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Vampire Diaries Season 7

Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder Maps Out Damon's 'Crazy' Post-Elena Future

Though Damon isn’t completely reverting back to his Season 1 ways, Ian Somerhalder assures TVLine that his character will be taking Elena’s final words to heart when The Vampire Diaries returns for Season 7 (Oct. 8, The CW).

“Elena said, ‘Go have fun and live your life,'” Somerhalder reminds us. “He waited for Katherine for 150 years and he sure as hell wasn’t a saint in that time. Damon’s a pretty sadistic guy, but he’s also very logical — even if his logic is a little skewed sometimes. He’s thinking that he’s got 60 years to chill … so if he makes enemies and gets into fights and s–t’s going down with these heretics, he’s like, ‘Yeah, let’s get in there. Let’s f–k it up!'”

Of course, it won’t be long before the gravity of the heretics’ presence forces a necessary shift in Damon’s reckless outlook.

“He comes near death a couple of times and has to start protecting people,” Somerhalder teases. “So it really becomes about him protecting this box and fighting with his mom; he’s really not happy with his madre at all.”

Somerhalder says he’s also excited to refocus on the true relationship of the series: a little twosome affectionately referred to as “Defan.”

“If you look at the way the story’s been told, it always comes back to the love of these two brothers,” he explains. “The women that they love got in the way, but now they’re just brothers, and they’re forced to deal with a lot of stuff. One of their new problems is that they lost their home, and Damon’s pretty pissed at Stefan for letting that happen.”

Most importantly, Somerhalder hopes that fans will embrace the changes that come with a long-running series and remember why they loved The Vampire Diaries in the first place:

“This is Mystic Falls without Elena Gilbert,” he admits. “People want this Damon-Elena thing, but I say this is the evolution of a really cool show with some great characters. Let’s let them find their own journeys and mix together and let s–t get crazy again.”

TVD fans, what are your hopes for Damon’s life without Elena? Drop ’em in a comment below.