It's the last day of Comic-Con and I can barely figure out how to put on pants, but rejoice, because yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting down with several cast members from The CW's The Vampire Diaries, as well as executive producer Caroline Dries and I now know all the secrets (except for when Alaric's coming back, sigh). 

The overall theme of the upcoming fifth season, as expressed by Dries, is a fresh start for our favorite supernaturals. This means the show will be scaling back from the convoluted storytelling that enveloped Season 4 (goodbye cure storyline from hell!) and ultimately slowed down the momentum of a show that was once known for the speed at which it hurtled through exciting but also insane storylines. 

This is probably a smart move when you consider the fact that constant scene-stealer Joseph Morgan (Klaus) and his on-screen sibling played by Claire Holt (Rebekah), will be departing for the New Orleans-based TVD spin-off The Originals. Their characters factored heavily into the Mystic Falls world, so it will be interesting to see how the show fills the inevitable void their departures will create.

Oh, I know how they're going to do that! Haha, silly me. Let's take this character-by-character because holy crap, there's a lot to talk about.


ELENA

"Elena's going to be going to college with Caroline," explains Dries. It's Whitmore College, which Jenna attended and Shady Shane taught at. "[Elena] just wants to go prove she can be a functioning, normal vampire. ... She just wants to go to college, go to frat parties and hang out." 

Now, lest you think Elena and Co. are suddenly all about school work even though they barely showed up for high school and probably had to compel their teachers to pass them, Dries went on to mention that not only will we not be seeing Elena sitting in math class, but she'll eventually become embroiled in some weird vampire college mystery storyline (of course). And also she might have a good-looking-but-totally-shady professor (was there a sale on Shady Professors at Costco?).


DAMON


As for the love triangle, which was resolved at the end of season four when Elena finally chose Damon, Dries says, "Damon and Elena are trying to have a new, real person relationship. " She continues, "We want them to be genuinely happy for awhile because Damon has fought so hard to be with Elena. We want to go against the grain and make them a happy couple without bickering and fighting every episode." 

Ian Somerhalder (Damon) weighed in on the subject too, but was more hesitant about Damon and Elena's road as a couple. "I think you always have to be cognizant of the fact that it's The Vampire Diaries and people ... can't remain happy for too long in any one given scenario because then there's no conflict. But I think it is cute to see them in their interactions together."

Elena and Damon's relationship will suffer from real life issues (and not mythological conflict) that come up in normal people relationships, like surviving long distances and time apart and also dead best friends that no one knows are dead because said best friend didn't want to ruin her friends' summer vacations. WHAT? Yeah, whatever, I still don't get it.

Oh, and how about the fact that since Elena torched the Gilbert house in a moment of grief she has effectively made her not-so-dead-anymore little brother homeless? Fortunately for Jeremy, he's got a couple of friends who just so happen to own sprawling mansions (what, you don't?) He will be moving into the Salvatore mansion with Damon and Stilas, which is the name I just came up for Silas pretending to be Stefan.


STEFAN


Speaking of Stefan, Paul Wesley, as you might imagine, is ecstatic to be playing the bad guy once again. "I love it. I love the challenge and I love that Stefan is in the bottom of a lake." Now, before you go and get all angry at Paul for hating on the character that made him a household name in all the households with teenage girls, he clarifies, "I love him, but at the same time I feel like I need a little space from Stefan right now." As for what Stefan's doing with all his newfound spare time, Wesley tells us he's actually suffering from hallucinations (probably because he doesn't have his hair gel), but remains mum on if and when we'll see Stefan again.

Dries also weighed in on the Stefan-is-Silas'-doppelganger bomb that closed out season four. "That was not just because we needed a cool episode out. That has a very interesting mythology. We're going to realize that the doppelgangers are this awesome interesting mythology that dates back to the year zero." As for how big of a role Silas will continue t play throughout the season, executive producer Julie Plec told panel goers that although Silas starts the season as the Big Bad, he's not necessarily the Big Bad of the Season. Um, sure?


KATHERINE

At the end of season four, everyone's favorite villain was force fed the cure, and whether or not you like the character she's going to be sticking around for awhile. But now that's she's human, what the hell is she going to do? "She's vulnerable and she has to learn how to adapt as all her victims have," says Dries. "She becomes this weirdly lovable person." But don't expect her to fully change; she will continue to be Katherine The Villain for the first chunk of the season because she doesn't know any other way (and because we wouldn't have it any other way).


BONNIE

Still dead. Still a ghost. Probably still a pain in my a**. I'm still bitter about the fact she will continue on as a main character while Alaric (Matt Davis) and Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) had to return to the Other Side when the veil went back up. But Dries did reveal during the show's panel yesterday that since Bonnie is now on The Other Side we will finally get a little perspective and insight as to what it's like. I don't know about you guys, but I'm taking that to mean we're going to be seeing some old friends again in the near future. What do you think?

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Alaric!! Lexi!! sigh.
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I have a question! Why doesn't Katherine just turn herself back into a vampire?!?! This show is confusing!

