This entry is something I have been working on for a long, long, looong time now, and it consists of my thoughts about Damon and Elena from the Vampire Diaries both in the books and in the show. I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts even though it's very long. And some mild book spoilers are included.
Under the cut.
When I was spending my summer holidays anno 2009 in Buffalo, NY, USA, I was thrilled to hear about a new Vampire TV show. And what made me even more excited was the fact that the show will be based on books, called ”The Vampire Diaries”. I have never heard of this book series but I wanted to read the books and watch the show. So when I got back home to Denmark in July I bought the books and read them all. Before reading the books I had no idea about any of the characters and I had no beforehand romantic pairing or anything.
The first book focuses on Stefan and Elena’s relationship a whole lot, which didnt bother me at the start. It was an interesting relationship in the start because Stefan didnt want anything to do with Elena and she chased him. That was refreshing to read. But quickly enough the chase was over and Stefan & Elena suddenly admitted their deep feelings for one another before any type of real bonding, which ruined them for me. And soon enough both of them were so deeply in love with each other that they were both convinced that they were meant to be together forever and always and that they will never leave each other and that they would rather die without the other.
Now all those thoughts are very beautiful and I wish my future man/husband would feel this way about me. But it would freak the hell out of me if he felt this way after only 2 or 3 months with me!
What I missed in the relationship between Stefan and Elena is the ’falling in love’ process, it was almost non-existent. The getting the feeling at first and then these feeling becoming deeper and deeper with time and with events happening, that never happened with Elena and Stefan. In stead, they were furiously in love and resented the idea of anyone else in their lives before anything significant happened between them.
Despite all of that I continued reading and I am happy I did, because then popped up the most amazing and fantastic creature. Damon Salvatore came out of the dark, dressed all in black. Damon Salvatore came to the town of Fell’s Church to mess with his little brother Stefan and to claim Elena as his mate and make her his ’Princess of Darkness’. This character caught my attention within no time and I was in love with him. I dont know if it was due to his badass vampire nature or if it was his witty remarks and his special sense of humor. I guess it was everything about him that intrigued me and I was hooked. Damon is funny, evil, mean, menacing, sarcastic and very determined about what he wants.
This does not mean that Damon Salvatore is the perfect character, but he is the perfect character for me as a reader, because of all his imperfections. I know this sounds old and repeated, but this is the truth. Damon is a vampire – a killer. Any human being with morals would hate the idea of a vampire who kills innocent people. Yeah, I hate the fact that innocent people die, but I dont want to blame Damon for being himself – a vampire.
Some would say that Damon can stop being so evil and feed on animals. Yes, he could have. But is it natural for a vampire to do that? No, not really. The thing that people dont understand is, that Damon has accepted what he is and who he is and found a way to live with it. He IS what he is and he does not care whether you like it or not.
Maybe we think that killing people is wrong, but that is a human thought, not a vampire thought. A vampire in his nature does not think that killing people is wrong – it’s only natural. People are food.
It’s exactly like humans killing innocent animals to eat them. Animals are innocent, right? Still I dont see everyone who is NOT vegetarian saying that it is cruel and that we should turn to vegetables and stop killing those animals. In this case, vampires are the humans and humans are the animals; it’s the food chain. Survival for fittest, anyone?
Besides Damon’s kickass vampire nature and intelligent sense of humor he is the most determined character in the series. Even though he is clearly a passionate and fiery character, he is excellent at hiding it beneath a calm and cool exterior, which makes him an absolutely irresistable character. He is both charming and scary at the same time which is extremely fascinating. Every action Damon does and every word he says is not always what it looks or sounds like. There is most definitely a hidden meaning beneath his words and he keeps you wondering all the time. Whenever you think you got him figured out he does or says something that surprises you again, and makes you smile in wonder and amazement at his outstanding intelligence and wittiness.
