Is Nina Dobrev’s ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Return As Katherine, Not Elena?

Nina Dobrev has already confirmed her return to The Vampire Diaries, but are fans in for another shocking twist before The CW show ends in just two weeks?

The Vampire Diaries fans are speculating that Nina could actually be heading back as Elena Gilbert’s doppelganger Katherine Pierce after both Dobrev and those behind the scenes of the vampire drama have been hinting that viewers haven’t seen the last of Katherine – despite her being dragged to hell back in Season 5.

Dobrev most recently appeared to hint at Katherine’s return in a message posted to Instagram on February 6, in which she posted a snap of a number of “giving keys” which she signed off from all the alter-egos she played on the show in the past, with Katherine’s name coming first on the list.

Thanking The Vampire Diaries fans in the sweet message, in which Nina called returning to the show one final time a “whirlwind of emotion, nostalgia, love, tears of joy, and bittersweet endings,” fans speculated that Dobrev could have been dropping a serious hint by signing off, “Love, Katherine, Amara, Tatia, and of course, Elena Gilbert.”

Nina Dobrev attends photocall and press conference to promote "xXx: Return of Xander Cage"

Nina’s decision to put Katherine’s name first on the list seriously got fans speculating on social media, suggesting that there may be a chance Dobrev could be reprising her The Vampire Diaries role as Katherine instead of, or even as well as, Nina’s fan-favorite main character Elena.

“Instead of bringing back Elena on TVD,” Twitter user @ISpiceUpHell speculated of the possible The Vampire Diaries twist when Nina returns, “it should be Katherine’s soul in Elena’s body because how can they possibly mind f*** the viewers.”

“Really hope Nina’s return is as Katherine and not Elena,” @aliciacollinsxo added of Dobrev’s possible shocking The Vampire Diaries twist, and ‏‏@Britzz62 wrote, “It seems every dead character is somehow appearing in The Vampire Diaries series finale…if you don’t bring back Katherine…”

“They bring everyone back from the dead on Vampire Diaries,” @d_justicee24 added after Dobrev confirmed that she would be returning, “can they please bring back Katherine Pierce.”

However, other The Vampire Diaries fans weren’t too happy about the possibility of Nina Dobrev bringing back Katherine and not Elena as speculation hit fever pitch regarding Nina’s return, making their feelings known about the speculation on Twitter.

“If Nina comes back to TVD as Katherine and not Elena I’ll be [very] upset,” @alexispopovitch tweeted of the possibility of Dobrev returning to The Vampire Diaries as Katherine in the final few episodes.

Nina and those behind the scenes have yet to speak out amid the speculation Dobrev could be back as Katherine and/or Elena, though speculation first began that Katherine could make a shocking return last year after showrunner Julie Plec told Entertainment Weekly back in November that Katherine was still on her mind, despite Nina havening not officially confirmed her The Vampire Diaries return at the time.

After fans saw Georgie dragged off to Hell in an almost identical way to the way in which Katherine was killed off in Season 5, Plec revealed at the time that the similarities between the two big deaths were no mistake, even hinting that there’s a chance Georgie and Nina’s alter ego could both could return from hell in the upcoming episodes of The Vampire Diaries.

Nina Dobrev on the red carpet at the 2016 American Music Awards

“I will confirm nothing, but the visual similarities are not accidental,” Plec said at the time of a possible The Vampire Diaries twist that could see Dobrev return as Katherine. “The big question of the season is: How do our characters fit in this world? Are they all doomed? Is there a chance for redemption? Can you earn your way back out of a one-way ticket to Hell?”

“And even characters that have been heroes, are they already marked?” Julie continued as fans began to speculate about Dobrev potentially returning as Katherine. “If so, what the hell are they going to do about it?”

The Vampire Diaries airs on Friday nights on The CW.

Do you think there’s a chance Nina Dobrev’s return to The Vampire Diaries could be as Katherine Pierce and not Elena Gilbert?

[Featured Image by John Sciulli/Getty Images for InStyle]