|“||But you know what I really am? Selfish. Because I make bad choices that hurt you. Yes, I would rather die than be human. I'd rather die right now than spend a handful of years with you only to lose you when I'm too old and sick and miserable and you're still you. I'd rather die right now than spend my last final years remembering how good I had it and how happy I was. Because that's who I am and I'm not going to change. And there's no apology in the world that encompasses all the reasons that I'm wrong for you.||”|
Damon Salvatore is the hero, a protagonist, and one of the male leads of The Vampire Diaries. He was the main antagonist in Season One. He is the elder brother of Stefan Salvatore. He was born in 1840 and lived in the colonial town of Mystic Falls with his brother Stefan and his father, Giuseppe Salvatore. He became a vampire in 1864. At the time of his return to Mystic Falls, Damon and Stefan hadn't seen each other in fifteen years due to their bitter, violent relationship.
Damon’s sole purpose in coming back to Mystic Falls was to free Katherine Pierce, the vampire who turned him and the woman he deeply loved. After realizing that Katherine never loved him, Damon started working with Stefan and Katherine’s descendant and doppelgänger, Elena Gilbert, whom he eventually falls in love and begins a romantic relationship with. He currently lives with his girlfriend, Elena Gilbert and her brother, Jeremy Gilbert in the Salvatore Boarding House. For the majority of the first season, Damon was the main antagonist but he cooperates with Stefan to protect Elena, her family, and frequently her friends.
Damon has been helping Elena with her new found vampirism.
He is also best friends with Alaric Saltzman and Elena Gilbert.
|“||You know, I used to miss being human. Now I can’t think of anything more miserable on earth.||”|
— Damon to Elena
Damon was originally a very free-spirited young man, who was best friends with his younger brother Stefan Salvatore, instantly smitten with the vampire Katherine Pierce. His carefree life fell apart when Stefan betrayed Damon by alluding to their father that Katherine was a vampire; information that resulted in Katherine being trapped and taken to a church to be burned. Damon loved Katherine deeply and recklessly, not caring that his father was shamed of him, and doing whatever he could to get her back, even if it resulted in his death.
|“||And you know what makes me able to drink my fill and leave someone breathing and not rip their head off like my brother; is that I can revel in it. I can make it fun.||”|
After he became a vampire, he left Stefan’s side, wanting no part in the life of the man who betrayed him. He selfishly kept the fact that Katherine was still alive from Stefan, jealous that his brother had also been turned by their shared lover. By the time he appears in season one, he’s been away from Stefan for at least eighty years (including the meeting in 1912), and he immediately begins taunting his brother, as a colder, more calloused version of his human self.
Throughout season one, Damon acts arrogant and sarcastic, showing little to no regard for human life and using whatever people he can get his hands on as his personal playthings. He shows pity to neither Caroline Forbes nor Vicki Donovan, even going so far as to kill Stefan’s football coach to "prove" that he has no humanity left. He is also portrayed as a very impulsive vampire, known for his self-destructive behavior and his devious, sadistic mind. Despite this, he stays focused on his only goal: getting Katherine out of the tomb. This shows his ability for planning and forethought, and certainly the patience to wait one hundred and forty-five years for the necessary comet to return.
After Katherine is discovered to have been alive the entire time, and his reason for doing the things he has been doing shattered, Damon becomes more dangerous because he drinks alcohol constantly, bonding with others at the bar. He destructively taunts Alaric Saltzman about being the one to kill his wife, Isobel Flemming, but is confused when he finds that Isobel is Elena’s birth mother. He tempts his brother with human blood, though he knows exactly what Stefan used to be, and when Stefan goes off the deep end, Damon helps Elena detox him. He also genuinely thanks Bonnie Bennett for disabling the device that could kill him, surprising her with his sincerity.
Every time his brother is put in a situation that endangers his life, Damon protects him, but he’s not afraid to cause Stefan non-lethal harm. Despite his anger with Stefan for his actions in the past, he hangs around, protecting him and working with him, sometimes destroying the good in his life. Their perplexing relationship seems to center around Elena, who anchors them to Mystic Falls.
