Saturday, May 16, 2015

Stefan Salvatore Appreciation Post

     Oh, my love for The Vampire Diaries and it’s menagerie of well-written and complex characters! I don’t think any character is as deeply complex as immortal seventeen year old Stefan Salvatore of Mystic Falls, Virginia. Admittedly, I started watching the show because of Damon and I was wary of Stefan, because he appeared to have a broody, woe-is-me, Edward Cullen complex (I say that with the complete knowledge of the Twilight book and movie series; so I’m not just parroting off of what anti-Twilighters say). Stefan surprised me though as I watched S1 of TVD and overtime, I began to see incredible comparisons between him and Edward’s brother, Jasper Hale (a great, great character!).

     When we meet him, he’s a quiet but engaging guy who is trying to start over in his life. From the time Stefan transitioned from human to vampire, he has had a blood lust that is stronger than most vampires. In the show, the vampire blood lust is oftentimes portrayed as an addiction, like a human would have for alcohol or medications.

     There are those that can get off of those addictions and never get back on, and then there are those that have a lifelong struggle with staying off. Stefan would be the latter. He needs blood to survive, but his past as a ‘ripper’ (a notorious vampire type that kills for blood and fun) never seems to let him go. Also, vampires have the ability to switch off their humanity, so when Stefan gets into Ripper mode, sans the humanity, very little can stand in his way.

Loyal and courageous Stefan Salvatore
     That was what I loved so much about Stefan. He wasn't just trying to be a ‘good vampire’ he was trying to redeem himself from the life he lived before and to make a new name for himself. For those who say that Stefan pretended to be good, clearly have not grasped the concept that Stefan’s blood lust is comparative to drug/medication addiction. You know it’s wrong to indulge, you know it’s going to destroy you, but still, you can’t stay away.

     Stefan doesn't see himself as a monster, but he is aware of the monster he can become (i.e. the Ripper) if he doesn't remain in constant control. Once Stefan earns someone’s trust, there is no one else you could call a better ally then him. He is always loyal and tries to stay on the moral righteous path. His humanity is very important to him and is his point of reference in his life.

Brothers, competitors, friends and legends.
     His relationship with his older brother, Damon, can be straining from time to time, especially when Stefan knows that Damon is purposely putting on the performance of being the bad brother. Yet, Stefan loves him dearly and will stand by his side when he needs him to. Also, Stefan knows that Damon really does love him or else, why would he always be on the constant lookout for him? So, they've been fighting over the same girls for over 200 years, that’s normal.

     The Salvatore brother relationship is really my favorite relationship on the show. One minute they’re fighting each other and the next they’re fighting together; just like two regular brothers. It’s obvious they care about one another, even though they would take stakes through their hearts before they let anyone know.

Elena Gilbert. The girl he loved and lost.
     Of all of Stefan’s gifts, his ability to love deeply is his greatest. His love for Elena fuels him to suppress his blood lust and heighten his humanity. Although, he may have questioned Elena’s judgments at time, he still respected her decisions (unlike Damon who comes off sexist and misogynist). He always thinks of what’s best for her, even when it means losing her to his brother. 

     Stefan always gives people the benefit of the doubt and will work hard to gain their respect and their trust. He also has a wonderful ability to teach, train and guide new vampires. Using his own life experiences as lessons for others is how Stefan is able to atone for the wrongs of his pasts; to let people know that he has been down many dark roads and survived.

    His incredible generous nature is also what sets him apart from the rest of the supernatural world, especially Damon. Stefan’s accepts people as they are, not as he wants them to be. If he believes they can be better, he’ll let them know, but in the end it’s their choice. He is very protective of Elena’s friends and assists them whenever they need his help, and also becomes a nurturing older brother figure to Elena’s younger brother, Jeremy. Even Elena’s ex-boyfriend befriends him and overtime, comes to greatly respect him.

     Really, by the time Stefan goes back into Ripper mode in S3 (due to a deal he made with Klaus to save his brother’s life), Elena, Damon, Alaric, Caroline, Bonnie, Jeremy, Matt and Tyler all rally together to save him. Because they know that Stefan is worth saving and they all remember that at one point in their lives since knowing him, Stefan had been there when they needed him.

The first time the brothers became a united front.
    So, Stefan Salvatore is a multifaceted character of sides in various shades of black and white. He is ultimately good, while suppressing his inner born tendencies of blood obsession that can turn him into ultimate evil. He has no desire for power, but really for normalcy, acceptance and love. He doesn’t bemoan his life as a vampire, he embraces who and what he is, while continuing to develop a greater sense of humanity that he believes will not only benefit him, but also others around him.

I Love You, Stefan Salvatore!!

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