Vampire Diaries Boss Talks Offing Originals, Teases 'Major Jeopardy' for All by Season’s End

[Warning: If you have yet to watch last night’s Vampire Diaries, avert your eyes now! Everyone else, read on… ]

Turns out, The Vampire Diaries‘ Original Witch is one sneaky bitch.

While not nearly as evil as Klaus, Mystic Falls’ newest inhabitant, Esther, proved a worthy adversary for her hybrid son this Thursday when she — with a little blood help from Elena — seemingly signed his death sentence. But will she go through with her spell to rid the world of all her offspring? And, if Klaus isn‘t doomed, will he continue to pursue Caroline? Where the heck is Tyler? And what’s next for the members of TV’s messiest love triangle? Here’s what exec producer Julie Plec revealed during a recent Q&A:

QUESTION | It seems as though you’re setting it up for the Originals to be killed off, all in one fell swoop. Is that an actual possibility?
Just mass Original annihilation? [Laughs] I can’t say too much about that without revealing the plan for the season, but if the villains on our show have proven anything, it’s that they have a durability that borders on supernatural. There are five Originals and an Original mama, and we’ll see who comes out the other side of it to tell the tale.

QUESTION | Esther mentioned that it would take time to kill Klaus. What exactly did she mean?
The next episode takes place on a full moon, and we’ll learn that — like most things that take heavy-duty witch spells — there needs to be some sort of recurring celestial element attached to it. So, that’s what she meant.

QUESTION | Might Esther change her mind about dispatching her family since she clearly cares so much for the “moral” Elijah?
The fact that this [massacre] isn’t a done deal by [the first minute] of this episode [means that it] definitely has a lot of potential to go very right or very wrong in the next episode. But some major, major stuff goes down that will be interesting and surprising for the audience.

QUESTION | Why is the eldest Original, Finn, so willing to sacrifice himself?
If the “chip off the old block” theory applies to anyone on the series, it would be Finn as he relates to Mikael. As we know, their father had deep self-loathing and deep shame attached to vampirism, and Finn ultimately feels the same way.

QUESTION | Klaus was always said to be purely villain, and yet we now seem to be seeing a much more human side to him. Is this something that will continue?
I think that you can define “villain” in a lot of ways, and Klaus certainly is and will continue to be the provider of much antagonism and some very, very extreme jeopardy for our heroes. But no one is singularly just evil. He has got his own demons, his own wants, his own desires, and there are things that he’s never experienced that he wants in his own life, and I think that the two are not mutually exclusive. We could get a glimpse into what makes Klaus tick as a man without compromising his ability to wreak major havoc in this town.

QUESTION | In comparison, Damon seems to be getting back to his evil roots. How far do you plan to take that? And how will Elena react to his hook-up with Rebekah?
Elena is going to be pissed on multiple levels, but she also understand that in a way she sort of pulled the trigger on that. Damon has every right to be angry with her as well, and a lot of people are going to continue to be angry with each other as this unfolds in the next episode. The thing with Damon is, as we’ve seen, when he’s hurt, he lashes out, and in a way, this is the most cruel way he could have lashed out. But it also shows a peculiar evolution in him as a character. Rather than take it out on an innocent person on the road, he’s striking where it hurts the most — very specifically at Elena. By no means is it gentlemanly behavior, but certainly it was fun to watch. [Laughs]

QUESTION | When are we going to see Tyler again? And how is he going to react to this budding Klaus/Caroline relationship?
Tyler’s still going to be a little while [on] his journey of self-discovery and whatever it is that he’s doing. We’ll see him back in the spring. There’s nothing worse than going away and putting yourself through endless and eternal agony to break a bond to some guy, and then when you come back to town, you realize he’s been putting the moves on your girl. I can’t imagine that’s going to go over well.

QUESTION | Speaking of Klaus and Caroline, can you talk a little about how, if at all, that’s going to develop?
I can’t really say where it’s heading or if it’s heading more so than for us it’s fun to explore that side of Klaus, seeing a vulnerability and a romantic vulnerability, because it’s giving a window into him a little bit. What we love is watching Caroline, who in the beginning of the series, before she was a vampire, was desperate to be chosen by anyone, and now the king of all evil vampires has plucked her from obscurity and bestowed upon her his affection… We certainly find Klaus to be irresistible as well.

QUESTION | What about the relationship that is clearly developing between Elijah and Elena? Did the writers, at some point, realize that this was more than just a “working relationship”?
Yeah, absolutely. The whole character of Elijah has been such a glorious surprise to us as writers, because… Daniel Gillies and what he’s brought to the character… has fed into what we want to give to the character. Of course, when we decided that there needed to be a big, bad, evil vampire in the middle of last season, [and] that paved the way to the introduction of Klaus, in a million years never would we have said, “Oh, and then one day he’ll have this magnificent and lovely friendship with Elena!” And yet, that has evolved over the course of a season and a half[‘s] worth of stuff. Next week definitely is very much rooted in the foundation of this compassion that Elena has for Elijah and her concern that in signing his death sentence, maybe she’s made a mistake.

QUESTION | Is there any chance Elijah didn’t actually take a drink during the toast?
Zero. Everyone drank, I can put that to bed now.

QUESTION | What’s ahead for Rebekah?
Rebekah’s going to have bigger fish to fry [than going after Matt again] in the next episode or two, with her mother trying to see her dead and her indiscretions with Damon Salvatore.

QUESTION | How about a little scoop on what’s coming up with the Stefan/Elena/Damon triangle?
Obviously, we’re at a little bit of a crossroads with Elena and the boys. A lot of what we’re going to start to see is the question for Elena… We’ll really be exploring her point of view for the rest of the season. Certainly, I can say that you’re not going to get to the end of the season without all three of them understanding that a choice needs to be made some way or the other.

QUESTION | Should we anticipate some signature Vampire Diaries deaths by season’s end?
Many of our characters are going to come face-to-face with their maker at some point before the season is over. But whether they meet and shake the hand and get dragged away with their maker is a whole other question. There are going to be a lot of moments where we’re not going to be sure who’s really safe and who’s going to see it through… But there’s definitely going to be some jeopardy by season’s end.