Elena is the oddity of Damon’s behavior, the anomaly that makes his personality far from psychopathic. In the beginning of the first season, Stefan is prepared to give up on his brother, believing him to be an irreparable monster, but Damon displays true feeling for Elena. Elena Gilbert is physically identical to Katherine, the woman who turned him into a vampire, making her not only a constant reminder of what happened to him and Stefan, but a temptation to let history repeat itself. When Katherine reveals that she never loved him (in the beginning of season two), Damon reacts by trying to get Elena to admit that she loves him, and when she tells him that she loves Stefan, he reacts impulsively, set off by both Katherine and Elena choosing his brother instead. He kills Elena’s brother, spending many weeks afterwards trying to make it up to Elena, showing true regret for his actions. Their relationship began with taunting and cruelty, but she became what he clings to for humanity; he became her occasional protector, a guardian of sorts. His impulsive actions often drive her away but she refuses to let him die, and he does the same for her.
With Elena influencing him throughout the second and third seasons, Damon becomes slightly kinder, if only for the fact that he no longer mindlessly kills and torments humans without good reason, and he controls himself to be strong for Elena’s sake. He proves that he is capable of love, nobility, loyalty, and selflessness, masking the most intense of his emotions to spare himself from seeming weak, but expressing just enough to draw in a very small circle of friends (which he later drives away). He continues to claim that his emotions can be turned off, but several older vampires reveal that this is a lie; after a certain amount of time, a vampire has to pretend they can’t feel. The only time Damon had ever admitted his pain was when Elena told him that she would never kiss him back, to which he responded, “Now I’m hurt.”
About halfway through the third season, Damon believes that Elena is trying to turn him into Stefan by constantly telling him to be the ‘better man.’ Others continue to underestimate him and, to display that he doesn’t care at all, he kills Alaric, with whom he’d developed a strong friendship. He also spends time trying to make it up to Alaric after his ring brings him back to life, treating him like a friend even though Alaric is extremely angry with him. He also snaps and feeds from Caroline’s father, and, after a very violent fight with Caroline, he is confronted by Elena. He’s even cruel to her, accusing her of trying to make him into something he’s not. His inner turmoil continues when Katherine reappears, and he recklessly takes her offer of a ‘road trip,’ leaving Elena defenseless only because he is mad at her. When he returns, he displays genuine regret and, in one of his most tell-all, modest moments of the show, he tells her that he will never leave her again, showing his extreme love and devotion to Elena, and his regret for making another impulsive decision.
His other shining moment is when he said this to Elena:
|“||I just have to say it once; you just need to hear it. I love you, Elena... and it's because I love you that I can't be selfish with you. Why, you can't know this. I don't deserve you... but my brother does. God, I wish you didn't have to forget this... but you do..."||”|
— Damon to Elena
He compels her to forget that he said this (late in season two), because he believes it would be selfish to confuse Elena with his feelings. This is right after Stefan apologizes for making Damon turn in 1864, something that surprises Damon to the point of revelation: He realizes what he’s been doing to his brother, all following one stupid mistake. In reality, what Damon said to Elena proves that she has been molding him into a better person, because before that moment, he never would’ve done something so selfless. Damon also admits to missing his human life before he drunkenly kills Jessica Cohen in the middle of the road; this secret is kept from everyone around him. He lets the girl go, but immediately chases her down and kills her anyway in an effort to prove that he doesn’t really care. When his spirits are down, Damon solves his problems with alcohol (mostly bourbon), but he often uses violence and murder to console himself.
By his own testimony, Damon claims that the reason why he can control his vampiric urges is because he embraces what he is.
Damon is also very self-confident, given that he’ll confront older, stronger vampires like: Lexi, Anna, Pearl, Elijah, Klaus, Rebekah, Kol, Katherine, Rose,Silas. Without hesitation, and without regard to manners, even when they themselves pose no signs of hostility towards him. He often taunts them, which results in him nearly being killed quite often as they are undeniably stronger than him; though of course, there were cases when he was able to best them on some occassions, as in the case of Kol and Silas. Further into season 4, Damon seems to have lost part of his authoritative and dominating personality, most likely because of Klaus, who is much stronger, older and more powerful than him.
