Ripper Stefan has a history with Klaus — and Rebekah
A 1920s flashback revealed that Stefan used to have quite the bromance with the Original menace back in the day. And that pretty blonde with whom he was very chummy during the Golden Age? She was Klaus’ sister! It was that bond — and its destruction — that drove Klaus’ “obsessive need for him to have a friendship with Stefan,” explains Plec, “which we learned dated back to a true kindred spirit they had with each other, and also a desire to pull his family back together.”
Klaus turns Tyler into a hybrid
When the Original turned the werewolf into a hybrid, it was both a blessing and a curse. Tyler was no longer a slave to the moon, but in its place, he gained a new master as he became sired to Klaus.
Klaus develops feelings for Caroline
More of a character twist than a plot twist, Klaus’ unexpected interest in Caroline “was born out of a magic of a moment,” says Plec. “He was using her as a pawn. And then suddenly in sitting down to heal her, which was all part of the game, he just had this vulnerable attachment to her develop… We all watched it happen in the scene. As writers, we wanted Klaus to be intrigued by her, and we wanted her to be offered this promise of a whole life out there that she could live… In that conversation, it was so potent, so magical, that all of a sudden, we were like, ‘Oh, God. Who would have thought this would feel so good?’"
Alaric is the Mystic Falls serial killer
The Gilbert ring will bring you back to life — but it will also make you into a crazy, rampaging killer, as Alaric learned. While this was terrible news for Elena and her pals…
Esther turns Alaric into an Original Vampire
…Esther saw it as a perfect opportunity to turn the teacher into the ultimate vampire-killing vampire.
Elena met Damon first
Plec: "I don’t think there was a literal consequence for that memory. If anything, it was the realization that she had this connection with a stranger on the street at a time in her life when she was so simple and so human and dealing with her own personal life struggles. And this person made her feel better. Even before anything happened in our series, Elena had been touched in her soul by this man."
Elena dies — and becomes a vampire!
"There was never any debate about going through with it. The big question was always, ‘When? How long can we hold off? At what point will it be the right move?’ But everybody knew that, eventually, this is where we were going to go,” Plec recalls. “The best part of doing it when we did, the thing that worked so well, is we we were able to start senior year with this girl, asking all these questions about who she was… It was great way of taking a character, running her to her lowest emotional point as a human, making her make all her choices that she believes so profoundly in as a human, and then changing everything for her… She becomes a vampire in the books. The hilarious thing is it’s all right there. Everybody asked the question so many times, and we’d answered it like, ‘Maybe in Season 52.’ We made enough jokes about it that people just forgot about it."
Elena is sired to Damon
Plec: "When we started talking about how to get Elena and Damon, truth be told, in bed together without having to wait a respectful 25 episodes of mourning the relationship between her and Stefan, we started to talk about different ways to escalate and over-heighten her emotions. Lo and behold, the sire bond was born… For us as writers, it’s just a complication. Elena’s feelings are legitimate. They’ve been legitimately brewing for years. We have watched her bond with Damon escalate over four years."
Jeremy is a member of The Five
The Gilbert house became a seriously unsafe space for Elena when Jeremy started to "awaken" to his potential as a vampire hunter. Even the bond of sibling love couldn’t stop him, in the beginning, from going after his own sis for the kill.
There’s a cure for vampirism — and (almost) everyone wants it
Dries: "If you look at our magic, in general, on the show, we have stated time and again that there’s always an ‘undo’ button. There’s always a yin and yang of magic anyway… To me, [the cure] was such a great character study. I wouldn’t call it a plot twist, as it was giving us insight into who our characters are based on what their relationship was with the cure. Would they take it? Would they give it to somebody else? Would they absolutely reject it? It was more this philosophical question."
Elijah’s been hooking up with Katherine
Given this, we probably shouldn’t have been so surprised. But we really didn’t expect this turn from the honorable Elijah. Still, the biggest twist may have been that Katherine actually felt something for the guy.
Silas snaps Jeremy’s neck
After the episode aired, Plec told TVLine: "We knew we wanted to get [Elena] to the darkest place possible, so that Elena, the most compassionate character, would become dis-compassionate and turn her humanity off. So we knew we had to tear someone extremely important out of her life. Everybody is equally important to her, but when you really think about it, it's her protectiveness of her brother that kept her together. Tearing her brother away from her would be the thing that would make her fall apart."
Elena turns off her humanity and burns down her house with Jeremy's body
Of the pivotal sequence that won Nina Dobrev TVLine’s Performer of the Week honors, Dries says: "For the most part, we watch dailies in the writers’ room on mute, while we’re working, for the visuals. We watch for hair and makeup and the framing and lighting to see how everything is looking. When those particular dailies came on, we were just brainstorming and batting ideas around. Slowly, but surely, everyone’s eyes were glued to the TV screen. We were watching her performance. Even on mute, you could see how powerful it was. We were so moved by it and so excited, knowing that we just brought the lead hero of our show to the point of absolute, bottomed-out despair."
Hayley is pregnant with Klaus’ baby
The controversial twist got more than its fair share of heat from viewers. But Plec defends the choice, saying, "We’ve got a series, [The Originals], where we want to take a guy, [Klaus], that’s a villain and we want to find redemption over the lifetime of the series. What better vehicle to do that with [then] someone who thought it was completely impossible to ever have a family — [and then] to give him a family? What would he do with that? For us, it was all born out of wanting to be able to give Klaus an extra layer of something to want and to hope for and to see if that would make him be good or if it would make him go the opposite way and become worse than ever because he’s the kind of guy who runs from happiness, just like Damon."
Katherine becomes human
Although the writers initially thought about having Damon — who becomes human in the books — take the cure, that idea only lasted "a week or two," says Dries. "We were just like, ‘Let’s sit around and think about what Damon is like as a human.’ Beyond the initial, ‘OK, he’s human. He doesn't have vampire things,’ we [thought], ‘This is actually kind of boring.’" In the end, Katherine won the honors, despite some fan hesitation. "A lot of people are like, ‘Katherine’s so fun! Why would you make her into a human?’ My answer to that is because seeing Katherine as a human is like the most fun version of Katherine. You can see her be even more miserable. This [next] season, she’s going to be such a delight, on every level, to watch. Seeing her have to deal with mundane, human drama like stubbing her toe or getting a blister or whatever, to me, [it’s] endless entertainment."
Bonnie brings Jeremy back to life and dies
Plec: "The thing that split us [as writers] the most, at least off the top of my head, is whether or not to bring Jeremy back to life. There is, has always been and will continue to be that debate — the dead should stay dead and death should have stakes and feel real. It was an ongoing debate that lasted about a year. When all is said is done, I think some people still agree and some people don’t. It definitely was the one that people had the most opinions about… It felt like the natural end to that story that one of our ghosts should be able to come back and stay back and that the price for that would be that Bonnie would lose her life… If it were anybody else, as much as there are people that we’d like to see as much as Jeremy, it would feel, somehow, like that storyline had been robbed in Elena’s journey about coming back into her own and finding peace with herself."
Stefan is Silas’ doppelganger
Dries: "We knew when we started the season that we wanted Silas to be like the original Original. Almost like the devil, in a way. The original evil. We were like, ‘How can stretch out this character for a full year?’ But we just knew [and] thought in the very early stages that it should be Paul Wesley. It should be revealed that Stefan is a doppelganger. [Wesley] is such an awesome actor, that we were like, ‘How can we see more levels with him?’ … [In Season 5], we’re going to explore this phenomenon of the doppelganger and how and why they exist in our mythology and what they actually mean for Stefan and Elena and everyone else."