There is no denying that The Vampire Diaries series finale was the very end of the show. Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson found a way to deliver a nail-biting, bittersweet end that had fans holding onto their tissues.
It’s not always easy to end a series. Just how to do you wrap eight years of storytelling in just one hour? Well, The Vampire Diaries Season 8 felt like a whole season of wrapping up the story – okay, the last few episodes. It reminded fans of the earlier seasons so much that it felt like things were coming around full circle.
That certainly happened. There are spoilers from The Vampire Diaries series finale in this recap, so you have been warned.
Elena Is Back…Sort Of
To start with, fans learned the fate of Bonnie after the epic Steroline wedding. Was she dead or had she fainted? The Vampire Diaries kick started with Stefan giving Bonnie CPR, as she went into some sort of afterlife. Elena was on a bed and the two got to meet, although Elena quickly realized what that meant. Luckily Enzo was there to send his love back to the land of the living.
But Bonnie technically died. Her heart stopped and fans were led to believe that this was a loophole that Kai hadn’t thought about. Could Elena return? It certainly seemed it when Damon and Stefan returned to the manor, after finding that Matt couldn’t stop his sister from ringing that bell – Matt instead focused on evacuating the town and there was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer feel on the 20th anniversary of that show. Would Mystic Falls be destroyed like Sunnydale?
As Elena and Damon reunited, Damon quickly pushed her back. This wasn’t Elena – it was Katherine. In Elena’s body? No, Elena’s body was elsewhere – somewhere only Katherine knew. The line “Hello, Brothers,” was the perfect way to bring her back.
It didn’t take long for Damon to decide to stab Katherine with the bone dagger, so Stefan and Caroline could search for Elena’s body. We returned to the high school, where Elena was in the boiler room. Everyone must have thought just what Damon had said; it sounded ominous. Stefan couldn’t get her out though, since Katherine had worked some sort of magic to lock Elena in. She would burn with the rest of Mystic Falls.
Mystic Falls Could Be Saved
Meanwhile, Alaric was getting Bonnie and the twins out of dodge and wanted Caroline to come too. When they realized that there was no chance of survival, Stefan and Caroline parted ways, because she wouldn’t let her daughters grow up without a mom. It was touching and showed just how much Caroline has grown over the years.
While looking at the plans in the Armory, Bonnie realized that there may be a way to destroy hell and save Mystic Falls. She would need to use all the power she had to redirect the hellfire and hope that Katherine was in hell at the time.
That meant one of the Salvatore brothers would have to stay with her. After all, the bone dagger would send her to hell but not keep her there. After a discussion over who deserved redemption more, Damon finally compelled his brother to leave town, so he could play the hero.
We all knew that Stefan would never allow himself to be compelled. Of course he had vervain in his system, but he walked away to decide on his next steps. He’d seen something in his brother that he hadn’t seen the whole time that Damon and Stefan were vampires – the selfless, caring big brother that Stefan had known throughout life. But more on that in a moment, as there was someone special he had to share that with.
The Bennett Witches Out in Force
As for the hellfire, Bonnie used her magic, hoping that her Grams would be near her. As she suffered a nosebleed, Enzo appeared. Starting to worry that she was too weak, she was upset that she was all alone. That wasn’t the case, though. Enzo was there, and so was her Grams. That wasn’t all.
Each of the Bennett witches appeared beside and behind Bonnie, as they collectively fought back the hellfire and destroyed the whole of hell. Am I the only one disappointed that Emily Bennett wasn’t there? After all, she was the one who helped initially tell the story of the Bennett line. I’m sure that was to do with not being able to get the actress, but it was slightly disappointing.
Matt and Peter could just watch from the bottom of the clock tower, as the hellfire was pulled back and then just disappeared. It was only after that we learned of the loss.
A Beautiful Stelena Moment
Somewhere in Elena’s head, Stefan paid a visit. She walked the halls of Mystic Falls High School, feeling like she was back alive. Only Stefan was there to great her, sadness in his eyes. It certainly looked like he was sad to have lost his brother.
In the end, he had drawn the cure out of his body and given it to Damon. With that gone, he knew it would be a matter of days or months that Stefan would die of old age, just like Katherine did. Instead, he pulled a bone-daggered Katherine into the tunnels so they were both consumed by the hellfire. Stefan sacrificed his own life so that Elena would get the chance to know the human that Damon once was.
It was certainly touching and tissue-worthy. But that wasn’t the most tearful bit. As Stefan walked out of the school, his clothes changed from the suit to the clothing he wore while a high school student. There outside was Lexi waiting for him – and yes, that moment was epic for the two of them. It was about time they were together again.
It’s Time for All to Move On
Back to the real world, Elena was still asleep but Bonnie had finally worked out how to break Kai’s spell. She was able to wake Elena and the two friends could be alive together.
With hell gone and the town saved, it was time for the friends to live their lives. Each of them read excerpts from their diaries. Bonnie went off travelling, with Enzo watching her from his protective afterlife that Bonnie had created. Caroline and Alaric opened a school of witches, with a special donation from the one and only Klaus (I wonder when this was set, because it suggests that Klaus will be out and roaming free in The Originals at some point) and help from Jeremy and others to teach the young students. Matt remained the sheriff and got a special bench for his duty in saving the town.
As for Damon and Elena, they got married. Elena returned to Mystic Falls after med school, where she worked as a doctor. They got their happy human life together, although we don’t quite know how long it lasted.
The next minute, Elena is in her afterlife with her mom, dad, Aunt Jenna, and Uncle John. As for Damon, he turned up at the doors of the Salvatore manor. He just uttered one word, as Stefan opened the door, “Hello, Brother.”
The last 10 minutes of so did feel rushed. Part of me thinks that this whole episode could have been a two-hour event. There was so much focus on Katherine and not enough on Elena (or Delena, should I say). Fans are annoyed that Damon and Elena didn’t even speak a word to each other!
I was more annoyed at how Bonnie, Caroline, and Elena didn’t really have that moment between them that has always been a strong point for the show. There was a hint that it would happen, but not enough time to include it all.
The saving grace was the tease of Klaroline. The letter Klaus wrote was beautiful but I do have so many questions. Just when was this scene set? Will Caroline go to New Orleans to help Hayley save the Mikaelsons? He clearly still loves her, even if he did technically say goodbye. Can you tell I’m a Klaroline girl?
Nina Dobrev had shared that The Vampire Diaries series finale was bittersweet, and that it was. The main character to die was Stefan, but really it focused on life and death for everyone. In the end, even Damon and Elena died and we can assume Bonnie and Alaric would have done at some point. The only one who could live for eternity was Caroline, considering she was the only vampire left.
It was a beautifully written ending and there’s no denying that this really was The Vampire Diaries series finale. It reminded me somewhat of the Charmed series finale. While this sort of storytelling and diary writing didn’t work for that — fans were begging for a spin off or continuation — it did work for The Vampire Diaries. It was a season focused on the fans and on nostalgic moments and that continued until the very end.
Alexandria Ingham is a fulltime writer originally from the UK and now living in Canada. She is also a former Weight Watchers leader and has an avid interest in health and fitness because of this. In 2010, she started writing online and broke into journalism in 2013. While entertainment and weight loss news are her favorites, she also enjoys covering some sport and technology news. She is the United Kingdom, Diet and Fitness, Rugby, and Entertainment beat writer for Daily Voice News.