Warning: Spoilers for the Vampire Diaries finale ahead. Proceed at your peril if you haven't had chance to watch the episode yet.
The wildly anticipated — and equally dreaded — Vampire Diaries finale ripped across our screen on Friday evening while casually raking at our hearts for good measure, but a new interview from Entertainment Weekly proves the ending wasn't always going to be like this.
If you need an update, Stefan sacrificed himself and finally found rest from his seemingly endless torment. After his selfless act, Bonnie was free to travel the world and Matt stepped up to the plate as a potential mayor for Mystic Falls while Caroline and Alaric planned to open a school for supernatural kids. Perhaps most importantly, Damon and Elena lived a happy human life before being emotionally reunited with their loved ones in the afterlife. In short, it was one hell of a ride.
Remind yourself of the tear-jerking reunion between Delena with the video below:
While this ending gave the characters we have loved and lived through for eight years the ending they deserved, the original ending was actually penned at the end of season two when Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson had no idea the show would be successful enough to run for a staggering eight seasons.
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In the original spirit of the show, the original ending revolved around the love triangle between Damon, Stefan and Elena and, according to Plec herself, it was meant to go down like this:
"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 — because we had introduced the Other Side — as she went off into the sunset to live her life and maybe marry Matt Donovan or maybe become a doctor, but that those brothers would be side-by-side watching her live. That was the thing that made us cry all the tears in season 2."
Of course, when Nina Dobrev left the show back in Season 6, the love triangle could no longer be the focus of the show and Plec was forced to alter the ending so at least one of the Salvatore bothers could live happily ever after:
“I felt like we had to make a commitment to seeing Damon and Elena through to the end. 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. In that moment, to me, the show ceased to be about a love triangle and became a show about the power of these brothers and their love for each other. And so 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.
The original ending would have been fitting for the time when it was penned, but after seeing the show develop, the poetic moment where Damon Salvatore's last lines echo his very first on the show was perfect for me. The words "Hello, brother" which were once so full of venom were transformed into a message of love emphasizing the most dramatic relationship of the whole show; the one between the once mysterious siblings who started it all.
Which of these endings would you have preferred for 'The Vampire Diaries?'