Why does this have to be a difficult thing? Who even said Elena would ‘regress back to her season one self?’ I know I never did. But I can see why you would be quick to make that judgment. But I try to use my words carefully. I like to say she’ll be more ‘reminiscent’ of her former self. I don’t always go into specifics about who she would be if she were to be human again, but I am certainly saying she’ll have the same coloring as who she was as a human. I don’t think some people even care to read what I’m writing half the time because they’ve already got their mind made up before they read it. I’ve had a lot of fans come to me and tell me that I’m wrong about Elena—that she hasn’t changed the way people are saying she has. And I think that’s because we’ve witnessed Elena still have the ability and self-motivation to want to be nice and good. What I’m referring to are times like letting Katherine live— wanting her to find her humanity (And ultimately forgiving her before her ‘death’), feeling empathy for Aaron, wanting to help Jesse. We can even include her feelings of care and or love to Damon and Stefan as well. Or how bad she felt when she thought she killed Aaron. Elena doesn’t want to be a monster. Or how devastated she was when she learned Bonnie had died and how it bothered her that she didn’t notice. Her anger about Stefan. Her concern over how no one noticed she was really Katherine for weeks.
These things are in there for a reason, and the reason may or not be what some people have limited it down to. Because —yes, this is proof that Elena has the ability to care about people, to see or want the best for someone, to feel bad or guilty for something she’s done, to want to protect someone, to feel concerned about how other people view her and what that means. However, there’s another part in this. For almost all of these things—-she has forsaken/dismissed/stopped caring about—in favor of Damon, and or his personal happiness or hers. And that’s the fundamental difference between Human Elena and Vampire Elena. Human Elena tried on multiple occasions to move on, or stop caring, or give up. However, she could never maintain it. And there were some great moments where Stefan was there to support her when she really needed it. Because when human Elena cared about people, when she wanted something for someone, when she had beliefs and morals, when she felt bad for hurting someone—she really hurt. She really cared. She really believed. And she couldn’t forget or dismiss them because she just couldn’t. But vampire Elena. Despite her ability to be all the things human Elena was, she doesn’t care or place nearly as much value upon them anymore because it’s so easy and simple now to forget or dismiss because she can’t forget or dismiss herself and Damon. She literally does not have the ability.
The writers shouldn’t want the audience to hate the heroine. What kind of writing would that be? No argument, hands down human Elena was just a better person than Vampire Elena is. In some ways, even stronger. You can view it as two extremes. Human Elena couldn’t choose herself first. Vampire Elena does it all the time, or with Damon. There is no common or middle ground between the two. It’s easy for everyone to say that this experience is bad and unhealthy for Elena—and yes, in many ways we can say this. But there’s also another to way to look at it if the writers take this route. It could always give something for human Elena to grapple with. That was the thing. She couldn’t really face or embrace those darker impulses but she can’t argue that they exist anymore or what happened when she did experience it. This vampire existence of hers is exactly what won’t make human Elena the same person she was—why would we want that and where’s the fun in it? But she’d also most likely gain back how strongly she feels for everyone else, and experience negative feelings towards who she was. It’d be a compelling storyline. We’d get a second chance at human Elena and so would she. I won’t say Elena is a bitch (even though we’ve seen everyone be one on this show at some point) but she’s certainly much more selfish. I don’t even see how that can be argued at this point. So—no. Elena being selfish isn’t just what ‘unhappy shippers’ say. It’s just what fans who watch the show can logically conclude. But you’re right about one thing. Turning her human again won’t make her season one Elena.