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THE VAMPIRE DIARIES EP Julie Plec Breaks Down That Season 7 Premiere Twist

Now that is how you keep a show fresh!

The Vampire Diaries completely revamped itself in the season seven premiere, introducing not one but two major Big Bads: Lily Salvatore’s “family” of heretics (vampire/witch hybrids), and a mysterious woman hellbent on hunting Stefan down and killing him … three years in the future.

That’s right, TVD went Lost on us and introduced a flash forward storyline that takes places three years from now, in Brooklyn, NY of all places! You can pick your jaw up off the floor now. We’ll wait.

Separate from the Mystic Falls storyline in the present day, in which the heretics forced everyone to evacuate Mystic Falls in a shaky peace treaty with Stefan (they promised to stay in the abandoned town, and would only hunt/kill people who trespassed back into the town lines), this mystery hunter tracked Stefan to where Damon’s desiccated body was being kept in a coffin next to Elena’s until she woke up from her Sleeping Beauty curse … which was his own choice. What?!

Nerdist got TVD executive producer Julie Plec on the line to break down this shocking new twist and what it means for the show going forward. Read on for the scoop!

The Vampire Diaries season 7 premiere

Nerdist: What a twist! Those flash forwards to three years in the future were my favorite part of the premiere.

Julie Plec: Yay! I’m glad to hear that. They are fun, aren’t they?

Oh yes! Are we going to have those flash forwards in every episode this season?

It’s actually a new device we have for how we’re telling our stories this season. We will be teasing little bits and pieces of what’s to come in three years through most of this season. And then over the course of this season, we will find our way catching up to what’s happening three years in the future.

Will the flash forwards have a direct connection to what’s happening in the present day storyline, or are you playing out two separate storylines?

They absolutely have a direct connection, which has already been teased, very quietly planted in the first episode. If you noticed [mute heretic] Beau checking out a scar he has on his neck, it resembles greatly the scar that Stefan reveals that he has three years in the future. There’s a hint of a link already and the rest of the season will be spent unfolding that mystery.

What can you tell me about the identity of the mysterious woman hunting Stefan? After Stefan woke Damon up for help, Damon seemed to know exactly who Stefan was running from, despite having been desiccated in a coffin for an unknown amount of time …

Everybody has all these great theories which I find delightful. But it’s not something that we’re going to answer right away. We’re going to keep wondering who is stalking Stefan and why. But we will get information along that journey that will add up to an introduction of a new storyline that will hit right about the middle of the season.

In the flash forwards, Damon made the choice to desiccate himself until Elena woke up again, while in the present day, he’s determined to figure out how to live without her, with Bonnie’s help. What can you tell me about what is going to happen to Damon to make him change his mind so drastically?

Damon is absolutely determined to make it through this unknown quantity of time until Elena returns to him without doing too much damage to his reputation, to his psyche, or do anything that would make her not want to be with him when she finally returns to his world. For Damon, specifically, that is a pretty tall order and it’s something that he is going to struggle with mightily. So you can ask yourself, what got him to that moment when he decided to put himself in a coffin? Did he hit rock bottom, did he do something terrible, did he feel like if he didn’t lock himself up he would do something terrible? What are the things that would make Damon take himself out of the game?

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Images: The CW

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