Warning: HUGE spoilers ahead!
Loyal fans of The CW's The Vampire Diaries will undoubtedly be left broken hearted this week for it has been confirmed that an original cast member is bidding their final adieu to the show.
We have already had to deal with the departure of Elena's on-screen brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) over the past year, yet this new announcement is the biggest blow of all.
For those of you who prefer not to have all your Mystic Falls hopes and dreams shattered, click away from this page now or fear being slapped in the face with the harsh reality of the following announcement.
Nina Dobrev is leaving The Vampire Diaries!
Wanting to be the first to break the big news, she took to Instagram to post a picture of herself in embrace with the show's executive producer, Julie Plec:
The post was accompanied with the following heart-felt words:
"I always knew I wanted Elena's story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime. I was a human, a vampire, a doppelgänger, a crazy immortal, a doppelgänger pretending to be human, a human pretending to be a doppelgänger. I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there's still so much more to come before the season finale in May. Elena fell in love not once, but twice, with two epic soul mates, and I myself made some of the best friends I'll ever know and built an extended family I will love forever."
With the season finale approaching, this comes as a hard-hitting shock. Yet, Nina promises to share more in depth in the June issue of SELF magazine. In the meantime however, she urges her fans to wipe away the tears, and instead, to celebrate the wonderful character that Elena has been. She said:
"I invite you to hop on the roller coaster ride that is Elena Gilbert's life and join me as I celebrate her and prepare to say goodbye to her."
"I am moving onto the next chapter of my life"
Expressing her gratitude to her loving fans, she also said:
"I want to share this goodbye with all of you (this weekend's pictures were just the beginning). You, the wonderful fandom who gave more love, support and passion than anyone could have ever imagined seven years ago, when a young Degrassi girl from Canada showed up in LA to audition for 'that Twilight TV show.' ;-) I love you all. Fasten your seat-belts. If you think you know what's coming, you don't."
We wish Nina the very best in the next chapter of her life! Although we will miss her, it is exciting to see where her career will take her next. Julie Plec could not have said it better, when she spoke out about the departure of her show's female lead:
"Nina is excited to spread her wings, get some rest, travel the world and also take it by storm, and we support her a thousand-fold."
Tyler also appears to be following Elena out the door
Hot on the heels of Nina's announcement, Michael Trevino has also confirmed that he may be preparing to say his goodbyes. Once this season wraps, he may not return depending on how his other projects go, namely ABC's The Kingmakers. Should the pilot move forward, he may have to leave The CW show.
Yet, Julie Plec remains hopeful:
“Michael has been a beloved member of the Vampire Diaries family since Day 1. [...] Even though he’s also going to be out in the world exploring new opportunities, we look forward to finding creative ways to make sure he and his character Tyler Lockwood always remain a part of the show.”
The Vampire Diaries will return
Despite a series of heavy losses and struggling viewer ratings, the show endeavors to return for a seventh season. In particular, Julie Plec reassured fans that not all is lost and that there is still a lot to be excited about:
"We look forward to the insane and exciting challenge of continuing to tell stories of our Salvatore Brothers and our much-loved and gifted ensemble."
Yet, after nearly six seasons of Dobrev in the role of Elena, can anyone possibly fill her shoes?
Brace yourself for an Elena-shaped void and in the meantime, take another forlorn look at the promo for the next episode of The Vampire Diaries, set to air on April 16: