As The Vampire Diaries kicks off its eighth and final season, it’s hard not to think of Elena and Nina Dobrev, the actress who played her. When The Vampire Diaries first premiered in 2009, Elena was the show’s main character, and her love triangle with vampire brothers Stefan and Damon was the main plot. Now that the end is in sight, it looks like Elena is coming back to The Vampire Diaries. At least, we hope she is.
Dobrev left The Vampire Diaries at the end of Season 6 in what was reported as an amicable departure. There were no major contract disputes or offscreen spats. Dobrev just decided to leave the show, and creators Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec wrote Elena’s departure ensuring that she could return. After it was announced that this would be the final season of TVD, fans have been demanding to know if they can expect Elena’s return to Mystic Falls.
Dobrev has returned to TVD before. Last year, she recorded some new dialogue for the season finale, and it seems that the creative minds behind TVD are confident she’ll come back again for the final season. In August, The CW President Mark Pedowitz told reporters that the studio was in discussions with Dobrev. “We’d love to have Nina back. She was great for The CW. She was integral for The Vampire Diaries,” he said. But, don’t get too excited! Pedowitz added that if negotiations fall through, “Julie [Plec] has planned a great series finale.” Based on Pedowitz’s statements, we know two things: 1) Elena could most definitely return to The Vampire Diaries and 2) if Elena does come back, it will probably be for the series finale.
Delena fans will probably be over the moon with the news of Elena’s potential and very possible return. After all, when Dobrev left the show, Elena was, essentially, suspended in a death-like state just when her relationship with Damon was finally up and running. But if Ian Somerhalder, the actor behind Damon, has any say in it, Delena will not be the endgame every fan is hoping for. “These guys have ruined her life, and yet everybody wants her to end up with one of them,” Somerhalder said in an interview with TVLine. His dream ending is that instead of a happily ever after, Damon and Stefan “go sit on a beach and take off their [daylight] rings and…” (In other words he wants Stefan and Damon to commit vampire suicide together and leave everyone else in peace. Something tells me, that's not how this show is going to end.)
Now, if you’re a Steroline fan, you’re probably not looking forward to Elena’s return. The show began as Elena’s love story with Stefan, and it could very well end that way, which would mean the death of Caroline and Stefan’s relationship. But rest assured, based on an interview with Candice King, who plays Caroline, other people might get in the way before Elena has the time to come back. “Stefan is so attached to protecting and saving Damon. He’ll always choose his brother first, and that’s going to be a really big thing for this couple,” King told TVLine.
Paul Wesley, who plays Stefan, said that, while Stefan and Caroline “start off pretty strong,” the couple still has a few hurdles ahead. "It kind of spins out of control,” Wesley told TVLine. Wesley expanded, saying, “It can get dark for a second. But the ultimate thing is, ‘Will they end up together?’ And that, I actually don’t know.” So it looks like Steroline will start the season strong and hit a few roadblocks early on in the season — not surprising considering the first episode back-ended with Caroline moving in with Stefan and the appearance of a mysterious new big bad.
All in all, as is the way of The Vampire Diaries, it looks like things are going to get a lot harder for Stefan, Damon, Caroline and the rest of the gang before it gets better. But, I think I speak for all fans when I say that if we get Elena back at the end of the series, all the heartache will be worth it.
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