Vampire Diaries’: Julie Plec talks new Delena (and Stebekah?) developments
by Mandi Bierly/Entertainment Weekly
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen this week’s “After School Special” episode of The Vampire Diaries, stop reading now. The central love triangle took another interesting turn. We asked showrunner Julie Plec for a hint of what’s to come.
Is a wolf about to ruffle the feathers of The Vampire Diaries lovebirds Tyler and Caroline?
The Secret Circle‘s Phoebe Tonkin shows up in Mystic Falls this Thursday (The CW, 8/7c) as Hayley, a werewolf who helped Tyler free himself from Klaus’ mental chains. As a result, she and the hybrid have shared quite the traumatic experience, which might spell trouble for Tyler’s current romance.
“Hayley is a little bit of a threat to that relationship because she has a history with Tyler,” says Tonkin. “She knew Tyler during a very emotional time [when] he was breaking his sire bond.”
In tough situations like that, people tend to lean on each for support and… something more. So can viewers trust that the two kept things strictly platonic in the past? “All we know is that they were friends and that they went through something big together, so they have a special bond because of that,” replies the actress. “So they were just good friends. But I don’t know if, at the beginning, Caroline thinks that.”
That doubt will cause “a bit of friction” between the girls as the blonde vamp is “a little threatened” — there’s that word again! — “by Hayley because she doesn’t know how close her relationship was with Tyler in the past,” Tonkin says. As for the hybrid himself, he’s “a little surprised” by the unexpected appearance from his pal “because she’s, obviously, someone from his past, a past that we don’t know that much about. But she’s a good friend of his, so he’s just excited to see [her].”
Tonkin advises fans of the couple not to fret too much. “Caroline and Tyler have their own situations going on,” she says. “I don’t think Hayley is a huge priority for Caroline at the moment. They have a lot of bigger things” to worry about. And the werewolf, too, is on a mission, so starting a relationship (or breaking one up) isn’t on her agenda.
“She’s hiding a secret, and she’s trying to find out something very important to her that we’re going to [discover] eventually,” teases the actress.
Despite all the turmoil Hayley may stir up, Tonkin hopes the audience likes her character, who she believes is a departure from her Secret Circle witch Faye – “It was definitely going to go darker, a little bit more twisted,” she says of what the future held for the canceled CW drama – even though the two are both “confident and strong and independent,” she says. “Hayley has a little bit more empathy. Faye is quite manipulative.”
But who has more fun: Werewolves, witches or the mermaids of her and Vampire Diaries co-star Claire Holt’s Australian series H20: Just Add Water?
“They all have their different kind of fun,” she replies with a laugh. “But it’s definitely nice to play Hayley. She’s a free spirit. She’s kind of ballsy. She’s different from what I’ve played before.”
Screen Spy: Klaus didn’t die at the end of season 3. Were you relieved by the writers’ decision to keep Klaus, and Joseph Morgan, around?
Claire Holt: Absolutely! He’s one of my dearest friends in real life. I think he’s so talented and we have such great chemistry. I just love working with him. I didn’t think there would be a be a chance they wouldn’tkeep him around. He’s just too talented to stick around in that box for too long!
Screen Spy: Klaus chose to save Caroline over Rebekah in the season premiere. She’s been essentially disowned by her brother. How is this going to affect their relationship with each other going forward this season?
Claire Holt: Rebekah’s always been there for her brother. Going back to that scene in the premiere she tells him “It’s always been me. Not Elijah. Not Kol. Not Finn. Me.” So she felt incredibly betrayed by him and it’s definitely going to impact their relationship throughout the season. She’s so stubborn and as much as she wants to be a family unit, and she loves her brother, she’s also furious at him for betraying her again. I think it creates a really interesting dynamic for the two of them. As much as I love when Klaus and Rebekah are a team it’s also really great to have those scenes where they’re in conflict as well. So I can tell you, it will definitely play a big role this season.
Screen Spy: Rebekah is an incredibly strong character, but also fragile in many ways. Is this a fun dichotomy for you as an actor?
