"He was his most vulnerable. He was so beautiful and damaged and honest. Elena likes the good guy at the end of the day." - Nina Dobrev, AOL TV Squad interview, CW Upfronts
I normally take cast interviews with a grain of salt, after all, they can't really give out any real spoilers - that would really defeat the purpose of watching the show.
Something about this little snippet stuck with me. I had ample time in the car this week, which is my thinking spot of choice as many of y'all know.
I even ran this comment by my husband. (Full disclosure - he's been a Delena shipper since the third or fourth episode.) He reminded me of something I can't believe I'd forgotten. In post-Deathly Hallows interviews, we found out that JKR told several castmembers their characters' fate and motivations before they were revealed in the book simply to help them know how to interact with the other characters on the big screen.
In no way am I about to imply that TVD is equal to HP. However, it would make sense that even if the actors don't know "endgame," they do know their own character's hearts.
Let's get back to that quote.
"Elena likes the good guy at the end of the day."
So, which brother is really the guy wearing the white hat? Which one should?
To answer this question, I think we really need to analyze the brothers at their core. Which "self" has each brother hidden from Elena?
Stefan told Elena that he was a monster. He's done things he regrets. He, um, ate her relatives. She saw him after the Miss Mystic Falls pageant. He threw her against a wall and flung Damon into a tree as if he were a rag doll.
Even still, I don't think Elena understands the real Stefan. Has she met the vampire that even newly-turned Caroline described in "Plan B?" "I’m better than Stefan. He’s a bit of a problem drinker. A blood-aholic." If Elena had been privy to this conversation between Caroline and her mom, I would hope that would have been a bit of a red flag. How could her friend, who I admit is a bit of a control freak, have better control of her new nature than Stefan..who'd been a vampire for over a century?
I think we had another recent clue as to the side of Stefan he's been hiding during Stefan and Elena's hike on her "last day." When Elena questions Stefan about control, he admits that he continues to fight every day. Granted, he's talking about the struggle with his emotions, but he's just conceded the fact that his desire for blood outweighs even the conflict within himself. When Elena says that his hunger must be the worst part of being a vampire, he doesn't contradict her.
And then we have this newest piece of information. Stefan was a ripper. Damon and Stefan hinted at Stefan's background in the past, but we never fully understood how bad Stefan must have been. To have impressed Klaus? A vampire that wiped out an entire village? No matter how small the community, we're not talking about a single family here...a village.
Elena doesn't know about that Stefan.
And then there's Damon.
He was his most vulnerable. He was so beautiful and damaged and honest.
Who's the person he's been hiding beneath his admittedly dangerous exterior?
He said it himself, “I don’t mind being the bad guy. I’ll make all the life and death decisions while you’re busy worrying about collateral damage. I’ll even let her hate me for it. But at the end of the day, I’ll be the one to keep her alive.” He's a man who was driven by his passion for 150 years. He's the man who so desperately wanted to keep Elena alive that he did something he knew would make her hate him...just to make sure she kept breathing (in a manner of speaking).
At his core, Damon may be damaged, but he's also vulnerable and loves with an intensity unmatched by many.
We were able to see this more vulnerable side of Damon throughout the season. As he's been more deeply impacted by his feelings for Elena, he's becoming more and more the man he once was before he turned.
So which one is really the good guy? Who should be wearing the white hat?
In my family, we joke that Damon is TVD's version of Han Solo. For those familiar with Star Wars, you know who ended up with the girl in the end.