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Renewal of The Vampire Diaries for the 2015-2016 season was announced on January 11, 2015, by The CW's President, Mark Pedowitz.
It has been confirmed to be moved to Fridays.
In the wake of Elena Gilbert's goodbye, season seven begins with some characters trying to recover while others falter. As Lily tries to drive a wedge between the Salvatore brothers, we'll still hold onto hope that Stefan and Caroline's love story is strong enough to survive. Based on the series of books by L. J. Smith, The Vampire Diaries is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Outerbanks Entertainment, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. The series was developed by Kevin Williamson (The Following, Scream) & Julie Plec (The Originals, Kyle XY, Wasteland), who serve as executive producers along with Leslie Morgenstein (Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars) and Caroline Dries (Melrose Place, Smallville).
Season seven of the The Vampire Diaries found our heroes rebuilding their world without Elena. Confronted by the prospect of a decades-long wait for Elena's return, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) struggled with his heartbreak and relied on his contentious but profound friendship with Bonnie (Kat Graham). Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline (Candice King) began their much-anticipated relationship, which was complicated by Caroline's unexpected role as surrogate mother to the infant twins left behind when Alaric (Matt Davis) lost his wife. Meanwhile, Damon pursued a vendetta against his mother Lily (guest star Annie Wersching), who had abandoned her sons to care for a vicious brood of vampire-witches called the Heretics – one of whom, Valerie (Elizabeth Blackmore), had loved Stefan ever since their romantic encounter in a previous century. Lily's misguided choices ultimately caused her own tragic demise and put Mystic Falls in the sights of a formidable nemesis: Rayna Cruz (guest star Leslie-Anne Huff), a supernatural vampire-hunter. Rayna targeted Stefan, forcing him to go on the run and leaving Caroline to make a new start with Alaric. Determined to defeat Rayna, Damon enlisted the help of the Armory, a shadowy group with family ties to Bonnie's boyfriend Enzo (Michael Malarkey). But the Armory's deeper agenda robbed Bonnie of her magic and jeopardized her life. To remedy the crisis, Damon and Enzo had to venture into the Armory's occult vault, where an evil presence overcame them. The triangle of Stefan, Caroline and Alaric will team up with Bonnie in season eight to search for the two most important men in her life – even though Damon and Enzo may be long past saving.
Based on the series of books by L. J. Smith, The Vampire Diaries is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Outerbanks Entertainment, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. The series was developed by Kevin Williamson (The Following, Scream), Julie Plec (The Originals, Kyle XY, Wasteland), who serve as executive producers along with Leslie Morgenstein (Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars) and Caroline Dries (Melrose Place, Smallville).
- Chapter I: The Heretics Chapter (Ep. 701-705):
- The Heretic family, living in Mystic Falls, kill a few locals, prompting Stefan and the gang to compel the town people to leave, allowing the Heretics to feed on intruders in the town. Damon and Bonnie decide to fight back and kill one of Lily's Heretics, causing attacks to both the Mystic Falls gang, and the Heretics for control of the town. Alaric, in the meantime, wants to use the mysterious Phoenix Stone to bring his dead fiancée Jo back, but Lily wants the stone herself to bring back her vampire lover Julian.
- Lily's vampire lover Julian is revived from the Phoenix Stone, and is trying to get back to normal with his Heretic family. Stefan, who wants Julian dead for killing his unborn child with Valerie Tulle, teams up with Damon to kill Julian. Julian links to Lily's life, for protection. Lily teams with her sons and her Heretics, and tries to kill herself to kill Julian while linked; however, Mary Louise unlinked them, so Julian survived while Lily died. Blaming her sons for her death, Julian uses the Phoenix Sword to kill Damon before Stefan is killed by Nora, for revenge, trapping their souls in the Phoenix Stone, constantly reliving their own unique hell.
- This chapter deals with the origins and powers of Rayna Cruz, a ruthless vampire huntress spelled by shamans. She was given regeneration after death, stronger each time, and the Phoenix Sword to imprison vampires in their own unique hell. After Stefan kills Julian, Enzo found her for the Armory, but she escaped, killing Beau, then stabbing Stefan, forcing him to run as she could find him anywhere. Caroline gives birth to Alaric's twins and moves with him to Dallas. As Rayna escapes with Matt's help after three years, she tracks down and kills Stefan with her sword, despite Damon being seconds away of having the mark transferred onto himself. A dying Mary Louise, with help from Nora, siphons the Phoenix Sword, destroying it, the stone, and themselves, which releases the imprisoned souls into people's bodies.
