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The Vampire Diaries -- Was Stefan Really The Favorite Son?
I've been wondering a lot about the boys relationship with their father. It's assumed that Stefan was the favorite son. That was assumed because of the disdainful way Giuseppe talked about Damon, but this was after he deserted the army, and the way Stefan acts like he has their father wrapped around his little finger and he'll accept vampires if he talks to him. But I'm wondering if that's really the case.
We saw no scenes of Giuseppe with the boys before Damon deserted the army, so we really don't know what his relationship with his sons were really like before Damon did what he did. The earliest scene, actually the only scene, of the boys out at a social function in the community, was at the Founder's Ball hosted by the Lockwoods. Katherine asked Stefan to take her there. And Damon was seen giving a toast to George Lockwood.
Giuseppe wasn't at the Founder's Ball. Is it possible Damon went to the ball and gave the toast because his father asked him to represent the family there? Or did Damon just go there to watch Stefan and Katherine together? I think it was more likely he went to the ball at his father's behest to represent the family and give the official toast. Damon told Katherine in her room later he told her he'd meet her in her room and he wasn't the least bit threatened by her going out with Stefan. He was that confident in her feelings for him.
However, it if was Giuseppe who asked Damon to go to the ball and give the official toast, it brings a lot of questions into mind about which son was really Giuseppe's favorite. Stefan was going to the ball, if he was truly the favorite son, why couldn't Stefan give the official speech. Why would Giuseppe want Damon to give it instead?
In regards to the disdainful way Giuseppe behaved towards Damon for deserting the army; that's really the normal behavior any father would feel when their son had done something so horrible. The fact is if Damon was always the unloved son that Giuseppe never loved or got on with, he could have thrown Damon out for what he did. He could have disowned him. The fact that Damon didn't get in any trouble for what he did, says Giuseppe had to do something to make sure Damon didn't suffer any consequences for his actions. And the fact is that when Giuseppe tried to save Damon from himself when he wanted to stop the men from taking Katherine, that was the show of a man who loved his son. Even though he would later go on to kill both his sons to stop them from freeing a vampire who was a danger to the town.
The fact that Giuseppe was on good terms with Stefan I don't think is proof that Stefan was the favorite son. Damon deserting the army had badly damaged his relationship with his father, while Stefan had done nothing to earn Giuseppe's disdain. And if Stefan truly was his favorite son, Giuseppe had a funny way of showing it. He drugged his teenage son and used him for vampire bait. Is that really how you would treat your favorite son?
When Giuseppe shot both his sons, Damon was the son he short first. Damon was the one who his attention was focused on and Stefan was focused on after Damon. It's a horrible way to prove a point. But Damon came first with Giuseppe and Stefan came second.
I think it's very possible before Katherine came into Damon's life and he deserted the army to be with her, he was the favorite son; the apple of Giuseppe's eye. The resentment Stefan feels towards his brother has to come from somewhere. 99% of the time Stefan can't say anything to Damon unless it's something to put Damon down and make him feel inferior to him. Damon being the favorite son could be where it's coming from.
It could also explain his people-pleasing attitude. He acts like he if does anything to make someone mad and doesn't go along with everything they want they won't like him, anymore. When Giuseppe ordered him to go get the men to take Katherine away, he went and got them, instead of standing up to his father and trying to reason with him not to do this, since he certainly didn't agree with Katherine being taken away to her death.
Everything Stefan does may stem from the fact Damon was the favorite son. Their father's pride and joy and it made Stefan feel inferior to Damon. That Damon was always better than he was. So now to feel superior to Damon he has to insult and belittle Damon so Damon will feel inferior to him.
This is another of those stories I doubt Plec will ever explore; much like all the missing scenes from Damon and Katherine's relationship. Still, it's interesting to conjecture that contrary to popular belief it was Damon who was really the favorite son.