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    6 Definitive Reasons Stefan Is The Superior Salvatore Brother

    Yes, this is the hill I will die on.

    Stefan Salvatore IS the better brother and man and I won't stop until everyone finally comes to their senses and recognizes this. With that being said, this is anti-Damon (obviously) — but feel free to fight me in the comments.

    The CW

    I want to preface this by saying that, yes, I know they are both fictional characters and the general morality of being a vampire was highly glamorized in the show. Because of this, I will be speaking on the *general character traits* of each brother and their actions to prove my case.

    In order to keep this as organized as possible, I'm going to state a general topic and then expand on it in the following paragraph comparing Stefan and then Damon.

    Okay, so now that I cleared that up, let's jump right in!

    1. Selflessness

    Stefan

    stefan holds a woman and they have their mouths slightly open, eyes wide as if scared
    The CW

    I can't mention Stefan's selflessness without talking about how he literally sacrificed HIMSELF to save the town and all the people he loves. The ultimate act of selflessness!

    There are countless scenes in the show that illustrate Stefan's selflessness to the viewer (and honestly, there are too many to put on this list) but the biggest takeaway from this is that his selflessness is natural. It's shown through his actions rather than him explicitly saying out loud that he is a selfless individual and others agree.

    Stefan is a very empathetic character who chooses others over himself almost always; this is both his biggest strength and weakness. Stefan's first instinct in all situations is to save people. When he is unable to help someone or when he unintentionally hurts someone (as a ripper) he is overwhelmed with guilt but still actively tries to amend the situation. This is because his guilt is genuine — not a form of manipulation to appear to be better than he is.

    Damon

    damon says "because say it with me, ric, i'm selfish"
    The CW

    Damon has stated countless times throughout the show (as seen above) that he is a selfish person who puts his needs above anyone else's. While admitting your faults is commendable to some extent, when Damon does do something good, it's because he knows it will benefit him in the long run.

    The most common examples of Damon being selfless are actually selfish because he is doing them for himself:

    1) Damon returns Elena's necklace: the necklace was a gift to Elena from Stefan. It's her necklace. His returning it to her is to make himself look better in her eyes but why shouldn't he be giving her HER necklace back? 

    2) Damon tells Elena he loves her but compels her to forget: this is Damon's problem that he created himself and him compelling her is further manipulation on his part. It doesn't make him a hero for putting his feelings aside because he's just trying to control Elena's feelings even more when he has no right to.

    2. Elena

    Stefan

    stefan holds elena in a hug from behind and they both have serene looks on their faces, relaxed
    The CW

    Stefan respects Elena's choices and lets her make those choices despite how they affect him and their relationship. Yes, he wanted Elena to be a vampire to be with her forever, but more importantly, he wanted her to have that choice herself. When she did become a vampire and spoke about her desire to want to find the cure, he did everything he could to make that a possibility for her (he wasn't treating her like a broken toy, he was doing what she wanted).

    Stefan saved Elena's life on countless occasions — the most notable, as it kicks off the show, is when he saved her from drowning despite not knowing her at all. Once he did know her, he loved her unconditionally and tried to protect her at all times.

    Even after Elena got with Damon, Stefan respected their relationship despite the pain it caused him because he wanted Elena to have what made her happy even if it wasn't him at the time.

    Damon

    damon and elena dance in a dark room
    The CW

    Damon's love for Elena was selfish. At first, he saw her as a way to hurt Stefan, and then he saw her as a form of obsession after Katherine rejected him. His compelling her after their first meeting wasn't because he wanted what was best for her, it was because he didn't want anyone to know he was in town yet.

    While Elena was with Stefan, Damon constantly tried to insert himself in their relationship and actively tried to pursue her even when he knew it made her uncomfortable.

    Unlike Stefan, Damon doesn't let Elena make her own choices, rather, he constantly tries to undermine her. He likes to control her, as illustrated by the sire bond, in addition to the constant times he has caused physical harm to Elena and her family and friends, invaded her privacy, compelled her, and forced her into things she wasn't comfortable with.

    3. How they treat each other

    Stefan

    damon and stefan wear button down shirts and suspenders as if in the early 1800s
    The CW

    I think it's important to start with when they each turned. Stefan didn't *force* Damon to turn. Stefan had just turned himself not so long before, he was being controlled by the bloodlust and the threat of being a 17-year-old kid alone forever. Sure, he could have just let Damon die but he acted on the impulse to try to save his brother. When Damon came back, he didn't have to drink Katherine's blood but he chose that himself, and he chose to stay a vampire rather than just walking into the sun and dying or staking himself. It was ultimately Damon's choice.

    Despite this, Stefan constantly tried to reach out to Damon and better their relationship. Going so far as to prioritize Damon despite the things Damon has done to him. Stefan has sacrificed his happiness for Damon, his life for Damon, everything. When Damon was dying from Tyler's bite and needed an original's blood to survive, Stefan didn't hesitate to go away with Klaus to save Damon. He even turned his humanity off thus becoming a ripper (something he hates) to make sure his brother was going to be okay.

