Also, Julie Plec reveals why Bamon never happened.
Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…

Katherine Pierce was a staple of the Vampire Diaries universe. But at one point in the series, the writers had to fight to tell more of her story.

"We had to negotiate for the right to let Nina [Dobrev] play Katherine again because the season 2 Katherine [story] had really taken everything out of her and the network was being very protective," executive producer Julie Plec says about the show's fifth season during episode 5 of EW's Binge: The Vampire Diaries. "[The network] and studio were being very protective and they were like, 'You can't do that anymore, you can't have Katherine.'"

On an earlier episode of the podcast, Dobrev spoke about how exhausted she was at the end of season 2, the first season in which she played both Elena and Katherine in the present day. So when it came time to make Katherine human and even introduce a third Petrova doppelgänger, the writers had to get creative. "We had to basically beg the network to let us even write story for Katherine," Plec says, noting that "the triplegänger made the whole thing worth it."

The Vampire Diaries
Nina Dobrev on 'The Vampire Diaries'
| Credit: Tina Rowden/The CW

Fans will remember that season 5 featured Katherine taking over Elena's body, which meant that for a good chunk of the season, Dobrev only had one character to play. And then, eventually, Katherine met her demise, a decision that also came about following those negotiations. "I literally think we had to say we'll kill her in order to get permission to use her," Plec recalls.

Additionally, during the podcast, Plec discusses the choice to have Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) be the two characters who "die" together at the end of season 5, which led to a discussion about Bamon, the popular ship. "Bonnie and Damon had a thing in the books we had sort of always said, 'We don't buy a romantic connection between Bonnie and Damon because Damon's just done too many terrible things and Bonnie just has more integrity than that,'" Plec says. "But we wanted to service that relationship in the canon a little bit."

For more about season 5 — and the series overall — listen to the full episode below:

To listen, subscribe to EW's Binge: The Vampire Diaries feed via Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also subscribe to EW's YouTube page to catch all the video interviews, and stay tuned to

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Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…
The Vampire Diaries

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