Credit: Justin Stephens/The CW
Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…

When a show is called The Vampire Diaries, there’s one thing you come to expect: diaries. And when The Vampire Diaries premiered, there were two characters holding pens—Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert. But what started out as Stefan’s story eventually found its footing in Elena, who journaled all of her feelings about the death of her parents, her brother Jeremy, and of course, Stefan and Damon Salvatore.

Three years later, we followed her story as she died, became a vampire, and switched Salvatore brothers. Whether fans shipped Stelena or Delena—or another couple altogether—they watched Elena find happiness. So what’s going to happen when Elena Gilbert, the scribe of The Vampire Diaries—even though she no longer journals—says goodbye?

That I don’t know. What I do know is that Dobrev’s departure inspires a whole mess of thoughts and feelings for any TVD fans. So I’m going to work this out the way old Elena Gilbert would, by writing all of mine down in this fancy technological journal.

Dear Diary,

Nina Dobrev is leaving The Vampire Diaries.

I hate to admit it, but my first thought was that this could be good news. Ever since Elena became a vampire, I have liked her less and less. I’m not sure exactly what that is, but she’s certainly not my favorite character on the show—so perhaps her absence will be a positive thing. We no longer have to worry about Delena or Stelena. It can be all Salvatore all the time. This is great!

No. Stop. Wait. I take it all back—because, as much as I fight it, I do still love Elena. And what about the love story? What does an Elena-less world look like for Stefan and Damon? This show was always pitched as a love story, so how does it survive without the common denominator in its love triangle? After six years of epic speeches and romantic kisses, am I just supposed to let that love die? This is not real life—love is supposed to last!

Also, are Stefan and Damon going to be able to move on? Is Alaric? Oh my God, Alaric! He’s lost so much… and now he’s about to be a father. Elena better be at his wedding. Crap, can you imagine Alaric’s goodbye to Elena?! I’m still not over her goodbye to him.

And what about Caroline and Bonnie? Am I supposed to believe that control freak Caroline would let her bestie leave? More importantly, am I supposed to stand by and watch poor Matty Blue Eyes cry? Because I truly can’t handle that. I mean, Matt has always loved Elena. Elena literally died to save him. Will he be able to recover from losing her?

That probably depends on how she goes. How will the show handle that? Maybe she’ll take the cure, become human, and then someone will compel her to forget everything? That way, she could still show up for the series finale (and maybe pick a Salvatore as well). Or maybe they’ll have her jump into another body? Then Elena would still be around, only she’d look a little different. Eh, that option makes me feel weird. Whatever the writers choose to do, they cannot recast and/or try to replace Elena in any way.

There’s always door number three: She dies. At least it would be a pattern: Every three seasons, Elena dies. But just think of Stefan and Damon’s faces. I would never recover.

Furthermore, does this mean there’s hope for Bamon? Or is this show going to completely do away with romance? What if Stefan and Damon just start killing everyone? (I’d watch it.)

You know what else I’d watch? A completely humanity-free Vampire Diaries. No humanity for anyone—even the humans! Talk about a twist.

Sorry, I’m losing focus: Okay, say Elena does choose a human life. Could she ever really have one considering she’s a doppelganger? Won’t the universe eventually pull her and Stefan back together? (Or is that done?)

Hold on: I wonder how long the show has known about this. Is it why Caroline’s taken on a bigger role lately? Ugh, I do love Caroline.

In all honesty, I always thought Elena’s end would be the show’s—and now I feel hurt, alone, scared, and confused. I’d really like a Salvatore to come hug me. Because deep down, I’m worried that TVD is now going to feel like The O.C.—I’ll enjoy the season(s) after her death, but I’ll never rewatch them the same way that I rewatch the ones she was in.

I wonder what song they’ll play for her exit. I wonder how hard I’ll cry. HOW CAN THIS SHOW GO ON?!

Bottom line: Elena, stay the hell away from Wickery Bridge.

Episode Recaps

Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…
The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.

  • TV Show