One of the heretics has a Stefan-related secret ...
Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

Welcome to Julie’s Diary! Every week during the season, Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec will add an entry to her diary. From answering burning questions to giving behind-the-scenes stories and more, this is a place for fans to hear directly from Plec about the episode they just watched.

For the first entry, we gave Plec five burning topics/questions to discuss in regards to the season 7 premiere:

The big bad in the future

This person is after Stefan, and we won’t know why for quite some time but it’s a very specific agenda this person has and Stefan’s demise is the sad, tragic goal of this person’s agenda. Astute viewers will connect Beau’s scar to Stefan’s and it all ties in to the mystery of who this weapon-wielding shadowy figure is.

Alaric’s mysterious stone

This particular stone would not blend in well with Damon’s soaps. [Laughs]We have things in the writers room that we call moonstone shenanigans and witchy hijinx, which involve usually a prop — a medallion, a locket, a mysterious stone — and every year we’re like, “This year we’re not going to tie our fates into a mystical prop” and then every year we’re like, “But what about a …” [Laughs]

So this year we have the Phoenix Stone. All I can say about its purpose is that for one little pink stone it can do a lot of damage. A good portion of the season is going to be wrapped up in what that stone means, what it can accomplish, what the consequences of and the fall-out of what it does means to our heroes. For example, I just got a script for episode 11 last night and the damage done by that stone is still causing a ripple effect. It packs a punch.

Alaric trying to get Jo back

Alaric didn’t get the memo that the writer’s room passed around which said death is permanent. [Laughs] Poor guy is going down a lot of really troublesome roads trying to bring back his wife from death in a world where there’s no more Other Side, when there’s no clean way to do it. And so hopefully he’ll find a loophole so that he can get what he wants but it’s not necessarily going to be easy because we have been very clear that death is permanent. It’s going to be a long road for him filled with beauty and heartbreak and will actually serve as the jumping off point to a fairly major plot twist that will hit us in the sixth episode.

That Steroline kiss

This is the we’re-together-for-now [moment], absolutely. The problem is, with a bunch of nasty little heretics floating around, not only do they have their own agenda with Caroline but there’s a personal secret wrapped up in one of the heretics in terms of how she feels about Stefan that may continue to create obstacles between Stefan and Caroline as they try to keep a healthy, functional relationship. But they’re going to try like hell.

Stefan’s got some great stuff this season. There’s a lot of elements this season in terms of the Stefan backstory and the relationship between the brothers that really feels very both fresh and nostalgic all at the same time, kind of in that season 1 vibe, which I really love.

Damon’s speech to Bonnie

I call it the three-second speech. I love that speech. It’s funny because it got cut out of one of the drafts before we started shooting and I can’t remember why. A note conflicted with that speech and so Caroline [Dries] cut it out and I called her and I was like, “What are you doing?! You can’t lose the three-second speech. It’s your best speech!” So yeah, it’s a good one.

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

RELATED VIDEO: EW’s Sam Highfill, Robyn Ross break down the best moments from the premiere

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