With one season left in The Vampire Diaries’ run, we decided it was time to start collecting everyone’s final diary entries. Every week during the final season, EW is asking those involved with the show to look back on one of their favorite moments from the series. So grab your tissues and join us on this trip down a vampire-filled memory lane.
First up, co-creator and executive producer Kevin Williamson.
All I remember is when we were in Atlanta, I was running by the Margaret Mitchell House one morning and I went into the museum. They had chronicled on the wall how Margaret Mitchell wrote the story of Scarlett O’Hara. It was all about Scarlett being a survivor and it was all about how Gone with the Wind was truly about the north and the south and how they blended together post-war, how they recovered, the reconstruction of the south, and commerce over tradition. And ultimately Scarlett fell somewhere in the middle. She was rooted in her legacy and her history, but she was also a survivor and an opportunist, so she was a blend. You could see why she loved Ashley and why she loved Rhett. Each man represented something different. Rhett was the future, was opportunity. Then you look at Ashley, who was love and passion and legacy and tradition.
As I was walking through that museum, I went, “There’s Damon, there’s Stefan, and there’s Elena… no, that’s not Elena. That’s Katherine. This is Katherine’s story. This is 1864. This is when she bit them. This isn’t our current story; this is yesterday’s story.” There, I started realizing, we’ve got to go there. And I’m not the flashback/period person ever, and I’m like, “Julie, we have to tell the story of Katherine, we have to tell the story of where it all began. We have to back up and show in flashback how Stefan and Damon were turned, and then she’ll have to come back.”
I’m most proud of the cliffhanger [at the end] of season 1. I remember sitting in the room and Julie’s like, “No, Damon and Elena have to kiss. That has to be the cliffhanger. Don’t you remember Dawson’s Creek? You’ve got to do it.” And I’m like, “No, they can’t. You cannot.” We were already fighting about Elena being with Damon or elena being Stefan. I saw it clearly: This is season 1. This is about Stefan and Elena. Elena is not at that place yet where she would kiss him. She’s not drunk; she’s not crazy. She’s our heroine; we cannot sacrifice her character and have her make that move against Stefan. Unless —I’ll never forget that moment in the writers’ room — it’s Katherine.
And then we just started backfilling the whole story: How do we get there? How can we make it Katherine’s return? Then we started plotting the whole thing where aunt Jenna invites her in. There’s so many thing that went into that. I wanted so badly to do like that ultimate Knots Landing cliffhanger where they had not one, not two, but three cliffhangers, but [I wanted] like, six. I wanted every story line to have a cliffhanger: Tyler falling on the ground, the paramedics seeing his eye turn into a werewolf, then you turn and oh wait, Caroline was hurt my the car crash and she passes out. Anna dies in the fire! Then of course, uncle John gets his finger cut off, the big reveal that it’s Katherine. We wanted it to be shocking and it just turned into a perfect storm of everyone collectively bringing their A game and I love that last episode. In my entire career, It’s my favorite cliffhanger episode ever.
That’s when I felt like we had a show that could be successful and that could be really run. It was a beautiful time.
We’re only one episode into The Vampire Diaries‘ final season, and it’s already a mind-screw — and not just for the viewers.
TVLine recently visited the show’s Atlanta set, where stars Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley did their best to explain the otherworldly control Sybil has over Damon and Enzo, and how that could shape the series’ remaining episodes. Needless to say, it was a struggle.
“This season is really about … the conclusion of what evil sins must these characters pay their dues for,” Wesley says, noting that the “religious undertones” are often lost on him as an atheist.
omerhalder also shares some very kind words for his on-screen brother, while alluding to a scene the two recently filmed: “We’re so dialed-in with one another, we could look at each other and not have to say a word to know exactly what one another is thinking. … There’s something very special about a relationship like that, because you get to get deep very quickly. And I think the performance shows it.”
(Maybe if Damon and Stefan were as synced-up as Somerhalder and Wesley, we wouldn’t be in this Sybil mess in the first place!)
Here’s the preview of The Vampire Diaries’ 8×02: “Today Will Be Different” airing October 28th on The CW;
After learning that someone from Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) past may be Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Enzo’s (Michael Malarkey) next target, Stefan, Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Caroline (Candice King) head to North Carolina. There, Bonnie takes drastic measures in an attempt to break Enzo free of whatever has a hold over him. At the Armory, Alaric (Matt Davis) and Georgie (guest star Allison Scagliotti) stumble upon a mysterious symbol that may be related to the supernatural force controlling Damon and Enzo. Finally, Caroline gets an unexpected surprise from Stefan.
The CW’s The Vampire Diaries opened its eighth and final season on Friday with 1.06 million total viewers and a 0.4 demo rating, down from its previous premiere (1.38 mil/0.6, on a Thursday) yet on par with its May finale (which aired on a Friday).
TVLine reader’s gave TVD an average grade of “B+.”
