The CW series The Vampire Diaries is coming to an end with its eighth and final season, and the cast and executive producer Julie Plec were able to take some time to reflect while they were at Comic-Con. They will be paying homage to the first season throughout the last season, with little nods along the way.
In the press room, Julie Plec and co-stars Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham and Michael Malarkey talked about celebrating the first season, the luxury of doing only 16 episodes, that June wedding, Damon and Enzo’s state of mind, Enzo and Bonnie’s relationship, new characters, cross-overs, possible spin-offs, whether we might see Elena again, and what a happy ending might look like. We’ve compiled a list of 13 things that you should know about The Vampire Diaries final season.
They are looking to pay homage to the first season throughout the final season. Said executive producer Julie Plec, “We are just in the early stages of writing the scripts, but every day in the room, we talk about different ways we can celebrate the first season. There’s a pitch on the table now about the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant, the Decade Dance and the Founder’s Day, going back to the idea of the root of the founding families and seeing the history of Season 1 played out from a different perspective. There are all kinds of different tricks and tools and fun things we’re trying to do. We’ll see if we actually do them, but that’s definitely our intention.”
- Executive Producer Kevin Williamson helped write the Season 8 premiere, and he will write the series finale with Plec. He’s been reading the scripts and contributing, and will do what he can, along the way.
- They’re doing 16 episodes for Season 8, which allows them to make every minute of every episode count, with no fluff and no stalling. Every episode is going to matter. And all of the Season 8 titles are going to be lines from Season 1.
- When it comes to the June wedding, they are well aware that the line exists in the pilot and that that was Caroline’s intention, from minute one. Plec said, “It’s the final season, and we don’t like to leave a lot of things hanging, so we’ll see.”
Damon and Enzo are cool, calm, collected, super funny and dark characters who live with an immense amount of free will. Now, that free will has been stripped from them and they are forced to do things they don’t want to do, as they do the bidding of some other entity. That conflict and that push and pull will be what they are exploring.
- Michael Malarkey said that here will be a whole lot more of Enzo and Bonnie. They’re currently on a bit of a hiatus, based on the situation ahead, but he wants a happy ending for Enzo, where he ends up with Bonnie and is content. Finding out whether that can happen is the arc of the final season.
- There are no cross-overs set because the timelines don’t match up this year, but that doesn’t mean that before they run the end titles on the last image of the finale, they won’t pay some sort of homage to what’s happening on The Originals, which will hopefully continue to live on.
- When it comes to any of The Vampire Diaries characters appearing on The Originals, after the show has ended, Plec said, “I would love that. I’m going to use that to hold the network hostage and say, ‘Listen, keep The Originals on the air and I swear, at some point, we’ll try to find a way to work everybody through those doors.’ Why not? It’s a great world. Vampires are not done. People still like vampires. And there’s no other vampires on television that I want to see. I’d love to keep it going.”
Plec has thought about possible spin-off ideas and said that it’s not out of the question. “I have nuggets of ideas about, wouldn’t it be fun to do this, or wouldn’t it be neat to try that. There’s nothing that’s cemented enough to say that I’ve got something in the works. But I do think that when you stumble upon a world that makes so many people happy, and in this case that’s the world of Mystic Falls, you should always keep your mind open to exploring it in other ways.”
- When it comes to seeing Elena again, before the end of the final season, there’s nothing set in stone, but Nina Dobrev made a promise when she left that she would come back and be a part of the goodbye. Plec intends on holding her to that, and thinks that Dobrev intends to follow through. They just have to figure out the how, the when and the what. Said Plec, “It would be a real tragedy, if we couldn’t bring that story back around, full circle.”
- When asked whether he would like to see Damon and Elena get a happy ending, Ian Somerhalder said, “Happy endings don’t happen in Mystic Falls. The happy ending I could see is that this girl gets to live her life, never even knowing these two brothers exist. Paul [Wesley] and I think the Salvatore brothers should go to some beautiful island in the Caribbean and, in their Speedos, sit on the beach all night, looking up at the moon and bonding like brothers, drinking 60-year-old Barbados rum. And when the sun comes up, they should have their final toast, give each other a hug, throw their rings into the sea, and [turn to dust]. That’s a happy ending. They’re in a great place with great lives.”
Kat Graham also doesn’t believe that a traditional happy ending is necessarily the right ending. She wants Bonnie to have the strongest outcome for her character, fully embracing coming into her own as a hero. For Bonnie, who has lost everyone and everything in her life, Graham wants her to get her power back.
- As for new characters this season, Kristen Gutoskie (who was on another of Plec’s series, Containment) will be playing Seline, the new nanny. She is someone that Caroline is trying to figure out. Demetrius Bridges (who was also on Containment) will be playing Dorian, one of Alaric’s interns. Nathalie Kelley will be playing Sybil, an immortal who uses her power and influence to control other people.