'The Vampire Diaries' Bombshell: Nina Dobrev is Leaving the Show!

The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' is losing their biggest star.

The Vampire Diaries is losing their biggest star.

Nina Dobrev has announced that after six years of playing Elena Gilbert, the central protagonist and heroine of Mystic Falls, she is leaving the smash CW series.

The 26-year-old actress revealed Monday afternoon via her Instagram account that she is leaving The Vampire Diaries at the end of its sixth and current season.

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"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.

Love, Nina"

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In a statement, The Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec said that saying goodbye to Dobrev is "bittersweet and beautiful."

"After six-plus years together, the entire cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries has reached a level of closeness that I don’t think any of us ever expected," Plec said. "Nina is excited to spread her wings, get some rest, travel the world and also take it by storm, and we support her a thousand-fold. We will miss Nina and the four hundred characters she played, but we look forward to the insane and exciting challenge of continuing to tell stories of our Salvatore Brothers and our much-loved and gifted ensemble.

The Vampire Diaries has officially been picked up for a seventh season, but the news of how Dobrev will leave the CW series has yet to be announced.

Will you continue to watch The Vampire Diaries after Nina Dobrev leaves? Sound off in the comments below or share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #ETNow.