The Vampire Diaries at PaleyFest: The Cast Talks Katherine Returning, Stelena vs. Delena, and More

By Kaitlin Thomas

Mar 23, 2014

On Saturday night, I stared death in the face in order to bring you, the internet, knowledge gained from the PaleyFest panel celebrating The CW's hit series The Vampire Diaries. And do you know what death looks like, internet? It looks like 2,600 screaming fangirls running at me in an attempt to get to stars Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and Nina Dobrev. If you are one of those fangirls, I'd like to apologize for accidentally getting in your way; I understand my mistake, and it won't happen again. Also, I have never seen a more passionate fanbase in my entire life. 

As a TVD fan myself, I've experienced and totally understand the crazy level of excitement—I did honor you with the title of one of the TV's craziest fanbases, after all—but I can now say that TVD fans put everyone else to shame. You ladies are awesome. And to the three guys who were in the audience, you're either working some mad game, as Wesley joked when a man stood up to ask a question during the fan Q&A portion, or you're just really awesome, too. 

Regardless, here are some of the juiciest bits of intel that I could gather in between the proclamations of love to Wesley and Somerhalder, and I think you'll find that some of their answers were pretty interesting.

On the future of Delena:

After acknowledging the flaws in their relationship at the end of this week's episode, Damon and Elena hopped back into bed with each other awfully quickly. "They've got to have a lot of actual, legit, grown-up conversations," explained executive producer Julie Plec. "We just want to try to play them as human as possible, in spite of their inhuman experience." Somehalder noted the flaw in that plan, of course, which was that "they keep taking their pants off, and that’s what gets in the way of the grown-up conversations." 

On hope for Stelena:

When asked by a fan if there's any hope for Stefan and Elena, EP Caroline Dries noted that there's some great stuff coming up for those two characters in the next couple of episodes. Plec further explained that the show will dig into the idea of the universe drawing the pair together, and what that really means for then. The idea of Elena having free will and possibly giving the finger to destiny and the prophecy that says she belongs with Stefan will be explored.

On whether or not we'll ever see Katherine again:

Noting that death on The Vampire Diaries doesn't necessarily have the same meaning or significance as it does on other shows, Plec and Dries said Katherine's death was ultimately something the series had been building to since the beginning of the season. And that although the series doesn't use terms like heaven and hell, or even touch on religion, they felt it was pretty obvious what had happened to Katherine when she was dragged from a church (and yes, that was the church set from The Originals). If I had to guess, we'll probably not be seeing Katherine again. At least not until Season 47 when they run out of ideas regarding love triangles and hook-ups and have completely explored the Other Side and Alaric's magical return to the land of the living (hey, a girl can dream, can't she?).

On how much they listen to the fans:

First and foremost, Plec wanted everyone to know that they do, in fact, hear Twitter's desperate cries. But when it comes to whether or not the writers let the fandom dictate where the story goes, Plec noted that there's an equally vocal number of people who are Team Stefan as there are people who are Team Damon and they can't play toward one side or the other based on fan reaction. "It's cyclical. It's all part of their journey with one another... If we let one voice affect us too much, then we're not being honest to the story." 

On Paul Wesley's directorial debut:

As you probably know by now, Wesley recently stepped behind the camera to direct an upcoming episode of TVD. To show Wesley how much she appreciated him and how far they've come since the pilot, Dobrev said she marked the occasion by giving him a gift to "remind him of where we started" and "where it all began" and "what's most important" ... and it was a giant portrait of Dobrev. Wesley said it is now hanging in his dressing room, which I totally get because I have a giant portrait of Wesley hanging in my bedroom. 

All jokes aside, Wesley said he had a wonderful time directing. He credited Somerhalder and Dobrev for making the experience so easy. "They knew their lines. They nailed it. They really brought it," he said. "It was so touching because I didn't know what to expect. And I think they tried their hardest."

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  • Loralee_jk Mar 24, 2014

    Oh, so Katherine IS dead.

  • Phoenixheart67 Mar 24, 2014


  • Loralee_jk Mar 27, 2014

    You MUST have the most easy going like if THIS is somrthing that urks you.

  • helyanwe89 Mar 24, 2014

    I felt so bad for the actors. They didn't really get to discuss the show much at all and were just pelted by shipper questions. All the people who attended wanted was pictures with the various actors and to know if Elena was going to get back with Damon for real of if she was going to go back to Stefan and if Stefan was going to be hooking up with Caroline.

