|“||Elena, today I did things I abhor to protect the one thing I value most, my family. If anyone can understand it, it’s you. Your compassion is a gift, Elena. Carry it with you, as I will carry my regret. Always and forever, Elijah.||”|
They first meet when Rose kidnaps Elena in order to gain their freedom by handing her over to Elijah for the intention of using her as a sacrifice.
They later make a deal to help each other destroy their common enemy, Elijah's brother, Klaus. During this time, Elena's actions and her willingness to put herself in harm's way to protect the people she loves earn her Elijah's respect and admiration. He sees a lot of the qualities he values in people in her. Despite both their betrayals to each other, they always choose to trust each other. They both care about each other as friends. They later reunite when Elena poses as Katherine, who was supposed to be meeting Elijah, and they share their first and only kiss.
They are often referred as "Elejah" by fans.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
Elijah enters Rose and Trevor's hideout, believing they have Katherine. Rose, however, claims that they have better, a human Petrova doppelgänger. Elijah is skeptical about the existence of a doppelgänger because he thought that the Petrova line had ended with Katherine (which is what Katherine probably told him). Rose leads him to where Elena and Trevor are after making him give his word that he will pardon her. He is shocked to see Elena and smells her, confirming that she is Human. Elena begs Rose not to let Elijah take her, but Elijah says they must leave, kills Trevor, and pardons Rose.
When Elijah is about to leave with Elena, she brings up the topic of the Moonstone. She feels that she can negotiate with him, much to his amusement. Elijah removes the vervain necklace Elena is wearing and compels her to tell him where the moonstone is. Elena answers by saying that it was with Katherine in the tomb underneath the church.
When Stefan and Damon arrive, Elijah passes Elena to Rose but the brothers take them away as Elijah prepares a stake by using the coat hanger. He yells that they can't beat him and that he wants Elena. Elena then appears and begs him to take her with him if he doesn't harm the others. He's skeptical and she throws a vervain bomb in his face. Stefan shoots him multiple times with a stake gun that belongs to Alaric but it does no harm. Stefan throws himself and Elijah down the stairs, Elijah is quickly on his feet and he is about to kill Stefan when Damon stakes him. Elena, Stefan and Damon escape. Elijah later awakens and pulls the stake out.
Elijah and Jonas use a locator spell to find Elena when she decides to give herself up to Klaus. Elena is shocked when she sees Elijah in the window's reflection, but when she turns around no one is there. Elijah tells Jonas he knows exactly where she is. He later shows up at Slater's house where Elena, Rose, and Damon are and kills the vampires who arrived to take Elena to Klaus after hearing that they did not tell anyone about their knowledge of Elena being alive. Rose flees in fear, but Elijah decides to spare Elena and Damon and leaves. Elijah tells Jonas that he had seen one of the Salvatore brothers who killed him. Jonas assumes that Elijah killed him but Elijah says he spared Damon because he knew Damon would die before letting anything happen to Elena. He revealed that both Damon and Stefan would protect Elena and he needed her to be safe for the moment.
Elijah met Elena at her house when Jenna invited him in to give him some files from the Historical Society. Upon seeing her, Elijah greets her by introducing himself as "Elijah Smith" and as an author who was investigating small towns in Virginia. He shakes Elena's hand and before leaving he says that he hopes they meet again. Seeing that he's gone, Elena runs up to Jeremy's room and knocks on his door- possibly to warn or inform him of Elijah's visit. Elijah appears and gestures for her not to reveal that he is there so when Jeremy comes to the door, Elena tells him that that Jenna needs help with the boxes downstairs. Jeremy leaves and Elijah says it was "a wise choice" and examines her. Elena asks what he wants and he says they need to talk. Elijah offers her protection for everyone she loves if she lets him use her as bait for Klaus so Elijah can kill him. Elena says she will, but only if Elijah frees Stefan from the tomb in which he is trapped with Katherine. Elijah gets Jonas to lower the seal on the tomb and shows up at the tomb and reveals Elena's determination to Katherine and Stefan, shocking Katherine. He frees Stefan but compels Katherine to stay inside. Its later revealed that Elena respected Elijah and understood that nowhere in their deal did he mention saving her, but that she was okay with that. She said that he was "careful with his words", proving her knowledge of the loophole in their deal from the start.
