By Candice King
February 10, 2017 at 11:24 AM EST
Annette Brown/The CW
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With one season left in The Vampire Diaries’ run, we decided it was time to start collecting everyone’s final diary entries. Every week during the final season, EW is asking those involved with the show to look back on one of their favorite moments from the series. So grab your tissues and join us on this trip down a vampire-filled memory lane.

This week, Candice King talks about her time playing Caroline Forbes…

I remember that while filming the pilot, it was one or the other: The show was either not going to work and everyone’s over vampires, or it was going to be a really big f–king deal. But it was also my first pilot, so that was already a big deal to me. That was huge. But everyone really, really wanted it to work out, so there was a lot of hope and a lot of excitement and it would’ve been very disappointing had it not worked out. From the get-go, people had that anticipation of this is going to be a really life-changing experience.

The writers have kept Caroline interesting over the years. I am grateful that she’s always had a very strong arc. Even in moments where that arc has been in support of another character and what another character’s processing, I feel like it’s been beneficial to Caroline growing as an individual. With her turning into a vampire, I thought that was such a fun and beautiful, defining arc for her. It was still so early on in the series that I just wanted to keep my job and I wanted the character to stay alive, even if that meant that she had to become dead to do so. I just really loved being here and I didn’t want to have to leave, so I feel like it was a great opportunity and a big step up for that character, so going to work I just was so eager to learn and do my best every way I could. Not that I still don’t do that eight years later, but maybe it’s a little different, a little bit more comfortable now.

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And then I loved that in season 6 I was still going to work excited and intimidated and challenged with Caroline’s story line being that her mom was passing away from cancer. And then on top of that, all the different love interests over the years and on top of that, the fact that it’s a very high action-packed series. So playing a vampire, I’ve been able to be a part of a lot of stunts and locations and blood and gore and prosthetics — things that you wouldn’t normally do in a non-supernatural series.

I think where the show really excels and people get excited is with the flashbacks and the big scenes that seem impossible to pull off, which are usually the finales or the season openers. But I think as a viewer, where the show would excel would be the ability to keep people tuned in even on commercial breaks.

–As told to Samantha Highfill

The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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