Damon Salvatore was born in the late 15th century in Florence, Italy. He is pictured here on the cover of The Return: Shadow Souls. He has black hair and black eyes. He is brother to Stefan Salvatore and son of Giuseppe Conte di Salvatore. His vampire forms are that of a crow or a black wolf-like dog.
Damon grew up hating Stefan, and no one ever knew why, although Stefan thinks it is because their mother did not take Stefan's birth well and eventually died because of it. He did guard Stefan when his father would get drunk and beat Damon, though, as mentioned in Phantom. Stefan is 17 and a few years younger than Damon, though it is not said by how much. He was often sarcastic and apathetic towards his father, who he claimed only had friends because he was rich.
Upon returning from University, he announced that he would not be going back, much to the anger of his father. During this stay at home, he met Katherine von Swartzchild, a German girl sent to stay with the Salvatore's by her father, who knew Giuseppe, to recover from an illness. She had already fallen in love with Stefan, but when Damon came, she fell in love with him, too, and she shared her secret with him - she was a vampire, turned by a man her maid, Gudren, had sought out to help her recover from her illness. Eventually, the brothers asked Katherine to choose which one of them she wanted to be with and she said that she would make her choice that night. She visited Damon in his bed and exchanged blood with him, but in the morning announced that she had done so with both brothers, and then gave them rings with lapis lazuli, spelled by Gudren's contacts, to protect them from the sun when she turned them. However, Stefan and Damon were outraged that she still could not make her mind up, and she fled in tears. The next morning, they discovered her ring holding down a note with her dress filled with ashes lying next to it. The note said that Katherine had killed herself over upsetting the brothers. Blaming each other for her death, they each grabbed their swords and Damon stabbed Stefan through the heart, pinning him to the ground. Using his last strength, Stefan reached up and stabbed Damon through the heart as well. They woke up as vampires only hours later in the family crypt (more evidence that their father did not care about them that much) with Katherine's ring in Stefan's possession. While Stefan hated what he had become, Damon relished in it and worked his way into high Italian society, banishing Stefan to the woods where he fed on animals.
In the short story Bonnie and Damon: After Hours which takes place towards the middle of the book, Damon is hanging out near Robert E. Lee High School at night as Bonnie happens to be the only person in the building, secretly studying in the library. Two werewolves try to attack her, but Damon saves her by killing them. He then helps her study, talking to her about the history he'd experienced, and then takes her home, kisses her and Influences her to forget the incident and think that she wrote her paper herself.
Later, Damon makes his first appearance in the book when he meets Elena in the school gym when she is preparing for the Halloween party. He is always said to be in all black - sweater, pants, boots and leather jacket. He later meets her again when she unknowingly invites him to "come in" to Bonnie's house during the Dumb Supper and takes the seat where the person Elena will marry is supposed to appear. Bonnie's dog, Yangtze, is then found dead outside. On Halloween, when Mr. Tanner is drained of blood, Stefan tells Elena all about their past, and she knows the person who has been creeping on her is Damon. Damon had also been watching her as a crow ever since the first day of school. Later that night, Stefan goes out to meet Damon in the woods after many years, where Damon antagonizes Stefan and says that he wants Elena. The next day, Stefan is missing, and Elena runs out of school to confront Damon in the cemetery.
