|First appearance||The Awakening (novel)
|Created by||L. J. Smith (book series)|
|Portrayed by||Ian Somerhalder|
|Species||Vampire (seasons 1-6)|
|Family||Giuseppe Salvatore (father)
Lily Salvatore (mother)
Stefan Salvatore (brother)
Zach Salvatore (nephew)
Sarah Salvatore (great-niece)
Damon Giuseppe Salvatore is a fictional character in The Vampire Diaries (novel series). He is portrayed by Ian Somerhalder in the television series. Initially, Damon is the main antagonist in the beginning of the show and later became a protagonist. After the first few episodes, Damon begins working alongside his younger brother, Stefan Salvatore, and his girlfriend, Elena Gilbert, to resist greater threats and gradually Elena begins to consider him a friend. In 1864, Damon was turned into a vampire after being shot by his father with Katherine Pierce's blood in his system. His transition was completed after his younger brother Stefan, who is also a vampire, convinces him to drink blood. Damon, angry that Stefan forced him to complete his transition to a vampire, vows to make his brother's life miserable - thus further causing a century-long rift between the brothers.
Ian Somerhalder was cast as Damon at the end of March 2009, six months before the premiere of the series. The initial casting call for the character required an actor in his early- to mid-twenties to play a "darkly handsome, strong, charming, and smug vampire who can go from casual and playful to pure evil in less than a heartbeat." Somerhalder had not read the books until filming began.
Damon Salvatore is a vampire, turned by Katherine Pierce 145 years prior to the series' debut. He is the son of late Giuseppe Salvatore, Lily Salvatore and older brother of Stefan Salvatore. He is portrayed as a charming, handsome and snarky person who loves tricking humans, and takes pleasure in feeding on them and killing them during the early episodes of the first season.
In the first season, Damon appears as the frightening older brother to Stefan Salvatore, and plays as the main antagonist for the first initial episodes with a hidden agenda. Slowly, Damon begins to be kinder to the other characters, showing brief moments of compassion such as erasing Jeremy's memory of vampires and removing his "suffering" so Jeremy gets his life back on track. Damon apologizes for turning Vicki Donovan into a vampire and admits it was wrong. Later at the Gilbert house, Elena returns home. Damon admits that he came to the town wanting to destroy it but actually found himself wanting to protect it after everything that happened at the Founder's Day celebrations and says he's not a hero and doesn't do good, saying it's not in him - those traits are reserved for Stefan, Elena and Bonnie. The two begin to kiss passionately before getting interrupted - it is later revealed that it wasn't Elena he kissed, but Katherine Pierce.
In season two, Katherine tells Damon that she never loved him and that it was always Stefan. Elena says something similar later, leaving Damon heartbroken. As an expression of his anger, pain, and hopelessness, he snaps Jeremy Gilbert's neck, not realizing he is wearing a ring which reverses damage done by supernatural creatures or forces. Jeremy survives because of the ring, but Damon's action incurs Elena's wrath and pain. When Bonnie also discovers it was his blood that enabled Caroline Forbes to become a vampire, the two declare their hatred for him, leaving angrier than ever. After saving Elena with Stefan in episode 8 of season 2, Damon shows up in Elena's room with the vervain necklace that was ripped from her neck earlier in the episode. Before he gives it back, he tells Elena that he is in love with her, and because he is in love with her, he cannot be selfish with her. He also states that he doesn't deserve her, but that his brother does. He kisses her forehead and says he wishes she could remember this, but she can't. As the camera shows a close up of Damon's eye as he is compelling Elena to forget, a tear slips. Elena blinks and her vervain necklace is back around her neck, Damon is gone and her window is open with the curtains blowing....She had no recollection as to how the necklace was returned to her. In one episode, Damon joins Rose to find out why the originals are after Elena; after some time and clever banter, the two have sex, stating that they could rid themselves of emotion. However, when Rose, Damon's old friend who turned Katerina, suffers from a werewolf bite, he gives her the memory of her life prior to becoming a vampire, and helps her remember how good it felt to be able to walk in and feel the sunlight, without it burning her, of course. During this meaningful moment, Damon mercifully kills her, leaving him to mourn the death of his one of very few friends. Elena and Damon then begin to mend fences. Damon is bitten by Tyler the werewolf, at the end of the season. Elena takes care of him, and right before he is cured by the blood of Klaus, the original hybrid, she give him a "goodbye" kiss, or so she thought.
