There are a few things we know without a doubt when it comes to The Vampire Diaries: Stefan and Damon will do anything for each other; Mystic Falls is now one of the saddest towns in the entire world; and Matt Donovan is human.
After nearly eight years, Matt Donovan has somehow managed to escape the supernatural life. Sure, he’s died. And yes, he’s had vampire blood in his system — that even happened recently – but through it all, Matt’s humanity has been a key component to this world.
But it turns out, originally, Donovan was going to have a familial connection to the supernatural. “In season 1, we spent a lot of time trying to explore the boundaries of how supernatural we wanted to get,” showrunner Julie Plec tells EW. “One of the first things that we did was make Kelly Donovan a big reveal that she was a succubus, meaning when you kiss someone, you literally suck the life out of them.”
For those who need a reminder: Kelly Donovan (played by Melinda Clarke) was Matt’s mother, who showed up in the first season, hooked up with Damon, and then eventually left town. So why did that twist fall through? Long story short, things were getting too dark too fast.
“We shot a great scene with her sucking the life out of somebody and hooking up with Damon and everything and then we thought, ‘Oh my god, where in the hell are we going to go with this? And if this is season 1 and we’re going down this road, then what other demons, etc. are we going to explore?’ We got cold feet, rightfully so, and we pulled back on it and so we never actually followed through on the story,” Plec says.
And in fact, it took the show seven years to go down that dark path when they decided that the final season’s villain would be a siren. “We had to give an answer to what’s in the vault and we knew we wanted it to be a creature of some sort because we hadn’t really ever gone down that road of being able to see gnarly hands and claws and get that sense of a demonic being,” Plec says. “But we still wanted to ground it in something human, so we started talking about different ideas of what this creature could be and how it could transform itself into a human character. And then we started talking about the legend of the sirens and how they were psychic. We’ve talked about the original witch but we’ve never actually gone back to the origins of witchcraft in general, which began with a simple psychic energy. It all came together when we started exploring the imagery from Greek mythology and also, early vampire folklore would target the sirens as vampires because they were flesh-eating and blood-sucking creatures.”
So although Kelly Donovan never got to be a succubus, the idea of a demonic creature eventually came back around. But as for Matt, he’s still as human as can be.
The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.