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Damon Salvatore: He'll Kill You With His Smolder

I think an under appreciated part of Damon's character is where he started off morally.  When he was human, he was already okay with Katherine being a vampire and killing people.  He saw her murder a man on the road and then made out with her while she still had the man's blood on her mouth.  That's where he started off.  He didn't have the excuse of "vampire nature" back then.  He came from a prominent family and his dad has never been implied to be abusive (aside from shooting his sons in the chest).  He had essentially everything that someone could expect to want or have in the Civil War South.  Mystic Falls was at peace.  

 

With all the other characters, they become okay with killing after they're in a kill or be killed scenario or when they're still dealing with being a baby vamp.  Not Damon, he was okay with killing innocent people long before.

Edited by lion10.
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Brilliantly said. That's why I rolled my eyes so hard when the writers began their inevitable "redemption of Damon" with flashbacks showing how he didn't want to be a vampire without Katherine and Stefan was the one who suddenly went wild, having wild parties and murdering people all over the place when they first turned.

Like we were supposed to buy that Damon only wanted Katherine and she was the only reason he did all those things a and not because he's actually a sociopathic psycho with no regard for others' life. And that fact simply remained after he became a vampire.

Edited by truthaboutluv.
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Don't forget that the Salvatores owned slaves (even if the show likes to pretend they were the only plantation in the South that didn't) and Damon fought for the South in the Civil War, which was trying to preserve this massive human rights violation, deserting only because he wanted to bang Katherine and not because of a change of heart.  So, even before meeting Katherine and embracing his inner monster pre-turning, Damon was perfectly fine with oppressing human beings on a massive scale.  Becoming a vampire and continuing this behavior, with the added insult of eating those he oppresses, is actually a logical result of Damon's initial characterization.  Him thinking that any human does not deserve to end up on his dinner table goes against what we know of him as a human and vampire.  Not killing Elena makes sense as she has Katherine's face, but refraining from killing Liz, Matt, Bonnie, Jeremy (for real) or Alaric (for real) does not.

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Yes the Salvator FAMILY probably owned slaves, the slavery thing was a family deal so Damon and Stefan equally at fault for thinking that way in the culture they lived in. Though I've never seen present day Damon or Stefan be prejudice in any way.

Damon didn't desert the military he was on leave. One reason death wasn't as difficult for him to stomach is b/c he HAD faught in war. He'd probably seen much worse in battle.

Young Damon the human was presented as a boy who fell maddly in love with a manipulative vampire who manipulated him. His crime was being a willing victim. He loved her that much which was shown in Season 1 by his long standing love of her, which in some ways though he was compelled as a human Stefan did share in b/c vampire Stefan kept her picture close to him in his room which Elena found. Even knowing what Katherine had done to him Stefan still kept her picture.

 

Many young people fall so in love with someone they are willing to do things they might otherwise not for love. That whole scene with Katherine teaching Damon about how vampires feed illustrated that. If he was going to be a vampire he had to imbrace that.

Human Damon was very much presented as a regular old south boy, it is a stretch to say he would have been a psychopath if he would have stayed human.

Edited by Cattitude.
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It's one thing to kill your opponent in the heat of battle and something else entirely to be complicit in the premeditated murder of an innocent. Most people upon discovering that their partner was a remorseless killer would have some form of "I'm out". Almost everyone else on the series, including Klaus, have only become okay with killing after they became supes. Damon was already cool with killing people who weren't doing him any harm.

Imo, that hints at something dark about Damon from the get go. Damon was a grown man when he met Katherine. He can't claim that it's all due to Katherine's influence. Manipulation has limits.

I get why the Salvatores are borderline obsessed with Katherine.

Edited by lion10.
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By my calculations, Damon was 25 when he was turned into a vampire. This is based on the idea that it is 2012 in vampire diaries land (as they have only moved on 3 years in 5 seasons) and Damon's empassioned speech to Elena in 5x22. I know this is a total writing fail but Still.

Human Damon has never been particularly well sketched out. Sadly they skirted over his role in the civil war and the effects it had on him. Combat can have a huge effect on a person's mental health. I could definitely understand him becoming unhinged and willingly killing people with Katherine. This could easily be carried over into his vampire personality as becoming a vampire heightens your human traits.

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I have never seen the 'abusive dad' thing either. After all, he killed both of his sons, surely that demonstrates no preference at all!

In my imagination, Damon was effected by the war and this has partly contributed to who he is. I can't see how he wouldn't be, but you are right we don't see any PTSD Damon. I think the whole civil war part was treated a bit too flippantly, but considering all the historical inaccuracies, maybe I am too picky.

That isn't to say that there isn't something innately psychotic within Damon which could have been triggered or made worse by the war. His dad was pretty clinical when he murdered his sons, maybe he inherited something from him (totally off on a tangent now!)

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What we saw was that Damon wasn't particularly upset by the bloodshed and violence from war because he never voiced anything about it, never had PTSD flashbacks or something similar, or anything related. He was just a very psychologically twisted individual and it seems to be innate. It seems like it was something that was always there. War doesn't explain why he was perfectly fine with letting his (at the time) 17/18 year old brother be compelled by a vampire (Katherine) and then get pissed at him because she turned him too. What explanation is there for why Damon, as the adult in the situation, didn't look out for his little brother?

When you throw in the fact that Katherine compelled Stefan like crazy the entire time so that his brain was practically mush by the time the brothers were actually turned, while Damon was obsessively in love with Katherine, it's not surprising that either brother was willing to do whatever she wanted and or they both ended up as psychotic as they both have been. That's under the assumption that Damon actually wasn't compelled as he claims (I find it hard to believe Katherine would let any of her puppets off the string so to speak, she's too paranoid for that) and isn't just in massive denial.

 

Either way, until we get some flashbacks that show that Damon was a puppy raping sociopath with a hair trigger temper even while human, I'm going to attribute Damon's ways to Katherine's influence, almost 2 centuries of self loathing, and a dash of vampire nature.

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attribute Damon's ways to Katherine's influence,

I disagree.  I think Damon did aspire to live up to the standard he and Katherine set in his final human days but after 150+ years, most of which were spent thinking she was locked in the tomb, his behavior is all on him.  If it were mainly Katherine's influence he would have tried to change his ways when his obsession ended but he didn't.  If anything, he seemed to get even more violent after their break up.  There's also the Elena factor.  If Damon's the type of guy who is heavily influenced by the object of his obsession, then he should have changed his behavior once he switched to Elena.  Instead he maintains his monstrous behavior with the occasional line about how "Elena wouldn't like this".  Now, we know from watching the show that Elena has never actually cared about vampires behaving like vampires, unless it directly effects her, but Damon doesn't.  Her mad PR skills have been very effective on him and he's convinced that she's a good person who would never approve of serial killing and oppression of humans.  So, if he's so convinced that Elena is this way, why hasn't he changed his behavior to please her?  My only conclusion is that it's in his actual nature and, being a vampire, he gets to embrace it in a way that he couldn't fully when he was human.  Katherine and Elena both being fine with it is incidental.

