Nina Dobrev's exit from The Vampire Diaries
in season 6 did more than change the course of the next two seasons. According to a recent Entertainment Weekly interview
with showrunner Julie Plec, it completely changed the events of the series finale. Before Elena left the show Plec had a very different ending in mind for the series, one that she had been planning since season 2.
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The series finale of The Vampire Diaries
with Stefan sacrificing himself to give Damon and Elena a new (human) life to together might have emotionally struck some and frustrated others. Plec's original ending was a little bit more depressing and deadly where the Salvatore brothers were concerned. Damon and Stefan were both supposed to die.
Plec and her co-creator Kevin Williamson had planned to have Stefan and Damon both sacrifice themselves. "Back in season 2 when Kevin and I were sitting in the mall and we had fallen in love with this series and this story about two brothers who loved the same girl and the love triangle was kicking into high gear, we said to ourselves: 'When all is said and done, when this show is over, both brothers should die in the name of saving their girl and then be watching her like ghosts,'" Plec explained.
The Vampire Diaries always had a happy ending in mind for Elena Gilbert but it wasn't necessarily with Damon or Stefan by her side. Plec added that they had envisioned that Elena would go off and get married to Matt Donovan or maybe become a doctor, but no matter what happened Damon and Stefan would be on The Other Side "side-by-side watching her live."
It was this ending Plec envisioned and was going to make happen until Nina Dobrev left the show. Once Elena was written off, Plec felt The Vampire Diaries was no longer about the love triangle of Elena, Damon and Stefan. Instead the show became about Damon and Stefan's brotherly love for one another.
"I felt like we had to make a commitment to seeing Damon and Elena through to the end," Plec said. "If Nina had never left, I would've loved to have been able to see if Stefan and Elena could've found their way back to each other. I don't know if they could have, but had that departure not been a part of it, the long game would've been to see if we could bring the love triangle back around before the series ended and really leave a choice. But her departure sealed the romantic contract between Damon and Elena."
Once Elena left the show and the series focused more on Damon and Stefan, Plec couldn't bring herself to kill them both off. She wanted to give at least one of the brothers a happy ending. "There was no way in hell I was killing both of them and leaving neither of them with the happy ending. It just was never going to happen," Plec explained.
So what do you think? Would this series finale have worked better? Are you happy that Damon and Elena got a happy ending? Is it a blessing in disguise that Nina Dobrev left the show? Would you have welcomed a return to the love triangle if Elena had stayed?
(Image courtesy of The CW)