In the third season, Damon helps Elena in bringing his brother, Stefan, back to Mystic Falls after Stefan becomes Klaus' henchman. The arrangement transpired after a bargain for his blood that would cure Damon of the werewolf bite he had received from Tyler. At first, he is reluctant to involve Elena in the rescue attempts, employing Alaric Saltzman, Elena's guardian, instead as Klaus does not know that Elena is alive after the sacrifice which frees Klaus' hybrid side. However, Elena involves herself, desperate to find Stefan. Damon, though hesitant at first, is unable to refuse her because of his love for her. He also points out to her that she once turned back from finding Stefan since she knew Damon would be in danger, clearly showing that she also has feelings for him. He tells her that "when (he) drag(s) (his) brother from the edge to deliver him back to (her), (he) wants her to remember the things (she) felt while he was gone." When Stefan finally returns to Mystic Falls, his attitude is different from that of the first and second seasons. This causes a rift between Elena and Stefan whereas the relationship between Damon and Elena becomes closer and more intimate. A still loyal Elena, however, refuses to admit her feelings for Damon. In 'Dangerous Liaisons', Elena, frustrated with her feelings for him, tells Damon that his love for her may be a problem, and that this could be causing all their troubles. This incenses Damon, causing him to revert to the uncaring and reckless Damon seen in the previous seasons. The rocky relationship between the two continues until the sexual tension hits the fan and in a moment of heated passion, Elena - for the first time in the three seasons - kisses Damon of her own accord. This kiss finally causes Elena to admit that she loves both brothers and realize that she must ultimately make her choice as her own ancestress, Katherine Pierce, who turned the brothers, once did. In assessment of her feelings for Damon, she states this: "Damon just sort of snuck up on me.He got under my skin and no matter what I do, I can't shake him." In the season finale, a trip designed to get her to safety forces Elena to make her choice: to go to Damon and possibly see him one last time; or to go to Stefan and her friends and see them one last time. She chooses the latter when she calls Damon to tell him her decision. Damon, who is trying to stop Alaric, accepts what she says and she tells him that maybe if she had met Damon before she had met Stefan, her choice may have been different. This statement causes Damon to remember the first night he did meet Elena which was, in fact, the night her parents died - before she had met Stefan. Not wanting anyone to know he was in town and after giving her some advice about life and love, Damon compels her to forget. He remembers this as he fights Alaric and seems accepting of his death when Alaric, whose life line is tied to Elena's, suddenly collapses in his arms. Damon is grief-stricken, knowing that this means that Elena has also died and yells, "No! You are not dead!" A heartbroken Damon then goes to the hospital demanding to see Elena when the doctor, Meredith Fell, tells him that she gave Elena vampire blood. The last shot of the season finale episode shows Elena in transition.
Damon starts season 4 at Elena's bedside after finding out about her dying with vampire blood in her system, causing her to start the transition to Vampire. Damon decides to firstly try to kill Rebekah with a White Oak Stake, yet she overpowers him. Rebekah is shot at through the Window and Damon escapes.
Later in part of a plan with the Sheriff and Meredith Fell, Damon uses Matt as bait to draw out the deputies and Pastor Young. After dispatching the deputies, Damon decides to take out some aggression on Matt and is about to snap his neck when stopped by the new vampire Elena. After Elena and Stefan go hunting on animals the next morning and Elena has her first feed on a deer she pukes the blood out. Meanwhile it seems a new vampire hunter is in town. Elena goes to Damon for help, he pulls her with him to the bathroom and makes her drink his blood because he says "You need warm blood from the vein, so maybe this'll do the trick." He says it's personal and Elena wonders why but no answer was given. She drinks his blood but pukes hours later. When Stefan finds out Damon has feed Elena his blood he's very angry and hits Damon who just got in a fight with the vampire hunter.