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I disagree.  I think Damon did aspire to live up to the standard he and Katherine set in his final human days but after 150+ years, most of which were spent thinking she was locked in the tomb, his behavior is all on him.  If it were mainly Katherine's influence he would have tried to change his ways when his obsession ended but he didn't.  If anything, he seemed to get even more violent after their break up.  There's also the Elena factor.  If Damon's the type of guy who is heavily influenced by the object of his obsession, then he should have changed his behavior once he switched to Elena.  Instead he maintains his monstrous behavior with the occasional line about how "Elena wouldn't like this".  Now, we know from watching the show that Elena has never actually cared about vampires behaving like vampires, unless it directly effects her, but Damon doesn't.  Her mad PR skills have been very effective on him and he's convinced that she's a good person who would never approve of serial killing and oppression of humans.  So, if he's so convinced that Elena is this way, why hasn't he changed his behavior to please her?  My only conclusion is that it's in his actual nature and, being a vampire, he gets to embrace it in a way that he couldn't fully when he was human.  Katherine and Elena both being fine with it is incidental.

Well, seems to me like Damon doesn't have much of a personality of his own, he just does whatever he thinks the people he cares about would want him to do. Damon not only spends his final human days doing what Katherine wants, sparing the occasional moment to do what Stefan would want, he does the same thing for 150 years after he thinks she's trapped somewhere. Then Damon met Elena and became obsessively in love with her and shifted to doing what she would want, while fighting 150 years of bad habits on the side. The whole of Damon's character is he seems to become attached to others to an extreme degree, allows them dominate his life, and then loses it when it looks like he might lose them.

Edited by immortalfrieza.
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Well, seems to me like Damon doesn't have much of a personality of his own, he just does whatever he thinks the people he cares about would want him to do. Damon not only spends his final human days doing what Katherine wants, sparing the occasional moment to do what Stefan would want, he does the same thing for 150 years after he thinks she's trapped somewhere. Then Damon met Elena and became obsessively in love with her and shifted to doing what she would want, while fighting 150 years of bad habits on the side. The whole of Damon's character is he seems to become attached to others to an extreme degree, allows them dominate his life, and then loses it when it looks like he might lose them.

Well he certainly didn't do what his Dad wanted him to do, or Stefan. He has also done plenty of things that he knew Elena "wouldn't like", so I disagree that his personality is shaped by his loved ones. Damon is his own person, and he lives by his own code for the most part. Of course, parts of his life are influenced by others, that is natural,  but he is a maverick type personality.

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Elena is a college student so I guess she is an adult now not some teenaged girl. The whole point of his feelings for Elena are that he cares enough about her to give him a reason to care about things. He still makes his own choices but when he was alone he never had anyone that was important enough to him to make him WANT to be protective. Damon had done plenty of good things before he knew Elena but he didn't really put much thought into it. Now he has hope for a happy life and he wants it, so she is the good in his life. She doesn't control him though he can still be bad, but she gives him a reason to look at life differently.

 

That is why he says she is an influence on him, everyone has people in their life that influence them. They don't control, but do have impact.

 

Damon is very charismatic and charming, the show always jokes that he doesn't have any friend, but in fact other than the MF judgie gang he charms most others into becoming quite friendly with him.  Liz, Alaric, Rose, Enzo and many others through the years came to like Damon quite well b/c they see that he isn't as bad as he tries to let people think he is.

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Would a maverick rely on his teenage girlfriend to keep himself from going off the rails and murdering people who did nothing to him?

 

He is basically saying that without you, I have no choice but to revert to killing random people. Without this teenage girl telling him to be "good", he won't be. That is exactly him being shaped by another person. He can't decide on his own. 

 

Funny enough, Elena doesn't really give a damn if he kills or doesn't, but Katherine in this scene made him aware of how much unfair pressure and manipulation it is on her to literally be responsible for shaping him into a relatively good person.

Damon wasn't killing random people before Elena, that was Stefan. Damon was a vampire that was alone, walking the earth waiting and plotting for the time to release Kat from the tomb until he was betrayed by his family and captured by the Augustine society. Nothing in the FB scenes shows that Damon was an impulsive vampire, killing for fun, until the 70s FB, when he was sans humanity, in fact we were shown that he was a vampire that was killing for food or using the snatch, eat erase technique. Until he met sage in 1912 (50 yrs post turning) he was celibate, and just about surviving in a miserable existence, during which time Stefan had rippered his way through countless randoms.

The Augustine experiments and the ensuing Enzo stuff had a profound affect on Damons pysche, that was the point of that whole SL, granted, it could have been written better, but I don't think that Damon was this cynical, and mistrusting of humans prior to this.

People can argue about how badly he treated Caroline and Andie, but he was treated far worse by those who were actually HUMAN.

Damon did compel the hell out of Caroline and Andie, but it is what vampires do. They compel people to keep quiet and not tell their secret, and to not be afraid of them so that they can feed and blend into society, because he is a vampire! Is this morally right in the human world? no. Is he human? no. Is this a vampire show? yes! are we supposed to root for the vampires|? yes! 

Damon is not particularly a "nice"  guy, neither is Stefan, or Caroline or Tyler or Elena, they all do questionable things. Damon is portrayed as the anti-hero, a flawed character on the path to  redemption. The story is not complete yet for any of them.

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Elena is a college student so I guess she is an adult now not some teenaged girl. The whole point of his feelings for Elena are that he cares enough about her to give him a reason to care about things. He still makes his own choices but when he was alone he never had anyone that was important enough to him to make him WANT to be protective. Damon had done plenty of good things before he knew Elena but he didn't really put much thought into it. Now he has hope for a happy life and he wants it, so she is the good in his life. She doesn't control him though he can still be bad, but she gives him a reason to look at life differently.

 

That is why he says she is an influence on him, everyone has people in their life that influence them. They don't control, but do have impact.

 

Damon is very charismatic and charming, the show always jokes that he doesn't have any friend, but in fact other than the MF judgie gang he charms most others into becoming quite friendly with him.  Liz, Alaric, Rose, Enzo and many others through the years came to like Damon quite well b/c they see that he isn't as bad as he tries to let people think he is.

Exactly, and we have to remember that this speech was KAT, not Elena speaking to Damon. Elena is well aware of Damon's shortcomings, and she is also aware of his efforts to be the "better man", but she knows who he is, she is not blind to his faults, but she knows that the dark parts of Damon do not define him, and that ther is much more to him than that. The whole Katelena break up was the undoing of him because he thought he had lost not only her love, but her unshaking belief in him that she had always shown him, THAT was the issue. Even when he was at his worst in S1, she always understood him, even after everything he did to her and Jer, she still believed in him, and he thought all that was gone, and that he had lost HER, as a being in his life, and that if she could not forgive him then he must be the monster that the Augustine society and everyone else had told him he was for years, only this time it mattered to him, because he had let his humanity in, he had begun to feel again, he had let down his walls of trust that he had built up only to be let down again. All he left after that was his vampirism and Enzo and the revenge plan, . The wall went back up, only this time he didn't flip the switch, he felt every moment of it.