- Main article: Damon Salvatore/Appearance
- Main article: Elena and Damon
Elena Gilbert is Damon's new girlfriend and his best friend. As the series progressed, he fell in love with Elena. Damon is a 170 year old immortal who is described as seductive, handsome, hot, impulsive and charming. Elena first met Damon when he was in Mystic Falls looking for his object of obsession for over a century, Katherine Pierce. He then talked to Elena but afterwards, compelled her to forget their meeting. Elena then met Damon again at the Salvatore Boarding House when she went to look for Stefan. After a while, she started to view Damon as self-centered, violent, sociopathic and cruel, especially when she found out that he continuously abused and used her best friend, Caroline Forbes against her will. She was horrified to discover that Damon was also behind all of the murders and unusual "animal" attacks in Mystic Falls. Originally, Damon disliked Elena and was rather apathetic about whether Elena lived or died. Although, Damon was drawn to Elena, mostly due to the fact that Elena bears an uncanny resemblance to the object of his obsession for over a century, Katherine. Although Damon and Elena often bicker and don't get along, Elena began to slowly warm up to him as she got to know him, befriending him in the process. But she still kept her distance due to Damon's constant immoral and impulsive behavior. Damon and Elena's friendship deepens with time and the two become closer, with Damon haven fallen for Elena and Elena developing feelings for Damon. Damon has repeatedly admitted that he is in love with Elena, however, Elena has admitted that she loves him too. Damon once told Elena that he loved her, but that he didn't deserve her, but Stefan does. He then compelled her to forget his confession afterwards. As opposed to Stefan, Damon is seen to be extremely selfish when it comes to Elena, willing to put the life of Elena's before anyone else's, including Elena's loved ones. It has been a consistency throughout the series that even though Elena cares deeply about Damon and has feelings for him, she still strongly loves Stefan and has repeatedly chosen him over Damon much to Damon's disappointment. But Elena and Damon are still closer than ever, and the sexual tension between them has even increased as Elena's emotions were heightened. During Season 4, Stefan ends his relationship with Elena because of her no longer fighting the feelings she has for Damon. Elena admitted to Damon that he was the reason of her breakup with Stefan and with Jeremy trying to kill her, Elena had to move with Damon. Stefan moves out when she moves in because of the relationship between her and Damon. Damon and Elena also had sex for the first time and became a real couple the night she moves in with him. Despite being sired to him, her feelings for him are real and she loves him either way. She will not be giving up on him. He may be selfish with his feelings but he doesn’t regret it – when push comes to shove, he’ll always put her first and it’s for that same reason that he’s always saving her when she needs him. Damon brings out a side of Elena that none of her past loves have been able to and challenges her in a way that no one else can. He hasn't taken advantage of Elena when he's had the opportunity. He's usually played fair with her, and he's always saying that she's the one woman he has to do the right thing by. When Damon and Elena are in the same room together, the sexual tension between them crackles and pops like a sparkler. And even when they aren’t saying anything, the pair can carry on entire conversations through eye contact and body language. Damon loves her unconditionally without expecting anything in return because that's who he is. He loves her either way, human or vampire.
- Main article: Damon and Alaric
Alaric was Damon's best friend. It started out antagonistic towards each other since Alaric knew that it had been Damon who had killed his wife but it later turned out that she wasn't dead and that she had in fact been turned into a vampire by Damon. From that point on, they have been shown as becoming closer and they often team up to fight the usual threats to the town. Alaric is the only one (other than Elena) to call Damon a friend. They are seen often drinking together; it's often seen that they do taunt each other as well though. Throughout the series, they become like brothers. Towards the end of Season 3, Alaric was turned into an Original Vampire by Esther and fed on Bonnie to complete his transition and then took the White Oak Stake from Bonnie. Alaric died in Damon's arms in season 3 finale, moments after Elena's death causing Damon to break down having lost his first real best friend since him and Stefan became vampires. But when Alaric appears as a ghost we learn that he will always be watching over Damon.
