As Vampire Diaries fans know, death isn’t always permanent. With that in mind, the show might’ve ended, but is there hope that it will pull a Jeremy Gilbert and miraculously come back to life?

There are no plans at the moment, but according to TVD and Originals showrunner Julie Plec, there are still stories to be told.

“My hope is The Originals will stay on and that I can bring some of these characters over there,” Plec says of the Vampire Diaries spinoff. But if that doesn’t work out, there’s another option. “I could see our universes coming together in five years, 10 years, when people miss the shows,” she says. “There’s still stories to be told for The Originals that our characters here very smoothly and seamlessly fit into, so if we don’t get to do that while The Originals is still on the air, I think that one day, if somebody wanted it badly enough, it could exist.”

Speaking to how that could come together on a technical level considering TVD seemed to flash forward to the end of Damon and Elena’s life at the conclusion of the series finale, Plec notes that Elena mentioned a “long and happy life” in her voiceover.

“That leaves a nice 70-year window to fill in the blanks,” Plec says.

One final note: For those worried that Stefan’s death means he wouldn’t be a part of any future stories, fear not. If there were a future opportunity to tell more stories, Plec feels they could find a way to make sure both Salvatores would return.


In its final hour, The Vampire Diaries wrapped up a lot of story lines and even managed to bring back a number of old characters, from Lucy Bennett to Liz Forbes, and the entire Gilbert family. But in writing the show’s final season, there was one thing (or two) showrunner Julie Plec wasn’t able to work into the story, posted.

“The only dangling thread that we never answered — and we tried all year — was I could never find a way to learn what Sheriff Forbes wrote in that letter that Caroline burned,” Plec says, referencing the letter that Liz wrote her daughter before she died in season 6. Caroline later burned it when her humanity was turned off, an action she quickly came to regret. “We came up with a bunch of really bad pitches but really couldn’t figure it out,” she says. “Perhaps if the entire finale had been set in peace where all these characters could talk to each other again then it would’ve been different.”

The only other thing Vampire Diaries fans had to live without? A final decade dance. “I really wish we could’ve done another decade dance in this final season because it felt like it was the right time to bring that back around,” Plec says. “We broke an episode with a decade dance and then that story line got chucked aside for other things. It was actually the one Ian [Somerhalder] directed, 808, there was a decade dance in that at one point, but we couldn’t make it work.”

She adds: “That’s my little regret because I made promises at the beginning of the season that we’d see a lot of those events again.”

I have added 700+ 1080p screencaptures of The Vampire Diaries’ Special “The Vampire Diaries: Forever Yours” to our photo archives;

We were promised that the Mikaelson family would have a “presence” in The Vampire Diaries series finale… but no one said anything about presents!

Of all the gasp-worthy moments from Friday’s send-off, Klaus’ letter to Caroline — which you can read in full in my recap of the episode — easily elicited the biggest gasp from me. (If you’re a regular TVLine reader, you know I’m a recent convert to the concept of Klaus and Caroline’s romance.)

Below, executive producer Julie Plec discusses the big “Klaroline” moment, including TVD‘s future connection to The Originals and the Joseph Morgan appearance we (sadly) had to do without:

TVLINE | Speaking of which, we know Alaric is crossing over for an episode. Where will that fall, time-wise?
That falls probably more in line with the timeline of that last scene with the letter. In fact, Alaric is the one who shows up and actually tells Klaus about the school. The idea of the school as a safe haven for young supernatural beings certainly has a lot of relevance for Hope Mikaelson.

TVLINE | When Alaric first brought up the idea of opening a supernatural school, I was like, “I want this spinoff.”
[Laughs] Good. I do, too.

TVLINE | Had scheduling not been an issue, and you did have Joseph Morgan for this, what would that scene have looked like?
It would have been just an incredibly simple scene with Caroline at her desk, running her new school. There’d be a knock on the door from a new donor. She opens the door, it’s Klaus Mikaelson. And he would have said, “Hello, love” or “Hello, Caroline,” and that would have been it.

TVLINE | Caroline and Bonnie are some of the few characters we didn’t see at “peace.” Is it safe to assume she made it there eventually?
Yes. For us, two things were very important: that Bonnie got to live a long and happy life, and that Caroline lived on and carried on the legacy of all the good things she wanted to do. The one person who was so good at being a vampire is now helping other people with their supernatural problems. So Caroline will probably be alive and kicking for centuries, in my opinion.

