The Vampire Diaries: Ch-ch-changes….Turn And Face The Strange In Season 7by Melissa J. L. Smith Sciuto / August 20, 2015
British novelist and poet, C.S. Lewis, once said, “Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth.”
Change, growth and continuity will be the hallmarks for Season Seven of The Vampire Diaries.
Season Six ended with Elena in a coma where she will remain until Bonnie’s death. This clever plot device offers fans a sense of continuity and gives the cast a myriad of options for change and growth. When cast member, Nina Dobrev (Elena Gilbert) announced that she would be leaving the show at the end of last season, the producers and writers came up with an ingenious way for the beloved Elena character to remain among the circle of friends while allowing Dobrev to exit the show to pursue new opportunities.
Elena will remain in a coma (a la “Sleeping Beauty”) with her life force tied to Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham). In sixty or seventy years when Bonnie presumably passes over to join her Grams, Elena will awaken from her sleep to reunite with vampires Damon, Caroline and Stefan.
What are a few decades to a vampire anyway? Not much in the big scheme. While Elena’s physical presence will disappear from the canvas, her essence will remain and still have an effect on Mystic Falls.
As if mirroring a change to the show and the upcoming effects on her own life, winner Dobrev said at her acceptance speech at this week’s 2015 Teen Choice Awards, “Change is a scary word…because it [means] new beginnings…[But] Change is necessary to grow and to learn and to better yourself.”
During July’s Comic-Con panels, brilliant polymaths/Executive Producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries assured Hall H that the changes coming to The Vampire Diaries will be well-worth the wait for its October season premiere.
Look for Damon (Ian Somerhalder) to return to his dark, volatile, super-sexy self that blew the doors off of Season One. Bonnie (Graham), protectorate for both her life and Elena’s, will grow even stronger and her relationship with Damon will become more complex (but not necessarily as a “romantic couple”).
Stefan (Paul Wesley) will continue to pursue Caroline (Candace Accola), but the blonde beauty finds herself unwilling to commit to a lifetime with Stefan, at least for the moment. (Women across Planet Earth are volunteering to take her place.)
Then, there is that other strange duo, Enzo (actor/musician Michael Malarkey) and Lily Salvatore (Annie Wersching). It has come to Damon’s attention that his buddy Enzo has feelings for the Salvatore mom. It is situations like dating your buddy’s mom that would put a strain on any relationship, and Damon has a lot to be testy about right now.
But does Lily reciprocate Enzo’s potential feelings? Maybe, or perhaps she has another love among her friends, the heretics, whom evil-twin Kai (Chris Wood) brought back with him from the prison world at the end of Season Six.
With Chris Wood departing TVD to star in another Plec-powered series, “Containment,” Mystic Falls will need another “Big Bad” to motivate the splintering factions of the town to overlook their differences in order to fight the enemy.
Enter the new “Big Bad,” Lily’s heretic friends. The heretics are vampire/witch hybrids whose vast ability to spawn evil has yet to be seen in Mystic Falls.
So, Dobrev’s comment, “Change is necessary to grow…,” definitely seems to apply to Season Seven of The Vampire Diaries.
The loss of Elena, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), Tyler (Michael Trevino), Jo (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) and Kai opens the landscape for Plec and Dries to showcase the remaining cast’s ample talents and give those actors a venue to grow and change their characters.
So what changes will there be? Will the heretics bring together newbie lawman Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig), grieving widower Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis), the back-to-devilish Damon and assorted friends and frenemies together to fight the new Big Bad of Mystic Falls?
To quote Dobrev’s Teen Choice speech one last time, “Change is coming, so hold on and enjoy the ride!”
For those who missed the 2015 Teen Choice Awards, The Vampire Diaries fared extremely well, including winning Best Sc-Fi/Fantasy Television show, Dobrev for best actress, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and Dobrev/Somerhalder for best kiss.
While the past obviously is to be lauded, given its awards and recognition, I, for one, am looking forward to the journey that the changes have in store for us.
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you never will grow.”-Author/essayist/poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday, October 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. Check out clips from Comic-Con below for more with the cast and producers!