Claire Holt: It’s so great! Multi-dimensional characters are so fun to play because there are always different aspects to explore. It’s nice to be able to play the tough girl – the badass original vampire – but it’s also great to be able to show her more vulnerable side – which is essentially her human side. I’m very fortunate to have been written a character like that. I think it helps you to become a better actor actually. I love what they do with her. I love that they allow me to explore those avenues with her. No matter how bad a character seems on paper what I always try to do is make them somewhat likable. I try to do that with Rebekah through her more vulnerable moments.
Screen Spy: How hard is it going to be for Rebekah to hold her head up and continue on in High School this year? She’s been ostracized by so many people at this point.
Claire Holt: She’s going to try to put up a bit of a wall and pretend it doesn’t affect her. She’s going to play that mean girl card. But it’s all an act. Obviously, being ostracized like that is going to be incredibly tough for her. There’s going to be some fun elements to it. She can’t really decide what she wants. One minute she doesn’t care. She wants to be the tough bad girl, and the next she really doesn’t, so there will definitely be that dynamic. I got to do some really fun scenes where that whole aspect is played up. [laughing] It’s great!
Screen Spy: Is this all going to change her as a person?
Claire Holt: I don’t know. I would like to think so. I hope so. I hope she tries to form some alliances because it’s going to be so lonely for her if she doesn’t. [laughing] I guess it depends on what direction the writers want to take her in. I’m just excited to see where it goes.”
Screen Spy: I believe we’re going to get to see your old H20 cast mate Phoebe Tonkin soon.
Claire Holt: Yes! Phoebe! My best friend! When I found out she was coming on the show I don’t think I squealed more loudly in my life. Ever. And I was on set. It’s so great.
Screen Spy: Have you shared any scenes together yet?
Claire Holt: We haven’t. Not yet. I’m hoping for some. We’ll see. I’d love to see them become allies. But it’s all up to Julie Plec.
Screen Spy: Episode 4 ‘The Five’ looks like it’s going to be a pretty intense ride. There’s mention of powerful vampire hunters connected with Klaus’ past, and we know that Rebekah will deliver some news that will stun Stefan. What can you share?
Claire Holt: It’s huge! What Rebekah reveals is actually really important to the direction and future of the season ahead. And the series too. It’s definitely going to change the way they all operate and think. It’s definitely a game changer … but I can’t reveal more. [laughing] You really will have to watch this one.
Screen Spy: You starred in ‘Blue Like Jazz’ earlier this year, which seems just about as far fromThe Vampire Diaries as it’s possible to get. Was that a deliberate decision on your part?
Claire Holt: They’re complete polar opposites. [laughing] Such different characters. One’s a good Christian girl and the other’s an evil vampire who goes around killing people! That’s the great thing about being an actor. I get to play so many different roles. I like to test myself. I think as an actor you have to be able to open yourself to different things. You have to be malleable. I loved shooting that film. It was a wonderful experience.
The Vampire Diaries Season 4 premiere left off with an explosive ending — literally — leaving us with quite a few questions heading into next week’s episode.
With the council gone (that was quick!), how soon before the Mystic Falls gang is fighting their next major enemy, vampire hunter Connor (Todd Williams)? Will Bonnie (Kat Graham) recover from causing the demise, yet again, of her Grams (Jasmine Guy)? And what’s the fallout from that heart-wrenching scene between Original siblings Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Rebekah (Claire Holt)? Find out the answers to these questions and more below in our interview with executive producer Julie Plec.
Bonnie caused the death of her Grams (again). How will she recover from that?
Julie Plec: She doesn’t deal with it because she can’t do any magic. So first she has to let herself grieve, which is what happens in the second episode. Then, when we return to her in the fourth episode, it’s about whether it’s possible to get her magic back in a healthy way.
The Vampire Diaries‘ Julie Plec: “Without a doubt the triangle has been reset”
Does David Alpay’s character help her with this?
Plec: She meets the new professor, the professor who took over for her Grams when she passed away, and he’s an expert in the occult and in witchcraft. He’ll take on a very clear interest in her as a mentor and she’ll finally find someone who understands her, who she could talk to and he’s going to help her try to heal.
