Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) may be dead, but we still have an entire Vampire Diaries episode left before Season 5 comes to a close, which means we have an entire episode in which Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) could sacrifice himself for his little brother. Will it happen? We speculate below!

According to the synopsis for Season 5, Episode 22 (“Home”), Damon will be “heartbroken” in the wake of Stefan’s death. (As are we, Damon. As are we.) Not only is he “pushing Bonnie harder than ever to find a way to stop the disintegration of the Other Side,” but he is coming up with a “dangerous plan that relies on split-second timing.” Whatever this entails, it will all end with “a massive explosion in Mystic Falls,” that leaves “a trail of heroism, sacrifice, relief and despair." Will Damon be one of the sacrifices in question? We think it is a definite possibility. Not only does it make sense given what we know about Damon’s character — he will do anything for his brother, like becoming a vampire — but we know that we will suffer the death of a few major characters in the season finale.

There’s also Damon’s Season 5 character arc to consider. It’s no secret we’ve had a few issues with the direction Damon’s storyline has taken in Season 5. His serial killing of the Whitmore family felt like a regression for a character who has come a long way morally since Season 5. His further moral descent, tied so closely to the state of his relationship with Elena, was also somewhat troubling. But, at least the show highlighted this co-dependency as destructive within the very dialogue of the show. What we’re trying to say is: we think the show is working towards a redemption for Damon’s character, who has much more to make up for lately than his hero-haired brother does. And we think Damon’s redemption may come in the sacrificing of himself for his brother.

This also makes sense in the context of the central love triangle. TVD seems committed to Delena right now, but this show also relies on the tension that comes with keeping its couples apart. Now that the tension is no longer about Stelena vs. Delena (at least for now), TVD needs another obstacle to keep Delena from the happy reconciliation they seemed to enjoy in last week’s episode. We’re thinking Damon’s death will serve nicely.

Do you think Damon will sacrifice himself for Stefan? Why or why not? Share your theories in the comments below!

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.