[TV Line]

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from The Vampire Diaries series finale, “I Was Feeling Epic.”]

“While his death is absolutely tragic for many reasons, there’s also a sense of full circle to his experience,” co-creator and showrunner Julie Plec tells The Hollywood Reporter about that finale death;

After being nearly destroyed countless times throughout eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries, the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia was saved yet again in the show’s series finale — but not everyone made it out alive.

The evil Katherine (Nina Dobrev) returned to make sure Mystic Falls was engulfed in hellfire, but Bonnie (Kat Graham) devised a way to destroy her once and for all — it just required one of the Salvatores to sacrifice himself too. While Damon (Ian Somerhalder) stepped up to the plate, Stefan (Paul Wesley) decided that because his brother had finally returned to his pre-evil vampire self, he would do it.

Bonnie, after summoning the strength of the Bennett witches, was also able to wake Elena from her slumber. Bonnie set out to travel the world, Elena and Damon got to live happily ever after together, Matt served as Mystic Falls Sheriff (and got a nifty bench, too), Caroline started a boarding school for supernatural children with Alaric’s (Matt Davis) and Jeremy’s (Steven R. McQueen) help, and in the final scene, the brothers reunited with a tearful hug.

Co-creator Julie Plec spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the finale, including alternate endings for some characters, the importance of callbacks to the pilot, and Dobrev’s big return.

The Original Ending
The plan wasn’t always to have Stefan sacrifice himself so his brother could find happiness. Plec and co-creator Kevin Williamson first came up with an ideal ending back in season two. “There have been so many different versions of that in our mind,” Plec tells THR. “Back then, the show ended with both brothers dying and watching Elena go out and live her life as a human and grow up and be happy and have kids and get married. And all the sacrifices that they had made so that she could be human and safe made it worth it, and they could’ve gone and passed on into oblivion.”

Plec continues, “Then of course we created the Other Side and then Elena became a vampire and then Nina left the show. Once Nina left the show, all the plans of how it would end one day had to shift because ultimately it became less about ensuring Elena’s safety and future and more about the relationships between the brothers themselves and their own path to redemption. There was a pitch on the table that was a very good pitch where Damon didn’t make it to the end, and then ultimately the pitch that made it to the end was, I think, the best one.”

Stefan’s Sacrifice
While Stefan’s immortal life was tragically cut short, Plec says that he was still able to have meaningful life experiences. “For me, Stefan got to have life and happiness. He struggled with his — we’ll call it his addiction — his entire vampire life, but he had his best friend in Lexi, he had true love in Elena, he had the redemption of his brother, and then he got to fall in love a second time and find a partner and a mate in Caroline. And while his death is absolutely tragic for many reasons, there’s also a sense of full circle to his experience that he was the one that sort of got them into this mess and now he’s going to get them out of it.”

Damon’s Redemption
Damon, on the other hand, was “a whirlwind of chaos,” Plec says. “His last moment of innocence, and I would even say sweetness, was when he was still human 160-some-odd years ago. And so for Stefan to be able to give his brother that opportunity to experience the simple peace and happiness of everyday life as a human and with his girl and all the things that Stefan was able to have I think is the greatest gift of all.”

She continues, “Damon’s done a lot of really crappy things in eight years. He has not been a model citizen. He has been extremely, extremely dysfunctional and extremely disruptive. While in no way are we trying to say the lesson is that the bad boy can be changed by the love of a woman, in this case it’s true — and the love of a brother. And so now Damon Salvatore gets to have a second chance at humanity.”

Cutting Steroline Short
Stefan’s death was perhaps most tragic for Caroline, who had approximately one day of wedded bliss before he sacrificed himself to save Mystic Falls. But Plec says that eventually Caroline will be able to move on. “Stefan and Caroline found beautiful best friend partnership marital love, familial love, and everything you wish for as an adult that you want out of a partner,” she says. “And that’s after Stefan had epic first love — fall down the rabbit hole, drown in it, painful love — with Elena. So there’s no reason why Caroline can’t move forward in her life and find a different kind of partner before her currently eternal life is over. I’m not saying it’s going to be Klaus, but it certainly leaves a door open for anybody.”

