Big thanks to everyone who reads and supports my articles, especially: twinflames, DelenaDiaries, loveVD-DS, HaleyDewit, paugpaug, RachaelF8, eve_k, bratski2192, BuffyAngel101, Manonx, Nutika, Delena4eva, STEFIdi, and mariasaltaki7, who told me she wanted to 'read more.'
"As much as I l’amour Stefan I need (DE) to be the endgame in this l’amour triangle. If it isn't, then what is true l’amour anyway?"
I saw that commentaire on ShatteredxDesires' 'Timeless Love' video, the one Julie re-tweeted (if toi haven't already watched it, it's a must-see). The video and the commentaire made me re-think my opinion of 'endgame'. Endgame is such an emotive issue for fans, because it can only belong to one couple - SE ou DE, and both fandoms feel strongly about why their ship deserves it. I've a dit before that even if DE aren't endgame in the show, they'll still be the fans choice. I've also a dit that the journey is plus important that the ending, and Delena's journey makes them plus worthy and deserving winners of endgame than Stelena. I still believe that. But there's something else. What's a journey without a rewarding destination? What's DE's journey worth, if they can't be together in the end? What's it all for?
I'm going to hazard a guess here, and say that although both fandoms feel strongly about why their ship should end up together, SE'ers have a sense of entitlement about it, because they see Stelena as soulmates who were together from the beginning, and deem it only appropriate for the montrer to end with them together too. DE'ers however, feel passionately about a Delena endgame because they believe that everything they've seen so far on the montrer points to the fact that it's Delena, not SE, who are the true l’amour story. But unlike SE'ers, DE fans are constantly haunted par the possiblity - however slight - that they will be robbed of the ending they want. All kinds of things can cause them doubt and distress, whether it's an interview with Julie and Kevin who seem to hint that they side plus with SE; Nina ou Ian, throwing cold water on the prospect of Elena ending up with Damon; ou the fear that the triangle will be forever usurped par Stelena and their so-called 'epic-soulmates-it-will-always-be-Stefan' love. SE'ers feel that they have a special right to endgame donné the precedence of the l’amour triangle, and their reasons and stats for why they deserve endgame may all be perfectly valid. I sometimes feel, however, that some SE'ers can be scathing in their derision when they attack DE. I mean, the things they say range from the hilariously untrue, to the malicious. They truly don't understand - perhaps they don't want to - why so many people l’amour Delena and want them to be endgame. I don't think anyone on the DE spot has actually written at length why DE deserve to be endgame, and so I thought I would collect my thoughts and give it my best shot.
Elena understands Damon better than almost anyone else. She has always seen through the mask he wears to his true self. Right from the beginning of the series in 1x03, when she tells him she's sorry about Katherine "You Lost her too", his 'walls' came down for a moment and he actually looked vulnerable. She's quick to catch on to the truth behind Damon's motives and what drives him, when she muses to Stefan in 1x13 "I really think Damon believes that everything he's done, every déplacer that he's made he's done for love." She reads his defences and accurately predicts how he's going to react: "You don't admit that toi get hurt. toi get angry and cover it up, and then toi do something stupid." (2x01) Even after Damon snapped Jeremy's neck and she hated him, she showed that she still understood him: "He doesn't want to feel, he wants to be hated, it's just easier that way." She always knows when he's hurting, and in spite of his attempts to withdraw and disengage emotionally, she refuses to be put off and wants to be there for him: "I'm your friend, and a friend usually knows when their friend is hurting." (2x12)
Their relationship is based on mutual honesty and trust, even though Elena has had every reason NOT to trust Damon. She'd heard Stefan's warnings: "He's never gonna change!" (1x08) She'd listened to the ominous anecdotes about the past Stefan had shared with her: "Damon has no regard for human life. He enjoys inflicting pain on others. For 145 years, every single time I've let my guard down and let Damon back into my life, he's done something to make me regret that." (1x13) She'd witnessed the terrible things he'd done to Caroline, Vicki, Bonnie and Lexi, to name but a few. You'd think all that would be plus than enough to make Elena want to have as little to do with Damon as possible, ou at the very least, make her passive-aggressive towards him like Bonnie. But no. Elena accomplishes the impossible. In 'Ripping Open TVD: Hero Haircuts and Redemption Songs', their essay on Damon Salvatore for vampire-diaries.net, Ciara and D'Ann write: "Elena accomplished in a few months...what no-one else could do for over a century. She called Damon's bluff and through empathy, compassion and friendship, destroyed his ability to pretend he doesn't feel. All Damon's progress starts with him admitting that he cares and Elena had a lot do with forcing that to the surface." link
I think Elena draws Damon out in a way no-one else can, ou does. She doesn't regard him with hostility, contempt ou suspicion. She is genuine towards him, and as a result, Damon opens up to her. toi may have heard other shippers complaining about Elena 'forcing' Damon to change, ou words to that effect, but that's all rubbish. Elena didn't force Damon to change. All the good qualities we've seen in him, along his ability to do good were always there, they were just buried deep inside. He already had them, but they were lying dormant and needed to be unlocked, and that's what happens when Elena comes into his life. "Damon keeps his guards up with everyone else...but Elena has seen him at his most vulnerable. She sees the man often hidden deep inside the monster." (Ciara and D'Ann, as above.)