Along with all that Damon seems to be a fantastic judge of character; he knows things about others that even they dont know. His instincts are extremely accurate and you marvel at this. Damon always tells Elena that he knows her better than she knows herself and that he knows another side of her personality that she doesnt, which makes Elena extremely irritated, but with time and through the 5 books it is shown clearly that Damon could not have been more right in his characterization of her.
This is what Damon tells Elena about herself:
“My brother," he went on, "is a fool. He thinks that because you look like Katherine you're weak and easily led like her. But he's wrong. I could feel your anger from the other side of town. I can feel it now, a white light like the desert sun. You have strength, Elena, even as you are. But you could be so much stronger. I'm talking about Power, Elena." Suddenly, he stepped close to her, his eyes fixed on hers, his voice soft and urgent. "You've tried everything else, and nothing has satisfied you. You're the girl who has everything, but there's always been something just out of your reach, something you need desperately and can't have. That's what I'm offering you. Power. Eternal life. And feelings you've never felt before."
Before I can go any further I should say that Damon is the most complex and deep character in these books. He has a lot of layers and it’s enjoyable to read about each different one of them and as these layers get peeled down a little, we get to see more of Damon.
On the other side we have Elena Gilbert. She is a good-natured and kind girl, but in the start of the first book she is also selfish who would stop at nothing to get what she wants. She would function as the Queen Bee in her friend group. What she wanted was Stefan, and therefore she made her friends swear to help her get him no matter the cost. I liked how ‘bad’ Elena was in the start, because it is not so often that the main character with whom our sympathy should be, is such a self-centered person. So I had my hopes up for Elena to go through a long and interesting journey where she develops her character and becomes a better person, but I got disappointed. The change in Elena’s character happened much too fast and by the end of the first book she was completely changed in to a kind and warm girl because of her love for Stefan. Again, I think it is great that love did this to her, but why so fast? And the way it happened was not gradually so you could enjoy the changes and the development, it happened suddenly when she realized her deep feelings for Stefan and BAM! She was a changed woman in the minute she realized that she was in love with Stefan. Hmmm--- bummer.
With that being said, Elena is still not a perfect character, but she certainly thinks so sometimes. The great thing about Elena is though that she is now a caring, warm and kind being with a passionate nature that has always been there. She does not show the spunky and more exciting side of herself so often, and it happens only when Damon is there to press the right buttons, which he does perfectly.
Damon and Elena’s first meeting was nothing short of breath-taking. Not only for the readers, but also for Elena. There was an instant strong and powerful attraction there and Elena forgot about Stefan for at least a whole minute while staring in to his deep black eyes and she almost let him kiss her.
This intense and hot first meeting proves to be the beginning of a great story about to unfold and they never lose the fire between them throughout all the books.
Some people may say that they just don’t see LJ Smith (the author of the VD books) going anywhere with Damon/Elena and that they’re definitely not going to be endgame, but I must say in the nicest way possible that these people may have read other books than I have ☺.
After reading the 5 books that are out, I can honestly say, without being biased on my Damon/Elena love that the only pairing that got a real build-up in the book-series was Damon and Elena. It is slow, almost painfully slow, but it is there and it is visible for anyone who did not decide to close their eyes to anything Damon/Elena related.
Elena goes from absolutely hating and loathing Damon in the first 2 books to stop hating him and acknowledging that she actually cares for him and maybe also loves him, but that she is absolutely not in love with him. And even after softening up about Damon, Elena never really gives in to him and the love he offers her – in his own way – and the love that she could give him. Every time Elena even thinks one positive thought about Damon she suddenly thinks about Stefan again and says to herself that she belongs to Stefan and only Stefan and that is forever and ever.
Sometimes it sounds like she is trying to convince herself that she could only fall in love with ONE man, and that man is Stefan and that she could never ever in a million years fall in love with Damon.
After reading the books I feel like the relationship between Stefan and Elena has been static all the time. They started out loving each other dearly and fiercely from book 1 and to book 5. The relationship has not developed one little bit at all. The feelings have been the same, the obstacles have been the same, their problems have been the same, everything with them have been the same, standing still. I have a difficulty trying not to roll my eyes every time I read Elena’s thoughts about her and Stefan sometimes, because they never change and she repeats the same fluffy romantic thoughts about Stefan countless times.
