Elena's a vamp ... or is she? Vampire Diaries producer on S4 secrets

Will she or won't she? Will Elena become a vampire on The Vampire Diaries after last season's shocking cliffhanger killed her off, and then brought her back with the possibility of joining Mystic Falls' ever-growing vampire population? Well, answers abound on tonight's season-four premiere episode, which airs on the CW at 8 p.m.

[Spoiler alert]

"Honestly, what we weren't expecting is how much we could get out of these big decisions we made at the end of last season and how it really just opened a door for piles and piles of new story opportunities," said executive producer Julie Plec in an exclusive interview with Blastr. "Sort of an embarrassment of riches."

Those riches include Elena trying to decide whether to complete her transition into being a vampire by drinking human blood, whether Bonnie can come up with a magical solution to Elena's problem, and whether the girl will finally pick a team... as in Team Stefan or Team Damon.

"We always knew at some point that we would go down that road, and for us it was really more a matter of when to go down it. It felt like last year was a great opportunity while she was really struggling with the evolution of her relationship with Stefan and all the trials and tribulations of his problems with his own humanity, and then the growth of her relationship with Damon as she discovers the depth of his humanity, that we should put her into a situation where she would then have to question the strength of her own humanity. And so it felt like a great way to go," said Plec.

So what do we have to look forward to this season? "Definitely a lot of grief and misery. That's how we roll over there in Mystic Falls. I think just as we launch into the season, we pick up right where we left off, more or less, where Elena wakes up to the discovery that she is now undead. And she has a decision to make about whether to feed or not to feed to complete her transition," she said.

However, deciding what to do gets awfully complicated for Elena. "While she's trying to make this decision, the Founders' Council, as triggered by Alaric at the end of last season, makes its move and starts taking out vampires one by one. And so for a girl who needs her support system more than ever, she's suddenly finding herself all alone in this. So there's lots of great suspense and emotion happening there," said Plec.

"Everybody's going to have a point of view about how to help Elena and what kind of vampire she can be and how to help her be that kind of vampire. And it's going to put some of them at odds with each other, especially Stefan and Damon. And it's going to bond some of them closer, like for example Stefan and Caroline. Caroline considers Stefan to be the reason that she's as successful a vampire as she is. So she's going to be buying her Team Stefan T-shirt pronto," she added.

While the season starts out all about Elena, all the characters will have their own troubles to deal with.

"Rebecca will also be back finding herself sort of persona non grata in the Mystic Falls supernatural community after what she did," since she's responsible for Elena's present condition. And she's "not just at odds with the Elenas and Stefans and Damons of the world, but also finds herself at very extreme odds with her own brother. And that will have an impact on her emotionally as well," she said.

And Klaus will find his way out of Tyler's body and back where he belongs. "And he will remain unapologetically evil."

Matt will feel very guilt over what's happened to Eleana. Caroline and Tyler have "become a very beautiful, very powerful connected couple. Which, of course, means that only tragedy awaits," said Plec.

Bonnie tapped into "some very, very dark magic at the end of last season as they were trying to get rid of Klaus. And having tapped into that, it's now at her disposal, and the question will be how far is she willing to go down that rabbit hole? Whether to help a friend, or can she control herself from staying away from it?" said Plec.

And we'll meet a new tough vampire hunter named Connor, played by Todd Williams, who will be a problem for the vamps of Mystic Falls.

"What we realized when we started breaking story in the writers' room for season four is that we had old stories we could tell again from a new point of view, we had new stories that we had never been able to tell before now. Everything just seems really fresh and really exciting. As writers, it's been a real pleasure getting into this season for us," she said.

Here's a look:

The Vampire Diaries airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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