||02-15-2012 02:47 AM
"I think now, he’s just so weathered and kind of numb. I think that’s slowly changing because of meeting Elena." When Elijah - the millenniums-old Original legendary among vampires for his code of honor, elegance, and lethality - came to Mystic Falls, dressed to kill and eager to do so, it was merely to settle a few old scores. Kill Trevor in a suitably amusing way, Rose too if she didn't watch herself, and try to use Katherine to lure out Klaus; failing that, rip her heart out for toying with his. Instead, he was brought face to face with the impossible: Elena Gilbert - a human Petrova doppleganger - piss-**** scared, her pretty pink sweater covered in blood.
Elena Gilbert is not a superhuman; she's not a witch that has psychic visions and can float things, she's not a vampire or werewolf with miraculous healing ability and incredible strength and speed. Hell, she doesn't even get one of those nifty rings that raises you from the dead, provided your send-off was issued by the supernatural. But she always fights back, one way or another; she runs, she stabs people with pencils, she throws chairs through windows, and she's always up for negotiation. As Elijah discovered when, after poor Trevor's decapitation, she all but yelled, "I KNOW WHERE THE MOONSTONE IS AND I WILL HELP YOU GET IT PLEASE DON'T SLAP MY HEAD OFF." But only a fool trusts a Petrova while her back is to the wall, and compulsion's much quicker anyway. Shortly after, Elijah learned of another way Elena Gilbert is willing to fight back: she will throw a live grenade in your face. He had it coming, to be fair. Their little meet-cute concluded with Elijah being nailed to a door and dying. Or, you know, "dying".
"I think she’s a miracle to him. I think everybody else is behaving in a way he understands and can predict, but she’s just this flower in the desert." It would have been easier for the presumed-dead Original to simply snatch Elena off the street, take her necklace, compel her to help him and not tell anyone, place the necklace back on her, and go about his merry way. He'd been craving revenge against his brother for 500 years; Elena could bring him the peace he needed. But she'd been brave enough to challenge an Original, something few could say, and that seemed to intrigue him. So he decided instead to leave her be and let her live her life until he found everything he needed to lure Klaus out. Inconveniently for him, she possessed not only the infamous Petrova fire, but an unhealthy tendency to self-sacrifice.
For half a millennium he watched people - werewolves, witches, vampires, including the oldest of his kind - run from his brother, watched them do anything in the name of survival; but this girl was running to Klaus. Offering herself up in exchange for her friends and family. This, I think, is what made him decide to offer her a deal; to make her a player instead of a victim.
“Elijah, out of everyone, is the only person who’s actually forming an alliance with her, so her biggest enemy is her closest ally.” They coddled her, sheltered her, lied to her, dismissed her; Damon and Stefan's way of doing things. Protected her, if you want to romanticize it, but why bother? Elena Gilbert is not Katherine Pierce, and though they'd swear til they're blue in the face they understand that, they do not appreciate what is fundamentally different about the two women: Elena will not survive at all costs because her life is not worth more than anyone else's. In the grand cosmic scheme of things her life's value is, ironically, in her death. Elena can appreciate that; objectively speaking, it would have been better for everyone if Stefan had just left her in the car to drown alongside her parents. Elena Gilbert knows there are worse things than dying; she knows firsthand there is little in the world worse than your own family dying in part because of you, even if you didn't mean for them to. Stefan didn't seem to know that, though he should have. Damon didn't care. Bonnie and Jeremy couldn't remain objective to save their lives (heh). No, Elena found an ally in her biggest enemy whilst trapped (protected) in her own home. Elijah. He respected her right to self-determination, respected the experiences that informed her decisions, as much as his vendetta allowed. He offered her what she wanted most, the safety of her friends and family, in exchange for her life. Not that he phrased it that way. Trust is earned, not given; fool me once, shame on you, and she'd already made him inhale vervain. Politics makes strange bedfellows.
"She’s got more of a grasp on him that he understands." She understood he did not promise her survival. Allies stood united with a mutual goal, after all; it didn't make them buddies. She didn't ask him over for dinner. Damon did, though, because Damon will always poke the bear and Elijah's the biggest game he's ever seen. So as Stefan told all the wrong stories and nagged and condescended Elena into submission, Damon walked blindly into a trap that delivered a very pissed off Original onto Elena's doorstep.
While the Brothers Dimm hovered in a corner, Elena walked her badass self as close to the door as she dared hover and apologized, delicately - hilariously - referring to Damon and Alaric's assassination attempt as "what they did." Understandably pissed, Elijah preferred a more direct "the deal is off." With her back to the wall Elena played the only card she had left and threatened to knife herself. Initially dismissive, you could see the wheels turning in his head as he calculated the odds, adding up everything he had learned about her in such a short time. He came up with the wrong answer though and, calling her bluff, learned of another thing Elena Gilbert will do: she will absolutely gut herself like a fish in her family's retreat while standing 20 feet from two vampires that are not exactly the poster boys for self-restraint. (Seriously. Am I the only one who screamed "Oh my god; NOT NEAR STEFAN!"?) When she cried out Elijah's mouth popped open in shock before he hit the barrier between them, this awful yell ripping out of him. As Elena sank to the ground, Elijah looked desperately through the doorway, trying to find someone, or some way in, before giving in and giving her her deal.
