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Yep. This is happening! I'm gonna talk out loud to a...a crypt filled with my dead family. Everyone but you, Damon. Because wherever you are, it's not here. I gotta say...I'm not doing so great without you. I keep trying to start over, but...I can't get anywhere. Because I'm lost, brother. I'm lost.
~ Stefan Salvatore

Stefan Salvatore is the main male protagonist in The Vampire Diaries. He is the younger brother of Damon Salvatore and the main love interest of Elena Gilbert. Originally a human, Stefan was turned by a vampire woman named Katherine, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Elena.

He is portrayed by Paul Wesley.

Biography

Born in 1846, Stefan was turned into a vampire in 1864, at the age of seventeen. Prior to being turned, he fought over Katherine Pierce with his brother, Damon Salvatore. Initially, Stefan was known for his "dark past" as "The Ripper", as he fed on human blood and killed several people. However, once he grew up and away from his "naive" ways, he only consumes animal blood. In The Vampire Diaries series, Stefan meets Elena Gilbert, a doppelganger who is identical to Katherine. He develops a relationship with her, but soon has competition from his brother, Damon, who is also in love with Elena. Stefan, who Wesley described as a "drug addict", also had to deal with a blood addiction that caused him to revert back to his old ways, but he eventually got this problem under control.

Personality

Human/Doppelgänger

As a human, Stefan was compassionate, kind, noble, honorable, intelligent, athletic, responsible, academic, dutiful, and a gentleman. He was definitely seen as the 'Golden Boy' and he had the admiration and respect of the entire town of Mystic Falls and most of all, of his father Giuseppe. Stefan was also seen to be ambitious and studious and he desired to become a doctor during his human life and this was his profession or career of choice before he was turned into a vampire against his will. In his human years, when it came to love and romance, Stefan was liked, admired by and popular with women. He was seen to be chivalrous, gallant, romantic, well-mannered, courteous and polite, traits which made Katherine Pierce fall deeply for the younger Salvatore.

In regards to Katherine, Stefan was much harder to get and challenging unlike Damon, who persistently chased and pursued Katherine as much as possible. Unlike Damon, Stefan had a very close relationship with his father Giuseppe and Stefan was Giuseppe's favorite son. Stefan was also close with his mother, before she had died when he was 10 years old. Before turning into a vampire in 1864, Stefan was seen to be happy, optimistic, light-hearted, playful, mischievous and naive. He was also seen as athletic, dutiful, respectful, intelligent, scholarly, noble, chivalrous and even-tempered. Stefan was very close to his older brother Damon growing up. Although Stefan was very popular and had many male friends during his human life, Stefan always considered Damon to be his best friend and companion. Stefan was also a bit idealistic when it came to love and romance, even naive at times. This is evident in Stefan when he very quickly and easily became infatuated and fell in love with Katherine Pierce, which is evidence of his youthfulness, naivety and simplicity as a regular teenage human. Although Stefan was only 17 years old, he displayed maturity, responsibility and had a wisdom beyond his years. Because of this, Stefan always seemed to be much older than his actual age.

Vampire

As a vampire, Stefan's personality became increasingly complex. Much of Stefan's personality as a human transcended into his vampire personality, although his basic human traits became significantly more heightened. Although Stefan became increasingly darker by nature due to his vampire nature, he still retained the same basic personality traits that he had as a human. As a vampire, Stefan was described as mysterious, brooding, inscrutable, intense, kind, caring, empathetic, compassionate, loving, affectionate, heroic, noble, selfless, brave, intelligent, protective, and loyal. On the dark side, Stefan can be incredibly self loathing, self-destructive, addictive, guilt ridden, martyring, unpredictable, melancholic, self-righteous, naive, secretive and judgmental. Since he turned in 1864, Stefan had always had trouble controlling his blood lust, which has often become a major problem for him throughout the course of his immortal life.

Because of his blood addiction, Stefan was a certified "blood-a-holic" (which is a term coined from alcoholic by Caroline). When Stefan consumes copious amounts of human blood, his entire attitude seems to change. When Stefan gives into his blood lust, he becomes unstable, volatile, unpredictable, rash, reckless, careless and can become highly destructive. The "ripper" side of him usually causes him to push people away and become emotionally cold, withdrawn and distant. When Stefan lets his blood lust take over ( because unlike his older brother Damon, Stefan never learned how to control his thirst for human blood), he often shuts off his humanity and his emotions to block out his suffering, guilt and pain. After he was newly transformed into a vampire, Stefan was seen to be extremely dependent towards Damon. This was not the case when Stefan was a human. When Stefan was a human, although he and Damon were very close, Stefan always had an independent personality. Stefan's dependence on Damon due to his newborn vampire-ism and heightened emotions was exemplified by a time right after he transitioned and then persuaded an unwilling Damon to complete his own transformation into a vampire.

Although Stefan was initially optimistic and happy that he and Damon were going to spend eternity together, Damon had shattered Stefan's optimism and hopes when Damon told Stefan he promised him a lifetime of misery. Over a century later, in the episode "Rose", Stefan apologizes to Damon for betraying him and admits that he was selfish by getting Damon to complete his transition, and that he did not want to be alone because he just wanted his brother by his side forever. There was a large part of Stefan and who he is deep down in his core that cares deeply and strongly for his own humanity as well as humankind. Stefan had a strong respect for humans and a strong regard for human life. Because of this, Stefan often feels immense guilt and remorse if he hurts, harms or kills a human. As the powerful witch Emily Bennett had once told him after Stefan had transitioned into a vampire, Stefan's heart was pure and good. This was what had caused most the self-loathing and brooding which had become deeply associated with Stefan's personality.

