Here’s how their love story began….
Elena Gilbert is 17 and a quintessential teenager. Together with her two best friends, Bonnie and Caroline, she has the time of her life. She’;s a cheerleader, popular, and also has a boyfriend, Matt. Her life is perfect. But it all suddenly changes. Her parents die in a terrible car accident, and she lives with her brother Jeremy and her Aunt Jenna.
When she goes back to school more things have changed. As she soon discovers, Bonnie is a Bennett witch. Bonnie also predicts that she’ll meet a handsome dark guy. That day she does… Stefan.
Meanwhile, the other Salvatore brother, Damon is out there searching relentlessly for his ex, Katherine. He has no remaining family, except for his brother Stefan back in Mystic Falls. But the brothers are not on good terms and sort of hate each other. Anyway, when Damon returns to Mystic Falls, he finally meets Elena and is shocked to discover that she looks exactly like his ex, Katherine. Obviously, it is love at first sight for him but soon enough he falls for Elena’s heart and character as well. Unfortunately, she’s already head over heels for his brother Stefan.
Damon and Elena began on shifty terms but, over the course of three seasons, began falling for each other despite their best attempts not to for Stefan’s sake. They never knew their friendship would turn into something more, and that they would become what they are now… two people, in love.
Damon and Elena are true perfection.
The passion they share is hard to define. They’re perfect for each other, without doubt. And you can see it in everything.
“It’s right, just not right now”
We all waited a very long time for the “real kiss” moment. When we thought that was in episode 1×22 we were happy. Apparently though, it wasn’t Elena whom Damon kissed, but Katherine instead. Our hearts were broken; we hated the moment when Elena said: “I’m not surprised you kissed me, I’m surprised you thought I’d kiss you back.”
But it wasn’t over between them. Damon had not gotten over the fact that Katherine never loved him, and continued to hope that Elena would reciprocate his affection. With a simple“It’s always gonna be Stefan” our hearts were broken again. But the two of them got more intense and finally, at the very end of season 2, they kissed and this time around Elena initiated it while Damon was on his deathbed!
And after that kiss, things between them really heated up. Stefan was gone with Klaus to save Damon, so Damon and Elena were left behind to cope together. Damon once again had the opportunity to prove his worth and show Elena his humanity. She brings out the good side of him — that he doesn’t have to kill for fun and drink blood from innocent people. This humanity makes it only harder for Elena to hide her true feelings for Damon. She cares very much about him, and knows that she can’t live without him anymore.
“I don’t know what I would do if you weren’t here”
In episode 1×19 we witnessed a passionate Delena dance, and we saw another one in 3×14. (We all waited for the second dance, for so long!) The first dance was amazing, Elena in that beautiful blue dress and Damon in that tux…
Hence, we all knew the dance from 3×14 would also be epic. We were all happy about it, until Stefan decided to attend and shake up Elena’s emotions.
Damon: “I’m mad at you because I love you”
Elena: “Well maybe that’s the problem”
We were angry when Elena reacted like that. Why didn’t she just hug him for being so kind and protective? Instead she ran away, and Damon — left alone and hurt — ended up sleeping with Rebekah. When Elena found out she was jealous to the max! Finally, she understood that she was actually in love with Damon!
And let’s not forget that kiss on Elena’s porch…the one full of fireworks that set twitter Their special moment on episode 3×10 was phenomenal, and so many people watched that episode and that scene over and over!
“If I’m gonna feel guilty about something, I’m gonna feel guilty about this”
Delena is more than a hobby or pastime. Delena in our hearts. We tweet about them, make them trend on twitter, post pics and memorize their quotes. We love them through and through because we know that Damon and Elena are meant to be!
The beauty of Damon and Elena was that neither planned to fall in love with the other. Damon did not come back to Mystic Falls because of some unquenchable desire to know her. He came back for Katherine, and that was that. There was an instant spark of curiosity between the two of them when they met, of course, but despite that, both had other romantic desires. Still, it did not take long for Elena to get under Damon’s skin. In the kitchen, in 1×03, she told him, ‘I’m sorry, about Katherine, you lost her too.’ Damon’s guard, hardened over the course of a century, was shattered. For a moment, he was lost in her compassion. Only Elena Gilbert could have done that to him, for him. Later, Damon had brushed aside the incident. He tried to compel her, to kiss her, but she surprised him again. She slapped him. She challenged him right from the start. Yes, she did not know that he was a vampire at this point, but when she discovered that truth, she did not change. In 1×06, she challenged him, despite being so afraid. In 1×07, she challenged him, slapping him again. ‘It matters and you know it. For anybody that wonders why Damon fell in love with Elena, I point you to these early scenes. She is something unique to him. She has inhuman levels of compassion, true. But she is also strong enough, when she is near him, to hold him accountable for the worst that he can be. This is not to say that she cannot find it in her heart to forgive, we have all seen that she can. But where I have seen her give another almost instant forgiveness, she won’t allow herself that luxury with Damon. Because she knows that he can be more, and she knows that she is worth more. In the long run, the pain from such moments will be worth it. It is in these moments, when Damon feared losing her friendship that he would realize just how much she had come to mean to him. And it was in these moments, that Elena too, discovered just how Damon had worked his way into her bloodstream. For if he had not it would have been easy for her to simply cut him off. But we all know that Elena will never be able to do that. She simply cannot let Damon go. ‘I don’t know what I would do if you weren’t here.’
