The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

I don’t want to be a vampire

with 3 comments

Dear Natalie,

Vampire Diaries really came back strong for me this week! At last some forward momentum and the promise of real drama, not just whiny teenage angst! I’ve wondered when the show as going to broach the question we’ve all got to have thought about at some time: why doesn’t Elena want to be a vampire? Especially in the post-Bella Swan universe, this is a big deal. Pushing eternal life on Elena – especially through Damon’s rash selfish actions – and having her admit she doesn’t want it, felt like a line in the sand. Elena is no Bella. She doesn’t fear getting old and wrinkly nor is she stock sure at 17 that her boyfriend is the love of one lifetime, not to mention endless lifetimes. Elena’s speech to Stefan in the setting sun reminded me of so much of what vampire mythologies are all about: they help us figure out what it really means to be human. For Elena, what mattered about human life was its fragility and uncertainty – that only when time has real consequences can you feel the burden and exhilaration of your choices. There is something exhausting and wearying about imagining living with your choices for all eternity or knowing you would live long enough to outgrow their effects. It was also refreshing to have her admit that she wasn’t so sure she wanted to be with Stefan for eternity and really, how can she be? Who could ever be, especially at 17? I have to admit though that her speech rang a little hollow given that she was so glibly ready to sacrifice her life. She never made the argument that she would rather die at 17 than become a vampire at 17, just that all things considered, she would rather not be a vampire. Maybe if she hadn’t been making pretty speeches about how much she didn’t care if she lived or died if it meant saving her friends I would have believed her ferocious desire to hold on to human life a bit more.

Whether she makes the big transition or not, the possibility of an undead Elena has injected new life in the show for me. The best part of the Twilight story was when Bella did become a vampire – that was when the real sparks started flying between her and Edward, when they were equals or she was slightly stronger, faster, etc. I’d like to see what would happen to the Elena-Stefan snoozefest if she could suddenly take him in a race, a fight, or an arm-wrestling match. Not to mention it would be nice to get away from the “everyone protect Elena” story. I need to see another episode or so before I make my final prediction, but right now I think they might go for it and let Elena turn at the end of the season. That would definitely bring me back for season 3.

I’m not so sure things are going to work out so well for Jenna though. Is she starting to seem like the sacrificial lamb? Isn’t it about that time in the story where something of enormous consequence happens so we know that the show means business? If Jenna doesn’t die or remain vampire, I’ll probably be frustrated because otherwise her introduction into Klaus’ little scheme just seems absurd. Why didn’t he just use Katherine as his vampire sacrifice? Is it just poetic vengeance to make it Jenna? And did she get brought into the know just so she could be sacrificed?

Or maybe she will stay vampire too and slowly but surely the whole gang will go supernatural. Now that Matt is getting looped in and Tyler is back, the promise is there for a full conversion. I really loved seeing Tyler and Caroline together again, even if it was locked in the tomb. They have a chemistry that I don’t feel with Caro and Matt, even though I am totally rooting for Matt. And how great is it that Matt is not on the outside anymore! I can’t wait to see what happens there.

Speaking of outside, where the hell are Bonnie and Jeremy?! Isn’t Bonnie the secret weapon to destroying Klaus? Has anyone even told her what is happening and that her super-powers are needed, oh, in like 20 minutes out in a clearing somewhere? Why didn’t we get to see any of her preparation or deliberations? I’m kind of frustrated how she has become this super-witch that gets brought out when needed but doesn’t get central time as a character in her own right. I miss her and Jer!

I know you won’t get to this episode for a while, but when you do I can’t wait to her your predictions.



3 Responses

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  1. Love the way you put elena’s reaction, I also think that she isn’t sure stefan is the one.. anyway keep on doing this !!


    April 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm

  2. I definitely enjoyed the conversations between Stefan and Elena this week and one of the things that most got me thinking was when Stefan was talking about how vampires feel everything more deeply. It reminds me of how it feels to be a teenager, where your emotions sometimes seem all-consuming. I can’t help wondering if the writers set this comparison up deliberately. You’ve brought up in the past that the teenagers of Mystic Falls seem in many ways to be put in the position of acting as adults. The vampires, on the other hand, who should be the most adult of all, act more like teenagers.

    I think Damon is the prime example of this. He’s always been sort of the “vampire’s vampire,” and he’s also the one who seems to feel everything most deeply and to act impulsively on those feelings. In that respect, he sometimes seems very like a teenager. No wonder Elena doesn’t want to be a vampire. Can you imagine being frozen in perpetual teenage angst for centuries? It makes sense that a lot of vampires just turn off their feelings, or at least avoid attachments. I think the struggle to deal with attachments is what makes Caroline and Damon so interesting to me. Likewise, Stefan’s zen, unchanging acceptance is why I mostly find him boring. It’s only in the moments where he’s depicted as having trouble with what he is where he becomes intriguing.


    May 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm

  3. Also, I have to add that I love how when Stefan was desperate, he called Damon and Damon promised to fix things. Despite everything, Damon’s still his big brother. The relationship between the brothers is one of my favorites in the show.


    May 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm

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