Damon has decided to leave town, but through the early episodes of Season 4 seems to be looking for reasons to stay. Meredith Fell seems to be one who convinces him in 'The Rager' to stay to help Elena with her transition to Vampire. Indeed a renewed conflict over ideology and what sort of Vampire Elena will become drives Damon and Stefan apart.
The Five, shows Damon tasking Stefan with learning more about the Vampire Hunter, Connor while Damon decides to accompany both Bonnie and Elena to College. This trip is ostensibly about teaching Elena the 'hunt': how to catch, feed and erase. After some initial problems, Elena has a Frat Party gets success and seems to enjoy herself causing friction with Bonnie. She leaves the party and later states that she doesn't want to be like Damon. In the next episode, she begins to believe that Stefan is lying to her and takes things into her own hands to kill the vampire hunter who is holding her brother, Matt, and April captive. She does, and begins to suffer from hallucinations at the end of the episode. After asking Stefan why he wants to cure Elena, Damon tells him that he loves Elena as a vampire or human.
In the episode 'We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes', Damon helps Elena in dealing with her hallucinations and saves her from committing suicide.He also helps uncover the mystery about the hunter's curse with the help of Bonnie and Professor Shane. At the end of the episode, he reveals the truth about the cure to Elena and explains how Stefan has been lying to her only to find this possible cure for vampirism. However, Elena breaks up with Stefan at the end of the episode after confessing her gradually growing feelings for Damon.
In the following episode "My Brother's Keeper", Elena tells Damon he is the reason she and Stefan broke up and at the end of the episode Damon and Elena finally have sex. After that it turns out Elena is sired with Damon, first they think it is the reason why Elena loves Damon, but in episode "We'll Always Have Bourbon Street" they found out that it only affects how you act, not how you feel. The sire-bond can only be broken when Damon leaves Elena and tells her to stop caring about him according to a witch in New Orleans named Nandi. In the following episode Damon goes with Elena to her family's lake house to help with Jeremy's Hunter instincts. In the episode Elena tries to act like a couple with Damon, but he refuses to even kiss her out of his guilt about the sire bond and worry that he's taking advantage of her. In the end of the episode Damon invokes the sire bond telling Elena to return to Mystic Falls while he trains Jeremy "O Come, All Ye Faithful". Elena kisses him goodbye.
In 'After School Special', Damon is at the Lake House training Jeremy, along with Matt Donovan. Klaus shows up and threatens Damon, wanting him to get Jeremy's mark completed earlier rather than later. Damon is shown to be reluctant, not wanting to hurt innocents for Elena's sake, but Klaus follows through with his plans regardless. Later in the episode Elena calls Damon and confesses she's in love with him and it's the 'most real thing she's ever felt in her entire life', in a moment of weakness Damon tells her to come see him. Afterward Damon is confronted with a bar of newly turned vampires for Jeremy to kill concedes that it's the quickest way, however balks when Klaus takes control and compels the newly turned vamps to kill Matt Donovan. In Catch Me If You Can Damon tells the boys to run since Jeremy isn't ready to take on all these vampires. Later when Elena arrives her and Damon argue over the killing of innocents and tells her to take Matt home while he and Jeremy take care of Klaus's newly turned vampires. However Kol shows up and has killed all the vampires, determined to stop them from finding the cure & waking Silas, and threatens Jeremy's life. Kol compels Damon to stake himself and later to kill Jeremy and to forget what Kol compelled him to do. Upon arriving back in Mystic Falls Damon begins to seek out Jeremy due to the compulsion, however when he sees him in the grill he realizes what Kol compelled him to do and tells Jeremy to run. Damon chases Jeremy throughout Mystic Falls and advises Jeremy that he is compelled and he needs to kill him. Jeremy shoots Damon in the head and when Damon awakens later starts cursing the youngest Gilbert, calling him stupid for not killing him. At the end of the episode Damon catches up with Jeremy Elena follows and urges Damon to fight it because "You love me and I love you", but he tells her that he can't, falls to his knees and urges Jeremy to kill him. Stefan shows up just in time to break Damon's neck and lock him up until they can take care of Kol. Damon spends the next episode locked up and bled dry by a jealous and snarky Stefan and engages in a conversation with Klaus about Caroline, Rebekah and Elena.
