The Vampire Diaries ended in 2017 after eight years on the air, and fans could have seen a very different series finale. The other Salvatore brother could have bit the dust in the end!
“I wanted flash-forwards. Ever since we decided to put Elena in a sleeping beauty spell that couldn’t be broken until Bonnie died, I wanted to see the scene with 85-year-old Bonnie and Damon by her side, and they’re the best of friends. And then she dies of natural causes because I just thought that Bonnie deserved a rich and full life. I had this scene in my head for so long and then Kevin [felt] that stories are more impactful when you play them in the here and now. So we compromised by showing everybody just slightly ahead in their life and having those characters observing from peace, which in my opinion worked like a charm and I’m so happy we did it that way. The other big debate we had was: Which Salvatore brother is going to take the bullet for the other? We debated that so much because we could make a really strong case for either. And we finally settled on Damon was going to die. And then Kevin walked into the room and he’s like, “What’s Stefan’s life going to be like?” I said, “He’s going to be happy with Caroline and uh uh… uh, I don’t know.” [Laughs] I’m like, “You’re right, it needs to go the other way.” It was so funny because we had thought about it in the room so much that we had talked ourselves into one path, but all we needed was him to walk in and be like, “But… isn’t it cooler the other way?” And so we switched it. He gets all the credit for that.”
Julie Plec also shared why she decided to direct the final episode of the series herself. She said the following:
“Often the relationship between a showrunner and an episodic director can be fraught with tension, and I wouldn’t want to have that tension around for the last episode, which is such a celebration. And secondly, what I was able to do because I was there deciding if we could run over was then very fluidly honor the set we were leaving behind for the last time, or say a big group farewell to Damon’s car when we wrapped it for the last time, and then not to mention, honor each actor individually as they shot their last scene. So it turned into one big celebration, which somebody else wouldn’t have been able to do that without worrying about the time they were wasting.”
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