We don’t know about you but we’re been rooting for Team Salvatore/Defan since the very first episode of The Vampire Diaries. When they join forces, Damon and Stefan Salvatore are double the hotness, double the heroism, and double the thrill. Despite the difficulties and struggles they’ve endured throughout the years, the two continue to cherish their bonds of brotherhood — of love, loyalty and mutual respect as well. We honestly couldn’t imagine one without the other. That being said, we decided each brother deserved a shining moment in the spotlight without comparisons or romantic speculation — so we turned to respected fans in the TVD community to represent each handsome bro. And holding down the fort for Team Damon is the amazing Callista Hogan from callistahogan.tumblr.com! Damon Salvatore has undergone a significant character development since the first season of The Vampire Diaries and went from being Mystic Falls’ residential bad boy to Mystic Fall’s residential bad boy with a huge heart. Join Callista as she reviews her ten favorite Damon moments!
2x08 Bedroom Scene"I love you, Elena, and it's because I love you that I can't be selfish with you, why you can't know all this. I don't deserve you, but my brother does. God, I wish you didn't have to forget this, but you do."
No scene of Damon Salvatore's best moments is complete without this iconic scene. Following Elena's kidnap by Rose and subsequent rescue earlier in the episode, Damon appeared in Elena's room to return her necklace—a symbol of Stefan's love for her—and say "probably the most selfish thing" he's ever said in his entire life. Everything about Damon broke my heart here, but the idea that admitting his love for Elena is a selfish action is arguably the most heartbreaking moment in the entire scene. Damon did not ask anything in return for his confession. No, it was simply something that he had to say, and Elena just needed to hear it. He claimed that he didn't deserve Elena, but his brother did, and that was the reason why he had to let her go. He couldn't be selfish with her; he knew that she didn't want to be with him, he knew that he had lost her, and he accepted that. So he told her he loved her and then he compelled her to forget the best in him. Can anything compare to the pure pain in Damon's eyes as he let Elena go, that one tear that slid down his face as he wished she didn't have to forget? I don't believe so. No one except Damon may ever know that the moment occurred, but that is part of its beauty. In that moment, Damon proved his selflessness and his love for Elena.
2x12 Scene with Jess"I can't be what other people want me to be, what she wants me to be."
This moment is arguably the most important scene with Damon Salvatore in the entire show's history. If I had to pick one moment that represented Damon's growth over the course of three seasons, it would be this one. It's the moment where he felt the most pain. He was alone. He had to kill Rose, he didn't really have Elena, he felt like a monster. So he laid down in the middle of the road and waited for someone to come across him. He was "lost, metaphorically, existentially." For the first time, Damon opened up about everything, all the while with that same devastating pain in his eyes. Because Damon might be good at being a vampire. He might play it cool, he might have the bloodlust until control, but that does not mean that he likes being a vampire. He misses being human, he misses it "more than anything in the world." He would like to be what people want him to be, what Elena wants him to be, but he thinks that he can't be. So he tried to turn off his emotions and he was prepared to kill Jessica. Yet there was a suffering in Damon's eyes. He was struggling with the two warring factions inside him: his goodness and his evil, his pain and his desire to fight. In this moment, "there's only so much pain a man can take" and he killed Jessica. He failed his existential test, but in that last moment, Damon's eyes bloodshot, his mouth red, there was still that clear pain. From this moment on, Damon's goodness—his humanity—became gradually more apparent (even though there were bumps along the road). It was the watershed moment. It had to happen for Damon's continued growth to be believable. Damon's journey is about him being a hero in wolf's clothing, to paraphrase Julie Plec, and this was a step in his acceptance of that fact. Not to mention, Ian Somerhalder killed it in this scene—potentially the best acting we've seen from him thus far on the show. Everything about it was powerful and heartwrenching in the most poignant way.
2x12 Dream with Rose"I'm not nice. I'm mean. I like it."