- After the destruction of the Phoenix Sword, all the imprisoned vampires, including Stefan, are sent into random corpses of humans and vampires. After saving Stefan, Bonnie's life is endangered from the pills her boyfriend Enzo gave her to hide her from the Armory, as they needed her to unlock their Vault. Damon makes a deal to kill all the escaped vampires, so Rayna would transfer her last life to Bonnie. After Bonnie becomes the new Huntress, Damon tries to fix her vampire killing urges by venturing into the Armory's Vault to destroy the last Everlasting, freeing her of the urge to kill her friends. Despite his heroics, Damon falls victim to the evil monster in the Vault along with Enzo when he tried to rescue Damon. After months, the gang discovers that Damon and Enzo have escaped the Vault and killed dozens due to the effects the Vault's monster has on them.
- Main article: Antagonists in Season Seven
- Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore (22/22) / Ambrose (2/22)
- Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore (22/22)
- Candice King as Caroline Forbes (20/22) (voice in 7x16)
- Kat Graham as Bonnie Bennett (19/22)
- Matt Davis as Alaric Saltzman (18/22)
- Michael Malarkey as Enzo St. John (17/22)
- Zach Roerig as Matt Donovan (16/22)
- Brian Young (4/22)
- Neil Reynolds (4/22) (2 co-written, 1 co-written story, 1 teleplay)
- Caroline Dries (3/22) (1 co-written)
- Melinda Hsu Taylor (3/22) (1 co-written)
- Holly Brix (3/22) (2 co-written, 1 teleplay)
- Rebecca Sonnenshine (3/22) (1 teleplay)
- James Stoteraux (3/22) (co-written)
- Chad Fiveash (3/22) (co-written)
- Brett Matthews (3/22) (2 co-written)
- Julie Plec (1/22) (1 co-written story)
- Penny Cox (1/22) (story)
- Matthew D'Ambrosio (1/22) (story)
Episodes List: 2015-2016
|Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take||Writer: Caroline Dries||Director: Pascal Verschooris||October 8, 2015||#7x01|
|After a twisted plan left the life of his girlfriend Elena linked to that of his best friend Bonnie, Damon is forced to navigate his new reality without the love of his life. A newly empowered Bonnie has decided that she will be Damon's moral compass and keeps a close eye on him as he, in turn, cautiously keeps tabs on Alaric, following the loss of his fiancée Josette Laughlin. Meanwhile, as he waits for Caroline to sort out her emotions, Stefan takes an active role in protecting the town from Lily and her family of Heretics, who have wasted no time wreaking havoc in Mystic Falls. Elsewhere, Enzo struggles to find his place in Lily's new life, and is quickly forced to decide where his true loyalties lie. Finally, with the stakes higher than ever, Matt, who has recently completed his deputy training program, teams up with Stefan and Caroline to put a stop to the Heretics, but an unexpected turn of events leaves one of them in a dangerous position.
|Never Let Me Go||Writer: Brian Young||Director: Chris Grismer||October 15, 2015||#7x02|
|When an impulsive decision by Damon threatens to unravel a carefully negotiated deal between Stefan and Lily, he has no choice but to make amends with his mother before things spiral further out of control. However, Lily remains one step ahead and carries out a harsh plan that hits Damon where it hurts most. Elsewhere, after returning to Whitmore College, Alaric turns to Bonnie for help with a mysterious and potentially dangerous artifact he has obtained, while Matt is forced into making a risky life or death decision. Meanwhile, Caroline, who finds herself a pawn in Lily and the heretics' plan for retribution, uncovers a shocking detail about Stefan's past.
|Age of Innocence||Writer: Melinda Hsu Taylor & Holly Brix||Director: Michael A. Allowitz||October 22, 2015||#7x03|
|In the aftermath of a clever plan orchestrated by Lily, Damon sets off on a road trip with Bonnie and Alaric in search of leverage they can use against his mother. Meanwhile, Caroline, who is being held hostage by the Heretics, learns some shocking information about Valerie's past, while Stefan learns a few unexpected details about his own past from Lily. Finally, Alaric turns to Bonnie for her help after coming clean about a secret he’s been keeping.