When the group goes to the mysterious island to find the Cure, Damon continues to be suspicious of Professor Shane. When Jeremy goes missing and Bonnie and Shane stay behind to try a locator spell, Damon stays to keep an eye on Shane. He later begins torturing Shane for information, but Shane starts analyzing Damon and telling him Elena will go back to Stefan once she's cured. Elena interrupts the torture session and Damon storms out and Elena follows. She tells Damon that she's sure her feelings for him are real and asks him to become human with her, however Damon tells her he has no desire to be human and that human/vampire relationships are doomed and stalks off. Afterward he is captured by Vaughn, another member of the Five, who tortures Damon and leads him around with a noose around his neck. Damon goes with Vaughn to the cavern close to where Silas is buried and eventually overpowers him, but not before Vaughn injures Rebekah. Elena and Stefan come across the injured Damon and Rebekah, Stefan stays while Elena rushes to find Jeremy. Damon urges Stefan to go get the cure for Elena, uncaring that there is only enough for one, because he wants it for the girl he loves. After Stefan leave Rebekah comments that Damon did something selfless and remarks that he will always love Elena. An exhausted Damon admits that he can't control everything and is tired.
After Katherine kills Jeremy in 'Down the Rabbit Hole' Damon stays behind determined to find the missing Bonnie, telling Stefan he can't come home without her. Eventually he finds Bonnie, hugging her in relief, but when the two arrive back in Mystic Falls in informs Stefan Bonnie has lost her mind. Elena, who had been in denial about Jeremy's death, comes into reality and demands Damon bring Jeremy's body downstairs. When Elena starts breaking down Stefan urges Damon to help her, indicating he should invoke the sire bond to take away her pain, however instead Damon tells Elena to shut off her emotions. In the next episode Damon begins trying to track Katherine in order to find the cure while Rebekah attempts to tag along. He finds an old friend from his past, Will, dying from a werewolf bite and kills him out of mercy. He arrives back home just in time to stop Elena from killing Caroline and takes her with to New York. While in NY Damon begins investigating Katherine's whereabouts and tries to keep that he's looking for the cure from Elena. Elena finds out and attempts to play him all the while Damon tells her and Rebekah about his time here in the 1970s. He admits that he had his emotions off and Lexi had come to help him on Stefan's behalf, however he tricks her into believing he fell in love with her only to leave her trapped on the roof during the day as revenge. He reveals that the reason he killed Lexi in season one was out of the guilt she stirred in him. Elena kisses Damon and attempts to steal Katherine's address out of his pocket, however Damon was aware she was trying to play him the entire time, and attempts to convince her to turn her emotions back on. Rebekah shows up and snaps his neck. He then calls Stefan and the brothers attempt to track down Elena. The decide to give up on the cure after Elena kills a waitress and threatens to kill people.
In 'Pictures of You' Damon, along with Stefan, decide they're going to try making Elena turn her emotions back on. The Salvatore brothers decide to take Elena to the prom, where Damon asks Elena why she told him she was in love with him and it's the most real thing she ever felt. Elena tells Damon that she only said it because of the sire bond and she feels nothing for him. However later when Bonnie nearly kills Elena, she cries out for Damon to help her and he locks her up in the Salvatore basement. Damon then manipulates Elena's dreams in an attempt to remind how much she loves her friends in family, however when it doesn't work the Salvatore brothers (per Stefan's advice) try torturing Elena to get her to feel emotion. Elena however calls their bluff and attempts to kill herself, knowing Damon would never really hurt her and let her die. Damon realizes that Elena is smart and that torture will not work. After Katherine frees Elena Damon comes up with a plan, killing Matt in front of her (while he wore the Gilbert ring) and it works to get Elena's emotions back on. When Elena focuses her hate on Katherine Damon tells Elena where Katherine is, but tells her she shouldn't try and kill her. Damon admits he hates Katherine, however he knows once Elena kills her all her other emotions (grief & guilt) will all come flooding back in. Elena stakes Damon in the stomach when he attempts to stop her.
