It's a truth that will never be acknowledged on the show as show runner, Julie Plec, still tries to sell Stefan as some tragic hero and the good brother, when there could be nothing further from the truth. It's a truth Stefan fans will never admit, who refuse to see there's a double-standard employed when Damon does something and Stefan does the same thing.
It's kind of funny, but as much as Damon only got the leftover scraps from Stefan's numerous flashbacks, we've got a clearer picture of who Damon was as a human than we do Stefan. We know what Stefan claimed he was like. He cared for people and he felt guilty. By his own admission he didn't care that Damon wanted Katherine or if it hurt Damon him taking Katherine from him. We saw his relationship with his father mirror that of his relationship with Elena in season two where he didn't agree with her but just went along with everything she said so he didn't get her mad at him. Human Stefan also betrayed Damon when he promised not to go to their father about Katherine. Stefan seemed to believe if he went to his father, even though his father hated vampires, he would make an exception for Katherine because of him.
Supposedly, as a vampire, all the qualities you had as a human are magnified. Stefan's claim to care so much for people really wasn't transferred to being a vampire and that may actually be a quality Stefan only thinks he possessed but never really did. He has no friends. The only friend he had was Lexi and it was more about her doing for him, as she latched on to him, vowing to help him overcome his blood addiction. Rose was dying under his roof and he didn't really care. He reached out to mentor Vicky and Caroline when they became vampires so they wouldn't cause any trouble for him and this new life with Elena he was trying to build. It's the same reason he wanted to get rid of Damon when he first came to town; he was threatening to upset Stefan's applecart.
So, Stefan's claim to care so much about people seems to be a false belief he has about himself. In fact, a lot of Stefan's action could be labeled as selfish; a word Stefan has never attributed to himself. He didn't care if he hurt his brother by going to the dance with Katherine; all he cared about was having what he wanted. That's the definition of selfish. Last year, he also told Damon the reason he forced Damon to turn into a vampire is because Stefan didn't want to be alone. Another situation where he put his own wants and desires over that of his brother. So not only is Stefan selfish, he's a pretty lousy brother, as well.
Another way Stefan is a lousy brother is the way he seems to get pleasure out of making Damon feel inferior to him. I thought it began when Damon began a bad vampire, but we saw in a flashback from 1912 that Stefan was doing it back then, before Damon became a bad vampire. When they met for a funeral Stefan accused Damon of killing the relative, when Stefan was the one who murdered their father. He was accusing Damon of doing something, he Stefan, was guilty of. So you have to wonder even as children if Stefan didn't try to make Damon feel inferior to him.
Speaking of Giuseppe, exactly why did Stefan go home to visit him? He knew his father had killed both him and Damon for trying to help a vampire escape and that he hated vampires. So why would he go see his father? Unless he went there always planning to kill his father. Perhaps, similar to when he went and attacked Jonathan Gilbert's house.
In 1912 Stefan becoming The Ripper is blamed on Damon for getting Stefan to drink human blood after going on his animal blood diet. Supposedly, Stefan deprived himself from blood so long when he drank again he got so carried away he decapitated his victim. Damon even copped the blame for Stefan becoming The Ripper because he walked away from him. But, shouldn't have decapitating someone have been enough to make Stefan go back on the wagon and never fall off again? For most addicts, cutting off someone's head would be considered hitting rock bottom and be enough to make them go cold turkey.
Not with Stefan; he made a career for himself of cutting off his victims' head, then he'd write his victims' names on a wall, feeling guilty afterwards. But what about feeling guilty beforehand enough not to do it? No one forced Stefan to do what he did and his supposed guilt over it seems almost fake. Again, if he really felt so guilty about what he was doing wouldn't it have been enough to get him to stop? According to Klaus, Stefan slaughtered an entire settlement of people and still that wasn't enough to get him to stop himself. As long as he wrote his victims name on a wall and felt guilty about it it seemed to make it all right for him to keep on doing what he was doing. It's like he feels guilty because he thinks he should feel guilty, but deep down he enjoys killing people so much that it outweighs what guilt he may feel.
