Julie Plec spoke with Inside TVafter the Season Finale, where she gave some insight into the decisions made in the finale and what we can expect when the series returns to our screens with Season 4.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How long have you known Elena would end season 3 in transition to become a vampire?
JULIE PLEC: The ending had been in the works for about two years. In the first series of books, that’s what happens to her. When Kevin [Williamson] and I first came on the show, we said, “Well, it can’t happen to her the way it happens in the books,” which is on, like, page 200 of the first book. [Laughs] That felt obviously too soon, and rushed, and we didn’t want to make a show about a teenage girl who instantly becomes a vampire. But we always knew that her journey would take her there eventually, and we just kept riding the wave of when it felt right. You’ve got a girl who just sorta lost her last adult living family member when Aunt Jenna died last year, so when we started this season, what we really wanted to do was begin this relationship with Alaric as her guardian and mentor, and then tear that away from her at the end leaving her and her brother with nobody. It felt like now was the time — when you’re left with no grownup, no adult supervision, no parent, no guardian — for Elena to experience the next evolution of her journey. All the stuff that we did with having her get stronger over the course of the year, training and getting in touch with her physical self, and all the grief and all the emotion that she went through, all the compassion that she has for everybody, it will all play into next year and what kind of person and vampire she will actually be — if she should choose to see the transition through.
Obviously, she will transition.
There will be a discussion to be had about it at the beginning, but the road we’re going down is pretty balls out.
Did Elena know that Meredith had given her vampire blood when she told Stefan to save Matt first?
That is a question that we will ask and answer when we come back next season.
And just checking: Matt did survive, right?
I think for Matt to not survive that after everything would be just too damn tragic.
One of the twists we didn’t see coming — conveniently after Elena said maybe her choice would have been different if she’d met Damon first — was that Damon HAD actually met her first on the night of her parents’ crash, but he compelled her to forget because he didn’t want anyone else to know he was in town.
Damon now has a small collection of things that he’s compelled her to forget. If there’s one thing that everyone knows about our vampire rules it’s that when you die and are in transition, your memories start to come back. So, there’s some new information that will be introduced to Elena in the first episode of next season. I think it’s just all part of the ongoing friendship and romantic entanglement that Elena has with Damon. She’s never gonna be able to shake it completely, and new information is only gonna get under her skin and embed itself into her even more. And so, it will cause complications with Stefan, of course. But she’s committed to Stefan. She loves Stefan. We’ll get to actually see them be together for a little while.
So she made her choice, but you set up that it’s not necessarily final — the sexual tension will still exist, even if it’s just simmering. I feel like fans on both sides should be happy with this.
No. No. The most passionate of the opposing teams are never quite happy unless they get exactly what they want. But, I would say everybody else can understand that end game means end of series. We’re in the middle of the journey, and our heroine just made a life decision and then EVERYTHING in her life is about to change. We’re starting Part 2. We’ll continue to ask the question “Why was it right for her?” and answer it as we move into next season. Elena as a character will continue to evolve and change, as will our boys, as will their feelings for each other and for her. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Before we talk about Klaus as Tyler, we have to touch on the scene where Tyler and Caroline were planning to meet in two hours and run away together. I almost started crying, and I didn’t even know why.
Yeah. I loved that moment. One of the things that we do every now and then on the show is we get to play in a little wish-fulfillment teen fantasy land. The idea of running away with the boy you love and escaping danger — it had this awesome Escape From Witch Mountain vibe that I remember so much with being a kid. So I love that scene for the enthusiasm they have for their adventure in spite of all the darkness that surrounds it. They’re two teenagers in love who are going off to be in love on the road.
So what happens with them next season? What will Caroline be thinking?
The first thing she’ll be is fairly shocked, and stunned, and probably borderline ecstatic, but also very confused when she realizes that presumably Tyler will live to see the other end of the story. And then she’s going to be, excuse my language, f—ing pissed at Klaus, who is doing some and will continue to do some subterfuge as far as who he’s pretending to be inside of Tyler’s body. [Laughs] We’ll see how much play he gets out of that.
That’ll be fun. But the Council still knows what Caroline and Tyler really are.
[Laughs] Oh yes, they do. That’s definitely gonna be the focus of our first episode back. The Council knows too much and needs to take action against not just those on the inside who have been deceiving them [Mayor Lockwood, Sheriff Forbes, and Dr. Fell], but also the vampires that have taken up residence in the town.
Be sure to head on over to Inside TV to find out whats in store for the family of Originals in Season 4
Are you thinking of introducing any new badass Council members?
We’ll definitely meet new characters in that context who have a very strong point of view about what this town should be doing.