You guys, remember when Elena Gilbert didn’t know what she wanted? Remember when she wanted to make all those choices as she went along? Remember when she decided she’d spend her whole life with Stefan if she wanted? Remember when she didn’t know what love was?
She didn’t know what she wanted because she didn’t know Damon. She wanted to make the choices as she went along because one of them couldn’t be Damon. She added the caveat onto her lifetime with Stefan because a part of her knew she was going to want Damon more than she could wrestle away. She didn’t know what love was because she didn’t know how to love Damon – yet.
Now, here she is, completely, consumingly in love for the first time in her life, and she knows exactly what she wants – she knows exactly who she’d never choose to live without. And she’s basically proposing about it.
This is the most reckless thing Elena has ever done that doesn’t involve throwing her life away to save someone else’s. And initially when she asked Damon to take the cure and offered it up as a proof of her love – of the truth and enduring certainty of that love – I giggled. Oh Elena, I thought, You want to be human anyway – you have nothing to lose here. But then I realized that she very much does.
One thing Elena has never wanted to do is hurt Damon (or Stefan). What’s the worst way she could ever hurt him? Maybe by offering him this dream and not being able to live it out with him. Maybe by telling him she wanted everything with him that would in fact be with Stefan, while he stood by, the human hanger-on, with nothing to be – nothing to mean – nothing to matter about.
Elena would feel monumentally guilty if she asked Damon to become human with her and fell out of love with him. The guilt she feels for falling out of love with Stefan when she became a vampire against her will would pale in comparison. So it is a risk for her, as much as it is for him. And she’s willing to take it, and he’s… not.
And it’s all because of the damn sire bond.
Sure, a lot of people will be saying that Elena’s proposal is motivated by the sire bond in the first place. They’ll be pointing to all the things I pointed to in my opening paragraph above and crying OOC. Elena would never, they would say. Canon dictates that she is cautious. And how the hell is Sophy of Rophy advocating what would essentially be a teen wedding when she was so down on Finn and Rachel about theirs?
Well, this is different, that’s all. Elena becoming human is necessary for them to live a life together, because the sire bond must be broken. And then Damon becoming human is necessary for them to live a life together where Elena is human. So what is she going to say? ‘Take the cure with me and I’ll grow old with you if I want?‘ Like that’s really going to cut it with everything they’ve been through together, with everything they’re still going through together right now. Like that’s really what’s in Elena’s heart.
Yes, Elena has been shown to be a cautious person in matters of the heart and the rest of her life. But we’ve also never seen her in love before. Sorry, Stefan/Elena shippers, I really am. And you can put this down to the sire bond if you want to – for now – while that option is still on the table to soothe you. But Elena has told us clearly and unequivocally that she has never felt something this real before. So why wouldn’t she be less cautious about it than she has been about all those other less real feelings she’s had?
Why wouldn’t she throw all the shoulds and mights and maybes to the wind and just know that she’s never going to not want to be with Damon? Why shouldn’t she say it if it’s what she feels? Why shouldn’t she mean it if it’s what she wants to live?
I tend to be cynical about love. Bella’s instantaneous and “irrevocable” infatuation with Edward based largely on the colour of his eyes made me gag. But the thing is that there is nothing quick or shallow about the way Elena has fallen for Damon. And whilst I’m all for advocating caution and leaving choices open for yourself in life when you are young, I also think it’d be pretty sad to feel these kinds of things for someone and not follow it through to its exquisite conclusion.
And that’s what Elena’s been doing with Damon since day one – not following through. I don’t blame her for that at all. In fact I think it was smart of her, even if a large motivating factor for the restraint was simple fear. But it’s too late for any of that now. She’s in love. It’s done. There is no going back.