The new vampire hunter Connor begins his arc on Thursday. What can you say about him?
Plec: The first thing our heroes realize when the hunter comes to town is that for a human he’s really freakin’ good at being a hunter. It puts them all off a bit, like, we’ve dealt with guys like you before, but there’s something different about you. The question of what is different about him, why is he able to deeply, darkly hunt and kill vampires, what drives him, what’s his history, what do other people know about his history and those sequences start to unfold as we get to the flashback in Episode 4.
Vampire Diaries‘ Ian Somerhalder: Damon is Elena’s key to understanding her transition
Caroline and Tyler were reunited, but Candice Accola told us their road won’t be easy. Does Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) get in their way?
Plec: Caroline and Tyler have an incredibly strong bond. They’ve been through a lot, but circumstances make each of them have a legitimate reason to be concerned. Tyler’s always concerned about Klaus’ interest in Caroline and Caroline is still a teenage girl, albeit the baddest-ass vampire in town, but she’s still jealous and insecure when it comes to other women. With Hayley’s arrival into town, it seems pretty clear there’s a history there and Caroline [has] to get to the bottom of what that history was and what it means for her relationship with him. What Klaus has to say about it when he catches wind of it is fun too.
Klaus and Rebekah had a pretty big blow-up at the end of the episode. Who can they lean on now that they’re at odds?
Plec: Rebekah, no matter how angry she gets at her brother, is always there for him, but she’s now all alone without a friend in the world going back to high school as Public Enemy No. 1. She’s screwed. Klaus, who of course wants nothing more deep down inside his twisted little heart than to feel good about his family and have a family, is also left floating on an island of his own and so he seeks out partnership in strange forms as well.
Any tease for Episode 2?
Plec: [Elena] does something unintentionally hurtful to Stefan and has to then deal with the repercussions of that.
To make sense of all the drama, TheInsider.com caught up with TVD executive producer Julie Plec to walk us through the epic-sode, explain what it all meant and tease what’s to come in episode two and beyond!
TheInsider.com: Coming into season four, what were your priorities?
Julie Plec: We really wanted to show the struggle of Elena’s journey. We didn’t want to be one and done. It’s not, “Boom! You’re a vampire! Weee! Isn’t this fun?” Our show has always tried to balance the wish fulfillment of vampirism versus the hard cold reality of that circumstance. And for Elena, someone who never, ever wanted to be this, we didn’t want to make it a cake walk. In making that decision, we are slow playing a lot in the beginning of the season. We’re eeking out small nuggets of our mythology over the first few episodes as opposed to slamming into it. We are really focusing on Elena’s journey; how she’s changed, what this means for her, the ups and the downs of what transitioning does to her, her friendships and her relationships.
Insider.com: Inevitably a lot of fans are wondering what went into Pastor Young’s decision to blow up the council. What can you say about his choice and what it means for this season?
Julie: What it means tragically, and yet ironically, is that there’s a big reset button pushed for our supernatural creatures because their human enemies have basically been annihilated. At the end of episode one, they think everything is about to change, but no — we dodge that bullet and so the supernatural creatures of Mystic Falls can live in peace and harmony … or so they think until a new vampire hunter rolls in next week. He becomes the singular thorn in their side as opposed to the council. What it means for the mythology is something different entirely. This isn’t something we’re going to answer right away. In fact, it’s going to be a dangling mystery for some time because there will be a big question of who did it, who’s responsible for it and it happened. I mean, why did the pastor feel necessary to light a whole room of people on fire? Was he compelled? What went into that decision? That answer isn’t coming any time soon, but we’ll keep introducing a lot of clues.
Insider.com: For me, one of the big question marks over this season involves Rebekah. She’s separated from her brother and has no strong ties to the core characters. How does she fit into season four?
Julie: Interestingly enough, episode three kind of answers your question. She shows up at school with a chip on her shoulder and this wall built 10 feet high because she knows that she’s the most hated creature in Mystic Falls. It’s what she does to defend herself against that unpopularity that will define who she is and what she’ll be to the story this season. There are, of course, a couple of surprises in store for her early this season that shake things up.