In the cemetery, Damon just sarcastically flirts with Elena and wants to make her his princess of darkness. That night, Bonnie goes into a trance and leads Elena and Meredith to a well into which Stefan had fallen down. He does not remember how he got there, but he and Elena think Damon put him down there. Damon eventually Influences Robert to invite him to dinner so that he can get closer to Elena, but Elena shoves Margaret's new kitten, Snowball, in his face. Bonnie goes into a trance and says that Elena's "death" is in the house. That night, Damon goes to feed on Elena, but can not get into her room, as it qualifies as another area he has to be invited into due to the way the house was built. He then goes over to Margaret's door, implying that he will feed on her, and Elena steps out and lets him feed on her. She is surprised to find the next morning that she did not die. Elena decides to spend a night at Bonnie's later, and has a dream about dancing with Damon while he exchanges blood with her in reality. Damon later appears on the roof of Caroline's house as the group tries to escape out the window when they hear Caroline enter, as they are trying to steal back Elena's diary that Caroline stole during the Dumb Supper. On Founder's Day, when Caroline plans to read Elena's diary aloud and expose Stefan as a vampire, she discovers that it had been switched with her own. Elena realizes that Damon switched the diaries. Outside, he Influences Aunt Judith and Robert to pressure her into dating Damon, so she shows them Katherine's ring on finger and says that she is engaged to Stefan. They forbid her to marry him and she angrily drives off in Matt's car. A storm follows her, however, and she is convinced it is Damon, enraged at her marrying Stefan. The storm drives her off of Wickery Bridge, where she drowns. Upon learning of Elena's death, Stefan feeds off of Tyler Smallwood and two other boys in order to fight Damon to the death. He attacks him in the woods and they fight, but Elena appears as a vampire and interrupts it.
Having turned on Damon's blood and having become delirious from a rather violent death, Elena thinks she is in love with Damon. He suddenly turns serious and realizes that if she does not feed, she will die, so he Influences Matt to allow her to feed on him and then takes her to Alaric Saltzman's attic for her to rest. When she wakes up the next day, she realizes what has happened and goes to church to witness her own funeral. During her speech, Meredith throws out false information, and Elena wonders if Meredith thinks that Elena might still be alive somehow and listening. Damon and Stefan appear as the town's dogs suddenly become hostile towards their owners, and Elena says that they will all have to work together to figure out what the Other Power in Fell's Church is. That night, she goes to Meredith's house and has her call over Bonnie, at which point she explains everything to them. Later in the book, Meredith reveals that she had speaking with Alaric, who is in fact a parapsychologist hired by the school principal to investigate if there was anything suspicious going on after Mr. Tanner's death. On December 11, when Elena is sure something terrible will happen, everyone is in Alaric's classroom when Bonnie once again leads them in a trance to Honoria Fell's tomb. There, Honoria uses Bonnie's power to appear and tells her that she was the one possessing her because she had to make them stop whoever was disrupting her tomb. A white tiger suddenly attacks the group and everyone leaves except Stefan, Damon and Elena to help protect the town from its pets, who are going to kill their owners. The remaining three are knocked out and tied up to the bars in the tomb, at which point Katherine reveals herself to the group, saying that she had faked her death to get the brothers to reconcile and be okay with her decision. When they killed each other instead, she went back to Klaus, the vampire who had turned her, not knowing what to do. Over the centuries, he twisted her into a sadistic, unfeeling vampire. When she saw Elena, she lured the brothers to Fell's Church, hoping that when they saw her, they would be reminded of her and reconcile, but once again they defied her plans and fell in love with her. Upon seeing her ring on Elena's finger, Katherine was enraged and killed Elena. She was also responsible for the other things the group had attributed to Damon, namely chasing them in the cemetery and attacking the homeless man, making Elena feel like she was falling into the crypt, playing with Vickie Bennett, killing Yangtze, and putting Stefan down the well. This redeemed Damon in Elena's eyes, and she saw him as a normal person like Stefan, instead of a villain.
Katherine goes on to say that she had to use Honoria Fell's tomb to get over Wickery Creek which ran over it, as she had become so powerful that she could not cross running water. She had also pretended to be Snowball to spy on Elena and had Influenced the town's animals out of rage. Now, she plans to kill the three vampires, saying she always loved Stefan more than Damon. Damon enrages her even more when he tells her to go to hell, and she feeds on him to the point of passing out again. Katherine wonders aloud how she is going to kill the group when Elena breaks free of her bonds and pushes Katherine back into the sunlight, tearing off her necklace and causing her to burn to death. However, since Katherine had removed Elena's ring, Elena also died, but she did not burn up because she was a new vampire. Stefan and Damon both break free and hold Elena, who makes them promise to finally get along with each other with her death, after 500 years of hating each other. Bonnie later writes that they went back to Italy.