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When I am commenting on Damon in this thread, what I am analysing is the writing of the character, the portrayal and the over all character arc. I am not here to debate whether i like him or if he is better than Stefan (that is all subjective and there is no need to justify it this is entertainment, not politics). So I guess what comes next might be gauche but there is no offense meant and I am sure the mods will tell me if I am going too far.

I agree with all the stuff said about Damon not being a great guy and being ok with since he is a vampire and won't change that much which means crying over spilt milk is 10 times stupider. That's fine but then saying that because he is a vampire, he acts horribly negates the feeling that he is owning up to his ways. Not all vampires in TVD or TO act like Damon. Damon himself admits to his shortcomings and the fact that his recent fuck ups are of his own damn volition and that it wasn't great to do it. He was grown man when he died as a human (by that time's standards he could have been married with kids if not for the war), and regressing to being a whiny brat because he got dumped is DUMB. Him killing Aaron only showed me that he was acting immature and fucked up with what it means he tried to do to Elena as getting her back for dumping him. If Damon fans like that then own up to liking him that way. Using his status as vampire to say that his actions are the "normal" for the show, makes little sense when taking into consideration every other freakng vampire in that universe. Katherine has more restraint than he does. As does Klaus. And in my opinion they are way less savoury charcaters than Damon.

 

Rant about the writing:

Now his impulsive oopsies just mean stagnation in development. It means that this guy that has learnt absolute-fucking-ly nothing of the past 3(?) years. It makes it annoying to see someone whine about problems they create themselves. That to me points to disorganised writing or the writers having very strange notions of what type of characters and relationships most people like to watch on TV. The Damon love I am seeing on this site and other places is pretty much from before. I don't think I've heard someone say that they saw him in a new and like him more/again. Even the augustine shit was convoluted and had awful timing. The whole someone screwed Damon sooo bad and that's why he is an asshole was covered... Was it necessary to go over it again? It was a case of be careful what you wish for. I wanted to see Damon and Elena together without the brothers' conflict and I got them be so far up each other's ass they don't realise people they cared about were gone. With Stefan becoming their relationship counselor + stupid back and forth that was unbelievable. It's like they thought we wanted the triangle and won't watch if it's resolved. Writers need to have a plan and adjust their direction once in a while if they see it really doesn't go down well with people. They should not waste their time trying to justify established characters we are used to for 4 years. Audiences are fickle, there as never been as much Stelena love since it was obvious that she chose Damon. People (me included) like to bitch. They can't please everyone and they need to decide what's important to them in the character. Because they have Damon saying for 4 damn seasons that he won't be Stefan 2.0, that he will stay the way he is; love him or leave him and then breaks up with Elena because she is ok with that? What the bleepin' hell are the viewers supposed to get from that? That actually the whole time he wanted to be good and just needed a girlfriend to show him the light? Thta makes him a weak minded man in my mind and that's really not cute. Not. At . All.

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@fantique, a very interesting post with lots of food for thought. I don't agree with everything you wrote especially in the first paragraph,  but I found myself nodding my head in agreement quite often in the second.

 

Firstly as a Damon fan I will own up to liking him as he is, flaws and all. I like to see vampires, act like vampires especially in a show about vampires. I want to see the struggles they face as they contemplate eternal life, the battle within themselves of trying to deal with their humanity whilst essentially living as a beast and the conflict that causes. What we have now is a watered down version of the show, which is all about romantic drama between characters which are humanized, moralistic and occasionally remember that they are vampires. They rarely drink blood these days, they drink bourbon instead.

I don't think Damons behaviour can be soley attributed to his vampirism, and the nature of vampires, but it can be attributed to his life experiences. His vampirism gave him the tools to cope with them. He switched off his humanity for 50 odd yrs, he revelled in his vampirism and is now struggling with all the stuff he kept buried.

I was really enjoying seeing Damons journey, and for the most part, it has been written pretty well throughout S1- S5x10. I thought his series arc was paced well, with little set backs here and there, the development of bonds with others, whilst still having a sense of Damon still being Damon. He still behaved like a vamp, and used his vamp abilities to achieve his goals.

The writing for his character this season has been beyond confusing, and frustrating. I had whiplash with the amount of retconning and WTF moments, that to me were completely OOC with his character development thus far.

As much as I like Damon acting like a vamp, I did not like the Aarron Whitmore killing, or the Sarah Whitmore Killing. I have no idea how these actions were supposed to gel with what had gone before, and don't get me started on the fact that they reduced his powers of deduction so much that he didn't connect the dots re Augustine, Megan and Whitmore college. It is just not believable at this point in the story. It felt like they needed to drag out Damons redemption arc until the finale, so in the meantime they had him do really bad stuff so they could redeem him in the end. This was about twisting a character to fit the plot, rather than the other way around, which IMO, makes for far better, organic story telling. 

Up until the last few eps, I was really confused as to what I was supposed to think of Damon and his actions from 5x11 onwards. The dialogue was often conflicting with what was shown in the past, the numerous break ups made less and less sense, since the whole premise of the break ups surrounded issues that were dealt with and accepted in 4x23 "I make bad decisions that hurt you" "I'm wrong for you",   Elena "you've been a terrible person, you made all the wrong choices" "but I am not sorry that I am in love with you". It was the same stuff, just phrased differently- terrible writing.

So yeah, lots of my Damon love does come from the past, and not from what was written through most of this season, but for me, my love for Damon increased with the last few episodes, and I am excited to see what happens to him next season.

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For me the issue isn't that he kills people THAT is the vampire trait. It is his emotional inmaturity that he needs to work on. My big issue is people getting up in arms that he kills people. They are all vampires they kill people. I take exception to using his killing people as a reason he somehow unlikable as a vampire . Damon has no quams killing people and neither do the vampires on TO. In fact all vampire EXCEPT these few in MF have never been shown to have quams about killing people. I had no issue with his killing the Whitmore family as revenge. He was torchered for 5 freaking years and one way he and Enzo kept saine was envisioning their revenge, then when he did get free he had to sacrifice his only friend without whom he'd NEVER have gotten free. Damon is NOTHING if not loyal to those few he cares for. He kept his revenge plot going in honor of Enzo and I get that.

 

Much as I love Damon he is very emotionally inmature. And if he was indeed 25 when he died he always was. Human Damon in the flashbacks was in no way a grown man. He was very much similar in emotional maturity to Stefan who was 7yrs younger than him. He was inmature when he turned then he had no one to give him any boundaries and all this power(kind of a Justin Bieber vampire) He acted without thinking. Then Elena showed him that she cared for him, but expected better from him, and as he gave it to her he found himself enjoying the feeling he got helping her.  Things were going well then the writers derailed it for about 8 episodes and at the end tried to put him back on track.