Some might try to argue that Damon only fell in love with Elena, because she looked like Katherine. But this is simply laughable. It was not Damon that tried to hide Katherine’s existence from Elena. It was not Damon that desired to get to know Elena due to her resemblance to Katherine. Damon and Elena only began a tentative friendship in the tenth episode of the first season. If Damon only fell in love with her because of the resemblance, then surely the process would have begun before then? Damon fell in love with Elena because of who she is, not who she looks like. Because she is equal parts fire and compassion. Because of her honest nature. Because of her selflessness. Elena has flaws, but these qualities are qualities that Katherine Pierce does not possess. It was these qualities that so surprised Damon and that gradually broke down the walls around his heart. He put it best himself in the Season 1 finale; ‘I like you better like this. The period look, it didn’t suit you.’ Damon does not want Elena to be a replacement for Katherine. Nor does he see her as Katherine. Yes, old feelings were roused at the start of Season 2 for the older Salvatore, which is only realistic. For he had never gotten closure with Katherine, and he needed it. Ultimately, it was meeting Elena, and getting to know Elena that started Damon’s process of realizing that the love he had for Katherine was based upon poor choices. Since loving Elena, Damon has done all that he can to make the right choices.
Damon did not want to fall in love with Elena. His life in Mystic Falls would have been a lot easier if he hadn’t given her his heart. Likewise, Elena does not want to be in love with Damon. Her life would be simpler, easier, if she did not. But real love isn’t easy, and this is the struggle that we have really seen with Elena this season. Some people are frustrated with her, believing that she uses Damon’s love for her when it is convenient. But her denial of the depth of her feelings is understandable. Most importantly, her fear of the strength of not only his love, but the potential of her own, is realistic. She is still young, just eighteen. It was not long ago that she admitted to not knowing what love really is, having not experienced it truly. But she believed she had found it. She found safety and comfort with Stefan, at a time when that was what she needed, and she thought that that safety would always be there. Then it was ripped away from her. But Elena was okay. It hurt, and she fought to bring Stefan home, because she does love him, and there is no denying that. But then something incredible happened. She started to get stronger. It is no coincidence that this growing strength coincided with her spending more time with Damon. This is a simple fact. It’s Damon that rouses her passion and her energy. It’s Damon that encourages her to action, and not only in Season 3. Way back in 1×12, when Elena was being tormented by Noah, the Pizza Delivery Guy, Damon proposed they use Elena as bait. Stefan argued against it, and nobody would blame him for wanting to keep Elena safe. But Damon knew that she could do it, that she would want to do it, and she did. Of course, there have been instances where Damon has tried to stop Elena from doing something that she wants to do. But the idea that he is some ‘controlling dick’ that never allows her to make her own decisions, is again, laughable.
I will deal first with Vampire Diaries episode 2×20, when Damon forced Elena to drink his blood. Damon was in the wrong. In this instance, he took away her choices (although it was an act motivated by love) and he was wrong. But he learned from it. Because this relationship is a journey. These two characters do not stifle one another, but they help each other grow. Their relationship is not static and repetitive. Evidence of Damon having learned from this instance has been clear throughout Season 3. In 3×08 for example, Elena decided to deal with Rebekah by herself. This was a dangerous situation, clearly, but Damon trusted her with it. He was concerned, but he had faith in her. Likewise, in 3×12, when Elena and Bonnie went on a road-trip to find Bonnie’s mother. Damon did not make a fuss about having to accompany her, to keep her safe. It was actually Stefan that turned up, and told Elena that she isn’t allowed to go off alone like that. As long as Elena isn’t walking into a situation where Damon is convinced that she will die, then Damon will give her whatever space that she needs. This brings me to 3×14. After this episode, many seemed to forget the incidences that I have already recounted. People jumped on the bandwagon, claiming that Damon was controlling, and would never give Elena space. I would counter that, yes, he was not on-board with Elena’s plan, because he thought it was too dangerous. Yes, they were in conflict over it. But this is simply not a viable reason to claim that they could not have a functional relationship one day. Relationships have conflict. Couples do not agree about everything. There is evidence out there that supports the idea that occasional arguments and disagreements are healthy for a relationship. In this scenario, I cannot blame Damon for the way he acted. I understand Elena’s frustration. But I personally can identify with Damon’s response here, over Stefan’s. Likewise with 2×20, while Damon was clearly in the wrong back then, I still felt that his reaction was more natural than a simple shrug of the shoulders. There is a difference between having faith in a loved one’s ability to achieve a goal, and being able to sit idly by and watch them go to death. Perhaps, if we were all perfect people, then we would have the strength to do the latter. But we are not perfect, because we are real. Just as Damon isn’t perfect, but his reactions are real.
