Damon Salvatore

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Character
Name: Damon Salvatore
Occupation:
Title/Rank:
Location: Mystic Falls, Virginia USA
Status: Vampire
Relationships: Stefan Salvatore (brother)
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV), The Vampire Diaries (Book Series)
Other:
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Damon Salvatore is a character from the Vampire Diaries, playing important part in both the books and the TV show.

Damon in Books

Damon Salvatore is a 500 plus year old vampire, he was born in Florence, Italy during The Renaissance Period. Like his younger brother Stefan, Damon came from an Italian aristocratic, noble family. In the 15th century, Damon and his brother Stefan both fell in love with a young vampire named Katherine von Swartzschild. Both brothers became intense rivals and competitors for her love, which caused a rivalry between the two. Their already strained relationship became more hateful, vengeful and competitive. Katherine transformed Damon and Stefan into vampires, hoping that they would resolve their lifelong rivalry, and all of them could live happily ever after together. When Katherine's plan backfired, Katherine felt both guilty and extremely hurt that they would not end their hatred with one another. As a result and as a price, Katherine ended up "committing suicide" (which was later on revealed to be fake), in order for the brothers to finally come together, resolve their issues and grieve her loss together as brothers, possibly rekindling their love for each other and their brotherhood.

However, her faked "suicide" only caused the Salvatore brothers to hate each other more, and both of them blamed each other severely for her death. Because of the intense hatred, and threats that Damon gave to Stefan, Stefan ended up leaving his hometown of Florence and decided to get as far away from his brother as possible and try to escape his dark, painful past. Stefan ended up settling in a town called Fells Church. Damon followed him there to endlessly torment his brother and make his life as miserable as possible.

Damon in TV Show

In TV show canon, Damon is an American of Italian decent who faught in the Civil War before deserting the fight to come home to Mystic Falls. He has been turned into a vampire by Katherine Pierce, whom he considered a love of his life. Initially, when he and his brother Stefan were in transition (and he thought Katherine was dead), he didn't want to become a vampire. Stefan talked him into it. Due certain plot developments the brothers had a falling out and Damon promised Stefan "an eternity of misery".

In season 1 of the show, Damon is the antagonist, bent on opening the magically sealed tomb where he is convinced Katherine is trapped.

He slowly develops feelings for Elena Gilbert, Katherine's doppelganger, which prompt him to try and be better. Though other characters and Damon himself consider him a monster who kill without qualms, in season 4 Damon implies he is "bad with purpose", which makes me worthy of people's (Elena's) forgiveness.

Damon has a tendency to disregard possible collateral damage, and do everything necessary to accomplish his goals (often killing and/or compelling people, his friends included). He has some self-destructive tendencies.

Fandom

Relationships

Romantic Relationships: In fanworks the most popular Damon pairings are Damon/Elena, Damon/Stefan, Damon/Stefan/Elena, Damon/Alaric, Damon/Elijah, Damon/Bonnie, Damon/Katherine and Damon/Stefan/Katherine. Very few fans ship Damon/Caroline.

Platonic Relationships: He has a strong friendship with Liz Forbes, but that doesn't translate into a pairing presence (in fact a platonic Damon & Liz is much more common). His canonical friendship with Alaric is very popular in fanworks (especially in fanworks were Damon is involved in a het ship) as a side dynamic.

Familial Relationships: Damon's mother has little to no fandom presence and she is almost never mentioned in fanworks (though with the developments of season 6, this may change). Damon's father, on the other hand when mentioned, is rarely a positive character. His relationship with Damon is, as a result, usually negative and painted in an abusive/neglectful light.

Damon's familial relationship with his brother, Stefan, is by far the most complex one. Fans write their relationship on a whole spectrum: from incredibly close nit (a'la The Mikaelson siblings), to a relatively positive and close dynamic, to antagonistic.

Common Tropes & Fanon

  • Damon as a screw-up - when writers use Damon as a secondary character, especially in All Human AUs, he is sometimes portrayed as a screw-up; often with a drinking problem or some other type of addiction.
  • Damon as The Bad Brother - The words "I'm the bad brother" in one form or another, are often used by Damon himself to describe himself. Often in stories where he makes a point of embracing his "evil" side, as an explanation to people who are surprised by his evil deeds, etc.
  • Damon's Redemption - usually connected with the pairing the fan writer is focusing on, his romantic interest plays an important role in redeeming Damon and turning him into a good guy.
  • Friends to Lovers: is a popular trope in slow burn Damon stories
  • Damon dealing with loss' - where the focus of the fanwork is Damon dealing with loss (or in a reversed trope, others dealing with the loss of Damon). The way fans choose to approach this trope is varied and not always similar to the way Damon has dealt with loss in the source material.

Fandom Essays and Meta

Controversies

Fandom's relationship with Damon have always been polarized. There are fans who love him without question, there are fans who hate him. There are fans who love to hate him. A big number of fans perceive Damon's action on the show as problematic, though it doesn't seem to affect their love for the character. Words "I love Damon, but..."[1][2][3] (or similar expressions[4]) appear to be common among those fans.

Fans who dislike/hate Damon often quote his treatment of Caroline Forbes[5] in season one, and (though less often) his treatment of Andie Star, as reasons for their dislike. A lot of those fans ouright call Damon a rapist[6][7].

