Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BFFs: The Best Part of The Vampire Diaries

I'm a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries, as I may have mentioned once or twice. Having to go an entire summer without Elena, Stefan, Damon, and especially my very best friend Caroline has been tough on me. I may or may not have rewatched the season 3 finale a time or two (or ten). As we're about to dive back in to Mystic Falls, I want to talk about the best part of TVD - and it's not the love triangle. It's the ever-evolving friendship between Elena, Bonnie, and Caroline.

An introduction to the leading ladies of Mystic Falls after the jump (very mild spoilers):

Elena Gilbert

Elena Gilbert was the girl who had everything. She was a cheerleader, the girlfriend of the quarterback, and the daughter of a prominent family. Then her parents died and everything changed. Well, almost everything. Elena's best friend Bonnie stood steadfastly by her side. Her friendship with Bonnie was the rock that Elena used to weather the storm of grief and change. When a hot new stranger, Stefan Salvatore, showed up at school, Bonnie told her to go for it - there'd been enough sadness and it was time for a little joy in her best friend's life.

Bonnie Bennet

Bonnie Bennet's grandmother always told her she was a witch. Bonnie just thought Grams had a little too much of the sauce, and so she disregarded her rambling. If she seemed to be able to predict the future now and then, both she and her friends laughed it off as coincidence. She often ended up as the peacekeeper between Elena and her other best friend, Caroline Forbes, because Caroline could be slightly (okay, totally) high maintenance. When Elena's parents died, Bonnie lent her a great deal of support and helped her through that tough time. She was overjoyed to see her best friend find a new boyfriend - until she touched Stefan's hand and she knew.

Caroline Forbes

Blonde, beautiful, and vivacious Caroline Forbes was determined to be the best at everything. She was the head cheerleader and the ultimate authority on charity work in Mystic Falls. Everything she worked so hard at seemed to come so easily to Elena Gilbert, her best friend Bonnie's other best friend. Caroline found it very difficult to handle Elena's seemingly effortless success which led to Bonnie being caught in the middle of spats about everything from decorating to boys. When Elena ended up with the handsome new stranger, Stefan, despite Caroline's best efforts, she ended up consoling herself with Stefan's bad boy brother, Damon. She had no idea this decision would change her life forever.

In the first few episodes, you get the feeling that it's Bonnie and Elena as the primary friendship and Caroline is almost an annoyance. However, Bonnie and Caroline end up closer because Elena is consumed by Stefan. As the story progresses, the individual friendships wax and wane and the dynamic between the friends constantly changes. If you've ever been in a three-way best friend situation, this is precisely how it is. When Bonnie fails to step up for Elena, Caroline comes through. When Caroline can't deal with Elena's seemingly effortless perfection, Bonnie lends a shoulder. Sometimes all three of them fail to be the best friends they say they are and that often ends up being resolved through simple necessity - one of them needs the other two and they stop catting at each other and step up.

Ultimately, whether Elena chooses Stefan or Damon is irrelevant in my mind. She's got a far more stable support network with Bonnie and Caroline. That friendship transcends which boy you pick or who wins Miss Mystic Falls. It even reaches beyond the grave, sometimes. That's a great lesson for every young woman to grow up with - and some of us older ones could learn from it, too.
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  1. Yay - let's hear it for the girls! You're right, it is a very true portrayal of that kind of three-way best friend situation. Not always perfect, but someone's always there.

    1. One reason I've never liked Bonnie is that she really bailed on Elena support-wise during some serious business. Like, she would still do the witch stuff to help but then fall down on the love and support front. Even if Elena wasn't at fault at all! And, really, Bonnie would always have gotten pulled into the whole supernatural thing because of being a Bennet witch, anyway. So, it's not like all the blame falls on Elena...

      *deep breath*

      Yeah, I get invested.