Saying Goodbye to ‘The Vampire Diaries’: Ian Somerhalder Hopes ‘Fans Will Feel Satisfied and Happy’

Nino Munoz/The CW

After eight years, 171 episodes, several hot love triangles and countless gruesome kills, The CW’s bloodsucker tale The Vampire Diaries bids adieu. And what better way to go out than with the citizens of Mystic Falls—home to our favorite monsters—in peril? Wayward siblings Damon (Ian Somerhalder, right) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) Salvatore find themselves in a battle to save the people they love from their biggest enemy: the nefarious vamp Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev), who has a score to settle with her former lovers.

There could be no Katherine without Dobrev, the onetime star of the series who quit in 2015 to pursue other projects. But she’s back to play the vengeful villain as well as her kindhearted doppelgänger and Damon’s beloved, Elena Gilbert. (Former cast members Michael Trevino and Steven R. McQueen are also expected to show up in the final hour.)

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The Vampire Diaries to End with Season 8

The series, which debuted in 2009, will air its final episode in 2017.

Somerhalder promises some happy endings—à la last week’s joyous wedding—and at least one death in an episode he describes as “very emotional.” Will the victim be Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham), whose passing would mean that Elena’s Sleeping Beauty–like spell would break and she could finally awaken? Or will one of the Salvatore brothers bite the dust? “Damon would do and sacrifice anything to protect Elena and his brother,” teases Somerhalder. “Perhaps he doesn’t deserve to get the girl.”

“I have so many memorable moments.” the actor notes. ‘In the first season, when Damon and Vicki (Kayla Ewell, who’s returned for the final episodes) are dancing around the Salvatore House and being so free, epitomized this character for me. I realized in that moment, that Damon was going to be a lot of fun; a really unique character in the space of television.” But he notes, it’s the scenes with Paul Wesley that really stay with him. “Paul and I cherished the moments when the brothers were sort of happy together, especially in the flashback scenes, because they were very few and far between, but they were very cool and very sweet.”

Whatever happens, the series ender won’t be ambiguous like the denouement of Somerhalder’s other iconic series, Lost. “The episode [written by original showrunners Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson] ties up the story very nicely for our loyal fans, and hopefully they will feel satisfied and happy,” Somerhalder says. “It’s quite a poetic ending.”

“After eight years, these characters have become emotional avatars for our fans so they’re bound to feel like they’re on a rollercoaster of emotion,” Somerhalder says. “Hopefully, they will feel satisfied with the finale, instead of being angry and screaming at each other about it. Or at us. It’s all about love and it’s all about story telling and we want them to be happy.”

Damon may over for Somerhalder, but he has plenty of TV projects in the works, he says. “My wife [actress Nikki Reed] signed a very active production studio with Warner Bros. She’s running our company and we have ten shows in development. We’ve sold three already and we’re full steam ahead. We are going to make and tell great stories together.”

The Vampire Diaries, Series Finale, Friday, March 10, 8/7c, The CW