Nina Dobrev's departure from The Vampire Diaries in Season 6 signaled the beginning of the end for the hit series. Although the show continued without Dobrev, it experienced a significant drop in ratings during Season 7. Now that Ian Somerhalder and Kat Graham have confirmed Season 8 will be their last, is there a possibility that Dobrev will return to the show?
Dobrev's decision to part ways with The Vampire Diaries made sense at the time. According to Teen Vogue, Dobrev wanted to expand her career opportunities, and her work on the show did not give her enough time for other projects. While fans were left saddened by Dobrev's departure, there is a strong possibility that she will leave room in her busy movie schedule to at least make a cameo in the final season.
After all, what would The Vampire Diaries series finale be without one of its main characters? Even more, a Dobrev return would certainly help in the ratings department for a show that has sputtered along over the past year. The biggest questions remaining are how the writers plan on bringing Dobrev's character back and whether or not fans will see an onscreen reunion between Elena and her ex-boyfriend both on and offscreen — Somerhalder's Damon Salvatore.
Whatever happens between Somerhalder and Dobrev, it is certain that Season 8 will be the last for Damon. According to Celeb Dirty Laundry, Somerhalder made the announcement during Walker Stalker Con, which was held in Nashville over the weekend. His comments followed Graham's statement that next season would be her final year as Bonnie Bennett.
"We have decided to do one last season to really do the story justice," Somerhalder shared with fans.
As far as bringing Nina Dobrev's character back, there is good reason to believe that Graham will not live through the entire last season. After all, the only way Elena can wake up from her magic-induced sleep is if Bonnie dies. Considering Graham's comments, this might happen sooner rather than later, which might mean that Dobrev will make an extended appearance in Season 8.
According to Hollywood Life, there is little question that Dobrev will reprise her role on The Vampire Diaries. In fact, an inside source put Nina's chances of a return at "10,000 percent." That being said, Dobrev might only appear in one or two episodes in instead of coming on board for the entire year.
"At this very moment, it is expected that Nina will be a part of the show on a very limited basis," the source explained to the outlet. "There is still tons of time to figure it all out and deal with proper scheduling, but it is going to be a less is more type of situation to finish her story."
With all the reports of Dobrev's return, fans are hopeful that the series might continue past the eighth season. Considering how her departure led to a major drop in ratings, Dobrev's return will likely bring ratings back to normal. However, given how Dobrev has moved on with her career, there is little chance that she would agree to stay on the series in order to keep it going for another season.
At this time, Dobrev has not confirmed her involvement in Season 8. With Season 7 reaching the end of the road, fans might have to wait a while longer before anything official is announced. Even still, the excitement for Dobrev's return and a possible onscreen reunion with Somerhalder is only going to grow as the series enters its final season.
The current season of The Vampire Diaries airs Friday nights on The CW.
Tell us! Do you want to see Nina Dobrev return for more than just one episode of the final season of The Vampire Diaries? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via The CW]