In fact, that term is a point of contension between the two camps (pro!Damon and Anti!Damon):

I accept [Caroline's] hatred for Damon because he did use her and toss her aside, but honestly everyone has some sort of grudge for Damon. I use to think no one would hate damon as much as Bonnie does but even she came to respect Elena for choosing him. HECK EVEN JEREMY TRIES TO GET ALONG WITH DAMON AND HE’S TRIED TO KILL HIM AT LEAST TWICE. I can understand being stubborn, but Caroline is just being straight out disrespectful and disgusting. If I was Elena, I would’ve just walked right out of there because friends do not say things like that to each other.[8]
U can also make a case that friend don’t date their friends rapists
Just sayin[9]
And you can also make a case about how Damon didn’t rape Caroline so people should stop calling him a rapist hmm[10]
Damon has a line saying he takes his angst out on women in s1. In 1812 Sage was like raping women was awesome and Damon agreed and told Stefan he’d forgotten how good it felt to abuse women.
As for Caroline - when he compelled her he took away her ability to consent. Rape.[11]
Sage said women were for pleasure and if you want to assume that it meant raping that’s fine, your opinion. But it is also a common opinion that Damon is a rapist because there isn’t one scene where it is confirmed that Damon is raping women. We don’t know what happened off the scene, sage could’ve meant that Damon should enjoy and have pleasure in the women he was feeding on, not to think of them as a dinner. It isn’t confirmed they were speaking of raping women therefore it isn’t fact. That line can go many ways.

And Caroline, it isn’t confirmed their relationship from then on was sexual. There was never a scene nor a line about their relationship that implied they were having sex. The only thing confirmed was that Damon was compelling her to forget he was a vampire every time he fed on her. He could’ve simply used her to feed and get info on Stefan and Elena.

This is not rape, but an assumption that it is rape.[12]
Don’t forget that Sage added that the women who said no wanted it the most.
And in 1x03 Damon fully planned to compel Elena into kissing and likely with the dream he put into her head raping her. In 2x01 Damon kept kissing her despite her saying no.
Also in 1x03 it is heavily implied that after saying he’d kill her, Damon raped Caroline. Who was only wearing her underwear and he was on top of and kissed.
The only way you can construct that Damon isn’t a rapist is to willfully ignore the canon.[13]
Again it’s only an assumption that he raped her when the only thing obvious was that he fed off her.
Forcefully kissing Elena for ones own manipulation is another two sided opinion. You can believe it to be rape but it can also not be. In 1x3 he was going to do it not for his own sexual desire but because he wanted to break apart Stefan and Elena. Legally and technically kissing is not rape. It is an assault, maybe even sexually but not rape. But we all know and agreed Damon has assaulted many individuals throughout the whole show.
But if you want to further think of this as rape, lets add Katherine and Caroline onto the list because they’re also guilty of doing this. Caroline had compelled Matt to forget she’s a vamp so she can make out with him. Katherine had compelled Stefan many times to her sexual bidding. If that is really considered rape then I guess there are many instances of rape and many rapists on the streets of mystic falls.
All the instances you’re talking about are either assumptions and non canon
Or an invalid definition of rape[14]

Each camp refuses to yield to the other's arguments and they do not shy away from sharing their opinions of the character alongside each other[15]. Sarcasm is often employed (especially by the Anti!Damon fans)[16][17].

Damon-centric Fanworks

Fics

  • Much More Complicated by Gale (iphignia939), Damon/Alaric, summary: "Damon snapped your neck and you got up to kill vampires with him and punch him in the face. For him, that’s like a valentine."
  • All The Same To Me by silvia kundera Elena/Stefan/Damon, summary: Do not underestimate Damon's powers of persuasion. Or: the one where Damon runs for public office while trying to date his brother & their girlfriend, as told by Stefan Salvatore.
  • Across Unhallowed Ground by ghostrunner7, Elena/Stefan/Damon, for 2010 Vampire Big Bang summary: Damon looks directly at him and either he’s been drinking much, much more than he should, or he’s trying to tell Stefan something important when he says, "It would be so much easier to just end it badly." (Damon writes novels!)

Vids

Fanart

Meta

  • A Damon Salvatore (/Elena Gilbert) Meta... by badboy_fangirl, Damon is not heroic in the traditional sense. I suppose some could call him an antihero (defined as a protagonist who lacks the attributes that make a heroic figure, as nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose, and the like).

Archives and Communities

Resources

References

  1. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  2. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  3. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  4. "So the guy's basically a rapist, definitely a psychopath, and also fits into my growing (and slightly alarming) list of favorite sci-fi characters who are misogynist bastards", from Misogynist Bastards and the Women Who Obsess Over Them, accessed February 26, 2015
  5. WHy Wouldn't Caroline like Damon? Tumblr gifset, accessed February 26, 2015
  6. The Sexually Violent Diaries, accessed February 26, 2015
  7. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  8. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  9. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  10. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  11. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  12. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  13. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  14. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  15. Even in the comments under one article you can find several opinions that Damon is "the perfect boyfriend", while others call him "an abusive asshole". Comments accessed February 26, 2015
  16. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015
  17. Tumblr post, accessed February 26, 2015