- Stefan and Damon (Brothers)
- Damon and Katherine (Ex-Girlfriend/Enemies)
- Damon and Klaus (Partners in crime, Possible friendship)
- Damon and Liz (Friends)
- Damon and Caroline (Ex-Girlfriend/Friends)
- Damon and Rose (Former Girlfriend)
- Damon and Jeremy (Good Friends)
- Damon, Elena and Stefan (Former Love Triangle)
- Stefan, Damon and Katherine (Former Love Triangle)
- Damon and Isobel (Ex-Girlfriend)
- Damon and Andie (Former Girlfriend)
- Damon and Bonnie (Good Friends)
- Damon and Elijah (Frenemies)
- John and Damon (Enemies)
- Damon and Rebekah (Ex-fling, Friends)
- Damon and Sage (Enemies)
- Damon and Kol (Enemies)
- Damon and Charlotte (Ex-Girlfriend)
- Damon and Meredith (Good Friends)
- Damon, Elena, and Alaric (Best Friends)
Powers and Abilities
Some of these powers are more potent when the vampire gets older and feeds on human blood.
- Super Strength - Vampires are much stronger than humans and grow stronger with time. Even new vampires who are still in transition can toss a fully grown human across a room with great speed and force. Their strength is also more powerful than werewolves that are not in wolf form.
- Super Speed - Vampires can accelerate their movements to cover short distances in an instant, faster than the human eye can see. When running across long distances, they appear as vibrating blurs of motion.
- Emotional Control - Like all vampires, Damon has the ability to switch off his humanity.
- Dream Manipulation - Vampires can control dreams and subconscious. The vampires can produce and modify dreams, bestow nightmares or lucid dreaming. Other effects of this ability is the distortion of reality and trapped in the dreams.
- Heightened Senses - They can hear whispered conversations, even ones in far off buildings, smell blood, and see in total darkness.
- Mind Compulsion - Vampires have the ability to control minds, plague people's dreams, and alter/erase human memories.
- Immortality - A vampire stops aging once turned. Upon their transformation, vampires then on become immune to all conventional illness, disease, virus and infection. The only known disease or infection that can kill a vampire is a werewolf bite.
- Healing Factor - Vampires can snap their finger bones back into place after being broken and have been seen to fully recover from gunshots, stab wounds, and torso impalement.
- Lapis Lazuli - He possesses a Lapis Lazuli ring that enables him to walk in daylight without being harmed.
- Sire Bond - Elena Gilbert, one of the vampires he turned with his blood, is sired to him.
Former Powers and Abilities
Powers used by Damon in early episodes that were later written out by the writers.
- Weather Manipulation- In the early episodes of Season 1, Damon was able to create fogs and change the weather. This power was later discarded because it was considered "too supernatural"
- Compelling Animals- Also in the early episodes of Season 1, Damon was able compel a crow to spy on Elena and Stefan. He later killed the crow by feeding on it, and hasn't used this power since. Although the crow was seen as a sign Damon had arrived in a flashback in the episode "1912".
- Vervain - When ingested, vervain causes a vampire to become severely weak and feverish. Also, If a vampire's skin is exposed to vervain, it can result in burning them. Damon is immune to it however.
- Wood - If a vampire is wounded by wood it will cause the vampire to become severely weak and if a vampire takes a wooden stake through its heart it will result in death.
- Heart Extraction - The act of removing a vampire's heart will result in death.
- Werewolf Bite - The bite of a werewolf is extremely lethal to normal vampires.
- Magic - Witches are able to give supernatural aneurysms that cause the blood vessels of vampires to explode.
- Decapitation - The act of dismembering or removing the head of a vampire will result in death.
- Uninvited Invitation - Vampires cannot enter a house without being invited in. If they are in the house without being invited in they will become disoriented.
