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Vampire Diaries' Nina Dobrev Talks Life After Damon, Stelena's New 'Journey'

Vampire Diaries Season 6 Spoilers

With Elena’s boyfriend and best friend gone to Plec-knows-where, Nina Dobrev tells TVLine that her character’s choices in The Vampire Diaries‘ sixth season “will ultimately define who she is.” And that’s not necessarily a good thing.

RELATED Vampire Diaries‘ Nina Dobrev Crossing Over to The Originals as [Spoiler]

Below, Dobrev discusses Elena’s “odd” response to Damon’s apparent death in Thursday’s premiere (The CW, 8/7c) and addresses some major developments — like why the heck Elena and Stefan are holding hands in the official Season 6 poster.

TVLINE | Elena looks to be at her lowest point in Season 6, which must be rough for you as an actress. Has this been some of your most intense work yet?
Weirdly no. To be honest, the past six years have kind of blurred together. I can’t even separate specific episodes as being more difficult than others, though I’ve definitely had difficult experiences that have pushed me as an actress. This is just another one of those experiences. I mean, Jeremy’s died, Bonnie’s died, my parents have died, I’ve died — about three or four times — so I’ve had to go through a lot on this show. It’s like actor boot camp, I love it.

TVLINE | And at least you’re only playing one character this time.
[Laughs] Yeah, you know what? This might actually be the easiest acting I’ve had to do so far. Just one character! Plus, no boyfriends at the moment — I’m not dating Damon or Stefan. I actually get days off now, it’s great.

TVLINE | Damon’s obviously been a huge — at times even controlling — part of Elena’s life for the past five seasons. Who is she without him?
Well, there was a period, of course, when she was with Stefan, and then alone before that, so she’s been through various phases — though she has been with Damon for a very long time. I think that’s the main question in the first episode, and even Elena is going to have to figure that out, herself: Who is she without him? She definitely has a very unique, odd, unhealthy way of dealing with his loss, which will ultimately define who she is.

TVLINE | Jeremy’s also grieving the loss of Bonnie. Is Elena going to help him through that process?
Unfortunately, they kind of have to deal with their grief separately because Elena’s still not allowed into Mystic Falls. She can’t go back, so she has no choice but to help him via phone and social media and technology.

TVLINE | So she’s just tweeting her condolences to @JeremyGilbert?
[Laughs] Pretty much, yeah.

TVLINE | Side note: I watched the pilot the other day and Jeremy was a little baby. I feel like he’s grown up right in front of our eyes.
Oh my God, yeah. But we all have, if you think about it. I mean, I was 21 when we started the show, so that makes me … I don’t even want to say it out loud.

Vampire Diaries Season 6TVLINE | OK, I won’t make you. But I do want to ask why Elena and Stefan are holding hands on the Season 6 poster.
Wouldn’t you like to know! All of our characters go on a journey this season; Damon and Bonnie have disappeared, which is why they’re holding hands, so Stefan and Elena have to take the lead and save the day. They’re left to pull through and grieve the people they’ve lost.

TVLINE | So it’s more of a supportive hand-holding thing?
I mean … you never know where they’re going, honestly. We’re shooting Episode 8 right now, so we still have over half the season to film. Anything could happen. As of right now, it’s more of a support thing.

TVLINE | I know you can’t tell me, but can you give me a one-word hint about where Damon and Bonnie are?
One word? Um… Oblivion. Sorry, I honestly can’t think of anything else that wouldn’t completely give it away!

All right, TVD fans, let’s talk: Where do you think Bonnie and Damon disappeared to? And are you hoping for a(nother) Stelena reunion? Browse photos from Season 6 below, then drop a comment with your thoughts and theories.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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37 Comments
  1. Dennis says:

    Elena is the worst part of the show which id funny because I do enjoy Catherine.

  2. Sibi Stella says:

    I hope Elena and Stefan get back together.

  3. murley says:

    Stefan is my favorite (well tied with Alaric) so I just want him to get the best storylines. At this point I feel like that means keeping him away from Elena. I say drop th love triangle and pursue the Stefan and Caroline thing and try to fix the Damon and Elena mess from last season. OR be really bold and work towards Stefan/Caroline, Damon/Bonnie and have Elena die at the end if the series in some tragic, heroic way. That could be cool.