|I Carry Your Heart With Me||Writer: Neil Reynolds||Director: Jeffrey Hunt||October 29, 2015||#7x04|
|Just as Damon thinks he's gained the upper hand in his fight against Lily, an unexpected turn of events leaves him scrambling for a plan B. Elsewhere, when the fallout of Damon's actions gains the unwanted attention of Mary Louise and Nora, Stefan and Caroline are forced to spend the night distracting the girls at Whitmore College's Heaven & Hell ball. Finally, after suspecting that she's up to something, Enzo sets off on a mission to find out what Valerie is hiding, while a plan set by Alaric and Bonnie leaves their worlds turned upside down.
|Live Through This||Writer: Rebecca Sonnenshine||Director: Kellie Cyrus||November 5, 2015||#7x05|
|After realizing the downward spiral he was on, Damon decides he's going to turn over a new leaf and that his actions moving forward will do right by Elena. Lily prepares for the arrival of a special figure from her past, while Enzo stands by not sure what to expect. Elsewhere, at Caroline's urging, Stefan comes face-to-face with Valerie and learns some upsetting details about her past, while Enzo and Bonnie find themselves at odds when they're forced to fend off a violent threat. Finally, when Bonnie learns some disturbing information involving the Phoenix stone, she is forced to confront Alaric.
|Best Served Cold||Writer: Caroline Dries||Director: Darren Genet||November 12, 2015||#7x06|
|After being reunited with her former love Julian, Lily hosts a dinner party to introduce him to Damon and Stefan and to declare peace between her family of Heretics and the residents of Mystic Falls. Damon and Stefan find themselves at an impasse when they realize they have differing views on how to handle Julian’s arrival. At the party, Bonnie and Matt uncover a strange mystery involving some unsuspecting residents, while a devastating revelation causes Alaric to reach his breaking point. Caroline and Enzo also appear.
|Mommie Dearest||Writer: James Stoteraux & Chad Fiveash||Director: Tony Solomons||November 19, 2015||#7x07|
|In order to get through to Lily about Julian's manipulating ways, Stefan and Damon confront their mother with painful memories from their childhood. However, when Lily reveals a dark secret she's been harboring for over 160 years, Stefan and Damon are left questioning everything they've ever known about their family. Determined to prove himself to Lily, Enzo comes face-to-face with Julian and challenges him to a duel, but an unexpected twist threatens to complicate things. Elsewhere, Matt finds himself in the middle of a deepening mystery involving the residents of Mystic Falls, and Caroline world is turned upside down when Valerie reveals some life-changing news to her.
|Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me||Writer: Brett Matthews||Director: Leslie Libman||December 3, 2015||#7x08|
|As Julian and Lily throw a party to celebrate Mary Louise and Nora's anniversary, Stefan and Damon set in motion a risky plan to eliminate a new threat posed by Julian. Meanwhile, following a major revelation uncovered by Valerie, Caroline is forced to face her new reality, even as it threatens to destroy her relationship with Stefan. Finally, determined to do what's best for her family, Lily makes the most difficult decision of her life.
|Cold as Ice||Writer: Brian Young||Director: Geoff Shotz||December 10, 2015||#7x09|
|With the holidays in full swing, a search for Julian leads Damon and Stefan to a small town outside of Mystic Falls. While managing a holiday toy drive at Whitmore College, Bonnie seeks help from Nora and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. Elsewhere, Caroline does her best to navigate her new life as a pregnant vampire, while Alaric grows concerned that the pregnancy is effecting her more than she's letting on. Finally, after finding himself at odds with Damon, Stefan is forced to take matters into his own hands, setting off a tragic chain of events that leaves their lives changed forever.
|Hell Is Other People||Writer: Holly Brix & Neil Reynolds||Director: Deb Chow||January 29, 2016||#7x10|
|After finding himself on the wrong end of Julian's plan to avenge Lily's death, Damon awakens to find himself trapped inside the Phoenix stone, tormented by a traumatic experience from his time in the Civil War and forced to face his darkest demon in order to get out. On the outside, Bonnie is in a race against the clock to get Damon out before the effects of the Phoenix stone take over and leave him changed forever.
|Things We Lost in the Fire||Writer: Melinda Hsu Taylor||Director: Paul Wesley||February 5, 2016||#7x11|
|With the traumatic effects of the Phoenix Stone taking a toll on his brother, Stefan attempts to help Damon regain his grip on reality, while secretly struggling with his own experience in the stone. Elsewhere, Matt and Bonnie deal with the fallout after Julian and his men take over Mystic Falls, leading Matt to spiral out of control and into trouble with an officer named Penny. Meanwhile, Tyler returns to town for Alaric's baby shower and Caroline makes an upsetting discovery involving Alaric and his future plan for the babies.
