Tonight the cast of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ was featured in a panel discussion streamed live from PaleyFest 2012, held at The Paley Center for Media.  Included in the panel was Kat Graham (Bonnie), Matt Davis (Alaric), Nina Dobrev (Elena), Ian Somerhalder (Damon), Paul Wesley (Stefan), Candice Accola (Caroline), and Julie Plec, the Executive Producer of the popular show.

The panel discussion

The biggest talker of the evening by far was Ian Somerhalder, who joked and teased his castmates at every opportunity.  In general, the male actors were more outgoing while their female counterparts hung back a bit.  Here are some fun tidbits that were revealed:

1.  We have not seen the last of the Original Family.  Rebekah will torture Damon for something he does in an upcoming episode, and Esther will continue her quest to destroy her own children.  Nina spoke about the relationship between Elijah and Elena, saying they share similar morals and have a mutual respect for each other.

2.  The actors share a fun camaraderie on and off set.  Matt Davis was horrified when he learned he would be making out with Paul’s real-life wife, Torrey DeVitto (Meredith Fell).  Paul joked that he was similarly horrified.  Matt also tweets his own tongue-in-cheek fanfic about an Alaric/Elena love story.  The funniest moment in my opinion was how baffled Julie and Ian were that Paul didn’t know what a “casting couch” referred to.

Ian Somerhalder, Julie Plec, and Paul Wesley

3.  The future of Mystic Falls is still uncertain.  The cast was fairly tight-lipped about any upcoming plotlines, but the audience was rewarded with a few nuggets.  Caroline and Bonnie will be working together on their supernatural powers, and Bonnie is going to get a romantic partner that isn’t doomed to die!  We might get to see a glimpse of what life was like for Elena pre-vampires, and that scenario includes her now-dead parents.  When asked if everyone would survive this season, Julie replied that she wasn’t sure.

4.  The Salvatore brothers is where the real love story lies.  Nina joked that Elena needs to go abroad and meet some new boys to lust over, which got huge applause.  Julie spoke about the relationship between Stefan and Damon and how it’s the real focus of the show.  Their struggles over right and wrong are what drive the brothers:  “Damon’s no more good than Stefan is evil.”  The drama of the show comes from the constant battle for both of them – Damon struggles against the goodness inside of him, and Stefan fights against the evil.  She also let slip that their fighting will “come to a head” this season.

The show has ventured away from the book series it is based on, and whether it will ever use the book plots or not is up in the air.  Although she stays true to the characters, Julie mentioned that it’s sometimes difficult to resist writing what the fans want to happen.  So if there’s something you want to see, start your Twitter campaign now!