 

I agree with everyone's assessment that the writing the second half of Season 5 was not good for anyone until the last episode. My feeling is someone thought it would be cool to kill Katherine for the 100th episode and so other stories got all messed up to make that arc fit in(so yes I blame Katerine for Damon's mess LOL) I really liked the idea of the Augustine stuff but it didn't get written or develped right. I like Dr. Maxfield as a villian and he could have been better used.

I resented Damon's hand in the Jeremy near death, but yet again I don't think it was about Damon but about Katherine and Enzo so Damon got sacrifed to make that work. I love the deep complicated bond Damon and Jeremy have. Him helping hurt Jeremy at this late stage was just poor writing.

 

I love Damon flaws and all. He is the kind of vampire character I like, and I will always defend him. But loving him doesn't mean I think he is perfect, I just don't see killing as a flaw for a vampire. Him being emotionally inmature and lashing out is, but most of the characters have some flaws at least Damon TRIES to work on his.

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For me the issue isn't that he kills people THAT is the vampire trait.

 

I just don't agree with this idea that Damon's just doing what vampires do, so it's somehow okay. Just because it's "in his nature" doesn't make the stuff he does less bad. I can accept that being a vampire gives him some violent tendencies. But humans have some pretty violent tendencies too. They're even natural. But if a guy gives in to an urge to shoot someone who annoys them, no judge is going to say, "Oh, it's okay. He was just doing what's in his nature."

 

And the thing is that many TVD vampires don't go around killing people. So it's obviously also in the vampire nature to be able to control themselves, and not give in to their more violent urges at the drop of a hat. Damon (and some others) just choose not to.

 

I look at it like this. It's in a zombies nature to eat brains. But while I accept that this is what zombies do, and they really can't help themselves, that doesn't make the killing and brain eating somehow okay. And zombies are mindless creatures who really don't know any better. Damon (who has the ability to think, reason, and control himself when the mood strikes him) doesn't have that excuse.

 

All that being said, the fact that Damon kills people isn't actually my problem with his character. As I've said before, I've liked characters who have done far worse.

 

My problem with Damon is that he doesn't really pay the consequences for his actions. He does all of this stuff and what it for, really? It doesn't advance or develop his character. (He's still pulling the same crap he did in earlier seasons.) The other characters don't really hold it against him for long. (Elena got over him trying to murder her brother pretty fast.) Then we get to hear him whine about how he's not a better person (right before he goes out and pulls more crap), or how Elena will never forgive him for whatever stunt he's pulled now (although she always does).

 

So, a lot of the time, it feels like Damon keeps doing bad things because a) it's "shocking," and b) it keep the viewers who like "bad boy/homicidal Damon" happy. And those are cheap reasons to have a character do anything.

Edited by Bitterswete.
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I don't agree that most TVD vamps don't go around killing people, because they do, and/or are prepared to if it so fits there agenda.

Such as Anna,, Logan, Noah, Ben, Klaus, Eljah, Kol, Katherine, Enzo and even Caroline.  Granted, they all know that to continue live amongst humans undetected, they need to show restraint, in order to keep there existence secret. We have been shown via Lexie, a different type of attitude towards humans, which she taught Stefan because he cannot control himself around human blood at all, but this attitude seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

We have also been shown that werewolves seem to value humans as lesser beings also and are prepared for them to be collateral damage, and anyway, this show has demonstrated time and again, that humans are not to be under estimated, and are at times more than a match for vamps etc ie The council, Augustine experiments and in TO, there are some powerful humans there too.

 

Consequences on TVD is very hit and miss, but for most of the characters there seems to be little or none.

For Damon specifically, this would depend on what fans expectations are with regards to consequences, because I think some fans would like the consequence to be losing Elena for good, and because he hasn't in the end, they are unhappy and see it as him getting away with stuff. I don't see it this way at all.

 

Arguably Damon has done the most "bad" stuff onscreen, but he has seen consequences for some of those things. If it has not been those who were directly hurt by Damon getting revenge ie Rebekah, Mason, Bonnie, Kat, it has been the "universe" giving him a karmic punishment, ie The Sire bond, Doppel curse, Ripper serum, Augustine torture, werewolf bites/poison and ultimately he is now dead. He has got away with nothing, and he has paid his dues, unlike some of the others. 

Edited by miss-vanilla.
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I don't agree that most TVD vamps don't go around killing people, because they do, and/or are prepared to if it so fits there agenda.

 

I didn't say most, I said many. My point was that there have been enough TVD vamps who don't go around killing people willy nilly for it not to be considered an aberration.

 

I do agree that being vamped makes them more ruthless. But being ruthless isn't the same as going on killing sprees when you get miffed. In fact, many of the vamps we've seen actually consider killing humans not right, rather than them just wanting to keep a low profile.

 

Now, let's take Anna. Anna could definitely be ruthless in pursuit of her goals. (Getting her mother back.) At the same time, I never saw any indication that she was interested in killing random people for kicks.

 

And take Pearl. Some could say she had plenty of reason to go on a bloody killing spree. She just wasn't interested.

 

Really, the point I was making was that Damon is no more "normal" a vampire than anyone else. Vamps are individuals and we've been shown that, just like with humans, different vamps have different beliefs, values, lines they won't cross, attitudes towards humans, etc.

 

But my real point was that it doesn't matter. Even if every vampire in the TVD universe did act exactly like Damon (thus proving he's somehow the model of "normal" vampire behavior) it wouldn't make the stuff he does okay, or somehow right. Which seems to be the argument. (Damon's just acting like a "real" vampire, so the stuff he does really isn't that bad.)

 

We have also been shown that werewolves seem to value humans as lesser beings also and are prepared for them to be collateral damage,

 

Doesn't matter. The fact that werewolves can be dicks when it comes to how they think of humans doesn't make the stuff Damon does less bad. 

 

and anyway, this show has demonstrated time and again, that humans are not to be under estimated, and are at times more than a match for vamps etc ie The council, Augustineexperiments and in TO, there are some powerful humans there too.

 

Same as above. There are definitely some nasty humans out there. Still doesn't make the crap Damon pulls more okay. It just means there are humans out there doing crappy things too.

 

It's like someone murdering only one or two people isn't somehow less bad because someone else killed three or four.

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Many and most are pretty similar, i disagree either way.

With regards to "It doesn't matter" what others do, or actions of others don't negate Damons or make them less bad? I don't think I said that.

My point was that within the context of the show, Damon's behaviour is not that abnormal to have everyone up in arms about him killing people, especially as you say the actual "killing" isn't the issue, it is the fact that he faces no consequences. I have adressed that in my previous post.

 

Anyway, why should Damon care about humans? Lets analyse this from his POV.

 

He was murdered by his Father.

His Father's cronies captured and trapped the "love of his life" in a tomb for 150 yrs.

