Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW Photo: Mary Fell and Alaric Survey the Scene in Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 11, “Our Town”

You know the saying “Good things come to those who wait?” Well, the patient (and slightly hardcore) L.J. Smith fans among us were rewarded in The Vampire Diaries  Season 3, Episode 10, “The New Deal” when a beloved character from Smith’s book series jumped from the page to the flat screen.

In “The New Deal,” the doctor who was rightfully shocked by Alaric Saltzman’s (Matt Davis) speedy recovery was named Meredith Fell (Torrey DeVitto). As readers of the TVD books know, Meredith landed on the cutting room floor when producers were putting the finishing touches on the television series. But now, like so many others in Mystic Falls, it seems she has risen again.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while, for the book fans to bring Meredith into this world,” TVD executive producer Julie Plec told Zap2it

Ah, yes, Meredith lives. Her name has been changed. (Her surname, Fell, is a nod to the Book TVD’s hometown of Fell’s Church and to one of the founding families.) She’s also been upgraded from a high school over achiever to a doctor. But, hey, at least she’s in there.

“Book fans have, for two and a half years, been screaming at the top of their lungs, ‘Where’s Meredith?’” Plec says.

Those screams were justified. Meredith is huge in the TVD books. Named Meredith Rosario Sulez, she doubles as Elena’s BFF and the extremely levelheaded “voice of reason.” She’s also Alaric’s eventual love interest. Eighteen, bright, and very human, Meredith is the only girl in town who’s not blinded by the gorgeousness that is Damon Salvatore. In fact, the stately Latina beauty is so immune to Sir Salvatore’s vampire charms that she creeps the snark out of him.

In The Return: Midnight, it is revealed that Meredith has a bit of vampire blood pumping through her veins. She doesn’t have the powers or fangs, but she has the thirst. So, her fam keep her hemoglobin-craving tendencies in check by regularly feeding her blood sausage that contains — you guessed it — real human blood.

The evil that is Klaus exists in the books too. Dark Reunion reveals that Meredith’s grandfather is the only one to have survived an attack by the Old One. Thus he — and eventually his granddaughter — are the only people who know the truth about the White Wood Ash.

How many of these juicy Meredith tidbits will join her on the show? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

TRANSCRIPT OF MEREDITH AND ALARIC’S FIRST CONVO
Meredith: Mr. Saltzman, what are you doing up? You should be resting.
Alaric: I’m more of a walk-it-off kind of guy. Do I need to assign something?
Meredith: Internal hemorrhaging, three broken ribs and a severe concussion: I have no idea how you’re on your feet right now but I need to run some more tests.
Alaric: I actually have some place I need to be. But thank you doctor—
Meredith: Doctor Fell. But the patients who follow my advice get to call me Meredith.
Alaric: Oh. Well I appreciate your health, Dr. Fell.
Meredith: Mr. Seltzman what is your secret? Guardian Angel or did you sell your soul to the devil?
Alaric: A little bit of both.