    • aunni says:

      sefan deserve better than neurotic, mistic falls whore caroline. he sd be with a human girl, where he can hv a beautiful life.

      • murley says:

        Ok well I like Caroline. And I am not really into calling (even fictional) women whores.
        Personally I want Stefan with a character I am already invested in and care about.

  4. jockstrap says:

    Is the game on?

  5. Kar says:

    Elena should die and keep Katherine

  6. Amy says:

    I feel like this show has run its course. I’m really glad Alaric is back, and I’m hoping for a nice return of the snarky-buddy dynamic with him and Damon (because there’s no way they’re leaving the leading man separated from the cast for long). I do think Stefan and Elena are better as friends; I feel like they were more of a romantic, idealized first love that has settled into friendly affection, while Damon suits vampire!Elena and her more adult self.

    • I don’t think the show has run its course, but I totally agree with everything else you stated. I really want to see Alaric and Damon together again. Love their rapport. =D

    • Jocelyn says:

      Agree completely. I think Dries’ description of Stefan as Elena’s “soul friend” is pretty accurate. I can’t see them as a couple anymore, they just don’t make sense. And this season feels very final, like they’re wrapping up.

  7. michelle says:

    Love Stefan and would really like him to be happy. Never could stand Damon so he needs to stay dead.

  8. Fran says:

    I’m watching in the hopes that characters may actually have a storyline this year. Last year everything and everyone revolved around the Damon and Elena relationship.

  9. Kirsten says:

    How has she been with Damon a “very long time”?! It’s been months, that’s not that long. She was with Stefan for a long time.

    • Sharon says:

      It seems like forever because of how they were shown constantly throughout the entire series again again it’s was overbearing it feels like they’ve been together for years zzzzz

  10. Jazmin says:

    All I want is Stefan and Elena together forever and ever

  11. Andrea Payne says:

    I want stefan and elena back together

  12. Lies says:

    this gives me some hope again, bring back stelena, it has been 2 years. Time to bring back the triangle and this couple!!

    • Stefan Salvatore says:

      I think they will put Stefan and Elena back together bc they were a dynamic couple and I hope when Damon and Bonnie come back Damon isn’t pissed at Stefan for going back with Elena

  13. Delena For Life says:

    ok, i think that damon and elena need to get back together for elenas sake but stefan and caroline?? YES! needs to happen! LEXI told stefan about her and i think that we can all agree that lexi knows best. after watching the season 6 premiere, stefan needs to pull it together and realize that his friends need him right now. and CAN EVERYONE PLEASE STOP DISSING CAROLINE I MEAN FOR REAL? tyler, elena, stefan and now that bonnie and damon are in oblivion… yep. THATS EVERYBODY!!! jer needs to pull it together too… or someone needs to compel him… (Its a joke dating back to season 1 or 2 think?) but seriously. and what is matt doing? is he all the sudden afraid of vampires? i hope not… because I LOVE HIM TOO MUCH but i think i love the rest of them more than just him. oh and tyler needs to break that pesky curse. ok I’m done ranting :)

    • Une de Mai says:

      Stefan doesn’t need to pull anything together. You people need to stop expecting that Stefan will constantly sacrifice his own happiness because Elena/Caroline/Damon/Santa Claus/Obama/his grandmother need him. Stefan has the RIGHT to choose how HE wants to live HIS OWN LIFE. And he doesn’t owe anybody anything.

  14. zed says:

    I would like to see Elena grow and get back to herself. Since she became a vampire she is totally lost. The human Elena was amazing, and there was growth and changes happening in her character in season 3. The vampire Elena, ever since she got involved with Damon became a wreck. It’s like he sucked the real Elena out of her. I would like to see in season 6 her getting back to her real self, and kick the wrecked facade that she had been wearing for the last season.
    There is life after Salvatore brothers and I would like to see her move on, and have a life, detached from the brothers. I hope this season will be about the journey for all the characters – to find their place in the world.