He was betrayed by his HUMAN family again in 1953 and sold to other Humans (Augustines) to be held captive, starved, tortured and experimented on for 5 yrs. (It kind of shed a different light on his antagonistic relationship with his HUMAN nephew Zach)

Zach betrayed him by cultivating vervain in Damons house, then using it to help Stefan as good as try to kill him.

He was hunted, and almost killed by the MF council.

Was captured by Human Wes for Augustine the sequel, and then later injected with the ripper virus.

 

Humans are vampires and Damon's natural enemies, except for a handful of those he came to love and trust.

 

ETA, I don't remember Damon killing people willy nilly. Most of Damon's actions and motives in S1 were similar to Anna's, trying to get someone he loved out of the tomb.

Edited by miss-vanilla.
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MOD NOTE: You have both stated your opinions comprehensively and it is quite clear that neither is going to change the others mind. Therefore, let's agree to disagree and move on please. The mods don't want a circular debate dominating this (or any other) topic. Any further posts violating this request will simply be deleted.

 

Thank you.

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I'm actually kind of interested to see what Damon does in Season 6.  Seems that he had accepted his role in destroying the Other Side if he somehow got caught over there.  So will he be trying to get back?  I kind of doubt it.  I have no doubt Elena will be losing her collective shit over trying to get him back, but I don't know if we'll see him taking an active role into returning.  In fact, he might be kind of pissed off if Elena or Stefan ends up finding a way to bring him back.  He was trying to let Elena go the last couple episodes (doing a bad job of it, no doubt, but he was trying) so something tells me he'll have reserved himself to the idea that she'll move on at some point.  

 

I took his "I promise" to her as more of way to pacify her in the moment.  He'd made his mind up at that point and nothing she said was going to stop him anyway.  

 

We know Ian is filming, some of his tweets suggest as much.  So we'll see I guess.

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Interesting idea CoT. I have always felt that under all his bravado that Damon is a deeply unhappy Individual who rather admired his brother's hero tendencies (hence his constant mocking him). This time in destroying TOS, he got to be the hero and when he did his "I peaked" speech to Elena that's what meant rather than their luv. When he realised he wasn't going back, he did a little rueful smile but seemed to accept his fate.

I don't know, maybe I'm reaching. I have really hated the way Damon was written in Season 5 so I'm hoping that Season 6 will be better (for all the characters).

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This might be more appropriate for speculation but I am really curious to see what they do with him in season 6.

I do think that as soon as he realises he is not dead dead he will try to get back Home. I think he was resigned to die, not live in some alternate dimension. Because otherwise what are they going to show him doing without his (and Bonnie's I guess) story becoming to tangential. I doubt it's going to be that fun watching him and Bonnie trade insults about how to survive in a foreign place... It might be fun for like 40s of screentime. They will probably show what they have in mind for that at ComicCon.

I am aprehensive because they could either do a great job and give everyone their personality back or just make it snoozefest of self-pitying and whinging. Fingers crossed.

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Agreed, I want to see follow through with the characterization of Damon and Bonnie as they were in the S5 finale. They both accepted their fate with courage, humility and grace. As far as Damon is concerned, I want to see Damon squaring his shoulders, and getting on with trying to find out what the hell happened, and how on earth they get back home.

 

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From the S6E5 thread:

Damon trying to save Bonnie for Bonnie's sake would actually make a lot of people rethink their stances on Damon. I also think it could be what spurs Elena to recover her memories of being in love with Damon. You take the good with bad, I suppose.

 

Yeah, I think that's where we're headed with this. If he goes after Bonnie not because Elena has rejected him and he has nothing better to do, but because he cares about Bonnie and it's the right thing to do, that will go a long way toward addressing my problems with him and his lack of growth. I'm not, and won't ever be, happy about revisiting Delena, but a huge problem I have with their relationship is how toxic and "consuming" it is. That's as true for Damon as it is for Elena, I suppose. Damon has only done a small handful of "good" things without Elena as his motivation over the course of the series, and has done any number of terrible things because of bumps in their relationship. It would be good to see that he truly cares about other people and can even put them first. And if they have to get back together, I'd rather see it happen after they've both improved as people, outside of their relationship. (I mean, I'd actually rather see it happen off-screen, so maybe they can just get together at the end of the season and the series can end then too and they can ride off into the sunset.)

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You just made my night, Lisin! A little MSCL love is always great!

I guess it's a good thing Damon doesn't lean that often - although when he does, he leans great! :)

Then these 1994 episodes must have made your month. The year of MSCL! All the plaid Damon wore made me nostalgic. And the Salt'n'Pepa he was dancing to is on my Way back Playback grooveshark list. Edited by slayer2.
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CAUGHTONTAPE, ON 21 FEB 2015 - 03:46 AM, SAID:

I'd venture a guess that he turned it back on when Katherine told him she was never in love with him.  You could see on his face that it hurt him pretty deeply.  Maybe moreso the night he kissed Katherine thinking it was Elena?  I'm not sure if you can pinpoint an exact time when he flipped it back on.  So it seems to me your first suggestion was more correct, it just gradually returned.  I don't remember any episode where Elena mentioned flipping hers back on either.  It seemed like it was a forgotten storyline to me, but maybe that's how it works.  It just gradually comes back and you have to flip it again.

 

I think Damon's humanity was ON in S1, but not fully, like a dimmer switch- thanks Alaric. I think he explained in S4 to 'no humanity' Elena that emotions return gradually, and he also mentions to Stefan back in season 1 that guilt is there if he chooses to feel it.

Damon's actions are confusing in S1, because it is clear that he definitely "feels" at times. Examples that come to mind are when he is vivsibly hurt when Stefan tells him he will help him open the tomb, as long as he will be rid of Damon for good.

He was deeply upset by Stefan and Elena's betrayal of trust when they went behind his back, and dug up Papa Salvatore.

He was devastated when Kat wasn't in the tomb and all that entailed.

He went ballistic when the tomb vamps captured Stefan.

He seemed to care about Elena from the start.

I think he was just a screwed up vamp, on a mission to save his "love", and he was willing to kill anyone or anything that stood in way of achieving his goals, but he wasn't fully switched off IMO. He was a ruthless, predatory vampire, who had no respect for humans- who could blame him after what we have learned.

Edited by miss-vanilla.
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I think there are bound to be certain inconsistencies since he was initially introduced as a villain like, say, Spike in Buffy, but unlike Spike, the character was never supposed to be just the villain. I mean, they always intended to put up some love triangle and keep him around which meant shifting him into more redeemable territory.

 

In the Pilot, Damon showed no sign of humanity or goodness or even being conflicted whatsoever. The first genuine emotion I think I saw from him was when he was still playing a cat-and-mouse game with Stefan and managed, through Caroline, to get himself invited into Elena`s house, him and Elena were doing dishes in the kitchen and talking about Katherine and Elena not only guessed that both brothers had dated her but told Damon sorry for his loss, too. He was clearly taken off guard by her genuine sympathy.