    Damon

    stefan and damon about to fight at a party in front of other people
    The CW

    Damon hated that Katherine chose Stefan instead of him and resented Stefan for something that he had no control over. Honestly, prior to Katherine, Damon WAS a good brother to Stefan while they both suffered at the hands of their abusive father but it didn't last long after Katherine came into the picture.

    Damon promised his 17-year-old brother an "eternity of misery" and then proceeded to make Stefan's life just that for YEARS AND YEARS by threatening the people he loved and cared about, killing innocent people, blaming Stefan, hurting him, and so on.

    He took the two most important people to Stefan with no remorse:

    1) Elena: he interfered in their relationship by pursuing Elena despite how happy she and Stefan were and felt no remorse when Elena was sired to him and hurting Stefan. 

    2) Lexi: he killed Stefan's best friend, the one person who was there for Stefan when Damon left him and helped him regain control. There was no reason Lexi had to be the one to die and Damon only killed her because he was threatened by her connection to Stefan. Also, Damon never apologized for this but Stefan still found it in his heart to forgive him.

    4. Accountability

    Stefan

    stefan in a dark room, brows furrowed and crying
    The CW

    Stefan's whole character is driven by guilt and remorse as humanity is a defining character trait of his. Stefan has never tried to blame his actions on others but rather accepts his mistakes and tries to fix them.

    Throughout the series, Stefan has owned up to his past mistakes, apologized for them, and tried to make up for them. For Stefan, he tries to make up for being bad in his past by being good in his present. Again, the nature of being a vampire is highly glamorized in this media and morality is limited in comparison to real life individuals, but Stefan acknowledges his mistakes and takes responsibility for them.

    Not only does Stefan take responsibility, but he also faces the consequences of his actions. A great example is in Season 8: he's arrested, forced to stare at his victims, and even has to dig his own grave at gunpoint.

    Damon

    damon wears a leather jacket and t shirt, mouth in a line and brows pursed, while standing outside at night
    The CW

    Yes, there are a few times when Damon has taken responsibility and acknowledged his actions but it's only when HE felt like doing it and then nothing changed for himself; he then does it over and over again.

    Damon's biggest issue is he never apologizes which means he never truly owns up to his mistakes, rather, he constantly blames his actions on Katherine or Stefan. He never apologized to Caroline for raping her, never apologized to Elena unless he wanted something, never apologized to Stefan for the harm he caused him, etc.

    In all honestly, it seems Damon is somehow rewarded for his bad behavior. He gets Caroline's forgiveness somehow and they're given a friendship, he gets Stefan's forgiveness always and they're someone still given a strong brother bond despite Damon never forgiving Stefan for anything, and he is always let off the hook by Elena despite inflicting harm and pain to everyone she cares about.

    At the end of the show, he was given the storyline of being redeemed but the truth is he never did anything to deserve redemption from a majority of the characters. The only time I have seen Damon truly act semi-responsible for anything was through his friendship with Bonnie.

    5. Human life

    Stefan

    The CW

    Again, Stefan is an empathetic character. He loves humans and even longed for a human life one day. The only time Stefan was ever hurtful to humans was when he became a ripper (something he was unable to control because it was part of his genes but still actively tried to fight against).

    Going back to Stefan's accountability and remorse for human life, he kept a list of all the people he killed so he would remember their names as their lives were significant to him. He used this list to punish himself to ensure he never becomes the ripper of Monterey again.

    Granted Stefan finally got his human life, he wanted to become a doctor so he could save people and help those that were suffering. He empathized with humans as his own humanity was what made him, him.

    Damon

    damon wears a leather jacket while sitting in a field, looking at elena with furrowed brows
    The CW

    Damon had no regard for human life and saw them as disposable. He even admitted himself that they were simply blood bags and nothing more.

    The argument of Damon wanting to be a human is simply not a true argument. He wanted to be human for Elena and Elena only. Not in a selfless manner, but because he selfishly couldn't be without her. It's the same way he couldn't be without Katherine. It's not romantic, it's gross and obsessive.

    6. Friends and Family

    This includes all characters on the show, including Elena, but new points will be made.

    Stefan

    stefan hugs lexi
    The CW

    The only physical harm Stefan has caused his immediate family is killing his father (who is an abusive a-hole). The emotional harm to his relationship with Damon was briefly discussed, but again, his compassion and dedication to Damon are incomparable to how Damon views Stefan. His other family members (Sarah and Zach) were treated with respect as Stefan was determined to protect and earn trust in these relationships.

    Stefan's friendship with Lexi is perhaps to best friendship throughout the entire show. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see very much of this friendship but what we did see just proves the strength of this relationship. Stefan adored Lexi and often relied on her for support and this support was reciprocated, making their relationship the sibling relationship they each deserved.

