Last May, “The Vampire Diaries” delivered one of television’s most shocking season finales, with Klaus’s “death” and subsequent take over of Tyler’s body, and Elena becoming a vampire. Fans were in agony when the CW announced that the show would not return until October 11. Fortunately, Executive Producer Julie Plec has given us a preview of the fourth season. Below, she shares why vampire Elena represents a new beginning for the show, how her transformation will alter the Salvatores’ brotherly relationship and why both Klaus and Tyler fans will have reason to celebrate.
How does Elena being a vampire change the show?
What’s interesting is it changes everything, and yet it also lets us go back and retell some very simple stories from the beginning. It has been nice for us to start a little more quietly at the beginning of the season and to really dig deep into Elena’s [Nina Dobrev] character, what the character’s going through, things like, What does it feel like to go to high school for the first time? And how do you keep a very deep, dark secret about yourself from new strangers and new elements in town? It’s been an exciting season to break because it has a freshness to it that as writers, when you’ve been with a show for so long, you get very jazzed about the opportunity to feel like you’re telling new stories.
Preview Season 4 of “The Vampire Diaries”:
Does Elena’s transformation impact her relationship with both Stefan and Damon — and their relationship with each other?
The sad thing for the brothers is that they’ve never been in a stronger place. They probably haven’t been this strong with each other in about a hundred and forty five years. This is going to be the kind of thing that really tests that relationship, and test that bond that they’ve worked so hard to build. Because when all is said and done, Damon’s [Ian Somerhalder] a very particular, clear kind of vampire and Stefan is a very different kind of vampire. They each are going to have a point of view of what kind of vampire Elena could and should be. It’s not going to be similar. They’re not going to agree with each other. My hope is that the brothers can make it through it and find some way to see eye to eye . Being in love with the same girl didn’t ruin their relationship all these years. Hopefully, her becoming a vampire won’t shatter that relationship either, but it’s definitely going to be an [obstacle] for them.
Klaus apparently took over Tyler’s body. Are we going to see Joseph Morgan this season?
We’re definitely going to see Joseph Morgan and we’ll get back to him pretty early on, so the JoMo fans won’t have to wait too long before they catch a glimpse of their favorite.
So both he and Michael Trevino will stay with the show?
Yes. Nobody is gone for good. It’s just a little bait and switch that will give us a fun little twisted and perverse game to play with Klaus in somebody else’s body for a little while and then, of course, we’ll get our beloved Tyler back where he belongs.
Caroline rejected Klaus. Now he’s in her boyfriend Tyler’s body. How much is he going to take advantage of the situation with regards to her?
I’ll tell you this: he better not take advantage too much. But I definitely think for Caroline [Candice Accola], convinced that she said goodbye to the love of her life when Tyler died last season. She is definitely in for a bit of a shock when she realizes that one not only is he alive, but he’s not actually in his own body. I think that Klaus will get to have a little bit of twisted fun with mistaken identity, but he’s also in his own weird way a gentleman as well.
Last season was pretty rough for Bonnie. Is this going to be a better year for her?
No. Yes and no. Bonnie [Kat Graham] is going to begin the year feeling more tapped into power than she’s ever felt before, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Really, the first episode gets very involved with how she deals with that, what she does with it, and what it does to her. Her journey for the season will basically be launched by the end of the first episode and you start to get a sense of where we’d like to go with her and how.
How about poor Jeremy?
Jeremy [Steven R.McQueen] is truly the man of the house. For him it’s always going to be a combination of wanting to be a protective brother, but Elena is so fiercely protective of him and always making him feel a little bit like a kid. So we watch Jeremy really come into his own as a protector, as a man, as a potential warrior because don’t forget you’ve still got that vampire hunter legacy. We haven’t seen the last of that.
Elena sacrificed her life for Matt’s. Will season four be the year of Matt?
The beauty of our beloved Matt [Zach Roerig] is that he is the last human standing, really. Jeremy, obviously, is human, but he’s got his ring. I love the purity and the simplicity of Matt and he’s going to have a big burden on his shoulder when we start the season because he lived and Elena died. He is going to need to figure out ways so he can make it okay for himself. and the way he handles that will be a nice surprise. We’ll get to have some really great moments for Matt this year.
Can you preview what eras we’re going to see in flashbacks?
I can’t, other than that we’re going to pop around this season. We’re planning a flashback early on that will take us back towards where we’ve been with the Originals and their origin stories, a long, long, time ago. But we have this wish list of eras we’d like to visit: the forties in wartime, Damon and Stefan in the seventies. There’s all kinds of things that we want to do. I don’t know that we’ll get there this year, but they’re definitely on our list.
Season 4 of “The Vampire Diaries” premieres on Thursday, October 11 at 8/7c on The CW.