My dissatisfaction with The Vampire Diaries series finale is all about the show’s love triangle with Stelena (Stefan and Elena) versus Delena (Damon and Elena). Stelena should have been endgame, but they weren’t. Stefan sacrifices himself so everyone in Mystic Falls lives, and Damon gets his human life with Elena. The issue isn’t about being childish and going on an internet tirade for not getting the endgame I wanted. It’s about dispelling some preconceived notions about writing. The Vampire Diaries’ creators Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson did online interviews after the series finale. Kevin Williamson admits that he’s a diehard Stelena fan and wanted Stefan and Elena to get back together.
However, Nina Dobrev only returned for one episode, as opposed to a full season. Julie Plec also mentions how she would have loved to see if Elena could have worked her way back to Stefan if the show had continued. However, Elena is put under a sleeping beauty type curse in Season 6 Episode 22 (which is Nina Dobrev’s last episode as a series regular before briefly returning in the series finale). That action ends the love triangle and solidifies family (Damon and Stefan getting along as brothers) versus love and creates a “contract” to see Elena and Damon through (according to Julie Plec).
Well, it’s time for some real talk. A writer can write any situation he or she wants. To suggest otherwise is lazy storytelling. Sure, staying true to character is important. But characterization shouldn’t justify bad storytelling. The reality is, the plot supports Stelena as the better option, not Delena.
Fans must examine the facts. Being a deeply flawed character doesn’t make a love interest sexy. Damon has done countless horrible things over the series, such as killing Jeremy when he didn’t know he had his special ring on (a ring that protects the person wearing it from supernatural death), using Jeremy as leverage, killing Stefan’s best friend, Lexi, for no good reason, admitting his relationship with Elena is toxic, and more recently killing Tyler in season 8. Damon clearly isn’t a good guy. Stefan might not be perfect, but he always respects Elena’s choices and tries to do the right thing. Viewers see that he never flirts with Elena once she is with Damon. Yet Damon never respects boundaries when Elena is with Stefan in the early seasons. Stefan also tries to fight his compulsion to harm Elena in Season 3, whereas Damon didn’t even try fighting his compulsion to harm Jeremy in Season 4. The comparison speaks volumes because Damon cannot even fully behave himself when he is with Elena (despite how she “supposedly” makes him a better man). It’s also not a good idea to date someone when you say that choosing to be with that person is probably your biggest mistake yet (Elena says that in the Season 4 Finale when she chooses Damon over Stefan). Damon is even responsible for Stefan’s dark path towards the second half of Season 8. Yet Delena fans don’t even blink. I get that exploring a toxic relationship for awhile is okay and people should realize television isn’t necessarily a good life model. But solidifying a toxic relationship as endgame is both wrong and immoral. To put it bluntly, Delena is a teenager’s unhealthy fantasy.
Watching Stefan reaffirm Delena in his last scene with Elena when he’s in limbo makes me cringe because Damon isn’t the better man. The show’s ultimate villain (Katherine) even says to Damon that any woman would choose Stefan since he is the better man in the series finale. Katherine’s sentiment highlights the obviousness of the love triangle. Furthermore, Stefan and Elena’s last scene in limbo (before Stefan dies and Elena wakes up from her supernatural coma) contains more emotion than Damon and Elena’s brief reunion in the last few minutes, which is further proof of how the love triangle should have been resolved.
The Vampire Diaries is a learning tool because it does not create a good ending. Cannon supports a Stelena endgame. However, some fans are problematic. The show is a social show, meaning a lot of people tweet about it (to name one social media example). And a lot of Delena fans were louder on Twitter than Stelena fans.
A work of art can be respectful to fans. However, it should not change horses to please and appease some fans. The proof is in the pudding since the ratings were higher with Stelena than with Delena even when DVR viewership is factored in.
Writers can learn what not to do from The Vampire Diaries series finale because a show, movie, or book deserves a rewarding ending. People should realize that a book, show, or movie is fiction first. That means a plotline can happen even if suspension of disbelief is required. In the case of The Vampire Diaries, that means Stelena could have been endgame even if getting back together in one episode pushes believability. After all, they have a history despite the show’s attempts to forget about it in the later seasons.
Needless to say, a person shouldn’t lose sleep over a show. But it can still be debated because a television show can become quite popular, like what sports is for other people. So, yeah. I’m definitely going to remember the importance of crafting a satisfying ending with my writing. Because leaving a bitter taste in people’s mouths is the last thing I want to do.