Apparently, it was only Lexi finding him and getting him back on the wagon. His guilt over what he was doing was never enough to get him to stop on his own. As long as he could go write a victims name on his Wall of Guilt he was good-to-go for another night's debauchery. Even slaughtering an entire village of people the guilt wasn't enough to make him stop. When you're on a diet and you go off it and eat something fattening you feel guilty, but the pleasure you get from eating the food outweighs the guilt you feel for going off your diet. Stefan guilt and loathing for the things he's done has been addressed, but one thing will never be addressed and it's this: he got pleasure from ripping someone apart and that pleasure outweighed whatever guilt and self-loathing followed the pleasure. If the show ever truly did an honest portrayal of Stefan's behavior they wouldn't be able to sell him as this tragic and noble hero they're trying to sell him as, because he just isn't.
Stefan also has a strange relationship with women. The show tries to sell Stefan and Elena as this epic romance, but what it really is is a stalker romance. When Stefan came to town he compelled the school secretary to put him in every class Elena was in. He showed up at every social function she was attending. He even joined the football team because he thought she was going to be a cheerleader. The show can dress it up in pretty paper, but SE is a stalker romance. For whatever reason, he started stalking Elena because of her resemblance to Katherine. It's doubtful if Damon hadn't told her about Katherine; Stefan never would have. He didn't even tell Elena she looked just like Katherine before he had sex with her and when she found out she got into a car accident.
When he was telling Elena about his Ripper past, he claimed he and Damon were going after the Council because of what they did to Katherine, but the fact is Damon wasn't even involved in it, it was all Stefan. Since in the aftermath of believing Katherine was dead, Stefan didn't seem that all upset, it seems like Stefan was using Katherine as an excuse to excuse his actions. Much like he's trying to blame everything he did recently on Klaus. Stefan doesn't seem to be able to face up to his own actions without trying to excuse his behavior in some fashion. The fact is Klaus hasn't done anything to Stefan; it's just an excuse to excuse his own behavior and actions.
Stefan made a deal to be Klaus' slave for ten years to save Damon's life. He only had to be his slave for a few months and Klaus let him go. Then he stole Klaus' coffins because he wanted to make Klaus pay for what he did to him. Again, Klaus gave Stefan a choice, he didn't force Stefan against his will, so ultimately, Klaus did nothing to Stefan. As part of Stefan's plan to make Klaus pay, he kidnapped Elena, shoved blood down her throat and made her think he was going to murder her by driving her off the same bridge her parents drove off of years ago. His excuse that time was because he lost her.
The thing is he didn't have to lose Elena. When Klaus let him go he could have tried to pick up the pieces of his life; instead he decided he was going to make Klaus pay for the non-existent things he did to him. It's like when he had a choice after he decapitated his first victim to go back on his animal blood diet or embrace the dark side and he embraced the dark side.
Bottom line, you don't do what he did to Elena to someone you supposedly love so much. But once again Stefan put his own wants and desires over hurting someone he supposedly loves. He did it to Damon in the past when he wanted Katherine and didn't care if Damon got hurt and he did it to Elena when he made her relive the death of her parents and made her believe he was going to kill her to win one against Klaus.
One of Stefan's last saving graces in regards to Damon that Stefan fans flout as proof that Stefan is the good brother is all the times Stefan has saved Damon's life. It's actually the only time Stefan acts like he actually loves his brother. It's only when Damon's life is in danger that Stefan eases up on the relentless criticisms of everything Damon does that makes him oh-so inferior to Stefan. Unfortunately, since Elena told Stefan she kissed Damon and liked it, that last saving grace has been gone as Stefan has been acting like he's got a permanent case of PMS. Any rotten thing he can do to Damon he's happy to do.
