On their way to stop Damon and Enzo’s west-coast killing spree, the Vampire Diaries gang on Sunday took a brief detour, hitting up San Diego Comic-Con for the CW drama’s (final!) panel.
Stars Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Kat Graham, Candice King, Zach Roerig, Matt Davis and Michael Malarkey were all on hand — along with executive producers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson — to tease the impending events of Season 8, premiering Friday, Oct. 21 at 8/7c:
* An intro video, featuring that creepy hand from the Season 7 finale, teased: “This season, get ready to meet evil herself.” (That’s right, herself.) Watch it below:
* Kevin Williamson on returning to the writer’s room: “I’ve never been too far away. … As Julie and I sat down to write the first episode of Season 8 together, I was freaking out. … Julie was like, ‘You write all the Damon stuff.’ It came back pretty quickly, and I think we’ve got a great Season 8 planned out. It’s really nice to live in this world again.”
* As for what the aforementioned “evil” might be, Plec remained (mostly) tight-lipped: “The villain has a finger so far. … It’s a new take on villains for us. It’s rooted back all the way to ancient times.”
* Describing the new Season 8 villain as the “final bad,” Williamson noted that it’s a “cool way to infuse Mystic Falls with this ultimate evil. It’s like a cherry on top of the entire mythology of Mystic Falls.”
* Meanwhile, Somerhalder said, we’ll see “Damon and Enzo doing some gnarly s–t,” adding that “the mind control thing is actually quite interesting. … In their minds, they’re still them. That conflict and that struggle is what we always look for.”
* Sadly, Bonnie is “literally at ground zero” when Season 8 begins. “A lot of last season was about the development of the relationship Bonnie had with Enzo, and obviously Bonnie and Damon,” Graham said. “You saw the crumbling of her in the finale. She also doesn’t have her magic. The thing that made her feel like herself, and also her best friends, are not there. It’s going to be really exciting to see Bonnie’s journey this season.”
* Poor Stefan is “just crying, constantly,” Wesley teased. “[He’s] missing his bro, his bro-ham. It’s back to the original dynamic of the brothers. The dynamic was always Damon getting in trouble and Stefan trying to save him. … We’ll see how long that lasts, but for the current time, he has a broken heart over his big bro.”
* Caroline is “very busy” in Season 8, trying to maintain a connection with Alaric and the twins while also “helping Stefan and Bonnie track down Damon and Enzo.”
* As for everyone’s favorite human, Matt Donovan “had to make the decision to let go of that love [for the vampires].”
* Every Season 8 episode title will be a line of dialogue from previous seasons.
Your thoughts on the cast’s Season 8 teases? Hopes for the future? Drop ’em all in a comment below.