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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