What about Klaroline!

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OK. Ummm... What about Caroline.. Matt...

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If there's no Stefan I'm out. Damon and Elena bore the hell out of me and have become the worst characters; which is weird because I originally liked them. Now that Klaus and Rebecca are gone there goes all my favs except Caroline. If Stefan is gone for a while I'm just going to skip this season.
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So it'll be like Glee. Part of the show will be "The Rachel show" ie. Elena at college, and the other half will be everyone else back at home.
.... I don't know....
They should all just leave MF and go to Italy or something.
If I was a vampire, I'd be compelling myself into enormous amounts of wealth and going surfing everyday and traveling the world. Not sitting in a class room or at a kegger. You know...
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Sounds interesting. Hopefully next season will be better than season 4. I'm optimistic with the college plot and also the other side plot. I think we'll see more familiar faces that are dead already. Maybe Lexie and Alaric will be there, along with Mason, Jenna and others too.
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This is a show I just can't decide on... On the one hand I hear some good things that could make me consider picking it up, but then on the other hand I find out about something that doesn't make it seem worth to sit through all these episodes.
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DO NOT KILL OFF BONNIE...EVER! BUT bring back Lexi!
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I don't care about Alaric or any of the others and I say Kill Bonnie but bring back Lexi! She was the only truly fun character on the show! Plus now that Stefan is free and single (whenever he comes back, cause well, he has to come back! the story is about him to a large extent!), he and Lexi need to join up and set the house on fire so to speak! They should also bring in some fun love interest for Stefan!
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I like Bonnie. Glad they're keeping her. It'll be fun to have a ghost in the main cast. It's getting too Vampiry up in here. I'm actually one of the people who wanted Elena cured, and though it was a good surprise, I'm not really into Katherine being cured. It just seems to go against the whole point of the show, if the heroine is supernatural now, and the centuries-old villain is just some girl. On the other hand, I barely care about things being sensible on this show. I'm just along for the ride! I love Paul Wesley evil! :)
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God, why can't they just let Bonnie go???? She's the worst. Boring, unninteresting, lame character ever. I really can't imagine how boring and awful her storyline is going to be this season. Also, didn't Jeremy, at one point, say that when he was with her he was still in love with Anna? So what's the point of that "romantic" storyline anyways? They should have killed Bonnie, and bring back Ric AND Lexi.

Paul playing the bad guy is always great, so I'm excited for that, even though I hated the Silas storyline. I'm going to give it a chance at that storyline this scene only because of Paul, he's awesome.

Damon and Elena, good to know they're gonna try to be a normal couple.

I'm 100% sure I'll miss Klaus in every episode. It's not gonna be the same without him.

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I don't know how you looke like but I'm certain that we're doppelgangers at heart :P lol

agree with everything you stated above (y)
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Well Kaitlin you are awesome and I love you and we think the same.
I'm quite excited for season 5 thanks to this panel so yay, except for Bonnie but we can't all win.
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Ugh, Bonnie. Just let her go, she is the WORST!!!!
Tyler sucks quite a bit, but with Klaus gone, I cant even care anymore. No Klaroline. I'm gutted.
I think time away from Mystic Falls and the seemingly never-ending roster of town-wide "Founding Family" events that go on, not to mention the drama they bring, can only mean great things for the show.
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I know right. Bonnie should have just died. I loved Klaroline!!! I don't know why I would watch tvd now, probably because I'm scared they'll make a reference/crossover episode with the originals, and I'm still holding out hope for klaus and caroline eventually.... but yeh the change of pace should be good. Also if Caroline can return to her season 2/3 self that would be super.
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Staff
I'll be posting my article from The Originals press room later today, but I can tell you that I think a crossover episode with Caroline is a possibility.
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Awesome, just because of that hope of klaroline I will continue to watch tvd.
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What about Caroline?
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I know, right? Unfortunately I didn't get to talk to Candice Accola because of time constraints.
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Puhlease....at this point no ones cares anymore...Comic-Con sucked...everyone was all about how "interesting" Elena vs.Kat was...nobodt even asked what will happen to Stefan or is anyone going to be concerned at all...speaking of Steroline..
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Yeah, the college separation could do the show a must needed shake up in terms of character interactions/ relationships so we'll see how that goes.

I wish that Jeremy and Bonnie had both stayed dead. I'm hoping the writers come up with some good characters this season because with Rebekah leaving there's going to be hardly any characters I can tolerate left on the show.

Don't like the fact that Jeremy will be moving in with the Salvatore brothers. Love that we'll get to watch Katherine adjust to being a human again though. I am also really interested to see just what Silas wants/ is up to (and I'm hoping that the writers will at least try to make this storyline make sense).

I was sort of wondering what Matt and Tyler would be up to, but then I thought to myself: Why? You hate both of those characters. And therefore I don't really care.
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I still think they should have split Nina Dobrev's contact between TVD&TO, but very excited for the college/Mystic Falls separation and where it seems each character will be "stationed".
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