It's been more than a year since Nine Dobrev shut her eyes on the The Vampire Diaries world as she put her character Elena Gilbert to rest following a tragic sleeping spell inflicted by vampy villain Kai.
Yet despite officially bidding a fine farewell to The CW series, fans were overjoyed to learn this wasn't the last time they'd be hearing from the show's former protagonist.
In Friday's chaotic Season 7 finale episode "Gods & Monsters," Dobrev came back to the show once more — that is, we heard her voice during one of the sequences. Although footage of Elena has been recycled numerous times during the past season, this time the appearance marked a more definitive involvement. Here's the clip of Damon hearing her voice in the Armory vault:
Speaking to TVLine, showrunner Julie Plec revealed:
“In this particular case, she came in and did the ADR, [automated dialogue replacement]. I reached out and said, ‘We can either cobble it together from a bunch of episodes, or you can come in and see everybody and do ADR.'"
Thankfully, Dobrev chose the latter:
" She chose to do it in person, which was great, because it was a nice little personal Nina visit.”
So does this mean we haven't seen the last of Elena just yet? Could Dobrev be returning for more? Well, according to Plec, this could definitely be the case. The producer teased fans by admitting that she is intending to stick to her original plan of bringing Dobrev back for the series finale at some point in the future:
“It’s what she and I kind of agreed on when she decided to move on, and it’s what I’ve got in my head. Obviously things can change throughout time, if the show goes on longer than we expect it to, or if we all collectively decide it would be fun to bring her back earlier, and she wanted to.”
However, she did also reveal that it was ultimately Nina's choice; since the actress left the show, she has repeatedly stated that she has no intentions of returning.
Could this have been the only exception?
Plec was quick to add:
"In my opinion, she was very clear about what she wanted the next step in her life to be, and she’s doing a great job of achieving that. So I’m sticking with my side of the plan, which is to bring her back at the very end.”