Are you done crying yet? No? Need a minute? Well, same here. Because after eight years, some better, some worse, The Vampire Diaries has ended on a devastating note. Happy endings are for the birds -- somewhat literally speaking -- when it comes to this show. But even then, it's not exactly soaring levels of happiness.
After so much emotional bell-ringing (pun!), here's what we're left pondering by the gutting series finale of The Vampire Diaries.
Spoilers abound. Obviously.
Sigh. So, Stefan (Paul Wesley) made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev) would be vanquished from the Earth and every other plane of supernatural existence so that Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena could live out their eternity together in peace ... nice idea, right?
Is the love triangle going to continue for all eternity?
In order to ensure that Damon wouldn't lock himself away with Katherine in Hell and thusly sacrifice his entire existence for Stefan's 60-odd years of remaining humanity, Stefan stuck him with a vial of his own blood. This meant Stefan was passing on the Cure and would age and die quickly (some honeymoon for Caroline) but that Damon would avoid the final death and get to see Elena wake up whenever Bonnie figured out how to spell Sleeping Beauty out of her Kai-induced coma.
He reasoned that Damon literally had an eternity of bliss ahead of him. But that wasn't exactly true, then, was it? Elena's a human, after all, so her lifespan was decidedly limited. And then, to top that off, Stefan went and drugged him with humanity to ensure that he'd never have a million years to get over her either.
The happy part is that Damon is ultimately greeted at what seems to be death's door by his brother, so they're reunited at last. Are we to understand, then, that he's just died after a long and happy life with Elena and will spend eternity with Stefan instead of Elena? Or will she eventually join them and resurrect the love triangle in ghostly form once more?
From the looks of her little family reunion, she's ready to rejoin her mom, dad, Aunt Jenna, and Uncle John at the old Gilbert house. Conundrum.
How do the ghosts work, exactly?
We know that Vicki was already dead before she started ringing that bell to keep herself out of Hell, so there aren't too many question marks surrounding her survival of the Hellfire blast on the watchtower, but ... what's the deal with these ghosts that are running around town anyway?
Each of our survivors get a glimpse of someone they've lost that matters -- Caroline (Candice King) sees her mom, Alaric (Matt Davis) spots Jo overlooking his playtime with the Gemini Twins, and even Matt (Zach Roerig) gets to see his sister cozying up with her original (another pun!) lover, Tyler Forbes (Michael Trevino). In Caroline's case, it seems like she can actually feel the presence of her mom for a split second, so are these ghosts like Enzo, and can freely communicate and even touch their Earthly loved ones, or are they just fleeting memories or machinations? Unclear.
Speaking of which -- what are the rules on Bonnie and Enzo?
After Bonnie "did it" -- twice -- by saving the town from Hellfire obliteration and breaking Kai's spell on Elena, she decided she needed a vacation. Well deserved. But part of her motivation was that she wanted to honor Enzo's legacy by living her given life to its fullest before joining him in her mind-created happy place ever-after.
All the while, he's still there looking over her, even when she doesn't know it, to remind her to grab her passport and push harder against the firewall and such. It seems like whenever Enzo does pop up in these situations, he's fully tactile, if not visible to everyone else, so what are the rules about their interactions right now? Can he join her on her international vacation? Can they make love? Nothing's really clear as to where the boundaries of ghostly-human interactions lie, especially when it comes to these two.
What happens to Katherine now?
If there's one thing we've come to know over eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries, it's that death is not the finale it seems. Katherine has been destroyed, in theory; but has she really? She was in Hell when the place blew up from Hellfire, but does that mean she's gone for good? Hopefully so, but you never know. And since the show's over now, it looks like we never will.
Is Klaroline back on?
Steroline might've been a fan shipment for the ages, but the Klaroline movement garnered a heavy fanfare as well. In the end, we're shown a note from Klaus (Joseph Morgan) accompanying his generous three million dollar donation to Caroline's school for gifted children, and it's filled with the same kind of gentlemanly repose that made him an attractive match for her in the first place. Caroline's still got an eternity to mourn her loss of Stefan, whom she said she'll love forever. But is this a hint that she might eventually console herself with the one who intrigued her so before? Or is he just hoping this'll buy him an early in for his daughter, Hope?
Seriously, what is it with the crow???
Look. There's been a lot of lore to go through the wringer of The Vampire Diaries since the beginning of this show, but one thing that's remained a mystery all the while is those bloody crows. The finale reminds us as much when Damon visits Elena outside Stefan's crypt, and he's preceded by the arrival of a crow, just like when the two first met at the family plot so many moons ago. So, what's the deal with that anyway? Has Damon always had this secret ability to shape-shift into a bird, or is that just a freakish coincidence?
No matter what minor questions we're left with, though, this show was, as its finale title and Elena's inner monologue indicate, quite epic.
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