Loving Elena has had a life-changing effect on Damon. If he had never met her, he would, in all probability, still be the 'deadly beast' we saw at the beginning of Season 1, who didn't care about what he destroyed, because he didn't care about anyone ou anything except himself, only he would be much, much worse. The realisation that he'd been spurned par Katherine for 145 years, hated par his brother, with no other family to rely on and no friends, Damon would have concluded that his life had absolutely no meaning ou purpose whatsoever. Eternity is a dark and empty place when toi have nobody to share it with. What would he have done next? What would he have become? I dread to think. Meeting Elena turned his life around. She did what no-one else could do - not even Stefan. Loving Elena has changed Damon forever. Somehow, Stefan's l’amour for Elena hasn't had the same impact on him the way it has on Damon, which is understandable donné how different they are. In 1x20, Stefan is so overwhelmed par guilt, he decides he wants to die. It's not that he doesn't l’amour Elena - he does - but at that moment, his inner torment is plus acute than what he feels for her. Granted, Elena manages to talk him out of it, but even the fact that he considers suicide in the first place is very telling.
Stefan will never be truly happy as long as he hates himself. Being with Elena and her l’amour for him won't bring him peace ou make him happy as long as he hates what and who he is. But Damon will never be happy without love. He'll never be complete without someone who loves him for himself. Elena is the only one who can do that. I once got into a 'debate' with a Bamon fan on YouTube when she revealed she thought Damon would have a "great love, possibly with Bonnie." I told her that if I believed that Bonnie was the girl for Damon and Bamon were a better match than DE, then I would absolutely ship Bamon. But I didn't. I couldn't. It was Delena ou nothing for me. I couldn't NOT ship them. I know that opponents of the triangle - those who disapprove of the '2 brothers, one girl' set-up on the grounds that it's immoral for a girl to come between brothers - and opponents of DE in general speculate that it would all be fine and good for SE to end up together if Damon had someone else. Bonnie, Katherine, Rose (or someone like her), the original Petrova doppelganger...heck, ANY girl as long as it's not Elena. They don't really care. SE are endgame, and Damon can be happy too, with someone else. Right? Wrong.
There's something terribly disingenious and hollow about this 'Damon + Other 4 Endgame' arrangement. Elena unlocks the Lost humanity in Damon, he loves her, puts her first, protects her, she brings out the best in him...only for some aléatoire girl to swoop in at the last minute (or as SE are preparing to live happily ever after), to reap the spoils? It's meaningless, because she had NO part to play in Damon's evolution as a character. It would be the equivalent of spending 5-6 years working faithfully towards a goal, only to see it being awarded to someone who had done nothing to deserve it. I don't see how the writers could squeeze in a new l’amour interest for Damon that would be endgame and make it look natural ou believable. I don't believe any other girl could l’amour Damon the way Elena would. She is the only one for him, and it would be sacrilegeous for him to end up with somebody else. If it were that easy, the writers wouldn't have spent so much time convincing us that Damon couldn't l’amour another girl the way he loves Elena. "I promise toi I will never leave toi again." "I will always choose you." "It's because I l’amour toi that I can't be selfish with you." I want Damon to be happy, and if I thought he had a better chance at finding happiness and l’amour with someone else, then I wouldn't ship Delena.
DE haven't had an easy time of it. They've hit rock-bottom, but as Elena says in 3x09, "We always survive." She's not kidding. They've suffered set-back after set-back after set-back, but every time, they've repaired their relationship and come back all the stronger because of it. Elena's called him out whenever he's stepped out of line (which has been often), fought him, challenged him, yelled at him, encouraged him, and saved him. Even though Stefan saved her life on the night of the accident on the bridge, if Elena had never met Damon, it's very possible she wouldn't have lived to see her 18th birthday. Think of all the brushes with death she's had, like the car smash in 1x11 and the cross-bow incident in 2x03 that Stefan wasn't there to save her from. Damon has become such an integral part of her life, it would be impossible for her to live without him: "I didn't want to see toi get hurt. I was worried about you." (3x02), "Where were toi Damon?" (3x05) "I don't know what I would do if toi weren't here." (3x10) It's Damon who blames himself for Jenna stabbing herself in 2x06 even though it wasn't really his fault. It's Damon who lets Elena go because he thinks Stefan deserves her more, but continues to do everything in his power to keep her alive. It's Damon who would sooner die than hand Elena over to the Originals. It's Damon who offers himself to Klaus in exchange for Stefan, and almost gets killed in the process so SE can be together. It's Damon who offers to take away Elena's painful memories in 3x05. It's Damon who can't ours the thought that he could be 'the worst thing' that will happen to her and has to leave the table. And it's Damon who knows how she feels just par looking at her. Quite simply, Damon. Is. THE ONE.
