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Everyone loves Delena. If you need proof, here is the evidence:
In Entertainment Weekly's Season Finale Awards, DE won every category they were nominated in; 'Best Romantic Cliffhanger', Best Kiss, Top Tissue Moment, Most Rewound Moment.
When vampire-diaries.net fans voted for their top 5 episodes of Season 2, four of the episodes were heavy on the DE-epicness: (5)'Rose', (4)'The Return', (3) 'Masquerade', (2)'The Sun Also Rises', and (1)'As I Lay Dying'.
DE are up for 2 Tater Top Awards, 'Best Kiss' and 'Best Couple'.
I don't mean to sound boastful or smug, but if the numbers on Fanpop are anything to go by, Delena fans outnumber Stelena and Bamon fans by a clear and outright majority. We have over 5900 fans and we will definitely have reached 6000 by the time the Season 3 premiere airs in America. Stelena still have a way to go before they reach 4000, and Bamon fans had just over 1770 at last count. Those numbers should tell you something.
And yet, it seems that almost every time Delena is discussed by Julie Plec, or even Nina Dobrev, none of the afore-mentioned matters. In a recent fanpick, when asked 'Does it hurt and bother you when Julie Plec said that Damon is just an obstacle to SE's 'wonderful' relationship', 81 percent of fans picked yes: 'she's such a Stelena fan'. Now, for those of you who don't know the interview, it was in the L.A. Times, and you can find it in the links on this spot. Julie said:
"Damon and Elena's closeness is a big obstacle in Stefan and Elena's relationship...Not because of how Stefan feels about it, because he's fully aware that Damon has feelings for Elena. It's the decisions Damon makes and the actions Damon takes to protect Elena, which are in direct conflict often with the way Stefan would like the situation to be handled."
Obviously, I hate the thought of Damon and DE being regarded as an 'obstacle', but I don't know if Julie really meant it like that. If you read it in the context of her whole answer, it doesn't actually make much sense or have much to do with the point she was trying to make. It sounds as if Julie is talking about 2x18 or 2x20, perhaps both. Am I wrong, or is Julie sort of contradicting herself? First of all, she says Delena's closeness is a 'big obstacle in SE's relationship' but in the next breath, adds that it doesn't affect how Stefan feels, as he already knows that Damon is in love with Elena. So...how does it pose an obstacle if Stefan is already dealing with it anyway?? Because he already knows that Damon is in love with Elena, Plec claims that it has more to do with the lengths Damon is willing to take to protect her (like faking Bonnie's death and force-feeding her his blood so she'll survive the ritual) - extremes that Stefan would never risk taking, even for his girlfriend. How does DE's closeness pose as an obstacle to SE? Well...to be honest with you, DE's closeness has always been very much present in Stelena's relationship. Calling it an 'obstacle' is not the most tactful way to describe it, and makes it sound like once SE have tackled it successfully then they'll carry on walking into the sunset together. But do you honestly believe that? I would say that there are many other obstacles that are a much bigger issue for SE than Delena, not least of these being Stefan's secret past as a ripper and recent relapse; Klaus, Katherine, and how SE face the future together knowing that Elena doesn't want to become a vampire. What happens after high school? Will they go to the same college or not? Will they get stay together or break up? As Isobel once ominiously remarked to Elena, 'Forever doesn't last very long when you're human.' There are much darker obstacles on the horizon for SE which could easily take them down without much resistance - and has nothing to do with DE at all.