Six months later, Bonnie tries to do a summoning spell to bring Stefan and Damon back to Fell's Church, as she needed their help in determining what the latest threat was. They come and help the group investigate, and eventually they put Damon as guard to Vickie Bennett. During this book, he gets much closer to Bonnie and becomes angry when Matt tries to point out his good side. When Vickie ends up dying anyway, they have a very bitter fight with Damon which ends in him supposedly permanently leaving. At the end of the book, he comes through and helps in the fight against Klaus, but the brothers together are still no match for him. However, in a last burst of desperation, Bonnie screams Elena's name, and she uses Klaus' power to appear. She then calls up the restless spirits of Fell's Church (the Civil War soldiers) and they take Klaus away and create a new body for her. Bonnie suddenly realizes that she only had Stefan's hair when she did the summoning spell and not Damon's, so he came by his own choice despite denying it, and Matt points out that Mr. Tanner did have a knife when Damon killed him, and that he's not as bad of a person as he would people to believe. Stefan's spirit is saved by Elena's return, but Damon simply smiles and hands her his jacket, walking off into the woods.
The Return: NightfallEdit
The next week, Damon is spying on Caroline in her room as malach enter inside him, watching her talk to someone in the mirror. He then goes and quickly signs the deal in crow form that Meredith, Bonnie, Matt and Caroline made with each other saying that they would not tell anyone about Elena's return. Later, he goes to the boarding house for his leather jacket back, and Elena gives it to him but he brutally attacks Stefan anyway. Later, when he is not possessed, he rescues Bonnie, Meredith and Matt from Matt's car as the possessed trees attack it and helps heal Bonnie from the sap that was invading her body. During the nights, as well as the picnic everyone has when Elena gets her mind back, Damon talks with Shinichi as Shinichi puts more malach inside him. After the picnic, Damon intrudes on the group's Christmas for Elena (since she did not have one last year) and wishes her a merry Christmas in the short story Elena's Christma. Eventually, Damon tells Stefan to meet him in the woods one night and tells him to go to a URL. He does so, and it says that if he wants his vampirism taken away, he must go to the shi no shi. Damon then allows the kitsune to kidnap Stefan as he leaves an entry in Elena's computer diary from Stefan, saying that he had gone to the shi no shi.
Later, he finds Elena and Matt investigating the new problem in Fell's Church in a clearing and tries to get Matt and Elena to undress and kiss as he records them. He then sends maximum pain throughout every nerve in Matt's body until he takes Elena into his car. While he is driving, Elena jumps out, injuring herself, and then she wanders through the woods. In actuality, Shinichi and Misao had taken her to their secret house and put a star ball up to her head. They stop controlling Damon for a minute and he confronts them, taking their Master Keys and going to their house. When Elena is done with the star ball, Damon heals her and tells her that his actions throughout the book have been because he was possessed by the malach. He shows her how the Master Keys work and they drink Black Magic Wine together. However, on the widow's walk of the boarding house, he suddenly becomes possessed again, and they chase each other from place to place using the Master Keys until Elena uses her Wings of Redemption on him in Honoria Fell's crypt. He thinks it is the 15th century and does not recognize her, but then Elena uses her Wings of Remembrance and tells him that she is going to take the malach out, even though it is going to hurt. Damon accepts, since he would no longer hurt Elena, and she finally uses her Wings of Purification on him to remove the malach. He then flies away and Elena goes to see Stefan using the Master Key she has, and then back to a tree near the boarding house. She sees the kitsune with Damon, getting ready to do a ritual on the others. She wonders if he has betrayed her, but she flies down to them using her Wings of the Wind and he reveals that he was only pretending to be on the kitsunes' side. Elena threatens to cut off Misao's tails if they don't tell her where Stefan is, and Misao gives her clues to the two locations of the halves of the key to Stefan's cell where they are keeping him, and then she gets away with Shinichi. Misao also reveals that she was pretending to be Shinichi in Caroline's mirror to spread malach to her. The price of these clues, however, is Damon's memory of Elena using her Wings on him and being redeemed.
