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12 Vampire Diaries questions after that big cliffhanger

How will Vampire Diaries' Damon handle life back in the real world?

The Vampire Diaries is back, and the show didn't waste any time leaving us all itching for more.

Damon (Ian Somerhalder) has officially returned to the land of the living. Well, sort of, since he promptly woke up and seemingly slaughtered all of his friends. Uh...

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Here are the pressing questions we have, along with some much-needed answers thanks to Vampire Diaries' executive producer Caroline Dries, who chatted with us about the episode and what's to come this season.

1. Obviously, everyone in the show doesn't get killed by Damon, otherwise there would be no show. So how do they all survive?

Will Damon be able to feed them his blood in time? Or will the stone offer some kind of magical loophole?

2. Is Damon even out of the Phoenix stone yet? Or was that wake-up scene just one big ploy all over again?

It could be that the stone was again just trying to punish him by making him think he really did slaughter his friends. Of course, I think it's safe to say that Damon has actually made it out of the stone because, as much as I enjoyed this episode, I don't think I want to relive that Civil War day again. Ever.

Dries also confirmed it by explaining that "even though Damon has escaped Hell, so to speak, figuratively he's left, emotionally and psychologically when you exit the Phoenix stone, you're a changed person."

3. What happened in the three months Damon was in the stone?

Obviously, the show had to keep up with Candice Accola's very real pregnancy so it's safe to assume that there will be a few months' time gap when Damon wakes up.

4. How long has Stefan been awake?

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5. What did Stefan see while he was in the stone?

Stefan obviously had his own journey with the stone that we didn't see. Dries explained, "Stefan's been through that. And we're trying to create a little bit of intrigue of like, now Stefan has survived it and Stefan's learned some lessons from it, but can Stefan warn Damon in time about what it means to actually get out of there?"

6. Are Stefan and Caroline still together?

7. How will Damon handle his grief?

Suffice it to say, not well. Dries described the show moving forward as "Damon's Hell on Earth now moving forward."

8. Are Bonnie and Enzo together yet?

Not yet. Thankfully Dries understands that we need a little more banter between these two before we, the audience, can accept them as a couple in the present time.

9. Where is Julian?

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10. What have the heretics been up to after Lily's death?

"It will be pretty interesting the way the chips kind of fall with the heretics because Lily's death basically dropped a bomb in the heretic family, and they all kind of dispersed into their own lifestyles," Dries said. "Nora has always wanted to see what else is out there and Mary Louise is a little intimidated of the new world and wants to stay home and live their traditional life. So there's a mini fissure that's happening with those girls that will eventually be a little bit exploited by Bonnie."

11. What's up with the flash forwards?

"We'll start to get a look at the force that's after Stefan," Dries promised. She did confirm that the character is a girl and they call her The Hunter.

Does that mean she's a hunter like Jeremy?

Dries added, "We'll slowly start to piece together this mythology that we've created with the sword and the stone and why that's the spine of this season."

12. Where's Matt?

"There's a character that we haven't seen yet in the flash forwards: Matt Donovan," Dries teased. "And we'll start to understand why we haven't seen him yet and what's going on with him in three years in the future."

What pressing questions would you add to the list?

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