- Vampire Bloodline - Vampires who were turned by an original who turned others will die if the original is staked by the white oak stake.
- Desiccation - If a vampire does not have any sort of blood in their system, it will weaken them and make them be in a coma and it will cause their veins rubbing against each other and it is quite painful but if a human is near the vampire, their bloodlust will be too powerful to obtain.
Damon comes home from the Confederate Army where he served with "General Groom's boys". He drinks and gambles as a human. Damon is often criticized by his father, or by his father to Stefan. Even though he is the second one to see Katherine, he is the first of the brothers to be with her. He wants to die rather than become a vampire but Stefan brings back the barmaid, Alice, for him to feed on. When they first turn, Damon is weaker than Stefan because he refuses to feed often. Damon often points out to Stefan that the blood is a weakness to him because it consumes him and makes him a killer, because he can't control his urges. Damon is better at compulsion than Stefan and it is assumed that Katherine taught him how to compel people. He kills Callie Gallagher, the daughter of a vampire hunter who captured Damon and used him as a circus act, when trying to kill Stefan.
As with the series, he initially serves as the main antagonist until the third book, where he becomes an anti-hero. In the books, he is born in Florence, Italy and is described as arrogant, charming and seductive, but he is known to keep his word. Ian Somerhalder's television portrayal is faithful to the handsome, hedonist of L. J. Smith's creation. Damon loves the undead life and all that it entails, and no one's ever quite sure if they should love him or hate him. He leaves countless broken hearts in his wake, but the heart Damon desires the most is Elena's.
His name is derived from the Greek δαμαω. (damao) meaning "to tame" or "subdue". According to Greek legend, Damon and Pythias were friends who lived on Syracuse in 4th century BC. When Pythias was sentenced to death, he was allowed to temporarily go free on the condition that Damon take his place in prison. Pythias returned just before Damon was executed in his place, and the king was so impressed with their loyalty to one another that he pardoned Pythias.
As an English given name, it has only been used regularly since the 20th century, and there is only one single record of the use of the name in the 1880 census.
The name fits the character well, Damon, in a way, has been "tamed", and his bond of loyalty to Stefan is as strong as the legendary Greek Damon (they would promptly die for each other). The name also sounds a little bit like Demon, and this was used for effect in the first season, when Damon was the antagonist.
- Damon is extremely fond of dancing.
- Damon occasionally smokes cigars.
- Damon has a closet full of black leather jackets.
- Damon's favorite swear word is "dick".
- Damon doesn't like Taylor Swift but is willing to listen to her to impress girls.
- Damon likes pickles and thinks anybody who doesn't is crazy.
- Damon's favorite alcoholic beverage is Bourbon.
- Damon's favorite clothing brand is John Varvatos.
- Damon's favorite book is "Call of the Wild" by Jack London.
- Damon read a bit of one of the Twilight books at Caroline's and hated it, while reminiscing Anne Rice's vampire novels. Also, he said Edward is whipped.
- Damon has read "Gone With The Wind," a classic romantic novel.
- Damon owned a Blackberry Torch 9800 during Season Three, and a HTC Vivid during Season Four.
- The first powers Damon was seen using are no longer on the TV show because they were considered too supernatural. They were controlling fog, flight, and using a crow to spy on people. The crow died in the same episode as Zach, early on in season one.
- Damon is starting to revert to his old devious ways by season two.
- In the books, Damon is constantly shown as a very strong and powerful vampire. He has many powers and it is always noted that he really is an exceptionally powerful vampire. In the show, he is as strong as any average vampire of his age, but he is not compared to others like in the books. All of his unique powers are rarely shown in the show, nor is how he is naturally powerful compared to others.
- In the books, Damon is considered by others as very dangerous, sadistic, and cruel. In the series, Damon is manipulative and cruel at first, but changes to help Elena in the search for information about Katherine and protects her from being taken by Klaus; he helps Stefan to protect Elena from constant hazards and makes a promise that will keep them safe and away from the tomb; Caroline as Damon gives his blood to her to prevent her death.