Insider.com: Now that Klaus-in-Tyler is resolved, what’s his mission? Is he still trying to create a family of hybrids?
Julie: It’s certainly what he says his goal is. Klaus returns in episode three with a bit of a vengeance – he’s pissed off and resentful that all these people bound themselves together to defeat him. He won’t let them off the hook very easily and by the end of episode three, we start to get a sense that Klaus is putting together some pieces that the rest of our heroes aren’t, that gives him a window into this new season four mythology. That makes him a very important player in this new season.
Insider.com: It was also amazing to see Grams again, but what exactly happened to Bonnie’s power in that transfer moment?
Julie: It was basically a conditioned response. It was the witches saying, “If you go down this road, it will not just hurt you, but [those you love too].” It’s the witches way of sending out a very, very dire warning: Do not meddle in that stuff. And that will scare Bonnie straight in episode two. Hopefully she can figure out a way to get access to her abilities again without having to go through that pain every time.
Insider.com: Earlier you mentioned that you were slow playing these first few episodes. Does that allow these characters, whose lives whoosh by, to take stock of everything that’s happened?
Julie: For sure. I look at episode two in my own special way as the finale of last season’s journey. We never got a chance to mourn, we never got a chance to properly grieve Alaric. In a way, our characters are never given the opportunity to sit and think about the terrible things that happen to them. This is a way of saying to the audience, we are allowing ourselves this moment to grieve. We are putting this away and moving forward. In many ways, episode three is truly the launch of season three in that we’re really beginning a new chapter. Episode one and two are almost like a nice bow wrapped on end of season three.
Insider.com: Given that, what excites you about the beginning of season four, which begins in episode three?
Julie: The beginnings of some very interesting relationship shifts, across the board, for every character. The hints of what we like to call Something Wicked This Way Comes. The door opening to some really big mythology reveals that we’ll launch into with episode four, which is our first flashback episode. There will be some conflicts between characters we want to see getting along and some nice moments between characters we’re not used to getting along. And there’s a couple sexy make out moments … the show doesn’t do enough of those!
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Though the media tends to focus on Elena’s love triangle trouble on “The Vampire Diaries,”Caroline (Candice Accola) always seems to find herself at the center of some serious romantic geometry as well. Remember her whole “Everyone just needs to stop kissing me!” debacle? We felt really bad for her then. Seriously.
When this season kicks off, Caroline and Tyler (Michael Trevino) have just decided to run away together — a romantic notion, sure, but what happens when the reality kicks in? In this case, the reality is a vampire possession spell and, in Episode 2, a new hunter in town — a hunter who specifically sets his sights on Tyler. With all of that going on, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is still interested in Caroline (as evidenced by his priorities in the season premiere!).Zap2it visited “The Vampire Diaries” set in September, and obviously we grilled Candice and Joseph on all that’s to come for Klaus, Caroline, and Tyler.
Candice teases some rocky shores ahead for Caroline and Tyler — or “Forwood” as the fans call it. “It makes complete sense that they were this amazing, incredibly naive, incredibly hopeful, incredibly young and innocent [couple], at a wonderful point in their relationship, where they’re essentially like ‘Forget this. We’re going to run away, we have each other, that’s all we need. We have us, we have our love,’” she says. “Let’s throw in some reality here. It’s very true to life. That parallels a lot in the real world, where you can have this ‘Oh, we’re so much in love,’ but you have to be able to handle the real life situations. You have to talk about things.”
When we were on set, the cast was in the middle of shooting Episode 7 — and Klaus was stilldoggedly pursuing Caroline. “Klaus certainly is going to play a part in tormenting their relationship,” Candice confirms. “but basically, they’re going to be faced with the reality of romance. For some couples, I think that they can flourish under that, and for others, I think, it’s crippling. For them, they’re still finding their footage within that.”
If Caroline and Klaus do manage to get together this season, it will take some serious character development — after all, Klaus has made several attempts to kill Caroline’s BFF, and he’s not showing any signs of stopping now that Elena is a vampire. We asked Candice and Joseph about which character would have to compromise — would Klaus become more good, or would Caroline explore her dark side? Their answers were a bit surprising.