When Stefan was at his best, he was extremely caring, loving, helpful, understanding, selfless, empathetic, and compassionate. He did not like to see others suffering or in any kind of pain, whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual or mental. Stefan can be very wise and comforting to others and people can always depend on Stefan. Stefan likes to give advice, help people, and comfort others who need comforting and support. Stefan was always willing to lend a helping hand when it is needed most and he will put the needs of others before his own. He was always willing to save people, especially those who need saving the most at a particular time. He was the kind of person who tries to protect and save everyone at the same time. Stefan was also highly honorable, noble, brave, courageous, altruistic, and selfless, especially when it comes to the people he loves and cares about.

One of the most heroic, selfless acts Stefan has ever committed is to give up his entire life in Mystic Falls, including his values, morals, and his devotion to his own humanity in order to save the life of his beloved brother (Damon) when he was dying from a fatal werewolf bite. When it seems appropriate, Stefan can be very fun-loving, upbeat and humorous. He was particularly practical, charming, playful, mischievous and humorous around his close friends (such as Lexi or Caroline, for example) or people who he knows. He can sometimes be somewhat sarcastic or display a dry, sarcastic wit. His best friend Lexi often brought out the more fun, light-hearted, playful side of Stefan's personality. Stefan was usually one to shy away from dancing, because he thinks that he was a bad dancer, but admits that he was much more enthusiastic about it when he was drunk or under the influence of alcohol.

Stefan was charismatic, charming, passionate and deeply romantic and because of this, he is highly magnetic to and popular with the opposite sex. He had a very selfless, idealistic approach to love. Stefan was known to be respectful, polite, courteous, and chivalrous towards women. Because of this, Stefan had always been popular, admired and loved by the opposite sex or women since his human life. He almost always respects women's (namely Elena) choices and decisions, even if he doesn't agree with them. This is especially shown with Elena, but also with Caroline and Bonnie in particular. His deep, strong love for Elena Gilbert has highlighted how his values and outlook on life have significantly changed since he was human and how deep, affectionate, understanding and loving he can truly be. Elena's own compassion and kindness are very important to Stefan. He was often very tender, loving and gentle towards Elena but he was also extremely passionate about her. Stefan had also proven many times that values such as respect, honesty and trust are very important to him when it comes to romance, love and relationships. Stefan often emphasizes the importance of free will, freedom, liberty, choice and respecting one's decisions.

Without His Memories

After Tessa strips away Stefan's memories in order to take away Silas' own mental powers, his personality developed obvious changes for a brief period of time. Stefan's naturally serious and broody demeanor lessened considerably, becoming more gregarious and even easygoing. He was also more inclined to bold bluntness and his sense of humor was slightly more sarcastic as well as almost taunting, particularly to Damon and Tessa. He also showed little reluctance to dancing in public with others, a sharp contrast to his old self who felt extremely uncomfortable with dancing. Stefan's personality was able to emerge more fully into itself without all of his guilt weighing him down, prompting to show sides of himself he would have had if he had never killed so many people as the Ripper or turned Damon into a vampire.

One of Stefan's most marked differences without memory was his opinion on being a vampire and giving in to the bloodlust. Upon the discovery of what he was, Stefan expressed confusion over not feeding on people and failed to see what was wrong with it, going as far as to say since he was a vampire he should act like one. This was a drastic change from Stefan with his memories who had both moral and practical reservations, and consistently refrained from feeding because he feared he would lose control and kill. Without memory Stefan wanted to feed on people, and theorized that the reason he had lost control was an attempt to escape the constant feelings of guilt and responsibility he bore after turning Damon but that would no longer be a problem since he didn't have those terrible memories; interestingly enough, Memories Stefan had once confirmed this. Ironically, Stefan's initial naivety and desire to feed paralleled his behavior after being turned into a vampire in 1864. In both cases he had been in awe of being a vampire and sought to embrace it.

Stefan had also briefly displayed much more dismissive and almost callous behavior towards the victims he had supposedly murdered in the past since he was unable to feel sorry for things he couldn't remember. He had reacted calmly to being told he killed his own father, and showed no reaction upon being informed he had murdered Honoria Fell while walking past her gravestone. Stefan had also asked half-jokingly once entering the Salvatore tomb if there was anyone he didn't kill in their family. However, not too long afterwards he began to display remorse for the horrible person he at some point seemed to be, openly calling himself a monster and admitting that he even scared himself once he nearly killed an innocent girl while thinking he could handle it. This stuck true to Memories Stefan's pattern soon after he became a vampire.

However, Stefan was not entirely different from the person he had been before the memory loss. He retained his intelligence and logical nature, shown when he figured on his own he had once dated Elena and had come back to Mystic Falls because of her as well as pointing out that reenacting their first meeting would not make him remember her. Stefan still carried his caring and kind interior as well, though on the outside he was somewhat more rude and less polite than before. Another trait he kept was his attraction to Elena. After seeing her only a few times, Stefan started to flirt with her and began having jokey and teasing conversations. When Elena reminisced about their relationship to jog his memories, he even declared she made his bloodlust fade and he could understand why he felt different around her.

After Elena rejected Stefan's attempt to kiss her and informed him she was dating his brother, he was thoroughly confused and hurt to know she had not told him beforehand. This caused him to display clear differences from who he was with memories albeit briefly. Feeling betrayed by this realization despite having no memories, Stefan impulsively attempted to attack Jesse and stated he saw no point in being good if he had nothing to show for it and that his brother had "stolen" his girlfriend. This was a sharp difference from the Stefan who had his memories since he maintained his morals despite Elena choosing Damon and did not want to stop being good for even a moment.

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