If Elena Doesn't Die On 'The Vampire Diaries' Where Will She Go? There's More Than One Way To Say Goodbye

Time to face reality, kids: Nina Dobrev really is leaving The Vampire Diaries after Season 6, which means that Elena Gilbert will no longer be a familiar face in Mystic Falls. While any season regular leaving The Vampire Diaries is heartbreaking (we'll miss you too, Michael Trevino!) the news that Dobrev is leaving comes with another challenge entirely. Elena is definitely the show's lead, and we've seen the world through her eyes from day one. It's hard to imagine a world without Elena, which is why so many people assume that the only way for our girl to to make an exit from the show is for Elena to die in the Season 6 finale. But I'm not so sure that's the only way this can end.

While Elena dying is a popular theory among Vampire Diaries fans, it also isn't the only way for Elena to leave. Having her die also might be rather impractical: While Dobrev may want to leave the show as a series regular, she also loves her Vampire Diaries family, and I'm sure she wouldn't want to write off the possibility of returning for a guest spot some time in the future. (Not like death really means that much on the show, but whatever.) So if Elena doesn't die as suspected, where could se go that would separate her from the Mystic Falls somewhat permanently? Here are a few ideas:

She'll Go Off To College

Yes, she's technically done the college thing at Whitmore, but her time there doesn't exactly fall under the "normal college experience." If Elena takes the cure, she might decide to leave Mystic Falls and explore the real experience she was denied at Whitmore due to all of those supernatural connections the school has.

She'll Hunt Down Bad Vamps

Let's say Elena doesn't take the cure — she might want to put her supernatural abilities to good use and dedicate her life to destroying vampires who give all bloodsuckers a bad name. She and Jeremy would be so cute as a vampire fighting squad — do I smell a spinoff in the works?

Damon Will Compel Her To Forget Their Life Together

It would truly suck for Elena and Damon to separate simply by Damon's choice, but if Damon does give Elena the cure, it might be necessary for them to go their separate ways. After all, can Elena really enjoy a human life when she's surrounded by the danger that comes with being pals with vampires? Not really — and her life will be in perpetual danger for her association with them.

She'll Go On The Run

Like her doppelganger Katherine before her, Elena might be chased by some yet-unseen Big Bad in the finale. Knowing that she'll put her friends in danger, she could leave to protect them from the force hellbent on destroying her. Unlike Katherine, Elena will leave because she wants to help others, and, in the end, Elena's selflessness might be her greatest tragedy.

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