|The Vampire Diaries character|
|First appearance||The Awakening (novel)
|Created by||L. J. Smith (book series)|
|Portrayed by||Paul Wesley|
|Species||Vampire (seasons 1-6)
Doppelganger (season 5)
|Family||Giuseppe Salvatore (father)
Damon Salvatore (older brother)
Zach Salvatore (nephew)
Sarah Salvatore (great-niece)
|Significant other(s)||Katherine Pierce (ex-girlfriend)
Rebekah Mikaelson (ex-girlfriend)
Elena Gilbert (ex-girlfriend)
Caroline Forbes (probably girlfriend)
Stefan Salvatore is a fictional character from L. J. Smith's novel series The Vampire Diaries. He is portrayed by Paul Wesley in the television adaptation. Born in 1846, Stefan was turned into a vampire in 1864, at the age of 17. Prior to being turned, he fought over Katherine Pierce with his brother, Damon Salvatore. Initially, Stefan was known for his "dark past" as "The Ripper", as he fed on human blood and killed several people. However, once he grew up and away from his "naive" ways, he started consuming animal blood. In The Vampire Diaries series, Stefan meets Elena Gilbert, a doppelganger who is identical to Katherine. He develops a relationship with her, but soon has competition from his brother, Damon, who also falls in love with Elena. Stefan, who Wesley described as a "drug addict", also had to deal with a blood addiction that caused him to revert to his old ways, but he eventually got this problem under control. Wesley has become popular with viewers as Stefan Salvatore.
Casting and reception
On March 27, 2009, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Paul Wesley had joined the cast of The Vampire Diaries as Stefan. He was the last main cast member whose casting was announced. Wesley has become popular with viewers. Carina MacKenzie of the Los Angeles Times noted that he spent "10 years as a successful but under-the-radar TV actor" but shortly after the show premiered, he was "everywhere". MacKenzie wrote: "Last summer his face was on more than 30 "Vampire Diaries" posters at the Century City/Westfield mall alone, not to mention billboards over seemingly every major boulevard in Hollywood". In November 2011, Wesley's ex-wife Torrey DeVitto joined the cast of The Vampire Diaries in the recurring role of Dr. Meredith Fell, who is "intrigued by" Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis).
Stefan was described as a "beautiful young man" who turns out to be a Vampire of 162 years old, who develops a "strong connection" with "tragic heroine" Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev). Wesley described the young Stefan as "naive and willing to ride whatever wave life threw" him, because he was "easily manipulated" and "innocent" with a "beautiful young soul". However, Stefan at 160 years old has more wisdom in him. Stefan consumes animal blood, refusing to kill humans due to the guilt that he killed his own father. However, Damon on the other hand, does feed on humans.
Stefan has a love-hate relationship with his brother, Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). Wesley "adores" Somerhalder, who he said he has "natural chemistry" with. Wesley stated: "The dynamic of the characters is so interesting because they love each other, but they hate each other [...] There's always this thing in Stefan's head where he hopes that one day Damon can just be as normal and functioning as possible". However, he also described their relationship as "beautiful" in their flashbacks from the best, because they "loved each other so much back then". Stefan begins a romance with Elena on the show's first episode, without telling her he was a vampire. She was later shocked to find out that he was a vampire, and briefly ended their relationship before getting back together. As the show progressed, Elena began developing feelings for Damon as well. Wesley described Damon and Stefan as having a "silent understanding of the fact that they both are in love with the same girl", and "that was Stefan's girl, and now Damon is suddenly a real factor, he's really in the picture". Wesley's favorite episode of The Vampire Diaries is "The Turning Point" because it was "really beautiful" for Stefan and Elena as a couple. In the episode, Stefan turns around "because he's ashamed of his face" with blood rushing through his eyes and his veins popping out. Wesley said "he's terrified, and he hates himself for it. He runs from that part of himself, but she turns him around and tells him not to be afraid. She touches his face, and she thinks he's beautiful. It's so intimate, that moment, because she accepts the darkest part of him."