“I think that everyone has a dark side,” Candice says. “And I’m not just quoting Kelly Clarkson’s song… but it’s true. Especially in young relationships, you do compromise yourself, and you do compromise your thoughts and your morals and your beliefs, and not just pertaining to young relationships, but I think that’s more common in young relationships. I don’t know if I necessarily see Klaus compromising too much… I think there’s definitely a possibility that we could see Caroline compromise herself for a relationship.”
Joseph has a very different idea of how their eventual (potential) hookup will happen. “If she’s going to give him a chance, she’s going to kind of have to forgive him for the Aunt Jenna thing, and all the terrible stuff,” he says. “There’s going to have to be some huge compromise. I mean I think the compromise would have to be on his side, really. I’m not sure how willing she would be to move towards the dark side, though anything can happen. You never know.”
Through all of that, the relationship between Tyler and Klaus continues to be a factor, and we’ll see more exploration of the sire bond as we get into the holiday season. “Klaus continues to try and find ways to manipulate Tyler. It started with him encouraging Tyler to bite Caroline and then swooping in like a hero to rescue her,” Joseph laughs. “Everyone seemed to forget that he was the one who persuaded Tyler to bite her in the first place.”
The competition is definitely on in Season 4, though, so don’t miss a minute of it. “Deep down, ultimately, he’s a good guy. He’s honorable now, at least, so I think it’s difficult for Klaus to compete with him in terms of honor because of all the terrible things that he’s done, so he finds other ways to kind of put himself up there.”
The accent helps.
The new season premieres tonight, Thursday Oct. 11, at 8 p.m. on The CW. In the meantime, you can watch our video interview below (But be warned, the video was a little glitchy! We think the ghost of Alaric was messing with our technology. We miss him enough to forgive him.)
Congratulations, “Vampire Diaries”fans — you’ve survived hiatus! This week, the show returns with an explosive season premiere that ends with a twist no one will see coming.Zap2it headed to the show’s set in Covington, Georgia while the cast was filming the upcoming Miss Mystic Falls pageant (hence the suits!) to get all the scoop on what to expect from the first part of the season.
Series star Ian Somerhalder sat down with us in Tyler Lockwood’s fancy dining room for a nice long conversation about the show’s most controversial element: the Damon and Elena romance.
Whether you’re a “Delena” fan or not, there’s no denying that there was some serious passion behind that kiss they shared at the motel last season, so when she chose Stefan in a life-or-death moment in the season finale, we were a bit surprised. That said, now that Elena is about to complete her transition into being a vampire, there’s a new side to her — one that only Damon can truly understand.
“Is he going to be pining? He will definitely be pining significantly less,” Ian says. “And by pining I mean like ‘Aw, she doesn’t love me,’ that kind of thing. I think now there’s a whole other element that is sort of in play here, and that is by virtue of the fact that there is this transition, this thing that’s happened in our lives, and it’s altering the course of the way things are going down in Mystic Falls, at least between Stefan, Elena, and Damon.”
There’s a definite shift in the dynamic now. In the first episode, Elena is captured, so she spends most of the episode apart from Damon — but he is the recipient of her first angry, vamped-out snarl. In the second episode, she realizes that while she’s getting used to her affliction, there are some things she just can’t ask Stefan for, and for those things, she turns to Damon.
Stefan, of course, is trying to get Elena on the bunny diet right away, in his efforts to keep her from feeling the pain of killing someone. Damon thinks that stifling her instincts is only going to backfire in the end.
“Imagine having a little baby kitten and that kitten wants to play all the time, and you’re like ‘No, kitten, can’t play.’ You put the kitten in a box. You put the kitten in a closet. Kitten can’t play,” Ian explains. “But it’s a kitten. It’s supposed to play. You’re supposed to play with it, give [it] toys. You’ve got to allow it to advance its skills as a hunter, as an individual. Effectively the way Damon sees Elena being led into this, it doesn’t make any sense. There’s a huge downfall that he sees, which is that if she does not experience first hand this bloodlust, there’s no way in hell she’s going to be able to control it. She’s not going to know what she’s up against.”
