The Vampire Diaries Salvatore brothers are no strangers to emotional trauma. From loving the same woman to being turned into vampires to, well, loving the same woman again, their lives have been anything but drama-free. And that’s not even delving into the many difficult parts of being a vampire in love with a doppelganger. We’re not just talking emotional torture, but both brothers have endured their fair share of physical torture. However, it can be argued that what Stefan is experiencing right now is about as bad as it gets.

In the Season 4 finale, we saw Silas lock Stefan in a vault and send him to the bottom of the quarry. Since then, executive producer Julie Plec has tweeted about poor Paul Wesley filming drowning scenes, because for the first part of Season 5, Stefan is literally drowning over and over again. Unlike having Rebekah stab you or getting strung up by tomb vampires, this is one torture experience that is sure to change someone.

Plec has talked about how Stefan will emerge from the vault a changed man. Now whether that’s a temporary period of extreme anger or more of a permanent change, we’re not so sure. But we’re willing to bet that if Silas is still around when Stefan gets out, he will have revenge on the brain.

Or perhaps Stefan’s hunger will take over and he will go off on yet another ripper binge? But we feel like that’s been done already. Could Stefan finally learn some control over that ripper side of him? Maybe drowning repeatedly gave the younger Salvatore some zen. Hey, stranger things have happened.

Then again, Stefan could emerge from the vault having realized what’s really important to him.

Credit: The CW

Option 1: Elena. Maybe Stefan will come back and be sick of sitting around, letting Elena pick a Salvatore. What if he were ready to fight to get her back? Would she change her mind if Stefan were so outspoken with his intentions?

Option 2: Family. Stefan realizes that Damon is the most important person to him, and he decides to stick around Mystic Falls to bond with his brother. Or maybe he wants them to leave town together, Elena and all.

Option 3: Eternity. Perhaps his experience in the vault will help him realize that he really does have all of eternity left to experience, so why do it in Mystic Falls, Va.?

It’s hard to imagine that Stefan could come out of this experience more serious than before, so we have to believe that something else will change. Maybe he will be more easy going and carefree about life? It sounds odd, but it could happen. Or maybe he will stop caring about anything? All we know is that Damon and Elena have some experience with getting Stefan back to being his old self, so let’s hope they have another trick or two up their sleeve … unless the new Stefan is a fan of shirtlessness, in which case, leave him be!

What do you think, TVD fans? Would you like to see a different Stefan in Season 5? Sound off in the comments!

Catch the Vampire Diaries Season 5 premiere on Thursday, October 3, 2013, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

Credit: YouTube Photo: Paul Wesley Dishes About Silas and Stefan in Season 5