With the recent resurgence of vampires in pop culture, many were quick to write off The Vampire Diaries as nothing more than the latest attempt to cash in on the craze. Those who gave it a chance quickly learned that there was more to the series than the initial previews let on. Now in its second season, the show has effectively carved out its own path and a legion of devoted fans continues to expand.
The Vampire Diaries was represented at C2E2 this year by executive producer Julie Plec and cast members Candice Accola (Caroline) and Michael Trevino (Tyler). Before the panel, the trio participated in a round table discussion regarding their thoughts on how the characters had developed in season two so far – but it was clear that what the panel’s audience was really interested in were teases of what to expect from the show once it returns from its hiatus.
Plec started things off by describing how actor Joseph Morgan won that coveted role:
“Contrary to what it may look like with the beauty of the people that actually end up on the show, we do actually look for actors first. With Klaus, we knew it was important that we found a fresh face. Someone who could carry the Old World vibe of that kind of character and also a contemporary, fun swagger who could go toe-to-toe with Damon and be different enough from Elijah. When we saw Joseph’s tape we were kind of blown away, because he’s this charming, charismatic, British fellow.”
Plec also revealed that The Vampire Diaries eschews traditional methods when laying out the structure of an episode – something she thinks has helped add another layer of tension for fans of the show:
“There is no formula … starting each new episode is like starting a movie from scratch and I think that’s the one of the reasons it’s got a nice, unpredictable quality … it drives structure purists crazy and it makes our jobs really difficult, but I think it actually also makes for a pretty wild ride.”
Plec also explained that while there is a season long arc in place, they prefer to divide everything into more manageable chapters. Season two has been expertly balancing several storylines and it sounds like they’re all about to converge as the show heads into this particular arc’s concluding chapters:
“We like to have our seasons in chapters and we had the werewolf chapter and the Rose and Elijah chapter and we’re heading on a collision course right now with the Klaus chapter and the sacrifice to break the curse of the sun and the moon. Everything that we start up when we get back off hiatus is all about where is Klaus? Does he know about Elena? What is Isabel doing back in town? Is this sacrifice ritual gonna happen or will we be able to get ourselves out of it? Will the doppelganger die? Will a werewolf die? Who will the werewolf be? Who will the vampire be?”
At this point, there were some nervous looks from Accola and Trevino who were clearly just as worried as some fans that their characters might not make it to season three. Plec refused to get too specific, but she did drop a few more hints about what to expect when The Vampire Diaries returns:
“We’ve got another decade dance coming up – we’re dabbling in the 60s this time around. And we’ve got another flashback episode before the season’s out. And another full moon episode before the end of the season – and you know, with full moons do come werewolves.”
If you’ve been wondering what happened to Tyler since he took off with Jules and the rest of the wolf pack, it sounds like you’ll soon be getting your answer. Still, no one’s survival is guaranteed and Plec is adamant that the severity of the events depicted in the show demand that a few fan-favorite characters will be lost along the way:
“You’ve got these Originals, these Old World characters who are nearly impossible to defeat. Klaus, who is the most terrifying and feared vampire in the history of time. We try not to do anything to be gratuitous or have blood for the sake of blood or gore for the sake of gore – but we do like to get bloody. We like to get dirty. And people are always gonna die. People that you love are always gonna die, because the situation is life and death. The stakes are that high. It’s our job as storytellers to continue to deliver on that so that you guys never feel like we’ve gone stale.”
The cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries have certainly done a great job of keeping viewers on the edge of their seats all season long, and it sounds like there’s going to be a pretty substantial payoff to the various plot threads they’ve been cultivating this year.
I find it unlikely that Elena, Stefan, or Damon will be knocked off – but Caroline and Tyler? I hate to say it, but they seem like fair game. Judging by bits and pieces of conversation I overheard from the audience at the panel, if Caroline bites the dust there’s going to be a fan uprising.
While there are probably more pressing matters currently at hand, the love triangle between Tyler, Caroline, and Matt is a subplot that remains unresolved. For what it’s worth – when the crowd was asked who they wanted Caroline to end up with, the unanimous response was Tyler.
The Vampire Diaries returns with all new episodes on Thursday, April 7th at 8/7c on the CW network.