- Damon, at one point, had sexual relationships with the three first characters to have an episode named after them:
- Isobel Saltzman had an affair with him before and possibly after he turned her into a vampire. She begged him to turn her, and they seemed to revive their sexual relationship once she returned, but he was actually just playing her.
- Rose slept with him after they both got drunk. He developed true feelings for her, but staked her to put her out of her suffering after Jules bit her.
- Katherine Pierce had a sexual relationship with him in 1864. After her return, they nearly had sex but were interrupted when Katherine declared she never loved him. He believed he was in love with her, but has recently moved on.
- In the books, Damon owns a black Ferrari but in the series he drives a blue Camaro convertible.
- Damon shows friendship and loyalty to Elena and Stefan and others like Bonnie, Caroline, Alaric, and Jeremy.
- Damon and Stefan are roughly 350 years younger than their novel counterparts.
- Damon was the second vampire to be bitten by a werewolf after Rose and before Katherine, and the second to be cured, after Katherine.
- Damon is comforted by Elena in his "final moments" similar to how Damon comforts Rose in hers, both because of werewolf bites.
- In the books, Damon has the ability to shapeshift into a crow and wolf. In the series, Damon can control a crow and the mist but they were removed from the plot early on.
- In the series, Damon shares one big difference with Damon from the books: Damon in the books, loves being a vampire and he tried to return to that state when he was accidentally turned into a human; Damon in the series seems to love his hedonist life style as a vampire but, as he said to Jessica, he misses being human beyond anything else.
- Damon has kissed a Petrova Doppelgänger in three season finales. He kissed Katherine in the first season finale, and Elena in the second and fourth seasons finales.
- Damon is the fourth character who kills Elijah, following Alaric, Elena, and Klaus.
- Damon has become friends with every character he failed to kill except Klaus.
- Damon's exact age has never been stated in the series but he tells Alaric he is in his 160s, making his age between 162 and 169.
- Damon usually wears black.
- Damon, Elena and Stefan are the only main characters who have appeared in all episodes.
- He is connected by blood with both Petrova Doppelgängers: Elena and Katherine. He was turned into a vampire by Katherine's blood and Elena was turned into a vampire with Damon's blood.
- Damon often makes references to the characteristics of other characters by nicknames.
- Caroline - Blondie, Vampire Barbie, Judgy.
- Elena - Buffy, Warrior Princess, Scaredy Cat, Judgy, Stone Cold Bitch.
- Stefan - Shady Stefan, Saint Stefan, Beefcake, Stefan: the Hero.
- Bonnie - Witchy, Judgy, Wicked Witch of the West, Medusa.
- Vanessa - Hottie.
- Matt - Busboy, Quarterback, Prom King.
- Rebekah - Barbie Klaus, She-devil, Sexy Bex.
- Atticus Shane - Professor Creepy, Professor Shady Pants, The Nutty Professor.
- Jeremy - Van Helsing, Karate Kid, Big Jer, Little Gilbert.
- Katherine - Psychotic doppelgänger, Evil Vampire Slut, Smiley, Evil One.
- Mikael - Papa Original.
- Mary Porter - Scary Mary.
- Damon has turned three regulars into vampires with his blood, Vicki, Caroline and Elena. He also turned Isobel and Abby. This makes him the most used vampire in the show to be seen turning people into vampires, and all female.
- Out of the three regulars that he turned, Vicki, Caroline and Elena respectively, he killed only Vicki. Caroline was suffocated by Katherine and Elena drowned, because of Rebekah.
- He's the only known vampire that had other vampires sired to him.
- He slept with three members of the Petrova family. He first slept with Katherine Pierce (Katerina Petrova), and second with Isobel Saltzman, and finally he slept with Elena Gilbert.
- Out of all the characters in the TV series, he has had sex with the most women.
- Damon is the only character closest to most of Elena's family members.
- Damon has been in danger in every season finale.
- Except for the Originals and beside Marcel who is in another show, Damon is the oldest vampire living, as Katherine became human again.