In the season finale 'Graduation', he tries to give the cure to Elena, but Elena refuses, which tells him that there is no more sire bond. He gets shot by Vaughn with a bullet laced with werewolf venom, and almost dies, but Klaus comes back to Mystic Falls and saves him. At the end of the episode, Elena proclaims her love for him stating that of all the decisions she has made choosing him will prove to be the worse one.
Not aware of Stefan's absence and Bonnie's death, Damon and Elena are having the time of their lives before Elena leaves for Whitmore college. College brings a lot of ups and downs to the on screen romance. Katherine begs Damon to protect her as she feels someone is after her,Damon by the help of Jeremy's vampire hunter instincts that Silas is possessing as Stefan. Silas gives Damon a crash course on why he looks like Stefan and tells where was he the whole summer,shocked to know about this he starts to search Stefan with the help of Stefan.Silas mind controlled Elena to kill Damon but Elena resists it by thinking about her worries for Stefan. Both Elena and Damon, with the help of Sheriff Forbes, finds the safe where Stefan was drowning the whole summer, but only to find a dead body. Due to both Elena and Katherine having same nightmare of Stefan all three, Damon, Elena and Katherine search for Stefan. Damon finally finds Stefan inside a hut where he is tied up in the chair and Qetsiyah makes a link of Stefan with Silas which fries Stefan's brain. Qetsiyah reveals to Damon that his relationship with Elena is doomed. Damon and Elena take Stefan where both of them finds out that he has memory loss and can't remember anything. Damon, to make Stefan remember about his past life, gives him his journals and spends quality time with him. Jeremy tells Damon that Bonnie is dead and Damon finally tells Elena about Bonnie. At Bonnie's funeral, Damon consoles Elena. Damon wants to help Silas so that Silas can do a spell to swap his life with Bonnie as Silas wants to die. Silas had seen Qetsiyah going to the party therefore both Damon and Silas goes to the ball party at Whitmore College. Silas needs Damon to kill Stefan,so that he can get back his power. Stefan, after waking up, tricked Damon and snapped his neck. At Salvatore's mansion they bring a desiccated Silas, to trade Silas's life with Bonnie he must become mortal(witch). The only way is by the cure so Elena and Damon calls Katherine who has the cure in her blood and after she arrives her blood is drained by Silas,but still Katherine lived. Amara is then awakened and revealed to be the mystic anchor. She then cures herself of her immortality by feeding off Silas.
In season 6 they show Damon stuck with Bonnie in a different universe where they keep on living the same day.Elena has a hard time coping up with Damon's death and asks Alaric to compel away the memories she had about her and Damon and all the good things that he did. In the end of Season 6 episode 5 he comes back to the land of the living where he learns about what Alaric did. He now tries to meet Elena as he thinks that when she sees him, she will remember everything they shared. He is surprised when Elena does not open the door. But finally in episode 12 they kiss. When Boonie comes back she takes the cure with here. And she gives it to Damon, for Elena. But Damon doesn't want to give it. In the end Damon and Elena take the cure together. In the end of the season Elena goes away.
At the start of season 1, Damon was a self-proclaimed loner, often keeps to himself. Despite his initially antagonistic relationships with humans such as Alaric Saltzman and Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes, Caroline's mother. Damon gradually involved himself into the lives of many people in Mystic Falls by developing friendships with several humans. After spending time with Elena, Damon becomes more empathetic and falls deeply, madly and passionately in love with Elena Gilbert. He always puts her safety first before anyone else, even his.
Damon's most prominent love, aside from Elena, was Rose. He met her while searching for Klaus and hooked up with her shortly after. Unfortunately Damon ticked off Jules, a werewolf, and she showed up on a full moon for revenge.
