As the Stefan-Elena-Damon triangle heats up on The Vampire Diaries, we once again turn to you fans to help us figure it all out. Elena (Nina Dobrev) has the canonical coupling with Stefan (Paul Wesley), but then again, she also has that sizzling chemistry with bad-boy Damon (Ian Somerhalder). We've put together a TV Love Debate to help us put this matter to rest once and for all, so step inside to read the arguments for both sides, vote on your fave and propel the righteous pairing to victory:
We asked for your arguments in favor of the two primary possible TVD pairings, and boy did you guys deliver! For the record, there 12 Stelena submissions and 33 Delena submissions, and all told, you guys delivered almost 14,000 words on this topic. Well-played, fans! These are the two best arguments for Stelena and Delena.
Read each one, vote in the poll below and then tell us in the comments about which side you picked and why.
Anonymous I, for "Elena & Stefan"
"When it's real, you can't walk away."—Lexi, in reference to Stefan and Elena
It's hard to present a neat list of all the reasons why Stephen and Elena's commitment and love trump all other romantic relationships on the show. For this essay, I'm going to isolate a simple scene from "Unpleasantville"—one of those moments that some might deem forgettable. Elena begs Stefan to dance. He, being reserved as always, declines. Elena gives up on him, but then Stefan surprises her by spinning her around and showing her just how well he can dance. This moment was so poignant in the context of an episode fraught with danger, that these two could find joy in each other in the midst of that situation; that Stefan couldn't bear to see her disappointed and put aside his natural reserve to make her smile and laugh; the unfettered happiness and sense of ease between the two of them was beautiful. This is reflective of so much of their relationship: Stefan and Elena can find magic in the mundane, as long as they're together, it's a sort of alchemy, to take the dross that life gives you and spin it into treasured moments. This is why the relationship will persevere above all others. If you can weather the tough times together, if you can laugh and be joyful when life is at its bleakest, then everything else is cakewalk. (See also the Ferris wheel scene or the dance in Miss Mystic Falls to name a few examples.)
It's exciting to see a relationship in which both parties have the opportunity to be strong; to lift the other up when they fall; to support wherever needed; to break down when it all becomes too much without shame. We saw Elena fight for Stefan in "Blood Brothers," she saw the ugliest side of him, and she still didn't walk away. And again in "Kill or Be Killed." Elena was overwhelmed and depressed by everything in 2.02. Stefan gave her space as she asked, but still came to surprise her, and showed her he's there for her. That sort of honesty and support is amazing.
That final scene of 2.05 is one that resonated deeply with me as we saw the intensity of the connection between Stefan and Elena. It was undeniable. Firstly, Stefan was honest, brutally so about his needing human blood in order to be strong enough to defend himself and the people he cares for. And it was amazing to see Elena take a step to go through this process with him, accompany him through what will be a painful and difficult journey. That's love. Do I need to go into the symbolism of blood-letting/feeding? Honestly, they are bonded in a way that they never have been before and everything after will always come second to this moment.
For these reasons, I defy anyone to tell me that Stefan and Elena do not belong together.
Anonymous II, for "Elena & Damon"
There are probably at least 350 reasons why Damon and Elena should be together. These are just a few.
You and I, we have this thing. An understanding.
At the core of any amazing relationship is rock solid trust. They have that; no matter what Damon's done—four episodes ago it was killing her brother—Elena knows she can trust him with her life. Likewise, he knows that she can be trusted to defend him when he is not in the wrong—see "Bloodlines" or "Brave New World." That gives him extra motivation to be the man she sees in him.
The trust between them was earned. It's the fact that he didn't compel her in Atlanta. It's the fact that she offered sympathy for his loss of Katherine both in "Friday Night Bites" and in "Fool Me Once." It's the fact that from the moment they met, they've been able to see through each other's walls to what is lying underneath.
Damon and Elena embody the saying that "You come to find love not by finding the perfect person but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
They are evenly matched. Sure, she's a 17-year-old human and he's a 160-something-year-old vampire. But she's not scared of him. She'll smack him when he deserves it and call him out for his b.s. every single time.
Likewise, he lets her make her own decisions and he has her back always—see "Blood Brothers," "Isobel" and again "Brave New World"—but he never lets her forget that she is the one who has to own her actions; good or bad.
They bring out the best and the worst in each other but it's never boring. It's messy, and it's complicated and it's intense and it's scary as hell for both of them. He has the power to make her feel more than she's ever felt. She has the power to make or break him. But the number one reason they should be together is because what they have is real. And when it's real, you can't walk away.
OK guys, it's time to pick your poison. Vote in the official Love Debate poll below!
Polls are open until Oct. 28; the results will post on Oct. 29, when either Stelena or Delena will be officially enshrined in our TV Couples We Love gallery. Make sure the winning couple is the pairing you prefer!