It’s been more than a year since the Salvatore brothers said goodbye … or rather, hello.

When The Vampire Diaries ended its eight-season run in March of 2017, Stefan Salvatore sacrificed himself to kill Katherine once and for all, thereby saving Mystic Falls and allowing his brother — who had finally returned to being the man Stefan looked up to as a kid — to live a happy human life with Elena. And thanks to a flashforward, fans were able to see the brothers reunite in peace after Damon’s death.

The final scene of the finale featured said reunion, with the last words of the entire series being the very same words that Damon first spoke in the pilot (though delivered quite differently). After Stefan opened the door of the Salvatore house, Damon gave us one last “Hello brother.” The two then embraced as the show came to an end.

But that sentimental moment was almost very different. After all, Damon was never one for moments of sincerity. If given a choice, Damon almost always went for a snarky response or enigmatic one-liner. That’s why the first draft of that scene had a bit more humor. “The original version was ‘Oh, I see they have hero hair in heaven,” TVD co-creator Kevin Williamson says of Damon’s line. “Then they hugged.” But Williamson says that he and fellow co-creator Julie Plec, who wrote the finale together, realized they wanted the moment to be a bit more emotional, which led them to the decision to bring things full circle by revisiting Damon’s first line in the series.

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The Vampire Diaries

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

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