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'The Vampire Diaries' to Return With Elena's Birthday

July 11, 2011 (7:57 am) GMT
'There will be a small time jump' from last season's ultimate episode as the third season opens with Elena's 18th birthday.

Elena Gilbert is one year older when "" returns for a third season this fall. Executive producer Julie Plec has revealed that the major female character will turn 18 during the premiere of the new chapter, saying "Our first episode is Elena's 18th birthday."

"There will be a small time jump [from where last season ended] as we celebrate Elena's birthday," Plec told TV Guide. "But as is the pattern in Mystic Falls, the event never reaches its climax." Sharing how Elena's birthday will bring impact to her life, Plec added, "Elena and Jeremy technically don't need a parent living in their house [following Aunt Jenna's death]. She will be taking care of herself."

Spilling another detail from the upcoming season, Plec said, "Over the course of the season, Elena will be struggling with a deep, deep attraction toward Damon. That's going to be a big problem for her." Still, she insisted that she would never exploit her actors' personal lives, possibly referring to and 's off-screen romance.

Hinting at a new character who will bring more troubles to Elena, Plec revealed that the new season will feature Rebecca, a yet-to-be-cast vampire from Stefan's "darkest ripper days who loves that Stefan's back to his bad behavior."

Season 3 of "The Vampire Diaries" will start airing Thursday, September 15 on The CW. The stars namely Nina Dobrev, , Ian Somerhalder, and are set to attend a panel for the show at San Diego Comic Con on Saturday, July 23.

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