'The Vampire Diaries' Finale: We Said Goodbye to Elena - But There's a Catch!

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Catch up on Thursday's 'TVD' finale, plus get the exclusive scoop on what's coming up in season seven from Ian Somerhalder!

WARNING: If you have not seen the season six finale of
The Vampire Diaries or do not wish to know the fate of Elena Gilbert, leave right now!

We cried absolutely ALL of the tears tonight.

Tonight we said goodbye to both Nina Dobrev and her on-screen alter ego Elena Gilbert on the season six finale of The Vampire Diaries. Well, technically we said "see you soon" instead of goodbye, but based on the amount of tissues we went though, it sure felt like a permanent farewell.

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

After killing every single family member of his Gemini coven -- yes, even Jo! Sob. -- Kai performed his most sadistic act yet when he linked Elena's life to Bonnie's. As long as Bonnie is alive, Elena will remain in a coma-like state of perfect health. (It was very Harry Potter-esque, i.e. "Neither can live whilst the other survives.")

Unfortunately for Bonnie and her witchy loopholes, Kai ensured that was no way to break the spell without killing Elena in the process. Even when Kai finally met his demise (Damon ripped his head off and it was freakin' glorious!) the linking spell remained intact.

So throughout the episode, Elena said goodbye to each and every one she loves by taking them on a subconscious trip to a place where they shared a special moment. One by one she said goodbye to Bonnie, Alaric, Jeremy, Tyler, and Matt, and an "I'll see you later" to her immortal vamps Caroline and Stefan.

But the scene that had us full-on, ugly girl crying? Elena and Damon's goodbye waltz on the road where they first met. Elena made Damon promise her that he wasn't going to spend the next 60 years pining after her and to live his life to the fullest until they meet again.

NEWS: 'Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder Talks Delena's 'New Love Story'

The CW

So what’s coming up for Damon, Stefan and the rest of our Mystic Falls favorites without Elena in season seven? "Our hope for the show is to go back to what originally made people fall in love with the show," actor Ian Somerhalder spilled to ET at The CW Upfronts presentation earlier today.

"The dark, the sexy, volatile, the unpredictable -- these are all things that we look to encompass that was sort of enveloped in this season of the show," the leading man said.

Star Candice Accola confessed that she understand how people may be wary of what's to come in Elena's absence, but that next season will prove to be an "exciting" one. "Elena is the heart of the series in so many ways and just as a fan and TV viewer myself it's always sad to see a character go," she said.

Want more scoop on what's coming up on The Vampire Diaries in season 7? Press play on our video below for exclusive new details straight from the cast!

Were you sad to see Elena go on tonight's episode of The Vampire Diaries? How many boxes of tissues did you use? Sound off in the comments below or commiserate with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter!