Throwback Thursday
The Vampire Diaries Stefan

Paul Wesley Looks Back on TVD Finale, Calls Stefan's Ending 'Poetic Justice'

It’s been more than four months since The Vampire Diaries wrapped its eight-season run on The CW, and some people are still angry about the way things ended for Stefan Salvatore — but his portrayer, Paul Wesley, isn’t one of them.

“It was something I was really hoping for,” Wesley tells TVLine of Stefan’s untimely demise, which came less than 24 hours after he and Caroline Forbes became husband and wife. “I’d put in a good word, because I felt it needed end that way. I thought he really needed to die.”

Unlike many of the fans who forgave Stefan for his (countless) transgressions over the years — because, come on, it’s a show about vampires! — Wesley isn’t about to let his character off so easily.

“It was important poetic justice for all the bad things he’d done,” Wesley continues. “He was a murderer ultimately. He’d found so much redemption, yet was still tormented. For me, him making that ultimate sacrifice was a great way to say goodbye.”

Wesley’s line of thinking certainly lines up with that of showrunner Julie Plec, who had this to say about Stefan’s death back in March: “When we landed on the idea of Caroline needing to leave [Stefan] behind in honor of protecting her family, and then him needing to leave her behind in honor of protecting his, it felt somehow like the responsible outcome of a responsible relationship.”

How are you feeling about the TVD finale, four months later? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.

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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63 Comments
  1. Hannah Lee says:

    I feel great about the finale. Stefan and Caroline were a terrible couple, especially after he killed her best friend’s boyfriend and Caroline didn’t even blink. It was terrible for the character who I thought had the best character development until season 7.

  2. Cheryl says:

    I loved the ending. I think Stefan had to die to in order for Damon and Elena to have a real human future together. I never thought that Stefan was the right guy for Elena. No passion and no challenge. The thing that I would have changed would have been to see Damon’s face when Elena embraced him or have them at least speak to each other. It was a long time waiting for that ending, and I did feel a little cheated.

    • Bertha Burdine says:

      That was all Nina’s doing. She didn’t want to be where Ian was. I kinda felt cheated on Damon and Elena’s reunion to. She could have at least did her acting without grudges.

      • Jo says:

        I feel like the one who put no effort in those Delena reunion scenes was Ian. He looked miserable.

        • Stacey says:

          It was definitely Ian who had a problem with it. Nina tried to be professional at least.

          • Jennifer McArthur says:

            Maybe because Ian was just done with delena and all the drama it brought to his personal life, plus he didn’t want delena so professional or not he’s still human and has a right to be bitter about things. Nina left her character and the fans and yet she wasn’t called unprofessional. Hmmmmm.

        • Sarah G says:

          Lol he was meant to look like that tho??? They reunited at his bro’s funeral + then Elena’s voice over talked about how he was always worrying about never seeing Stefan again or w/e. Like I get how shippers might feel screwed over by the Delena reunion, but that was a writing choice not down to either of the actors???

          • Jo says:

            Ok the scene when Damon and Elena first reunited I can see why he would act like that since Stefan just died. But there was a moment when they were walking and holding hands and he looked at her with a forced smile on his face. It was like a grimace. To me it didn’t read as a writing choice, but Ian not really putting in his best effort.

            I actually disliked Delena as a couple but I can understand why some fans felt disappointed. It wasn’t really the scenes that bothered them, it was the acting.

          • Sarah G says:

            @Jo – that moment happened while Elena was voice overing about him always worrying about never seeing Stefan again tho??? Imo it was obvs he was meant to look like that both bc of her v/o + to contrast with the ‘pure happiness’ of Defan’s reunion in the final scene. Imo that’s why they wrote it as they did – having Delena reunite at Stefan’s funeral + later showing Damon look like he was still struggling to be happy – it was all so the Defan moment would be the 1 with all the power, the big ‘happy ending’ for both bros. Also imo the fact JP directed the ep imo say it all – it was her (+ KW’s) script, she’s gonna have made sure she got what she wanted out of the actors.

            Like you I can understand fans being disappointed – but imo they’re laying the blame in the wrong direction. Imo, it was a writing (+ directing) choice.

          • Jo says:

            Based on the drama surrounding their breakup and Ian saying in interviews how DE shouldn’t end up together, it’s easy for fans to interpret Ian’s acting as him not wanting to work with his ex. And that’s how I see his performance as well. But with the context of that scene and Damon worrying about Stefan, I can also see from your perspective that his acting might have been based on the writing.

