Is Nina Dobrev Returning To 'The Vampire Diaries' For Its Final Season? It Doesn't Look Good

With the upcoming season of The Vampire Diaries set to be its final season, one question looms large: Will Nina Dobrev return in her career-making role as Elena Gilbert? We can definitely prepare ourselves for all the major feels for the final season of the show that's become a network staple over the better part of a decade. The show has been a trajectory change for many of the actors involved, from Candace Accola, Kat Graham, Claire Holt, Steven R. McQueen, Joseph Morgan and most notably, Dobrev herself. What began as a show that capitalized on the then-hype of the Twilight franchise has blossomed over the years into a powerhouse show of its own. Spawning a spinoff, deliver emotional gut-punch after emotional gut-punch with every successive season and leaving many of us to ponder which Damon brother we'd want to spend eternity with, the eighth season feels like the right time for everyone to say their big good-byes.

For Dobrev, it doesn't appear (yet) that she will be making a definitively final bow. From the looks of Dobrev's IMDb, she has a few upcoming projects: Crash Pad (slated for a 2016 release) and in 2017, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage and a remake of Flatliners. You know what's missing? Yeah, The Vampire Diaries. This shouldn't come as a suprise, Dobrev's distance from the show that ostensibly launched her.

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Dobrev's rising star meant that her appearances on The Vampire Diaries have been few and far between. The Season 7 finale of The Vampire Diaries was simply a voiceover-style cameo. While she is moving on to bigger projects, we can also not ignore the fact that The Vampire Diaries loves to bring back characters we once thought were dead. The chance of Dobrev coming back in the form of Elena awaking from her eternal slumber is totally a possibility. Those odds are greatly increased if we consider creator Julie Plec's words on the matter:

All I can say, because there is nothing written in stone, but Nina made me a promise when she left that she would come back and be part of the goodbye, and I intend on holding her to that, and I'm sure she intends on living up to it as well. We just have to figure it out: the how, the when, the what.

So, folks, Dobrev's return for the final season is still totally up in the air. A bit irksome, not having the answers, but it's going to make the lead up to the season premiere that much more exciting to follow.

Image: Annette Brown/The CW; Giphy