Bonnie’s Alternate Ending
After spending at least a decade of her life sacrificing herself for the greater good of Mystic Falls and her supernatural friends, Bonnie needed to have a happy ending. “She has earned the right to be happy,” Plec says. “Bonnie needed to survive and to grow up and to live a long life and to have everything she ever wanted. There was a pitch on the table at some point that maybe Bonnie and Matt Donovan would end up together and have children together. There was a pitch on the table that maybe Bonnie takes a series of great French lovers and never has another real relationship again because Enzo is her one true love and she’ll see him again in peace.”

Matt Donovan’s Survival
There was no question in Plec’s mind that token human Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) would make it to the end of the series alive. “That’s my personal battle,” she says. “I’ve argued with a dozen people over the years about the importance of Matt Donovan remaining alive in this universe. It seemed to me that as the token human, his survival, him going down fighting and being willing to sacrifice himself at any time along the way in the name of the greater good of the town and then to be left standing in that town at the end, it’s a beautiful closure for him and so I really wanted to make sure that he lived to tell the tale.”

The Crow, The Cemetery, and Other Callbacks
Throughout the final hour, Plec and Williamson, who co-wrote the episode, sprinkled in references to the pilot and other key moments in the series — including the shot of Elena writing in her diary in the cemetery with a crow. “The crow was classic Kevin,” Plec says. After being tasked with writing that scene, “he came back with that section with that beautiful voiceover and the crow and Damon coming to meet Elena at the cemetery. And to me, it’s one of the most beautiful moments of the show. That is all him wanting to reflect back on his favorite elements of the first season.”

One of the most personal callbacks for Plec was including music from the pilot. “I have, like, a Pavlovian response when I hear them. I just burst into tears. One of which is the return of the Fray song that ended our pilot. If you watch the [episode] with someone who was a fan in the first couple of seasons and maybe hasn’t watched it since then, there is so much for them to enjoy about it and so many little nostalgic shout-outs — not to mention all the little Easter Eggs for the fans who know the show intimately.”

Family Reunion
The eighth season saw the return of several key characters, and the final episode brought back a few more (including Sara Canning as Aunt Jenna and David Anders as Uncle John). That was important to Plec personally, because the TVD crew is close-knit, but also story-wise.

“This is a show that was borne out of loss and grief. When we met Elena, she had lost her parents and didn’t know if she could continue and didn’t know how she was going to make her way through life under the weight of this loss. And when we end the show, we’re ending the show in peace — which I would go so far as to say is the Vampire Diaries version of what heaven means. These characters, some that were ripped away from us very tragically, some that we weren’t sure what their ultimate destination would be, to be able to show them at peace with themselves and in a version of their own peace, however you want to define it, was the perfect bookend to the grief and the loss that launched the series.”

The Final Scene
The end, which sees Elena reunite with her parents and Jenna and John, “To me, that’s peace and you can define it however you want,” Plec said. “You can define it as closure, you can define it as heaven, you can define it as some sort of spiritual other world. Whatever it is that you want to define it as, that is what peace means to me — which is that somehow you find yourself at peace because you have everything you ever wanted.”

The exact definition of “death” has shifted during the course of The Vampire Diaries‘ eight seasons, and in Friday’s series finale, it took on yet another meaning.

As you know from watching the episode — and if you didn’t, you should probably stop reading right about now — the big foreshadowed death was none other than Stefan Salvatore, who sacrificed himself to send Katherine back to hell and save Mystic Falls.

Below, executive producer Julie Plec explains the thought process behind Stefan’s death, as well as what heaven (or “peace”) means in the world of The Vampire Diaries, shared by TV Line:

TVLINE | Before we get into specifics, why did anyone have to die?
It’s a lesson I learned early on from Kevin Williamson, which is that these kinds of stories really need to have life-or-death stakes, and no one will believe your death stakes if no one actually dies. It’s a lesson I’ve taken many liberties with over the years — including in this finale, since we see [Stefan] at peace after he dies — but it’s true when you’re making big moves, bringing characters full circle and finding closure for everyone. Closure comes as much in saying goodbye as it does in moving on. It felt necessary.

