The Vampire Diaries kicked off the final day of Comic-Con for the first time in Hall H and its first appearance since Nina Dobrev left the show. The show’s creative team and stars took a moment to reflect on Dobrev’s departure, as well as previewed what was to come.
“Of course it’s bittersweet,” The Vampire Diaries co-creator Julie Plec admitted. “We miss Nina. It’s been six years. We miss [co-creator] Kevin [Williamson] too.”
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In the emotional season six finale, Elena and Damon had their goodbye dance on the road where they first met, with Elena giving Damon permission to live his life to the fullest until they meet again. The final scene, a flash-forward into the future with Mystic Falls in complete destruction, teased a dark future for The Vampire Diaries.
“It’s just an evolution of the story,” star Ian Somerhalder said of where the show is going. “Stories come, stories go. This is Mystic Falls without Elena Gilbert.”
That’s not to say Elena’s presence won’t be felt – she is, after all, not dead. “She’s just taking a little nap,” Somerhalder jokes.
Elena’s absence will bring the Damon of old back to the fore-front, a point Somerhalder was enthusiastic about.
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“It’s the old f***ing Damon – the Damon we fell in love with,” he promised. “The volatile, sexy, scary s***, I’m bringing that back!”
“You still feel the essence of Elena,” star Candice Accola assured.
Paul Wesley said that for the show, which is the second longest-running series on The CW at the moment (behind only Supernatural), changing up the stories at this point in its run can only be a good thing.
“You need a shift in dynamic,” he said, adding that “it created a new world.”
In regards to romance on the show, Stefan and Caroline are in for a wild ride, Plec hinted, saying there will be “a lot of very unexpected twists and turns.”
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“The fun of this couple is they’re just coming together. They’re just getting cemented in their status,” Plec teased. “She’s trying really, really hard not to be ready.”
As for what the big mystery will be for season seven, executive producer Caroline Dries had this to say.
“The real mystery will be: How did Mystic Falls get to be the way we saw it at the end of season six,” she hinted.
And if fans were worried that this next season may be Vampire Diaries’ last, Plec isn’t planning on that to be the case.
“I actually do not foresee the show ending after next season,” she told the crowd. “We have more story to tell and we have this gorgeous family that’s not ready to split up next season.
The Vampire Diaries returns Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.