But these repeating thought that come to Elena’s mind about how much she loves Stefan and only him seem to come especially when she is with Damon and she feels closer to him or when she feels something deep within her for him, or when she is having positive almost-romantic thoughts about Damon. If Elena’s love for Stefan was so strong why does she always need to remind herself of him every time she feels that she is falling slowly for Damon?
I think that every time Damon gets under her skin, which he does, she gets scared of what it might mean and she reminds herself of the safer choice – Stefan.
We could all agree that Stefan IS the safer choice for Elena. Damon is unpredictable and you never know what the future can hold for you with Damon, but with Stefan everything is clear and she can almost predict her whole existence with him. I say existence and not life because Stefan is a vampire and she is also turned in to a vampire.
The problem with a static couple like Stefan and Elena is that you just don’t get the chance to experience the development of feelings and development in the relationship, so you don’t really care about them. This is the case for me. I just don’t care. I don’t even find the need to hate them together, because together they’re bland, tame, non-moving, not engaging. When a couple doesn’t capture the reader in such a manner that they feel let down when the pairing isn’t together and they feel happy and lightened up when the pairing is together, then this pairing has failed.
I know that some S/E shippers would argue and say that they DO feel engaged in this pairing, and they might be, but I find it odd when everything comes at once and then there is no development.
I hear some Stefan/Elena fans say that they cant imagine LJ Smith not having Stefan and Elena end up together after everything they’ve been through. That makes me chuckle, just a little bit.
What have Stefan and Elena been through exactly? There has been a lot going on in the town, a lot of evil going on, creatures wanting to kill everything and everyone, but what they’ve been through as in their relationship is something I cant see. And even after everything they’ve been through I have never doubted that Elena and Stefan would both be all right in the end of this, because Elena will always choose Stefan because she is convinced that he is the one. Thus, when I KNOW for a fact that I don’t have to worry, their story and all the things they go through don’t really matter anymore.
On the other side we have Damon/Elena, a pairing that started at the zero-point and then moved slowly but steadily from there. At first you are intrigued by them, by their interactions and their encounters, but then you start to see the attraction between them and their snarky banter makes you smile, and Damon’s constant hitting on Elena makes you laugh. And then you find out that Damon loves Elena and she might be the one for him if she just gives in to him, but she doesn’t. That, right there irks me. What was that?! I actually FELT something when they hit an obstacle.
The thing with Damon/Elena is that you’re following their slow but painful and steadily growing relationship. Elena struggles with her feelings and love for Damon, while Damon is falling more and more in love with her, just hoping for her to give him a chance. This, right here makes me suffer with them and thus care about them and whether they’re together or not, whether Elena puts an end to Damon’s suffering and gives him the love he needs so badly. This story makes me care and not some cheesy and sappy talk. ‘I love you.’ ‘I love you more.’ ‘I will never leave you’ ‘I will never let you go’. This talk stretched out in 5 books gets you REALLY sick and tired.
Damon and Stefan have both loved Katherine in the past, but they think she’s gone, only to appear again in the end of the third book. When she appears again and tortures Stefan, Elena and Damon, because she is jealous of Elena and mad with Stefan and Damon for being in love with Elena and not obsessing over her, she confesses something she never said before. She says “I have always loved you better, Stefan.”
This must have broken and shattered Damon’s stone-heart in millions of pieces. He has been hurting for centuries because of this woman, Katherine, and she turned him in to a vampire, turned him against his own brother, for nothing.
So when a character like Damon falls in love again after that heartbreak he suffered, it is something big. Someone like Damon becomes cynical after what Katherine did to him, yet he somehow falls in love with Elena. And he explains it really well too. He tells her why he loves her so much, while all Stefan does is just love her.
I will now quote the books:
From Nightfall (book 5)
He’d once sought to make her his princess of darkness—why not again? Elena, pale and glowing with a vampire’s aura of Power, her hair almost
white-blond, a black gown against her satiny skin. Now there was a picture to make any vampire’s heart beat faster.
