So, you know how Vampire Diaries fans spent Easter weekend freaking out over speculation that Nina Dobrev might be bowing out at the end of Season 6?
Rumors started to surface when the cast and crew shared pics, captioned with the hashtag #NinaWeWillMissYou, of a lake party held in her honor as well as Michael Trevino’s, who just landed a main role in The Kingmakers pilot.
As it turns out, viewers had every right to remain wary of Nina’s recent nostalgic messages and adorable group shots: She’s leaving the show and made a formal announcement via Instagram on Monday night (April 6).
We don’t know about you, but even though we had our suspicions, we’re still in utter shock. Mystic Falls without Elena Gilbert? Say it ain’t so!
Unfortunately, the 26-year-old actress, who has been an integral part of the hit CW series since 2009, confirmed the news. Grab some tissues and get ready to weep big-time:
Dearest TVD Family,
I’ve just spent the most beautiful weekend on Lake Lanier in Georgia with my own TVD Family, the cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries. I want to be the first to tell you that it wasn’t just a holiday celebration, it was a goodbye party. I always knew I wanted Elena’s story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime. I was a human, a vampire, a doppelganger, a crazy immortal, a doppelganger pretending to be human, a human pretending to be a doppelganger. I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there’s still so much more to come before the season finale in May. Elena fell in love not once, but twice, with two epic soulmates, and I myself made some of the best friends I’ll ever know and built an extended family I will love forever.
There’s more to come before we wrap this up, and I promise you’ll get to hear all about my experiences over the next month as we approach the season finale (I have given an exclusive interview for the June issue of SELF Magazine that I am excited for you to see!), but until then I invite you to hop on the roller coaster ride that is Elena Gilbert’s life and join me as I celebrate her and prepare to say goodbye to her — and to my work family — as I move on to the next chapter of my life. I want to share this goodbye with all of you (this weekend’s pictures were just the beginning). You, the wonderful fandom who gave more love, support and passion than anyone could have ever imagined seven years ago, when a young Degrassi girl from Canada showed up in LA to audition for ‘that Twilight TV show.’ I love you all. Fasten your seatbelts. If you think you know what’s coming, you don’t.
That being said, we wish Nina all the best and thank her so much for giving us not one but four kickass female characters to root for week after week.
Now, pardon us while we crawl under our covers and shed some major tears over her bittersweet letter.