TVLINE | At any point, were you like, “We can’t do this to Stefan”? He and Caroline just got married.
Stefan was not No. 1 on the chopping block right away, because of that reason. We thought it was just so cruel. But when we landed on the idea of Caroline needing to leave him behind in honor of protecting her family, and then him needing to leave her behind in honor of protecting his, it felt somehow like the responsible outcome of a responsible relationship.

TVLINE | I also have some questions about that heavenly plane at the end…

TVLINE | Is that how we should refer to it?
For me, yes. Even as we called hell “Hell” this year, for me, it was always hell in quotation marks. It was The Vampire Diaries‘ representation of what hell must be like. For me, “peace” is The Vampire Diaries’ representation of what the afterlife might look like.

TVLINE | The way Matt said, “I think she found peace — somehow it feels like she did” has me wondering: Is it real, or is it just what they hope will be waiting for them after death?
That’s open to your own interpretation, probably in the same way we all interpret heaven. Is it something that we feel, and is believing that it exists when we die enough? Or does it actually exist? Or do we not believe in it at all? Is our peace just ultimate closure before we pass? It’s not the hardest philosophical question ever posed on television, but it is nice to gently ask that question: What does peace mean to you?

TVLINE | And what happens when exes bump into each other in “peace”?
[Laughs] It depends on what role they’re still meant to play in each other’s life. In my perfect peace, there might be a few exes missing.

TVLINE | For example, what happens when Alaric bumps into Jo and Jenna?
Oh, God, yes! Awkward. A love triangle in the afterlife.

TVLINE | It also kind of looked like Damon and Elena were separated at peace. Does each individual person have their own little world there?
You can ask yourself the question: Is peace an individual experience, or is it a shared energy? If Elena’s first moment at peace is being reunited with the family she lost that kickstarted this whole journey for her, maybe they all meet up at the drive-in for milkshakes with the Salvatores and anyone else who’s around, and they’ll all watch Scream on the big screen. Or maybe, after a life that’s lived in full, peace is about finding closure with those we’ve lost.

“I see … a future for either ‘The Originals’ or another piece of the franchise to launch off of the end of ‘The Originals,'” showrunner Julie Plec tells The Hollywood Reporter.

[This story contains spoilers from the series finale of The Vampire Diaries.]

he Vampire Diaries has come to an end — The CW hit just aired the final episode of its eight-season run — but that doesn’t mean the story is over.

Co-creator Julie Plec tells The Hollywood Reporter that she already has an idea for another TVD spinoff (The Originals will debut its fourth season on March 17).

Friday’s series finale alluded to “another story” for character Caroline Forbes (Candice King), who ends up opening a school for supernatural children like her own — funded by none other than her former love, Klaus (Joseph Morgan). While the duo will not interact on the upcoming season of The Originals, they potentially could in the future.

“Obviously our timelines did not match up, so Caroline and Klaus are not coming face to face in this season. That being said, we do have crossover elements in the upcoming season of The Originals that’s about to start airing and it all brings it back to what I see as a future for either The Originals or another piece of the franchise to launch off of the end of The Originals. So I look forward to being able to play around in that sandbox and see if I can make something of it.”

While Plec isn’t actively working on it, she does plan to start after she takes a break. “There’s a lot of different things floating around in my head,” she told THR, “and the first thing I’m going to do is not write and take a vacation. And then when I come back on the other side of that I’m going to go back to work.”

The CW president Mark Pedowitz told THR this week that the fate of The Originals is not tied to TVD, so the show could potentially continue beyond the upcoming season. “Look, the show stands on its own. We have not premiered it yet; it’s a week away,” he said. “This will be a decision we make in the May scheduling. But I hope to be able to announce at the May upfront that it’s returning. That’s my hope.”

As for the second spinoff, “Julie and I have only had casual discussions about it. I actually guessed what her plans were in one of our casual discussions. I saw them coming. I think that is a discussion that we can have as we go into development. I think she had it set up the right way.”

To clarify: He’s not ruling anything out.

“I work in show business,” he said. “You can’t.”

The Originals premieres Friday, March 17 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the March 10 series finale of The Vampire Diaries.

For years, die-hard Vampire Diaries fans have wondered how the show would end, or, more specifically, what ending Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson came up with during season 2. Sitting in a mall food court, the co-creators of the show found what they thought was a perfect ending, but that’s not what fans watched on Friday, March 10. As Williamson told EW, “The big finale episode that we had always planned did not happen because the show was successful and lasted eight years.”

