The Vampire Diaries seems to be nearing the end that fans have been fearing, since Nina Dobrev's departure a year ago. Making that devastating loss that much more real for fans of The Vampire Diaries is the fact that two of the show's greatest stars have made plain their plans to depart the show as well. The inability of series producers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson to maintain a compelling storyline without Nina Dobrev may be partly to blame in that they attempted to hold open the vacant part left by Dobrev indefinitely without recognizing that the story of The Vampire Diaries has always focused on the Gilbert and Salvatore families with a particular interest in the way Elena Gilbert (Dobrev) and her doppelgangers have been able to temper and direct the vampire rage held within both Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). Without Elena, the story of The Vampire Diaries begins to unravel.
The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder Teases The End Of Mystic Falls
Perhaps the story writers on The Vampire Diaries will leave the fabled city of Mystic Falls intact as they craft the end of the series, but make no mistake, that end is drawing nearer than fans have anticipated. Ian Somerhalder revealed as much, during an appearance at Walker Stalker Con in Nashville this past Sunday, where he spoke as a part of The Vampire Diaries panel. In referencing the end of the series, The Vampire Diaries actor suggested that the show will be going out with a bang, giving Damon Salvatore a fitting end.
"We have decided to do one last season to really do the story justice," says Somerhalder. "My role is shifting in the show and we have a lot to do, basically."
While Ian is speaking publicly about the end of The Vampire Diaries, voicing a concern to go out in a way that would allow cast and crew to deliver an end to the series that would give The Vampire Diaries' fans a sense of closure, representatives for the CW network have denied that there are any plans to cancel the show. In fact, the renewal of The Vampire Diaries for Season 8 would seem to suggest that there's still life left in the series and perhaps Somerhalder is speaking out of turn.
In any case, Ian Somerhalder isn't the only star looking for an early departure.
Executive Producer Julie Plec Reacts To Kat Graham's Desire To Leave The Show
While it seems Ian is content to stick with The Vampire Diaries to its end, whenever that may be, Kat Graham, who plays Bonnie Bennett on the series, has revealed that she's not quite so patient. The actress says she will be leaving the show at the end of next season, whether The Vampire Diaries goes on or not.
"Season 8 will be my last season. I just hope that whatever I do after, the crew can come with me. If the crew can come with me, then we'll be good. The crew is going to be the hardest thing to let go, because we are a family," Ms. Graham says.
Kat also hints that The Vampire Diaries will, in fact, be concluding after just one more season, as she suggests that Season 8 will take fans on an epic ride of action, drama, and heartbreak.
"But you know what, another season is a whole other year, and we're going to blow it out."
It's plain that The Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec is unhappy to see yet another star of the show move on in search of bigger and better things, but, much like a den mother, Plec also seems willing to let them go on in search of brighter futures for themselves.
"I feel like knowing that she is feeling ready to move on and say goodbye to Bonnie, now it's my challenge and the writers challenge to do right by that," The Vampire Diaries' Plec says. "We have a year to do it so I'm excited to come up with all the different ways that her character can say goodbye."
If The Vampire Diaries is to end after Season 8, and that seems to be the general consensus among cast and crew, Season 7 seems to have already prepared for big changes for its characters. Matt (Zach Roerig) has chased all of the vampires out of Mystic Falls, leaving Caroline (Candice King) and Alaric (Matthew Davis) to start a new life in Texas, while Damon is out twisting in the wind, trying to get Stefan's spirit and body reunited. That leaves Bonnie to choose a path that will lead her to her own piece of happiness. In the end, will some of our favorite characters from The Vampire Diaries end up in New Orleans with the Mikaelsons?
The next episode of The Vampire Diaries airs on Friday, April 15, on the CW network.
[Image by CW]