Alaric stabs Elijah with a dagger dipped in the ash of the white oak tree but, not knowing the dagger shouldn't be removed, Elijah returns soon afterwards. He goes to Jonas and orders him to find Elena right away. Elijah shows up at her family lakehouse where she is with Stefan. He shatters the door with pebbles and tells her they no longer have a deal. She tries a negotiation, but he says she has nothing left to negotiate. Elena says she will kill herself if he refuses to protect her loved ones even if they harm him, knowing he needs her alive. He says that Stefan will not let her die, to which she agrees and says she will then become a Vampire. He calls her "bluff" so she stabs herself in the stomach. He panics, rushing towards her but unable to enter, and promises his protection if she lets him heal her. She asks for his word and he says, "You have my word." She falls into his arms and stabs him with the dagger which Damon gave her, killing him temporarily. Elijah's body is then moved downstairs at the Salvatore cellar.
After Bonnie fakes her death to fool Klaus and Damon promises Elena to let Bonnie die if there's ever a choice between the girls, she goes to the basement and removes the dagger from Elijah, hoping he will protect Bonnie or figure out a way to kill Klaus whilst sparing Bonnie. When he wakes up, he mistakes her for Katherine at first and asks, "Katerina?" Elijah has difficulties breathing and Elena realizes that he hasn't been invited in since the house was signed over to her. He sloppily runs outside using his vampire speed and upon recovery he tries to grab Elena but can't due to not being invited inside. Elijah asks her what happened to him. Elena tells him to lower his voice, saying that she will tell him, but not there. Elena asks if she can trust him but Elijah asks her the same thing. To prove herself, Elena gives him the dagger which shocks him and they leave the house together.
Elena tells Elijah that Klaus is now in Mystic Falls and has taken over Alaric's body. Elijah isn't surprised, telling her its one of Klaus's favourite tricks. Elena asks Elijah what Klaus is going to do next and says that he is the only one who knows Klaus which he confirms. Elena's phone begins to ring and she talks to Stefan who doesn't trust Elijah and thinks he'll only use Elena to get to Klaus. Elena, however, is confident in him and trusts him, since he is a noble-man and is a man of his word. She hangs up on Stefan, satisfying Elijah. They arrive at the Lockwoods' and Elijah compels Carol to invite him in for some new clothes. Once inside and in clean clothes, Elijah asks Elena if the Martins are dead which she says they are. He also speculates that Katherine would have been released from the tomb when he died and Elena says she may be dead, however Elijah says that Klaus would rather make her suffer than kill her. Elijah then tells Elena everything about Klaus, including that they are half-brothers and that Klaus is part-werewolf.
Elijah tells her about the Originals and how they were turned into vampires 1,000 years ago. He also says that the Sun and the Moon Curse is fake and that they created the fake curse almost a thousands years ago; the real curse is that the moonstone binds Klaus' dormant werewolf side so when activated, he will be a real Hybrid. They return to the boarding house only to witness Stefan and Damon fighting over Elena. Elena stops them, telling them she has made a new deal with Elijah. In return for his help, he asks to be apologized to. Stefan tells him that he's sorry and Elijah understands that Stefan will always protect Elena. However, Damon leaves mad, disappointing Elijah but he accepts Stefan's apology that Damon's mad at him. The next day, Elijah explains Klaus's curse to Elena, Stefan and Damon. He states that he needs the moonstone and a witch to perform the ritual.
Elijah reveals that Klaus needs to stake a vampire, rip out a werewolf's heart, and drink the blood of the doppelgänger to the point of their death on a full moon at the birthplace of Elena; this is what will make him a true hybrid. Elijah shows Elena an elixir that will bring her back as a human after she is killed. He says it was meant for Katherine 500 years ago before she ran away. He had planned and prepared for her survival after he met her and realised that he loved her. Elijah and Elena later talk alone and he asks her why she's doing this, to which she replies she either has to die or watch Klaus harm others in revenge. He says that the elixir may not work and that he doesn't want to mislead her, but she says, "I know the chance that I'm taking." Alaric then returns and announces that the sacrifice will take place that night. Not wanting to take a chance on the elixir, Damon feeds Elena his blood which would turn her into a vampire so she wouldn't need the elixir to bring her back to life. Elijah announces the elixir is no longer needed and tells Damon that Elena will never forgive him and that will be a very long time once she is a vampire.
