20 Most Iconic Elena Gilbert Moments

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7. Telling Damons he loved him (4.23)

"“I’m not sorry that I met you. I’m not sorry that knowing you has made me question everything. That in death, you’re the one that made me feel most alive. You’ve been a terrible person, you made all the wrong choices, and of all the choices I’ve made, this will prove to be the worst one, but I am not sorry that I’m in love with you. I love you.”"

It was a rough year for Elena. I mean, sure, most of them were – but something about dying and coming back a vampire against your wishes, searching for a cure, your brother dying, turning off your humanity and going off the rails and burning down your home, etc. – yeah, I’d say it was one of the worst ones for her. Through it all, Damon had been there for her, and almost as soon as their love had gotten started earlier in the season, it was halted. But in the season finale, after graduation and her showdown with Katherine post-humanity switching back on, she confronts Damon, finally laying all her cards on the table. It wasn’t the sire bond, and it wasn’t anything other than her loving him – something she’d been feeling before she was a vampire, and something that wasn’t changing anytime soon.

Mostly, it was Elena being unapologetically and selfishly Elena, maybe for the first time ever. She wanted passion, adventure, and everything with Damon – all the good and the bad. Elena was never what I would call meek, but she certainly came into her own by the end of that season, putting herself out there and saying damn it all. Their love was epic, and she wasn’t letting that go.