            I read that they had written a proposal scene but they cut it so it wasn’t filmed. That scene could have been a chance to see if Ian and Nina could act well together again. Whoever the responsible parties are, it’s kinda sad how lackluster those reunion scenes were. My friend who liked DE was really disappointed. Felt bad for her.

          • Sarah G says:

            @Jo – If Nina had left as soon as they split up, if the finale was the 1st ‘test’ if they were ok working together + if his acting had been ‘off’ in the fake Delena reunion with Katherine earlier in the ep then Idk, maybe I’d be more able to understand ppl assuming things re the actors??? But none of that’s the case. Idk I just don’t get why the fandom/shippers – which I know you’re not – rush to assume sthg that imo just doesn’t seem to add up???? Bc imo Ian’s performance with her earlier in the ep, during the fakeout Delena reunion with Katherine – when Stefan was alive – was toooooootally different to the end of the ep when Stefan was dead. During that ‘reunion’ Damon seemed awestruck + overjoyed etc etc + ppl loved it when it was released as a teaser ahead of the ep, thinking it was the ‘perfect’ reunion. If he had a problem acting with ND, why wouldn’t it have shown up then??? Also obvs he was able to spend a couple of yrs after they split convincingly doing romantic + sexual scenes with her. The only time ppl think he ‘couldn’t’ was when Damon was at his bro’s funeral + then during the handholding when Elena was v/o-ing that he worried all the time about never seeing his bro again. Imo the script was literally telling us what was going on with Damon + it was a script choice – not actor drama. I get ppl feeling disappointed – but imo ppl are blaming the wrong person.
            Btw Jo – just wanna say even tho we have different povs, I’ve enjoyed the discussion :)

    • Kyng says:

      Pfft. Damon and Elena were one of the most toxic couples on a show full of toxic couples. What’s worse, is Elena went from a strong character, and the show’s moral center, to a weak willed character who let Damon run all over her as long as they had hot make up sex.

      • Sarah G says:

        Lol she was dating a serial killer from pretty much day 1 tho, she was never any kind of moral center. And when Stefan left her, gurl swooned over him while in his murder cupboard + dgaf about him murdering either ppl she knew or innocent strangers – she just wanted him to go back to being her BF again. Idk why ppl think she only got like that once she got with Damon lol, she was like that lonnnnng before him.

        • Kyng says:

          Both Damon and Stephan should have died imo. That being said, Elena always tried to to do the right thing, and always tried to get Stephan to make the right choices. She also made her own….when she got with Damon she became more like him…and even when attempting to make her own choices Damon just said F that and forced a different decision on her(nevermind having her brother killed twice).
          Let’s also not forget Stephan going to Klaus was to protect Damon, and keep the fact that Elena was alive from Klaus. He willingly went back into his own hell to keep them safe, while Damon was making his moves on her.

          • Jennifer says:

            Exactly!! Thank you! Someone with brains. Damon and Elena were the most horrifying couple I ever had to watch lol. Elena wasn’t even Elena anymore and Damon was always the character that thought he deserved everything he wanted even if ppl had to die for it. So damn annoying and Delena ultimately ruined the show.

        • Jennifer says:

          Well at least Stefan recognized his wrong doings and they weighed on him throughout the series. Damon could care less what he did to ppl or to his loved ones. Damon should have died too.

      • Sammie says:

        Couldn’t agree more

    • Naz says:

      Im going to comment more in details after watching it im on S8E12 but i cant get myself to see that it will end soon and i will be gutted .. i think they should have continued on .. millions of fans that watched these two serious the originals and vampire diares one of theeee best programmes eva😢😢😢im going to be depressed

    • Kazza says:

      I agree. I did feel cheated as well.

  3. Leah says:

    Considering I barely watched Season 8, the finale ripped my guts out. I’d already spoiled the finale (duh) but it still made me weep, mostly that scene with Stefan and Elena. Stefan’s death was the only ending, really, and Paul sums it up so well here.

  4. katiefanatic says:

    it’s no secret paul hates stefan so his opinion doesn’t count for much. i quit that piece of crap show when elena dated the dude that killed her brother.

    • Alicia says:

      *this*

    • Daisy F. says:

      I agree with you 100 percent! I continued watching it, but seriously Stefan was not the monster that Damon ever was (ripper or not). I hated that Elena ended up with Damon because everyone seems to forget that he KILLED HER BROTHER. How does someone get over that–enough to love him for the rest of their eternal lives? Seriously? Annoying as hell. I didn’t mind that Stefan died and I wasn’t surprised.

