The Vampire Diaries: 10 Differences Between Stefan In The Books & The Show
Stefan Salvatore quickly managed to become one of the most popular characters on the show when he appeared in The Vampire Diaries. Even though he was a vampire, Stefan didn’t lose the kindness that made him seem very human. He and Elena got together and started a complicated journey that in the end led to Stefan marrying Caroline and then sacrificing his life.
However, that’s not quite how it went down in the book series the show heavily drew from. Even though the book Stefan also loved and dated Elena, there are many differences between Stefan from the books and Stefan from the show.
He’s Older In The Books
Just like most vampires, Stefan also seems to be much younger than he is. But the truth is he’s lived through a lot – both on the show and in the books. On the show, Stefan was born in November 1846 and changed into a vampire in 1864 when he was just 17.
So by the time he returns to Mystic Falls and meets Elena, he’s over 160 years old. However, that’s nothing in comparison to his book counterpart. Just like his brother, Stefan was born during the Italian Renaissance and is well over 500 years old by the time the main story of the book starts.
The show doesn’t truly address it but Stefan comes from Italy. He was born there in the books and that’s also where he grew up and was transformed into a vampire. In the show, though, Stefan was born in the United States and is, therefore, American, not Italian.
Even though Stefan still does have Italian heritage on the show, it’s nowhere near as pronounced as it was in the books where a large portion of his backstory takes place in Italy.
Stefan Doesn’t Marry Caroline
When the show started, it looked like Stefan and Elena would get their happily ever after. However, that wasn’t meant to be. They eventually separated for good, Elena started dating Damon, and Stefan, besides rekindling his relationship with Valerie, got together with Caroline.
In the end, Stefan and Caroline even got married. That’s not what happened in the books, though. Instead of dating, let alone marrying Caroline, Stefan continued to date Elena for a long time. And as for Caroline, she remained together with Tyler and they even had two children together.
Stefan Is Much More Confused In The Books… Initially
Just like in the show, Stefan doesn’t want to hurt people, let alone kill. Damon uses this against his brother. When he comes to the city, Damon hides, manipulates Stefan, and makes his younger brother believe he’s responsible for the murders that Damon had committed. Luckily for Stefan, he and Elena eventually realize Damon is the real culprit.
Stefan’s initial story is much different on the show. Damon reveals his presence to Stefan right in the first episode and even though he continues to torment Stefan, Stefan knows very well that it’s Damon who’s responsible for the so-called animal attacks, not himself.
Stefan Doesn’t Have Such A Complicated Love Life
Stefan and Elena are even more closely connected in the books that they are on the show. As a result, Stefan doesn’t have that many notable romances in the books. That gave the author more opportunities to focus on his relationship with Elena and Katherine.
But the show has Stefan date, sometimes briefly and sometimes longer, multiple other women. Besides the above-mentioned Caroline and Valerie, Stefan also had a brief fling with Rebekah in the past which didn’t end well since Klaus had eventually decided to conceal Stefan’s memory of himself and Rebekah.
Stefan And Damon Didn’t Get Along From The Start
In the show, Stefan and Damon weren’t always enemies. In fact, before Katherine crossed their path, they were very close. They only grew resentful of each other when they became vampires.
That’s not how it went in the books, though. Damon had pretty much despised his brother from the start since their mother fell ill after giving birth to Stefan and later died. Damon hated his brother, competed with Stefan, and always tried to be better than him. This threw a wedge between them.
Stefan Became A Vampire In A Different Way
Another major difference that happened on the show, in comparison to the books, is how Stefan became a vampire in the first place. And it once again has something to do with Katherine and Damon’s hatred for Stefan. After they believed Katherine had killed herself, Damon and Stefan fought.
Damon ended up stabbing Stefan in the heart and with his final strength, Stefan also stabbed Damon. They killed each other but were later reborn as vampires since they both had Katherine’s blood in their bodies when they died.
Stefan Is Mostly The Good Guy In The Books
All vampires have their stronger and weaker moments but Stefan was more stable and generally good in the books than he was on the show. Unlike Damon, Stefan didn’t go through the transformation from a bad guy to a good guy – he was good from the start.
The show, on the other hand, sometimes had Stefan switch his feelings off and go to the other, bad side. That happened especially when he entered his Ripper phase and began killing whoever he wanted.
Differences In His Looks
Just like his brother Damon, one major difference in Stefan’s looks is that he has beautiful green eyes in the books. They’re one of his defining features. Actor Paul Wesley, who portrayed Stefan on the show, has green eyes but they’re nowhere near as pronounced as Stefan’s eyes are in the books.
Another difference lies in Stefan’s hair – he has dark curly hair in the books but Paul Wesley’s hair on the show isn’t curly.
Drinking Human Blood
Finally, there’s also the case of Stefan’s attitude toward drinking human blood. He doesn’t like to feed on humans on the show since it makes it that much easier for him to revert to his old Ripper ways and start killing people.
But the books tell a different story. Stefan feeds from Elena multiple times in an intimate setting and drinking human blood from Elena doesn’t make him go off the rails as he did on the show.