Let's be clear about something: I LIKE Stefan, even if I don't like how he behaves towards Damon sometimes. I am not reprimanding the DE 팬 who enjoy 'Defan'. I accept that it is one of the central ships of the show, and an important one at that. What I cannot understand however, is the 팬 who view Defan 또는 'Team Salvatore' as this sacred, untouchable bond and a ship above all others just because they are brothers.
Somehow, I've never been one of the Team Salvatore camp that Julie and others are so keen to praise and uphold. There are moments and occasional episodes when Damon and Stefan act like brothers instead of enemies, and that's nice to see. But do I ever think: 'I like Defan so much 더 많이 than Delena! Damon should ditch that ungrateful wench Elena and find himself a really nice girl. Then he and Stefan can live happily ever after, and they'll never fight again!' Um, no. What would be the point of that? Unless the writers want to 덮개, 랩 TVD at the end of 4 Seasons, then that is not an option. Conflict between the brothers is part of what makes the show what it is. It has kind of defined the brothers relationship, and is necessary to some degree for the triangle.
I think the Team Salvatore shippers - those of the 'Defan for endgame' type - are in danger of sentimentalising Defan's bond as brothers instead of viewing it in 더 많이 realistic terms. Defan don't represent the greeting card version of brothers who are best 프렌즈 and would die for each other. Although Defan WOULD die to save each other, their bond is a lot 더 많이 complex and fractured than Team Salvatore 팬 perhaps give them credit for. They are 더 많이 like old enemies who have reached an uneasy truce, but could still go to war at any time. What prevents them from standing idily back whenever one of them is in danger, 또는 when one's life hangs in the balance is due to a mixture of love, deep-rooted loyalty, compassion and the knowledge that they could lose the only family they have. What I find a bit strange is when people cite Defan's relationship as a reason for why they don't/can't ship Delena: ("It's wrong"), 또는 as a reason why DE can't be together: ("It's wrong for a girl to bounce from one brother to the next. Elena should stay with Stefan.")
People have this idea that because Damon and Stefan are brothers, then that goes against the 사랑 triangle. ("Bros before hoes" is what one lovely 팬 said in the 코멘트 for a DE 3x16 clip on YouTube). I find this attitude unbelievably grating and unnecessarily moralistic. TVD is a show which features 판타지 vampire violence, blood, killing, and danger. And yet people object to the two brothers/one girl scenario? It seems that out of all of them, the 삼각형 is the least offensive. But on a 더 많이 serious note, why do people complain about the triangle, when it's been widely advertised for 3 years? I don't see how people can be shocked when they've known about it all this time. If it's not to their taste, then fine. But to object to it when they've known about it for 3 years, and keep watching regardless is absurd behaviour.
Defan have had a messy relationship long before Elena came on the scene. The fact that they both 사랑 her obviously doesn't help, but I suspect they would have had a damaged relationship even without her in their lives.
I believe Damon has spent much of his life being undermined 의해 Stefan. I think a great part of why Damon was so blinded 의해 Katherine was because he thought she would 사랑 him the way he's always yearned to be loved. He thinks she's chosen HIM to be with her for eternity. He doesn't know Stefan has also been drinking from her, until they both become vampires, and then he feels betrayed, angry, resentful and incredibly 쓴, 쓰라린 as a result. ("It was supposed to be me Stefan. Just me", he says in 1x20). Damon is 더 많이 angry about being betrayed 의해 his brother with Katherine than he is about Stefan's turning him into a vampire. When Katherine finally does have the nerve to return to Mystic Falls, and goes looking for him to tell him goodbye in 2x01 after he's studiously ignored her, she drops another bomb on him when she informs him that "The truth is, I never loved you. It was always Stefan." That's betrayal number 2. Cut to Elena's bedroom after the torturous kiss: "I 사랑 Stefan! It's always gonna be Stefan!" and 당신 have betrayal number 3. So 당신 see, Stefan inadvertently manages to undermine Damon at every turn. He doesn't mean to. But he does. He's their father's favourite. He's Katherine's favourite. He's Elena's favourite. Stefan is chosen 의해 almost everyone, and nobody ever chooses Damon. How much must that hurt, and what must that do to your self-esteem over the years? I think the reason why Damon loses hope in winning Elena after 3x14 is because he doesn't want to tempt fate. Elena never tells him she's chosen Stefan, 또는 that she still loves him. But her "Maybe that's the problem" is 더 많이 than enough for him. "I thought I could win her from 당신 fair and square. But she doesn't want me." He assumes she'll choose Stefan. I think he gives up because the thought of losing Elena to Stefan yet again is 더 많이 than he can bear.