Elena asked Stefan to break Damon's neck; he happily broke Damon's neck. Then he ridiculed Damon for having feelings when for years he's been on Damon for not having feelings. And in 3.18 when Damon was kidnapped by Rebekah, his excuse for not going to rescue Damon is because Damon wouldn't want that. Well, Damon didn't want that in 3.09 and Stefan didn't care, it's only after learning Damon kissed Elena and she liked it that he's suddenly using that as an excuse not to rescue his brother. And when he finally managed to drag himself over to do it, he saw his brother with his wrists clapped in bear traps and didn't even try to remove them as he called for Klaus. So the question is did he even really come to save Damon, or did he really come to see Klaus? Ultimately, it was Rebekah who saved Damon by releasing his wrists from the painful manacles and letting his go, while Stefan stood around and did nothing.
The sad truth is if the show actually did an honest exploration of this character's more uglier personality traits instead of glossing over them to sell him as some tragic hero the character might be more complex and interesting. Since that's not going to happen maybe they should stop writing him as the biggest douche bag on the show but giving him a permanent free pass for all his actions so they can sell him as a tragic hero.
Lily on May 02, 2012:
Well, in Season One it's true they did that but back then HE was (mostly, not that he was a saint mind you. He was just like a human with flaws that a normal human wooul have had and certainly better- I' m talking about morality, here, but yes if we have to talk about hotness damon is hotter than him- than Damon who was a murderer and was cruel towards/abused/raped my poor little Caroline) the Good Brother then they started making him more dark either so he was more cool and had something new or in order to make the viewier see them both as equals, with the same odds of being with Elena- since, you know, the show is all abou that now. Argh.
But right now it seems to me that idea is to making us see Stefan as a vampire with problems just like Damon not as a saint. The characters, though, can't see Stefan as something other than as a saint. And I'm not talkning of just Elena here because the person who truly see Stefan as a Saint is... no one other than Damon. His reaction when Stefan killed Andie says all, he utterly destroyed, schocked and he couldn't even listen to Elena.
He always tried to make Stefan evil in Season 1 but when Stefan couldn't control his blood lust Damon wanted to help him saying that he would love Stefan going evil, of course, but not now with the Council around. Yeah, right. To him Stefan will always be his naïve little brother. The only one he thinks is better than Stefan is Elena... which means he doesn't truly see Elena either since she isn't a saint. Stefan too thiks Elena is Super Perfect.
Stefan does treat Damon as he is evil or always wrong sometimes. But that's just as their relationship is. It's for the same reason Damon says all those mean thing to Stefan. No one of them actually means it. They do it because of their messed up relationship: they feel easier behavieng like they hate the other when it's clar they don't. In fact, Stefan might treat Damon is evil sometimes but then he is the first to justify whatever Damon does. Hell, you just have to remember the scene when Elena, after Damon killed Jeremy, is crying. The first thing Stefan does is saying to Elena :
"He saw the ring, Elena"
Elena: ... (she knows it's not like that)
Stefan, all confident nearly happily nodding to himself: That's why he did it. He knew Jeremy would come back.
Elena: No, he didn't. He didn't see the ring, Stefan.
And Stefan doesn't even hesitate before switching tactic and throwing all the blame to Katherine. Oh, Stefan. And there are other examples like these. Stefan might say that Damon is evil to Damon but if SOMEONE ELSE doubts Damon, Stefan always always defends him. And for Damon is the same, he is the only allowed to be mean to Stefan, if someone else does, that someone is dead.
In the flashback it's clear that Stefan saw Damon as a god. His reaction to Damon leaving the army? To Damon being a deserter, something horrible in that time? Why of course he reacted by happily hugging Damon, forgetting even that Katherine was there!
And when you think that he only tried to save her because of Damon, because he wanted to protect Damon it kinda makes you think that Stefan is gay for Damon. Damon too has a strange behaviour towards Stefan.