As a refresher, the series finale that aired featured Stefan sacrificing himself to save everyone, and therefore finding peace. It left Bonnie to travel the world, Matt to run for mayor of Mystic Falls, and Caroline and Ric to open a boarding school for their girls and other “gifted” children like them. As for Damon and Elena, they lived a happy human life before, in the show’s final moments, they each found peace when Elena was reunited with her deceased parents and Damon got one final brother hug from Stefan.

Julie Plec revealed the show’s original ending to;

And while Plec has always said that the sentiment remained the same from the ending they first came up with all those years ago, what exactly was that original ending? Plec says: “Back in season 2 when Kevin and I were sitting in the mall and we had fallen in love with this series and this story about two brothers who loved the same girl and the love triangle was kicking into high gear, we said to ourselves: When all is said and done, when this show is over, both brothers should die in the name of saving their girl and then be watching her like ghosts — because we had introduced the Other Side — as she went off into the sunset to live her life and maybe marry Matt Donovan or maybe become a doctor, but that those brothers would be side-by-side watching her live. That was the thing that made us cry all the tears in season 2.”

But as Plec points out, the show lost its love triangle when Nina Dobrev left at the end of season 6. “I felt like we had to make a commitment to seeing Damon and Elena through to the end,” Plec says. “If Nina had never left, I would’ve loved to have been able to see if Stefan and Elena could’ve found their way back to each other. I don’t know if they could have, but had that departure not been a part of it, the long game would’ve been to see if we could bring the love triangle back around before the series ended and really leave a choice. But her departure sealed the romantic contract between Damon and Elena. In that moment, to me, the show ceased to be about a love triangle and became a show about the power of these brothers and their love for each other. And so there was no way in hell I was killing both of them and leaving neither of them with the happy ending. It just was never going to happen.”

So instead, one brother got to be the hero and another got a happy human life, but more importantly, they both found redemption, and ultimately, peace.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote a review of The Vampire Diaries;

Recovering from a dismal pilot, Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson’s drama (which comes to an end Friday night) spent several years as one of TV’s most purely entertaining shows.
In 2010 and 2011, in the heart of what we keep calling a Golden Age of TV, there were four shows that made my Top 10 lists in both years.

Three of those shows won’t be surprising. Friday Night Lights completed its run with two classic seasons made possible by an unlikely partnership between DirecTV and NBC. Parks and Recreation continued its evolution after a rough first season by delivering two nearly perfect runs of episodes. And Breaking Bad kept twisting the screws as the third and fourth seasons became its tensest yet.

The fourth show to make my Top 10 in both 2010 and 2011?

The CW’s The Vampire Diaries.


The Vampire Diaries concludes on Friday (March 10) after eight seasons and 171 episodes, and although I haven’t missed an hour, it’s not a show I talk about very much anymore. The show has gone through a qualitative arc that verges on unique — I’d compare it to Sons of Anarchy, but only because I know being tied to a CW supernatural soap opera would cause fans of the FX motorcycle soap opera to go into conniptions — and no matter the level on which it’s going out, it feels right for me to give a nod to a series that really was the most undervalued great drama on network TV for two years.

When The Vampire Diaries premiered in 2009, let’s just say I didn’t like it.

I called Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson’s pilot “a shameless bit of pandering to the fang-banging throngs” and complained of stars Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, “the men all pose more than act and Dobrev only has a shade more expressiveness.”

This was how I described the show’s best-case scenario: “Much more self-consciously silly than Twilight, featuring more rolling fog than an ’80s rock video and driven by a half-dozen of the most stilted performances East of Melrose Place, The Vampire Diaries may emerge as the sort of brainless guilty pleasure The CW hoped its recent Fox retreads might become.”

Somehow, that was enough for me to stick with The Vampire Diaries and for a while, Plec and Williamson were forced to wade through L.J. Smith’s dismal novel and the series was a hammy mess of bad acting and even worse plotting. Don’t make me remind you of those few episodes in which Stefan (Wesley) joined the football team because his vampire powers made him an unstoppable force as wide receiver. This happened and it wasn’t good.

