CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” may have lost heroine Elena Gilbert with star Nina Dobrev leaving the show, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have plenty of storylines for season seven. In addition to a new coven of well-dressed creepy witch-vampires taking over the town of Mystic Falls thanks to Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) mother Lily (Annie Wersching), there’s the factor of how the returning characters are grappling with Elena’s departure — as well as what actress Candice King’s real-life pregnancy means for a certain fan-favorite couple.
In honor of the season premiere, Variety spoke to series co-creator, exec producer and showrunner Julie Plec about what this all means for the seemingly immortal vampire series.
What can you tell me about these Mean Girls of Mystic Falls in this season?
We have a delicious, delightful new group of players who we call the Heretics, which are Lily’s Island of Misfit Toys. They’re people she’s accumulated over the years; cast out and shunned witches like Kai [last season’s villain, played by Chris Wood] was last year and are only able to do magic that’s been syphoned. They’re mutated witches, in a way, who have discovered that they can also be vampires, which up until now had been impossible. They are the only ones of their kind and they stick together through thick and thin even if, like most dysfunctional families, they bicker like siblings and love and hate each other with equal measure.
Is Caroline the person shooting daggers at Stefan and Damon at the end of the episode?
You are the second person to guess that. All I will say is that there are a lot of people it could be and we’re not going to tell you for quite some time.
What can you tell us about the cut on Stefan’s chest at the end of the episode? It looks like a cross.
It’s a little bit of an “x.” If you want to see a different version of this, take a look at what Beau (Jaiden Kaine) is doing when he’s adjusting his scarf at the end of his episode. You will find something very familiar about the scar on his body.
Can you tell us if Candice King’s pregnancy will be factored into the season?
I can’t yet tell you. Not because I don’t want to. We have talked about all kinds of wonderful and creative ways to use the pregnancy or write around her pregnancy. We made a decision we are really excited about and it’s in that story in all kinds of good ways. People are going to have to hold on a little bit before we tell them.
There is no baby Salvatore on the way, it’s safe to say.