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Season 7 of "The Vampire Diaries" will be the first without Nina Dobrev's Elena Gilbert, and it will focus on how each of her friends are moving on after the events of the season 6 finale.

The previous season ended with Kai casting a sleeping spell on Elena and binding her life with Bonnie's in such a way that Elena will remain asleep as long as Bonnie was alive.

This means that Ian Somerhalder's Damon will be without his ladylove for the next 70 years or so. However, this will give him some time to bond with Bonnie, with whom he formed a beautiful friendship in the first half of season 6.

And this relationship will continue to thrive in season 7 as well, something Somerhalder is thrilled about. "The beginning of Season 6 for Bonnie and Damon was the best stuff ever," Somerhalder said during San Diego Comic-Con. "It was fun and very dynamic. It's an amazing recipe for a lot of cool drama."

However, fans looking for a romance between the two might be in for some disappointment. Because Elena is Damon's true love and as she is not technically dead, it doesn't seem likely that show executives will thrust him with yet another girl.

Elena's absence will see Damon going back to what he was in the first season of The CW vampire drama.

"It's, 'Who am I without this girl right by my side?'" executive producer Julie Plec said. "'She's my center, the one who grounds me.' The lines are going to get a little crooked. We're going to see a lot of naughty Damon trying not to be naughty."

The season will also see the writers digging a bit deeper into who Damon Salvatore really is.

"Who is Damon Salvatore when he's not pining after this girl? What does Damon do in his spare time? It's fun for the writers to dig a little deeper into the character and [see] what makes him tick," executive producer Caroline Dries said.

"The Vampire Diaries" returns to The CW in October.

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