There you have it folks – from a man who should know. Right? Just one problem. This “man” is both a vampire and a werewolf, so presumably what he says next is true too – at least for him.
Klaus: “And we are not weak, Elijah. We do not feel and we do not care.”
Ah, there’s the rub, because devoted viewers of this show know, vampires do feel and they do care.
Stefan’s friend, Lexi, told us the truth about vampires in “The Dinner Party”.
Lexi: “Love, Stefan. That’s the point.”
Stefan had been using the dying men in the triage as a source of blood to feed his cravings. In order to feed, he felt it was necessary to shut out his emotions. But Lexi made him face his emotions. She let him know that while it may be difficult at first…
Lexi: “Once you can hurt, you can love.”
It is not that vampires have no feelings – it’s that all their feelings – both pain and pleasure – are intensified. So as Lexi said, when they hurt, they really hurt, but…
Lexi: When we love…”
We can’t choose what we feel – that’s the tough part about emotions. In order to feel love, we must also feel pain.
I believe that what Klaus says is true for him. He doesn’t feel and he doesn’t care. Whether this is because he is a hybrid, or because he’s been repressing his emotions for a thousand years, or because he’s fooling himself is unclear.
It is also possible that his thousand year quest for the elements to end his curse, and his desire for power, have indeed – as Elijah suggests – driven him mad.
But for Elijah, feelings remain.
We see it when he regains consciousness in the Salvatore’s house and thinks he is looking into the face of Katerina Petrova.
Elijah had feelings for this woman back in 1491. It is plain in the look on his face when he first sets eyes on her at his brother’s birthday celebration. He even says so.
Elijah: “You remind me of someone”.
And his smile is full of warmth and remembrance.
We also see a glimmer of recognition on Klaus’ face when he first sees Katerina from across the room. But Klaus’s smile is not warm. It looks more like smug satisfaction.
Who is the woman that Katerina reminds them of – a former lover? Is this history repeating – two brothers, falling for the same woman, losing her and chasing her across the centuries? At this point, we don’t know.
What we do know is that Elijah, unlike his half-brother, has not lost his capacity to feel emotions. It is his emotions that have driven him to find a way to protect Katerina – the doppelganger – while still allowing Klaus to break the curse.
But Klaus won’t risk it. He accuses his brother of “falling in love” as if it were a death sentence.
Klaus: “Love is a vampire’s greatest weakness. And we are not weak, Elijah. We do not feel and we do not care.”
That may be the way Klaus views love, but it does not apply to Elijah. He carries a torch. He remembers.
Elijah: “We did once.”
And I believe that the reason Elijah treats Elena with deference and trust is because Elena reminds him of the Katerina he first met. Or the woman Katerina reminds him of.
Katerina: “True love is not real unless it is returned.”
Elijah replies that he doesn’t believe in love, but contradicts his statement with a subtle look – a memory he is reliving – or a feeling he is having in the moment. Katerina doesn’t appear to apprehend the look, but her next statement is a key to the woman she was then.
Katerina: “If we cease to believe in love, why would we want to live?”
Elijah may have fallen in love with that Katerina. But once she discovered Klaus’ true intentions, Katerina appeared to take on Klaus’ perspective. She abandoned her feelings in order to survive.
And Elijah will not make the mistake of trusting her again. Falling in love with her nearly got him killed at his brother’s hands when Klaus discovered Katerina is a vampire and can no longer be used as the doppelganger to help him break his curse.
For Elijah, Elena represents the nobler characteristics of the original Katerina. And he relates to her on that basis. Whatever he discovered in 1491 that would have protected Katerina will work on Elena now.
For some, it is almost irresistible to compare these two love stories, and many people would draw parallels between the two sets of brothers – Damon to Klaus, and Elijah to Stefan.
I disagree. I think those pairings are wrong.
Elijah is not like Stefan – he is like Damon – pining for a woman he cannot have, wanting his human feelings back because he misses them, yet guarding himself against their pain.
I can see the obvious similarities between Damon and Klaus – the “loose cannon” aspects. But Klaus is a cold-blooded killer and there is nothing human about him – whereas Damon longs to be the human he once was, so he is moved by nobler – albeit misguided – motives.
I’m not buying the match-ups of Elijah-Stefan vs. Damon-Klaus. There is far more similarity between Damon and Elijah. They are both noble men…
…Stefan is simply romantic.
One more observation about love. It was said by Andie to Damon.
Andie: “Love does that Damon – it changes us.”
Klaus has no love in his life. He ceased to be human centuries ago and has remained unchanged for 1000 years – unchanged in his single-minded search for the elements needed to break his curse, unchanged in his lust for power, unchanged in his hatred for his brother and anyone else who gets in his way.
But Damon’s love for Elena has changed him. When he first came back to Mystic Falls, he was much more Klaus-like. He was single-minded in his pursuit of mayhem with the sole of purpose of making his brother’s life miserable.
His love for Elena has moved him to allow emotions back into his life and take on a horrible struggle with them in order to protect her.
I believe Elijah’s feelings are genuine. I believe he will protect Elena. And I believe it because, like Damon, Elijah is a noble man. I trust him.
For all of us, love is not a weakness. It is a strength. We are all capable of great things done in love. Sometimes, love hurts. But ultimately, the pain is worth it.
“As food is needed for the body, the same way love is needed for the soul. Food strengthens the body while love strengths the soul. A person is incomplete without love.” Unknown