That night, Elena is taken from Stefan by Klaus. Elijah meets with Stefan and Alaric to prepare Klaus's death. When the ritual begins, Klaus kills Jules and Jenna as the werewolf and vampire, then kills Elena by drinking her blood. Bonnie attacks him with magic and Elijah shows up to kill him but Klaus convinces him to spare him so that he can show him where the rest of his family is, saying that it wasn't in the depths of the ocean where he claimed it was. Elijah helps Klaus escape, betraying Elena and his promise to her.
When Rebekah attacks Elena for betraying her, Elijah arrives and saves Elena, telling Rebekah to leave. Elijah tells Elena they have a lot of catching up to do, promising her that no one will be harmed. He tells her that his mother, Esther, was inside the last coffin.
At the Mikaelson's Ball, Elijah intercepts Elena when she is about to talk to Esther and tells Elena that Esther's ability to forgive Klaus is weird after everything he's done to her and the rest of the family. Elena then asks him if he thinks its all an act and he tells her it has him asking questions he never thought he'd ask.Elijah then asks her to tell him what Esther says, and Elena promises to tell him. However, Elena agrees with Esther's plan to kill her family (especially Klaus) which included Elijah, but she feels guilty for betraying him. When Elijah finds her later, he asks how it went with Esther. Elena tells him that she only wanted to talk and apologize for trying to have her killed in the past. Elijah then asks Elena if he can trust her and Elena says he can. When Esther makes her toast, Elena and Elijah stand together and stare at each other as they drink. They both witnessed Damon killing Kol and Elena felt guilty for betraying Elijah due to how he found a way for her to survive the sacrifice, and she was doing the opposite for him.
The next day, Elijah showed up at Elena's house and asks her to come with him as he had something to show her. They drove to an old place where Elijah tells Elena that 1000 years ago he used to play there as a child before the "founding families" built over it. He also mentions that there were underground caves where he and his family hid during a full moon. He says that Esther says there must be a balance and mentions how he admires Elena.
Elijah then brings up how Elena lied to him and although she denies it, he insists he can hear it in her heartbeat. Elena says that when she met with Esther, she thought she had a way to kill Klaus and told him it is not just Klaus she wants to kill. Elijah then realizes that she wants to kill all of her children, saying that she wants to undo the evil that she has created. Elena tells him that she wishes she could help him but Elijah then tells her that she should be careful what she wishes for. Elijah grabs Elena and, breaking a hole in the ground, takes her to the underground caves. He is willing to let Rebekah kill Elena, to use her to get Stefan and Damon to help him stop his mother, before their mother can kill them.
Upon her return home after escaping Rebekah, Elena finds a letter from Elijah expressing his regret and apologizing to her, telling her he did it for his family as they must always come first. Elena understood his intentions since she would have done the same thing in his position. And technically she did do exactly that when she betrayed him to protect her and her loved ones from Klaus. He ends the letter with saying: "Your compassion is a gift, Elena. Carry it with you, as I will carry my regret. Always and forever, Elijah." Elijah tells Rebekah that he shouldn't have done that to Elena.
After Elena learned of the bloodlines rule, she stated that she hoped Abby, Damon, Stefan and Caroline's bloodline was started by Elijah so that they could both kill Klaus and not die themselves, and because Elijah was her favorite Original out of the five.
Elijah later showed up at Elena's house again. Elena called Stefan who turned up. Elijah said that once he takes the White Oak Stake away from Alaric, he will have it in his possession, saying that once he has been disarmed his family will scatter to the ends of the earth and Alaric will follow them, thus keeping the others safe. Stefan questions this. Elijah says he will run just like Klaus and Rebekah did from their father, Mikael. Elijah promises Elena that he will do this until her lifetime is over.