He wanted her more than ever now that she had been a spirit. Even as a vampire she would retain most of her own nature, and he could just picture it: her light for his darkness, her soft whiteness in his hard,black-jacketed arms. He would stop that exquisite mouth with kisses, smother her with them— What was hethinking about? Vampires didn’t kiss like that for enjoyment—especially not other vampires. Only sentimental idiots like his brother bothered with such
foolishness. Still, Damon found himself excited by the idea of kissing Elena, of forcing kisses on her, of feeling her
desperation to get away from him suddenly pause—with the little hesitation that came just before response, before yielding herself completely to him.
Writing like this makes me wonder if the author herself is a fan of Damon and Elena. The words are so very well picked.
Here is another book quote from book 5:
He wanted her to believe him, to trust him. He didn’t want Elena as a one-night bleeder. He
wanted her tochoose him. He wanted her to see how much better suited she was to him than to his mousy, milksop brother.
His princess of darkness. That was what she wasmeant to be. With him as king, consort, whatever she wished. When she saw things more clearly, she would understand that it didn’t matter. That nothing mattered except them being together.
I think that here, LJ Smith, the writer of the books makes a huge difference in the writing. When describing the relationship of Damon and Elena the writing is very powerful and the words hits you with such a force that you can FEEL the fierceness of the fire burning inside of Damon.
Even after Damon proving that he can be trusted and that he wants her and nothing else in the world, Elena keeps rejecting him again and again because she is convinced that she is destined to be with Stefan.
All that could have made any other man back down and leave the woman alone. But Damon is not anyone. He keeps trying and trying to convince her about how great they could be together. He is not trying to brainwash her in to it or anything, but he just wants her to SEE what he sees inside her of power and to see the possibilities for them.
Some people (S/E fans) say that Damon is not respecting Elena’s wishes when she chose Stefan already and that Damon does not see that her happiness is more important than anything else while Stefan would have left her in a heartbeat if she chose Damon.
Well, it might be a nice and thoughtful thing to do for your love, to let them go if they want something else. But give up with out putting up your best fight proves that your love is not strong enough, or just that you love being the victim, the martyr in this love-equation. And to be honest, it seems JUST like Stefan to do something like this; to do the honourable thing and leave Elena to Damon if she says she wants him.
But this is not how Damon rolls. He wants Elena SO much and he believes in them SO strongly that he is not willing to give up without putting up his best effort. I am sure that Damon would respect Elena’s wishes and would want her to be happy if she chooses Stefan in the end, but after having tried everything in his might and his power trying; fighting for her.
Another thing that makes me prefer Damon/Elena over Stefan/Elena is how Damon sees Elena as a character. In all of the 5 books there has been a lot of danger and a lot of deadly fights that they all took part in. Especially in the 5th book. While Stefan always made sure that Elena was out of danger, Damon would do the same, as much as he could, but he also believed in her strength. In the 5th book Damon and Elena had to fight other supernatural creatures, and Damon wanted of course more than anything to save Elena from danger, but he was almost boasting with pride when he saw her battling and fighting beside him. He treats her like his equal because he believes that she is.
Now some other Stefan/Elena fans say that Damon have never and will never love Elena in the books. That is absolutely ridiculous. After all these 5 books, and all the danger that Damon has put himself through and all the time and effort he made to just make Elena give him a little chance, Damon doesnt love Elena? And we’re talking about the most handsome and supposedly most selfish evil bastard that is. Would he do all what he has done for Elena without him loving her? That is impossible. No vampire would sacrifice himself for a woman he doesnt love, because a vampire is selfish his nature. And when that selfishness is pushed back for something else, that something else is the strongest force in the universe.
When you love someone you dont necessarily have to shower them with words like "I love you" etc. Actions speak louder than words, and Damon's actions scream that he loves Elena with every fiber in his being.
“How are you feeling?”—just, as it happened, as she lifted her
hand to her throat.