Poor Elena. But they will never reach the level of the Petrelli Brothers (from Heroes). With them there wasn't Subtex... just text. And Peter really belevied his big brother to be a living god, always right, absolutely perfect and cool... but then Nathan WAS an amazing person in reality and really, really cool so Peter wasn't that wrong. Their bond was so strong (yeah way stronger than that of the Salvatores! I know it doesn't seem possible but it is) and of course the producers had to kill Nathan. Well that is something they will nerver do in this show. Or at least not permantly. Hey, in fact now that Alaric is dead there is no important characters that they can kill without changing everything. Bonnie can't die because they need her to do magic, Caroline can't die because they need her to make things less dark thanks to her personality, and because the actrees is really good in showing the right emotions, because too many fans love her, because they have to use her to do more triangles, because Elena needs to have two best friends. Jeremy can't die because he is the last family Elena has. Elena can't die permantly. And of course the Salvatores can't die.
Matt can't die- at least for now- because he is the Token Normal Human, and they need him for love triangles, and as a possible future love interest of Elena. In fact it seems that being in love with Elena isn't the kiss of death like Caroline said but rather it keeps you alive: Damon, Stefan, Matt, Elijah (well in Elijah's case that is also because the fans love him and because the producers seem to have so much fun in The Not Permantly Way) they all love Elena...
Meredith will probably stay alive until they don't find another Parent Substitate. (That's why I wasn't surprised when Alaric died. I was expecting his death for ten episodes or something like that. They had said in an interview that someone would die and he was suddenly discovered with an evil only his death was the one who wouldn't have affected the show too much and there was conveniently a human adult of the perfect age to be a Parent Substitate suddenly around.)
But with The Vampire Diaries you never know what they do so who knows?
Claricee_ on April 29, 2012:
I really thank you for writing this. Stefan is always portrayed as the ''good brother''(even on the back of the Vampire Diaries DVD set!) and it's really starting to get on my nerves. He has some serious issues. Specially when it comes to the way he treats his brother without looking at HIMSELF first. I know that he has his qualities, but I'm getting tired of the lack of exploration on his flaws. The show is trying so hard to sell the ''epic love'' between Stefan and Elena (which it's not working by the way - 80% of the viewers are team Delena), that the writters simply decided to ignore all the other parts of his troubled character.
Lily on April 28, 2012:
Hmm, I don't think they are trying to make us see Stefan as Perfect o as a Saint. He isn't. I thought the point was to make us see that he ha flaws, huge flaws. Is Stefan really her favorite? I thought that was Damon. Let's admit it, Damon is always easily forgiven. Always! And every time he does something bad we are not supposed to think what a horrible thing he is doing but "oh, poor damon! He is hurt! So it's ok whatever he does!" No, it's not. No one of them is a saint. You know, i really like the fact that I'm not a fan of either of them. I can see them as they really are. Actually The only characters I like are Katherine and Caroline. But I don't think they are saint. They are not but they are the only character with depth. They feel... real. All the others seem fake. The decisions they make seem forced and their feelings too. But Caroline is starting to be fake too. Sigh. I miss Katherine. And I miss Season 1 when the triangle wasn't that important. Julie Plec back then hadsaid that Vampires Diaries wasn't like all the others telefilm. That it would me more about the city and the secrets that hides, about the Council. That it wouldn't be all about love triangles. I can't think about that interview without feeling sad.
Lisa on April 27, 2012:
I do agree with some points in the article, Stefan is definitely no more saintly than his brother. It just depends where you're looking on the timeline for either of them.
But I disagree with several of the points about him and Klaus, especially "Again, Klaus gave Stefan a choice, he didn't force Stefan against his will, so ultimately, Klaus did nothing to Stefan". In one of the episodes Klaus clearly compelled Stefan against his will, telling him to shut off his emotions and to attack Elena.
Anyway other than that, I have to say I find the actor playing Stefan seriously unattractive, not just in looks but in his mannerisms playing the character. Fortunately the rest of the cast makes up for it or he'd have put me off the show all together.
Dkforever on April 23, 2012:
Stefan even admitted to stalking elena in 1x16 'i ve followed you for some time now and i know you and katherine are different. Ugh i hate stefan so much. Thanks for the article. Se fans and stefan lovers to the left
brooke on April 22, 2012:
Ok,I see you love and support Damon,but don't you think that you are overreacting?You hate him so much...