As unbelievable as it may sound to those of you who are convinced Julie is as pro-Stelena as they come, there was once a time when she had the reputation for being the most DE-friendly. Yes, you read that right. DE-FRIENDLY. I don't know what happened, but over the course of the last year, the situation has reversed. DE fans complain that she never has a good word to say about Delena, but will wax lyrical about the amazing epicness of Stelena to anyone who will listen. In the same interview, she describes SE as 'this wonderfully solid, beautiful love story'. I have no idea which couple she prefers, if anyone, but I do know that as a producer, she has to say good things about SE in interviews. She has to be more careful with DE, because they're not a couple, but who wants to bet that in the following months, all of that will change, and she'll suddenly become more open and positive in the comments she makes about DE? I know that some of you are completely convinced that Julie has a chip on her shoulder about DE - and with good reason too - but it wouldn't make sense for her to hate them. If she really hated them, why did she take the job? Maybe some fans don't care what she thinks, but it's surely not a good sign when a percentage of the fanbase doesn't trust a producer - who is responsible for everything on the show, including what stories get written and who gets together with whom. Let's just remember that whatever she's said about DE and SE, she's not the only producer on the show. Moreover, if she didn't want DE to be together at some point, the story wouldn't be written to make us want them to be. In the last year, Julie and Kevin have said things about Stelena to make fans think they are their favourite couple, but there's a vast difference between what they SAY and what we actually see on the show. In other words, it's actions that count, not words.
Moving on to HarperTeen and Alloy Entertainment, who fired L.J. Smith from writing any more books for them earlier this year. Apart from the official statement from the author herself about the new direction the books would be taking which seemed to confirm the worst, there have been a few reports going around which, if they are true, certainly do not sound promising. The question is, can you cut a relationship which has formed the basis of an entire series out of the equation altogether by attempting to dismiss it as infatuation or some other weak argument? If so, can you do that without angering scores of fans? It's terribly ironic that the publishers would do this when they arguably owe a great deal of the books success to the popularity of the love story between Delena in the first place. You would think that the last thing the publishers of a franchise as big as 'The Vampire Diaries' would want to do is lose readers. By cutting Delena out of the new series, that's exactly what they will do. Anyone remember the time before 'Midnight' came out, and there were all these rumours circulating (probably from leaked emails L.J. sent to a Bamon fan or two), that the book would be chock-a-block full of Bamon goodness? Delena fans rebelled. They would not buy 'Midnight' and that was that. Of course, after the books were published (I think they were released in Australia and New Zealand first?) all that changed. The publishers have shown contempt for their readers, not just in firing the author, but by disregarding and underrating one of the most valuable and important elements of the books which makes them so interesting. It's bad enough that they fired L.J. Smith because they didn't agree with her vision for the books, even though she had been writing them for years, and was perfectly entitled to say which couple she wanted as endgame; but to deviate so wildly from the series. I mean, if they had fired her over some other legal matters which had nothing to do with the story, then maybe it wouldn't have been quite so bad. If the new series had picked up where L.J. left off, and was going to be more Delena-oriented, then it might have been fine.
This brings me to my next point: surely writing a new set of books about Delena is by far the best option for the publishers? Here is my imagined trilogy NOT written by L.J. Smith, but sticking as close to her vision as is possible:
Book One: Elena finds a way to get Damon back - but it's treacherous and could cost her her life.
Book Two: Damon struggles to cope after being in another dimension for so long, and Elena now knows who she must be with. But it means breaking Stefan's heart...
Book Three: Stefan leaves Fell's Church on a quest to become human; Damon and Elena celebrate their marriage by going on an indefinite honeymoon that takes them all over the world. And they all lived happily ever after. The end.
I think that while it's comforting to know that Delena were L.J.'s choice for endgame, it's also frustrating. We can see the ending, but we'll never get it. However, it's unlikely that even if she hadn't been fired, L.J. Smith would have been able to write the ending for the books she really wanted to write. It's clear her publishers were strongly opposed to Delena ending up together, and because they were the ones who called all the shots, I don't think we would have got the happy ending we wanted without leaving it open for Elena to return to Stefan at anytime or some other concession that ruined it. As for the new books...the rumours going around might be false (if someone can confirm them, please comment below), but I think they will find a way to delay the outcome of Elena's choice as long as they can churn out new books, or put off her decision altogether. When Elena makes her choice, then the series is basically over.
Only time will tell what direction the publishers decide to take, but I think they will discover that by cutting Delena out of the books, readers aren't the only ones who are losing out. The big losers might just turn out to be the publishers themselves...
image credit; az0965022