|Postcards from the Edge||Writer: Rebecca Sonnenshine||Director: Pascal Verschooris||February 12, 2016||#7x12|
|When his experience in the Phoenix stone leads him to do the unthinkable, Damon finds himself without a care in the world, spiraling out of control and under the influence of a dangerous and reckless Julian. Refusing to give up on his brother, Stefan attempts to reason with Damon only to uncover the devastating reason for his descent. Elsewhere, Caroline begins having some dangerous side effects as a result of her supernatural pregnancy and is forced to turn to Valerie for help. Meanwhile, Bonnie, Nora and Mary Louise attempt to track down a ruthless vampire hunter named Rayna after they suspect that she has reemerged.
|This Woman's Work||Writer: Chad Fiveash & James Stoteraux||Director: Garreth Stover||February 19, 2016||#7x13|
|When complications from her supernatural pregnancy leave Caroline's life hanging in the balance, Stefan and Valerie take extreme measures to try and save her and the babies. Meanwhile, after uncovering a dark secret about Damon, Enzo uses the information to force Damon into helping him track down Rayna Cruz, a ruthless vampire hunter who is on the loose. However, when Damon's actions inadvertently put everyone he loves in Rayna's path, he is forced to make things right before it’s too late.
|Moonlight on the Bayou||Writer: Caroline Dries & Brett Matthews||Director: Jeffrey Hunt||February 26, 2016||#7x14|
|In order to lure a vengeful vampire hunter named Rayna Cruz away from his friends in Mystic Falls, Stefan heads to New Orleans, where Valerie has learned of a safe house that can protect him. Once there, he comes face to face with Klaus Mikaelson, who soon becomes suspicious of his old friend's unexpected arrival in his city. Meanwhile, Enzo, who is working on behalf of a mysterious organization called The Armory, approaches Damon and Bonnie with a plan that could protect Stefan from Rayna. Finally, after learning that Alaric has decided to leave for Dallas with the twins immediately, Caroline offers to accompany them on the trip and finds herself contemplating her own future in Mystic Falls.
|I Would for You||Writer: Brian Young||Director: Michael Karasick||March 4, 2016||#7x15|
|While Stefan and Valerie search for a magical herb that can keep him hidden from Rayna, Damon comes up with his own plan to take her down for good. However, while at The Armory, Bonnie makes a shocking discovery about Rayna that brings Damon's plan to a screeching halt. Elsewhere, a conversation with Caroline leaves Stefan questioning their future together, while Matt decides it may be time to truly take a stand against the vampires of Mystic Falls. Finally, as the season's middle chapter draws to a close, Damon's desire to take himself out of the game ramps up as he races to complete unfinished business with Stefan and Bonnie.
|Days of Future Past||Writer: Melinda Hsu Taylor||Director: Ian Somerhalder||April 1, 2016||#7x16|
|In an attempt to make things right with his brother, Damon offers to have Stefan's scar magically transferred to him, only to discover that doing so may come with some unexpected consequences. With time running out and Rayna closing in on Stefan, Valerie desperately attempts to reason with Damon before it's too late. Elsewhere, after being framed for breaking Rayna out of The Armory, Enzo attempts to clear his name, but not before a violent run-in with Nora forces him to make an upsetting discovery. Matt also appears.
|I Went to the Woods||Writer: Julie Plec & Neil Reynolds (Story) Neil Reynolds (Teleplay)||Director: Julie Plec||April 8, 2016||#7x17|
|In the aftermath of his brother's fateful decision, Stefan awakens to find himself thrown into a life or death situation with only his basic instincts to rely on. With time working against him, he sets off on a journey of survival while forced to confront a lifetime of irreversible damage Damon has done to their relationship. Meanwhile, desperate to save his brother, Damon follows an unusual lead he has come across, while Matt sends Valerie to Dallas to enlist Alaric's help in the search for Stefan. Finally, when Rayna discovers the emergence of a new threat, she sets off on her own mission to find Stefan before the others do.
|One Way or Another||Writer: Penny Cox (Story) Rebecca Sonnenshine (Teleplay)||Director: Rashaad Ernesto Green||April 15, 2016||#7x18|
|Determined to capture an escaped vampire named Ambrose, who may be the key to getting Stefan back safely, Damon heads to Memphis with Alaric in tow. However, reluctant to step back into his former vampire hunting ways, Alaric makes his unwillingness to participate clear, while revealing the truth about the past three Damon-less years of his life. Meanwhile, in the psych ward, Bonnie meets a young woman named Virginia, who provides her with some valuable information about why The Armory may be after her. Finally, Enzo takes matters into his own hands when he learns some devastating news from Rayna.
