It was a long, strange journey for Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) in The Vampire Diaries Season 4. He lost the girl he’d only just gotten, fought with his brother almost constantly, and found out some very disturbing information about his lineage. Check out all the crazy things that happened to Stefan below!

To vampire or not to vampire?
Stefan begins Season 4 by trying to stop Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) transition into a vampire. It’s not until they’ve both been captured and are being held on Pastor Young’s farm that he realizes she’s chosen him over Damon (Ian Somerhalder). Then she nearly dies before he and Rebekah (Claire Holt) manage to kill a guard, so she can feed an become a vampire. Later, Stefan and Elena share a romantic moment atop the Salvatore mansion. Before he gives her a daylight ring, she tells him, “I’ll be with you. Forever.”
Season 4, Episode 1, “Growing Pains”

Dagger? I hardly know her!
Klaus catches Stefan after his night of guilt-free passion with Rebekah. The two ex friends conspire to dagger Kol. Later, Elena calls her former BF with her own plan for Kol: let Jeremy kill him to grow his mark. For his part of the plot, Stefan has to get the dagger away from his bed buddy and use it on her, so she won’t retaliate once her brother is dead. In order to get her out of the house, Stefan makes his own ‘80s dance after the one at Mystic Falls is cancelled. He has a pretty good time teaching Rebekah about one of the decades she missed while lying in a coffin. In a vulnerable moment, the Original admits she wants to be human and find love; she hands Stefan the dagger. Stefan doesn’t use it on her, but brings the tombstone back to the Salvatore mansion. Damon uses the opportunity to reveal to Elena that Stefan and Rebekah slept together, and the two start to fight. The moment is interrupted when Jeremy — who’s just killed Kol — reveals his hunter’s mark is complete.
Season 4, Episode 12, “A View to a Kill”


No man is an island
Much of the gang heads to a Canadian island in search of the cure. Stefan invites Rebekah. Both confess their desire to be human to one another, with the Salvatore brother revealing he wouldn’t take the cure just for Elena. Later they form a trio with the newbie vamp to search for Jeremy, who’s been kidnapped. Stefan tries to stop the two ladies from bickering. When they get back to camp, they find the tombstone stolen. Damon is missing, too.
Season 4, Episode 13, “Into the Wild”

A spoonfull of sugar helps the blood bag go down
Stefan and Damon butt heads over the best course of action when it comes to Elena’s feeding. While Stefan thinks the bunny diet should suffice, his brother insists Elena should drink human blood and learn to control her cravings. When he learns that Damon let Elena feed from him, Stefan punches the elder Salvatore. Tension grows between Elena and Stefan, because she sought Damon’s counsel over his. Elena is full of everyone’s grief, so Stefan arranges a memorial with Japanese lanterns for their lost loved ones.
Season 4, Episode 2, “Memorial”


Venom and vengeance
As Elena’s heightened emotions bubble over into rage at Rebekah, Stefan tries to calm her down. They attend the Original’s party, where the newbie vamp is poisoned with werewolf venom. Stefan saves Elena by getting Klaus (Joseph Morgan) to heal her. Later, he bonds with Caroline (Candice Accola) by telling her he’s scared he’ll go all Ripper again if he lets himself enjoy vampirism with Elena. She promises to be his sponsor.
Season 4, Episode 3, “The Rager”


A light at the end of the tunnel
Stefan stays home while his brother takes Elena on a “hunting” trip to Whitmore College. Though she told Stefan it was his guidance that was helping her through the transition, Elena ends up overindulging in blood and dirty dancing with Damon at the school. While that’s going down, Stefan betrays Rebekah to find out where she buried Alexander’s sword. It’s the key to finding the cure for vampirism, which Stefan wants for Elena — and maybe himself?
Season 4, Episode 4, “The Five”

Uno Dose
Stefan, Elena, and Rebekah continue to search for the missing objects/people. In a quiet moment, Stefan explains to Elena that he wanted a cure before he even knew her, before he even knew one existed. Later, Bex tells Stefan there’s only one dose and snaps his neck to keep him from going after it. Once he wakes, Stefan finds and frees his captive brother and heads off in search of Elena and the cure. He finds her injured. The doppelganger did it. Katherine has also fed Jeremy to Silas and taken the cure from the ancient immortal’s hands.
Season 4, Episode 14, “Down the Rabbit Hole”


Turn it off, turn it all off
Once they realize Jeremy is really dead, Damon begs Stefan to take Elena home. He’ll look for Bonnie. Stefan agrees and carries Jer’s body, too. Until she smells said body beginning to rot, Elena holds onto hope that her brother’s Gilbert protection ring will work. As the realization dawns on her that Jeremy is gone, Stefan asks Damon to use the sire bond to help Elena. He does. He tells her to turn off her emotions. She does. Then she burns the Gilbert house — and her brother’s body — to the ground. This wasn’t what Stefan had in mind.
Season 4, Episode 15, “Stand by Me”


