Damon Salvatore Season Four Appreciation Week:
Day Three - Best BROTP-related Moment
I cannot ever choose between my Defan and Dalaric feels and as with everything in this fandom, I pretty much don’t see why I should have to choose at all!! :) One of the things I’ve always loved, is how the show balances these huge moments of brotherhood, with just…typical guy/sibling behavior. They have an emotional revelation moment (“If I do this I’m doing it for you.”) but at the same time, they’re just…they’re just brothers. Damon’s still stealing Stefan’s diary. Ric, his eternal drinking buddy totally would prove his identity..with a bottle of bourbon. Perfect. Brotherhoods.
Damon Salvatore Season Four Appreciation Week:
Day One - Best Character Moment.
Or, my gif set to go with the challenge: “go ahead. call damon ‘selfish’ one more time.”
This season for me with Damon, has been about developing his character from an immature twelve year old to the adult that he’s actually supposed to be: someone who has been alive for over a hundred and fifty years, and spent most of it having his heart stamped on. There is a difference, between ‘selfish’ and ‘self-care’ — and that’s the line I think Damon’s learned to walk. Time and time again we see him confronted this season with his fear that he could never be enough for anyone, that he “never gets the girl”, to the point where he continuously self-sabotages his happiness.
As he tells Ric, “they’re stupid, exasperating little children” (in a scene where you can see how badly he pities, and envies, the optimism the Scooby gang is showing when they “light a candle to make everything okay”). As Damon would put it, “As annoyingly self righteous as my brother is, he has a point” — and when it comes to the feeding (“I can revel in it. I can make it fun.”) — Damon has had a point all along. The first season, we are shown from Caroline’s point of view the horror it would be to be a blood bag girlfriend — “snatch, eat, erase” — and it becomes easy to sympathize with Stefan’s “abstinence only; no human blood ever ever ever ever” view point. Except that right from the first time we see Stefan on human blood, it becomes obvious that he’s never learned to handle the blood lust on any level — that by denying one’s nature, even if it’s the “right impulse”, instead more innocent people get hurt, and more people die. Damon isn’t sorry about being a vampire. Damon loves it. Damon’s the only one that can be comfortable being who he is - and as he says, it’s the reason he can walk away and leave someone still breathing.
Then we have the two parallels in episodes 408 and 409, between Damon believing that he’s the reason Stefan lost control in the first place and is “bad” for his brother — and that the sire bond means none of Elena’s feelings are real. Once again he’s dealing with the belief that he isn’t enough for anyone — but if Damon’s “selfish” the way he snaps, the way we’re told, then he wouldn’t have been able to have the moments: “Good luck, brother” or “I’m about to take a high, annoying, road.” (Or “But I have to do the right thing by you.”) If Damon was as selfish as he claims, then Elena being sired would have been a dream come true. Instead he realizes, and the show makes the point: without free will, it’s worth absolutely nothing.
And then I have “I can’t show up without Bonnie”, “That was for Carol Lockwood” and “You’re going to have to shoot me in the heart, Jeremy.” because well — throughout the seasons, even as Damon’s come to care for Elena, we’ve seen time and time again him say “I will gladly let Bonnie die; I will always choose you / I would have let Matt die in a heartbeat.” This season is very different. This season we see him begin to get and understand that Elena’s friends and family are massively important to her; he slowly changes to have other people matter to him too. He’s willing to tell Jeremy to shoot him so Elena doesn’t lose her brother. He doesn’t want to get off the island without Bonnie because he knows how important she is. And he shoots Klaus, (to educate Jeremy humorously), because Carol (and Liz) are his friends, dammit.
And then finally — in my mind, being an adult, has a lot to do with accepting who you are, and then growing up to understand you can be better without losing who you are. It’s not about Damon changing for the girl. He changed on his own, he grew on his own. That’s why we see the difference from s201 and s421 with Matt and Jeremy. This time, Damon was perfectly aware that Matt was wearing the ring — it’s implied that Matt was informed, that both of them cooked this plan up together.
And that’s why I think the “That is humanity” line is so important - because you actually see him quoting his brother there without really being aware of it (103), but more importantly, it comes out that at Damon’s core, as Elena’s been saying since the beginning, Damon really does believe that everything he does, he does for love. Yes, he’ll “be bad with a purpose” to “fill that role and get things done” — because he’s been smacked with reality over and over again to a point where wide-eyed innocent and optimism about being “a hero” or “a savior” (like his brother constantly fights and falls off the wagon with) just isn’t possible. But that doesn’t ever mean he’s ceased to believe in love, or that love matters. He was the human who was willing to die for an eternity with Katherine, and however much he’s grown over the four seasons to accept himself, to mature, to better himself — when Elena’s emotions are off, when he stands there and breaks Matt’s neck to get her to feel, he isn’t trying to bring her back with hate. He doesn’t want her to come back because she’s angry, because she’s filled with rage (which is why he did at first, he wants her to be better than him) - but rather, he’s channeling what his brother told him (because i do believe he’s a brother first and foremost) — to tell her, “Love is the point.” He wants her to feel good things again. He wants her to feel relief, joy, happiness, love. He doesn’t try to scare her, he didn’t snap, like in 201. He wanted to make her feel better after a shock, to break through to her, because he knew how stubborn she was - it’s as stubborn as he is.
And all along, he’s willing to die for his brother and for Elena. He goes through hell to get the cure even though it’s against what he personally wants, because it’s what she wants. He does heroic things without ever expecting gratitude or affection, all along believing he’s not worth loving; he has fun with being a vampire, and he doesn’t lie about who he is, or manipulate someone with it; he’s blunt, in your face, honest. And by the end of this season I think we saw Damon come to realize exactly who he was and he accepted it, seemingly for the first time in a hundred plus years, that he’s actually a person worth liking - flaws and all. A person worth accepting. Not to mention while there are certainly flaws in here too I’m skipping past - Damon would acknowledge them. Because that’s who he is. And he’s not going to change. And he’s not sorry.
So, yeah. Go ahead. Call Damon selfish one more time. He’s cool with it. He’s accepted himself. And that is glorious.
Nina Dobrev leaving a Studio in Studio City (August 10)