It's all happening, folks.
"The Vampire Diaries" ended its fifth season with its most game-changing finale yet, and now, at the halfway point between the May finale and the Oct. 2 season six premiere, we're finally starting to receive clues -- clues in the form of producer teases and three exciting new characters -- as to what might happen to our favorite Mystic Falls supes after the big bang. (The metaphorical big bang that destroyed the Other Side, that is.)
"The way we look at it, season six is a beautiful and organic reset," executive producer Julie Plec told The Hollywood Reporter. "The theme of the season is everybody gets to start over. That's what we're going to do. We're trying to take the show away from the massive genre extravaganza where each season we try to top each other with the bigger, bad, more exciting mythologies and boil it back down to the beginning."
The "massive genre extravaganza" Plec is referring to reached a boiling point last year, to the point where a significant number of TVD fans struggled to latch on to the confusing "Travelers" plot that dominated the latter half of season five. But now, given Plec's statements, the destruction of Mystic Falls as a supernatural hotbed, and the fact that a percentage of the show's leads are not supernatural anymore (have fun dealing with Klaus as a human, Tyler!), everything is going to change.
Here's what we know (or THINK we know) so far.
1. Damon and Bonnie are back
... in some capacity, at least.
Though we fully expect Damon to crawl his way back to Mystic Falls for some reason or another, we're not quite sure if the decidedly not fan-favorite Bonnie will return to life with him. Still, the season six cast list and behind-the-scenes shots from set confirm that Kat Graham will still be on the show. It could just be in flashbacks, but you never know.
2. Pretty much everyone is allergic to Mystic Falls
The Travelers' spell still stands, which means there's a pretty high chance that the characters who cannot enter the town without dying (Stefan, Elena, Caroline, etc.) will really, really need to get back there.
3. Three mysterious new characters are joining the fold
Going back to what we said above, it looks like a lot of the action this year will revolve around Mystic Falls -- you know, the only place in the universe where these vampires cannot go. In the past few days, we've learned about three new characters with ties to the characters' hometown, so don't necessarily count on everybody moving on with their lives now that the supernatural hotbed is no longer an option.
First there's Gabrielle Walsh, who will join the show as Sarah, a woman "who comes to Mystic Falls with spunk, street smarts and a shady agenda," per Deadline. Joining her will be Ivy (Emily Chang), "the quintessential girl next door with an unexpected wild side" (per THR) and Tripp (Colin Ferguson), a community militia leader who Plec says will come to town to give Sheriff Forbes a run for her money.
The latter is the most interesting, as Tripp's presence heavily suggests that Mystic Falls' magical history will no longer be a secret for the rest of the world. Tripp will have a loyal band of followers who will do anything to protect Mystic Falls, so it looks like our vampires are about to go from hunters to hunted, stat. Not great, Bob.
4. Alaric and Enzo are back for good.
Joining Elena and the gang as people (vampires) who can no longer hang out in Mystic Falls but probably really want to are Alaric (Matt Davis) -- who left the show two years ago to star in the short-lived "Cult" -- and Enzo (Michael Malarkey), who turned heads and stole hearts as a guest star last season, but will now be back full-time.
Plec has hinted that Enzo will still be mischievous, but since it looks like Tripp and his comrades will be more of a threat than this grudge-holding vampire, we think he'll be taking the gang's side this year, especially since everyone should be wanting to get Damon back.
5. Tyler is a measly human
Sorry, buddy. Everyone else came back from the Other Side as they died, meaning vampire, but Tyler was reverted back to his original status (a human with a dormant werewolf gene) by Markos. In theory this might be great for Tyler, who can now live a relatively normal life if he chooses, but you have to remember that Klaus is still out there (though starring on another show) with a major bone to pick with the former Hybrid.
6. Steroline is happening
Putting Stefan and Caroline together has seemed like an obvious choice to everyone but Stefan and Caroline for quite some time now, but Plec told TVGuide that, come season six, Caroline will FINALLY begin to explore her feelings.
"Caroline, in her heart of hearts, is starting to accept she has feelings for Stefan," she said. "In fact, we cut a scene in the finale where that was even more clear. I think she's finally admitting it to herself, losing him woke that up in her, the question is will Stefan reciprocate those feelings? That's what we'll have to explore in season six and see where we go."
As the kids would say: "Yaaaaaaas."
What do you think, TVD fans? Are you excited for a Mystic Falls-centric season? Any thoughts/theories on the new characters? Let us know in the comments!