The Return: Shadow SoulsEdit
Damon is even more frustrated now than before, as Elena's blood from the Afterlife sexually attracts him, even though he is a vampire and supposed to be dead. He decides to take Elena to the other side of the country so as to not be tracked by Shinichi and Misao when they go through a gate to the Dark Dimension. Matt also comes along, as Caroline, in her possessed state, is saying he raped her. Damon often kisses Elena during the journey and she goes along with it, upsetting Matt so much that he eventually leaves. When connecting her mind with Damon's, Elena sees a little child version of him that is chained to a rock which holds in his feelings. One night in a motel, Elena does something with Damon that she clearly does not want Meredith or Bonnie to know about, but the kitsune take that memory from Damon, too. Bonnie and Meredith eventually join Elena and Damon, and he takes them into the Dark Dimension as slaves.
Elena sees a pregnant slave being whipped on the ground whom she thinks is an old woman, but actually only looks that way because of the stress she had been under. Elena rescues her and the woman's owner, a vicious vampire, starts to attack her, but Damon kills him. The group takes up temporary residence in a doctor's home with the slave, Lady Ulma, as they buy her house back and build her up into high society. They even buy her fiance, Lucen, out of slavery. Later, Elena has to be publically whipped for causing a vampire citizen to die, but she does not feel much. Lady Ulma lets them stay with her and gives them gowns for Lady Fazina's ball, as she is a fashion designer. The first clue that Misao gave was that one half of the key is in the Silver Nightingale's instrument. Lady Fazina is the Silver Nightingale, but her instrument is her voice. During the ball, Elena and Damon look around her mansion and find a little stone fox in one of her pens. That is when Elena discovers deep scars on Damon's back, realizing that he took her pain for her when she was whipped, and she faints. Towards the end of the book, the group goes to another ball hosted by Lady Bloddeuwedd. The second clue Misao gave was that the other half was in Lady Bloddeuwedd's ballroom. On the way, Damon and Elena discuss their relationship and Elena knows that she had gotten closer to Damon in the Dark Dimension, loving him just as much as she loves Stefan. Damon mentions that there is a part of the story that no one seems to be catching, but doesn't elaborate. Elena and Damon once again look around at the ball, but Lady Bloddeuwedd catches them and decides to kill them. Elena ducks into her star ball room and rummages through it, destroying many and causing Bloddeuwedd to go ballistic. She eventually finds the other fox in her "next" and takes as many star balls as she can. Out in the courtyard, Damon and Elena have another conversation where she gets through to him, destroying the boulder that contains his feelings and freeing the child. They escape with Bonnie, Meredith, Sage (Damon's long-lost friend), Saber and Talon, and go to the shi no shi. While riding there, the group looks through the star balls, and Bonnie realizes that they have Misao's, so they hold on to hers. At the shi no shi, they rescue Stefan and take him back up to the mystical elevator where Bloddeuwedd comes zeroing in on them from above. Elena uses her Wings of Protection and Bloddeuwedd crashes into them, destroying her. While they are in the elevator, the white kitsune that Stefan had gotten to know in the shi no shi comes by and gives him a bouquet to grant his wish.
The group appears outside the boarding house where Shinichi appears as a giant version of his head, fighting for Misao's star ball back, but he eventually retreats. The next morning, Damon opens Stefan's bouquet, revealing a black flower. Upon smelling it, however, he turns back into a human, as the flower contained a spell to grant Stefan's humanity back. Stefan is angry that Damon took his only opportunity at life away from him and they fight.
