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Stefan Salvatore’s Best Moments
Stefan Salvatore earned his hero hair. Whether you’re talking about the moment he first saved Elena from the car accident or the time he saved everyone (and gave them all a shot at peace) by sacrificing himself in order to destroy hell, there’s no doubt that he was the hero of the story. So, in honor of his sacrifice in the Vampire Diaries series finale, we’re looking back at his best moments, ahead.
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When Only He Could Tell the Difference Between Katherine and Elena
When Elena said a temporary goodbye to Stefan in the season 6 finale, she told him that he’d always known her better than anyone else, a fact that Stefan proved time and time again over the course of the series. At the end of season 1, Katherine was able to fool Damon into thinking she was Elena long enough to kiss him, but in the season 2 premiere, it took Stefan about a minute to realize he wasn’t talking to Elena. Jump to season 5, and it was Stefan who finally put two and two together and realized that Elena hasn’t been herself lately … because Katherine was possessing her.
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When He Gave Katherine A Beautiful Farewell
For all Stefan Salvatore's flaws, the one thing no one could ever deny about him was that he had a huge heart. And even when Katherine Pierce, the woman who had caused Stefan and Damon so much pain over the years, was on her deathbed, he somehow found it in himself to show her compassion. While everyone else celebrated being rid of the troublesome doppelganger, Stefan gave her the greatest gift: He went inside her head and let her see her baby for the first time. Stefan always saw the good in people, which is why the good in him always shined through.
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When He Helped Caroline (And Mouthed “I Love You”)
This moment was great for many reasons. Not only did it symbolize the beginning of Stefan’s friendship with Caroline as he guided her through the early stages of vampirism, but it once again showed how much he cared for others. He might not have known Caroline for very long at this point, but he knew when she needed her friends, so thoughtful Stefan called Bonnie and Elena to come help Caroline in her moment of need. And that brings us to the other great thing about this: The way he mouthed “I love you” to Elena, as if he was overcome with how much he loved her, as if he simply couldn’t believe it. Suffice it to stay, Stefan never lost that romance-novel stare and this might be when it was at its best.
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Every moment with Lexi
Lexi brought out the best in Stefan, whether they were at a Bon Jovi concert, the Mystic Grill, or fighting to stay alive on the Other Side. As much time as Stefan spent brooding, Lexi was the best friend that brought out his playful side. She allowed him to be comfortable enough to relax and maybe even smile. She helped get him through some of his worst times, and showed us some of his best, which is why it only makes sense that she was waiting for him when he found peace.
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Every Time He Saved Damon
In the season 1 finale, Stefan ran into a burning building to save his brother. In the season 2 finale, he “sacrificed everything to save his brother,” by leaving Mystic Falls (and Elena) behind to go on a Ripper binge with Klaus. And in season 3, he stopped Damon from killing Klaus — you guessed it! — to save Damon’s life. Those are only a handful of times Stefan put Damon first, not including his final sacrifice so that Damon could get the life he wanted. Translation: Stefan Salvatore was a great brother.
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He Couldn’t Think Of A Better Reason To Die
When Elena was kidnapped after the masquerade ball in season 2, Stefan had a one-track mind: Save Elena, no matter what. The instant they got a lead on where she was, he hit the road. He might’ve been going in blind and risking his life in the process, but as he told Damon, “It’s Elena.” And that’s all he needed to know. Even when Damon tried to give him a reality check that they could be walking into a death trap, Stefan simply responded by telling his brother that he “can’t think of a better reason to die.” As Elena would tell Stefan seasons later, “Your instincts were always to protect me.”
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He Was Able to Resist Compulsion
“The only thing stronger than your craving for blood is your love for this one girl.” Klaus said those words to none other than Ripper Stefan, who had been built up as the thirstiest of bloodthirsty creatures. When Stefan tasted human blood, it was all he could think about … except when it came to Elena. In season 3’s “The Reckoning,” Stefan proved just how much he loved Elena by somehow managing to resist Klaus’ compulsion to feed on her. And in an equally powerful and heartbreaking moment, even after Stefan stabbed himself to keep Elena safe, he gave Klaus one final shove — even though he knew it was pointless — as he yelled, “No” just to prove he wouldn’t give up his humanity without a fight. In the end, Klaus compelled him to turn his emotions off, but it wouldn’t last. Stefan would find a way back to both his humanity and Elena. As Klaus later said, “Crazy or not, that kind of love never dies.”