I'm not saying that Elena doesn't l’amour Stefan, ou that he doesn't l’amour her. No matter what my opinions were on their relationship, I would never lie about that. In the books, there are many clues that tell us that as much as she loves Stefan, she loves Damon more. I believe that the biggest signs of this are in the last chapters of 'Midnight'. "She could not imagine a universe, no matter how many dimensions there were, without a Damon in it. There was no world for her if there was no Damon." (p403-4, PB) But perhaps the biggest give-away is what Stefan himself says;
"I'm sorry if I kept toi from being with him as much as toi wanted to. I'm sorry if I came between you." (p422) When he sees the outpouring of Elena's grief and her devastation, Stefan's eyes are finally opened to how much she loves Damon. "I didn't understand - how much toi loved each other. I do now." Elena wants to reassure him, "To tell Stefan she loved him just as much, drop for drop, grain for grain. But her body had gone numb." (p422) She can't tell him because she knows it's not true. She might be overwhelmed and numbed with grief at this point, but if she loves Stefan just as much, then it shouldn't be hard to tell him so. It's not that she doesn't l’amour Stefan, because she does, very much. But not like she loves Damon. Because she's spent much of the time vigorously resisting and denying she has feelings for him, she doesn't know how much she loves him until he's torn away from her.
SE fans have been quoted as saying ever since the books/show began, that DAMON was always just an obstacle in SE's epic l’amour story, and DAMON was the one responsible for coming between SE. But here, it's indicated to be the opposite, and it's STEFAN who is the one keeping DELENA apart.
It's highly unlikely, bordering on impossible that DE will be donné the endgame they truly deserve in the livres (if they ever end), donné the change in direction and author. (Shame on you, HarperTeen and Alloy Entertainment!) So the only way DE will get their happy ending is in the show. Delena are the l’amour story Julie, Kevin, the writers, maybe even L.J. Smith herself, wish Stelena were. I think there's a fundamental flaw, both in their characters and in the way Stefan and Elena's l’amour story has been written, which makes them plus mediocre than magnetic. I've read commentaires from fans of the montrer who don't ship either pairing, but find SE underwhelming.
It's going to be impossible for the producers to make both fandoms happy at the end of the series. But the montrer would be sunk without the fans, and DE fans have been through a lot plus than most. They've had to endure the crippling doubt that DE might never happen, coupled with the fear that no matter what, Stelena will be waiting in the wings, ready to overthrow them. They've been told repeatedly par Julie and Kevin how 'epic' and adorable Stelena are, which has only added to their despair, and served to confirmer their worst fears. Kevin and Julie and the writers really have not made it easy for DE shippers, and yet they have the biggest fandom of the show. I think they owe it to the fans as well as to Damon/DE to give them the endgame they want as well as deserve.
But this goes beyond feeling entitled. DE NEED to be endgame, because otherwise, what was the point? Are we really supposed to believe that Elena will be plus content if she ends up with someone like Matt? When this journey is finally over, what will all the pain, heart-break and anguish be worth, if Damon sacrifices his life for Elena and his brother? If Elena dies saving Damon and Stefan as she does in the books, how will her death make their relationship all right again? In 'Breaking Dawn', Jacob says to Bella: "What was the point of me loving you? What was the point of toi loving HIM?...What's the point to all the pain?"(p174, HB) If the story ends with Stelena, ou Elena ou Damon dying and thus sparing Elena from making a choice, then what does Delena's story mean? How can anything the writers offer us, whether it be Defan's 'unbreakable' bond, ou a new l’amour interest for Damon, possibly make it right? What does that leave the fans who have waited faithfully for so long and hoped for so much? I'm not invested in Stelena, but that doesn't mean I want Stefan to be miserable and alone at the end. However, as I've a dit before, Stefan's greatest need is not Elena; it's to find self-love and acceptance. Stefan will be all right without her. Damon will not.
I've discussed some of the reasons why Delena need to be endgame, but it all comes down to one simple thing: true love. If I had to whittle it down to just one reason why so many people ship them, and why they deserve an endgame, it would be because of that. And if they can't be endgame, then one question remains. What IS true love, anyway?