San Diego Comic-Con 2011: Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson Drop Some Hints on The Vampire Diaries Season 3

The Vampire DiariesPlec elaborated a bit on whether or not it was always the plan to bring back characters who were killed off earlier in the show. "No. Actually, that was something that we came up with this year, early in the season, but when we kill people, we usually mean business. We say, 'Sorry, man, you're done. We love you, but you're done.' It was more about showing the consequences of Bonnie using too much power and Jeremy, who finally is finding himself in this, I say the word 'functional' [relationship], although it's completely dysfunctional in that she's a big powerful witch, and he's a kid with an eternity ring, but still, there's something nice about Bonnie and Jeremy, and safe. And the first thing that we're doing is screwing that up by having him confronted with people from his past that he actually loved quite a lot and his first love. You never forget your first love. You never forget your second love. By the time you get to your third love, you're like, 'Eh.' [laughs] 'Whatever!'"

And Tyler? Did he decide to stick around after all? Plec explained, "Yes, Tyler's around. Tyler and Caroline are friends. Very important - they are 'friends'. There is a moment in the first episode where they admit that the urges that come along with being a supernatural being physically are a little overwhelming. And so while last year they were struggling with all the horrible parts of being supernatural entities, they start to discuss a little bit about the side effects of being a vampire and werewolf. I think there's a quote, and I haven't said it before, but Tyler says, 'I'm just horny all the time!' [much laughter]"

Another character we were curious about is everyone's favorite Original, Elijah. Considering the condition he was in at the end of Season 2, we asked Plec if she could give us any hints as to whether or not he'll be seen in Season 3. She reassured us, "Yes, I can. I love him. He might be my favorite character - don't tell anybody else. We've already said that this is the year where we're going to explore the origins of the Originals. We're going to see more about the Original family, and that will involve our friend, Mr. Daniel Gillies, at the very least in flashbacks."

Now it was time to get to the nitty-gritty that fans have been waiting to hear: What about Damon and Elena's relationship this season? Plec opined, "We're trying to tell the story that we started the show wanting to tell, which is it's a girl who has lost a lot of people in her life who finds warmth and comfort and solace in one brother and then ultimately finds herself being the object of the affections for the other brother. Elena is growing up. There is definitely a road that can be traveled between Damon and Elena in the life of this series, absolutely, and right now they are alone in Mystic Falls without Stefan, but also they are trying desperately to help and rescue Stefan so their complicated relationship will only become more complicated very early on and continue to be complicated all season."

And then Williamson was asked the age-old question: What do you think is the draw of the show? Vampires used to be the bad guys, and now they're in this gray area. He offered up the following explanation, "Well, they are in a gray area, no more so than Damon, who's sort of this reluctant hero who's not meant to be a hero. It's not his answer; saving people's lives is never the answer. And now he is. And he sort of has to be, or he's going to risk losing Elena and her trust and her friendship because Elena's not okay with that, you know? And so it's one step forward, three steps back for Damon. And I think he's going to continue to wrestle with it until he can't wrestle with it any more. And it will explode and implode, and a lot of stuff will go down. And I think it will also climax with what happens between him and Elena at some point. And Elena is wrestling with what Katherine told her last year, which was, 'It's okay to love both of them.' And she will. And she does. But it's her actions that dictate everything else. It's like, what kind of love is it? Because we all know there's all sorts of love out there, and is it romantic love or is it … you know, this is a story about Stefan and Elena's epic love story so I just think it's fun to watch the twists and turns that's going to take. Because, you know what, she loves them both."

Things closed out with Plec being asked if she's still having fun writing the series, and she replied, "Yes! It is hard. It is hard, it is exhausting. But surprisingly, it's getting easier … not getting easy by any means, but I think because we know these characters so well and the audience knows them so well there's almost like a storytelling comfort that you know that the audience is with you on this ride, and so they're going to be willing to explore things with you whereas when you're starting a series, you're like, 'We have no idea if someone's going to like this character or hate them, if this story's going to work.' And now we're in the groove and we're all thinking and breathing like one organic storytelling machine, and it's not easy, but it's not as terribly nervous breakdown-inducing painful as it was in the beginning."

The series returns Thursday, September 15th. For more visit the official "The Vampire Diaries" website.

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