Will Elena Die on 'The Vampire Diaries'? Nina Dobrev's Exit Makes Fans Fear the Worst

On Monday, The Vampire Diaries fans thought they had heard the worst. Nina Dobrev would be leaving The Vampire Diaries after six seasons on the beloved CW series. But, suddenly, even worse thoughts began to filter into fans of the series. Does this mean Delena is no more? Or, even worse, does Dobrev's exit mean that Elena will die?

It's tough to imagine that The Vampire Diaries will kill off its main heroine, but it's hard to believe a Mystic Falls in which Elena simply doesn't factor in. And, particularly considering Damon could not cope watching Elena, say, casually walk out of town, how could we (and he) accept any other fate for Elena except for the afterlife? It seems such a clearcut way to end Elena's time on the series that fans are already seeing death — and not Delena — as the character's endgame.

After all, even Dobrev herself seemed to address the finality of Elena on her Instagram account, where she announced she would be leaving the series. As she wrote:

I always knew I wanted Elena's story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime. I was a human, a vampire, a doppelganger, a crazy immortal, a doppelganger pretending to be human, a human pretending to be a doppelganger. I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there's still so much more to come before the season finale in May.

Indeed, Elena's story might be just that — a "six season adventure" and "journey of a lifetime" that ends the character's lifetime.

But how exactly would that happen? Would she become human again first? And which Salvatore Brother will she ultimately choose in the end? Though we know that Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder have both signed on for a Season 7 — meaning, we presumably won't actually see Elena ride off in the sunset with either one — fans are still hoping that one Salvatore Brother is at least chosen before Elena leaves Mystic Falls. That is, if they can't have their wish of watching either one die with Elena.

Unfortunately for fans, though, this isn't The Notebook — and we're likely to see Damon and Stefan last long enough to outlive Elena, should she die during the May 14 finale of Season 6. But some fans have their theories about how Season 7 will shake out:

Or Somerhalder will factor into Season 7 — but Damon won't.

After all, not only does L.J. Smith's series end with Damon and Elena together, but series creator Julie Plec certainly seemed to hint that Damon and Elena's story would align as well. As she said about Season 6:

There is quite the doozy of a storyline coming for Damon and Elena, which is all about their relationship, and how it will work, and how they want to make it work ... The nice thing is they found their way back to each other, and that's good, we want them to have made their way back to each other. But that comes with hurdles. And when you throw a mother and some other surprises into the mix, it definitely tests them in fun and really dynamic ways. Which, while bringing them together and keeping them strong, has them asking a lot of questions about how their future will be together, and what they want out of a future together — in a good way!

So, will they? Won't they? Will she die? Won't she die? All we know is Elena knows what's up.

Image: CW; Giphy.com