 

Then he longingly stared at a picture of Katherine while Vicki danced around in her underwear. And of course the ep where Vicki died, he came up to the Gilbert house and offered to compel Jeremy`s grief away on Elena`s behest. That was the first non self-serving action I think we saw from him. When Elena slapped him earlier, she clearly struck a nerve as well.

 

Damon has always been odd when his switch was off because he kept loving Katherine for one. It was like he was never all the way off like Stefan in Ripperdom. Though even the latter clearly felt something for Rebekah and Klaus. Only emotionless!Elena seemed to be incapable of love for anyone.

 

I remember Damon saying something about meeting Lexi again in Season 1 brought back guilt and memories but I think it happened sooner. His little road trip to Atlanta with Elena? You can`t tell me his switch was completely off then.  

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For Damon, the whole switch thing isn't as big a deal as it is for people like Elena or Stefan, I guess. I mean, he had to turn it off for leaving Enzo behind, but his behaviour was never wholly consistent with "off" or "on". We know Damon didn't have a huge problem with murder even as a human, and he killed Whitmores during his summer of love with Elena, where he was definitely switched on all the way. So with Damon, I think it depends more on his general mood - in S1 he was super pissed at Stefan and took it out on the town, or he was bored and took it out on the town, but when he's happy and not pursuing some decades old revenge scheme, he's not killing people unless it's for pragmatic reasons.

It's not a humanity switch brutal serial killer/squirrel eater thing for him.

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and he killed Whitmores during his summer of love with Elena, where he was definitely switched on all the way

 

That actually struck me as out of character. He wanted Elena`s love for so long, now he had it and they were happy together and he takes a weekend break to continue some vendetta quest we had never heard about before. Something that could have jeopardized his relationship had Elena learned about it.

 

Usually, when Damon has what he wants, he is, like you said, in a good mood. I buy that he would still kill people with his on-switch, he doesn`t have those same hangups as say Elena or Stefan but I don`t buy that he would drag himself away from his hooneymoon-ish bliss with Elena.  

 

The Augustine storyline had potential but to introduce something major like that in the 5th Season is bound to fuck up character consistency IMO. At least, if they had subtly set it up by putting in little clues - Damon goes strangely beserk in captivity instead of making witty quips or when Damon, Elena and Bonnie went to Whitmore College in Season 4, he should have shown some signs he hated the place - at least it wouldn`t have come out of left field.     

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I believe Damon did a lot of things just for Katherine.  In Season One, Damon was shown as being completely and totally in love with Katherine, willing to do anything for her, and willing to do anything to be with her.

 

I wasn't surprised that Stefan wanted Damon to turn so they could be together.  The bond between Damon/Stefan was strong when they were human even after Katherine came between them.

 

Where I think the writers dropped the ball is all the back and forth once Damon/Stefan were vampires.  It seems every other decade Damon/Stefan were getting along with each other, and then suddenly, it's back to Damon trying to ruin Stefan's life.

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It seems every other decade Damon/Stefan were getting along with each other, and then suddenly, it's back to Damon trying to ruin Stefan's life.

 

Other than at the beginning of Season 1, did he ever really try it, though? He talked about it but IMO none of the flashbacks showed it. After their initial turning, he was the one cleaning up after an out-of-control-Stefan. Then he left but asked Lexi to help him.

 

Next encounter he is initially stand-offish but soon enough tries to rebond with Stefan. He thought Stefan could handle blood-drinking like a normal vampire - Damon once mentioned him and Lexi could drink together from people whereas she couldn`t with Stefan - so this first bout into ripperdom and his "dude, seriously" reaction showed that it was clearly not intentional to get Stefan off the rails.

 

Then the war flashback, Damon was all about rekindling their relationship as brothers and going off together.

 

And lastly this last attempt that ended in misery at the Boarding House. Which was Damon being bored and doing random bad shit. i.e. drinking from this girl, but it was also not intended to be a move against Stefan.

 

During captivity, Stefan was even his lifeline to humanity.

 

So, in hindsight, his line in the Pilot about "I promised you an eternity of misery, just keeping my promise" is actually lol-tastic because yeah, dude, it only took you 160 years to get around to it.  

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That's because he was still a villain in S1 and every flashback after that was basically designed to woobie-fy Damon. So the first couple of episodes which pretty clearly implied decades of resentment between the two don't really align with all the flashbacks after that. Just like Elena-meeting Damon doesn't work at ALL with his S1 self. Seriously, that was a retcon I never got. Who cares if he ran into her first? It didn't change the fact that she dated Stefan first and then later fell for him. It just seemed like they needed to give the Delena shippers something after Elena chooses Stefan in the S3 finale, nevermind if it made any sense. Because sure, Damon runs into a human girl who looked exactly like Katherine, the woman he still loved and was actually in town to get back from the almost-dead and he...gives her a peptalk about going for mad love instead of safe love and then swooshes away. Yeah. Sure.

 

Makes almost as much sense as being all "Have fun at Whitmore college, Elena! I'm sure there's no relation to that family I've been murdering for half a century now."

Edited by KatWay.
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That's why I think Damon/Stefan's backstory has been all over the place.  When Damon showed up at the end of the first episode, Stefan looked terrified.  Zach was also worried about what Damon might do, but according to Stefan he compelled away Zach's memories of Damon killing his pregnant wife.

 

I like Damon, and I liked him in Season One, but trying to woobify his backstory doesn't work.  Damon killed enough people in the first couple of episodes of Season One for me to know he was a bad guy.  If those were the only people he ever killed, Damon would still be a killer.  Same with all the other vampires, werewolves, witches, human, etc., on this show that have murdered someone.

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I always felt the writers went about it completely backwards - they should have just concentrated on showing Damon's growth now, instead of the weird and confusing back-and-forth they did, and stuck to a background that made sense with what we saw. I feel like Damon and Stefan's backstory REALLY should have been fleshed out beforehand, instead they just kept making it up as they went along. Like the Whitmore thing, the Damon-and-Lexi thing, the Zach/pregnant wife thing...none of that felt organic, because the writers only came up with it to fit a special narrative they wanted to tell, instead of long-term planning.

 

I shouldn't compare this show to Buffy...but seriously, that show was so great at planting seeds for future storylines. SO great. I'm still super amazed by the Boxer rebellion flashbacks (though those were on Angel), which we saw from three different perspectives over the course of multiple seasons (Spike, Angel, Darla) and only then did we know the whole story. That's what flashbacks are supposed to feel like, like you get new information that adds another layer to what you already know, not random stuff that makes you go "HUH?"

Edited by KatWay.
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@fantique, a very interesting post with lots of food for thought. I don't agree with everything you wrote especially in the first paragraph,  but I found myself nodding my head in agreement quite often in the second.

 

Firstly as a Damon fan I will own up to liking him as he is, flaws and all. I like to see vampires, act like vampires especially in a show about vampires. I want to see the struggles they face as they contemplate eternal life, the battle within themselves of trying to deal with their humanity whilst essentially living as a beast and the conflict that causes. 

