The Vampire Diaries returns on Thursday (8/7c, The CW) for its first season without star Nina Dobrev.

But the citizens of Mystic Falls have bigger things to focus on than grieving over Elena. The Heretics have taken over the town, creating an all-out war between the Salvatore brothers and their mother Lily. Whether you've been following Damon and Stefan for years or if you're just jumping in now, here's everything you need to know about The Vampire Diaries Season 7:

How The Vampire Diaries will be stronger than ever in a post-Elena world

Kat Graham teases Bonnie and Damon's "violent" hunt for Oscar

Vampire Diaries Mega Buzz: Don't expect a Bonnie-Damon hookup soon

Check out The Vampire Diaries videos from our set visit!

What a tease! Ian Somerhalder bares all in a new Vampire Diaries clip

The Vampire Diariesn new trailer: The Heretics are raising hell

Mega Buzz: The Vampire Diaries time-jump isn't what you think

Vampire Diaries' Paul Wesley: Stefan finally has a girl who's all in

Vampire Diaries video: Ian Somerhalder has some requirements for Damon's future love interest

Exclusive Vampire Diaries first look: Damon drinks solo while the Heretics wreak havoc

The Vampire Diaries video: Stefan Still Gives Caroline Butterflies!

Mega Buzz: Will Damon get some lovin' on The Vampire Diaries?

The Vampire Diaries: Damon won't be a monk without Elena

The Vampire Diaries' Candice Accola gives us a glimmer of hope for Stefan and Caroline's future

VIDEO: Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder says Season 7 Damon will be dark, volatile - and sexy!