    Before they dated, Stefan and Caroline had a great friendship. He helped her transition into a vampire and respected her wishes. Granted, their romantic relationship wasn't as special as their friendship as there were many times where Stefan could have been a better boyfriend but regardless, he did love her and wanted to take care of her and protect her.

    Moving onto Elena. We already touched on their romantic relationship but even after they broke up and their history, they remained close friends who would always be there for each other; keeping true to this as they often called each other for advice and he continued to protect her at all times.

    Lastly, Katherine. Katherine abused Stefan and he has every right to hate her, yet he still was empathetic of her while she was dying. Going so far as to give her some peace as he was understanding of the situation and wanted to see the last bit of good in Katherine.

    Damon

    damon and bonnie walk down the street during the daytime
    The CW

    I want to start this part by stating how much I actually do love his friendship with Bonnie. I think the seasons these two were together were most of the more tolerable Damon moments throughout the show. Bonnie doesn't put up with Damon's crap and it's exactly the type of person he needs in his life. Granted, Bonnie deserves better than a friendship with Damon and we were robbed of a close Bonnie and Stefan dynamic.

    Moving onto the more gritty part, Damon killed Zach's wife while she was pregnant! He later killed Zach, his uncle, with no remorse unlike when Stefan killed their father.

    Touched on it briefly but Damon killing Lexi was an uncalled-for thing but because it didn't affect him, he saw no issue in doing it.

    Damon's treatment of Caroline is unforgivable and I'm still upset with the writers for trying to forge a friendship between this pair in the end. Damon preyed on Caroline's emotions in the beginning and then emotionally manipulated and abused her and ultimately raped her. When she tried to call out his behavior, he called her crazy and never apologized. 8 seasons later he still never apologized but was somehow forgiven.

    He befriended Caroline's mother and while their dynamic was a good one, the foundation of their friendship is gross because he abused her daughter.

    Also, Damon is known for betraying people as seen with Enzo, Alaric, and Bonnie (even though, as I said before, I liked their dynamic).

    Lastly, his relationship with Katherine. He claimed to love Katherine but he was just obsessed and when she rejected him, his love turned into hate. When Katherine was dying, he decided to play mind games and tell her the death of her family was her fault knowing the pain and past of her family. Granted, Katherine wasn't perhaps undeserving of some punishment from Damon but he always takes it too far.

    Extra Random Points I Want to Make:

    Just general Stefan points, not necessarily in comparison to Damon.

    The "Stefan is the better man" argument is entirely a fandom thing and not Stefan, himself, saying he is the better man.

    The CW

    As I said above, Stefan's actions show he is the better man. He doesn't believe he is better or explicitly states that to others. Actually, Stefan hates himself that he is burdened by guilt and shame for being a ripper. He tries to be a better person, in general, to make up for his mistakes, not to prove he is better than Damon (Stefan even says that Damon is the better man which just proves his selflessness and idolization of his brother regardless of this being a true fact or not).

    Stefan threatening to drive Elena off the bridge in Season 3 is arguably his lowest point, and I acknowledge this.

    elena is in the passenger seat of a car yelling "stefan stop"
    The CW

    Yes, Stefan threatening to drive Elena off the bridge despite knowing her family history with the bridge and cars IS his worst moment on the show! It's important to acknowledge the deeper understanding of this scene before judging him for it. He was coming out of his ripper stage which left him harboring feelings of anger and resentment and he was so obsessed with Klaus it took over. Granted, this isn't an excuse but an important note. Also, he acknowledged his wrongdoing and apologized to Elena and they were able to work through this terrible moment of their relationship.

    Stefan is not the reason Elena's life became dangerous

    The CW

    Elena is a doppelgänger and Klaus would have found her one way or another. After Stefan saved her (again, without knowing her or what she looked like) and stayed around, it was because he wanted to protect her. He stayed because she looked exactly like Katherine and he needed to know what that meant. Truth is, Stefan coming into her life probably did her more good than bad because he was able to protect her. Image little Elena, human as ever, going up against Klaus alone? She would stand no chance. Stefan gave her the chance and did protect her. Not only did he give her safety, but he also gave her life again. Whether you like Stelena or not, it's impossible to argue with the fact that they literally breathed life into each other and made living worthwhile for each of them.

    Final Thoughts

    In the end, Stefan really is the superior Salvatore and the overall better man as proved by the points above. I could argue on this topic until I'm blue in the face. Hopefully, after reading this whole thing, you have come to your senses and realized that you've been hiding your love for Stefan this whole time but if you read this and still think Damon is better, I would love to hear your reasonings in the comments!

    Okay Last Thought, I Promise:

    Stefan didn't deserve to die in the finale. I would have loved it to be Damon for selfish reasons but in all honestly, I think both Salvatores should have died together if someone had to die to save the town. Either way, Stefan deserved a better ending and I will forever be advocating for him <3

    The CW
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