'Vampire Diaries' Stars and EPs Reveal Season 5 Secrets

In front a very enthusiastic PaleyFest crowd, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley joined executive producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries to talk Twitter hashtags, dueling fandoms and Katherine's maybe-death.
Kevin Parry for Paley Center for Media
Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev

Three words to describe The Vampire Diaries session at PaleyFest: ear-piercing screams.

The three main stars of The CW's vampire drama, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, returned to the PaleyFest stage Saturday evening fielding multiple questions about the series-long love triangle and selfie requests (but mostly the latter) from a crowd of 2,600 at the Dolby Theatre, made up of the show's core demographic (teenage girls and twentysomething women).

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Ask a serious question about a character's free will, as one attendee attempted to do, and best of luck trying to hear the answer (Plec promised that they "dig deeper" into that in the March 27 hour.) And like the show's previous trip to PaleyFest in 2012, Somerhalder (or rather, "Smolderholder," as he was referred to multiple times) was the key draw, with many of the questions addressed to him and his alter ego, the sardonic Damon Salvatore. At one point during the session, Wesley quipped: "When in doubt, get a close-up of Ian's eyes," referring to Somerhalder's smoldering look.

Amid the incessant screaming and constant "I love you" declarations, the cast and executive producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries dropped some hints about what's in store for season five.

1. Damon and Elena are back on, kinda.

Fans of Vampire Diaries saw in the most recent episode that "Delena," as the pairing is lovingly termed, reverted back to their old ways, hooking up after having a deep conversation about their "toxic" romance. The likelihood of them learning from the past remains slim, at least according to Somerhalder and Dobrev. "They have to put on their big-boy pants and big-girl pants," Somerhalder said of those conversations. Dobrev added: "The problem is they keep taking their pants off and that keeps getting in the way of things."

2. Welsey got an unexpected gift during his directorial debut.

Wesley makes his directorial debut in the April 17 episode, an experience the actor called "amazing." "I was expecting them to really haze me," Wesley said of his co-stars. Turns out, the joke was on him. "My first day of directing, I walk into my dressing room and there's a wrapped gift," he recalled. Dobrev had written Wesley a nice letter congratulating him on the "next phase" of his career. What was in the wrapped present? "A giant portrait of Nina Dobrev," Wesley said. "It was huge and now it's hanging in my dressing room."

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3. Yes, Katherine is really dead.

Dries confirmed that Katherine is gone from the show, even though fans speculated after her final appearance that she may be in limbo following her getting pulled out of the church by a far greater force. It was important that the writers dream up a completely different death for Katherine, who has been "the center of the series in my opinion," Dries said. And when asked whether Katherine could return at some point, "Never say never, but it was such a profound exit for the character." (Fun fact: Plec revealed that the church used for that scene is the same one featured on The Originals.)

4. Caroline Forbes is staying put in Mystic Falls.

If Somerhalder had anything to do with it, Caroline would be a permanent fixture on Vampire Diaries, with Plec echoing his sentiment, calling her "a crucial element" to the show. "Taking her off the show would be very damaging," Plec said. Somerhalder added: "We have Caroline. Caroline is staying with us."

5. Don't get attached to any new faces.

Remember Aaron or Dr. Maxfield? They were all new characters introduced this season that bit the dust and if Plec has anything to do with it, the bloodshed will continue for any new supporting characters that come into the fray. "Most new characters are created to die," she admitted. Here's a hashtag: #EnzoDeathWatch.

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6. Stefan and Elena go back to the early days.

In the Wesley-directed episode, Dries hinted that there will be shades of "Stelena" as we've never seen them before. Wesley chimed in adding that their moment is "reminiscent of season one." By the way, will Stefan get to be happy for once? Doesn't look that way, as Dries said that his time is about to "get even worse."

7. Stefan and Caroline, something more?

"Caroline and Stefan have a lot to do with each other," Plec hinted. "They go through some stuff together."

8. What is the #DelenaRainKiss?

Who knew a Twitter hashtag, #DelenaRainKiss, could get so much airtime? What began as a fan-suggested hashtag suddenly became a trending topic when Somerhalder caught wind of it on set, so much so that the panelists devoted ample time to the fan-desired moment. "People wanted us to kiss in the rain some time before the end of the season," Somerhalder explained. (Damon and Elena had an intimate moment in the rain in a prior season, but did not kiss.) Plec, however, put the hashtag rumor to rest: "There will be no rain yet, sorry."

9. Forget the love triangle.

Here's the mother of all twists. Forget about the triangle between Damon, Elena and Stefan. "After all the things these boys have done to her, she's going to be a lesbian," Dobrev joked.

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