His voice was strained as he gave his word and demanded she let him heal her, and he held his arms out to catch her. When she fell into him he cradled her head, and though my shippery heart caught fire at the tender gesture, I can appreciate that Elena was too busy trying not to bleed out in front of three vampires to notice. So, I will confess, it caught me by surprise when a blade was shoved through Elijah's chest. (Me: "She is so badass! .........NO! HE LOVES YOU.") Nothing sucks like one half of your OTP killing the other half. It was especially heartbreaking to watch him pull her head back to his chest as he died.
"Elena & Elijah are both really, really coming to terms with their humanity – one after thousands of years is still wrestling with it because he has this deep sense of compassion in spite of his murderous qualities. I think there’s something deeply naive about her, but extraordinarily worldly for her years. That’s one of the reasons I think they’re drawn to each other." Elena sat in her socks all night waiting for Elijah to revive. When he did, 500 years of associating that face with a betrayer that would become one of the most dishonorable vampires in existence had Elijah cringing away in horror. Once Elena managed to assure him it was her, once his memories of the previous two weeks came back to him, his face softened and he lost consciousness.
When he awoke and the protection spell hilariously vomited him out of the house, these two stood once again on opposite sides of a magical barrier and learned to trust each other. Elena gave him the dagger, something Elijah did not take lightly. He was still angry, of course, but also stunned, fascinated, hopeful. It was the first time we truly saw Elijah vulnerable and it was after Elena forfeited the one weapon that could be used against him. Because she was asking him to trust her and he wanted to, and that frightened him.
"There’s a resistance and a purity, and the sexual tension becomes pyre between them." I love Elena's preferred method of gaining Elijah's trust: bone-deep sincerity and eyesex. As Elijah feigned disinterest in Elena's attempt to renegotiate their deal, Elena said simply "You need my help to kill Klaus. And I need you." As she held eye contact her cell phone rang, because Stefan is the killjoy to end all killjoys, and while she looked away to answer it Elijah was left flustered. Which leads us to: "Elijah and I need some time alone. Elijah is a noble man, Stefan. He lives by a code of honor. I can trust him. He knows that I’d be incredibly stupid to betray him again. By removing the dagger, I have proven myself." Said while staring him in the eyes the whole time. I don't know many people who would do that, most of us would be dying from embarrassment or too busy trying to straddle Elijah. And hey, Elijah was eyesexing her right back:
After coming to the decision to trust her for the time being, Elijah requested her cell phone with a nod mocking her earlier one. After pocketing it, these two did what they do best: got down to business. A visit to the Lockwood house and a fresh set of clothes later found Elijah divulging his family's history to Elena. She pressed the issue of Klaus being Elijah's brother while Elijah attempted and failed to maintain his composure. Declaring he needed air, he moved their conversation to the grounds and explained to Elena that the curse of the Sun and the Moon doesn't even exist. She's likely the first person he's ever admitted that to and he seemed to get a great deal of amusement from her shock and confusion. As they continued their conversation Elena's phone began to ring again and in a show of trust, Elijah gave it to her. After hearing the bad news that Klaus had gone after Jenna, Elena tried to beg off and although Elijah was initially against her leaving him, once she stressed that Jenna was her family and she had to care of her, after giving her word she'd return, Elijah agreed to let her leave.
"Well, God knows that she’s done things to him that he wouldn’t have necessarily wanted to happen, but Elijah continues to return to Elena even though she’s effectively put a knife in him. These two have an interesting connection." When Elena returned to him, his face lit up with a wondrous smile. She'd come back to him just like she said. She stripped off her jacket and demanded to know what Klaus' curse was and his smile fell as the moment passed. There was a pause as they stood staring at each other before he offered her a seat and began explaining the more sordid secrets his family's kept. No matter what they discussed a pleased smile would briefly cross his face. Elijah always gets amusement from Elena's shock - every little gasp or widening of the eyes makes his lips twitch in 2x19 - but I think he was genuinely pleased to be able to share that information with her, no matter how bleak it was. After riddling out what would and would not kill Klaus, Elijah shared with her the best news of all: he'd found a way to save the life of the doppleganger. Stunned and delighted, she didn't have to die, Elena just stood stock still as Elijah fetched her jacket like a gentleman. And while Elijah simply held it out to her and looked straight ahead, Elena filled in the blanks: "You cared about her, didn't you?" She'd been through this twice already so it follows she'd figure out fast what Elijah was too embarassed to admit. "It's a common mistake, I'm told. And one I won't make again." Liar liar pants on fire. Try that again without eyesexing the poor girl:
Not that she pulled away. As Elijah left Elena simply stood rooted to the spot. Jelly legs.