It's little wonder then, that these boys often act 더 많이 like enemies instead of brothers, 또는 even friends. Damon's self-worth is continually trampled on because of Stefan. Stefan in turn, is constantly suspicious of Damon's motives and always expects the worst from him. He has his reasons; Damon has undoubtedly done some things to hurt him in the past. This was hinted at in Season One, episode 13 when Stefan told Elena "For 145 years, every time I've let my guard down and let Damon back into my life, he's made me regret that." Damon has changed a lot since then, but oddly enough, Stefan still continues to expect the worst. (He mentions that instead of rescuing him from Klaus in 3x13, Damon could have let him be killed and have Elena all to himself.) Does Stefan really view Damon in such a dim light? Apparently so. But no matter how troubled their relationship may be, they are never going to kill each other, even if they may want to at times. When Defan need each other to come through, then one of them always does. There are numerous incidents when Stefan takes the fall for Damon and vice-versa. But does the bond they share automatically mean that it goes over and above the 사랑 they have for Elena? Camp Salvatore FTW would argue that brotherhood comes first. I suggest they look at Klaus and Elijah.
Our Original vampire brothers were both in 사랑 with the same girl, and fought over her. While they can argue that they eventually succeeded in putting family first, "bros before (girls)", 당신 only need to look at the bond they share in the present 일 to realise that it's not that simple. Like Team Salvatore, Elijah and Klaus' relationship is perpetually undermined 의해 사워, 사 우 어 currents which swirl beneath the surface. Like Team Salvatore, their relationship is marred 의해 distrust on both sides, and is strongly flavoured 의해 bitterness. Is this the ideal picture of brothers who are united? I don't think so.
There are likely other factors which contribute to Klaus and Elijah's damaged relationship which go far beyond a distant feud over a girl. However it's apparent that even if the feud is over, it hasn't been forgotten and although they are no longer at loggerheads over Tatia anymore, that doesn't mean the rift between them has mended and the case laid to rest. The tension between them in 3x13 at the 공식 만찬, 저녁 식사 표, 테이블 when they were talking about Tatia was evident. They may have put the 'sacred bond of family first', but that does not mean both brothers have made their peace with the past and are happy with the lot they were subsequently dealt with. (We don't know what happened to Tatia, only that her blood was used in the ritual that turned them into vampires, but it's 더 많이 than probable that she came to a tragic end. I'm sure Esther saw to that.)
Camp Salvatore FTW would like to believe that without Elena in Defan's lives, then it would all be well between them. But who's to say that in about 100 또는 so years from now, when Elena is dead 또는 gone, that Defan won't be sitting around another 표, 테이블 with some new vampires, having a conversation that mirrors Klaus and Elijah's in 3x13?
Stefan: Shall we tell them about Elena, brother?
Damon: Oh why bring up the past now Stefan?
Guest: Who's Elena?
Stefan: She was the girl Damon and I both loved at one time.
Damon: Stefan adored her because she looked just like his ex, Katherine. Except Elena wasn't a heartless bitch. 당신 loved that. Right Stef?
Stefan: Oh I don't know. I'd say that there was one who loved her just as much. (He and Damon exchange an icy stare across the table.)
Damon: Elena wouldn't choose between us, so we made it easy for her. We decided to put (voice heavy with irony) the sacred bond of brotherhood first.
He raises his glass to Stefan. Neither brother smiles.
Giving Elena up isn't going to solve their problems. In fact, it might add to their resentment and make things worse, especially if they both still 사랑 her, which they do. Damon might have chosen to let Elena go and stepped aside for Stefan, but it hasn't made him happy, just meaner. Likewise, from their brief, but tense exchanges from 3x16 and 3x17, we can see that Elena is far from content with the way things are between her and Damon either. It's naive to assume that if Defan were 'Elena-free', then their bond would be whole, and everything in their world wonderful.
Just because Damon and Stefan are brothers, it doesn't mean that their bond is 'sacred'. If it is, then why is that so often, when Stefan saves Damon's life, then Damon automatically 'owes' him? If Stefan had been bitten 의해 a werewolf and he knew there was a cure, then 당신 can bet that Damon would do whatever it took to get it. Damon will do anything for Stefan that is needed, and expect nothing in return except his gratitude. He'll even be the villain. ("It's for the best, I'm better at being the bad guy anyway.") But when it comes to Stefan saving Damon's life, then somehow, Damon is 'indebted' to him, and he has to do something for Stefan so his debt is paid. 당신 have to wonder about that.
I have never seen the brothers relationship as a primary reason for the show. It's a part of it, yes. But is it THE reason for TVD? Hmm. I don't know. If it was, then I don't think the 삼각형 would exist at all. Team Salvatore FTW are missing the point when they say Defan should be endgame and not Delena. Because Damon needs 더 많이 than his brother. He needs true love. He needs Elena. And even if he is reconciled to Stefan and their bond is healed, it won't be enough for him. There will always be something missing in Damon's life if he loses the one girl he's ever truly loved.