After weeks of fervent voting, MTV News readers have finally crowned their Best TV Couple of 2015: star-crossed lovers Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert. Delena's landslide victory is undoubtedly bittersweet for the (extremely) passionate "Vampire Diaries" fandom, given Nina Dobrev's departure from the CW series at the end of last season.
Elena's tearful farewell, though tragic, was a beautiful celebration of Elena's life and character -- not to mention, a full-blown waltz down memory lane. In the episode's closing minutes, Damon and Elena shared one last moonlit dance together, on the street where they first met. It was reminiscent of their first dance at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant in Season 1, and for fans, this gorgeous sequence was the closure they needed. For Delena, it was a "goodbye for now."
Elena may be temporarily gone, but she's not forgotten. In its seventh season, "The Vampire Diaries" has managed to capture some of its dark and sexy magic back. It's witty and fun and decisively not bogged down by complicated mythology anymore. However, without Elena around to keep him on the straight and narrow, Damon's gone off the deep end more than few times this season, doing things that he probably wouldn't have if Elena had been there to mellow his madcap ways.
But that was always the crux of Delena's relationship. Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert not only made each other better, but they also breathed life into each other. Without Elena, Damon feels like he's suffocating -- and that's a very real side-effect of experiencing loss. For so many seasons, Damon tried to be a better man for Elena. Though he often stumbled due to his relentless masochism, in the end, she brought out his humanity and they had a pretty great thing going on. He inspired her to live in the moment, and she gave him a purpose after a few desolate decades.
Their biggest strengths, however, were their flaws. They were perfectly imperfect together. They saw each other at their worsts. When Elena shut off her humanity, Damon didn't give up on her. And don't forget Damon killed Vicki and her brother. The fact that Elena still loved Damon after what he's done speaks volumes to their slow-burning romance.
In the end, Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert were truly meant to be -- and Delena fans will never give up hope that their OTP will live happily ever after. Need proof? Just look at some of their impassioned tweets over the past few days:
The best ships are the ones that inspire their fans to take the narrative into their own hands, and one scroll through the Delena tag on Tumblr will show you what this dedicated fandom is all about. Heartfelt fan fiction, fan art and fan videos help keep the Delena fire burning, long after the embers have cooled.
We may never get another Delena moment on "The Vampire Diaries," but that's OK. With a fandom as dedicated as this one, we don't need one. Delena lives on in the hearts of its fans -- and they'll continue to spread the love.