Vampire Academy Showrunners on Putting "Everything" In the Season 1 Finale (Exclusive)

Peacock's Vampire Academy wrapped up its first season this week, picking up from last week's penultimate episode with a shocking attack by the strigoi on St. Vladmir's and a stunning reveal of the mastermind behind all of it. But as the season finale showed, those stunners were just the tip of the iceberg in an action-packed episode that started off hard and did not let up. With everything that went down in "Ascension", it felt like everything was put on the table and according to series showrunners Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre, they packed in everything they wanted to for that intense final episode, leaving things in a prime place for a second season.

Warning: spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Vampire Academy beyond this point.

As the penultimate episode revealed, Tatiana Vogel (Anita-Joy Uwajeh) has been the mastermind about pretty much all of the events of the season. She is the force behind the increased strigoi attacks as well as the death of the Dragomir family, though it's revealed that Andre Dragomir (Jason Diaz) isn't dead after all and has been her prisoner. The finale reveals that she's been pumping him for information to position herself to take the crown, something that she ends up doing in the end. The finale episode sees Queen Marina (Pik-Sen Lim) poisoned, Lissa (Daniela Nieves) wanted and on the run, St. Vlad's in chaos, Andre turned strigoi, and Tatiana crowned the new queen — and mysteriously planning to have a very short reign. In a word, it's chaos, but nothing was left out.

"I don't think we really left anything out because what was great about nine was nine sort of feels like a finale. I think if we had ended at nine it could have been a good finale," MacIntyre said. "So, it felt like it allowed 10 to be the thing that tees up season two and pay some things off and tees some things up. Like the goal is to finish the episode and be like, 'I cannot wait to see where all these stories go.'"

"I have to say, that is one of the beauties of streaming because you don't have that 41-minute limit," Plec added. "Had we known that we had to stick to a 41-minute broadcast time, there would've been so much left on the floor whether we shot it or not, we just wouldn't have been able to make room for all those story beats. And I love that our finale is a little bit longer than the rest of the season. That it's closer to an hour. It feels complete. We didn't have to make Kill Your Darlings sacrifices for it at all."

What is Vampire Academy about?

From executive producers Julie Plec & Marguerite MacIntyre comes a story of friendship, romance, and danger. 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 vampire society. One as a powerful Royal, the other a half-vampire Guardian trained to protect against the savage "Strigoi" who threaten to tear their society apart. That is, if Royal infighting doesn't do the job first.

The first season of Vampire Academy is now streaming on Peacock.