Elena (Nina Dobrev) might be gone on “The Vampire Diaries,” but that doesn’t mean Damon (Ian Somerhalder) is going to be any less in love with her in Season 7. Showrunner Caroline Dries says this year is going to involve Damon learning who he is when he’s not in a relationship, but there are no plans for him to move on from his longtime love.
“I don’t like it when shows like ‘Felicity,’ which I watched every episode of, but she was defined by who she was dating. Our show kind of became that,” Dries tells Zap2it at CBS’s 2015 summer TV press tour party. “Obviously Damon is madly in love with Elena, but what else do we know about him? Not a ton.”
One of Season 7’s goals will be learning about Damon and what he does in his spare time. “Bringing in his mom [Lily] this season is going to shine some new light on new layers of his personality,” Dries says. “He’s an interesting person.”
While Damon will struggle with learning who he is when he’s not defined by his relationship, the writers get to find new ways to make his stories interesting. But even with his soul-searching, Damon won’t be over Elena.
“He’s mourning her. He’s privately resenting Bonnie (Kat Graham) for being alive while Elena’s ‘dead.’ It’s not like it’s going to be the plot of every episode, but I think inside he’s spiraling a little, being like, ‘Without Elena, who am I?'” Dries says. “It’s just the natural progression of the character. He’s not going to be crying over Elena, but a lot of what he does is for Elena in his weird way.”
During The CW’s executive session at summer TV press tour, network head Mark Pedowitz opened the door for Dobrev’s return. “We’d have loved Nina to stay. She did a great job with the six years she was on the show. She is welcome back any time she wants to come back,” he says. “As you know, the character is sound asleep at the moment.”
Both he and Dries reveal that the show is going to shift focus to tell the love story about brothers Damon and Stefan (Paul Wesley) Salvatore now that Dobrev’s character no longer on “The Vampire Diaries.” Bringing their mother Lily (Annie Wersching) into the mix is making that story more complicated.
“We were like, ‘How do we replace Elena in the triangle between the brothers?’ And what kind of naturally happened is Lily is the third point in the triangle,” Dries explains. “They each love her and hate her in a different way, so she’s more of the Katherine.”
“They have different feelings towards her, and she’s able to manipulate them and love them differently,” Dries continues. “She was trying to basically turn them against each other, but they’re like, ‘You know what? I’ve been brothers with him a long time, so I think I’m going to side with my bro.’ The love story this season is the brothers, so they’ll get the most screen time.”
Also coming to the forefront are Caroline (Candice Accola), Bonnie, Alaric (Matthew Davis) and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) “a little bit, because he’s trying to figure out literally where he fits in the world.” “The Vampire Diaries” Season 7 premieres on Thursday, Oct. 8 on The CW.