‘Vampire Diaries’, Season 8 Spoilers: Will Elena Return?

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Tonight is the last season premiere of the hit CW show, Vampire Diaries, and as the end draws near, fans are wondering how Season 8 will pan out. Will Enzo and Damon wreak even more murderous havoc? Will Caroline and Stefan stay together? And– perhaps the biggest question on everyone’s mind– will Elena appear in the finale season?

Here’s what we know.

In a recent interview with TV Line, Julie Plec, executive producer, said, “[Elena] has a very strong presence this season, in the entire season, similarly to how she did last year.” Elena, after all, was the only character who didn’t actually die when she exited the show, meaning that her return wouldn’t be too farfetched. Plec mysteriously (and perhaps suggestively) added on, “Not to put too much pressure on anything, but a promise was made. An emotional promise that I would like see come to life. There’s been friendship promises made and now we’ll see if we can deliver on them.”

Debrov hasn’t been seen in any new footage since she left the show in May 2015. In an August interview with TV Line, CW president Mark Pedowitz said, “There are discussions going on with Nina. We’d love to have Nina back. She was great for The CW. She was integral for The Vampire Diaries.” But the show’s creators have braced for impact by coming up with a backup plan if Dobrev says “no” to appearing on the show against for the last season. “Hopefully she’ll be back, but should it not work out, Julie [Plec] has planned a great series finale [that will satisfy fans].”

In her exit interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dobrev stated, “The fairy tale has to end, and the next chapter has to begin. I knew this was my time, and I’m excited for the next step.” Mirror reports that Dobrev was desperate to leave the show despite the fact that her bosses had asked her to stay. On a KCRW podcast, Plec said, “Nina had said earlier this year that she wanted to be done, and we spent a little time trying to talk her out of it,” said Plec on the KCRW podcast. [We’d say,] ‘Oh, look at all these great plans of how you can stay!'”

Plec added on that despite the rumors Dobrev left the show because of her former relationship with Ian Somerhalder (or, maybe the catalyst was really Somerhalder’s sudden engagement to Nikki Reed) there were no “hard feelings” about Nina leaving the show. “She finally was like, ‘No, I signed up for six years. I’ve done my six years. I’m ready to move on and spread my wings.”

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