I’m afraid that I am quickly running out of time, my degree work calls, so I may have to sum up the rest of my points a bit more quickly. That might be a relief to a lot of you
So, another important theme between Damon and Elena is that of trust, and honesty. From S1 we saw how important trust was for Elena. Matt told Stefan, ‘Elena’s big on trust.’ Elena told Stefan, ‘trust is earned, I can’t just hand it over.’ And she also told Damon, ‘trust breeds trust, you’ve got to give it to get it.’ I shall not claim that Damon and Elena have also been 100% honest with each other. In 1×13, Elena went behind Damon’s back with Stefan. In 2×02, Damon initially told Elena that he had seen Jeremy’s ring. But these moments of dishonesty were always, and have always, been short-lived. Lies have never pervaded their relationship. Elena knew everything about Damon, when she began to fall in love with him. Elena had seen the very worst of Damon, and still started down the path of falling in love with him. Likewise, Elena never misled Damon. She made it clear that she loved Stefan, and only Stefan, yet he still could not help falling for her. Honesty is essential to them. In 1×13, Elena broke Damon’s trust, and it tore at her. Regardless of who she knew he presented himself to be, she had also seem glimpses of who he really was. So she was determined to regain his trust, and she did. Even in 2×05, when she hated him…the sort of hate that hurts; because it’s under your skin…she trusted his judgment. She had been horrified at the thought of Stefan drinking human blood, but it was Damon who made her realize that it was something that had to happen. This is something quite incredible. It really speaks volumes about the level of understanding between these two characters. They have always known how to figure one another out. They understand each other, because they are so similar. Elena once said of Damon, ‘I really believe that everything Damon has done, he’s done for love.’ The beauty of this quote is that it applies to Elena too. This is why Elena can forgive him. It doesn’t make her weak. I would even argue that it makes her stronger. It would have been easier for her to give up on him completely, as it would be now. But she cannot do that, because she knows that no matter how afraid she is of this love, that he is inevitable. The foundation of trust between these two is what makes this possible. Don’t forget, ‘I wanted it to be real.’ Honesty is key to any relationship. To quote a favorite movie of mine, ‘without trust, there is no love.’ But with trust, can come love.
Damon and Elena are a team. Ever since their friendship was first established, they have been a well-oiled machine when they put their minds together. Take the latter stages of S1, where they teamed up to help Stefan. They are always there for each other. They always save each other, and I don’t just mean physically…but emotionally too. I could recount all the times that they have saved the others life, but what I think is more important to emphasize, is how they save each other’s…souls, I guess. Elena is Damon’s humanity. This is not something that can be argued. Yes, Damon is Stefan’s humanity, and some may wish to say that Stefan is Damon’s. But that is not what the show has shown us, and I mean this with no disrespect to the brotherly bond between Damon and Stefan. It was always Elena that brought out the good in Damon. I will never forget the moment that I heard the words, ‘I can do it. If this is what you want. I’ll do it.’ For the first time, we can assume, in a century, Damon Salvatore did something completely selfless, and all because this human girl had been strong enough to challenge him. He saved her in that moment, in a sense. But she had also begun the process of saving him. ‘I love you Elena, and it’s because I love you, that I can’t be selfish with you.’ They bring out the absolute best in each other, and that it why I believe that both can only find true love and happiness with the other. Elena is stronger around Damon. She lights up around Damon. He brings the fun side out of her, but also the snarky side. As she challenges him, he challenges her. He does not coddle her, and he sees her as a woman, not as a girl to be shielded. He does not put Elena on a pedestal, as some do. He knows she has flaws, and he loves her despite them. With Damon, it is important for me to address something. There seems to be some strange idea that Damon is ‘different’ and not in a positive way, from his S1 self. I don’t see it. The only real difference is that he isn’t a villain anymore, and that he cares. He is still the badass we loved. He still gets all the best lines. He even still gets all the random hook-ups! (Side-eyeing you writers
) If he had not grown, and progressed as a character, then he would not be complex. And if he were not complex, I assure you that the same people would still likely be complaining. As I’ve already stated somewhere in this mass or words, they have both helped each other grow as characters.
