Rise and shine, blood-thirsty fans -- it's time for a brand new season of The Vampire Diaries!
Season seven of the smash CW series premieres tonight and, if you're anything like us, then you must be dying to reconnect with your favorite Mystic Falls vamps and witches.
We've already seen the superb first hour (subtle brag totally intended!), so we called up star Ian Somerhalder to bring you brand new scoop on what's coming up next now that Nina Dobrev is no longer a part of the series.
So will Damon and Bonnie begin a relationship? Can the Heretics be destroyed? And how has the show's format changed for the better? Read on for all those answers, and so much more…
ETonline: It was so interesting to see time-jumps at the beginning and end of the premiere episode. What was the decision behind doing that?
Ian Somerhalder: It's a new format, it’s time for it. There's an evolution of this show, and this is the time to change it up a little bit. This new format is just giving us the ability to sort of look into the future three years, which allows us to see these other characters that we love so much and it breaks it up, and makes it really interesting, But also too, you get to see how Damon is dealing with the loss of Elena three years into the future, which is cool.
So will we be seeing these glimpses into the future in every episode?
IS: Every episode. So you get the three years into the future, and then you also get the present, and then at the end you get the time jump again, so it adds a really cool dynamic to the format.
We know that Elena is Damon's soulmate, but she did tell him that he doesn't have to be 100 percent faithful while he's waiting for her. Do you think Damon would ever be with someone else during that time?
IS: Well, she did say, 'Look, you weren't an angel while you were waiting for Katherine, so don’t be an angel. Live your life.' I mean, she's a pretty understanding person, I just don’t think it's anywhere near Damon's sphere of thought. He's trying to cope with his home being destroyed and no longer his, his town being destroyed by all these Heretics, and I think the last thing on his mind is who he's going to hook up with. It brings us to this point of, yes, there's severe mommy and abandonment issues, and he wants to do right by Elena and be a good man. His mother is sort of inserting herself into his orbit and it's very, very, very frustrating for him and it makes him angry, discombobulated, vengeful, there's a lot of vengeance in his eyes.
With Elena in this perpetual slumber, fans who have been rooting for Damon and Bonnie to get together finally feel like this is their time. Do you feel like Bonnie and Damon would ever eventually start a relationship?
IS: They are saying that, and it's an interesting question because [Damon and Bonnie] really do love each other. Look, they're odd bedfellows, but they're also best friends. And if you think about it in a world of story, particularly in the sense of a widower or someone who has lost their significant other, it's usually the best friend or someone who has also been through extraordinary amounts of pain, who connect. … And he just volleys back and forth between knowing that he loves her, but if she wasn't around, he would get his girl back -- so that's a very strange relationship to have. You know, maybe if this car did run over her, maybe if she went off the bridge -- there's that whole moment, that two-second window, where he can feel Elena again and getting rid of Bonnie is the key to that. However, once that tiny flash of emotion, desire and thought goes away he realizes that's not the way this is supposed to be. I love this woman, I'm going to take care of her, she's my buddy.
These Heretics are, by far, the most dangerous and powerful villains we've had on this show. Are they unstoppable?
IS: It is really difficult. They’re definitely formidable adversaries, that's for sure. In other words, I think, yes, this is a challenge that affects not only Damon, but Stefan as well, and renders them helpless, hopeless, angry, fearful and downright pissed off, so I think that it's going to be an uphill battle. They're a really gnarly group of individuals, and they mean harm. They're not taking any prisoners, and even though Lily wants them to all get along, it's not happening. They've been locked up for a hundred-something years.
What do you want fans to know about season seven of The Vampire Diaries before they tune in?
IS: This isn’t a huge departure like everyone thinks. Elena is still very much present in the hearts of everyone on the show and in the story -- period. It’s a evolution and what's great about it is it stands alone and it really moves well and it's got a lot of energy, and heart, and humor. This is Mystic Falls without Elena Gilbert and I think people are really going to like it.
Season seven of The Vampire Diaries premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW
Need more Ian Somerhalder in your life? Press play on this video below to find out if Damon will have another soulmate on 'TVD'!