Nina Dobrev Leaving Vampire Diaries: 10 Possible Exit Strategies for Elena

Nina Dobrev Vampire Diaries

It’s true, Vampire Diaries fans: After six seasons of life among Mystic Falls’ finest, Nina Dobrev’s Elena Gilbert is bidding farewell to the supernatural CW drama this May — but how?

Will she take the cure? Will she end up with Damon? Will she even live to see what becomes her friends and lover(s) in Season 7? The possibilities are virtually endless, and even though we’ve barely had time to process the news of Dobrev’s departure, TVLine has already cooked up 10 potential exit strategies for her character.

(Spoiler alert: One possible happily-ever-after reunites Elena with a former, non-Salvatore flame, while several others actually allow the character to remain in Mystic Falls — with a few stipulations, of course.)

And even though Dobrev’s emotional Instagram post promised, “If you think you know what’s coming, you don’t,” we’d like to think at least one of our endings could be at least partially plausible. Like, let’s remember what show we’re talking about, people.

Browse our gallery of Elena’s possible endings below, then drop a comment: How do you think her story should be wrapped up?

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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  1. Riana says:

    All sources point to Matt returning. They could hook up Elena and Tyler but that would be weird

    • mac says:

      actually I could see that happen, we were told that they were friends for all their life (we just never got to see that) and maybe something happens in the next few episodes that has them decide to just leave all the drama behind. If it’s a hook-up or whatever

      Tyler is the one guy on this show who had his life royally f****ed for real, first his dad got killed, then his uncle got murdered by Damon, then Klaus killed his mom, followed with his ex banging the guy that murdered his mom and so on and so on. Lord knows the man deserves better

      • jerrired says:

        Exactly, Tyler got the worst character treatment on the show. That’s why I find it so ridiculous people hate his character. Funny, at the beginning of the season, before Damon’s return and Liv started dating Tyler, I thought the writers might have them hook up. They became strangely closer than we’ve seen them in previous seasons. Really doubt a Tyler-Elena ending, but it would be a funny twist because so many insane fans would riot.

        I actually really like the idea of her taking the cure and leaving with Matt. I never thought of that idea but it would be great. But realistically, I think she’ll take the cure and Damon will erase her memory for some reason and send her off, never remembering either Salvatore.

      • kim says:


    • Me says:

      This show is going to be a hot mess without Elena…dreading s7

  2. Z says:

    body change Elena like on the Originals or spinnoff a new show called Salvatore

    • jbj says:

      Why would a title change be necessary? It’s called The Vampire Diaries and Elena wasn’t even a Vampire when the show started.

    • Me says:

      Funny enough I really like the new Rebecca on TO more than I liked Claire if only they could body change Hayley :-)

  3. Dean says:

    I’m pretty sure she left on her own terms but the die hard fans espcially the onew who shipped her with certian characters are going to whine, complain and make concpiracy theories on her departure.

  4. Leeeeeeeee says:

    great! Her character has been wack for seasons now(she used to be my fav). I kinda hope they kill her off but I dont feel like watching(the most likely final season of tvd) with everybody moping because poor elena is gone. However if they made the big bad for season 7 kill elena at the end of season 6, that would give them motivation to kill him/her instead of whining a whole season.. also too bad katherine cant be the one to kill her lol. And sounds like steroline might be endgame now *fingers crossed*

    • zac says:

      Oh god I just realized that Stefan is now free for Caroline. I guess I’ll be treating season 7 the same way I watch The Following: Hate watching.

      • jbj says:

        Hasn’t Stefan been free for Caroline for a couple of seasons? What it does mean is that Bamon actually has a chance.

      • Me says:

        Don’t even get me started on that forced ship Steroline…goodness me they are going to be the central r/ship! smh

    • brandi says:

      I thought I was the only one who didn’t like Elena. I’ve been so bored with her whining moaning throughout the whole series. Caroline hit right on the head when Elena was trying to talk her out of turning off her humanity switch saying she didn’t really deal with the bad things that happened to her. She turned her humanity off when Jeremy died and burned down her house. When Damon got swept away with Bonnie to the prison world she took some crazy potion to have visions of him.
      I’ve been done with her for a while. I really only watch for Damon, Bonnie, and Caroline. Even Stephan who I was in love with from the beginning is stale. How many times does he have to lose his humanity and become the Ripper before the writers say enough already. And Enzo, his whole story line with Sarah Salvatore is just plain boring! I liked him when he first appeared and now I can’t stand him and his revenge against Stephan story. Why is he trying to get revenge on Stephan again exactly?
      A show with Damon, Bonnnie, Alaric, and Caroline is one I will keep watching. Others may be right saying the show can’t survive without Elena, but I’ll still tune in and keep watching. I think it will be better with her gone, I don’t care if the she is central to the show. Stephan was in the beginning too and he took a back seat to Damon seasons ago.

