And now for some good news for fans of The Vampire Diaries: After leaving the CW drama at the end of Season 6, leading lady Nina Dobrev is returning in time to give the show a final sendoff. The actress made the news official on Instagram Thursday, posting an image of her script for Episode 16 of Season 8, called “I Was Feeling Epic.”
It won’t be a major surprise for TVD fans, since Dobrev’s Elena Gilbert wasn’t killed off — she’s still in a coma, thanks to Kai. Plus, the producers have been teasing a final return for the series’ conclusion.
Executive producer Caroline Dries said a year ago, “I would say that, if The CW called today and was like, ‘By the way, Season 7 is the last season,’ then I think we would scramble to make sure that she was in the finale. But as of right now, we’re acting like the show will go on.” Julie Plec, another EP who’s also directing Dobrev’s return episode, told EW in 2015, “Nina has always said that if there’s something for her to do in the series finale that she will be there to do it. When she left, she said, ‘I want to see this character to its end at the end of the show, so I can’t wait to come back and put her to bed again.’” Shortly after it was announced TVD would come to an end with Season 8, Plec confirmed that she and Dobrev agreed for an Elena comeback to close things out.
According to reports, Dobrev made the decision to leave TVD before Season 7. Having been a mainstay of the series since the very beginning, in addition to taking on a doppelgänger role, she wanted time for herself to relax and move onto new opportunities.
The series finale of The Vampire Diaries airs on The CW Friday, March 10th at 8 p.m. ET.