When the original vampire Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) is feared dead, it is revealed that everyone in his bloodline will die, including Stefan and Damon. In what International Business Times called "the moment Vampire Diaries fans have been waiting for", Elena had to pick to say goodbye to Stefan or Damon. She ended up choosing Stefan. When Elena became a vampire, her feelings for Damon heightened, and it was later revealed that she had a sired bond to him. Elena and Stefan broke-up, and she began a romance with Damon. Stefan became heartbroken, feeling angry and betrayed, and lashed out at Damon and Elena. Wesley urged fans of Stefan and Elena not to lose hope, stating: "The fans should definitely maintain some hope. The thing to remember is that Stefan and Elena have this love that is so strong, and it was sort of the core of Season 1 — you can’t entirely disregard that". The show's head writer, Julie Plec, said "They love each other as deeply as two people can love each other, but that doesn’t mean that their relationship is infallible".
In 1864, Stefan "hadn't yet learned the careful control that rules his life now" and was an avid consumer of human blood, which was considered a "dark past" by Zap2it. Of his blood addiction, Wesley said: "It's awesome. It's a drug. He's a drug addict. I get to play a drug addict, which I love. I'm going back to his days of usage, heavy usage. When I'm in my lustful state, it's so much fun. I felt like I got to play a role that I'd never played before. I felt like I was doing something different. I just love it, and I hope it comes out the way that I envisioned." The show's executive producer Kevin Williamson revealed that he was "looking forward to Stefan eventually falling off the wagon and drinking human blood again" after spending decades of consuming only animal blood. Wesley said "everybody has a dark side, especially a vampire, and it'd be unrealistic not to explore that". Stefan became addicted to human blood again, but got it under control with the help of Elena, who began letting him feed off her in small amounts to built up discipline.
However, in the show's third season, Stefan's addiction returned. His humanity was taken away by Klaus, and the audience met "The Ripper", his "bloodthirsty, ruthless alter-ego who had previously only been legend" according to Zap2it, who found "this sociopath version of our hero far more compelling than his usual compassionate martyr self". Wesley, who enjoyed "Ripper Stefan" more, said it "bums me out" when Stefan quit human blood again. He said "Good Stefan doesn't feel as natural in terms of what I want to be doing on screen, and what I want to be saying. I feel a little stifled, myself, whenever he's resisting the urge to do vampiresque things."
Stefan Salvatore was born on 5 November 1846 (In the Stefan Diaries who are based upon the TV-series he turns in September 1864 into a vampire and since his birthday is in early November and is known to be turned when he was 17 (1x06 "Lost Girls"), his birth year would be 1846) and raised in Mystic Falls, Virginia to Giuseppe Salvatore and an unnamed mother, who died when he was younger. Stefan is the younger brother of Damon. When Stefan and Damon were human, they were very close and were best friends in life. Damon always confided and trusted in Stefan and Stefan always defended Damon, especially to their father, and was fiercely loyal to him. However, this all seemed to change when he and Damon fell in love with the same girl, Katherine Pierce, who turned out to be a vampire. Stefan had strong feelings for Katherine before finding out that she was a vampire. Once Stefan discovered Katherine's deep, dark secret, Stefan was both scared and repulsed by Katherine and vampirism in general. Katherine, however, compelled Stefan to not be afraid of Katherine, to keep her secret and go on as if Stefan didn't know she was a vampire. It was also revealed that Katherine compelled Stefan to drink her vampire blood against his will. Damon, on the other hand, drank Katherine's blood willingly, wanting and desiring the immortal life in order to spend an eternity with Katherine. In 1864, Stefan was turned into a vampire after being shot by his father, Giuseppe, along with his brother, Damon with Katherine's blood in his system, before accidentally killing his father during a visit to tell him that he was going to let himself die. Damon, who turned into a vampire as well, promised Stefan an eternity of misery as he was angry that Stefan had forced him to turn and jealous that Katherine had also turned Stefan. A newborn vampire with uncontrollable bloodlust, Stefan was unable to resist the temptations of human blood and became severely out of control and addicted (later on known as the Ripper) to the blood, killing many people because of his lack of control and extreme bloodlust. However, Stefan learned to change his ways when he was taught to control it by a vampire named Alexia "Lexi" Branson, who later on became Stefan's best friend or companion. In 1942, Stefan enlisted in the Army to fight in World War II (4x08 "We'll Always Have Bourbon Street"). After decades of absence from the town he called home, Stefan returned to Mystic Falls to visit his home and Zach. On May 23, 2009, Stefan heard the Gilbert's car accident at Wickery Bridge. It was then and there that Stefan fatefully encountered Elena Gilbert for the first time. After only being able to save Elena, Stefan noticed that she looked exactly like Katherine.
