WARNING: This article contains spoilers from the Season 1 finale of Vampire Academy.The final episode of Vampire Academy season 1 has finally dropped on Peacock, leaving even fans of the book series unsure of what’s next. Not only has Tatiana managed to take the crown following the queen’s death, but she’s painted Lissa as the prime suspect in her murder. With Lissa’s safety the top priority, Rose is forced to leave Dimitri and Mason behind to help her best friend flee the Dominion.
Based on the book series by Richelle Mead, the show is produced by Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre. The two have worked together on multiple projects in the vampire genre. Plec served as an EP for The Vampire Diaries, while MacIntyre played Sheriff Forbes, the mother of Caroline Forbes, during the first six seasons. The main cast of Vampire Academy includes Sisi Stringer, Daniela Nieves, Kieron Moore, André Dae Kim, J. August Richards, Anita-Joy Uwajeh, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Rhian Blundell, Jonetta Kaiser, and Andrew Liner.
Screen Rant chats exclusively with executive producers Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre about that giant plot twist, what’s next for Rose and Dimitri, and the decision to introduce Adrian Ivashkov in the first season of Vampire Academy.
Julie Plec & Marguerite MacIntyre Talk Vampire Academy
Screen Rant: Let’s talk about Tatiana first. She is way worse than we thought. She’s managed to take the crown, she might be responsible for the queen’s death, and now she’s trying to pin it all on Lissa. Where do we go from here?
Julie Plec: We had a lot of fun with Tatiana this season when we committed to this idea that in Season 1, she was just going to be a straight up badass villain. Juicy, delicious, smart, backstabby—all those great things. And we planted just enough Easter eggs about her. Her saying she won’t be queen for long, her saying she’s doing it for love, her saying that there is somebody in the trials that she wish she could have seen in her reverie.
Just enough to hint that there’s a bigger story to what’s driving her than just being a bada*s b*tch. And so Season 2 is going to be about peeling all the layers of that back and really exposing what she wants, what her point of view is, who she is, what her history is, and how to answer all these questions in the Easter eggs that we already dropped.
And then there’s the fact that Andre is alive.
Marguerite MacIntyre: Yeah, just a little something there. Just a little something there for you.
He’s been alive this whole time! He finally reunites with Lissa, and then he’s attacked. It was brutal. It was heartbreaking. How is Lissa going to handle this moving forward?
Julie Plec: I mean, this poor girl has just been hit on every side of her body with grief and loss. But she, at the end, got to be emotionally reunited and physically reunited with Rose. And now, at least as they embark on this crazy adventure into the unknown, she’s got her best friend by her side. So I’m excited to see what these two girls get up to together.
Marguerite MacIntyre: Yeah, that was kind of the big win because of so many things in [episode] ten. It would be brutal not to have there be that bit of light. The other thing too is her goodbye with Christian feels filled with love and hope and possibility. It’s just not for right now. So that feels very still alive and consistent. So there are people who will help her through whatever this process going forward will be.
Well, that last shot of Andre—he’s Strigoi now, correct?
Julie Plec: Oh, yeah.
I’m guessing that is going to play a role in the second season.
Julie Plec: We spent the whole season surprising the Dhampir and the other Moroi with the level to which the Strigoi seem to be evolving, and working together for the first time when they were ordinarily very siloized creatures who didn’t really plan and have strategies. And so what could the Strigoi become under the leadership of someone like Andre? And that’s the central question of what we’ll try to build the season around.
Marguerite MacIntyre: And that happened because, in the beginning, when we were breaking it and realizing we wanted to tell the story before the girls ran off to the human world, instead of starting there. That family was fascinating and Andre being the heir apparent was fascinating. And what about this charismatic brother of hers that made her just be the sister who didn’t have any responsibility because this guy was so smart about politics?
By winning, the guy could unite the kingdom. And it felt sad to lose that really amazing charismatic character. And then we were like, « Wait a minute. » In the books, they say when you become Strigoi, you become more of who you are on a certain level. Well, he’s a leader, and now he’s a Strigoi. So, that’s going to be a really interesting path.
What about Mason? Is he okay? He’s this great, love-sick guy who would do anything for Rose, but he’s had a tough time. He was injured last we saw, so what does next season look like for him?
Julie Plec: Well, you know, first he’s got to survive.
That is an important part!
Julie Plec: If he survives, I would really like to see the kind of person that Mason could fall for outside of his attachment to Rose Hathaway. And I don’t know who she would be—I don’t know who they would be, you know? I don’t know if he can even open his heart to somebody else. But he’s such a good guy and a pure soul, and you want him to be happy. I just am not totally seeing a path to happiness for him and Rose. So I want to see him recover from that and move on.
I love the way that you adapted Mason. It’s been about a decade since I read the books, but I don’t remember him necessarily standing out. In the show, I fell in love with him immediately.
Marguerite MacIntyre: Yeah, we loved him, too. It was very exciting because—and we’ve talked about this before, too—but in the pilot, that scene at the end with Rose, Mason doesn’t want to make out. He doesn’t want to hook up,;he wants to be her friend. And that’s a good guy. He doesn’t just like her and want to hook up with her, he wants to love her and be there for her.