The show’s turning point was not, in fact, the first midseason finale episode, which was titled “The Turning Point.” It came a little bit earlier and it involved the all-too-fast arc in which Vicki Donovan (Kayla Ewell), not-hugely-compelling love interest to Steven R. McQueen’s Jeremy and sister to Zach Roerig’s Matt, was bitten, became a vampire, then became an uncontrollable monster and then was staked permanently, in the space of three episodes.

The arc represented everything The Vampire Diaries would settle into doing so well for the two years that followed. Vicki wasn’t all that good as a human character and Ewell wasn’t all that exciting as an actor, but Vampire Vicki was marvelously vicious and feral and it took exactly two episodes for Ewell to go from an afterthought to my favorite actor in the cast and then just as quickly, she was gone. More than a few shows would have milked this Vicki storyline over 12 episodes or over a season and more than a few showrunners would have, after correctly recognized a strength or asset in Ewell’s ability to play bad, found a way to back away from Vicki’s demise and kept the actress in the fold. I’d venture to say, in fact, that the later version of Vampire Diaries would have made those compromises.

Plec and Williamson laughed in the face of sustainability and audience comfort. For the next two years, you could count on The Vampire Diaries doing two or three absolutely crazy things per episode, going to mid-episode commercials with the sort of cliffhangers or twists most shows would save for the end of a season. To watch The Vampire Diaries in those seasons was to sit with one’s jaw regularly agape as characters died or reversed moral direction and did things that seemed impossible for the writers to fix or live with, but the writers found ways to make nearly every wacky or bizarre choice land. There aren’t many shows I feel the need to watch immediately so as to avoid having the surprises spoiled, but for two years The Vampire Diaries had to be watched live and it was so entertaining, sexy and funny that prompt viewing was never an imposition.

Make no mistake, The Vampire Diaries was, as I’ve said, a supernatural teen soap opera with all of the inherently silly trappings, from high school characters who never attended classes to a sometimes comical adherence to a holiday schedule; every Christmas or Halloween became tied to a Mystic Falls town celebration that then became tied to a fancy-dress gala that then became tied to a flashback.

So what of it? Genres are there for a reason and all creators can do is live up to the highest potential of their genre and The Vampire Diaries was, for a long time, the best darned supernatural teen soap opera it possibly could be. Plot churn is the biggest stumbling block for so many fast-paced soaps and if something like The OC proved it only had engine enough to last one season at Josh Schwartz’s original burn rate, The Vampire Diaries had perhaps three seasons working at this clip. [The Vampire Diaries did not have the same late-series recovery as The OC, but that’s a different story.]

I didn’t initially like the show’s stars, but Dobrev, Wesley and Somerhalder made Elena, Damon and Stefan into a rare love triangle in which all three actors had chemistry of different types, giving Plec and company ample romantic variations to play. Knowing there’s nothing young actors enjoy more than getting to play the same characters in both good and evil incarnations, Plec and the writers made Stefan and Damon into vampires whose humanity could be literally switched on or off and both actors thrived. If I thought Dobrev had limitations as the mopey, lovelorn Elena, the show proved how talented she was with the introduction of Elena’s ultra-wicked doppelgänger Katherine — and then had an indecent amount of fun making Elena pretend to be Katherine and Katherine pretend to be Elena and Katherine inhabit Elena and Elena inhabit Katherine and other character-blending oddities.

The show also found value in parts of its core supporting cast, especially Candice Accola as Caroline, and then, in the second season, gave a great introduction to the “original” vampires in Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) and then later in Rebekah Mikaelson (Claire Holt). There were definitely moments in the third and fourth season in which it felt like Morgan, Gillies and Holt were what was holding The Vampire Diaries together, but they were so enjoyable to watch that I didn’t care. That’s around 2012, when The Vampire Diaries didn’t make my Top 10 list, but still was hovering in an honorable mention position.

It would be easy to call the spinning off of The Originals as the point-of-decline for The Vampire Diaries and the last two seasons have, in particular, been a real slog for me, which would then suggest that if spinning off The Originals was the point-of-decline, Dobrev’s departure probably should have been the end. I think the answer is simpler and less precise than that. Shows like this are rarely built for 171 episodes. [“Tell that to Dark Shadows and its 1225 episodes!” you’d be right to protest.]

