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.
It’s Thanksgiving in Mystic Falls, and what would Thanksgiving on The Vampire Diaries be without pie, family drama, murderous intentions, and magical babies? “Mommie Dearest” was written by Chad Fiveash & James Stoteraux, a writing team I first got the pleasure of working with on Kyle XY. Director Tony Solomons is also our editor/co-producer and this is his TVD directorial debut.
It seems like the most important topic of Thanksgiving Dinner conversation is the Caroline Forbes mystical pregnancy bombshell. A little backstory on how this came to pass: In trying to figure out how to put Alaric on a good path for season 7, we felt so terrible about having slaughtered not just his wife but also his twins that we started asking ourselves if perhaps that Gemini spell that the coven chanted at Kai before he died was a way to protect the babies to ensure they’d be born. That led us to a pitch where we thought a stranger would knock on his door one day and reveal she’s carrying his children as a result of said Gemini spell. In the meantime, we cooked up the story where Valerie tells Stefan he could have been a father. With fatherhood and babies on the brain, we were enjoying the thematic symmetry of these stories when all of the sudden we got a phone call from Candice King telling us she was three months pregnant.
This was two weeks before we shot episode one. We had already broken the first chapter of the season. Nina [Dobrev] was gone and Caroline and Bonnie were meant to take center stage as the show’s central heroines, and suddenly we were faced with potentially having to shoot Candice behind purses, shopping bags, kitchen counters and eventually have to write her out of the show for at least six episodes so she could give birth. We couldn’t make her pregnant, because everyone knows vampires can’t get pregnant. As we stared at each other, wondering what to do, we had a collective realization that we could make Caroline the “stranger” who became the surrogate to the future of the Gemini Coven. It was a story already on the table. It fit perfectly to have Caroline become a mother just as Stefan comes to terms with never being a father. The pieces all fit. It went from a serious problem to a serendipitous opportunity.
I called my bosses at the studio and the network, telling them that I had potentially the most ridiculous crazy-bananas way to write in Candice’s pregnancy. The response was, “Julie, we’ve heard crazy-bananas out of you before. This isn’t as crazy as you think it is.” So we went for it, full throttle. And now we’re 15 scripts into the season in our writers’ room and it’s working like a charm. And before the trolls go to town, I suggest you just go with it. It’s a deeply emotional ride.
The Lego Diaries:
Speaking of children, Chad and James are both fathers (James has twins!), and every time they write an episode of TVD, they do a Lego Live-Tweet. Enjoy…
“Urgent message for Stefan Salvatore…”
“Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.”
Related video: Paul Wesley plays Who Said It: Stefan or a Disney Character?