    I would like for Elena to be single just to give her time to suss out what she actually wants instead of being stuck in a never-ending love triangle. I don't want Stefan to ever take her back at this point because he really needs to move on and find a girl who isn't in love with his brother, but Elena really needs to figure out her own life first.

    I also don't want to see another love interest for Caroline. I like her platonic friendship with Stefan and I think it would ruin what they have if they ever hooked-up because at some point Stefan would be pulled back into the love-triangle and it would be OCC for Caroline after she spent all of Seasons 3 & 4 talking about how Elena was Stefan's epic love and so forth so she obviously believes that Stefan belongs with Elena - not her although at this point I think she's starting to realize that maybe it's more important for Stefan to find his own happiness away from Elena.

    It seemed like there were a lot of questions that could have been asked like why didn't Bonnie tell anyone that Katherine didn't pass through her after 5x11? There's a lot of unanswered questions i have about the doppelganger mythology and the actual story-lines for the characters outside of shipping.

  • Phoenixheart67 Mar 24, 2014

    Everyone thinks that Bonnie should have seen Katherine as she passed through her, but that's not necessarily true. As the anchor, Supernatural spirits pass through Bonnie to get to the other side. Katherine was human when she "died" the first time as a result of taking the cure- She wouldn't have passed through Bonnie anyway.

  • nellyDK Mar 25, 2014

    That is such a good theory. And explains the "dragged into hell" scenario better. So if you were human when you died (although "traveling" in Elena's body) your soul, as a human body's soul would not pass through the anchor (the other side was only for supernatural beings, that is why Ketsia wanted Silas to take the cure, so when she killed him as human he'll go to hell, and not the other side). Katherine died as human=no right to pass to the other side= going to hell. Or something...

  • helyanwe89 Mar 25, 2014

    Katherine was supernatural though as a human. In Season 2 it was discussed that the Gilbert Ring would not work on Elena because she was a doppelganger and therefore a supernatural occurrence. The same would be true of Katherine. In Season 3 Elena killed Alaric (after he had stabbed himself and was bleeding out) because she knew that since she was supernatural if she killed him it would count as being killed by a supernatural entity and he would come back to life.

    Katherine was also a Traveler. Travelers are a faction of witches and therefore supenatural as well. So Katherine was both a doppelganger and a witch - so she was a supernatural being.

    Tessa & Silas are also Travelers/witches so they are running around on The Other Side. Amara on the other hand was human so she did not wind up on the Other Side. That was the whole point of creating the other side - Silas is was a witch and Amara was human so Silas would end up there upon his death but Amara would not.

  • nellyDK Mar 26, 2014

    but she was the anchor and could see the other side, ergo could see him once he was there. And killing her would destroy the other side, thus freeing all monsters from the other side (plus Silas). So all the debacle with trying to send him there would have been in vain.

  • CriticalRemission Mar 23, 2014

    I guess this whole Silas thing and the universe-theory are both failed shots to explain the upcoming developement of the love triangle. They should have mentioned the universe thing including Silas in two or three episodes and they should have skipped the Wes and Aaron thing, cause it was (I hope so) unnecessary for the future episodes. Plec and Dries said at the Paley that there'll be a lot of Stelena and 'back to season one' scenes... In my opinion (and I like this) Silas should show us why there's a deeper connection and that Elena/Katherine and Stefan aren't the only doppelgangers and there's a fundamental reason for their love.

  • Akyriel Mar 23, 2014

    I actually thought that Katherine did get the werewolf cure, was going to let her daughter die, then travel into her daughter's body, then inject the cure at last moment thereby coming back with Olga Fonda playing her. That might have been cool and a selfish Katherine thing to do even if sacrificing her daughter was what it would take to stay alive. For me, it would have certainly been better than being dragged off from the church for some reason.

  • daxel Mar 23, 2014

    Team Damon ? Team Stefan ? Seriously ?
    I guess the triangle BS will stay alive till the end of the show.
    According the Producers/Writers logic if you are a bad guy you get the girl, if you are a bad girl you go to hell. Yeah, it makes perfect sense.
    In the mean time I didn't saw a reason to keep watching the show, maybe I missed it, I'll read the article again. ^^

  • Toujours177 Mar 23, 2014

    Nice to hear they all have such respect for one another and Paul enjoyed his debut behind the cameras. Looking forward to that show! Funny about the pic of Dobrev as his gift lol. Good choice.

