Goodbye Elena Gilbert: Nina Dobrev Is Leaving The Vampire Diaries

Photo: The CW
Photo: The CW

Just moments ago, Nina Dobrev announced that she will not be joining her cast mates for The Vampire Diaries’ seventh season. In a heartbreaking message on Instagram she told her fans that the weekend she had spent with the TVD crew at Lake Lanier “wasn’t just a holiday celebration, it was a goodbye party”.

After six years of portraying not only Elena Gilbert but also her countless doppelgängers, Nina is ready to say goodbye. “I always knew I wanted Elena’s story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime,” she wrote on Instagram.

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Dearest TVD Family, I've just spent the most beautiful weekend on Lake Lanier in Georgia with my own TVD Family, the cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries. I want to be the first to tell you that it wasn't just a holiday celebration, it was a goodbye party. I always knew I wanted Elena's story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime. I was a human, a vampire, a doppelganger, a crazy immortal, a doppelganger pretending to be human, a human pretending to be a doppelganger. I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there's still so much more to come before the season finale in May. Elena fell in love not once, but twice, with two epic soulmates, and I myself made some of the best friends I'll ever know and built an extended family I will love forever. There's more to come before we wrap this up, and I promise you'll get to hear all about my experiences over the next month as we approach the season finale (I have given an exclusive interview for the June issue of SELF Magazine that I am excited for you to see!), but until then I invite you to hop on the roller coaster ride that is Elena Gilbert's life and join me as I celebrate her and prepare to say goodbye to her — and to my work family — as I move on to the next chapter of my life. I want to share this goodbye with all of you (this weekend's pictures were just the beginning). You, the wonderful fandom who gave more love, support and passion than anyone could have ever imagined seven years ago, when a young Degrassi girl from Canada showed up in LA to audition for 'that Twilight TV show.' 😉 I love you all. Fasten your seatbelts. If you think you know what's coming, you don't. Love, Nina

A post shared by Nina Dobrev (@nina) on

According to Buzzfeed, The Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec issued a statement regarding Nina’s exit as well: “Saying goodbye to Nina is both bittersweet and beautiful. After six-plus years together, the entire cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries has reached a level of closeness that I don’t think any of us ever expected. Nina is excited to spread her wings, get some rest, travel the world and also take it by storm, and we support her a thousand-fold. We will miss Nina and the four hundred characters she played, but we look forward to the insane and exciting challenge of continuing to tell stories of our Salvatore Brothers and our much-loved and gifted ensemble.”

Furthermore Plec revealed that cast member Michael Trevino will not be returning on a regular basis as well, as he is “out in the world exploring new opportunities.” That doesn’t really sound much like news, Tyler has barely been around anyway.

While Dobrev’s Elena will most definitely leave an empty space in Mystic Falls, the adventures of the Salvatore brothers will continue. And they surely won’t be too lonely as Caroline and Bonnie will keep them busy. When it comes to Elena’s romantic choices and the infamous endgame discussion, Nina kept her statement pretty open: “Elena fell in love not once, but twice, with two epic soulmates.”

Now, she probably won’t have to make a decision after all.

But Nina’s exist definitely raises one very important question: How? How will Elena Gilbert leave her friends behind? Will she follow in her younger brother’s footsteps and try to find herself somewhere far away from all the troubles of Mystic Falls?

The most likely scenario is a sad one.

The Vampire Diaries has just brought back the cure, which will turn any vampire back into a human being. Elena takes it and eventually gets killed. The end. I told you it would be sad, and very unsatisfying. My own personal worst case scenario.

My best case scenario would look something like this: Elena takes the cure, is human again and realizes, she needs to choose herself. She went through more trauma than anyone should, immortal or not, and she has a great deal of “processing” to do. I’d like her to leave without any romantic entanglements, proving that she can be a strong independent woman.

Talking about strong independent women. What causes me the most emotional pain is that Nina leaving means the definite end of Katherine Pierce. Katherine has been the by far superior doppelgänger throughout the whole series. Her death was shocking and to this day I had hope they would somehow bring her back. Guess that is not happening after all.

But don’t fret, TVD fans, Dobrev promises that there is more to come before the season finale: “I invite you to hop on the roller coaster ride that is Elena Gilbert’s life and join me as I celebrate her and prepare to say goodbye to her — and to my work family — as I move on to the next chapter of my life.”

We will, Nina. We will.

Verena Cote
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