As a birthday party ramps up around them, our characters of The Vampire Diaries have other things on their minds. Elena (Nina Dobrev) is left to hang out with a brooding Damon (Ian Somerhalder) since Stefan (Paul Wesley) is MIA. Meanwhile, Caroline (Candice Accola) has her own love triangle going on with Tyler (Michael Trevino) and Matt (Zach Roerig). And Alaric (Matt Davis) is just so busy being good-looking, I mean, look!

caroline and matt

"THE BIRTHDAY "--Zach Roerig as Matt and Candice Accola as Caroline on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW. Photo: Annette Brown/The CW ©2011 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

Damon and Alaric seem to have an unlikely bromance.  Even though we’ve seen them talk peaceably together before, it’s only now that it strikes me that Alaric is Damon’s only friend aside from Nina. And now that Stefan isn’t around, Alaric is going to be Damon’s moral compass. That’s …going to be fun to watch!

The Vampire Diaries season 3 has a premiere date of Thursday, September 15. The episode is “The Birthday.”More premiere pictures are under the jump.

alaric vampire diaries

"THE BIRTHDAY "--LtoR: Matt Davis as Alaric and Ian Somerhalder as Damon on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW. Photo: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW ©2011 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

caroline and tyler

"THE BIRTHDAY "--Candice Accola as Caroline and Michael Trevino as Tyler on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW. Photo: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW ©2011 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

damon season 3 vampire diaries

"THE BIRTHDAY "--Ian Somerhalder as Damon on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW. Photo: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW ©2011 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

joseph morgan

"THE BIRTHDAY "--Joseph Morgan as Klaus on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW. Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW ©2011 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

tyler and caroline

"THE BIRTHDAY "--Candice Accola as Caroline and Michael Trevino as Tyler on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW. Photo: Annette Brown/The CW ©2011 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

vampire diaries season 3

"THE BIRTHDAY "--LtoR: Joseph Morgan as Klaus and David Gallagher as Ray on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW. Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW ©2011 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

vampire diaries season 3 premiere

"THE BIRTHDAY "--LtoR: Matt Davis as Alaric, Nina Dobrev as Elena, and Ian Somerhalder as Damon on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW. Photo: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW ©2011 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

vampire diaries season 3

"THE BIRTHDAY"--LtoR: Joseph Morgan as Klaus, David Gallagher as Ray, and Paul Wesley as Stefan on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on The CW. Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW ©2011 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

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