 

 

For me the issue isn't that he kills people THAT is the vampire trait. It is his emotional inmaturity that he needs to work on. My big issue is people getting up in arms that he kills people. They are all vampires they kill people. I take exception to using his killing people as a reason he somehow unlikable as a vampire . Damon has no quams killing people and neither do the vampires on TO. In fact all vampire EXCEPT these few in MF have never been shown to have quams about killing people. I had no issue with his killing the Whitmore family as revenge. He was torchered for 5 freaking years and one way he and Enzo kept saine was envisioning their revenge, then when he did get free he had to sacrifice his only friend without whom he'd NEVER have gotten free. Damon is NOTHING if not loyal to those few he cares for. He kept his revenge plot going in honor of Enzo and I get that.

 

 

I love Damon flaws and all. He is the kind of vampire character I like, and I will always defend him. But loving him doesn't mean I think he is perfect, I just don't see killing as a flaw for a vampire. Him being emotionally inmature and lashing out is, but most of the characters have some flaws at least Damon TRIES to work on his.

 

 

I am basically in the same boat as you guys here. I don't care how many people he killed or tried to kill. I love Damon…flaws and all!

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59 minutes ago

QUOTE

Aeryn said

But somewhere along the line, the writing devolved into the Damon Diaries, as so many have said.

I don`t think it was Damon himself but the romance/shipping aspect that overpowered everything else and was badly written on top. Damon is still my fave character so it`s not that he became uninteresting to me - sadly, that goes to Matt who bores me to tears most of the time - but I would want them to focus on interesting plots again and then incorporate the characters into them in interesting ways. Not write so-so plots around certain characters.

I actually think that Damon has suffered the most character assassination since the writers decided to drag out DE, instead of just writing them.

In order to delay and stall, a myriad of contrivances and obstacles were put in front of them, including regressing Damon and his character growth, they also made Elena a cardboard cutout, devoid of opinions and pov. So yes, it isn't necessarily the character of Damon that overpowers the narrative, but the shipping aspects.

I am not sure that I will tune in for S7. I don't trust that the writers won't damage Damon's characterization more by forcing the Bamon dynamic, whilst ignoring all the other dynamics which made Damon, Damon.

I was one of the few that didn't really enjoy many of the 1994 scenes, mainly due to how Damon was written, and how Ian acted in those scenes, and as a staunch Damon fan, and admirer of Ian's acting, that is a hard thing for me to say.

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Can I ask what you didn't like about the 1994 scenes? I wasn't keen either but can't pin point why.

I completely agree Elena has dragged Damon down. His interaction with Liz this season was lovely. He has also had some great scenes with Alaric (although not enough in my opinion) and his brother bond with Stefan has been really cemented.

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Of course Jads. For me, Damon just wasn't the Damon I know. Ironically, it felt like AU fanfiction.

I hated the Vroooom Vrooooming in the car, the paper aeroplane throwing, pancake flipping, the dorky dancing, the imaginary sword fighting, the ridiculous nonsensical Bonnie banter, I could go on, but the worse thing for me was that they made him passive and weak.

Basically they removed all his sex appeal for me, and everything that makes him Damon. Damon is snarky and rude, not the court jester.

.

The Damon I know and love would never capitulate like that, he would've been planning and searching every inch of everywhere to find a way out, but they wrote him like he had just given up.

I know lots of fans enjoyed those lighter Damon scenes, but I just didn't, I was embarrassed for him, and the acting didn't help either. However, I did enjoy the more serious scenes, like the one with the necklace in Stefan's room, and the one with Bonnie at the kitchen table where she brings him soup.

Things improved from the moment Damon and Bonnie had  that lovely moment holding the ascendant together, and she teleported him home.

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Thanks for replying. It makes sense to me - Damon isn't supposed to be dorky. I didn't enjoy the bickering either;I'm with Kai on that one. I wonder if Ian was ill again like he was in one of the earlier seasons. Even in the 1994 flashback, Damon felt like a cartoon villain which I thought was an odd acting choice.

It felt to me like early S6 both Salvatores were written as OOC with regards to giving up. With Stefan, they just about managed to demonstrate that he hadn't with him basing his entire new life around fixing up Damon's car. With Damon, we got the note in the atlas. I can't believe that Damon would have thought about that but not acted on it.

I do admit to having a bit of a love - hate relationship with Damon but I do feel he's had the rough end of writing stick recently. Ironically I find 'grand romantic speech' Damon really annoying but snarky, Evil vamp, ball - popping Damon kinda hot. Maybe that says more about me than it does about Damon!

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Mileage definitely varies doesn't it, I like romantic Damon, it is part of who he is at his core. Despite being introduced as a villain in season one, his main goal was to free Kat from the tomb. A woman he was willing to turn vamp for, and whom he waited 145 yrs for.

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Don't get me wrong - I agree with you that Damon for all his issues is a huge romantic. Sometimes the writing pushes Damon from romantic into somewhat obsessive and stalkerish. His actions can be incredibly noble - the necklace which you mentioned above is a real symbol of Damon trying to do the right and honourable thing and that to me is romantic. I think Damon is at his most romantic when they let his actions do the talking rather than the over blown speeches TPTB give him.

I don't really ship Damon with either Elena or Bonnie. Damon needs to love himself first.

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I think Damon is at his most romantic when they let his actions do the talking rather than the over blown speeches TPTB give him.

 

 I think you are right about that, and that is what they did best in earlier seasons with him. 

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Doram said:

 

 

It wasn't the only instant. There are several examples of Stefan willingly let Elena step into danger and death because that his her own choice. Not forcing vampire blood down her throat in season 2 is one. Letting her meet with Esther Michaelson is another. And that's just off the top of my head. It was a group effort when saving Elena coincided (contrived or not) to stop a greater danger e.g. preventing Klaus from Ascending to a hybrid, preventing Klaus from making more hybrids. Whenever the stake was only Elena, it was usually down to the Salvatore brothers and Bonnie. At least for most of pre-S4 before Damon and Delena took over the show.

Kai's feud was not just with Bonnie was what I said. His fixation on her did not stop him from holding Damon as much to blame for his imprisonment as Bonnie because this was actually something that they both did to him. In fact, he'd have likely punished Damon anyway just to spite Bonnie because he knew that Damon was her best friend. And his 'punishment' was what...? Nothing, really. Damon and Bonnie lose nothing in it. Bonnie is arguably better off without Elena in her life than she was before. (Only she's transferred her slavish devotion from Elena to Damon, so that says something about her problematic personality not really about Elena, doesn't it?) Damon is even better off because he is the one who gets to have both women in his life, and even fuck both of them with no stint on his conscience. Elena is the one who got the rough end of the stick in this but no one ever seems to dwell on that. It's always about how Damon has lost the love of his life.