Stefan and Elena begin a relationship and he revealed to her that he is a vampire. However, Damon returns to Mystic Falls, too, and also falls in love with Elena. Further on in the series, Damon and Stefan start to bond as brothers again and it becomes apparent that they do love each other. Because of his addiction to human blood, Stefan only drank animal blood in the beginning of the series, which made him weaker than other vampires. In season two, Stefan starts to take small amounts of Elena's blood each day to mitigate its effect on him and to increase his strength. When Katherine returns it is discovered that she had always loved Stefan and not Damon; however, Stefan is in love with Elena and not interested in Katherine. Stefan starts to build a friendship with Caroline Forbes after she is turned into a vampire. After Klaus gives Stefan his blood to save Damon from a werewolf bite, he turns Stefan into a Ripper again.
Stefan starts working for him as he agreed to do to save Damon, and hopes it might also protect Elena by making sure Klaus never returns to Mystic Falls, since he believes her to be dead. Klaus later finds out and compels Stefan to kill her, but when he is able to resist the compulsion, Klaus makes him turn his humanity and emotions off. However, he is later able to get his humanity back, which is seen when he saves Klaus's life to protect Damon, but yet he pretends not to care about Elena anymore. He then takes it upon himself to kill Klaus. He steals Klaus's family as retaliation, and uses them as blackmail, when that fails (the witches give Klaus the coffins when he threatens to end the Bennett line), Stefan threatens to drive Elena off Wickery Bridge with vampire blood in her system if Klaus doesn't get his hybrids out of town, Klaus agrees at the last minute. He and Elena get into a fight. In the season three finale, he kisses Elena. In the end, Elena chooses Stefan over Damon, but when Rebekah causes Matt's truck to drive off Wickery Bridge, she is trapped underwater. Stefan barely gets there in time, but Elena makes him save Matt first and she drowns. It is later revealed Dr. Fell gave Elena vampire blood, meaning she died with vampire blood in her system.
In the season four premiere, Stefan tries to get Bonnie to save her from becoming a full vampire, however, she along with several other vampires are captured by the Founder's Council. As Elena begins to die and out of desperation to keep Elena alive, Stefan kills a guard and uses his blood to allow Elena to feed and to complete her transition into a vampire. Stefan gives Elena a daylight ring, which was made by Bonnie, in order to protect Elena from the sun. Stefan tries to assure Elena that everything will be okay and that they'll take Elena's newborn vampirism one day at a time. During the second episode of season 4, Stefan tries to help Elena cope with her hunger for human blood. After his "bunny diet" disagrees with Elena stomach she seeks help from Damon to find an alternative blood source. When blood bags and Damon's own blood fails too, she ends up feeding on Matt under extreme circumstances. Stefan then discovers from Klaus and Rebekah that there is a possible cure for vampirism. Stefan "teams" up with Klaus in order to find the possible cure, so that Stefan can give Elena the choice of becoming human again.
Unfortunately, Klaus needs the vampire hunter Connor to stay alive because he holds the map to the cure in his tattoo, and Stefan must keep him alive at all costs when everyone else wants him dead. When Connor kidnaps Jeremy, April, and Matt, and keeps them hostage at the Grill, Stefan must stop Damon from rashly walking in and killing his chance at curing Elena. After tranquilizing Damon with vervain and taking his daylight ring, Stefan tries to take matters into his own hands and infiltrates the Grille by himself. With Jeremy at gunpoint, Elena comes in and takes Connor by surprise. Stefan manages to get Connor out, but Elena later kills him and is consumed with grief at being a murderer.
When Elena begins to hallucinate because of Connor's death, Klaus informs Stefan and Damon that she must be locked away to keep from killing herself, and kidnaps her before they can say no. Later, Stefan works with one of Klaus's hybrids, Chris, to free Elena who stabs him in the neck and runs away. Stefan sends Damon to find her and goes with Bonnie to see if the Professor Shane knows how to end the hallucinations. He informs them that a potential hunter must kill a vampire so he may take the place of that dead hunter, which is virtually impossible. Luckily, Stefan realizes that Jeremy is a potential hunter, and tells him that to save his sister, he must kill a vampire. Jeremy kills the hybrid Chris who originally helped them free Elena, and in turn her hallucinations end, and she is safe, but only barely.