  • jstitely1 Mar 23, 2014

    As much as I like Katherine, the best thing for the show is for her to stay dead. How are we supposed to care about any villian or situation if everyone can just come back from being anyway? It is part of what made Anna's death in season 1 so good, whether you loved her or Vicki, it was the idea that anyone could go, which upped the stakes. The show has severly undone that by bringing back Bonnie and Jeremy, and if they do it again with Katherine, they are never going to be able to pull off an emotional reaction to a death again.

  • helyanwe89 Mar 24, 2014

    Jeremy really should have stayed dead. Bring him back was totally pointless. He had more of an impact being dead than he does alive. He's just there - he has no storyline, almost no scenes and for all the talk about bringing him back because Elena needed him I don't think they've even had one scene together. Elena & Jeremy had a lot of stuff together back in Season 1 and such but they really don't have much of a relationship at all anymore because Elena doesn't care about him or his well-being and is busy sleeping with his murderer.

  • tdm260 Apr 15, 2014

    I totally agree. They did all of that so they could kill Bonnie and then have everyone run through hoops to get her back. If they didn't want to get rid of Bonnie, then they shouldn't have had her die in exchange for Jeremy in the first place. All of that was so convoluted it was unnecessary. Jeremy's death definitely had more impact then his weird ass return and his meager role now is such a waste. I'm sure the actor has far better things to do with his time then be on set all day everyday to only be in an episode for 5 mins.

  • joejak Mar 23, 2014

    And it was such a waste bring back Jeremy and Bonnie. I'm still bitter that they didn't bring back Alaric and Lexi instead haha.

  • LeonieOnline Mar 23, 2014

    Thank you! I was so done when they brought Jeremy back from the dead... again. I thought his death (the last time) had such an impact on the show, and had such an importance to the story line concerning Elena's emotion switch, and they brought him back. In the mean time, characters that were ripped from us only come back as ghosts and we have to deal with that emotional rollercoaster every time. In my opinion, sorry this reply is getting a little venty, I would have loved Alaric back... but all we get are ghost scene's and little snippets of BS while (again my opinion) Jeremy's character brings nothing extra to the series, at least not anymore. I love Steven R. McQueen, but he as an actor, deserves better.

  • Phoenixheart67 Mar 24, 2014

  • LegendKiller87 Mar 23, 2014

    Actually Katherine might be coming back.
    Plec said they leave Katherine’s whereabouts “up to the viewers’ imaginations.” On whether or not she could ever come back, Dries added, “Never say never.”

  • tdm260 Apr 15, 2014

    They just do that to mess with people. They're always dropping hints like that for everything (ships, dead cast members, plotholes, etc), especially these days, because they know people are losing interest. They'll contradict themselves in a few days.

  • AndreaMcCooey Mar 23, 2014

    Nobody thought to ask them what the hell is going on with this season?

  • JasonMelvil Mar 23, 2014

    they felt it was pretty obvious what had happened to her character when she was dragged from a church

    Then they are complete morons. I'm not getting into whether or not it was a good idea. But obvious? Heck no.

    Most people I asked "what do you think that means" assumed that she isn't even dead and something dragged her out away from Bonnie.

    So no, if producers haven't said what they meant, you would have seen loads of people trying to guess when will we see Katherine and who dragged her.

  • HanhKim Mar 27, 2014

    I felt that it was obvious Katherine was going to Hell just because the scene was set up in a church and she was dragged into the darkness. But did it make any sense? NO! Did I have questions? Absolutely.

    However, I believe that most fans have the vague idea that she went to Hell, but when they ask their question to the producers, what they really mean is, "What implications does this have on the overall story? Are we going to start seeing Hell? Will other characters start going there? Can Katherine ever come back from Hell?" I don't think it's a matter of fans not getting that it's Hell. I believe it's a matter of fans having trouble placing the idea of Hell into their existing knowledge of TVD mythology. So no, I don't think it's nice to say the producers are morons. I DO think they pulled that idea of Hell right out of their asses at the last minute, but it was also one of the best scenes of the whole season (since this season was SO lame!) because we finally have a death that is permanent. I'm sick of the show not having any stakes because anyone can just come back from the dead (and then hang around doing nothing). If the writers can continue to write episodes where stakes are high, I'm OK with bringing new concepts like Hell into the mix. "Supernatural" has Heaven, Hell, and even Purgatory. I say bring it.

  • tdm260 Apr 15, 2014

    Yeah, because when I read about Katherine being dragged away I said, "hmm, I wonder WHAT did that. Are they going to have demons now? Are there going to repercussions from this?"

  • dude19 Mar 23, 2014

    Sorry but then those people are idiots. The only way it could have been more obvious is if the devil was maniacly laughing in the corner. Your friends sound like the type of people who need to be beaten over the head with ideas in order to understand them.

  • JasonMelvil Mar 23, 2014

    Yes, you are right, it makes far more sense that she went to hell, even though this show never mentioned anything on subject of hell what so ever.

    And the entire concept of hell is completely contradicted by the show's mythology of "the other side" especially after the characters flat out talked about what would happen to her after she died and they all said she'd go to the other side.

    And we saw plenty of evil people (see Kol) continue to stay on the other side and not go into hell or anything of the sort.

    You are absolutely right - how could anyone not think that's what happened?

    In fact, you are so right that it's the absolute obvious conclusion from that poorly executed scene that the writers had to repeat their statement on what happened multiple times because people keep asking.

    Yes - You are so briliant - How can the rest of us not see it that way?

  • JasonMelvil Mar 25, 2014

    JessicaDoty1 (sorry, can't reply below you)

    You are absolutely right. Hell on this show makes no sense and that scene was even dumber for it.

    Heck, even the on screen dialogue makes absolutely no sense. Bonnie and Kathereine talked about "who made the rules"

    For someone who hasn't been following that show this is an obvious statement about God or some other higher power.

    But those who did follow the show know the person who made the rules was Qetsya. She created the whole other side.
    Why were they even debating this? They know it for a fact, they met her a short while ago.

    In fact, if Kathereine is goine to hell and the sign was that she couldn't pass through Bonnie, that would mean that going through Bonnie was heaven - But the whole reason Qetsya made the other side was that Silas *coudln't* go into heaven with his beloved.

    Wouldn't having a concept of Hell mean that an evil mass murdering bastard like him would go to hell anyway?
    Why did she have to do anythig?

    The whole thing makes no sense as far as the show is concerned.

    Not that much of the show makes sense... But this is the dumbest thing they ever tried to pull.

  • dude19 Mar 23, 2014

    Most people did see it that way because it was pretty blatantly obvious. Anyone who was confused because there wasn't a flashing neon sign that said "Going To Hell" is the exact reason why broadcast television is so dumbed down to appeal to people who can't grasp something that isn't explicitly stated. It was implied because Julie Plec assumed her audience was smarter than you give them credit for.

  • JasonMelvil Mar 24, 2014

    I'm sorry but if I was being too subtle for you, allow me to be absolutely direct with you: You are completely making stuff up.

    If the majority of people saw it that way, the makers of this show wouldn't need to reapeat themselves over and over again in a span of less than a week since the episode aired.

    Seriously, even the makers of Lost didn't have to reiterate their "they didn't really die" thing this much.

    They clearly know they messed up. You for some reason seem to think the numbers are on your side. You are wrong.

    So it's the other way around, She assumes her fans are dumber than they are to accept such a stupidly written death scene.

    Only reason it's not the worst in tv history is becaus Sanctuary had it worse.

  • JessicaDoty1 Mar 24, 2014

    Actually, it says that Julie Plec assumes her fans are much stupider than they are. As someone who watches the show and has since it started, the idea of "hell" is NEVER discussed or even known to be real. So when a character like Katherine is dragged off by an unseen force we all go "wth" because it made NO sense. Much worse characters have not been shown going to hell, they just go to "the other side" so why would we expect Katherine, who while bad at least had goodness in her (she did some nice things, she loved Nadia and did most of her bad things out of necessity to survive) go to hell? Why in 5 seasons was hell never brought up? These questions mean when Katherine was dragged off us fans assumed it was something different yet established in the TVD universe...not hell. It is simple.

  • JessicaDoty1 Mar 24, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • LeonieOnline Mar 23, 2014

    Her going to Hell doesn't comply with The Other Side story line. I imagined she was going to hell, but was it obvious? Not so much. Why would Katherine be dragged to hell, but not someone like Kol? Or Ketsia (However you spell it)? Or any of the tomb vampires we saw coming back during the ghost episode in season 3? You can't tell me that these people are kittens compared to Katherine, because they are not. So obvious? No, not at all because it doesn't match with previous stories. But than again, this is The Vampire Diaries we are talking about...

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