"When we come back, no-one will have heard from him, no-one will have seen him and the audience won't know where he's been," she told TV Guide. "What he's going through is going to be pretty surprising. One of the little big moments [in the premiere] is wondering what Damon gives Elena for her birthday and if Stefan makes an appearance to blow out the candles on the cake."
Fans will be htrilled to know that Julie also confirmed that the "origin story" of the Originals will be told and Season 3 will be flashback friendly taking us back to Stefan's rippa' roots.
"In the beginning, we'll catch nice glimpses in flashbacks of a time when Stefan was a true ripper. We'll get to see what he was like and how he got this reputation that Klaus has been holding on to because Klaus wants Stefan to be his wingman." She teasingly concluded, "The stakes are instantly raised because we have our good brother, who is in the grip of Klaus's influence and demands and his own demons, so we're about to watch our hero go down a very dark road - and it's not going to be pretty."
Special thanks to Digital Spy for the heads up :)