The Vampire Diaries executive producer Kevin Williamson wants to make something clear: Damon and Elena’s growing closeness in the absence of Stefan won’t necessarily lead where viewers think it will this coming season.
“Just because we’re putting her with Damon doesn’t mean they’re going to end up together. And it doesn’t mean they’re going to get together,” Williamson told TVLine at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, when we pressed him about how anxious he plans to make Elena/Stefan fans.
While Damon and Elena will “bond” as they search for Stefan — who’s busy ripping it up on the Stefan/Klaus roadshow — their journey will be “more about friendship” than romance, says Williamson. And with good reason. They have to keep their eye on the prize: a good vampire gone bad.
“It’s not so much about, ‘Are Damon and Elena going to fall madly in love and live happily ever after?'” says Williamson. “It’s, ‘Are Damon and Elena going to be able to find the man they both love?’ … It’s going to be fun to watch Damon and Elena form this relationship that at its core is about a search for the man they both care about.”
Just how deep that relationship will go depends in part on Damon’s own issues and his penchant for doing things that really miff Elena (hello, force-feeding her his blood!).
“Damon is not good at being a hero, so I can’t imagine he’s ever going to do it right,” observes Williamson, adding, “It’s always go to be one step forward, two steps back. ‘OK, so I’m the hero — I’m going to kill three people.’ And that is not OK with Elena.”
But with his saintly brother gone, Damon will have to step it up. How he handles that struggle with being the good guy will play into his relationship status with Elena. “It’s about defining their roles,” says Williamson of the arc. “Are they going to be friends? Lovers? How are they going to define themselves? Because it will be a defining moment for both of them.”
The Vampire Diaries returns Sept. 15 at 8/7c on The CW.