She grimaced. “Not bad.”
And that made them look at each other. And then Elena smiled and he had to smile back, at first just a quirk of the lip, and then a full smile.
She was…damn it, she was everything . Witty, enchanting, brave, smart…and beautiful. And he knew that his eyes were saying all that and that she wasn’t turning away.
“We might—take a little walk,” he said, and bells rang and trumpets played fanfares, and confetti came raning down and there was a release of doves….
In other words, she said, “All right.”
And another one :
“But Elena,” Damon’s voice had life now; it was both excited and inflexible: “Can’t you see? Past history aside, you have to admit that we’re the ones that belong together. You and I are simply better suited to each other by nature. Deep down you know that, because we understand each other. We’re on the same intellectual level—”
“So is Stefan!”
“Well, all I can say is that he does a remarkable job of hiding it, then. But can’t you feel it? Don’t you feel”—his grip was becoming uncomfortable now—“that you could be my princess of darkness—that something deep inside you wants to? I can see it, if you can’t.”
“I can’t beanything to you, Damon. Except a decent sister-in-law.”
He shook his head, laughing harshly. “No, you’re only suited for the main role. Well, all I can say is that
if we live through the fight with the twins, you’ll see things in yourself that you’ve never seen before. And
you’llknow that we’re more suited together.”
And the last one :
“I want you . Exclusively.”
Elena braced herself, trying to keep a clear head despite the fog that seemed to be invading it.
“You know that that’s not possible.”
“I know that it was possible for Stefan. When you were with him, you didn’t think about anything but
him. You couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, couldn’t feel anything but him.”
Elena’s gooseflesh now covered her whole body. Speaking carefully around the obstruction in her
throat, she said, “Damon, did you do something to Stefan?”
“Now, why would I want to do something like that?”
Very low, Elena said, “You and I both know why.”
“Do you mean,” Damon started out speaking casually, but his voice grew more intense as he gripped her
shoulders, “so that you would see nothing but me , hear nothing but me , think of nothing but me ?”
This last quote comes after Damon being posessed by some creature that made him ’kidnap’ Stefan. That’s why Elena is upset.
Now to the Damon/Elena on the show:
It is way too early to say anything about Damon and Elena on the TV-show like I just did about them in the books. Firstly because the show is new and we only had 10 episodes, and also because the show will probably be different than the books. This, though, doesnt mean that Damon and Elena wont be as amazing as they are in the books. Actually I think that Damon and Elena have the greatest and best potential of all couples on this show. Their characters are very much like in the books, which makes them absolutely perfect for each other. Elena is different from the books, but she still has the fiery and passionate side in her that Damon keeps pointing out in the books.
And we have also seen it on the show. Elena has until now slapped Damon twice, one of those times after learning he was a vampire so she is not afraid to stand up to him when it is needed. I think Damon needs a woman like Elena, that he wants so much, to love him and show him that he can be loved for himself rather than changing in to a Stefan-duplicate like some people suggest he should. The compassion and kindness that Elena possesses touches Damon’s deeply buried human side, which we have seen in episode 1x03 in the kitchen when she says ”I am sorry about Katherine – You lost her too”. His face showed a lot of emotions; surprise and then he was wondering. She got to him suddenly and he wasnt prepared. I love to see this side of Damon just as much as I love his dark vampire-side. And Elena is the only one who can bring that out in him without even trying. She just does it by being Elena.
It is still early on the show to say anything for sure, but I see a new power-couple in Damon and Elena because they are powerful characters themselves, but together they are a force to reckoned with.
And last but not least, Nina and Ian have amazing KILLER chemistry on and off screen. It’s amazing to see their acting look so natural and you get sucked in to their scenes together.
I am sorry for making you read ALL this, but I hope that you enjoyed it or just parts of it anyway. I just had too many thoughts about my currently favorite couple and felt my head was exploding, so I decided to write it all down and share it with the fandom. So I hope that you liked it ☺
Thoughts? Agree? Dont agree? Anything else you'd like to add? :)