Now that she understands the Stefan she knows is gone, Elena will allow the romantic tension with Damon to come out and play.
Elena may open her heart for Damon when "The Vampire Diaries" returns with the remainders of season 3. In a recent interview with TV Guide, executive producer Julie Plec said that after learning the Stefan she knows is gone forever, Elena would realize "that ultimately it's time for her to move on with her life and not hold onto a ghost of her past."
"Now that Stefan is out of the picture, in her mind there's a way to free herself up and allow that tension [with Damon] to come out and play," Plec further dished on Elena and Damon's relationship. "The question of 'Does Elena love Damon [and] has she been fully falling for him all along?' is going to be very much a part of the season."
Stefan himself may eventually explain the motives behind his recent actions, which made Elena and Damon think he has betrayed them, but it won't solve the problems. "Stefan is definitely acting from a place of aggressive and not completely rational spite [towards Klaus]," Plec shared. "That is going to be a big issue for Elena [and she'll say], 'You could've handled this differently, you can be different, you could feel differently and is winning this war more important than the people you have to hurt along the way?' "
Thus, Elena and Damon will continue to lean on each other, but the older Salvatore will be back to "acting out, day-drinking, pouting and being generally curmudgeonly." In the meantime, their enemy Klaus is getting "madder and madder and more violent and more evil."
After so many life-threatening events, Elena will start learning that she sometimes needs to be violent. "Elena realizes that in order to survive and in order to protect the people she loves the most, sometimes she has to behave more like Katherine than Elena, and sometimes a dark choice needs to be made, a violent act needs to be enacted and it's troubling for her," Plec said. "She's clearly not the girl-next-door do-gooder, she never has been."
"Vampire Diaries" will return with new episodes starting Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 8/7c on The CW.