"The Vampire Diaries" Season 7 just started filming this past week, but executive producer Julie Plec shared some good news during the TVD's Comic-Con panel Sunday, July 12 in San Diego.

For one thing, Julie addressed the idea of Season 7 marking the series finale. "I do not foresee the show ending after next season," she said. "I think that we have more story to tell and I think that we've built this gorgeous family that I'm not quite ready to split up yet." Nice! Speaking of that family, a few members will be added (and, as you know, Nina Dobrev was subtracted). As Julie told the SDCC audience: "There are some really great new characters. Three women especially. Valerie, who we just cast this weekend ... then a new couple, Nora and Mary-Louise, who have been together for 120 years, I think."‚Äč

TVLine dropped some hints on these new characters last month, noting that we'll be meeting TVD's first same-sex couple. As they teased:

First up are Nora and Mary Louise, a dangerous duo of down-low lovers with murderous tendencies. The vampires, both turned in their mid-20s, have kept their relationship a secret for more than a century, and although their connection is clear to those able to infiltrate their inner circle, Mary Louise's constant doting can sometimes feel a bit smothery for fiery Nora's liking. Still, anyone foolish enough to cross either of them will feel both their wraths.

In addition to the aforementioned twosome, we'll also be meeting Valerie, another 20-something vampire who relies on her dry sense of humor to counter a life of pain and dismissal. She'll encounter someone who helps her remember the happier, free spirit she once was — and she'll do whatever it takes to keep him in her life."

Are you excited to see the new and core cast in action this fall?

"The Vampire Diaries" Season 7 premieres Thursday, October 8 on The CW. Additional reporting by Jessica Wedemeyer.

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