Look, I'm not going to argue everything point by point. But it needs to be said that about the only faction that the writers have consistently written to please are Damon fans. This show went off the rails after it went from Stefan and Elena's story to push Damon into center-stage making everything about him, to the detriment of the other leads. The fact that it happened around the time that Plec and Dries took full control from Williamson - the same women who said that the show would thrive because everyone would tune in to watch Ian Somerhalder read a book for 40 minutes... says everything.

You are right, Stefan did let Elena make her own choices, even when it would mean she would die. Unfortunately some of those choices led to others making sacrifices (even if they were unintentional) because of Elenas' choices. For example, she chose to die in a sacrifice, and Stefan let her, and Jenna paid the price. If not Jenna, it would have been both Tyler and Caroline.

Her choice (that Stefan facilitated) to meet Esther backfired spectacularly and resulted in Abbys' death (vampirism), and hurt Bonnie. The point that was being made is that sacrifices have been made across the board by ALL of them in some shape or form, and the consequences to those sacrifices are often unforseen. This is not limited to Damon by any stretch of the imagination and neither is the lack of consequences as you put it.

I have yet to see what consequences befell Stefan for any of his ripper sojourns past and present? Ok he lost the "girl", but he did that to himself after he returned from his time with Klaus. Elena was willing to take him back and actually did in the end so I'm still not seeing exactly how Stefan lost everything because of Damon.

The same applies right now. Yes Stefan is on the run from a huntress because he stepped in to save Damon, but actually, Damon did the exact same thing for Stefan only a handful of episodes ago and got sucked into that phoenix stone. 

It's about cause and effect, but the show is only acknowledging one side of the story in the narrative.

On the surface, It appears that this is all about Damon, when in reality, this is about Stefan and his journey, and i hate to say it, but Damon is a plot device to tell that story, and it shows. You clearly have a passion in your hatred of Damon, which almost matches mine of Stefan, however I do think you are wrong about the writers preferences. JP is an unabashed fan of Stefan and Stelena and has stated her preference many times. CD has indicated a preference for DE but her fave is Klaroline and her fave character to write for was Katherine. 

JPs comment about IS was flippant and reductive. I have no doubt that some would tune in to watch Damon read the phone book or whatever she said, but her rapidly disappearing audience is proving her wrong. This show has no shortage of pretty male or female characters, it's the CW after all, and after 7 seasons I would wager that looks factor much less than JP realizes.

 

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I'm not a big Damon fan. I also feel that Plec put her personal feelings or crush on Ian into the writing of this story. Stefan feels like if he hasn't had a story in 2 seasons now. Last year, did he even meet Kai, the season's Big Bad?

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He wasn't telling Alaric the truth in the letter he was lying as evidenced by the previous episode. He already said why he choose to dessicate when he told an unconscious Bonnie that he would no longer risk her or Stefan dying for him. He wants her to live out her life without the interference of him or his perceived drama and Stefan the same.

This has got very little to do with impatience for Elena, this is a guy who searched for 60+years for Katherine. Patience is his strong suit. He made the choice he made because he believes it protects them and he lead them to believe it was for other reasons so they wouldn't try to stop him.

Just as an aside, Alaric and him haven't been best friends in quite some time and any strong bond they had probably cooled when Damon compelled him (when Alaric was being a douche). On second thought, when is Alaric not being a douche? Poor Caroline. As far as I can see he wrote that out to Alaric because of the 3 of them Alaric, Bonnie, Stefan, Alaric is the only one who wouldn't question it, the other two would know something was up. Alaric is the sort that (much like Damon) falls in love and fuck the world. He's got his kids and Caroline so Damon could have written "I'm off to learn how to squirt rainbows out my ass" and Alaric probably would have had the same reaction.

Misdirection (of the characters) is also the reason they had Damon walk away when Stefan said "If you ever cared about me." Of course Damon cares about him, up until this season you could unequivocally say more than anybody else on the show but he chose to walk away when Stefan said that to reinforce the "selfish, douchebag Damon" trope so they would let him go ahead with his stupid plan. Damon knows if he told them the truth they would call him crazy and probably talk him out of it. This is Damon doing something he believes is truly unselfish for the first time.

ETA Also a guy who would always choose Elena wouldn't have told Bonnie to leave the Armoury (sp?) with the full expectation that Tyler would gobble him up, there's no way to see Elena again when you're dead.

That's not putting Elena first that's putting Bonnie first, even above himself. We all know Elena would get over it if Bonnie had died, she'd get over anyone dying except her precious obsession, Damon.

Similarly a guy who would always choose Elena wouldn't be sitting by Bonnie's bedside praying for her to wake up and chastising her for scaring him. Especially when her death meant the return of his beloved and it was clear he's done all he could tontry to save her. What Damon wrote to Alaric and what's actually motivating Damon are two completely different things.

He reminds a bit of Tristan from Legends of the Fall. "He was the rock they broke themselves against." I can understand his decision.

 

Always choosing Elena first doesn't mean he doesn't also care about Bonnie, but since Bonnie's life is tied to Elena and his whole issue is feeling he has to do right to deserve her love does making him saving Bonnie still about Elena. At the beginning of the season when he hesitated before he saved Bonnie when the car almost hit her he still made the choice to save her b/c he knows if Bonnie dies in service to him to when he could have prevented it Elena would never forgive him. He also now has the extra guilt of thinking he chose to burn her body and the things he did when he thought she was dead dead so it is Damon's MO to think death is the best punishment. He would rather be dead and not see Elena himself but have her think his last act was heroic(save Bonnie instead) than her be upset he was there but Bonnie died b/c of him.

When Bonnie died bring back Jeremy she spent way longer alone with just Jeremy to talk to and when she wanted to kill herself in the prison world it was Jeremy who got through to her. I think Jeremy knows her as well or better than Damon. Since Jeremy, then Elena are gone now Damon is her bestie. Now Damon is gone and Enzo is her bestie. Bonnie needs to be her own best friend.

 

I think Damon did tell the truth in his letter to Ric. His whole behavior since Elena is gone has shown he IS very unhappy. As you said he and Ric are a lot alike. They both would chose who they love first so Damon understands Ric's life is at a different place right now. That is why they haven't been as close recently, but if Elena were alive and they were all human they would chose to be friends and close with each other.

 

It wasn't an accident he told Stefan goodbye in person, gave Ric a letter with a gift and Bonnie just got a letter. He cares about all of them in that order.

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This is Stefan's story, not Damon's.  There is a reason Rayna asked Stefan if he was finally willing to let Damon go.  How many people have died because Stefan wants Damon to live?

 

Damon cares about Bonnie and Alaric, and he cared about Liz and Carol, however, Damon loves Stefan and Elena, and its been shown from the very beginning that Damon will completely revolve his life around the woman (Katherine) he loves.

 

The others should be safer with Damon in a box where he can't cause any trouble, but unfortunately, this is the Vampire Diaries so everything is always FUBAR.

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