The Return: MidnightEdit
Determined to become a vampire as strong as before, Damon knows he must go back to the Dark Dimension and find Madame le Princess Jessalyn D'Aubigne, said to have the bluest blood in the land. He knew it would be easy, too, as she was only 20 in total years, whereas he had 5 centuries on her, so a human like him would do fine in the Dark Dimension for now. Against everyone's wishes, he decides to use the rest of Misao's star ball to open a gateway back to the Dark Dimension. Meredith even tries to intervene, revealing her hunter-slayer status to him. It is Bonnie, however, that sees the light of the gate at night and rushes out to try to stop him, when she accidentally gets pulled into it with Damon. Damon pays someone who owns a small building to keep her in a room where no one will know about her, so at least she will be safe. The room is also full of star balls to keep her entertained. Damon eventually finds Jessalyn and builds up her trust over a few weeks, saying that even though he was a human and had no right to see a vampire princess, he had to because he loved her so much. He is eventually promoted all the way to one of her closest servants, when she finally agrees to turn him. Of course, he leaves immediately and never looks back, only to discover that Bonnie is gone. She had been kidnapped as a slave and sold to Shinichi. As he throws her out a window as punishment for severely weakening Misao, Damon flies up on a flying motorcycle and rescues her, taking her to Lady Ulma's house. Stefan and Elena soon arrive and Elena is furious with him, not even speaking to him. Eventually, Lady Ulma figures out that a vision Bonnie had while in the other building meant that they had to go find the Kitsune Treasures, so she prepares for a journey to the Netherworld. On the way, Elena almost dies of hypothermia and Damon has to warm her up by laying with her. Finally, they reach their destination and see Sage as the gatekeeper. Since they had fairly traveled the hardships up to there and didn't use the Master Keys or anything, they get to pick one prize. They choose to search the world's largest star ball, which they believe will help them save Fell's Church. The door leads them to the Netherworld's smallest moon, called the Dark Moon, on which there is a gigantic tree, the branches of which go over the entire moon. Searching for the star ball, they come across Shinichi, who says that he had to absorb Misao since she had become so weak. He remarks that he regrets working for "her", but then dies, as kitsune can not regret. The group eventually finds the star ball and Bonnie climbs up the branches to get it, but they come to life and throw her off. Damon rushes to catch her, but is staked by the tree, which pumps wood throughout his entire body.
Elena, Bonnie and Stefan all cry over him as he and Elena connect minds. She sees the child Damon who wants her to know that he loved just once in his life, meaning that he didn't actually love Katherine and just wanted her because Stefan did and he hated him at first, and then for the power she could give him, which was also the part of the story that everyone had missed. Elena then tells him that in the motel room, all he wanted was for her to hold him all night and she did, and she would never tell anyone. Then, all four of the characters connect minds and say goodbye to Damon as he dies. Stefan realizes just how much Damon meant to Elena. Infuriated at his death, Elena uses her Wings of Destruction, destroying everything on the moon and causing her to pass out. She wakes up in the kitsune paradise, another one of the treasures. Stefan remarks that they have cheated by having Sage help her recuperate there, so they steal as much of the treasures as they can and are arrested by the Celestial Court. Up in the Celestial Court, Elena makes a deal with the Guardians, saying that they would give back all of the treasures if they completely fix Fell's Church. They accept, but say that they can not bring back Damon, as he is a vampire and already gone. Elena almost uses her Wings of Destruction again, but the Guardians clip them and send everyone back to Earth. Stefan and Elena spend the night in her own bed, talking about how much they miss Damon and what they loved about him.
The Hunters: PhantomEdit
Damon wakes up when all of the liquid from the destroyed star ball rains down upon his body. At first he is delirious and can't remember anything, and then he realizes that he is buried under a mountain of ash. He claws his way further into it, not sure if he is going down further to the ground or up to the surface. He finally reaches the top of the sea of ash with large, soaking puddles here and there due to the star ball. His clothes had been destroyed under the ash so he is not wearing anything, and he still can't remember much, but he has a single strand of gold hair and a single strand of red hair in his hand that he knows he must hold on to. He slowly walks back toward the door in the distance, and just as he is about to reach it, he falls into a sudden large drop (due to the seaweed wrapping around Meredith's spelling "Damon" next). However, Sage notices from his desk and rescues him. He helps him remember who he is, gets him some clothes, and sends him back to Earth through the mystical elevator.
