Warning: Spoilers Below
“Without a doubt the triangle has been refreshed and reset with the actions of Elena going over that bridge and becoming a vampire,” executive producer Julie Plec tells TVGuide.com about the series’ fourth season, which kicks of Thursday (8/7c, The CW).
For three seasons, viewers watched Elena (Nina Dobrev) fall in love with vampire Stefan (Paul Wesley), learn the truth about her supernatural history, lose Stefan to his Ripper side, develop strong feelings for his brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and ultimately decide that Stefan was the one she wanted to be with. But everything changed in the final moment of the Season 3 finale when Elena died only to come back in the transition stage of becoming a vampire. The question now on (mostly) everyone’s mind: Will Stefan remain the Salvatore she chooses?
“If you look at it purely from a human point of view, we fall deeply in love, we grow, we change, our love changes and shifts and we find ourselves attracted to other people,” Plec says. “But as we go from adolescence to adulthood, what do we need in our lives, the love we had or the love we wish we had? That’s going to be a big part of the season: What does Elena becoming a vampire do to both her relationship with Stefan and her friendship with Damon? It’s the same question [she previously] asked but from a different perspective.”
Of course, before Elena can even think about life as a vampire, she must go through the toughest part, the transition. And trust us, it won’t be easy on the stomach for her or viewers.
“We didn’t want to make it easy or over-romanticize it or glamourize it, but we also didn’t want to make it devastatingly depressing, so we’re going to explore her highest of highs and lowest of lows,” Plec says. “Episode 2 gives us a glimpse of what she’s going through and then every episode that follows centers on some element of being a new vampire, for better or for worse, and what it’s doing to her.”