      • Oh please. Stefan was going to kill *her* he was on the way to kill Elena and killed Enzo because he got in the way. If Bonnie hadn’t ambushed him with the cure Stefan would have KILLED Elena. He is every bit as much of a monster as anyone. I don’t hate Stefan but seriously, he doesn’t get a free pass and for as if this wasn’t a thing, people can deny it as much as they want with all the excuses but he would have killed her.

        • Michael J Angelo III says:

          This! People are just ridiculous. They are both murderers and, at various times in their lives, were horrific monsters. Whiny-ass shippers get on my nerves.

    • Why doesn’t his opinion count? Just because he doesn’t like character, doesn’t make his opinion any less valid. So only people who like Stefan are allowed to have opinions?

    • steelvek says:

      he doesn’t hate Stefan, in fact he loves him he just doesn’t like what Stefan has become and what he says. He makes it sometimes very obvious being sarcastic that’s why I love Paul xD.

  5. lily says:

    the finale, stefan’s death and the plec quote are ridiculous everyone more so than the other

  6. M. says:

    I would agree with him if both died. Stefan having to die for Damons happy future was a terrible ending. Especially after Stefan just said a few episodes before that he can’t die and has to fight as a human to make things right? The writing was a mess.

    • Michael J Angelo III says:

      He made that statement before he could make the ultimate sacrifice, which would go along way in terms of his redemption. He knew very well that he could be swept into hell but chose to sacrifice himself anyway. It was actually the perfect way to redeem himself.

  7. Gilded Lady says:

    Eh. The notion that Katherine was somehow pulling the Devil’s strings the whole time was so laughable and so poorly done that I can’t take the finale seriously.

    • Mellow one says:

      Agreed! It was so horribly thought out, they really couldn’t come up with something better?! I’ve read fan fiction that has better plot twists.

      It was even more ridiculous when they cut off Kai’s scenes just to announce her return. His character deserved better than to be painted like some one dimensional villain. Julie Plec treated Damon like he was some hero & saint that deserved saving.

    • Karen says:

      Gilded Lady—that statement sums it up. I watched that show for 8 seasons (and admit I loved it) but each one got more far fetched than the last. Katherine manipulating the devil took the cake. Especially considering in a show full of vampires and werewolves Katherine was not the worst and certainly not savvy enough to out devil the devil

  8. I do understand Pauls views. hell even Anakin Skywalker had to die to redeem himself. But if you take this route you have to be consequential about it. Meaning if Stefan needs to die so he can be redeemed then Damon, Caroline, Klaus, Elijah and virtually every vampire in the TVD verse needs to die in order to find redemption too. Including even Elena who used to be a vampire.

    You cannot say “This vampire needs to die to find redemption but this one can just change himself or become human and is off the hook” Thats not how it works.

    • Jameb says:

      My thoughts exactly! Sounds like writer’s were looking for any excuse to give Delena a happy ending. Damon of all people didn’t deserve it. The pseudo finale was fake as if they all had a clean slate afterwards, then went into the after life together despite slaughtering so many innocence. Paul was just being nice in this interview.

  9. Kiono Ingram says:

    I’m heart broken about Vampire Diaries….they should’ve done a spin off where Matt got to be happy. Or what about Enzo and Bonnie? They didn’t even get to be happy long! Bring back the show!!!!!!!

  10. Kaye says:

    Outside of the Delena thing, I thought it was poetic as well that Stefan died with Katherine. Even though they hated each other by the end, the whole thing started with the two of them, it seems fitting that it end that way too.

  11. Ben says:

    I loved the finale. Although I would have liked Enzo and Bonnie together alive, everyone ended in a good place. Stefan’s sacrifice had me in tears and I loved it

  12. Bertha Burdine says:

    I think it was a wonderful ending for him. He made peace, by giving the ultimate sacrifice, his life. It was sad, tramatic for Caroline and hard on Damon. I was sad to see the show end. But they did it justice.

  13. Jason says:

    Even as a fan of Stefan and Caroline, I was satisfied with the way things ended. It honored their love for each other and said that even though they have to part now, someday they’ll be reunited. Just as Stefan was with Damon. I suppose the punishment is that he may have to wait hundreds of years, but it’s not like he was sent to hell. And it’s hard to tell what the passage of time is like there.