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He Offered His Own Life to Save Jenna
If we’re being completely honest, Stefan’s middle name could’ve been “sacrifice” for all of the people he was willing to die for in order to save over the years. But one of the first real sacrifices came in season 2, when Klaus needed to kill a vampire in order to unlock his curse. When Klaus decided to turn and kill Jenna, Stefan stepped up. He wasn’t about to let Elena lose another parental figure in her life. So, putting the woman he loved first, he volunteered to take Jenna’s place. In the end, Klaus wanted Stefan alive, but it’s the thought that counts.
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He Was Happy For Damon
The season 4 finale was arguably the most heartbroken Stefan ever was. After a season of debating the sire bond and Elena’s feelings for Damon, Stefan learned that Elena did, in fact, love his brother, which left him without the love of his life. And yet somehow, Stefan was able to rise above all of the heartache and, before leaving town, tell his brother, “I’m not happy about Elena, but I’m not NOT happy for you either.”
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His Reunion with Elena
For Stefan and Elena, season 3 was nothing if not a test of their love. But Stefan wasn’t going to let Elena go without a fight. In one of the couple’s greatest moments, Stefan told Elena “I love you, I will always love you” before asking her to confront her feelings about Damon. And in the season’s final hour, just before Elena would choose Stefan over Damon, he gave her a kiss to remember, “just in case there is no later.”
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Salvatore Brother Hugs
When we first met Stefan and Damon Salvatore, they weren’t exactly on good terms. They hadn’t even lived in the same place for years, but somehow, through falling in love with the same girl — for a second time — and teaming up to beat countless common enemies, they found their way back to each other. And quite frankly, there’s nothing better than a Salvatore brother hug, whether it was the time Stefan realized his brother wasn’t dead in season 6 or the final shot of the entire series, when the brothers found peace … together.
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He’d Wait For Caroline
Falling in love with Caroline was something that took time. It wasn’t until the season 6 finale that Stefan was ready to admit his feelings, but when he did it, the speech left its mark. Remembering that Caroline was still dealing with her mother’s death, Stefan told the woman he loved that he would wait for her, and when she was ready for him, he would be ready for her. And who doesn’t want to hear that from a Salvatore?
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When He Apologized to Damon
One of the biggest points of contention for the Salvatore brothers was the fact that, once upon a time, Stefan forced Damon into a life of vampirism. After all, that was why Damon promised his brother “an eternity of misery” all those years ago. So, in season 2, Stefan finally apologized for his actions. It was selfish of him to force Damon into this life, but, as he put it, “I guess I just needed my brother.”
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He and Caroline Got Married
After an early proposal in season 8, Steroline fans were worried they’d never get their wedding, but the series’ penultimate episode saw Caroline walk down the aisle. And when Stefan was left to improvise his vows, he brought things all the way back to the season 4 prom, when Caroline told him that he would find love again after Elena. He didn’t realize it then, but it would be with her.
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When He Made A Deal With The Devil
As we know, when it came to saving those he loved, Stefan would do anything. And in season 8, he proved that when he made a literal deal with the devil in order to save Caroline’s daughters from a lifetime serving Cade. Instead, he agreed to do the unthinkable — serve Cade, thereby signing himself up for the worst job anyone could imagine.
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When He Sacrificed Himself to Save … Everyone
You knew we’d get here eventually. In the series finale, someone had to die in order to kill Katherine Pierce once and for all and destroy hell. Damon was ready and willing to step up, but in the end, Stefan decided to give his brother a shot at the love he now deserved (and to give Elena the opportunity to get to know the person Damon was before Stefan made him turn). So, after giving his brother the cure, Stefan took down Katherine (and hell) and not only gave everyone the opportunity to live a full life, but he gave them a shot at peace, and there’s no better gift than that.