When executive producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec decided that they were finally ready for bad-boy Damon to share a legitimate kiss with Elena — after more than two years of build up — they knew it would have to satisfy two avid fanbases: those who wanted to see Elena get with Damon, and those who were still holding out hope for her to work things out with soul mate, Stefan.
“It’s one of those things that you want to be able to defend,” Williamson explains to EW. “But even more importantly, you’d rather not defend it. You want it to feel real and right and natural by all the audience.” Satisfying the “shippers” (a term used to identify fans who root for fictional characters to have relationships), is a challenge both Williamson and Plec have faced each time they’ve tried to advance the triangle. Asks Plec: “How can we service this moment between our characters that we really want, a Damon and Elena kiss, without getting the Stefan/Elena side of the fandom to give up hope and give up on us? And vice versa, when we want Stefan and Elena to have a moment together, how can we do that and not have our Delena fans outraged?”
For more on the shipper phenomenon and The Vampire Diaries — including what’s coming up next for the love triangle and the other residents of Mystic Falls — pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Feb. 10.