Doppelgangers to the left because the real deal is back in Mystic Falls!
That's right, after almost two full seasons of absence, Nina Dobrev has finally returned to the scene of the crime for The Vampire Diaries' series finale, as promised, and producer Kevin Williamson shared a first glimpse of the actress hanging out with himself and a very special co-star.
Nope, it wasn't ex-flame-slash-on-screen-boyfriend Ian Somerhalder who shared a smile with Dobrev during their off-time from filming, but rather Paul Wesley who portrays her first love turned semi-brother-in-love Stefan Salvatore.
Could this image be a hint that the Stelena relationship might just bookend the series after all? Or will Elena Gilbert and Stefan Salvatore remain exes eternal while the hotly anticipated Delena reunion (featuring Ian Somerhalder, of course) commences without a hitch — or perhaps even better, with a hitch? Or is there a door number three to this thing where Elena awakens and finds that she's ready to go it alone without the company of either Salvatore anymore?
It's hard to tell from one picture alone, but other teasers of what fans should expect from the series closer have been trickling in little by little.
Executive Producer Julie Plec, for example, tweeted the same night that they'd filmed an emotional doozy during the evening's shoot:
Sorry I couldn't live-tweet tonight, I was busy filming a scene that will break your goddamn heart. #TVD— Julie Plec (@julieplec) January 28, 2017
Meanwhile, Plec has also revealed that at least two production sets had seen their last action of the series, including Caroline (Candice King)'s house and Damon's bedroom at the Salvatore Manor.
Dobrev famously departed from the show, despite being the central face of it from the start, after Season 6. Rather than killing off her character, she was put under an entanglement curse which bound her comatose coffin state to the life length of her best friend Bonnie (Kat Graham). This left open the possibility of Dobrev's eventual return, which, of course, she's now made use of.
Both Plec and Williamson have spoken out with joy about the forthcoming return of Dobrev to the show that helped make her a household name. "I'm thrilled to bring this show to an end the way we always intended — with Nina back to help us say goodbye," said Plec. "I'm so excited to have Nina back to ensure our farewell episode is truly epic!" Williamson added.
Dobrev previously lent her vocals to a scene in Season 7's finale when Damon was lured into a vault by Elena's voice, choosing to return for some dialogue replacement rather than having the producers dub her voice using audio from old scenes.
The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8/7c on the CW. The series finale will air on March 10.
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