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3 YEARS

'Vampire Diaries': Mystic Falls Says Goodbye to a Beloved Character (Almost)

Executive producer Julie Plec sounds off on where the show goes following the eventful 1920s dance.

Vampire Diaries Do Not Go Gentle Episodic - H 2012
The CW
"The Vampire Diaries"

The Vampire Diaries nearly said goodbye to one of its own.

[Warning: Major spoilers ahead.]

One of the most touching scenes from "Do Not Go Gentle" remains one of the final images of the episode, when Elena, Damon, Stefan and company crowded around the church to bid adieu to a Mystic Falls staple, Alaric Saltzman. "That one scene was the most important scene in the entire episode," executive producer Julie Plec told reporters at a screening of Thursday's episode, adding that she fought hard for the it to remain in the hour. "Moments like that are what makes our show so special." Though Alaric ultimately did not get his wish (to not complete his transformation into a vampire, thanks to Bonnie), seeing Damon stick by the history teacher during Alaric's dying moments was affecting.

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The irony of turning a vampire hunter into a vampire by a witch who wants nothing to do with them was not lost on Plec. "The idea of the ironic symmetry of having this witch who's desperate to eradicate vampires and this alter-ego of Alaric's who hates vampires and knowing in becoming a vampire, your darkest impulses and your greatest wants are magnified to such a degree, it felt like it was this way of bringing the original witches' part in this mythology full circle," Plec said.

Alaric 2.0 (or is it 3.0?) is "going to be a conflict provider," Plec revealed. "He's not going to be the friendliest version of Alaric that we've ever met. He's going to be pretty hardcore, which is going to be equally exciting and devastating. He's one of our heroes, who's no longer one of our heroes."

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It was discovered during the episode that in every death Alaric experienced, Esther was on the other side pushing him. But it was uncovered that Bonnie is dealing with other powers that be by episode's end.

"She was very clearly under some witchy influence," she said, "which is really Bonnie's issue now. It's like, 'I've got vampires telling me what to do. I've got other people telling me what to do. Now I have freakin' my sisters -- the witches -- telling me what to do. Where is my free will? Where is my choice?' That is going to impact her character moving forward."

Alaric's change in character could force Jeremy to have more responsibility when it comes to family. "Should Jeremy be so lucky to survive season three and be in season four, yeah, it's a big burden on him now, he is the man of the house, proverbially," Plec said. "He and his sister are all that they have. There's going to be a lot that he has to do to grow and keep himself together and be a champion for Elena as she is always trying to be a champion for him."

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.