Elena Gilbert: Women Love Fest (Bonus Post 2)

Sep 12, 2011 21:45

Corrected by idrilka. At least this time it was fun for her, because I'm braindead and I made some typos that are gonna be remembered for the next ten years.

Again, I wasn't supposed to be writing about Elena. I was supposed to focus on Donna Noble (Doctor Who) and do it in Polish, but than I started reading all those TVD meta posts and discussions on womenlovefest and they are so inspiring I can't stop writing about TVD characters. Seriously, this started out as celebrating female characters, but right now it's a huge brainstorm that gives me loads of meta ideas and five plotbunnies per hour. Since there is a ficathon coming on multifandom-pl, I really owe you guys.

I am a faithful Elena/Damon shipper, although my ideas as to how this ship could look like started to change as the series went on. I also enjoy my threesome and I have some secondary pairings I support, but when it comes to romantic relationships in TVD, Elena/Damon is my main point of focus (partly because there is a girl on my flist who writes such amazing Stefan I don't even have the courage to start). Only during the fest-related discussions did I realize that this ship is actually my way of interpreting Elena, so it might be interesting to write a meta instead of yet another fic.

Because I'm an Elena/Damon shipper for all the wrong reasons.

Made by juana-a (who was happy to have an excuse to look at pretty Damon pictures). Quote from "Little Lion Man" by Mumford And Sons.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it

Elena obviously has a soft spot for Damon and it's easier for her to forgive him than to forgive an average person. It's not as absurd as it sounds. First of all, Elena is a forgiving person, she doesn't hold grudges. Secondly, let's pay attention to what we know as viewers and what Elena knows as a character. She has no idea about half of the wrong things Damon does: she probably doesn't know that he abuses Andy (the only person with the full understanding of Andy's situation is Stefan; Alaric might have some idea, but the rest of them?) or how far did he go with Caroline; she certainly has no idea about his killing spree in late season two. So, basically, Elena isn't delusional and she knows that he is not just a big, fluffy puppy with bad teeth, but I doubt she realizes just how evil he can be, because how could she? She believes in people, she believes that people change, she believes in second chances. And that's why I find Elena/Damon so fascinating.

It wouldn't be a healthy relationship, not a good or a happy one. Elena knows it and still she is tempted. I get it, really. You can decide who you want to be with, but you can't help attraction, it's illogical and sometimes wrong (how many times have you liked someone or something you knew you shouldn't have?). Physical attraction, Elena can handle. What she has with Damon is more complicated, though. Elena thinks she can influence him, and she believes that he can be redeemed (he has to be, because if Damon is evil to the core, then vampires are evil to the core, all of them, including Stefan and Caroline), so, logically, she tries to help him, because that's the thing she does. She is an essentially good person who just gets evil in theory.

Our cultures romanticizes evil characters. They are all cool and wear leather jackets, they are charming bad boys who will rip your heart out, but first they look at you with puppy eyes and have a nice chat with your mother (who hates their guts). We love them just a little bit - Spike and Eric Northoman, and Damon Salvatore; I know I do, and so does Elena, to some extent. Damon would not hurt her on purpose, he wouldn't play her the way he played Caroline or Andy, because Elena is a girl he would've loved when he was human; she is a projection of an old dream of his. He would hurt her badly nonetheless, because he doesn't know right form wrong or he just wants to do something for her own good (see: feeding her his blood). I want to see something like this on TV; I want to see a relationship go awry not because one party is a sadistic bastard who hurts his/her significant other for fun, but because they mean well and do it wrong; and I want to see that it is no excuse. I want to see that a bad boy thing often ends bad. I want to see that someone like Damon cannot be redeemed because of love of a woman; I want to see that people can change, but no one has ever been reformed by somebody else's romantic love.

Elena is perfect for this kind of story, because she is written in a very realistic way and her attraction to Damon is unquestionable. You can't simply ignore her story, you can't tell yourself that she is stupid or vain or childish and you'd know better. She is the kind of character you want to identify with, so yes, I want her to yield to a temptation and go for Damon, I want her to get burned and, finally, I want her to call Damon out on it. It would be a mistake to allow herself fall in love with Damon, but it's a mistake she is likely to make.

Elena doesn't fully understand how wretched Damon is; it's Bonnie who recognizes him as he is and, hence, is ultimately disgusted by the very sight of him. Elena, however, will never do that; not because she is not bright enough to notice, but because she is kind and compassionate and she just doesn't give up on people. It is a rare trait, and a wonderful one, but it's very painful to have. Elena will sooner or later pay the price for her capability to, while having a good moral compass, not condemn a person. If you want a character in the show to be someone like this, you need to depict the whole baggage. I wouldn't buy it if Elena didn't at some point get hurt for all the goodness she has in her. So I want TVD to be true about Elena. It's a tough lesson, but in real life good guys get hurt for no good reason, while villains get away with things. There is no reward for being a decent person;  you need to be moral because it's right, not because in the end karma will give you a lollipop. Girls like Elena sometimes have a bad boy thing and they don't always resist it, because they are not fortune tellers and they can't always tell that this relationship is doomed from the beginning. People like Elena do get punished for their good deeds.

Not that it stops them.

fandom: the vampire diaries, we love the women that the fandom hates, elena gilbert is amazing, english is not supposed to bite

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