The CW has released the full set of episode stills from “The Vampire Diaries” Season 3 premiere, titled “The Birthday.” You’ll be able to see all the action on Sept. 15 at 8 p.m., but if you just can’t wait to hear what’s coming, read on. (In case you missed it… that was your official spoiler alert.)

tvd premiere klaus stef simon camden 'The Vampire Diaries' Season 3 premiere: Everything you need to know!tvd premiere klaus ray 'The Vampire Diaries' Season 3 premiere: Everything you need to know!Yes, that is “7th Heaven’s” Simon Camden hangin’ with the hybrid and the ripper. David Gallagher has put his Camden days behind him and will be introduced to “TVD” fans as Ray, a werewolf who Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) encounter in Tennessee. Ray will be around for two episodes, and he’s involved in Klaus’s mission to create more hybrids. Klaus is looking to build himself a family, but family loyalties may be Ray’s downfall.

tvd klaus premiere 'The Vampire Diaries' Season 3 premiere: Everything you need to know!Can we just take a moment to enjoy this photo? We’re so glad that Morgan’s guest star status has been upgraded to series regular this season. The man knows how to lounge. (Is there a “must look incredible in a Henley” requirement on every “Vampire Diaries” casting call?)

“As the series goes on we’ll learn a lot more about Klaus’s motives for
bringing Stefan along. He’s not just done it on a whim. There’s a goal;
there’s a plan,” Morgan told us. Let’s just say that Stefan has been on Klaus’s radar for a very, very long time. Klaus’s special plans for Stefan started brewing before Stefan ever met Elena.

tvd tyler caroline premiere cups 'The Vampire Diaries' Season 3 premiere: Everything you need to know!Meanwhile, back in Virginia, Caroline (Candice Accola) is planning Elena’s birthday party at the Salvatore place… and by the looks of this photo, she’s enlisted the help of her friend Tyler (Michael Trevino). These two have spent the summer hanging out together, in a totally platonic sense, but their raging hormones and monster “urges” are escalating.

“I think that because he’s got this werewolf thing going on, he’s gonna
be snapping,” Trevino tells us of Tyler. “He’s gonna want some. You would think
though, that also vampires kind of have the same urges as well. So that
could be interesting.”

VD301a_0936b2_lowres.jpgWe’ve seen this photo before, but we figured it was worth posting again, just to clear something up — despite the trick of the eye, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) are not holding hands in the photo. Elena has her hand on her hip, and Damon is clutching his mostly-empty glass of bourbon.

tvd premiere damon alaric 'The Vampire Diaries' Season 3 premiere: Everything you need to know!Uh oh… Damon and Alaric (Matt Davis) having a pow-wow without Elena. Yep… things haven’t changed much in Mystic Falls, and there are still plenty of secrets buzzing around the Salvatore boarding house. Let’s just say that Damon and Alaric haven’t been following a full-disclosure policy when it comes to keeping Elena in the loop.

Speaking of Alaric… check out that beard! Our favorite history teacher has had a rough time coping with Jenna’s death over the summer, and apparently, shaving has fallen by the wayside in his grief.

tvd premiere damon 'The Vampire Diaries' Season 3 premiere: Everything you need to know!Damon isn’t particularly interested in searching for Stefan — Ian Somerhalder explains why here — but that doesn’t mean he’s not keeping tabs on his brother. Somehow, the vampire who began this series as our villain has now become the guy whose prime concern is keeping Elena and the rest of Mystic Falls safe. He’s not particularly happy about it, but he’s having trouble shaking his noble side, especially now that Stefan isn’t around to be the do-gooder for him.

tvd premiere matt caroline 'The Vampire Diaries' Season 3 premiere: Everything you need to know!MATT! (That felt good. It’s been a while.) We’re not sure there’s any explanation needed for this photo. The looks on their faces says it all, doesn’t it? The last time we saw Matt (Zach Roerig), he dumped Caroline. They haven’t seen much of each other all summer — unless you count a few encounters at the Grill — and they certainly aren’t speaking

That doesn’t mean Matt hasn’t noticed how much time Caroline and Tyler have been spending together, though. He’s noticed, and he’s not psyched. While he’s focused on her, though, Caroline is distracted… watching Tyler work out some of those urges with his date to the party.

By the way, Matt fans — first of all, we’ll see you at the Team Matt meeting. Second of all, we know there hasn’t been a ton of press regarding our bus boy, but he will be involved in the supernatural storylines at the beginning of this season. Finally. Jeremy is still seeing the ghosts of Anna and Vicki, and he’s not turning to his girlfriend, Bonnie, for advice. Instead, he needs Matt to help him get to the bottom of things.

tvd tyler caroline party 'The Vampire Diaries' Season 3 premiere: Everything you need to know!Confrontation! When we first met Caroline in the pilot, she was the kind of girl who was forced to stand by and watch someone else get the guy. Caroline is… not that kind of girl anymore.

Drop us a line in the comments and let us know what you’re most looking forward to in the season premiere! (And yes… we know. We miss Jeremy and Bonnie too. Don’t worry — we’ve confirmed that they are both in the episode. Nobody is on summer vacation.)

Posted by:Carina MacKenzie