Ian Somerhalder as Damon in The Vampire Diaries 711

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Spoilers: Damon May Have Escaped Hell, But He Is A ‘Changed Person’

Damon spent nearly all of the latest Vampire Diaries Season 7 episode, “Hell Is Other People,” trapped in his own personal hell, thanks to a certain sword and stone, and his actions once he was free confirm what is really pretty obvious about a situation like that: it’s not something someone can just get over so fast.

In the first Friday episode of The Vampire Diaries, Damon relived a day in 1863 when he was a soldier in the Civil War, willing to do anything to get home to his brother after receiving a letter from a disheartened Stefan. His colonel tasked him with rounding up deserters, and when he and fellow soldier Henry went to do so, the three women hiding them ended up dead.

Ian Somerhalder as Damon in the Vampire Diaries midseason premiere
Damon trapped in his own personal hell in the Vampire Diaries Season 7. [Image via the CW]
In his personal hell, it was like Groundhog’s Day for Damon, living that day (and thoughts of escaping it) over and over, trying to change it and failing every time. With Stefan, having been pulled out of his hell, informing the others that he had to submit to the kind of suffering that breaks a person, they knew that it wasn’t going to be so easy with Damon because he’s the kind of person who would do anything to avoid that kind of pain. It was only once Damon admitted that he wanted to see his mother that day, admitted that he wanted to make things right, that he woke up – really. However, since it was a scenario he’d seen before, he lashed out at Bonnie, Stefan, Caroline, and Matt, only to find that he was still there when he was done.

Now, obviously they’re not dead (and not just because the Vampire Diaries flash-forwards have included Stefan, Caroline, and Bonnie), but what comes next? As the trailer the CW released for the next episode, “Things We Lost in the Fire,” shows, they’re going to be very careful about Damon, meaning they’re chaining him up. “Post-hell is much worse” than hell, Stefan informs his brother. While Damon may try to say he’s okay, he’s clearly not – and he’s not the only Salvatore who’s going to be dealing with some stuff, no matter how much Stefan may want to deny it.

According to Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Caroline Dries has teased that the time spent in the Phoenix stone hell can have quite the effect on a person.

“It’s teeing up that even though Damon has escaped hell, so to speak, emotionally and psychologically when you exit that Phoenix Stone, you’re a changed person and the decisions that you make as a result of that don’t necessarily reflect the decisions you would’ve made before you go in there. … It’s sort of like Damon’s hell on earth now, moving forward.”

The promo teases some of that — as well as what Stefan went through in a way, which, TVLine has revealed, won’t be shown on screen like Damon’s was in the Vampire Diaries midseason premiere. “Stefan has survived it and learned some lessons from it, but can Stefan warn Damon in time of what it means to actually get out of there?” Dries explained of what will be seen when it comes to him post-hell.

While Matt may not be dead in the present, there is still the fact that he has yet to be seen in the flashforwards to be worried about — and according to EW, Dries has shared that “soon enough, we’ll start to understand why that is.” He is still human, and considering everything he’s been mixed up in over the years, not seeing him has raised alarm bells — and that tease from the executive producer isn’t helping to assuage any of that.

Scarlett Byrne and Kat Graham in The Vampire Diaries season 7
What are Nora and Bonnie up to moving forward? [Image via the CW]
Also coming up as The Vampire Diaries Season 7 continues is Bonnie using the “fissure” that has developed between Nora and Mary Louise, with their breakup following them choosing sides between Julian and Lily, for her own personal gain — and they will “become interested in the same thing.”

The Vampire Diaries Season 7 airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

[Image via the CW]

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