The Vampire Diaries Spoilers: Death, Drama and Delena!

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Viewers may still need to wait until January 22 for The Vampire Diaries Season 6 to resume, but cast and crew members offered up some juicy nuggets yesterday at the Television Critics Association press tour panel in Pasadena.

For starters, we'll begin at the end.

"[Co-creator] Kevin [Williamson] and I came up with and cried over our perfect ending... and really stuck to that for many, many years," Julie Plec said at the drama's panel, soon after The CW announced the TVD renewal.

"And now the show will go on longer than we ever dreamed of. So it's evolved, but it's still rooted in that same idea. We're still on that same path."

The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Poster

Damon and Elena, meanwhile, are on a path back to each other. Slowly. Romantically. Teased Plec:

"We have Damon and Elena finally working their way toward each other, and trying to reach a happy state of a functioning relationship, which is the one thing we never got to play with them - seeing them be comfortable and happy with each other without dealing with a lot of internal conflict."

And Ian Somerhalder sounds a hopeful tune when speaking of his character's love life.

“They’ve been through a lot. Love trumps all. So when you see, you want it to win," the actor told reporters.

But all will not just be sweet kisses and longing stares.

"Our main throughline this season has been learning more about the Gemini Coven,” said producer Caroline Dries teased. "And Kai has now absorbed all the magic in Mystic Falls, and he's super powerful, and he has one thing in mind: I want to merge with my twin sister, and become the leader of the Gemini Coven.

"And so we'll watch that story culminate with a lot of drama and death."

And also with the exit of Steven R. McQueen: Plec has confirmed that he is leaving TVD as a series regular this spring.

The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 11 airs on Thursday, January 22 at 8/7c on The CW.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Vampire Diaries Quotes

You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger... I want you to get everything you're looking for. But for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena.

Damon

Damon: You know what they are? Children. Like lighting a candle's going to make everything OK, or even saying a prayer. Or pretending Elena's not going to end up just like the rest of us murdering vampires. Stupid, delusional, exasperating little children. And I know what you're going to say: 'It makes them feel better, Damon.' So what? For how long? A minute, a day? What difference does it make? Because in the end, when you lose somebody, every candle, every prayer is not going to make up for the fact that the only thing you have left is hole in your life where that somebody that you cared about used to be. And a rock with a birthday carved into it that I'm pretty sure is wrong. So thanks, friend. Thanks for leaving me here to babysit. Because I should be long gone by now. I didn't get the girl, remember? I'm just stuck here fighting my brother and taking care of the kids. You owe me big.
Alaric: I miss you too, buddy.