At The Vampire Diaries press room at NYCC, we found out why Elena and Damon won't become an item any time soon. And we discovered exactly what Vampire Diaries and True Blood share. Spoilers ahead...
We spoke producers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson, plus actors Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy), Sara Canning (Jenna), Zach Roerig (Matt) and Katerina Graham (Bonnie).
The next four episodes in particular are promised to contain "an explosion of information" and by Thanksgiving, we'll all know more about several lingering backstories. When someone asked about deviating from the canon of the books, Plec explained that the showrunners were excited to be able to "go there" and shock people with new takes on the original source material as well as their own addition.
McQueen said Jeremy wants "in" and has valuable information. He may have a new, "dabbling" love interest, as yet unwritten — but it could be someone that we know. Meanwhile, Roerig said Matt may learn the truth about what's happening in Mystic Falls — but it won't be from anyone you'd expect.
Those infamous flashbacks will start stretching back before the 19th century. Apparently, the episode showing Katherine Pierce's origin story is being shot now, and will be the story of who she was and why she became who she is. And the producers and stars hinted that Katherine's origin is medieval — the date of 1490 and a setting of Bulgaria were mentioned. But Williamson also mentioned England and Russia, and said the flashback episodes would air in November.
We heard that the production had to borrow the trained wolves used on the set of True Blood, because their own wolves didn't work out ("they were a disaster"). The show is excited to be going the "shapeshifter route" and experimenting with werewolves, but put forth the idea that half the reason the supernatural creatures aren't as popular as vampires is that wolves are tricky to work with and people with hair glued on their faces look patently ridiculous.
When a reporter from Seventeen brought up that their readers are obsessed with the Elena/Damon pairing, Williamson clearly was in no hurry to throw them together anytime soon for cheap drama's sake. He said that Damon is not yet worthy of Elena's friendship. Williamson thinks it's better to "want to want them together," a sentiment perhaps left over from his days writing Joey and Dawson on Dawson's Creek. He "wants the kiss, the sweaty palms" effect with his characters' romantic entanglements.
But one person who may make a special connection with Damon is Bonnie — Graham said she may go toe-to-toe with Damon once again.
Like the small town his other teen drama revolved around, Williamson was particularly drawn to The Vampire Diaries because it centered around a community, and he's keen to explore more in that direction — literally, what is "the hellmouth of it all?" Mystic Falls is a place where the scars of Civil War bloodshed run deep, and the fact of the town's complicity in supernatural events will figure more into the storyline. There's also going to be a Masquerade ball, everyone's favorite plot device for sexy intrigue.
A True Blood fansite asked Williamson do a pitch for why its fans should watch The Vampire Diaries: he replied that the show occupies the space between "Twilight" and True Blood, and that while he knows True Blood really "goes to the crazy place," his own series "tries not to be a CW show" and has a vibe all its own.