“Without a doubt the triangle has been refreshed and reset with the actions of Elena going over that bridge and becoming a vampire,” executive producer Julie Plec tells TVGuide.com about the series’ fourth season, which kicks of Thursday (8/7c, The CW).
“We didn’t want to make it easy or over-romanticize it or glamourize it, but we also didn’t want to make it devastatingly depressing, so we’re going to explore her highest of highs and lowest of lows,” Plec says. “Episode 2 gives us a glimpse of what she’s going through and then every episode that follows centers on some element of being a new vampire, for better or for worse, and what it’s doing to her.”
Although Stefan remains by her side when the show picks up, Elena becoming a vampire has a few positives, but quite a few negatives for the former Ripper who’s worked so hard to avoid returning to the bloodthirsty guy he recently was. “What’s nice about it is that they realize if they want to they can be together forever so in a small way it’s a small victory in this whole catastrophe,” Plec says. “What’s not so nice is that a newbie vampire is a bundle of emotions and rage and hunger and bloodlust and desire and all those things that are really Stefan’s Achilles heel. I like to use the analogy of being sober, but your girlfriend just turned 21 and wants to party. For Stefan, Elena usually supports him and is now the one needing to be supported, so who’s going to keep Stefan from falling over the edge?”
“Elena is uncompromising about is the length she’ll go to protect the people she cares about and as a vampire that takes on a whole new meaning. So I do think there is some element of concern on the part of her closest friends to make sure she’s not losing her way or losing sight of herself in all this –especially how it relates to the Salvatore brothers.”