Elena says that she can't just deliver Klaus's body back to him so that he can bring him back. Elijah promised her that he would not revive Klaus in hers or even her children's lifetimes and said that might give him some manners. Matt didn't believe him since he has betrayed her in the past but Elijah said Elena could have been dead already and says to Elena that it is up to her whether she should trust him or not. Elena decided to trust Elijah since Klaus was his brother. Before Elijah and the others leave, Jeremy calls Alaric in the room where Elijah is, and tells him that Klaus's body is headed to the woods where Damon plans to bury him. Jeremy said that he bought it but Elijah and the rest just look at him. After Klaus's death, Stefan told Elijah about it and he had a moment with Rebekah before she decided to kill Alaric by killing Elena, as they were linked. Elijah left town, unaware of Rebekah's plan.
After discovering, along with Rebekah, that Katherine's planning to meet up with "em," Elena impersonates Katherine so that she can meet "em" instead. It turns out that it was Elijah as "em" was Elijah's initials. Elijah arrives and mistakes her for Katherine. Elena's shocked to see Elijah again but quickly recovered and passes herself off as Katherine by acting like her. Elijah's very friendly toward her and kisses her. Originally taken aback, Elena kisses him back. Elijah then asks Elena if she has The Cure and she says she will go and get it, flirting with him. However, he sees her ring and, noticing she's Elena, demands to know where Katherine is, strangling her in order to get the information that he wants.
Elijah takes Elena to an alley and speaks to Stefan on the phone, threatening to "descend upon" Elena if Katherine's hurt. He's shocked that Rebekah's working with Stefan and Damon. Elijah's surprised when Elena's outspoken and disrespectful towards him since she had always been courteous and kind in the past. He was confused and understands that something's different about her. Elena tells him that he's an idiot for believing there's still a part of Katerina inside Katherine and that there's hope to salvage her. She accuses Katherine of lying to him, but he says that Katherine didn't lie about Elena's transformation. He tells her that he knows she has turned her emotions off and asks why. When she tells him Katherine killed Jeremy, he's shocked, realising Katherine lied. Elena's unsympathetic, only pointing out she was right.
Elijah tells her that he knows the pain she's going through as he himself has lost several brothers. He says that he hopes one day she will be able to return to herself as it would be a shame if the world lost a soul as compassionate as hers. She then quotes the final words of his letter to her: "Your compassion is a gift, Elena. Carry it with you, always and forever." They begin to flirt and Elijah seems to enjoy "playing" with her until she says, "I enjoyed watching that letter burn, along with my old life, and along with Jeremy's body." He seems hurt by her words since he always admired and respected her due to her compassion and love for her friends and family, even allies. But then Katherine appears, snapping Elena's neck, and apologising for being late. Elijah's wary of Katherine after hearing of her lies from Elena.
Elijah later kneels over Elena's body, waiting for her to wake up. He confronts Katherine, asking her why she had to take the last of Elena's family away from her when that was exactly what happened to her, too when Klaus killed her family to get back at her for fleeing him and becoming a vampire. Katherine notices that Elijah has chosen to believe and trust Elena over her and is hurt by him and his choice, but is furious at Elena. Katherine realizes that Elijah and Elena share some sort of bond between them that she will never share with Elijah because of her sense of self-preservation and lack of compassion- unlike Elena. Katherine insists that Elena has been lying and planting doubts in Elijah's mind, but he refuses to believe her. He's furious that she killed Jeremy. He ends up walking away before Elena wakes up, too hurt by Katherine.
- Elena reminds Elijah of his first love, Tatia probably due to her compassion which is similar to Tatia.
- Elijah, unlike most of his family, does really care about Elena and her humanity, and is the only Original Vampire whom Elena likes.
- This is with the exception of when her humanity's off and she's close to Rebekah.
- No matter how many times they betray each other, they always forgive each other about it even if it should be unforgivable.
- Daniel Gillies admitted that there is sexual tension between them.
- Gillies also confirmed that Elijah's in love with Elena and admits he would love for him to confess his feelings to her.
- Gillies ships Elejah (Elena and Elijah)