  15. Une de Mai says:

    “though she has been with Damon for a very long time”

    Does she even watch this show? She wasn’t even with Damon for a year and during a part of that not-even-a-year, she was freaking sired to him. And then when she stopped being sired, they had sex non-stop for three months and after that, they either broke up or had more sex. The only time she ever had a couple moment with Damon was when she HALLUCINATED said moment.

  16. Wow, these comments are strange. Katherine was an evil thing. She was fun to watch because Nina is frelling awesome, but as a character she has no redeemable value which she continually proved over the last couple seasons. I love Elena in the tv series waaaaaaay more than the books. I always see comments about ppl hating her and just don’t get it. She’s been naive and stupid before but she’s grown quite a bit – plus she’s a teenager for godsakes so she deserves to be graded on a curve. Anyway, even if Delena never becomes a reality again I would be disappointed if Stefan and Elena got back together at ANY point in their lives. Their love was never convincing to me. Ever. The fact that the ‘universe’ was drawing them together actually made more sense than them being some epic love. They are great together as close friends, but that’s it.

  17. Lexi says:

    I really hope Stelena to be together again,I want Bonnie and Damon back :( I like Damon (I was very sad when he got stuck in nowhere with Bonnie and really hope they are not gone for good) but for Elena only Stefan! I fell for TVD because of Stelena they are so cute together so I keep praying that they finally can find their way back to each other again ♡ I heard that Caroline may develop some feelings for Stefan and I sincerely hope Julie Plec to not spoil their friendship because that will totally ruin the idea that a girl can never be only friend with an boy without having an affair after :(( I want Caroline to support Stef for his brother’s loss and be there for for him but not comforting him romantically speaking.

  18. sandra says:

    Of course i want Stefan and Elena together! Their love is the core of this show. How they met, fell in love, supported each other, shouldered the weight of the world together… Please give us back Stelena and give the importance to the other characters. This Delena story drags this show down, down, down.

  19. mindy says:

    i need stelena bring back Stefan and elena together :) they are true love always will be please damon is dead keep him dead no advance to the delena fans and stelena was always better that’s true love delena is fake ! it just a stage she belongs with Stefan <3
    BRING BACK STELENA PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Trish says:

    The writer who created the vampire diaries has said contrary to popular belief its about Damon and Elenas love story not stefan. If she jumps back and forth between brothers she gon look like a homewrecker.

  21. Donna says:

    Keep Elena away from Stefan, he deserves someone better than her bring in a new girStefan.

  22. Jocelyn says:

    Can’t wait for the DE reunion. SE is always a faint possibility but it seems like they’re going to go the friendship route for those two, which I think is best. They were sweet in season one but I really can’t see them together now. Also I hope they bring in a good villain because they haven’t had one since season 3 Klaus. And I hope Stefan finds love again. I don’t feel him and Elena (I actually wish he’d ended up with Katherine) but I love his character and hope he finds happiness with someone. This feels like a final season and I want to see them tie up all the loose ends.

  23. seema55555 says:

    Yeah Elena? She is not working..
    Demon and Stefan are better on thr own… And please keep her away from Demon !! She doesn’t worth it

  24. I’m glad Nina reminded the media that there was a time when Elena and Stefan used to date and not only, but they used to be the core of the show. Honestly, I always felt like Elena’s love for Stefan was stronger than her love for Damon. They made Elena’s love for Damon so “exagerrated” that to me it looks like an unhealthy obsession. I don’t care how the writers made Elena act like Damon’s the love of her life which to me sounds just fake and rushed and over the top, I’ll always believe that Stefan was the one for her, many people seem to forget this, but Elena was madly in love with Stefan.

  25. Missy says:

    I love Stefan and Elena … I will never like the idea of Caroline and Stefan …. I started to lose interest in TVD when Elena and Damon got together… I definitely want Bonnie back for Jeremy’s sake, he is a wreck without her.

  26. Anu Surya says:

    i want Stefan n Elena back 2gether
    i love i really love Stefan alot n i can’t c him like this
    n do hell vth that damon,he got more than he deserve n its time 2 reunite Stefan n elena

  27. Georgia Lloyd says:

    I think bonnie and Damon have gone off together.
    Yes I’m hoping for a stelena reunion they’ve been epic since series 1, wouldn’t it be weird for them not to be end game when it ends?