      • Me says:

        Without Elena the show will die, I’m hoping fans make enough noise that will push the network to cancel TVD…Stefan and Caroline are ok and all but cannot be central!

        • Melissa Aguilera says:

          Look sweetie i can agree without Elena it won’t be the same, but a change for TVD is a great idea, think of the new possibilities the producers have in mind for season 7. I think TVD will do fine in many ways. Can’t wait until the finale of season 6 and on towards season 7 :D

  5. David says:

    Spoiler for the books ahead.

    I am thinking that they are going to take a plot from the books. In then Elena dies. She gets staked but gets ressurected as a human at one point. They could do this and just have Elena return for the series finale if season 7 ressurected as a human if this is last season and reunite her with her true love. I assume the cure will not be taken and will return towards the end of the series. If this does happen they could have whoever Elena winds up with take the cure and ride off in the sunset together.
    Even though she is leaving if season 7 is the final season how could she not return for the finale. So it’s a possibility.

    • kim says:

      Agreed 100% I think she’ll have to come back for the series finally and I also agree she won’t be killed off completely 👌👌👌

  6. Cas says:

    I still think it is a bad idea. She was the main character from season 1. And even though people don’t like her she still is central to the show.

    • 'A' Has Been Revived says:

      Its not the shows decision. Nina is leaving on her own. She has always said she wanted it as a 6 season roll. Not her fault they renewed it for a season 7, knowing she was leaving.

  7. Sims says:

    Man it would be so good if she took the cure, became a happy human, and Matt took her out of town to care for her. Love Matt but want him out of that place before he gets killed! They could be happy humans together (even though I do luff Elena + Damon together… on the bright side this would mean Bonnie + Damon???? Yes please!)

    • AT says:

      I like the idea of Elena taking the cure and leaving with Matt to live a normal, human life. Then next season they need a serious big bad to unite all the main characters and have something to fight against (possible a dark-Willow storyline with Bonnie?). Season 7 won’t work without Elena if it is character-driven instead of plot-driven (even though Elena has been insufferable for seasons now).

      • Ari says:

        I’d like to see them kill Elena off and then have Bonnie go to the dark side trying to resurrect Elena. Of course, Bonnie fails and that sends her into a tailspin. Everyone tries to save Bonnie but the only one that can get through to Bonnie as she struggle with the evil within is Damon. Their friendship, as cultivated is 1994, is what saves Bonnie. Stefan finally realizes his brother isn’t as bad as he makes him out to be and Caroline finds her backbone again and becomes more like season 2 Caroline (minus all of the mooning after Tyler).

      • k says:

        AT, lol dark Willow. That would be nice, but already done. Personally at first I wasn’t thrilled with Elena, until I saw another side to her(Catherine), then I thought, gee she is a good actress. I hate to see her departure from the show because she is a good actress. I really hope that her leaving will create a new twist to the show. Whichever road it takes I’m sure I’ll be watching it. I would really hate it if she took the cure and was “compelled” to forget everyone, for me that is the “easy” way out, and doesn’t really mesh with her character.

    • Bella says:

      I’m all for Elena leaving but not taking Matt with her. I didn’t mind Elena back in the early days but was never a Stefan/Elena or Damon/Elena fan. As long as we see more of Bonnie I’ll be happy. Bring back Jeremy if they want a link to Elena’s side of the family.

  8. Dude says:

    I don’t see them killing her so she’ll most likely take the cure and ride off into the sunset or just ride off into the sunset.

  9. Marcie says:

    I don’t really understand how the series can continue without her. Stefan and Damon are two obviously aging “vampires.” Maybe all three should quit and a new focus could be found.

  10. hansen says:

    I like the idea that see takes the cure and Damon or Stefan compels her to leave Mystic Falls and never look back

  11. Crystal says:

    They could make her human and have the guys compel her memory. Then have her leave town.

