Deadline caught up with Vampire Diaries co-creator Julie Plec today at TCA to get the details on what’s to come next season with Nina Dobrev not returning.

“In terms of the show focusing on a single character, we are going to shift from that” said Plec adding “we finally have an opportunity to show off the ensemble and make them feel more like the stars of their own show”

She also divulged the three new characters that were teased about at this year’s comic con. “The heretics, we call them… the three girls are Nora, Mary Louise and Valeria, and they are all amongst Lily’s little coven of family who she was stuck in the prison world with. She describes them as magnificent, fierce, and wildly nasty. One of the interesting sub-plots involve Mary Louise and Nora who, coming from the 19th and 20th century, have not been able to openly express their love for each other. After missing out on the sexual revolution era, the two ladies are introduced to a more expecting time where they don’t have to hide their affection.

When asked what excites her about next season, other then the heretics, Plec reveals “there’s a real curveball coming in our story about seven episodes in that none of us expected to do… it’s different than anything that we’ve done. Also, we’re playing with time in a way that we don’t usually do, which is adding to the fun of the narratives … some flashbacks, a few flash forwards… there’s some fun to be had.”

Season 7 of The Vampire Diaries returns October 8.