Whenever an actor or actress announces that they're leaving their current gig in order to pursue other acting endeavors, it's completely normal for dedicated fans to experience the entire gambit of emotional grieving. (In other words, suffer from a massive temper tantrum.) Which is exactly what happened when Nina Dobrev announced her Vampire Diaries exit. Denial… anger… depression… you name it, I've felt it in regards to this heartbreaking departure. In fact, it's left me downright desperate to explore any possible avenue that could help ensure this actress's continued presence on our CW screens. So naturally, TVD's successful spin-off immediately came to mind. I mean, just because she's leaving Mystic Falls doesn't mean Dobrev can't still show up on The Originals for another guest star stint… right?
It's a logical wish for any viewer to hope for, but unfortunately, I wouldn't hold my breath for it to actually happen. As great as it would be to see some doppelgänger form of Elena head back down to The Big Easy, I have a very bad feeling that it's just not going to happen. Granted, nothing has been outright denied yet in regards to this potential scenario, but given the amount of hype surrounding Dobrev's upcoming departure, it feels like she's gearing up to officially close the book on all facets of this character. Take her official exit announcement, for example…
See what I mean? All this talk of "moving on" and "saying goodbye" strongly indicates that this chapter of her life is about to be closed… for good. Now, of course, you could always argue that she could end up deciding to return in some capacity if her career doesn't take off the way she hopes. (Remember when Matt Davis left TVD supposedly for good as well, but is now back to being a series regular?) Life is almost never black and white. Situations change… opinions shift… new decisions are made. So it's always possible Dobrev could change her mind and head back to either The Originals or Vampire Diaries for a career upswing if things took a turn for the worst.
Now, obviously, I'm not hoping for Dobrev to fail in her other job pursuits just so she'll decide to come back to The CW. (Though now that you mention it…) In all seriousness, though, I wish her nothing but the best. And given the type of range and incredible talent that she's demonstrated throughout her years on TVD, I have no doubt that she'll succeed with flying colors in some new project that I'm bound to become equally obsessed about. But just on the off-chance that there is the slightest possibility that she'll make one last Originals cameo, here are a few ways she could go about doing so…
She's In Another Flashback
As was demonstrated during her first initial crossover, Dobrev doesn't necessarily have to play Elena in order to make an appearance on The Originals. Perhaps we could get another flashback to Tatia or (better yet) Katherine back when she was charming the Mikaelson brothers.
She's Stuck In A Supernatural Prison
If there's one thing both of these shows have in common (you know, other than the fact that it centers around vampires), it's the existence of supernatural prisons. TVD has introduced the concept of multiple prison worlds, while The Originals created a special jailhouse that Rebekah was trapped inside for a brief moment in time. It's possible Elena could somehow end up in the latter and become in dire need of some Mikaelson assistance.
She's Dahlia's Destroyer
I mean, Elena's vampire skills aren't really that impressive, so I'm not entirely sure how she could hope to defeat the most powerful witch in existence. But hey, you never know!
She Body Swaps With Someone
OK, so this is technically cheating since that would mean Elena's character would still be in existence, but Dobrev herself would be nowhere to be found, similar to the whole Rebekah situation. (Come back to us, Claire Holt!) That is, unless we switched it around and Dobrev herself was the vessel being used for a different character. Now that would be interesting to see.
She Comes On As A Brand New Character We've Never Seen
Sure, it'd be a weird adjustment to make at first, but if it meant more Dobrev in our lives, wouldn't it be well worth it?
Keep the dream alive, people!
Images: Tina Rowden/The CW; Annette Brown/The CW; milamirph/Tumblr (3); crack3dtheory/Tumblr