  14. nisha says:

    Stefan IS the better man!

  15. Mellow one says:

    Coming from someone that faithfully watched the show since season 1, the ending was not satisfying. Damon should have died with his brother in my opinion. Julie can redeem him, but not Kai Parker?!

    Then baited us with character death (Enzo & Tyler) which was totally unnecessary. Steroline shouldn’t have happened, they in plain words not ground breaking. I could tell Paul Wesley was so over it (based on interviews & his acting towards Caroline. Lol Same for Ian & Kat, either Bamon or Bonkai should have happened romantically. Elena & Damon’s ending was a cop out. It was clear the actors didn’t want to kiss.

    The show could have been saved if they didn’t kill off Kai & ruin his relationship with Bonnie in season 6. The Gemini coven had a more interesting story than the heretics. Season 7 & 8 were just awful because the writer’s (julie plec) was afraid to take it there.

    Damon should have moved on after Elena. Bonnie and Kai could have been that canon couple, not that fake Benenzo stuff. No development whatsoever & very last minute. Lastly, the disrespect for Bonnie’s character as the sacrificial lamb was pretty much the entire theme of the show. TVD use to be my favorite guilty pleasure show, now it’s become something short of a joke.

    • Stacey says:

      According to JP and KW, they only did Steroline because Nina left. If Nina stayed on board they would have teased out the triangle even more and she most likely end up with Stefan. JP wanted to kill off both brothers but felt she couldn’t kill Damon off since she needed to have a payoff for him waiting for Elena.

  16. Jec says:

    The ending was great. For a show that pretty much sucked after season 3, they constructed a good finale that gave a beautiful ending to the show.

  17. Pamela says:

    I read an interview with Kevin W and Julie P that said if Nina didn’t leave they were going to bring the love triangle back again and have Elena choose Stefan or Damon around the time of the series finale. So that explains the Stefan and Caroline romance coming out of left field (poor writing aside). Thank goodness Nina left or we would have had to endure more seasons of the triangle. Btw for the people who didn’t read this article, they also said the ending they envisioned at the time of season 2 before the show went on as long as it did and things changed, was Elena ending up with Matt and Stefan and Damon both die and watch over her from the spiritual realm as she gets to live her happy life…

  18. Irene black says:

    Too Rushed, rubbish ending, very disappointed after following for 8 seasons

  19. Dee thomas says:

    I loved the vampire D . And i thinkDamon wasalways being tortured and getting the dirty end of all of everyones mistakes .He was burned stabbed and hurt by females and took blame for his brothers crap to and porteayed always as the bad no good brother from the beginning .yet his brother was even worst at times and when turned his back on everyone . So i dont think fair to put all evil on damon .even the wolves were evil at times and i hated that the show ended and i thought all the actors were great and did there parts well and wish they would all reunite and do again i wish they would come back and add more another chapter . The cast great amd very ebtertaining .And people lets not forget it was a vampire show not a teen kid school of vampires but suppose to portray vampires and therelives there down falls and how they survived and and so much more that i think people missed .like i said i loved theseries and the cast and the writers and i miss it alot wish would come back to tv . Theres no more excitement on tv to look forward to each week and nothing that can beat it on either . . I say come back Vampire D. Please and all its cast and writers start a new from the old .Do a nother from where u left off and bring back all or as many of the cast that will return mthey were great . Love you guys and the series watched every week .looked forward to it .the best .

  20. Oncer says:

    So if Stefan had to sacrifice himself to get redemption then every Vampire on TVD and TO should sacrifice themself to get redemption, why should Damon get to live a happy human life when he’s done countless of horrible things as well, and what about the other vampires, if anything Damon and Stefan should have both sacrificed themself, not just Stefan, and yes he killed Enzo but Enzo was no saint either, Stefan tried to do the right thing, when his humnaity was on.

  21. Sarah G says:

    Loved TVD + loved the finale!!! I loved Stefan + I don’t think they ‘needed’ to kill him, but imo killing him did work – him sacrificing himself + all the bro stuff in the finale had me crying. Tbh it felt ‘right’ imo that we went from ‘this is my story’ in the 1st ep – to TVD ending w/ the end of his story.