Don’t worry. Just because she chose Stefan as a human doesn’t mean the tension between her and Damon will evaporate. After all, her emotions are heightened now. All her emotions.
“Tension smension. I want to see action!” Ian laughs.
We were curious about whether Damon would seek out new love interests (or at least, lust interests) after Elena’s painful rejection, but the picture that Ian paints of Damon’s nights in Mystic Falls tells a very different story.
“I’m sure that he can hear Stefan and Elena getting it on up in the roof of the Salvatore house. Super hearing is a bitch,” he says. “Imagine you’re pulling up, there’s some Bach in his car, he’s pulling up, and all of a sudden he hears [springs squeaking]. Does he stop there? He’s going to listen to the woman he loves, upstairs with his brother. So what does he do? He probably goes inside, polishes off a bottle of bourbon, Damon and a bottle of Maker’s. There’s no Alaric. Or does he turn around and go back to the Mystic Grill where he just came from? It’s not looking up for Damon.”
In one week, The Vampire Diaries returns for season four – and let’s just say, Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) in for a wild ride.
As the promos and clips have revealed, the newest Mystic Falls vampire has a bit of a learning curve, and her closest cohorts, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley), are set on making it their mission to see their opposing views on vampire living through.
Executive producer Julie Plec, who along withKevin Williamson was named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s top 50 showrunning teams this year, alluded to a darker season for Elena and its townspeople, including several new additions – vampire hunter Connor (Todd Williams) and old Gilbert friend April (Grace Phipps) — and returnees. And when viewers follow Elena’s transition from human to vampire in the first two episodes, the heightened stakes are clearer — scratch that, bloodier — than ever before.
Said Plec of Elena’s supernatural struggles: “She’s in limbo in that it’s going to take her some time to figure out how to live.”
THR caught up with Plec to chat about Elena’s monumental changes and decisions ahead (including the never-ending Damon vs. Stefan debate), bidding farewell to her human life, the return of flashbacks and much more.
The Hollywood Reporter: Elena is going through some changes – to put it bluntly.
Julie Plec: She is. She’s not having a lot of fun yet.
THR: Now that Elena’s exploring her new state of being as a vampire, will this force her to open her mind up?
Plec: Elena becoming a vampire, in a way, is an awakening of a person who is about to go through a lot of changes – some for the better and some for the worse, some for the darker and some for the lighter. In all that, she is going to evolve as a person and her relationships are going to evolve accordingly. I can’t say much beyond that other than that it’s a journey for her of an adolescent growing up to a really tragic adulthood. We change a lot in those years and we change what we want out of life; it’s a constant evolution.
THR: Is it accurate to say that she’s found herself in a state of limbo, for lack of a better term, at least for the time being?
Plec: Definitely. She’s in limbo in that it’s going to take her some time to figure out how to live. The problem is the two people who are right there by her side, in the forms of Stefan and Damon have very different point of views on how she should adapt to it. Stefan, rightfully so, is terrified she will hurt someone and that she will not be able to deal with having hurt someone so he’s going to have to do everything in his power to keep her from getting herself into those situations. Damon, also rightfully so, is convinced that it’s inevitable that vampires hurt people; it’s what they do. He wants to “rip the band-aid off,” as he says in the second episode, and let it bleed. She’s, unfortunately, not getting the same advice from the two people she values most in the world. It’s going to make it more difficult for her.
THR: By the end of the second episode, there are hints that Elena is leaning toward either the “Stefan way” or the “Damon way” of being a vampire. Will a situation arise in the future that forces her to pick?
Plec: Every time she thinks she’s made her way past the most recent hurdle, something’s going to happen that sets her back or sets her on a new path. She may think, “I can do this the way Stefan said” and have a setback, then she may embrace Damon’s point of view and have a setback. It’s a constant back and forth about what kind of person she is now that she’s a vampire, how she’s going to survive this and if she’s going to survive it.
