Nina Dobrev and Zach Roerig
Get ready for vampire Elena Gilbert 2.0.
Just as The Vampire Diaries' Elena (Nina Dobrev) was getting used to the idea of being a vampire, she learned there could be a cure. But with that quest leading to the death of her brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) forcing Elena to shut off her emotions so she could deal, Elena has now become a force to be reckoned with.
"The second half [of the season] is about Elena now being a vampire with all the true definitions of the word: She's driven by a desire to feed and she doesn't care who she hurts along the way," executive producer Julie Plec tells TVGuide.com. "She's certainly not going to be pleased about who's trying to stop her from being the way she wants to be. So now it's like what trouble does she get herself into, what does everyone else try to do to help her or to stop her or to defeat her or to give up on her."
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So what does this mean for her ever-evolving relationship with the Salvatore brothers? Keep reading to find out!
How long was Jeremy's death in the works?
Julie Plec: This dates back to the decision to make Elena a vampire. "Who was going to die?" was a question before the season, but we knew something extreme had to happen.
If Jeremy's death was so that she could get to her darkest place, why did we need to see that this season?
Plec: We as writers and defenders of the character of Elena were never going to be comfortable with vampire Elena until she ran through the spectrum of experience. There's a choice you make: Do you play the wish fulfillment of we're immortal and life is so good and sex is so great? But everyone on our show more or less hates being a vampire and sees it as a terrible curse that makes them very sad and lonely. So for us, Elena as a human that had an infinite amount of compassion and humanity, to let her be vampiric with abandon wouldn't sit right with us — but we knew we wanted to see that. So we had to earn our way there.
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With Elena's emotions shut off, is the sire bond gone since that's emotionally based?
Plec: I give a gold star to whoever launched that train of logic because we do deal with it right when we get back.
Will Elena and Damon's relationship be on the backburner now that she's in this new place?
Plec: I wouldn't say the relationship is on the backburner in that the question of 'How does she really feel?' and 'At what point are we going to know?' is still very vivid and front and center; they certainly have plenty of screen time together. But it is very humbling for Damon who is more used to the love and adoration he's been given from this girl, sire bond or no sire bond, this season and now she's like, "eh." So it's both entertaining and tragic all at the same time.
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Elena and Stefan said they could be friends. How will he aid her through this dark phase?
Plec: We'll see some really great Elena and Stefan moments for sure, just in a different form than we're used to just because she's a different person than we're used to. We like the idea to bring where we started at the beginning of the season full circle. We'll come back in Episode 16 with Damon and Stefan debating how to handle vampire Elena. Stefan thinks he knows what to do and Damon thinks he knows what to do so the two of them try to muddle through it together.
The preview for the next episode shows Elena in the middle of the road, which looks familiar.
Plec: Yes, the teaser of the next episode is a callback to how we're used to meeting Damon.
Check back for more from Plec on the Klaus-Caroline-Tyler triangle, Bonnie's quest to bring Jeremy back and when we'll know who Elena is taking to prom!
The Vampire Diaries returns on Thursday, March 14 at 8/7c.