“Vampire Diaries” fans will indeed be seeing Elena Gilbert one last time. Nina Dobrev, who played Elena for six seasons on The CW’s bloodsucker drama, posted a photo on her Instagram account on Thursday morning revealing she’s returning to the series for its finale.
“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 told Variety. Exec producer Kevin Williamson added, “I’m so excited to have Nina back to ensure our farewell episode is truly epic!” (a seeming nod to the episode’s title, “I Was Feeling Epic.”)
Dobrev had left the show at the end of the show’s sixth season, with Elena passing into a deep sleep that would only be lifted with the death of her best friend, Bonnie (Kat Graham). Over those six seasons, Dobrev had played not just Elena, but Elena’s vampire doppelgänger Katherine Pierce (previously Katerina Petrova), and even the progenitor of her doppelgänger line, Amara — sometimes playing multiple characters (themselves playing each other) in the same episode.
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The series, initially about a high-school girl who fell in love with a vampire, was an instant hit for The CW when it premiered in 2009, drawing 4.91 million pairs of eyeballs — the biggest bow on the network since it came into being in 2006. Ratings have fallen over the intervening years thanks in part to general audience fracturing and the migration of The CW’s core viewership to online platforms; the series is currently averaging around 950,000 viewers and a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
The “Vampire Diaries” series finale, penned by co-creators Plec and Williamson and directed by Plec, will air Mar. 10 on The CW.