Vampire Academy Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre on That Surprising Tatiana Twist

Last week, the penultimate episode of Vampire Academy's first season left fans with the stunning reveal that Tatiana Vogel (Anita-Joy Uwajeh) was not only connected to the strigoi attacks but has been keeping another very big secret: a very much alive Andre Dragomir (Jason Diaz) chained up in the back of her shop. In this week's Season 1 finale, however, even more reveals about Tatiana came to light and now, series creators Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre are breaking down that surprising twist and the nuances that set up for a bigger mystery in Season 2.

Warning: spoilers for the season finale of Vampire Academy, "Ascension", beyond this point.

The season finale of Vampire Academy reveals the truth breadth of Tatiana's plans, in a sense. After revealing at the end of episode nine that she helped the strigoi breach the wards to attack St. Vladmir's and that she has Andre, even more details unfold. It turns out Tatiana orchestrated the murder of the Dragomir family and has been using Andre for his political knowledge to position herself to take the crown, manipulating just about everyone she encounters in the process. By the end of the episode, all her machinations have played to her favor: despite losing to Victor Dashkov (J. August Richards), with the council decimated from the attack, she ends up taking the throne following Queen Mariana's (Pik-Sen Lim) murder and declares Lissa Dragomir (Daniela Nieves) wanted as a person of interest. But while she now has the crown, Tatiana has been leaving some clues that there's more going on here — namely that she doesn't plan to be queen for long and that she's doing this all for "love". And, as the showrunners told, there's more to Tatiana than meets the eye.

"I personally would never have a villain who is only a villain in the course of a season. Tatiana, for us, is a long game," Julie Plec said. "And thank you on Marguerite's behalf for noticing the Easter Eggs because she said things like 'I'm doing this for love' or 'there was a person I wanted to see'. And so, in a way, Tatiana is the greatest mystery of all. What is she, she's not going to be queen for long. What does she mean by that? There's so much more to start unpacking with her in Season 2. And we have a really incredible story lined up for her that might shed some light on why she felt the need to be queen so desperately because it's not about power, as she sort of hinted at."

She continued, "My favorite thing about the twist was she was kind of a pain in the ass all season, but she was a very credible pain in the ass because everything that she was doing seemed to be rooted in her faith and tapping into the fears of those faith-based folks on the council. And then to learn at the end that she was basically like, 'All right Andre, how do I deal with these jokers? And that he had reluctantly but still given her the tools with which to navigate the council. I loved that. I thought that was such an interesting turn."

For MacIntyre, it was important to note that throughout the season, Tatiana never lied in her quest for power. Everything she did, she did by cleverly using the system that was already in place.

"This was the big thing with me because I was like, 'I don't want her ever to tell a lie,'" MacIntyre said. "Listen, she doesn't, ever. If you rewatch the season she's using truths against people. She's using the system against itself. She's just in credibly clever. And shout out to AJ who plays Tatiana who did not know the path that she was treading. She trusted us because we couldn't tell her because there was, for a minute, there's this version and this version of the story and so for a minute, we had to just make sure we had our feet on the ground before we really hooked into the story that it would be. And she just was so grounded and ready and had sometimes very minor questions just to make sure that she was grounded for herself. And I just thought she did it brilliantly."

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.