And when he finally managed to drag himself over to do it, he saw his brother with his wrists clapped in bear traps and didn't even try to remove them as he called for Klaus.-What could he do?Klaus would compell him not to move...
Beth on April 22, 2012:
Stefan joined the football team because ELENA told him to try out. Not to stalk her. And since she quit being a cheerleader about 5 seconds after he made the team, if that was his only motivation, he would have also quit.
Sara on April 18, 2012:
This article is spot on! Seriously. Bless you for writing this article. It's about time someone calls Stefan out his sh*t.
Karey on April 16, 2012:
I'll admit, I just skimmed this.
I'm Team Defan. Always will be. But I'm so sick of people trying to "explain" why one brother is so horrible because they like the other one more. This happens on the Team Stefan side when they bash Damon, too.
Neither brother is perfect. Neither one of them is a saint. And neither one of them is a monster.
Keep hating on Stefan...I find it quite sad.
Clare on April 12, 2012:
Stefan and SE are Julie's pets. Get use to it, nothing will change. She cries for them. UGH! Just don't think so much when it comes to Stefan and everything will be fine. All will be ignored, glossed over and forgotten by next episode....all is EPIC, perfect and saintly afterall.....while Damon will be hated for deeds he did in season one by the characters and Stefan fans....lol. So tired of forced and inconsistent plots :(
Ashley on April 12, 2012:
This article is amazing!! should be posted everywhere
Ann on April 12, 2012:
This article is amazing! I wish they wouldn't sell Stefan as hero & saint bc it's definitely not true.
Annie -- on April 12, 2012:
Love it! Love it! Love it!
drrrmm on April 12, 2012:
FINALLY someonone who says it. i can't stand his self-righttousness and his "oh I'm such a poor guy" blaah-attitude...really...he HAS DONE TERRIBLE THINGS (not even SE fans can deny that, seriously..) just as damon has done terrible things!!! BUT in my opinion damon is honest about it! Stefan is a liar...he only takes responsibility when he is forced to do it (when elena FINDS OUT about his past, his being a vampire, etc. ...) So my result is that they have both done terrible things (in my opinion stefan has done a lot more bad things than damon but-) i think that damon at least is honest about it. what annoys me most about stefan is his dishonesty about it. he just wants everyone to think he was the good one and damon the bad...(f.e. when he asked elena if she asked damon lately if he had killed any people...that was just completely inapropriate given the circumstances...and that was just ONE example where hes trying to make elena think bad about damon and good about himself..so manipulative...another reason why i think he schould just go back to katherine...) so this was my opinion and i just needed to say it once because it just annoys me so much.
doesn't matter.. on April 12, 2012:
I'm not the hugest fan of old Steffy,but he does love his brother and he does have feelings.. Seriously,as u say they are making him out to be "a hero" you're making him out to be the total opposite to that.. In truth he's in the middle.. Yes he can be a self rightous bastard and selfish at times,but he's not completely bad.. He makes mistakes,just like everyone else.. Yes I agree,he does act A LOT more innocent than what he really is, but he does take responsibility for some things.. And I'm a Delena fan and Team Damon and I'm saying all of this.. This is acting so "Bonnie like" by what ur saying here.. And I understand that's your opinion and I agree with some of it,but for the rest I have different theories.. Xoxo don't mean to be a killbuzz.. Just being honest..
Jennifer on April 12, 2012:
I mostly agree with you, but I have to nitpick a little.
1) In 1912, DAMON was actually the first one to suggest that Stefan had murdered their relative. lol
2) You asked why Stefan went to see their father when he KNEW he had killed him and Damon. The answer to that is, he DIDN'T know that.
yoginijoy from Mid-Atlantic, USA on April 07, 2012:
Enjoyable analysis of Stefan! Will you write about Elena and Damon too? I find the love triangle interesting--let's hope that Damon ends up with Elena. Do you think that will happen?
Damon4tvd on April 07, 2012:
Great article ! Stefan is The WORST brother ever and the Worst character on tvd