  12. Maryann says:

    I really hope they choose 1 or 2. I think fans deserve a satisfying closure rather than a gimmecky or surprising one, and those seem to be the best choices. Letting Elena take the cure and go off to find a human life, or letting her marry Damon and only Damon returns to me would best provide that. Watching which endings for favorite characters on other shows fans have most embraced and which they have hated should give showrunners a clue. ( For example, the Dexter showrunners tried to be creative, surprising and twisty, and it totally tanked. On the other hand, the Sons of Anarchy ending was exactly as expected — and totally satisfying to the vast majority of viewers.)

  13. Klara says:

    There is a british actress named Michelle Keegan who looks very similar to Nina Dobrev…if they can get her, they could introduce her as a relative

    • Dude says:

      She’s on a show in the UK called Ordinary Lies. I love Michelle Keegan but I don’t think she looks as much like Nina as Victoria Justice and Alexandra Chando do.

  14. evoc says:

    Well good, and not a year too soon. Dobrev has appeared bored with the show for several years now, just not that into it. Her real life relationship with Ian Somerhalder seemed to cause her to lose her acting ability – she lost her ability to muster up any chemistry with Paul Wesley onscreen. She did a great job with all her other characters on the show, gifted young actor she is. But not gifted enough for all of it.

    • Dude says:

      I agree. This season she has been so bored and clearly just going through the motions. It’s like she totally gave up.

      • Baileigh says:

        Bored wouldn’t be the adjective I would use to describe it. She looked obviously disgusted in some scenes that she had with Somerhalder. These scenes were supposed to be about Elena and Damon reconnecting on a romantic level and she just looked repulsed by the very idea that she was supposed to have these feelings for his character.

  15. Letti says:

    I hope she will die. Elena did so many horrible things, her punishment should finally come. Though she might be a human and get compelled to leave town. But I don’t think Nina would ever want to return. So kill Elena off painfully, please.

  16. Missy says:

    Elena is definitely taking the cure then as a human is going to die saving somebody, probably damon’s life.

  17. onelastemperor says:

    She should take the cure, and die from illness or something, a heart condition(or drown, like she was fated from the starts), It’ll be so fun, like “you want a new life, a clean slate, here it is – death”)

  18. Barbs says:

    It will be different but I got annoyed with how her character turned out the past few seasons. Plus she seemed like she did not want to play Elena anymore. Now it frees up Damon for Bonnie;)

  19. Paola says:

    Lmao I wont believe anything until season 7, if I watch it, because they said Damon would be gone… Ian made this whole speech on twitter and he’s on season 6. :/

  20. Julia edwards says:

    I think she’s going to take the cure, but remember when kathrine did she was older then a human can live so she died of old age, so Elena will take it and dude because if she wasn’t a vampire she would have died on multiple occasions, therefore as human everything that has happened to her will cause her to pass.

    • SonOfCoul says:

      Don’t think that’s how it works. If I remember correctly, the only reason Kat aged and died is because Silas(I think?) sucked all the cure out of her blood.

  21. Ray says:

    Elena rips a lethal fart. The end,

  22. Polly says:

    END THE SHOW! If she leaves, just wrap it up and call it a day. For god sakes…

    • Gina says:

      I agree. Season 7 just won’t be the same without her. Even though people are starting to dislike her. I feel if she had stayed with Stefan the whole time that she would be been around longer. Lol

  23. Kaylee says:

    PLEASE don’t go you are my biggest fan 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

  24. David says:

    Sad news. Not that I’ve read the books but didn’t Elena become an Angel in them (but was still prominent). I would like to see her get that ending. Send her to heaven. That way nobody really mourns her and can move on to juicy storylines and she isn’t just “in the kitchen” seriously tv line! lol. Whatever the plan is, I will miss watching Nina Dobrev every week. Also, no to anything with Matt. Like we need anymore evidence that he’s a doorMatt.

  25. Dude says:

    The more I think about this, the angrier I become that they didn’t just make this the final season when they’ve known for a year she was leaving.

  26. Mady j says:

    OMG NOT NINA!!!!!! I think one of those possibilities is Damon and Elena getting married. Yes that means she will be compelled to remember him and his memories. But that’s a duh. We already know what’s going to happen. But anyway. All im saying is Elena is either going to die or get locked in the prison world without a way to get back. 😁😁😁

  27. this show now reminds me of THE O.C (mischa barton), ONE TREE HILL (chad michael murray). the show sucks without its main star.

