We may be months away from The Vampire Diaries Season 4 - an extra month, no less, with The CW pushing its fall premieres back until October - but producer Julie Plec was on hand for a panel at the ATX Television Festival in Austin this weekend and offered up a number of teases to keep fans buzzing throughout the summer.
And it all starts with a friendship that will turn into a major focus of the new season.
"I always look at Caroline as Stefan's future Lexi," Plec told an enthusiastic crowned. "You've seen little pockets of a friendship spark between them, and I see Caroline in the long run of the series becoming that important in Stefan's life."
What will bring the pair together when TVD returns? The desire to help Elena with her transition, Plec said, explaining that "Caroline is an acolyte of the Stefan school of sobriety."
Among other tidbits revealed at the panel:
Caroline and Matt will "have another moment," according to Plec.
Alaric may return, even with Matthew Davis starring on Cult and his character confirmed to be dead. "As long as Jeremy can see ghosts and Alaric is out there in the universe, then there's a window there," Plec said.
Without delving specifically into the love triangle, Plec did acknowledge that Damon has grown over three seasons, saying he has done terrible things in the "name of love, pain, abandonment, self-preservation, survival and family" and that "he's going to keep evolving and Elena's feelings for him are going to continue to evolve."
Finally, it's "time" for the arrival of Bonnie's dad, Plec spoiled: "This year is a big year of transitions. It's the end of senior year, and there's a rich home life for everybody we're going to explore."
Writing on Season 4 of The Vampire Diaries begins today. Which of these storylines has you most excited?