Prepare to meet the mother, Vampire Diaries fans.
The show has cast actress Persia White (Girlfriends) in the key role of Abby Bennett, the woman who abandoned Bonnie when she was young. The character will first appear on January 19 and may stick around beyond that.
Look for Abby to have serious guilt issues over leaving her daughter, and for many secrets to leak over over the reasons why she did so.
In other major casting news, The Vampire Diaries announced that Torrey DeVitto - yes, Paul Wesley's wife! - will also join the series in early 2012 as a young doctor who gets close to Alaric. She'll appear on the first episode of the new year.