    Miss this show lots already!!!! Btw thx for all your articles on it over the yrs Andy!!!! :)

  22. Katrina barker says:

    Loved the the show really wished there was a way to continue with all star cast but thanhs for the enjoyment of watching it

  23. Kim says:

    I miss the show!!! I hated what happened to Enzo.. Poor Bonnie should have had an epic life with him not without. I can say as much as i love Stefan.. if he had to die for Klaus to get Caroline im fine with it…

  24. kar says:

    It was stupid he needed to die, but Damon got everything when he was a murdering psycho who never had remorse for even killing Tyler

  25. Naz says:

    I feel gutted .. the best episode without any of the charecters like damon and elena bonnie stefen caroline were the main charecters i think bonnie and damon could have had a thing just like stefen and caroline also was perfect with claus too .. great pair there was still so much could have been done to this story .. plz bring them back 😢😢😢one of my two best programmes i watched and the originals

  26. Coral Gonzalez says:

    They should makes more seasons but now they should make Elena and Stefan the number one couple and. And make Caroline and Daimon together they should have a big twist and then both couples end up happy I mean that’s what the public wants is to have Stefan and Elena together and they should give the public what they want and many people think the same they should make the next season where Bonnie the which in all of this bring him back to life

  27. Television says:

    I’m hoping they just magically erase the last events, so that they can continue this show in some way with the Salvatore brothers, which is why I watched. They can just pick it up and make it a dream, an alternate universe, anything other than having him die. I don’t get why they did that, didnt make sense, he could have jumped out of the way. But seriously, please pick this show back up and focus on the Salvatore brothers, heck maybe even show them when they were young and the earlier years of being vampires!!! That would actually be awesome, so many stories they could tell, and I really liked the flashback episodes of when they were “younger” anyway.

  28. Sammie says:

    Stefan should never of been paired with Caroline. That dynamic really didn’t work for me. Stefan and Elena should of completed their arc and found each other again. Damon and Bonnie should of ended up together, and Caroline and Tyler also. That would of been more consistent with the book. I only carried on watching in the vein hope the writers were going to do the books justice. Really won’t bother again.

  29. BonnieStanFF says:

    Julie Plec was such a Delena Stan, and so terrified of Somergraham chem, that she foisted Beremy and Bonzo on us and then doubled-down and left Bonnie alone with no revelation of how and where she ended up (but never shied from killing her, torturing her, orphaning her or subjecting her to second-rate ‘romantic’ interests even though she saved MF and every @ss in it multiple times).

    Funny since Bonnie was a major character (and Damon’s OTP) in the source novels…

  30. Gia says:

    The fact that Caroline never showed the slightest remorse about being a vampire and killing people and acted “oh, it’s just a nice superpower” until the end will never stop bugging me.

    I wish they had moved on from Elena when Nina left. And Stefan’s death was right, if only more characters had died for redemption it would have been great.

    • Jason says:

      Caroline had very few deaths on her hands. Those few that occurred, happened because she wasn’t herself. And it would be very unlike Caroline to dwell on these things instead of moving forward. If she seemed at ease with her nature, it’s just because Caroline was an exceptionally well adjusted vampire. Much like Lexie, she adapted to it easily, becoming her best self. She never had the self control issues or some underlying darkness. Except for that brief time when she turned off her humanity, she used blood bags the whole time, and never had issues with it. Even when she turned off that humanity, Caroline still maintained her control. Atleast until Stefan flipped his switch.

      • Gia says:

        It doesn’t matter if it was just a few, even one death should maybe make her think the fact that she killed someone. Of course other people in the series killed whole cities (adding up all their active years), but still, she never felt remorse. She was the only character (important or minor) to never care.

        Killing people isn’t bad only when it’s done because of darkness or issues. I know it’s a vampire show, but I expected at least some thoughts about the fact that she is a murderer. She was always “oh, human blood makes me super strong and sex is better”, which is just cold and detached.

        For me she didn’t adjust quickly, more like immediately. She didn’t just move forward, she didn’t even pause.

        And she didn’t flinch about other vampires’ killings either. She was ok with people dying and briefly showed concern because the scenario demanded it, but the overarching reaction was “uh, who cares”.

        Lexi showed she cared about the people she killed and the whole vampires killing people thing in general, and she had a fraction of the screen time.

  31. Kazza says:

    Lost the love when Elena left the series and came back for 5 seconds . Waste of my years watching it.

  32. Jennifer says:

    Both brothers should have died tbh. They were both murderers so why was Damon’s life more important?? Makes zero sense but then again the show made zero sense after season 3 lol.