The panel included stars Steven R. McQueen, Michael Trevino, Zachary Roerig, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and executive producers and writers Kevin Williamson (who also served as the panel’s moderator) and Julie Plec.
The CW also included a video recap of the past 3 seasons and a promo of the next that posed the question, “To feed or not to feed? This season death becomes her.”
The panel took place just a week after filming began on the fourth season. Attendees were treated to a discussion about the show’s past and future, which sees Elena (Dobrev), the teenage girl that both Salvatore brothers love, beginning her new life as a vampire — a fate that she once hauntingly said she would never want.
Here are 10 highlights from the panel.
1.The season will open with Elena’s new life as a vampire but the other characters will face challenges as their lives move towards graduation. “Everything just feels so new and so fresh. It feels so familiar in all of the right ways and it feels so different in all of the best ways too. There are these wonderful core characters for everybody to explore,” said Plec. “Elena’s going through a new change, of course. And Damon and Stefan are going to have deal with that change with her and for her. But, all of the characters, too, as they gear up for senior year and graduation. It’s a lot of really good, deep, emotional, twisted stuff.”
2. They may share the same face, but Dobrev said Elena and Katherine will most certainly lead different vampire lives. “How do you make Elena her own as a vampire without just making her Katherine? It’s going to be tricky and I’ll discover it as we go along, but I think it has to do a lot with experiences. Your experiences shape you and Elena’s had a lot of experiences, a lot of near-death experiences. She’s going to struggle with who she is and what she is now.”
3. Even Trevino hated his character in the beginning. “Tyler Lockwood in Season 1, oh man, even I despised him. He was a douche bag and a complete a-hole. It’s almost like I’ve had the opportunity to play four different characters. The douche bag jock in Season 1, a werewolf, Klaus’ first successful hybrid, and now… well it’s a season of changes,” he said, referring to Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) spell, which gave Klaus (Joseph Morgan) the opportunity to possess Tyler’s body in the Season 3 finale and may undoubtedly give him the opportunity to get closer to Caroline.
4. Wesley loved the opportunity to bring Stefan’s ripper out. “The truth of Stefan is that he’s so twisted, so dangerous, and he covers it up with being a good guy. But that dark side is so twisted, so dark, that he just ends up ripping heads off.”
5. The writers tried to make fans hate Damon but it proved impossible. “We tried,” Williamson said, glancing at Somerhalder. “But we couldn’t get the audience to turn on you to save our lives. We tried and tried and tried. I mean, we actually had the guy snap the neck of the brother of the main character and you still loved him!”
6. Matt is the last human standing and that’s just fine. “I’m proud to be the only human alive!” Roerig said as the audience cheered and he fist pumped. “Matt’s feeling overwhelmed right now. He knows that Elena didn’t want to be a vampire. Matt will be up for offering up his neck, arm, any other body part to Elena. I can see that happening in the future.”
7. Elena was supposed to meet her vampire fate at an earlier time. Plec and Williamson revealed that idea was originally to be used in the finale of the second season but was put on hold so that the writers had time to introduce the character of Klaus.
8. Katherine may or may not be included in the next season. “Katherine said she would keep running until Klaus was no longer a threat so we’ll just have to see,” said Plec.
9. The new Elena will add another dynamic to the show’s ever-evolving love triangle. “She can take care of herself. Finally.” said Somerhalder. “And it adds a really strong dynamic between the three of them. They can learn something from each other and it makes for a good interesting story.”
10. If the cast was thrown into a life or death gauntlet similar to the one from The Hunger Games… Most of the cast would team up with Roerig, because of his talent at hunting (especially wild turkey,) city boy Trevino said he wouldn’t stand a chance and Somerhalder jokingly said he would take the opportunity to have a moment to himself. “You know what I would do? I’d just kill ’em all, have a drink, smoke a cigar, read the New York Times and just bask in the silence,” he said.
The series’ fourth season will premiere Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8 PM on The CW.
How do you feel about Elena’s new future as a vamp and what that means for the others? Tell us in the comments section below.
— Jennifer Manalili
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