Emotionally drained
Elena has no emotions, and Stefan and Damon already miss them. At least the sire bond is gone. The high-school-aged Salvatore has to follow her to school and make sure she doesn’t eat anyone. After she does just that (good looking out!), Stefan vervains her and takes her home. Under house arrest, Elena throws a party. As Caroline and Stefan watch her enjoy herself, they decided to live a little, too. Stefan even dances. Things go south when Elena nearly kills the Sheriff; Caroline fights with her vampire bestie until Stefan and Damon separate them. Stefan reminds the blond vamp that the real Elena is in there somewhere.
Season 4, Episode 16, “Bring It On”


Coven get me
While Damon, Elena, and Rebekah party in NYC, Stefan is solving the case of the missing blood bags. His number one suspect? Silas. With Klaus and Caroline in tow, Stefan searches for the site of the ancient immortal’s final sacrifice. During a long-distance phone call, we learn that Stefan remembers Katherine’s birthday, while Damon does not. Later, Stefan, Caroline, and Klaus find a coven of witches trying to pray the Silas away — or kill Bonnie trying. Caroline saves her BFF by murdering all 12 linked witches. Stefan must tell a newly unbrainwashed Bonnie that Jeremy is dead.
Season 4, Episode 17, “Because the Night”

Waiting on you
Brotherly road trip! Stefan and Damon are in hot pursuit of Elena and Rebekah after the girls stole Damon’s car and a list of Katherine’s potential hideouts. They catch up with all three ladies in a small town in Pennsylvania. Elena is off meeting with Elijah, and Stefan tries to track her down. Meanwhile, as Damon watched, Rebekah took what she thought was the cure, and Katherine bolted. Stefan accuses Damon of not really wanting Elena to be human. Damon admits it. Elena tells both brothers that she’s absolutely not taking the cure and murders a waitress to prove her point.
Season 4, Episode 18, “American Gothic”


It takes two to tango
The brothers have a plan to flip Elena’s humanity switch: bombard her with memories. If all else fails, vervain her and stick her in the dungeon until they can cure her. Whichever works. Both Salvatores escort her to prom, where Stefan’s sexy dancing with Elena awakens some old emotions — in him. He’s not over her; he confides as much to Caroline, who thinks Stefan needs a new love interest. Damon’s also a tad jealous of the dance. Silas-as-Stefan (or as himself, foreshadowing) fans the flames of that jealousy by telling Damon that Elena has a history with Stefan, while all they have is a sire bond. Later, Stefan and Damon try to stop Bonnie from killing Elena; luckily, she stops herself. Using Elena’s weakened state to their advantage, the Salvatores lock her in the dungeon.
Season 4, Episode 19, “Pictures of You”


Meanwhile, back in Mystic Falls...
Stefan and Damon decide to starve some feeling into Elena, while a lot of stuff happens to Klaus in New Orleans.
Season 4, Episode 20, “The Originals”


Keep it like a secret
Instead of talking to Elena, Stefan writes about his feelings in his journal. He’s worried. Yet he hopes the cure will solve everything; he’s sworn to keep it a secret at Klaus’s insistence. In an elaborate plan to save Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) from the Five member Connor, Elena ends up killing the hunter. Stefan still keeps the knowledge of the cure from her and tells Damon why he’s so desperate for her to have it: “I'll always love her, but she's not supposed to be this person.”
Season 4, Episode 5, “The Killer”


It’s not you, it’s me — and your brother
You know things are bad when your girlfriend refuses to call you after murdering her brother. At Damon’s behest, Stefan shows up anyway, but Elena won’t speak to him. Then her hallucinations — the result of her murdering Connor in the last episode — become stronger and stronger. They only end when Jeremy kills a hybrid and becomes a new hunter. “It seems he's able to get through to you in ways I can't,” Stefan later tells Elena, referring to Damon. She admits her feelings for his brother and they break up.
Season 4, Episode 6, “We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes”


My brother the sire
Stefan is in no mood to attend the Miss Mystic Falls pageant. Instead, he spends his time trying to get Jeremy to grow his hunter’s mark by forcing Elena’s little brother to kill vampires. He briefly runs in to Damon and makes a snide remark about his brother being happy that Elena's suddenly single. Stefan’s ex isn’t happy about what he tried to do to Jeremy and tells him to let the human Elena go. Stefan shacks up with Caroline (not like that) when Elena moves in to the Salvatore mansion. (Jer’s hunter instincts means the siblings can't live together.) While at his new temporary home, Stefan and Caroline realize Elena is sired to Damon. Meanwhile, the new couple has sex.
Season 4, Episode 7, “My Brother's Keeper


Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
Torture time! Stefan and Damon have been starving Elena and are ready to move on to some sunshine treatment. Caroline is dubious and appeals to Stefan’s sense of decency. After one short conversation with her bestie, even Blondie is on board with the plan. During the treatment, Elena taunts the brothers. Then she proves they’d never really hurt her by ripping down the curtains and setting herself on fire. Of course, they save her. Katherine is supposed to help smack some sense into Elena, but she just ends up letting her doppelganger free to muck up on her own. When the brothers find her, Damon snaps Matt’s neck in front of Elena. As Matt dies and comes back to life (thanks to the Gilbert ring), Stefan coaches his former girlfriend as she flips her humanity switch back on. He tells her to focus on one emotion. Elena chooses rage and vows to kill Katherine.
Season 4, Episode 21, “She’s Come Undone”


