It’s true. Elena Gilbert is leaving Mystic Falls.
After some Vampire Diaries cast and crew members posted—and then removed—Instagram photos of Nina Dobrev with the hashtag #WeWillMissYouNina over the weekend, rumors started to spread that Dobrev might be leaving the show. Now, Dobrev herself has posted a photo confirming that the sixth season will be her last.
With the show already renewed for a seventh season, it’s unclear whether Elena might die—much like she did multiple times in the books—or simply say goodbye to the town she loves.
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
Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec then issued a statement on Dobrev’s departure:
“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.”
Plec then also spoke to the departure of Michael Trevino, who was recently cast in a pilot. Trevino has also been a part of The Vampire Diaries since its pilot. “Michael has been a beloved member of the Vampire Diaries family since day one. Even though he’s also going to be out in the world exploring new opportunities, we look forward to finding creative ways to make sure he and his character Tyler Lockwood always remain a part of the show.”
In other words, fans will likely see more of Tyler moving forward, but the same can’t be said for Elena.