THR: The continued back and forth with Elena and the brothers is also representative of the triangle that has served as an undercurrent for the entire series. How will this affect the trio?
Plec: It’s a whole new Elena and it’s a whole new day. It’s a different dynamic between the three of them especially. Some people have to watch and wait.
THR: Before Elena’s accident in the season finale, she picked Stefan, and early on in season four, she makes a decision about who she sticks by romantically. How does her choice affect future episodes and what does this mean for the other Salvatore?
Plec: If our fanbase has learned anything since watching the show from the beginning, things are constantly shifting, evolving, moving, coming back around and weaving through, and relationships are always growing. What is now may not be that way in two episodes or 10 episodes, or it may come back to be that way 10 episodes later. It’s all part of where these characters are, who they are, what they’re going through in their life and who they’re most bonded to at that moment.
THR: The second episode featured a tribute to characters who have come and gone, as well as a very revealing – and human – moment for Damon. Why were those pivotal to include?
Plec: It was our way of tipping our hat, not only to everyone that we’ve lost on the show but to the Alaric (Matt Davis) character, who we wanted to make sure we got to properly mourn and say goodbye to before we moved into our new season and our new story. Also, to give a moment for Elena to say goodbye to her human life, for her to mourn herself because that’s it. In remembering all the people that they’ve lost, they’re able to let their grief come out, deal with it and move forward.
THR: That specific Damon moment also reminded us that he doesn’t have many friends. How close does he get to having another friendship as rich as the one he had with Alaric?
Plec: It’s very important for us to have Damon have somebody that he’s that connected to. The question this year is: Who will that be? Will he be able to grow stronger with his brother? Will he be able to find a new wingman, a new team bourbon replacement? Will that person become Elena or somebody that we wouldn’t expect? He’s trying to mask it but he’s feeling a little lonely.
THR: The first two episodes had their fair share of gut-wrenching moments. How many more should we expect?
Plec: Emotional moments? Oh god, always. There shouldn’t ever be an episode that goes by that doesn’t tug at your heart or put a knife through your heart. That’s the world we like to operate in: deep, deep pain; great, great love; and sad, sad tears. This season is very emotional and dark and light at the same time. Our characters are going to go through a lot. Elena, especially, will really be faced with very complicated and dark scenarios that she’s going to have to be really strong to get herself past.
THR: What is her greatest challenge moving forward?
Plec: Her greatest challenge is not to become the self-fulfilling prophecy of a vampire who takes a life.
THR: Matt’s (Zach Roerig) life was spared in the finale, and he pays it forward with Elena at an opportune time. What else can we expect for him?
Plec: Matt gets to be the human hero this season, definitely in the beginning. He’s tasked with earning the fact that he’s still alive. It’s a challenge he wants to rise to. On the romance level, he’s happily single right now given the fact that his most aggressive suitor is Rebekah (Claire Holt), who he can’t quite forgive for her running him off the road.
THR: Any more flashback episodes to come?
Plec: We’ve got a flashback in episode four, another one in episode eight and I’m sure another one before the season is over.
The Vampire Diaries returns for season four Oct. 11 on The CW.
Elena may not be thrilled to wake up in transition when The Vampire Diaries returns on Oct. 11, but there’s at least one undead activity for her to look forward to: vampire sex.
“All the rage is this vampire sex,” said Nina Dobrev, when we caught up with her on the set a few weeks ago. “Unfortunately, I can’t tell you who Elena’s going to have it with but she definitely will have some and it’s definitely going to be hot and heavy and sexy and fun.”
Though Dobrev wouldn’t name the lucky guy, co-star Ian Somerhalder confirmed that his character wasn’t a contender.
“It’s not going to be Damon,” he said. “It’s all about Stefan.” Or so he thinks. (When we cross-checked with Dobrev, she seemed totally surprised that Somerhalder suggested Elena does the deed with the younger Salvatore).
Having seen the first two episodes, we’ll say only this: There’s one particular scene that we’re sure will have the entire fandom debating what really qualifies as “vampire sex.” Ponder that. (Then press play after the jump to watch Somerhalder and Dobrev tackle the topic).