The Ending Of The Vampire Diaries Explained - Looper (2023)

Television TV Dramas

The Ending Of The Vampire Diaries Explained - Looper (1)

The CW

ByAngela Campbell/

Years after its last episode aired on The CW, "The Vampire Diaries" remains one of the network's most popular shows, thanks largely to Netflix, which has made all of itseight seasonsreadily available to new and returning audiences. Whether you've recently discovered theparanormal romance that revolves largely around two vampire brothers — Stefan and Damon Salvatore (played by Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder) — in love with the same woman, Elena Gilbert (played by Nina Dobrev), or you've been a fan for years, you might be curious about the meaning behind the show's final episode, entitled "I Was Feeling Epic."

With a user rating of 9.4 on IMDb, the episode seems to have stuck the landing. When series star Dobrev left the show in 2015, some fans worried she might not return for the end, but she did, allowing the brothers to get closure on not one, but two relationships — with Elena and her doppelgänger Katherine Pierce. While not every character survived or got a happy ending, some at least got what they deserved, with fan-favorite characters advancing to spin-off shows on The CW, such as "The Originals" and "Legacies."

Here's where some of the show's major characters ended up.

Once again, Bonnie saves almost everyone

The Ending Of The Vampire Diaries Explained - Looper (2)

The CW

From day one of the series, Elena Gilbert could depend on her best friend, Bonnie Bennett (played by Kat Graham), and that held true until the end. In Season 6, Kai (Chris Wood) linkedElena and Bonnie's lives together, allowing Dobrev to exit the show without killing off her character. By linking their lives together, Kai forced Elena into a magical slumber, which she could only awaken from when and if Bonnie died. At the beginning of the series finale, it appeared as if Bonnie's death would be the catalyst that brought Elena back. In the previous episode, Bonnie had collapsed after barely surviving an explosion at Stefan and Caroline's wedding.

As the finale opens, Bonnie finds herself wandering an ethereal forest, where she quickly encounters Elena, who unhappily realizes Bonnie must be dead. Bonnie is happy to see her friend, and eager to reunite with her deceased lover, Enzo(Michael Malarkey). However, Enzo appears and tells Bonnie it's not her time, pulling her back into the light. Bonnie is then resuscitated by Stefan and Caroline. After Katherine's plan to destroy all of Mystic Falls using hellfire is revealed, Bonnie, like always, saves the day. After calling upon help from her ancestors, Bonnie and the badass Bennett women send the fire back to hell, saving the town. Bonnie also finds a way to unlink her life with Elena's, allowing her best friend to awaken. In the show's final scenes, and not unlike a certain Scarlet Witch from another popular TV series, Bonnie finally takes charge of her grief and decides to live life to its fullest, grabbing her passport and heading off to see the world.

As a powerful witch and one of the show's most beloved characters, Bonnie was always the person who saved the day, oftentimes at great cost to herself, and fans might have rioted if she'd died in the finale. While a sizable segment of the show's fanbase always wanted a Bonnie and Damon pairing, in the end, she ended up without a partner. Nonetheless, she was still arguably the strongest character with the most integrity on the show.

Katherine finally got what was coming to her

The Ending Of The Vampire Diaries Explained - Looper (3)

The CW

Katherine Pierce (also played by Nina Dobrev) was the vampire seductress who condemned the Salvatore brothers to an eternal life, and set them at odds throughout the centuries, reappearing when they both fell in love with her modern-day doppelgänger, Elena. Manipulative, deceptive, and self-centered, she enjoyed seeing Stefan and Damon fight over her, often pretending to favor one over the other. After the brothers rebelled against her, she spent years tormenting them in various ways — often by harming those they loved.

In the episode leading up to the finale, the brothers learn that Katherine has taken control of hell. When she has her minions disrupt Stefan and Caroline's wedding, it becomes apparent she still has plans to get revenge on the brothers. After Bonnie's near-death experience, Katherine pretends to be Elena, newly awakened from her magical coma, only to laugh when Damon nearly falls for her charade. She continuously taunts Damon throughout the episode, preying on his insecurities about his relationship with Elena, saying, "She would choose Stefan ... because I would. Any woman would. Stefan is the better man." In her conceit, she also reveals her plan to destroy Mystic Falls, and Elena's body, using hellfire.

With her trademark curly hair and decked out in black leather, Katherine was usually a more fun and interesting character than Elena. She was always two steps ahead of her enemies. In the end, Damon manages to dagger his former lover, but it's the newly human Stefan who actually foils Katherine's plans, when he sacrifices himself to prevent her from escaping the hellfire. While Katherine appears to finally die once and for all in the tunnel with Stefan, it wouldn't be the first time she was presumed dead, only to return with a vengeance.

The episode's title has a deeper meaning, especially for Stefan

The Ending Of The Vampire Diaries Explained - Looper (4)

The CW

If you'd told viewers back in Season 1 that Stefan and Caroline (Candace King) would end up together, most of the show's fans would have scoffed, but that's exactly what almost happened. The couple did make it to the altar, barely, and managed to exchange vows and enjoy a few hours of happiness before all hell broke loose, literally. It quickly becomes apparent that Stefan, who had been transformed back into a human, and Caroline, who was still a vampire, had their work cut out for them in saving their loved ones, once Katherine revealed herself.

