The Vampire Diaries Season 3 finale was full of twist, turns and sown right surprises last night. EP Julie Plec gave EW a post finale interview to explain, elaborate and preview what fans can expect in season 4 of the hit CW drama. Warning, if your haven’t seen the finale, do not read any further!
How long have you known Elena would end season 3 in transition to become a vampire?
The ending had been in the works for about two years. In the first series of books, that’s what happens to her. When Kevin [Williamson] and I first came on the show, we said, “Well, it can’t happen to her the way it happens in the books,” which is on, like, page 200 of the first book. [Laughs] That felt obviously too soon, and rushed, and we didn’t want to make a show about a teenage girl who instantly becomes a vampire. But we always knew that her journey would take her there eventually, and we just kept riding the wave of when it felt right. You’ve got a girl who just sorta lost her last adult living family member when Aunt Jenna died last year, so when we started this season, what we really wanted to do was begin this relationship with Alaric as her guardian and mentor, and then tear that away from her at the end leaving her and her brother with nobody. It felt like now was the time — when you’re left with no grownup, no adult supervision, no parent, no guardian — for Elena to experience the next evolution of her journey. All the stuff that we did with having her get stronger over the course of the year, training and getting in touch with her physical self, and all the grief and all the emotion that she went through, all the compassion that she has for everybody, it will all play into next year and what kind of person and vampire she will actually be — if she should choose to see the transition through.
Obviously, she will transition.
There will be a discussion to be had about it at the beginning, but the road we’re going down is pretty balls out.
Did Elena know that Meredith had given her vampire blood when she told Stefan to save Matt first?
That is a question that we will ask and answer when we come back next season.
Matt did survive, right?
I think for Matt to not survive that after everything would be just too damn tragic.
What we’ve said all year is that this is the choice for who she is at this moment in her life, and what she wants out of her life, and who she wants to have in her life in a romantic way. Though she has obviously grown to love Damon, and probably be in love with Damon, over the course of three seasons, what she said was 100 percent true: Even at its worst, she never fell out of love with Stefan, and you just can’t let somebody like that go. So letting Damon go was the right thing to do for her. Of course now, who knows what’s gonna happen? Her life just got completely turned upside down and ripped inside out. God only knows how each brother is gonna handle it? If they have opposing viewpoints [read: Damon definitely would have saved Elena first, so she'd still be human], then how are they going to handle each other? They just miraculously survived this year tighter than ever as brothers, what will this new development due to that relationship? There’s all kinds of great questions that are gonna come up as a result of all this.
One of the twists we didn’t see coming — conveniently after Elena said maybe her choice would have been different if she’d met Damon first — was that Damon HAD actually met her first on the night of her parents’ crash, but he compelled her to forget because he didn’t want anyone else to know he was in town.
Damon now has a small collection of things that he’s compelled her to forget. If there’s one thing that everyone knows about our vampire rules it’s that when you die and are in transition, your memories start to come back. So, there’s some new information that will be introduced to Elena in the first episode of next season. I think it’s just all part of the ongoing friendship and romantic entanglement that Elena has with Damon. She’s never gonna be able to shake it completely, and new information is only gonna get under her skin and embed itself into her even more. And so, it will cause complications with Stefan, of course. But she’s committed to Stefan. She loves Stefan. We’ll get to actually see them be together for a little while.
No. No. The most passionate of the opposing teams are never quite happy unless they get exactly what they want. But, I would say everybody else can understand that end game means end of series. We’re in the middle of the journey, and our heroine just made a life decision and then EVERYTHING in her life is about to change. We’re starting Part 2. We’ll continue to ask the question “Why was it right for her?” and answer it as we move into next season. Elena as a character will continue to evolve and change, as will our boys, as will their feelings for each other and for her. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Let’s talk about Bonnie’s deal with Klaus.
It’s the same magic that was able to put Klaus into Alaric’s body and Esther into Rebekah’s. So you can extrapolate the future of Joseph Morgan on this show from that logic.
You know, I myself did not see his entire body burned to bits. So I can’t say 100 percent that we’ve seen the last of him.
And Klaus really is the start of Damon, Stefan, and Caroline’s bloodline?
Yes, that is the truth.
What can you say about where Bonnie’s headed?
What’s next for Bonnie really is a deeper, more emotional exploration of her witchcraft, of her legacy as a witch. Next year is really gonna be about having her understand not just that there are consequences for her actions, but that ultimately she needs to get in touch with who she really is as a witch and what kind of witch she wants to be. So there’s gonna be a lot of soul-searching and a lot of ups and downs for her. Hopefully it will be a really beautiful and thoughtful journey for her.
Are you thinking of introducing any new badass Council members?
We’ll definitely meet new characters in that context who have a very strong point of view about what this town should be doing.
What will Caroline be thinking?
The first thing she’ll be is fairly shocked, and stunned, and probably borderline ecstatic, but also very confused when she realizes that presumably Tyler will live to see the other end of the story. And then she’s going to be, excuse my language, f—ing pissed at Klaus, who is doing some and will continue to do some subterfuge as far as who he’s pretending to be inside of Tyler’s body. [Laughs] We’ll see how much play he gets out of that.
Rebekah is going to be persona non grata amongst the heroes of the show, if not everyone, for what was a very, very, very aggressive and [Laughs] murderous move. So even Matt, her sweet little football captain, is gonna probably have a hard time getting past that. He’s not necessarily gonna be talking to her anytime soon. So we’ll get to see how she responds to being ostracized even more so than she’s already been. And for a girl who doesn’t like to be lonely, that’s not gonna be the easiest thing for her. Also, she just ended Klaus’ opportunity to make hybrids, so he ain’t gonna be so happy about it either.
Did Elijah sanction Rebekah trying to kill Elena, or did she go rogue?
You know, actually, I don’t have the answer for that yet. I’d like to think Rebekah made a really bold and brash choice there and will pay some pretty tough consequences both from her brothers and for herself socially. I’ll have to discuss that with the other writers and make sure they’re onboard. [Laughs]
With Alaric gone, and Elena no longer being able to help Klaus make his hybrid army, who is the Big Bad next season?
That is a question that remains. Where is the Big Bad gonna come from? That’s gonna be part of the fun of laying that out and understanding who our villain is gonna be and why.
For more spoilers check out Spoilers Guide’s season 4 page for The Vampire Diaries.