‘The Vampire Diaries’ Season 7 Spoilers: What Happened To Mystic Falls, Plus What Damon Is Like Without Elena

So with the Vampire Diaries season 6 finale, Nina Dobrev – and Elena Gilbert – have left the CW series. The brief glimpse ahead that the final scene offered was not promising for a hopeful future.

The TVD season 6 finale picked up right where the previous episode left off, with Alaric and Jo’s wedding in ruins, thanks to Kai. Jo died, and Kai killed himself to kill off the rest of the Gemini coven. (However, to save Tyler to trigger his curse, Liv made him kill her before she could die because of Kai’s actions.) Thanks to the vampire blood Kai made Lily give him, he became a heretic, and he had one more surprise up his sleeve: he linked Elena’s life to Bonnie’s, so that while Bonnie lived, Elena remained asleep. He even presented a dying Bonnie to Damon so he would have to choose, and Damon decapitated him before giving Bonnie his blood.

With that, all that was left were the goodbyes, and while Caroline, Stefan and Damon will see Elena again, the same cannot be said for Bonnie and likely Alaric, Tyler, Matt and Jeremy (who arrived just in time to see his sister). But even after Elena was secured while she slept, thanks to a spell from Bonnie since vampires would want the cure in her body, that wasn’t the end. Instead, the final scene showed, after an undetermined amount of time had passed, Matt was a police officer, patrolling a Mystic Falls that had seen much better days, and Damon was hanging out on top of the clock tower.

The CW has already released a video of executive producers Caroline Dries and Julie Plec teasing what’s to come in season 7. There are obviously no new scenes just yet since season 6 just ended, but there is a tiny (obvious) hint about what to expect from Damon.

“We’ll get to see how Damon Salvatore is surviving without the love of his life. It’s not going to be pretty,” Plec previews.

In fact, Ian Somerhalder told TVGuide.com that he’s looking forward to what Damon will be like in The Vampire Diaries season 7.

“With any change comes a bit of a limbo stage. The last two shots of this episode truly depict where Mystic Falls is, and this is different. I’m excited to tell these f—ked up, dark, sexy, edgy, volatile stories. Now we get to go back to some really great storytelling that was the Season 1 and 2 of the show, which we all loved so much. I want that Damon back.”

So what exactly happened to Mystic Falls? Fortunately, the answer to that – and how much time has passed – will come in the first episode in the fall, Dries told E! News.

“The time jump is part of the narrative and story of episode 1. Why are there boarded-up windows? Why is there garbage everywhere? What the heck happened? Why is Damon standing on that clock tower looking so pissed off?”

The Vampire Diaries season 7 will air Thursdays at 8 p.m. this fall on the CW.

[Image via the CW]