  28. This is THE best TV news this season. Elena has probably been my least fav character throughout the entire show. Everyone always seems to make sacrifices for her and she never pays it back, especially Bonnie! Maybe she can die as a result of everyone else sacrificing their lives for her, this time they can all be like err no clean this mess up yourself!

    Sorry I sound like a child, but seriously great awesome news! :D

  29. zed says:

    My two cents- she goes and travels the world, live a little, maybe study and at the end of ends I would like her to find her way to Elijah. They had a special connection and seriously, although Salvatores are ok, Elijah is the man for her. ;)

    • Baileigh says:

      I always had the impression from Elijah that he had these so-called feelinsg for Elena because he loved Tatia and Elena just reminded him of Tatia. He had the same relationship with Katherine if I recall correctly.

  30. Sabrina says:

    I actually like the body swap idea best of all. The show needs Elena, but not necessarily Nina.

  31. traciwon says:

    Kill her off. It will much more powerful. Let her die saving someone else.

  32. Gina says:

    Wow. I didn’t even know she was leaving. Im not sure it will Last after season 7 then. Especially not if Caroline sticks around. I disliked her more than anyone. Especially with Stefan. I kinda wish she had just gone to the originals. And the whole series is based off of her and Damon and Stefan,. So I wonder what they are gonna do to keep it interesting without her. Maybe it’s time for a new vampire series anyways..

  33. Das Snow says:

    You know they could get Bonnie and Damon together now for all the shippers out there

  34. Baileigh says:

    Am I the only one who hopes (but I won’t hold my breath on this one) that Mama Salvatore will be the one to end up killing Elena ? I would love to see the dumbfounded look on Elena’s face when Mama Salvatore tells her that she isn’t good enough for either one of her sons.
    Then again, if she does kill Elena then Stefan and Damon will be forced to kill their own mother.

  35. Katrina says:

    I think Steven and Caroline who trun off their humanities will kill Elena but Elena will jump to another beautiful body but no one finds out, Elena also won’t say that she is Elena until the last season it can be a very big shock in last season for the characters,dying Elena by Steven can cause a big gap between the brothers and a serious problem, it can ruin their relationships entirely

  36. Charity says:

    Kill her.

    That being said, they’ll ship her off into the sunset, with no memory of vampires.

  37. v says:

    I like to see that Damon becomes in a situation that he has to choose save Elena (who use the cure and become human) or his brother in the process of saving Caroline and Stephen who turn their Damon chooses her brother and Elena dies very tragic

  38. Hope ecker says:

    Marrying Damon and then dying! Please you have to let them get married! And she should get killed by Enzo!

  39. Stephanie says:

    They should have Elena become human and all her human feelings for Matt come back and since he hates vampires and she craves a family and old life, they get together and move away from vampire land and start a long and happy family together

  40. Stephanie says:

    Have elena die and become human and then have Stefan take the cure and start a family together like they both always wanted . Since supposedly it ends season. 7

  41. Stephanie says:

    You could also have Stefan kill Elena while his humanity is off and this will start a new war show between brothers

  42. Stephanie says:

    She could become human and may be even love Stefan again ( both brothers ) and tragically die in a car going off the bridge where her parents died and she should’ve originally died

  43. kianna says:

    I’m thinking Elena takes the cure is super selfish a breaks up with Damon moves away and lives a normal life and dies or she gets trapped in some different world and thy cant get her out or she dies but if she did die it would have to be a really good death not like someone sudden stabs her with a stake and bye bye shes dead ok come on tvd give us a good goodbye for nina she diserves one and Nina your fans love you and i can say for certain you will be missed on tvd xxx

  44. Stephanie says:

    I really hope they don’t delete her memory and compel her away. I feel like Damon should be a little to selfish and love her too much to do that !!

  45. vampcrazy says:

    Damon gives Elena the cure then wipes her Memories and sets her free to live an average human life…. i think?

  46. Anonymous says:

    I would be so pissed off if elena takes the cure and becomes human and they flash to her having children and then flash to more doppelgängers.

  47. Not An Elena Fan says:

    Good luck in having some sort of career after this! Get some advice from David Caruso.

  48. avon says:

    Body change Elena to make it seem she is still on the show.

  49. Reaper Stefan tries to kill Elena and Damon is needed to choose between the epic love of his life and his brother Stefan

  50. Stephanie says:

    I think Damon loves Elena so much that he would choose her over his brother if had to.