You again?
Coach Stefan attempts to channel Elena’s rage into something productive, like smashing cinderblocks. Though Bonnie’s tried to keep her plan a secret, Stefan, Damon, and the Sheriff figure out the witch is trying to lower the veil and get rid of Silas all by her lonesome. She succeeds with the first part; ghosts start appearing in Mystic Falls. Stefan and Caroline head to the school to find the witch. He figures she’s under ground and heads south to stop a witch. Instead, the younger Salvatore finds Katherine and Elena in a brawl and pulls them apart. Elena, now fond of hitting things, punches her ex in the face. Despite the licking Elena delivered, Stefan still assists Jeremy in killing Kol when the dead Original tries to end her life. Later, he admits to Caroline that he expected to see Lexi. Just then, the apparition of his bestie appears. She asks if she’s been replaced by a new blond, aka Caroline. Even though Stefan shakes his head at this, he may or may not be blushing.
Season 4, Episode 22, “The Walking Dead”


Not-so safe
While Damon is worried about why the ghosts haven’t disappeared — Bonnie died trying to bring Jeremy back instead of raising the veil — Stefan and Lexi are too busy rocking out to Bon Jovi to care. An intoxicated Stefan tells his brother he’s taking a break from hero duty. When Vaughn nearly kills Damon, Stefan reverses his policy and rips the hunter’s heart out. Damon tries to convince Elena to take the cure; Lexi asks why Stefan isn’t participating. He tells her that while Elena is the love of his life, he’s not sure how she feels. Eventually, the former couple makes it to graduation. Also, Elena has a gift for him: the cure. She wants to be happy — even if it’s not with her. Later, Stefan overhears Elena say she’s in love with Damon. The brothers have an awkward but non-confrontational exchange as Stefan prepares to dispose of Silas’s body. For a while, he has Lexi to help, though she disappears when Bonnie puts the veil back in place. Stefan realizes Silas is no longer petrified when the ancient immortal appears as Elena. Then Silas shows his true face; he’s Stefan’s doppelganger. Silas shoves Stefan in the safe that was meant for the ex witch and throws it over the falls.
Season 4, Episode 23, “Graduation”



Brother bonding
Stefan tells Damon about the sire bond, and the older brother scoffs at the idea. A test of the theory proves it’s true, and the Salvatores head to New Orleans to track down another woman Damon sired. There they argue, and Stefan tells him, “it's impossible for her to be so blind that she doesn't see how wrong you are for her.” Soon after, Stefan apologizes. Flashbacks reveal the brothers planned to go to World War II together, until Lexi told Damon it would be better for Stefan’s blood-binge recovery if he didn’t go. In the present, a witch informs the Salvatores that Elena must have already had feelings for Damon if she became sired to him. The two part ways in Mystic Falls, with Stefan expecting Damon to tell Elena to live her life without him, thus setting her free of the sire bond.
Season 4, Episode 8, “We'll Always Have Bourbon Street”


The loneliest Salvatore
After Klaus tells him that Alexander’s sword will decode Jeremy’s tattoo, Stefan teams up with Caroline to find it. However, he later argues with Tyler, who is planning on killing Klaus. Stefan needs the Original because the sword is still missing. Later, he and Klaus bond over the loneliness they feel after killing their victims. While Klaus is supposedly being lured into a trap by his former hybrid minions (which he survives), Caroline tells Stefan that Elena and Damon slept together.
Season 4, Episode 9, “O Come, All Ye Faithful”


The truth shall set you spiraling into misery
Caroline and Stefan have a phone chat about the Damon-Elena news revealed last episode. After he’s had a few more drinks at the Grill, Rebekah calls to tell him that she’s captured Elena. When Stefan and Caroline arrive at the high school, the Original holds them all hostage. Through compulsion, the blond vampire learns they’ve made some progress in finding the cure and that Elena and Stefan broke up, which he blames on her sleeping with Damon. Elena admits she’s in love with Damon and no longer loves Stefan. Though Stefan later helps protect Elena from a compelled-to-transform Tyler, he asks Rebekah to take all his memories of his former girlfriend away. She refuses but later agrees to be his cure-hunting partner.
Season 4, Episode 10, “After School Special”


Partners with benefits
While Bex is a little concerned that Stefan is playing her, she does reveal her plan to steal Silas’s headstone from Professor Shane (David Alpay) so they can have a leg-up in the cure race. The pair search the teacher’s office and have some fun and banter. Even though they don’t find the tombstone, someone else breaks into the office and does. They capture him, and he kills himself rather than explain who sent him. Meanwhile, Damon has been compelled to murder Jeremy, and Stefan has to stop him and lock his brother up. He runs into Elena and tells her he’s no longer in love with her. Later, he visits Rebekah for some no-strings-attached nookie.
Season 4, Episode 11, “Catch Me If You Can”