The Vampire Diaries Season Premiere Photo: The Heretics are Here!

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Consider this to be a dire warning to all CW viewers and all the residents of Mystic Falls: The Heretics are coming.

Actually, based on the first photo fromĀ The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 1, allow us to make a correct: The Heretics are HERE!

Vampire Diaries Season Premiere Pic - The Vampire Diaries

Courtesy of TV Guide, we now have a look at the opening episode of The Vampire Diaries Season 7, which returns on Thursday, October 8 at 8/7c.

It features Lily leading her pack of scary family members, who have clearly been wreaking some major havoc around town.

That's Caroline left as a crying mess on the ground, right? Surrounded by multiple dead bodies?

"[Lily] has a way of being manipulating and calculating and she knows how to push her son's buttons," executive producer Caroline Dries tells TV Guide.

"We'll see the brothers start to turn against each other, but they'll catch on and Lily, as much as she loves her sons, has her own agenda."

The new season of The Vampire Diaries, of course, will NOT feature Nina Dobrev as Elena.

But it clearly will still feature all the blood, violence, drama and all-around suspense that we've come to expect from this smash hit CW series.

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

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The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 1 Quotes

Dear Diary, I'm in Hell. It's hard to imagine a place worse than where I've come from but by some spectacular miracle, I've found it. In the weeks since I've arrived, three things are clear. The food is literally made of poison, the air smells like a plague, and everyone wants to know what everyone else is doing. I don't fit in here. The world is not what I imagined.

Valerie

Stefan: New rule. You live your life, you heal, and in the meantime, we're friends.
Caroline: I like that rule.