If Elena Gilbert had a Timehop account, she’d find one hell of a notification awaiting her today. Exactly one decade ago (give or take a few time jumps), she encountered a strapping 161-year-old named Stefan Salvatore in the Mystic Falls Cemetery. And the rest is… insanely complicated, to be honest.
She didn’t know this at the time, but Stefan was a vampire. He would also go on to become her lover, her ex, her friend and, ultimately, her dead brother-in-law.
And that was the beauty of The Vampire Diaries. From ever-rotating love triangles to heart-stopping twists, obsessed fans never knew where the sexy, seductive thriller would take them next, only that they were fully committed to seeing it through — and tweeting about it.
“It was a double whammy of spectacular A Star Is Born-style casting and the voice that Kevin Williamson imbued it with,” executive producer Julie Plec says. “That recipe was why the show succeeded. I like to think that [it sustained] because we treated it with such care over 170 episodes. We never phoned it in. We never thought ‘just OK’ was good enough. There were hits and misses, but the goal was always to keep the quality at top level.”
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To celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary, TVLine reached out to some of The Vampire Diaries‘ heaviest behind-the-scenes hitters — Williamson, Plec, Caroline Dries, Michael Narducci and Brett Matthews — for the stories behind the stories, the real-life events that inspired some of the show’s most memorable twists.
Peruse our Q&A with the show’s producers — you can click here for direct access — then drop a comment with your own TVD memories below. Which huge twists are you still not over?