The Vampire Diaries‘ Salvatore brothers have always had a complicated relationship, even before they were immortal. (Let’s not forget that they both fell in love with Katherine Pierce well before they needed to wear daylight rings.)
And yet, immortality has only complicated things for the pair. First, there’s Stefan’s Ripper side, which has put a divide between the brothers on multiple occasions. Then there was that whole falling-in love-with-the-same-woman-AGAIN thing. But most recently, it’s Damon’s actions that have pulled the brothers apart. After all, there’s a reason Damon has a reputation as a “crazy, impulsive vampire.”
“[Damon] really does make poor decisions and his brother pays for it in all respects,” Ian Somerhalder says. “He’s not as well-rounded of an individual as Stefan is, but Stefan f—ing did this. Stefan did this in 1864 and then Stefan was the Ripper and Damon stayed away for many many many years to not even cross paths with his brother. And then at the end of it, Stefan always got the girl. Elena and Katherine, they all wanted Stefan. And in an unfortunate turn of events, when [Elena] turned, I hate to break it to everybody, but there is a whole situation with her having been sired to Damon, which very much created that love. I still forget that. It’s like having to watch a train wreck over and over and over again.”
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But Somerhalder recognizes that after seven years of questionable decisions, fans are always going to back the impulsive Salvatore. “As a result of a combination of the writing and me playing this character in such a vulnerable state — because I’ve infused so much of my own self and life into this character — that creates a sense of vulnerability to Damon that people can connect to. This guy could literally — I’m saying this as an analogy because it’s so terrible — he could walk into an orphanage and kill 100 kids and somehow the audience would forgive him and love him like, ‘Oh well you know he’s having a really bad day, Elena and he are fighting.’ It’s crazy what this guy gets away with and it’s not fair.”
While Somerhalder doesn’t judge Damon — yes, he loves him too — he doesn’t always connect to his actions. “I consider myself to be very much a caring human. All I want to do is help people and save the freaking planet and this guy just f—ing kills everything and everyone around him just to do it.”
Now the question is: Will Damon’s latest decision — to transfer the scar from Stefan’s chest to his own — be his worst?
The Vampire Diaries returns Friday, April 1 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.