Season 8 will be the last season of ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ and we’re still coping. The final season premieres Oct. 21, and these last 16 episodes are going to be a roller coaster of emotions. From the return of Ripper Stefan to the possibility of Nina Dobrev coming back, here’s everything we know coming into the final season!
*Elena Gilbert has a “very strong presence” in the final season.
When season 8 begins, Elena Gilbert is still very much asleep. However, she “has a very strong presence this season, in the entire season,” Julie Plec, 44, told our sister site TVLine. She also revealed to Entertainment Tonight that “Damon’s memories of her play a big part of the season.” Cue the screams!
*Nina Dobrev is most likely coming back.
Julie also dished to ET that she feels very good about Nina, 27, making an appearance in the final season. “She and I have spoken and I know that she 100 percent wants to be there and I, of course, 100 percent want her to be there, and so it just comes down to stupid things like scheduling,” she said. HollywoodLife.com told you EXCLUSIVELY in April 2016 Nina would definitely return to the show when it was coming to an end.
*Ripper Stefan is going to make a comeback.
No, Stefan’s not going to be a ripper in the present day, but Julie revealed to Entertainment Weekly that fans we’ll get a flashback of when Stefan was the Ripper of Monterey. Now that’s going to be epic! As much as we love Good Stefan, there’s nothing like seeing the golden Salvatore boy be so, so bad.
*The show will revisit favorite Mystic Falls events.
The iconic Founder’s Day and Miss Mystic Falls will be revisited in the final season. The Vampire Diaries is going back to basics and really making the final episodes a treat for longtime fans.
*Damon is back to his bad self in the season premiere.
Damon and Enzo in a bad place when season 8 starts out. They’re now being controlled by a nasty evil spirit, and Damon is worse off than Enzo. “In the first episode, you’ll find out that Damon is very much his malicious old Season 1 self,” Michael Malarkey, 33, told Collider.
*Some of your characters will probably be returning, too.
Over the years, the writers have found clever ways to bring old fan favorites back. The Other Side no longer exists, but Julie is going to find a way for your fave characters to return. “I got something up my sleeve, but it’s not Other Side-y,” she teased to EW.
The Vampire Diaries’ aired its 8th and final season last night and executive producer Julie Plec discussed the series finale with ET Online and even says Nina Dobrev wants to be there;
ET: Let’s get right to the big pink vampire in the room. How are things going with getting Nina Dobrev to reprise her role as Elena?
Julie Plec: I feel very good about it! She and I have spoken and I know that she 100 percent wants to be there and I, of course, 100 percent want her to be there, and so it just comes down to stupid things like scheduling. Honestly, let’s put it this way: I would be devastated if it weren’t to work out, so I have a feeling the cards will be in all our favor.
If Nina does come back, how excited are you to watch that vision you’ve had for her all along come to life in the series finale?
[Laughs] Oh, I am very excited. We get little hints and teases of her face all through the season. Damon’s memories of her play a big part of the season, and I was just looking at a scene yesterday and being able to see her face brought back so much emotion and nostalgia and sweetness. It’s lovely to have her in the narrative in the way that she is.
We had the pleasure of debuting an exclusive sneak peek clip of the premiere earlier this week with Damon reading Fifty Shades of Grey. What was the decision behind that fandom crossover?
[Laughs] Well, Erika [Mitchell], who writes the books, is a friend of mine. We became friends because we met right after all the rumors that everyone wanted Ian Somerhalder to play Christian Grey. She and I got to have a great sort of fun with that, and a great laugh over that, and we became buddies, so it was fun to give a little shout out to her universe.
EW.com recapped The Vampire Diaries’ final season premiere. Don’t read it if you haven’t seen it yet!
I don’t know how it happened, but somehow, we’ve come to the start of the final season of The Vampire Diaries, a show I have loved — probably a little too much — since the moment Stefan Salvatore’s voiceover started telling us his story. And because each episode of the final season is titled with a line of dialogue from season 1, I want to start each recap with a brief trip down memory lane as an explainer to said title.
“Hello, Brother”: The title of this episode comes from the pilot of the show. In fact, those are the first two words ever uttered by Damon Salvatore, lovable bad boy and eternal stud. After Stefan hears about another “animal attack” in Mystic Falls, he rushes home with the realization that he’s not the only vampire around. And there, on his balcony, is Damon, his older brother, who’s back in town in the hopes of reuniting with Katherine (a plan we’d learn later in the season).
And now, years later, the season kicks off with Stefan desperately wanting to save the brother he despised all those years ago. In the pilot, Damon’s arrival was the worst thing Stefan could imagine. And now, all he wants is to get his brother back from whatever it was that took him.
We pick up a few months after the end of season 7, and more importantly, Damon and Enzo are still on their killing spree. In a shot that perfectly mirrors the opening of the pilot, a young couple is driving through the fog — the fog! — before they somehow manage to swerve around Damon, who’s standing in the middle of the road. (His favorite trick.) But sadly for this couple, Enzo’s just a few yards away, and when they hit him, well, their fates are sealed.
