The Salvatore brothers may not always get along, but the relationship between Stefan and Damon is the heart of The Vampire Diaries.
When the show opens, the brothers are at odds thanks to a century-old feud over both Katherine and vampirism in general. The progress of their relationship isn’t exactly linear but their actions and words still make it clear how they really feel.
Stefan Tries To Fix Damon And Elena’s Relationship
It’s hard to imagine this conversation ever happening for the first four seasons. Elena is Stefan’s girlfriend until early season 4, and he doesn’t react well to her ultimately choosing Damon over him. However, his relationship with Damon prevails and by season 5’s “500 Years Of Solitude,” Stefan is giving his brother relationship advice.
Urging Damon to fix whatever’s going on between him and Elena, Stefan insists that she’s the best thing that ever happened to him. It’s one of the rare relaxed conversations between the pair and a sign of how much Stefan loves his brother.
Stefan And Damon Talk After Jeremy’s Death
Jeremy’s death in season 4 may not have been permanent, but it’s still one of the most heartbreaking deaths in The Vampire Diaries. Having seen how much her brother’s death affects Elena, Damon and Stefan share a quiet moment where they count themselves lucky.
It’s not what’s said in this scene that makes it so moving; rather, it’s what’s left unsaid. Damon insists that without her brother, he isn’t enough for Elena’s humanity. Each brother silently notes how they feel to the other. It’s the closest they’ve come to say that they love each other since Damon’s return in season 1. This marks plenty of progress in their repaired relationship.
Their Reunion In 1942
After Damon declares he’ll give Stefan an “eternity of misery” for making him a vampire, the brothers spent very little time together in the 1900s. One of the rare occasions that they do comes in 1942 when Lexi encourages Stefan to make amends.
Despite Damon’s promise, he’s noticeably happy to see Stefan. The pair embrace and spend some time bonding, and Damon decides to go to war to fight by his brother’s side. However, after talking to Lexi, he seemingly abandons Stefan in order to not disrupt his “Ripper-detox” program. Damon was rarely selfless in this century, so it’s a hugely symbolic move for how much he really cares about Stefan’s wellbeing.
Stefan Begs Damon Not To Desiccate Himself
Losing Elena had a huge impact on Damon. Without the love of his life, he struggled to stay on the right path — and numerous people got hurt along the way. And so, in season 7, he decides to desiccate until she wakes up.
This upsets multiple people, but especially Stefan. He begs his brother not to leave, reminding Damon how much he’s fought for him first over the years. Stefan always puts Damon first, which is exactly what makes it so heartbreaking when Damon doesn’t do it for him in this instance.
Stefan Gets Marked For Damon
In season 7, Damon is led to believe that he’s burnt the cursed body of Elena — and he’s not the only one devastated. Stefan is furious with his brother, physically attacking him and holding a more than understandable grudge against Damon.
Despite that, Stefan still rushes to Damon’s aid when he nearly gets himself killed by Rayna. He’s marked by her sword as a result, which dooms him to an eternity on the run. It says a lot that even when one brother has done potentially the worst thing imaginable — supposedly killing the girl they both loved — the other is still willing to go to the ends of the earth to protect him.