*** Too many supernatural people. In the beginning, The Vampire Diaries was the story of one human girl who fell for a vampire boy, but step by step by step, everybody on the show other than Matt, the least interesting person on the show, became a vampire, a werewolf, a hybrid or a witch or an enhanced hunter. I can’t point to which was the bridge too far, but it’s somewhere. Humanity was a really good counterpoint to all of the supernatural transpiring and in the absence of humanity, it became a show about who could kill whom with which magical tool.

*** Too many drinking game catchphrases. Man, The Vampire Diaries loved coming up with concepts and giving them brand names and then repeating those concepts over and over and over again. Doppelgänger! Turning off the humanity switch! Hybrids! Originals! Ripper! The Cure! This also ties into how many of the season-to-season big bads were neither big nor bad enough and failed to become bigger or badder when you repeated their names. Travelers! The Gemini Coven! Sirens! Augustine! Oh and going off to college didn’t kill The Vampire Diaries, but like so many high school shows, that was not a journey it made fluidly.

*** Too many intense relationships I didn’t care about or believe in. I didn’t have a preference between Stefan and Damon when it came to Elena’s affections, but I bought into it. As the show went along, though, it kept trying to convince me of too many “true love” situations I didn’t buy. Whether it was Stefan or Klaus or Alaric, I never cared much who Caroline was with, but the show sure did. The show also tried really hard to convince me that Damon and Caroline’s Mom were best friends and then that Damon and Bonnie were best friends and then that anybody would care if Jeremy was finally gone. It got to the point where any time a character was killed or locked in another dimension or even overslept and missed Sunday brunch, it was like the end of the world for another character. Buffy the Vampire Slayer got away with doing this, but not every show with vampires can be Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

*** Enzo. Nah, I’m just kidding. Or am I? An awful lot of the final Vampire Diaries season was about being emotionally invested in Enzo. I wasn’t. Ever.

The Vampire Diaries will end on Friday night and I appreciated that they brought Vicki back a couple times in this last season, which otherwise has been a dull and repetitive cycle of Damon and Stefan both gaining and losing their humanity and various characters arguing over how many of the bad things done during the course of the show they were prepared to forgive each other for.

You’d never know it from the Emmys or Golden Globes or TCA Awards it won, nor from the number of other Top 10 lists it made, but as The Vampire Diaries completes its run, I wanted to check in one last time to remind you: When it was good, it was very, very good.

The day has finally come to say goodbye to Mystic Falls, the Salvatore brothers, and eight seasons worth of shocking twists as The Vampire Diaries airs its series finale. And to honor the show that’s been so special to so many, cast members — both main cast and guest stars — took to social media Friday to say thank you and share memories of their time on the show and what it’s all meant to them. shared.

I have a bloody good relationship with @emmalalonde1 #tvdforever I think this was for a dream sequence in Season 6

Een bericht gedeeld door Candice King (@craccola) op

Regram @kevwilliamson 😢❤️Season 1 #tvdforever

Een bericht gedeeld door Candice King (@craccola) op

Me and Dobreva- London circa 2010

Een bericht gedeeld door Paul Wesley (@paulvedere) op

the book is closing. i still can't believe i'm lucky enough to say i have my own little chapter in it. this show was such a force, and its impact on my life i'll be forever thankful for. to the creators (@kevwilliamson and @julieplec) and the cw, thank you for taking a chance on a young girl that was hoping and praying for a role like this. child actors tirelessly dream of landing on such a stepping stone. it ushered me into the next phase of my career in such a seamless and graceful way. i am overcome with awe to this day of how timely everything fell into place. to the cast and crew, thank you for your open arms. you all taught me so much and made this one of the most positive and unforgettable experiences of my life. and lastly, to anna, who i am so honored to have portrayed. what a truly beautiful character and journey. from her quirkiness and innocence to her depths filled with longing and pain. she became more than a character and words on a page. she was so very real to me, and i'm so glad that others were able to fall in love with her the way that i did. #tvdforever and ever.

Een bericht gedeeld door ᴍᴀʟᴇsᴇ ᴊᴏᴡ (@malesejow) op

From the pilot. Our very first picture together! @iansomerhalder @kevwilliamson #tvdforever #tvdmemories

Een bericht gedeeld door Kevin Williamson (@kevwilliamson) op

Season One wrap party. @craccola @nina @kaylaewell @saracanning @kevwilliamson #tvdforever #tvdmemories

Een bericht gedeeld door Kevin Williamson (@kevwilliamson) op

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