Damon has had a challenging relationship with his younger brother Stefan Salvatore for over a century. Before they became vampires, they both loved the vampire Katherine Pierce. Damon shows that he has nurtured a long-standing desire to reunite with Katherine throughout the first season. In the first season, we learn that it was Stefan who convinced Damon to feed and complete his transformation after Katherine turned both brothers into vampires. Despite the feud between the Salvatore brothers, both Damon and Stefan always have each other's backs. Damon is always there for Stefan when it really matters, e.g., saving him from being tortured, helping him through withdrawal, and working with him to kill common enemies. And Stefan will still give up his own life for Damon's survival. They both actually love each other but won't admit it, however:
After learning of Katherine's deceit, Damon starts to fall for her doppelganger, Elena. In general, Damon is fiercely protective of Elena and always puts her safety ahead of all else. In the episode "Rose", he even goes as far as confessing his love for her only to compel her to forget it. Throughout the third season his relationship with Elena grows and when it comes to the cut, after a long struggle Elena still chooses Stefan much to Damon's disappointment. But in "My Brother's Keeper" Elena tells Damon that he is the reason she and Stefan broke up and at the end of the episode Damon and Elena have sex. The news of Elena being sired to Damon is out in the open although Elena still says her love for him is real. Damon still thinks that's not true and the right thing for her to do is to leave him, so in "O Come, All Ye Faithful" he sets her free. In "Graduation" the sire bond is claimed to be officially broken and Elena declared that she is in love with Damon. Elena tells him that out of all the decisions she has made, choosing him will prove to be the worse one and proclaims that she loves him. Damon and Elena spend the summer after school together. When Elena has to leave for college, Damon stays behind in Mystic Falls. However in the episode "Original Sin", Tessa, who is revealed to be Qetsiyah, tells Damon that the doppelgangers are fated to fall in love and that he is only a bump in the road that makes their story interesting. Damon refuses to believe in this and assures Elena that he will fight for her as she is his life.
Alaric is a vampire hunter looking to avenge his wife by killing the vampire that killed her. It is soon revealed that the vampire that Alaric is hunting is actually Damon. Before killing Alaric, he confesses that he didn't kill Isobel but turned her. Alaric is brought back to life by the Gilbert ring. The two remain enemies but work together on occasion. Eventually, the two become best friends and drinking buddies. Even after Alaric is turned into a vampire who kills other vampires, Damon does his best to ensure that they don't have to kill him. But with Elena's death, Alaric dies as well while Damon holds him. In the episode, "Memorial", it's clear that Damon still misses his friend as he talks to Alaric at his grave. Unknown to him, Alaric listens to the whole thing and even responds with "I miss you too, buddy".
- Somerhalder joins 'Vampire Diaries' by Michael Schneider of Variety, March 25, 2009
- Meet The Cast – Vampire Diaries Casting Calls by Matej Jelic of Spoilers Guide, June 17, 2009
- Ian Somerhalder talks 'Vampire Diaries' by Mandi Bierly of Entertainment Weekly, September 17, 2009
- The Vampire Diaries episode "162 Candles" aired November 5, 2009.
- The Vampire Diaries episode "Haunted" aired October 29, 2009.
- The Vampire Diaries episode "Founder's Day" aired May 13, 2010.
- The Vampire Diaries episode "Katerina" aired November 11, 2010.
- The Vampire Diaries episode "The Departed," aired May 9, 2012.
- The Vampire Diaries episode "Do Not Go Gentle," aired April 26, 2012.
- The Vampire Diaries episode "Kill or Be Killed," aired October 7, 2010.
- The Vampire Diaries episode "1912," aired March 15, 2012.
- The Vampire Diaries episode "Masquerade," aired October 28, 2010.
- The Vampire Diaries episode "As I Lay Dying," aired May 12, 2011.
- Official website of the show
- Damon Salvatore at the Internet Movie Database
- The Vampire Diaries at TV.com