The explosion after their wedding seems to foreshadow an ominous future for the couple, whose simple friendship had blossomed into love throughout the last few seasons. When Stefan learns his older brother, Damon, is planning to sacrifice himself in an act of redemption to save Mystic Falls, Stefan intervenes and sacrifices himself instead. In the minutes leading up to his act of heroism, Stefan and Caroline have an emotional encounter, in which she tearfully reminds him she had promised Alaric she would not put her daughters at risk of growing up without a mother.

In the end, Stefan comes full circle, sharing some of his final moments of the show with Elena, whom he met in death before she awoke from her spell. After blessing her relationship with Damon, he says with a smile, "It's good to see you, Elena. One last time." However, he also whispers a message in her ear, one later revealed to be meant for Caroline: "I will love her forever, too."

In some of Stefan's final scenes, he emerges into the sunlight to find himself in the high school parking lot, where his best friend Lexi (played by Arielle Kebbel) is waiting. Lexi, who died seasons earlier, told Stefan in Season 2 that she decided to be his wingman because she "was feeling epic." She then encouraged him to always follow his heart.

As Lexi greets Stefan in the finale, she says, "That was beautiful," to which Stefan replies, "I was feeling epic" — which is also the final episode's title.

The heart of the finale was brotherly love

The Ending Of The Vampire Diaries Explained - Looper (5)

The CW

Stefan and Damon Salvatore's relationship was always rocky, but oddly steadfast throughout "The Vampire Diaries" eight-season run. Initially, Damon seemed deliciously unredeemable, happy to be a vampire and kill humans for fun, while Stefan fought his instincts and sought to do good. As the show progressed, their complicated relationship evolved, with Stefan turning darker at times and Damon finding true love with Elena, although he initially denied his feelings because he cared for his little brother.

Knowing that Damon would never leave Elena's body to perish, Stefan begs Bonnie for help in finding a way to stop Katherine from destroying the town. When it becomes clear Damon plans to sacrifice himself to guarantee Katherine never harms his loved ones again, Stefan chooses to martyr himself instead, but not before an emotional exchange over which brother needs redemption more. Stefan argues he owes a lot of people.Damon counters that he's spilled even more blood than Stefan has. Since it was Stefan who forced Damon to become a vampire against his will, he also feels guilt for turning his brother into a monster. When Damon refuses to relent, Stefan tells him: "I have fought to turn you into the man who deserves the happiness that's out there right now, so let me do this for you." Damon refuses, prompting Stefan to add, "Then let me do this for me."

A tearful Damon tells Stefan,"I am the big brother. Sorry I wasn't better at it until now." Eventually, Stefan wins, tricking Damon into believing he's been compelled, only to return minutes later to stab Damon with a needle full of his blood, which contains the cure for vampirism. As Damon watches, Stefan grabs Katherine and is consumed by flames.

The final scene of the series finds Stefan's spirit waiting in the Salvatore mansion. There's a knock on the door. It's Damon, and the brothers embrace, together again and at peace.Time has passed, although it's not clear how much. The implication is that Damon lived a long and happy life and has died, only to be reunited with his younger brother in the afterlife.

In the end, Elena and Damon got a somewhat happy ending

The Ending Of The Vampire Diaries Explained - Looper (6)

The CW

The final scenes of "The Vampire Diaries" stay true to form, deviating only by giving other characters besides Elena a chance to offer "dear diary" narrations as their fates are revealed, often with the spirits of their departed loved ones watching on, including Tyler Lockwood, Liz Forbes, and Enzo. Bonnie packs for travel, grabbing her passport and declaring herself ready to embrace life again. Matt becomes sheriff, even receiving a bench in tribute to his heroism saving the town. Alaric and Caroline reminisce about Damon's gift — the Salvatore mansion, which they have turned into the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted, setting up the spin-off series "Legacies."

Elena, now human, shares that she returned to Mystic Falls after medical school, where she and Damon grew old together. In her final scene, Elena — who has seemingly died — is greeted by the parents she lost prior to Season 1, saying, "That is the promise of peace — that one day, after a long life, we find each other again." Damon, meanwhile, was reunited with Stefan.

While Damon and Elena were shipped by many fans, partly due to Dobrev and Somerhalder's real-life romance, it was never obvious which brother she would end up with, if either. Elena, in narration, credits her relationship with Stefan for bringing her back to life after her parents' deaths, although a flashback in an earlier season reveals she had met Damon the night her parents died, and he helped console her. Elena in turn brings out Damon's humanity, and Damon challenges her to break free of expectations. That's why it makes sense to give the couple a happily ever after, or as much of one as possible given the circumstances.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Emmett Berge

Last Updated: 08/08/2023

Views: 6130

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Emmett Berge

Birthday: 1993-06-17

Address: 787 Elvis Divide, Port Brice, OH 24507-6802

Phone: +9779049645255

Job: Senior Healthcare Specialist

Hobby: Cycling, Model building, Kitesurfing, Origami, Lapidary, Dance, Basketball

Introduction: My name is Sen. Emmett Berge, I am a funny, vast, charming, courageous, enthusiastic, jolly, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.