The Vampire Diaries will kick off its fifth season next month, bringing back the series’ fans’ favorite characters as well as a handful of new ones.

Olga Fonda (Real Steal) will be joining the cast as Nadia, a Czech woman who follows Matt (Zach Roerig) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) home from their romantic summer abroad. ''What she is, is the big mystery,” TVD co-creator Julie Plec told Entertainment Weekly. “She seems like some single moment that they left behind in their European whirlwind, and when she appears, she indicates that there's more to her than meets the eye.

Former True Blood actress Janina Gavankar is coming to the other hit vampire series in the season’s fifth episode. She’ll play Tessa, a mysterious stranger who comes to Mystic Falls with the intention of reconnecting with a former lover.

Kendrick Sampson (Greek), Shaun Sipos (Final Destination 2) and Rick Cosnett (The Elephant in the Room) will all play characters in Vampire Diaries’ new Whitmore College universe. Sampson, as Jessie, plays a student at the college that’s attracted to Caroline (Candice Accola), but she’s still happily attached to Tyler (Michael Trevino). Meanwhile, Aaron (Sipos) befriends Elena and becomes her closest confidant away from her boyfriend. Cosnett plays Dr. Wes Maxfield, a microbiology professor at Whitmore who calls out Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Caroline during their first day of classes.

Although Paul Wesley is admittedly a familiar face to Vampire Diaries viewers, he’ll be wearing a decidedly different persona as Silas than he did as Stefan. The 2,000-year-old immortal is all about exacting revenge and making sure Damon (Ian Somerhalder) knows he’s beneath him.

The fifth season of The Vampire Diaries will kick off Oct. 5 on the CW.

– Chelsea Regan

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