|Somebody That I Used to Know||Writer: Matthew D'Ambrosio (Story) Holly Brix (Teleplay)||Director: Chris Grismer||April 22, 2016||#7x19|
|When Enzo's efforts to protect Bonnie end up putting her life in jeopardy, they learn that Rayna may hold the key to her survival. With time running out and Rayna at the reins, Enzo and Bonnie reluctantly team up with Damon, who is desperate to save Bonnie's life and to repair their broken friendship. Elsewhere, when Stefan travels to Dallas and comes face to face with Alaric, tensions escalate and they are forced to confront the fallout from Stefan's absence in Caroline's life. Finally, Enzo learns The Armory's true motives behind their search for Bonnie.
|Kill 'Em All||Writer: Chad Fiveash & James Stoteraux||Director: Kellie Cyrus||April 29, 2016||#7x20|
|With Bonnie's life at stake and an uphill battle ahead of them, Damon and Enzo lead the charge to save Bonnie before her condition worsens. Stefan reluctantly teams up with Matt for the sake of Bonnie and uncovers the truth behind Matt's anger towards him. Elsewhere, determined to help her best friend, Caroline joins Alaric on a mission and quickly realizes how much she's missed her former supernatural lifestyle. Finally, after their plan takes an unexpected turn, Damon makes a fateful decision that will forever change his relationship with Bonnie.
|Requiem for a Dream||Writer: Brett Matthews & Neil Reynolds||Director: Paul Wesley||May 6, 2016||#7x21|
|When Damon's risky attempt to save Bonnie takes an unexpected turn, the consequences of his actions forces everyone to band together to help her pull through. Meanwhile, when a new threat leaves Caroline's life in jeopardy, Stefan makes a rash decision that ultimately forces them to face the fallout from their relationship. Elsewhere, Enzo tries to hold it together as he painfully watch Bonnie in the fight of her life, while Matt takes matters into his own hands to save one of his closest friends. Alaric also appears.
|Gods and Monsters||Writer: Brian Young||Director: Michael A. Allowitz||May 13, 2016||#7x22|
|Despite their best efforts to help Bonnie through the harrowing predicament she now faces, Damon, Enzo and Caroline realize their options are running out and drastic measures need to be taken. With their only chance of saving their friend lying inside the Armory, Stefan breaks the news to Caroline that they may need help from an unlikely source – her and Alaric's twin daughters. Elsewhere, Enzo keeps Bonnie preoccupied by bringing her back to their cabin but when his plan takes an unexpected turn, it'll be up to Damon to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his closest friends. Matt also appears.
- The series was officially renewed on January 11, 2015 along with The Originals, Arrow, Supernatural, Reign, The 100, The Flash, Jane The Virgin. This was the networks earliest and largest renewal to date with renewing 8 whole shows at once early in the new year.
- Zach Roerig became the seventh cast member to appear in 100 episodes after Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, Candice Accola and Kat Graham.
- Zach Roerig hit the 100 episode mark in the 134th episode Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take.
- The Season 6 finale appears to jump into the future a few months. The show seems to have taken a sci-fi like turn, with a dystopian Mystic Falls.
- With Glenridge Hall Mansion demolished in April 2015 the Salvatore Boarding House won't appear as a shooting location this season but stock footage of the exterior was used for the first time in Kill'Em All but not in previous episodes this season.
- Caroline Dries said on August 13, 2015, in an interview with TV Guide that Elena will still be apart of the storylines even though Nina Dobrev has left the series saying even though Elena's in the ether. Also that Damon will not be ready for loving anytime soon even though he's back to his old drinking self and how does he honor Elena?
- Starting January 29, 2016, The Salvatore brothers and the First Family of vampires head to Friday nights to kick off the weekend with two hours of high-stakes drama, with THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (8:00-9:00pm ET/PT) followed by THE ORIGINALS (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT).
- Renewal of The Vampire Diaries for the 2016-2017 season was announced on March 11, 2016, by The CW's President, Mark Pedowitz.
It starts in August 2013, 2 months after the sixth season finale and it follows the story (via flashforwards) up to July 2017. (almost 4 years)