"Or let me rephrase that, I think he knows precisely the kind of grasp she has on him. I’m sensing something unselfish surfacing in him, like a devotional kind of love." Back at Chez Salvatore as Stefan smarmed and Damon sulked, Elena bragged about how awesome her new boyfriend is:
She just completely ****ing adores him. The next morning Elijah explained the curse and sacrifice more fully to Elena, Stefan, and Damon, rarely taking his eyes off Elena for long. When Damon flounced off to have another tantrum and Stefan went after him, Elena and Elijah stood intimately together with a fire roaring between them. I am not making this up or trying to be poetic, look:
Somebody on the TVD crew ships them. Elijah asked Elena why she was willing to let Klaus kill her and as she explained, Elijah's respect, admiration, and love for Elena deepened.
"If you saw somebody who was just under threat all the time and was making these really brave decisions, and was doing things that [you] wouldn’t possibly have the courage be able to do, the bravery of her — I think he’s seduced by her, in spite of himself. Nobody’s got better restraint than Elijah, but I think that she’s just completely enchanting." When Alaric delivered Klaus' message, Elena looked directly to Elijah behind her.
As the group, minus Damon, convened in the living room to interrogate Alaric, Elena sat in a large throne chair with Elijah standing protectively beside her, his arm draped across the back.
"I think that’s the most important thing about these vampire shows. They’re not even about vampires, really. Especially this show. It’s not about vampires, it’s about humans and humanity. It’s about being a person and the beauty that probably someone like Elijah sees in somebody like Elena." Elena is a human. She is 17. She watched her parents drown to death, and very nearly followed. Within the next 6 months she: found her baby brother on the brink of death, was in another car crash, was kidnapped multiple times, saw people get their hearts ripped out or their heads taken off, saw someone snap her baby brother's neck, watched her aunt stab herself, was harassed by her evil twin, found out she was adopted, found out her evil twin murdered one of her best friends, was repeatedly stabbed, saw her bio mom burn to death, and saw her other best friend "die". That last one was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. Yes, two other people would have to die in the sacrifice but what are the chances Klaus, obsessed with breaking the curse for over a thousand years, wouldn't already have a werewolf and a vampire? How would they lure out Klaus to let Bonnie kill him anyway? It's unlikely they'd be able to make it past Klaus' warlock, and who knows what else, to rescue the werewolf and vampire. And they tend to kill any vampires that come to Mystic Falls anyway, so why forfeit Bonnie's life to save this one? It's sad, what happened to Tyler, but how often does the curse get accidentally triggered for werewolves anyway? They tend to display some serious anger management issues; there's a pretty good chance the werewolf in question is more like Brady than Tyler. And having power isn't the same as being able to use it; Sheila had far less then either Lucy or Emily, and it still killed her. Who's to say Bonnie could survive long enough to use that kind of magic? I imagine these thoughts, or some similar, were what led Elena down to the cellar to revive Elijah. Elena sat in that cellar all night convincing herself that Elijah was as honorable as he claimed to be. I don't think he was; I think Elijah had a greater sense of honor than 99% of the characters on this show, don't get me wrong, but the society (so the speak) that the Originals built for themselves - where killing another vampire was forbidden and truth and honor ruled all - was gone. Elijah was it's only true survivor. And lesser vampires didn't know the first thing about the sort of self-discipline and code of conduct the Originals lived their lives by; there was no other family to go to, to form. Elijah could become significantly less and still be more civilized than most vampires. He didn't need to have such a rigid morality so I think it frayed around the edges. As Daniel Gillies pointed out, Elijah killed people in his first few appearances that didn't deserve to die; he was willing to bend his own rules to achieve what was, for him, the ultimate goal. But Elena chose to put her faith in that honor when she pulled the dagger out. And I think that - the high premium Elena placed on Elijah's honor - touched something inside of him. "I think that he enjoys who he becomes around her, even in spite of all the peril it has brought him." For the first time in centuries Elijah had a reason to be an honorable man; Elena. And he wanted to be that for her, and tried. But Klaus always had an ace in the hole, one that trumped even Elena: their family. 5 siblings and 2 parents; bodies intact, daggers in their chests, perfectly able to be revived if only Elijah spared Klaus' life. It was, as Daniel Gillies put it, one of the most difficult decisions he's ever had to make. Jenna and Jules are dead already, sparing Klaus won't change that. Elena will awaken shortly as a vampire. It's unlikely even a hybrid could survive an attack by 8 Originals and if the witch still has her powers by then, Klaus is as good as dead. I imagine Elijah was thinking something similar to that when he chose to spare his baby brother. I think Elena will be pissed because she has to be but I think ultimately she will forgive Elijah. Because Daniel Gillies is right:
"I think that if he does survive and leaves Mystic Falls, I don’t think he can stay away because she’s too much of a miracle for him. There’s something in her that’s also in him – I don’t mean to be grotesque about it and frame this in a romantic context, but there’s a spiritual quality they share and that’s going to be very difficult for him to not return to."
It's not just about the sexual chemistry, the humor, the maturity, the intelligence, the respect; it's not just about how Elijah somehow makes Elena stronger, gives her the courage to do difficult things, or how Elena awakens in Elijah the best possible version of himself. It's about how there's something in them both that is exactly the same, that dictates how they think and feel and see the world around them. It's about how no matter what happens with the triangle on this show, I honestly believe that Elijah and Elena are, for lack of a better and less corny word, soulmates.