And despite how wonderfully that scene went, it was eminently cuttable on a certain level. But we couldn’t cut it because it was so good and really created that triangle. That was the scene for me that made me go, « Okay, this is a legit triangle. » It’s always going to be weighted towards Dimitri, but when you actually see that, ideologically, Rose is much closer to Mason than she is to Dimitri. They’re much more alike. So, it made it interesting—that fuller characterization of Mason.
Speaking of romance and triangles, we did meet Adrian this season. We know, from the books, there is a triangle there as well. Rose and Dimitri had to part ways even though they’re clearly in love with each other, so what is this whole dynamic going to look like in Season 2?
Julie Plec: That is a good question. I do know that as these girls are out running around gallivanting through the human world, that Adrian Ivashkov has this way of moving from place to place. He’s got no ties to anyone or anywhere. We would certainly be very happy to see him again, in that scenario, if we could.
Did you always want to bring him in early on?
Marguerite MacIntyre: I can’t remember. Did we? He was always fascinating as a character. I mean, he was always in our heads, certainly from reading the books you’re like, « Adrian is an amazing character. » But I can’t actually remember when he became inevitable.
Julie Plec: Yeah, I think we really just wanted to give the audience a little bit of a gift. Like a little taste of Adrian.
Marguerite MacIntyre: Oh, it was the art stuff. When all the art stuff really, really coalesced. I think it must have been around four and five that we were like, « Oh, wait a minute—this combination of this story and Adrian, » because we wanted to bring him in in a deeper way. I think it was right around then when we were breaking four, maybe.
I wasn’t expecting him to come in, so I was super excited. I actually did a double-take. Now, what’s next for all these relationships since everyone’s separated? Obviously Rose and Dimitri can’t be together right now. Neither can Lissa and Christian. Is the romance taking a break for a while?
Julie Plec: A little bit. But that’s part of the fun. Right now, the girls are on the run and Dimitri and Christian are coupled up back at St. Vlad’s trying to fight for the powers of good. So there’ll be a lot of great story to tell outside of the romance in the beginning of next season. Then we’ll have to see how long it takes us to start bringing them back together.
Rose also had a goodbye with her mom, who saved her life. Their relationship is rocky, but they had that nice moment at the end. Not that it makes up for how Rose has felt about her whole life, but could that relationship grow?
Julie Plec: Well, they’re not going to be immediate besties.
Marguerite MacIntyre: I think the difference is Rose only saw her mom through the eyes of the child. And now Rose sees her mom as a person who is victimized by this system as much as she is, and recognizes her mom’s horrible choices that she was left with. So it’s one thing to say, « Well, you just left me, » and it’s another thing to say, « Your choices were horrible, and they were foisted on you, and you didn’t really have a lot to say about it. » Right?
I think she just understands her mom a lot more and understands that her mom cares about her. She knew her mother would berate her, would talk to her, and sort of chastise her. But I don’t think she really understood the love her mom had for her, and all that chastising was about that—was protective. And I think she has a context for that now. So it’s the beginning, I think, of a really genuine relationship between them where Rose can see from more than just the wounded kid stance. I think she admires her mom a lot and can now actually admit that.
Lastly, we have Lissa and Rose against the world, as you said. They’re going out on their own, but it’s still not safe. They said it themselves—the Strigoi can get them anywhere. What kind of challenges do you have in mind for them?
Marguerite MacIntyre: All of them [laughs].
Julie Plec: I’m excited about that storyline.
Marguerite MacIntyre: Me too! They’re gonna want to have their fun—look how they were in the club. Julie’s like, « I love a fish out of water story, » which we all do. And so a fish out of water story where it can suddenly turn life and death is also interesting. We introduced the Alchemists, so it’s not just Strigoi. So you know, they gotta kind of keep their wits about them to safely navigate this world. But there’s a lot of fun to be had, and I think because they’ve been so starved of that, it’s going to be an interesting thing.
You mentioned the Alchemists…does that possibly mean Sydney [Sage]?
Julie Plec: She’s in the narrative, right? Fully embedded in the narrative. It’s a question of when to bring her in, I think. And that is an answer that we don’t have yet.
About Vampire Academy
From executive producer Julie Plec comes a story of romance, friendship, death, sex, and scandal. Vampire Academy is based on a series of young adult paranormal romance novels by international bestselling author Richelle Mead. In a world of privilege and glamour, two young women’s friendship transcends their strikingly different classes as they prepare to complete their education and enter royal vampire society. This serialized and sexy drama combines the elegance of aristocratic romance and the supernatural thrills of the vampire genre.
Check out our other interview with Julie Plec & Marguerite McIntyre as well as our interviews with the rest of the Vampire Academy Cast:
Daniela Nieves & Sisi Stringer Kieron Moore, André Dae Kim, & Andrew Liner Anita-Joy Uwajeh, Rhian Blundell, & Mia Mckenna-Bruce J. August Richards & Jonetta Kaiser Cast At SDCC
All ten episodes of Vampire Academy Season 1 are currently available to stream on Peacock.