Later then, Stefan breaks up with Elena because of her feelings for Damon. Stefan goes to Caroline for support since she loathes Damon, and they become closer. During the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant, Stefan Turns a criminal in the hospital and convinces Jeremy to kill him to make the hunter's mark on his arm grow. Afterward, Jeremy becomes anti-vampire and attempts to kill Elena. Stefan is there and saves her, but has to apologize for making him crazy. Elena tries to tell him that she doesn't need the cure if it means it hurts Jeremy.
That night Elena comes to stay at the Salvatore house, and Stefan leaves to crash at Caroline's. While there, he and Caroline realize that Elena is sired to Damon. When Stefan informs Damon of this, they go to New Orleans to find the witch that broke a sire bond years ago that Damon had. Stefan and Damon find that in order to break the bond, Damon has to convince Elena not to care about him, and leave her, which Damon agrees to do for Stefan. Post Jeremy's death, Damon convinces Elena to switch off her humanity leading to her becoming brutal and ruthless. Stefan and Damon try constantly to make her feel something again. Later after Elena's humanity comes back, she chooses Damon, leaving Stefan heartbroken. Then Stefan tries to dump Silas body in the river only to find that Silas is still alive. Silas then reveals that Stefan is his doppelganger. Silas was the one who created the immortality spell 2000 years ago however, as nature creates a balance for everything, it created a version of Silas that could be killed, a shadow-self which ends up being Stefan. Silas then locks Stefan into a vault and drowns him in the river. This incident tempts Stefan to turn his humanity off in order to escape. Stefan happens to be in the safe for 3 months where he keeps on hallucinating.
In season 5, Damon and Elena manage to figure out that Silas has taken Stefan's place and that Stefan is in that safe. When they rescue him, Stefan keeps on remembering the 3 months. Caroline tries to help him but when that doesn't work, Katherine comes back in the picture and manages to cure Stefan but they have a one night stand, which leads Katherine to believe that Stefan still loves her, however he rejects her. Later on, Katherine takes over Elena's body and breaks up with Damon so that she can get Stefan. After trying to woo him and failing, Stefan realises that Katherine is pretending to be Elena and Elena is with Nadia, Katherine's daughter. They rescue her somehow by killing Katherine and sending her to some sort of hell. Near the end of the season, Stefan loses his memory due to Quetisiyas spell. When it comes back, he and Elena keep seeing dreams of the two being together. They work out that the travellers planted those dreams there as it was always meant to be Stefan and Elena not Damon and Elena. Through the fight, Stefan aand Elena are kidnapped by the travellers as they need their blood to finish their spell. However, Enzo and Caroline save them by killing Tom Avery, Stefan's doppelgänger. In 5x21, Stefan tries to save Caroline's life from Tyler (while a passenger is in his body), during which Tyler kills him, sending him to the disintegrating Other Side. In the episode 'Home' he is Resseructed because Liv did a spell due to which he and his other friends can get back but Damon and Bonnie are left there leaving everyone broken.
In season 6, Stefan moves away from Mystic Falls because of Damon's death and finds a new girlfriend called Ivy. However, Enzo and Caroline, find him and Caroline tells Stefan that he's a coward and the worst friend ever. She starts crying so Enzo goes and kills Ivy. Stefan vows revenge. He comes back to Whitmore, and uses Elena's help to find Enzo leaving him to be killed by a vampire hunter. However, Enzo survives. Ivy returns as a vampire and it is revealed that Enzo had fed her vampire blood against her will before killing her. Damon, then returns to Mystic Falls and meets Stefan first which brings Stefan back to his friends. To make things worse, Enzo tells the other vampire hunter about Ivy and all the other vampires and the vampire hunter kills Ivy but is killed by Damon before the vampire hunter would kill anyone else. Enzo, figures out that Stefan's niece, Sarah is alive and that Damon had thought that he had killed Sarah before she was born but Sarah was born before her mother died however, Stefan kept this from Damon and Enzo uses this against Stefan. Meanwhile, the vampires have another threat, a psycho killer, Kai. Added on top of that, Sheriff, Liz Forbes (Caroline's mother,is diagnosed with cancer. Stefan supports Caroline through this in which they bond even more and share a passionate kiss however just then Liz dies. At the funeral, Stefan realises that he has fallen in love with Caroline but before he can confess, Caroline switches off her humanity switch after the funeral.
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