Season three was a darker year for Stefan, but Paul Wesley couldn’t have been more thrilled about that fact. “I want him to stay as a ripper!” he says with a smile. “I love it. I’m hoping the guilt of what happened makes him hate himself enough to turn him to ripper Stefan, but I feel like Stefan had a season three ride of darkness and season four will be more of a grey zone – which is nice too.”
Wesley may be fixated on Stefan’s “ripper” nature but at Comic Con, the real fixation from journalists on how Stefan will feel now Elena remembers meeting Damon first. “Due to the circumstances and now that she remembers everything, now her choices can be a bit skewed,” Wesley says. “I do think there’s a possibility, because now that Elena and Damon have feelings for one another. I think its open season. Maybe he won’t be attracted to her as much because she reminds her of himself. He hates himself because he’s a vampire, so maybe he’s going to project.”
And what does that mean for his character? “I’d like Stefan to be unexpected and spontaneous – I don’t want him to be the predictable good guy, I want him to be the guy who does noble good things but in a flawed way. I want him to be flawed.”
As for fans who are worried that we’ll miss key moments when the series returns for its fourth season – fear not. “We pick up within several lapsed hours from where we left off, early the next morning, and so everything we left hanging is still hanging,” EP Julie Plec confirms. “There’s been no off-camera resolution to any of it, so we’ll see all these things play out as we wake up.” Among the things that will play out – the aftermath of Elena finally making a choice between Stefan and Damon, Alaric’s death, and Elena’s vampire transition. “Season four is about the road to graduation,” Plec explains. “And the road to graduation is ‘who am I? Who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to be? What is my future?’ These are all questions that every single high school senior asks themselves on a humor level, and it parallels what Elena’s asking herself on a supernatural level.”
While there’s no “theme” for season four, it doesn’t mean there’s not a firm journey to be taken. “We don’t have ‘The Year Of The Originals’ like we did last season, but for me, this season is the thematic and actual journey to graduation,” says Plec. “Is Mystic Falls going to be my home forever? Am I going to stay here or am I going to get out…or grow up and move on?”
The Vampire Diaries returns for season four on Thursday, October 11th.