Julie Plec Reveals The One Vampire Academy Moment That Won't Be In The Show - Exclusive

It's always difficult for die-hard fans of books to accept the changes made from the page to the screen — but modifications can often enhance the story in ways that are difficult to accomplish in written form. "Vampire Academy" writer Richelle Mead offered genre fans a rich and nuanced world to get lost in as she told the story of a classist society of vampires known as the Moroi, who often treat their Dhampir guardians as expendable props. Between the soulless Strigoi and the sometimes equally soulless royal Moroi, the series adds a level of depth often missing from vampire sagas. Sure, there's romance, but at the heart of this tale are two best friends: Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir. Their bond extends far beyond the surface and seeps into their spirits — literally.


Now, "The Vampire Diaries" staples Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre have adapted the "Vampire Academy" books into a Peacock TV series. But with around ten hours of story to tell, following the trajectory of a single book without adding anything new would be rather boring and slow-paced for hardcore fans. Instead, the showrunners changed a few characterizations to dive deeper into backstories that are teased but not fully fleshed out in the books. Through the changes, the story still feels true to Mead's vision, but fans need to give it a chance for the show to thrive.

During an exclusive interview with The List, Plec explained some of the show's most significant changes from the books and why she felt they were necessary. She also revealed the fan-favorite scene that got the axe.


Altered but authentic

Addressing some of the changes with characterizations, families, and accents, Julie Plec said, "In a nutshell, we wanted to cast whoever was best for the part and not have to deal with dialect coaching and all those things. Some Australians are really good at American accents, and some are not. I didn't even want to know. I wanted people to be their most pure, authentic selves."


It may be difficult for fans to grapple with at first, but you get used to it quickly. "I wanted to make sure there was really great representation in this show in a way that the book, the last names of everyone in the book didn't necessarily indicate much outside the area and universe. To the point of a Sonya Karp or even Liz's family, when you read the first book of the series, there [is] so much incredible rich backstory," Plec added. "There's so much that happened to these characters in the past that we never got to see. We thought, 'Gosh, not only did we have six books to work with, but we have an entire mythology of the past that we could use as story.'"

Lust spell begone

With hours of storytelling to fill, why box themselves in when there's such a vibrant world at their fingertips? Julie Plec took this expansive approach to the universe's content, saying, "Let's use it. Let's tell the story." But given that the books came out in 2007, one particular scene didn't age well.


"It's about taking all the tools in the toolbox and then deciding what order you want to use them in and we can assure fans of the books that if you love something in the books, odds are good you will see it in the series — maybe not in the right order, except for the lust spell, my apologies," Plec added. "That was one of the casualties of updating these books into today's time — that and Rose's age, the age of consent, and all those things. Otherwise, we tried to honor the source material while also having fun, adding details of our own."

The first four episodes of "Vampire Academy" are now streaming on Peacock, with subsequent episodes releasing Thursdays.