to get over Elena.
In an interview for the Hollywood Reporter, Kevin Williamson said of the show: 'I wanted it to be alive, and pulsating every step of the way, whether it’s through action, great emotion or epic love. I wanted to tell a big, huge epic story and I feel like the fans who watch it religiously understand that.'
Sometimes I think that SE/BD fans can be disparaging and impatient with the triangle. They don't see it as an opportunity to tell a 'big, huge, epic story' - they see it as an annoyance that's standing in the way of their (presumed) happy ending. You get the impression that they wish the triangle was over already so that they could watch SE living happily ever after. I suppose their definition of 'epic love' differs from how DE fans see it. DE fans know that it's about the journey, and not necessarily the destination, and it would be a colossal waste of time, emotion and energy if the journey ended with Stelena. It would be meaningless.
If Kevin Williamson wants to tell an amazing, incredible, extraordinary, epic story, then there's something he should consider; he can't end an epic love story with a couple who are the OPPOSITE of epic. 'Sweet', 'cute', 'nice', 'likeable' - these are adjectives that could describe Stelena. But NOT EPIC. They never got any edge-of-your-seat build up or unbearable suspense. It was just 'They met, they talked, it was epic' - and that was it. Which proves how UN-epic they really are. The whole thing would just fall flat. But what do I know, really? After all, I'm just a fan.
image credit; Thug-Angel