Ian Somerhalder on Elena's Presence in The Vampire Diaries' Final Episodes: 'She Is Still the Light in Damon's Life'

The Vampire Diaries Elena

Even if Nina Dobrev doesn’t return to film new scenes, Vampire Diaries fans will be getting a whole lot of Elena as the CW drama barrels towards its March 10 series finale — and you have Sybil to thank for it.

Having already spent much of Season 8 warping Damon’s mind with memories of his sleeping beauty, Sybil kicks things up a notch in Friday’s episode (8/7c), which finds the gang reliving one of the series’ most iconic events: the Miss Mystic Falls pageant. As Stefan recalls in the promo below, Damon and Elena’s dance at the 2010 pageant marked the beginning of their “vomit-inducing love story.”

As you probably also noticed in the promo, Sybil is back to her old tricks, attempting to do… whatever it is she’s doing.

“I don’t know exactly what’s happening,” Ian Somerhalder admits to TVLine. “But I do know one thing: Elena never really left. She’s always ever-present, and she plays a great deal into Damon’s morality, his understanding of who he is — especially in these last episodes. Despite everything he’s gotten involved with, he’s still trying to make decisions Elena would approve of, because she is still the light in his life, even cast in the darkness of her absence.”

Sadly, Somerhalder has no update to share on Dobrev’s tentative return: “How much she’s going to physically play into things, I’m not really sure. I think they’re just finishing writing the finale now.” (Disclaimer: This interview was conducted several days before Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson completed the series finale.)

Your hopes for The Vampire Diaries‘ home stretch? Drop ’em in a comment below.

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