The Vampire Diaries series finale certainly had its epic moments, but the ending wasn’t epic for everyone. The final moments showed the lives of the characters, including Matt, Bonnie, and Caroline. It featured Damon and Elena together, but fans couldn’t help notice that they never said a word from the moment of their reunion.
The ending was supposed to be very different – and not just based on plans way back in The Vampire Diaries Season 2. There were around 18 minutes of footage cut out of the series finale, Kevin Williamson explained shortly after the airing of the show. Cosmopolitan reports that within those 18 minutes was the much anticipated and called for Delena proposal in the TVD series finale.
— Nayara Alencar (@Nay_Alencar) March 13, 2017
Fans were understandably heartbroken that they never saw the proposal. Sure, Elena was seen wearing an engagement and wedding ring, but fans missed how Damon asked Elena to marry him. They also felt cheated that they never got to see Damon get used to being human again – after over a century of living as a vampire.
Many fans of the show have complained about how rushed the ending felt. Williamson says that the episode was 18 minutes over, and one of those moments was the proposal with Elena dressed in scrubs. For the showrunners, the point of that scene was to show that Elena went to medical school. However, they never quite understood the way that fans would react to not having it there. It was more than just showing Elena became a doctor but a way to see Delena together again. Just knowing the two married wasn’t enough for many.
Admittedly by the showrunners, trying to find a balance for the Vampire Diaries series finale was never going to be easy. It had to balance a wrap to the show and a thank you message to the fans. To make things harder, Nina Dobrev was only around for the one episode, so everything with her two characters – Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce – had to be included in just 40 minutes of airtime.
— m u s k a a n ✨ (@liveeachday22) March 10, 2017
Of course, the CW could have helped. The network could have allowed an extra 20 minutes. Some fans have shared in Facebook groups that they would have liked to see the special in the hour slot earlier to be cut short to allow for a longer series finale.
There were certainly other fans who were happy. They didn’t need to see the proposal since it meant they could imagine it instead. Plec has even commented that not showing everything means that there is a lot of fan fiction potential. The Vampire Diaries is one of the fan fiction genres that can make money through Amazon self-publishing.
Some fans just weren’t happy because Delena became the final ship. It turns out that Stelena was nearly the ending. Had Dobrev not decided to leave in The Vampire Diaries Season 6, the writers were going to find a way for Stefan and Elena to find their way back to each other. That was the way the show started and the way they wanted it to end. Dobrev’s departure cemented Delena as the end game and meant that the showrunners needed to find a new girl for Stefan, which led to Steroline.
— requested polls (@poppoIIs) March 11, 2017
Fans were also disappointed that some of the earlier characters didn’t get to appear. Joseph Morgan, who plays Klaus, was meant to deliver the check to Caroline for the boarding school by hand. He couldn’t make it due to scheduling conflicts, so the letter was used instead. Malese Jow, who played Anna, was also requested, but scheduling conflicts meant that she couldn’t return.
The Vampire Diaries series finale wasn’t perfect, but it is very hard to get a fine balance. There is a Delena proposal on the cutting room floor and maybe it will make its way to the DVD boxset. The Vampire Diaries Season 8 will be available on Netflix on March 18, 2017.
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