Over the past few episodes of season three, this scene has been brought up a number of times. There's little wonder, because there's hardly been a more poignant example of Damon's goodness. Here is this woman that Damon hardly knows, a woman who took a werewolf bite for him, and he is giving her the peace she deserves. There's nothing in it for him; if anything, it just gives him more pain as he takes away hers. He might claim that he has no goodness inside him, that he's evil, that he's mean and he likes it, but his actions say otherwise. He gave peace to a stranger, not because he thought it would make him out to be a better person, but because it would make Rose feel better in the last moments of her life. He stakes her to take her out of her suffering, and you can see how much it affects him. He puts on a mask of not caring about anyone, but this scene stripped that away, leaving nothing left but a broken man who wants to take away someone else's suffering. There is nothing more beautiful than that.
2x22 Bedroom Scene"I'm so sorry, Elena. I've done so many things to hurt you … I know you love Stefan and it will always be Stefan, but I love you. You should know that."
On the brink of death, the key word for Damon is atonement. Atonement for what happened in 1864, atonement for wishing an eternity of misery on Stefan, and atonement for the many horrible things he's done to Elena in the past. He apologizes for all of his horrible actions, not only toward Elena but toward Stefan as well. Nearly dying forced Damon to come to terms with his life. He did not ask for Elena's forgiveness; he did not even ask for her to be there. He felt like he deserved to die—and more than that, die alone, because he tried to send Elena away. Once he knew Elena would not leave, he opened up to her about everything. For the first time, Damon told Elena that he loved her without any plans to make her forget. Damon is a complicated character, one that snaps and lashes out without thinking, but in that moment, he apologized for all of that. This scene is a perfect example of Damon's growth throughout the first two seasons; it was a way for him to purge himself of all that happened over the past 145 years and find peace. He might have dying, but he greeted it as it came with a smile on his face besides. It would be a fitting ending to a tragic character if he had died—rather like Rose did in 2x12—but since he survived, it served as a way to gain a fresh start, to become someone new. It's about, at its core, atoning for his past so he could look toward the present.
1x07 Porch Scene"I can do it."
Up until this point in the show, Damon Salvatore has never done anything selflessly. He has been, for lack of a better word, a monster. Despite his love for Katherine, it seemed there was no humanity left in him. His most recent heinous action was turning Vicki into a vampire: an action that led to her death. Damon tried to make it seem like it didn't matter, that nothing mattered, but as Elena so succinctly put it, people died around him and it mattered. He knew it mattered. That is why, when Stefan said that he couldn't compel Jeremy to take away his suffering, Damon offered to do it. It was the first selfless action Damon committed in 145 years, ever since he lost Katherine. He was not doing it to get into Elena's good graces. He did it because he knew that it's what Elena wanted, and that's all. He wanted to make it right in whatever way he could. It didn't change much in the grand scheme of things, but it proved that there is a goodness in Damon. It was one of the first times we saw that goodness in Damon, but it certainly wouldn't be the last.
1x22 Talk with Jeremy"Life sucks either way, Jeremy.
After Damon was rescued from the fire, he had no reason to go to Jeremy to tell him about Anna's demise. Surely, Elena could have done that herself, but instead, Damon went to Jeremy to break the news. He said that he wanted to help her, showing how much he's changed. As he said in the Damon/Katherine scene later on in the episode, he came into Mystic Falls wanting to destroy it, and he found himself wanting to protect it. More than that, it's not just the town he wants to protect. Damon does care for Jeremy, or else he would not have offered to take away his suffering. This time, he went to Jeremy of his own accord. That shows so much growth in Damon's character since the beginning of the show, when all he cared about was getting Katherine back. It's rare to see Damon open up, but he laid it all out there in this scene. He didn't just apologize for Anna; he apologized for turning Vicki and his part in her death. Damon does not take apologies lightly, so the fact that he apologized to Jeremy, of all people, is a huge moment for him. He talked about the switch, how he didn't have to feel if he didn't want to, how life sucked either way. When he told Jeremy about turning his switch off, his voice cracked: a hint of vulnerability that Damon rarely shows anyone. He understood Jeremy's suffering and he wanted to take it away. He offered him advice on how to get through the pain. It's a beautiful scene, showing all of Damon's vulnerability and his pain and his intrinsic desire to do good for someone else, regardless of whether anyone knows about it. It represents a subtle shift in his opinion; a season earlier, he would not have tried to do the right thing. This time, he did.
3x10 Damon/Elena Kiss"No, you know what? If I'm going to feel guilty about something, I'm going to feel guilty about this."
Underneath it all, Damon is a man who is in love with a woman he can seemingly never have. Finally, however, in a scene that millions of people have been anxiously awaiting, Damon struck up the nerve to kiss the girl. He didn't hesitate; he simply walked back up to Elena and kissed her—not because he wanted something in return, but rather, because he had to kiss her once. Just once. It's similar to the 2x08 bedroom scene where he had to tell her he loved her. This time, he had to kiss her, but he did not expect anything to change. After all, she was his "brother's girl and all." Yet there is something undeniably sexy about a man who can take charge, isn't there? More than that, Damon showed his support for Elena in this scene, supporting her decision to compel Jeremy in the name of protecting him. He told her how lucky Jeremy was to have her as a sister, the exact words that Elena needed to hear at that moment. Then he proceeded to open up to her about the real reason for Stefan's betrayal; he did it to save Damon. Damon could easily have kept it a secret from Elena, letting her think that Stefan betrayed them coldly, but he didn't. He was open and honest with her, showing how much he respects Elena. Although Damon was kind and considerate, caring and loving, in this scene, he also didn't coddle Elena. He wouldn't let her get away without kissing her at least once. In Julie Plec's words, he was a "cowboy" who seized the day, and it was nice to see that side of Damon for a change.
3x16 Damon/Stefan talk"Whenever you go too far, I will be there to pull you back. Every second of every day, until you don't need me. 'Cause right now, you're all I got."
If there were any doubts that Damon loves his brother, those can be put to rest after this scene. Damon wants what's best for his brother; he knows that, however much Stefan might think he has himself under control, he doesn't unless he learns to moderate his bloodlust. Damon made the mistake of letting Stefna go once before, signaling the birth of the "ripper of Monterey," and Damon carried that burden with him for a hundred years. Yet this time he had a chance to make it right—and he was determined to do so. Damon made a lot of mistakes in his time concerning his brother. He wasn't there for him when Stefan needed him the most. However, he learned from those mistakes. Stefan is the only brother he's got, and that means something to him. He's not going to sit by and watch Stefan go through the same cycle, cold turkey one year and ripper for the next thirty. He committed himself to be by his brother's side, even if his brother is all he ever has. Damon offered Stefan an eternity of help: a fact not to be taken lightly. It proves his devotion and his love for his brother beyond a shadow of a doubt.
1x01 Introduction"Hello, brother."
Who can think of Damon Salvatore without this scene immediately popping into their heads? Although the pilot episode primarily centered around Stefan, Damon stole the show with those two words: "Hello, brother." It is arguably the best entrance of every character on the show up to the present day, because it's hard not to be sucked in by that quirk of Damon's lips, that smirk. He sauntered into Stefan's bedroom like he owned the place, not even phased by Stefan's constant questions. He came up with one-liners off the top of his head. He oozed badassness, for lack of any better way to put it. Then, when Stefan asked what Damon was doing back in Mystic Falls, Damon said the one word that sent chills down Stefan's spine: "Elena." From the very first scene, Damon was intriguing—as a villain and a foil for Stefan, obviously, but also as a character in his own right. You couldn't help being curious about Damon's backstory after watching that scene, or at least I couldn't.
2x07 tomb scene with Katherine"Then I'll protect her while you rot in hell."
Talk about poetic justice, huh? Damon spent 145 years searching Katherine down, trying to get her out of the tomb, only to find out that she wasn't in the tomb after all. When she returned, Damon offered to start all over, only to hear Katherine say that she never loved him. To see Damon putting Katherine back where she was supposed to be all along... it was all about closure. About letting the door shut on that part of his life, both literally and metaphorically. Damon spent a huge portion of his life pining after Katherine, so leaving that part of his life behind meant that he could move forward. He is no longer held back by his love for Katherine. Damon shut the door on Katherine and walked away without a second thought. He is no longer the naïve human boy who fell in love with a seductive woman, and that scene exemplified that magnificently.
What has been your favorite Damon Salvatore scene to date? Chat about it in the comments below!