Vampire Academy EP Julie Plec reveals key change between Mason’s death in books & the show- and it’s good news for fans
VAMPIRE Academy showrunner Julie Plec has revealed a key difference between Mason’s death in the books and the new Peacock show.
While fans have been watching the newly-released seventh episode of the TV series adaptation on Thursday, the executive producer has been dishing on the show at New York Comic Con.
After Richelle Mead’s popular YA series, Vampire Academy, first got a 2014 movie adaptation, it’s now been given new life as a TV show on Peacock.
The first few episodes of season 1 were released in mid-September, with fans now being treated to new installments on the streaming platform every Thursday.
The series is only seven episodes in, but much has already happened, including the death of Sonya’s boyfriend, Mikhail Tanner (played by Max Parker).
After this heartbreaking goodbye, fans started to wonder more about Rose’s friend, Mason Ashford (Andrew Liner), as he was killed off fairly early in the novel series.
His death occurred in Frostbite, book two of Vampire Academy, but the TV show EP, Julie, has shared that his send-off is a bit different in the show.
During fan Q&A at NYCC on Thursday, at which a reporter from The Sun was present, the showrunner shared that they originally set out to follow the novels for this character but changed their minds after casting the role.
“Mason was so sweet in the books, and then he died,” Julie said. “It was super sad, and that was really our plan to do that.”
She went on: “And then we met Drew, Andrew Liner, who came in and auditioned for Mason, and he’s just so likable.
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“Everything about him is just a nice, likable, and charismatic person. And Mason, through Drew, was just this solid, solid man.”
Dishing on the love triangle between Rose (Sisi Stringer), Mason, and Dimitri (Kieron Moore), the EP shared: “[Mason’s] legitimately somebody that Rose could probably be really happy with.
“There’s gonna be ups and downs in Dimitri’s relationship [with her]. There are so many obstacles trying to keep them apart.
“So, there will be times when Rose might look Mason’s direction again and say, ‘Hey, did I have it already? Did I have the safe relationship? Did I have the relationship I’m allowed to have?’”
Because of that, Julie explained, “Mason will live to tell the tale a little bit longer than he did in the books.”
She then cryptically teased: “I won’t tell you how much longer, but longer.”
While Mason gets to live on, fans are still mourning the death of Mikhail from episode 5.
Julie explained her decision to kill off the character during the panel and admitted she knows it was a “little mean.”
She began: “It’s hard to defend it without indicating where Sonya’s story is going, but it felt like episode 5 was right about the time for a meaningful death.
“Something that reminds the audience that the stakes are high and that no one is safe. Because no one is safe.”
The EP went on: “I felt badly because I actually really liked Mikhail’s arc in the books. I thought that was really powerful.
But this is one situation where it felt like if we can shake up the book a little and shock the fans, so that they know that anything can happen at any time, that that might be an exciting element to watch a new series.
“That at any time you could actually just kill someone that lasted six books.”
“It’s a little mean,” she admitted, but said they “wanted something deeply emotional.”
As he was “a good friend to Rose and so sweet to Sonya,” Julie said, that made Mikhail’s death feel “properly tragic.”
Another major topic of discussion at Julie’s NYCC event featured the beloved character of Adrian.
Fans were introduced to the TV version of the character during episode 6 of Vampire Academy, and the EP dished on the main characteristic she looked out for when casting the role.
And it was all about his lips.
“To me, in my head, he was always kind of like a Josh Jackson from Dawson’s Creek or Sebastian Stan from early Sebastian Stan stuff.
“And I just knew he had to have pillowy lips. That was just the thing.”
Luckily for actor Leo Woodall, he fit the bill.
“Leo had those pillowy lips,” Julie said, before joking: “That was really it for me, that’s all I needed. And then he’s a very good actor, which is always a bonus.”
She added that his portrayal of the character is “quintessential Adrian as Adrian existed in my head.”
As for what’s ahead for the character, as he’s in both the main book series and his own spinoff, Bloodlines, Julie had a little bit of bad news for fans.
They don’t “yet” have access to the spinoff book series and “can’t touch them currently.”
She promised fans, though, that there’s still a “good amount of story” on the way as there’s “so much Adrian and Sydney stuff to mine” in the original series.