Up to this point, Elena had been having dreams of Damon at important places in their relationship, the first of which was the very that the book began. She met him in Bloddeuwedd's courtyard (with a normal looking sky) where she had freed his emotions, in the school gym where she first met him, and in Alaric's attic where he had taken her after she had become a vampire. In this dreams, she talked to him as if it was really his dead spirit talking to her, even though he was still alive. She confessed to him that she did love him just as much as she loves Stefan, and would kiss him. One night, however, the real Damon finally shows up in Elena's room. He tells her what happened and not to tell anyone that he is alive yet until the time is right. Elena reluctantly agrees. Later, she tells him about the darkness that had overtaken Bonnie. Intrigued, he turns into crow form and lets it overtake him as well, outside Elena's window.
He finds himself on the Dark Moon again, this time facing the original Phantom of Jealousy that Elena had released. He does battle with her and eventually, Bonnie, Elena and Matt, who have also been captured, join in. Suddenly, they all find themselves in the boarding house garage with Stefan, Meredith, Alaric, Celia and Mrs. Flowers, having gone back into their physical bodies. The Phantom tells everyone why they should be jealous of each other, and Stefan, even more angry since he didn't even know Damon was alive, starts fighting Damon to the death. Elena eventually gets them to reconcile and everyone casts out their jealousies to weaken the phantom. Damon throws a candle at it, setting it on fire, but it does not harm her. Elena reaches into her solid core and pulls out the rose contained within, crushing it and destroying the phantom. Outside, Damon gives her his blood to heal her burns as the fire department comes and puts out the garage.
The Hunters: MoonsongEdit
Stefan goes to Dalcrest College with Elena, Bonnie and (according to L. J. Smith) Caroline. He and Damon convince Matt and Meredith to go as well, since they know about the supernatural and should be around in case anymore chaos ensues. Damon lives in an apartment off campus (although L. J. Smith has stated he actually goes to the school a year above the rest, so maybe he does this later) and tries to form a better relationship with his brother. However, when he is out with Elena one night while she was waiting for Stefan, Stefan finds them and lets Elena know that he kept trying to get ahold of her. He begins to argue with Damon and Elena finally decides that she cannot be Katherine, declaring that she needs time away from both of them. Naturally, Damon does not follow this rule while Stefan is frustrated, going to college for no reason anymore after 500 years of living. While Stefan waits for her at a party, he eventually leaves and catches her kissing Damon, at which point he declares Damon is no longer his brother. Elena is heartbroken and tries to repair things with him over the next few days, but he does not answer her. She then realizes that it is now okay to grow closer to Damon and does not resist his advances. One night, he shows her worldy treasures and explains to her the eternal life she could have with him, travelling the richest parts of the globe through time. Elena begins to wonder if this is the life she deserves. At the end of the book, though, Matt shows up at Elena's room and says that Stefan is in danger. Matt and Bonnie wait at the entrance to the Vitale Society while Damon, Elena and Meredith go down to rescue Stefan and to fight the members that have been turned into vampires. Elena says that the time away from Stefan made her need him even more and eventually persuades him to get back with her. Stefan explains that the leader of the Society, Ethan, had met a descendant of Klaus over the summer who told him all about the Salvatore boys and turned him. Ever since, he'd been trying to bring back Klaus by collecting blood of his descendants, including Stefan and Damon. The brothers go with Meredith to track down the remaining vampires on campus while Elena and Matt go back to bed.
L. J. Smith revealed Damon's birthday in an email: "Sort of spooky, actually. Damon, of course, would have to be born on Halloween--midnight of the 30th actually. Which would make him a Scorpio, I believe."