As I am coming to an end now, I think it’s important to address two arguments that I often see against Delena. The first I will deal with quickly; Elena is coming between the Salvatore’s. This is a lie. Katherine drove the brothers apart. Before they both met Elena, they had not seen each other for years, and they hated each other. Yet, since Elena has been in their lives, their relationship has drastically improved. Yes, them both loving her is a problem. Yes, it has caused rifts between them. But there is no denying that their relationship has been growing stronger. I would argue that they are currently closer than they have ever been. It is important to remember that Elena is NOT a prize. She is a young woman, with her own mind. She is single. When it comes down to it, her choice will be her own, and neither brother will contend that. I don’t think that they will. All three of these characters love each other enough, and have grown enough, to accept whatever comes.
The second argument is obvious; 2×01, the JNSI. Firstly, I want to say that if anybody ever says to me that they can’t support this pairing, because of that incident, then I say fair enough. What I will do, is explain why I, and clearly many others, still can. The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural show, dealing with bloodsucking monsters. There ARE different rules. There ARE different boundaries. It’s all well and good to say that Elena should just…not be with a vampire, but then I ask…why are you watching this show? When its whole concept is based on a love triangle between a girl and two vampires? Before I go into the rest, I just want to make it clear that I do NOT condone what Damon did. I was horrified, obviously. However, I think it’s important to consider WHEN this happened, in terms of where Damon and Elena’s relationship was at. Also, where Damon’s personal progression was at. It was still early on in their friendship. Damon was beginning to realise that he had fallen in love with her, but he hardly thought about what that really meant. While, he had shown his capacity for good, he also had not been in a situation where he had to deal with the intensity of the emotions that his vampire nature cursed him with. So it happened. Had it happened at the start of S3, after Damon’s deathbed confession in the S2 finale, then I would have been done. Because then, it would not have fit with the character arc. Then, it would have been TOO much of a betrayal of the connection between him and Elena. What I am saying is that, at the start of S2, Elena was still wary of Damon. She cared for him deeply, but she was painfully aware that the emotional turmoil he suffered in 2×01 could be dangerous. Again, this does not make it okay. But it was early enough in their relationship, for me to appreciate the work Damon had to do, to come to terms with his own personal struggle. A final point is that it was a moment of passionate emotion. Vampire’s emotions are heightened, and in that one instant Damon simply wanted to be hated, and saw a way to achieve that goal. He instantly regretted it. It was not premeditated or cold-hearted. In 3×11, when Stefan drove Elena to Wickery Bridge, I was equally as horrified. I’m not saying that he WOULD have killed her. But the location alone, and the fact that he had planned out such a situation, appalled me. On top of that, this was after all those declarations of a great love between these two. Similarly, in 3×10, Stefan’s personal vendetta against Klaus meant that Jeremy nearly died. Had Elena and Alaric not noticed what was happening, he would have. While Stefan’s hand did not directly cause this deed, his inability to act in anyway means he is culpable. I am not bringing these examples up to excuse Damon. I am also not trying to suggest that Elena should never forgive Stefan, as that would be out of character. I am just trying to give one person’s point of view when it comes to the JNSI, and how we can see beyond it
I think this is going to have to do. I apologize for the length, and if it doesn’t read particularly smoothly. I’m also certain that I have missed out a ton of points that I would like to make. To the Damon and Elena fans, I really hope I have done you guys justice. Thank you to anybody that I have ever discussed these two with. It’s you guys that have given me all these thoughts. To other fans of the show, I hope that, even if we can’t agree, I’ve at least given you more of an insight into how we feel this ship works. Most importantly, I hope I have done Cynthia justice. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say that our thoughts are with you Cynthia, and all your family.
As an aspiring writer, I have had one thing drummed into me over and over again; show, don’t tell. With this in mind, I say to you all that I believe that Damon and Elena are IT. It is them that have the story. It is them that have all the parallels, and the running themes. They have even had a couple of Gone with the Wind references, how is that not an OTP? They better each other. They better the show. I am being SHOWN that they are inevitable. This is not an accident. The writers of this show are magnificent, and this is being done on purpose. Damon had to learn the hard way that his love for Katherine was not what he thought it was. I think we are seeing something similar with Elena now. She needs to realize that she has changed, and that her needs have changed. Be patient just a little while longer, and we’ll see her come to terms with her feelings, and make up for her rejection of his love in 3×14. They are each other’s home; they will always come back to each other. Remember, endgame comes at the end.