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'The Vampire Diaries': Remembering the dead with executive producer Julie Plec

March 24, 2011 |  4:35 pm

vampire diaries dead characters Not counting TV's crime procedurals, it's hard to think of a show that kills characters as frequently as The CW's “The Vampire Diaries.” Death is a constant part of life in Mystic Falls, a town full of vampires, werewolves and witches. It's woven into the very fabric the show. Many of the main characters are undead themselves and even the human heroine begins the series struggling with the death of her parents.

“In a show where you have people dealing with mortality and immortality and humanity, death is always going to be hanging over everyone’s heads,” executive producer Julie Plec tells Show Tracker.

Click on the photo (above) to see a gallery of deceased "Vampire Diaries" characters and read Plec's thoughts.

That constant dark cloud over Mystic Falls means no one is safe forever, not even the show's main trio of Elena (Nina Dobrev), Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). “I think that there are people who are safe for quite a long time,” Plec says. “But the rule always applies. Anything can happen at any time, and not everybody’s going to like it, and not everyone’s going to be happy about it.” While Elena, Stefan and Damon are probably not going anywhere soon, it does seem likely there will be more casualties when the series returns April 7. “I think we’ve got about 20  characters working at this point. Yes, there will be a percentage of them that will not make it to season three.”

But before the show says goodbye to another face, we asked Plec to take a stroll down memory lane and remember those who have already passed for a photo gallery. From poor Uncle Zach (Chris William Martin) to the powerful Elijah (Daniel Gillies), there are plenty of fallen characters in Mystic Falls. In fact, there's so many, some didn't make the cut for our gallery. Sorry, Logan (Chris Johnson), Bree (Gina Torres), Sarah (Maiara Walsh), Aimee (Tiya Sircar), Luka (Bryton James), Dr. Martin (Randy J. Goodwin) and Mystic Falls' many unnamed high school students and custodial workers with the unfortunate luck of being on school property at the wrong time. You may have missed the cut, but there are some people in Atlanta, where the show shoots, who remember your death.

“The A.D. of each episode has the head shots of every single actor that’s been killed in the episodes that they’ve assisted directed,” Plec shares. “They have a competition between the two of them to see who has more faces on the death wall. So right now, the A.D.’s office, which they share in our production office, is covered in about probably -– I don’t know, I’d have to do the math –-  but like dozens and dozens of head shots of the dearly departed.” And certain episodes are particularly fortuitous for the competition. “Whenever we have, like, the Founder’s Day episodes or the vampire house episode or the wolf battle, one of the ADs is always excited because they get to, like, add nine or 10 people in a single episode, which is great.”

And of course, death is not the end on “The Vampire Diaries.” There are flashbacks to return for like Trevor (Trent Ford) will later this season. And in the case of Elijah, all the writers have to do is take out the dagger to bring the character back to life, but with that comes a very interesting conceit. “Something that we’ll explore in the future once we get into Klaus and the world of the Originals and future seasons is that’s true immortality,” teases Plec. “How lonely must that be?”

'The Vampire Diaries': Executive producer Julie Plec teases a return, Klaus' debut
Complete "The Vampire Diaries" coverage on Show Tracker

-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)

Photo: Elena (Nina Dobrev) looks on at a dead Vicki (Kayla Ewell). Credit: Quantrell Colbert / The CW