From Day 1, The Vampire Diaries declared itself as a TV show that wasn’t afraid to kill off major characters, make bold storytelling decisions, and potentially upset fans in the process. In its first three seasons, the supernatural series was unwavering in its dedication to death — RIP Vicki Donovan (Kayla Ewell), Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning), and Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis) — but subsequent seasons have seen the show backtrack by resurrecting countless characters from seemingly fatal situations.
And that’s something that isn’t sitting well with stars Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev.
Wesley’s immortal character — vampire Stefan Salvatore — recently had his heart ripped out (one of the only ways for a vampire to truly die on the show), but when asked if he feared the reaper had finally come for Stefan, Wesley replied, “I’m kind of numb to these things, to be honest with you. I’ve had so many things happen to me that it’s a little comical. So, yeah, no big deal.”
That’s why he’s hoping the writers start to inject a sense of permanence to the show’s revolving cycle of life, death, and rebirth. “I want them to start killing people,” Wesley told BuzzFeed on the red carpet before The CW’s upfront presentation in New York City on Thursday, the day of the show’s Season 5 finale. “It kind of drives me insane that they don’t. You can’t keep killing characters and bringing them back while using death as a catalyst for us caring about the episode. Death has to the be ultimate fear on our show, so when Stefan is trying to rescue Elena, we’re genuinely terrified she might die. Otherwise, what’s the point?”
And Dobrev, who plays Elena Gilbert, concurred. “In the beginning, the shock value of killing Vicki in the first few episodes made us stand out,” Dobrev told BuzzFeed. “As soon as you start bringing people back, you kinda lose that. I mean, it’s great for me, personally, because I get to hang out with my friends, but from a story standpoint, now you don’t care or believe when someone dies because you’ve seen how easily they can come back. The witches can always fix it, somehow. It’s been six years, so I think it would be good to go down the list and cross them off.”
Those are easy sentiments to express when you’re one of the stars of the show, but Wesley and Dobrev insist they’re happy to sacrifice those seemingly secure paychecks in order for the show to tell the best story possible.
“Obviously, if they killed me, I would be disappointed. But people need to die. End of story,” Wesley said.