This scene definitely wins the award for most meta lines. First, there’s the soon-to-be male victim saying, “To be honest, I’m just glad the whole vampire craze is over.” And then there’s Enzo and Damon’s entire discussion about how maybe it’s time to say goodbye to the standing-in-the-middle-of-the-road trick. After all, it hurts.
As Damon and Enzo drive their latest victims to their favorite slaughterhouse, we get a bit of explanation as to what’s happening inside their minds. As they put it, they’re unwilling employees — slaves, if you will — to this creature that’s controlling them, and it’s their job to bring the worst of humanity to the warehouse.
After asking their victims about their dirtiest deeds, they decide the male shall be fed to whatever it is in that bloody water while the woman gets to die a respectable death. (Enzo bites her.)
Just like that, the beast has been fed, and Enzo and Damon are off to get some sleep. Welcome to season 8.
Back in Mystic Falls, Caroline and Stefan are enjoying some time not sleeping while Bonnie writes in her diary to Elena. She tells her best friend they’re no closer to finding Damon and Enzo than they were months ago. And when the string on her guitar breaks, she flashes back to a time when Enzo was around to fix her broken strings, a memory that causes her to break down.
Poor Bonnie is dealing with losing the men she loved, while Caroline’s biggest concern seems to be the fact that her nanny is way too hot. It’s in her rant that we learn Ric is now running the Armory. Caroline’s worried he could be susceptible to hot nanny charms, though she should probably be more worried by the fact that a couple of interns just showed him how to isolate his sense of touch in order to walk through a wall in the vault.
I gotta admit: Seeing Ric in a dark ancient tunnel just feels right.
The Vampire Diaries is back tonight for its final season. Be sure to tune in tonight at The CW! Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley preview the show’s premiere;
Holding out hope in the face of impossible circumstances has been a steady theme throughout The Vampire Diaries’ run — whether it’s Elena holding out hope that Stefan will find his humanity, or just about everyone holding out hope that happy endings do exist. And when season 8 kicks off, it’s Stefan who’s trying to hold onto the hope that he can save his brother.
Season 8 picks up a few months after the events of the season 7 finale, which saw Damon and Enzo off on a killing spree after being influenced by, well, whatever was in that fault. Meanwhile, Stefan, Caroline, and Bonnie have had no luck in finding either of them. “They’ve been following one trail of dead ends after another, and we pick them up trying to hold onto any remaining hope that they can that there’s a way to come back,” showrunner Julie Plec tells EW.
The problem — or rather, another problem — is that whatever got to Damon and Enzo is still out there, which means more of our Mystic Falls favorites could fall under its spell. “This particular beast has quite an influence over people mentally,” says Plec. “It’s hungry for death, and right now, Damon and Enzo are its faithful servants.”
But thankfully, there’s one thing this villain can’t kill, and that’s love. “There’s a strong romantic core to this season,” Plec says, promising “lots of big moves and big declarations” in the show’s final 16 episodes.
Furthermore, those big moments will be contained within the show’s central characters. “We really boiled it down to a very small group of core characters, so that does leave limited room for new relationships because they’re all in relationships,” Plec says, adding that the season’s “got a lot of love in it which is one thing that I’m really enjoying.”
Could that love extend to past characters fans would love to see return? Long story short: Plec has a plan. When it came to creating the Other Side, Plec says, “I took a lot of s— and I don’t care because I loved how easy it was for those who were deceased to return. I loved the Other Side; I thought the Other Side was very special to our show. It did give us that ability to stay close to those we’ve lost even after they might have left us tragically. So much of the show is an exploration of death, and I love being able to explore the idea that people remain with us in some way or another.”
As for what that means for season 8, when the Other Side no longer exists, Plec says, “I got something up my sleeve, but it’s not Other Side-y. That one’s gone for good.”
Be sure to tune in tonight for The Vampire Diaries’ return at The CW!
The Vampire Diaries will not be lacking in Vitamin E(lena) when it kicks off its final season tonight (The CW, 8/7c). Executive Producer Julie Plec sat down with TV Line to discuss the final season;
Though the object of Damon’s affection is still catching up on her beauty sleep at the top of Season 8, executive producer Julie Plec promises that Nina Dobrev‘s character “has a very strong presence this season, in the entire season, similarly to how she did last year.”
“We set up at the end [of Season 7] that Stefan had kept up with writing in the journal to keep [Elena] up to speed with everything they’ve been going through,” Plec reminds TVLine. “We really keep that up in the beginning of the season. Everyone has their turn telling their stories in the journal. With that, we’ve gotten to both keep Elena’s character alive, but also return to the nostalgia of Season 1 when ‘Dear diary’ was a thing.”
Plec describes Season 8 as a “year of finallys,” explaining that, “because it’s the last season, we get to deliver on all the things we’ve been keeping a nice Santa’s wish list of.”
One of those “finallys,” of course, is the long-awaited return of Dobrev, who hasn’t been seen in new footage since May 2015. (Dobrev did record new audio for the Season 7 finale, but that’s as close as we’ve gotten.)