Just as she did with her initial departure, the actress announced her return via Instagram:
“I’m thrilled to bring this show to an end the way we always intended — with Nina back to help us say goodbye,” executive producer Julie Plec said in a statement. Adds fellow EP Kevin Williamson, “I’m so excited to have Nina back to ensure our farewell episode is truly epic!”
Though Dobrev has been seen fairly regularly throughout this final season (via flashbacks), she hasn’t filmed any new scenes since wrapping Season 6 in 2015. She did, however, record fresh audio for the Season 7 finale, in which Sybil mimicked Elena’s voice to lure Damon into the Armory vault.
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“I reached out and said,’ We can either cobble it together from a bunch of episodes, or you can come in and see everybody and do ADR,” executive producer Julie Plec told TVLine of Dobrev’s vocal cameo. “She chose to do it in person, which was great, because it was a nice little personal Nina visit.”
Dobrev has kept herself pretty busy since bidding Mystic Falls adieu, scoring roles in movies like xXx: Return of Xander Cage and Flatliners. She’ll also guest-star in an episode of Workaholics‘ final season.
Time to theorize, TVD fans: How is this all going down (and will Bonnie have to die again in order to make it happen)? Drop a comment with your hopes and hypotheses below.