Looking back at Nina Dobrev’s ‘Vampire Diaries’ legacy as she exits the show

Last night, some news broke that really made us wish we could take a time machine to last week and pretend it was all just a very cruel April Fool’s joke. But, sadly, the news was totally true: Nina Dobrev announced that she is leaving Mystic Falls (and The Vampire Diaries) for good after the sixth season wraps. Nina made the announcement herself on Instagram and then showrunner/TVD goddess Julie Plec confirmed it, driving the proverbial stake in Vampire Diaries fans’ collective heart.

Rumors that one of the Big Three (Nina, along with her costars Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley) was planning to exit the show began to swirl way back in August. Even though Nina wasn’t explicitly named as the star having cold feet about continuing as a cold-blooded vampire on the show, she was the only star who hadn’t signed on for season seven yet. Rumors of Nina’s exit hit a high point when the cast and crew posted pics on Instagram from a goodbye party for Nina and costar Michael Trevino, who is also leaving at the end of season six. Nina summed up her exit in the most perfect way. Just check out her beautiful (and kind of lengthy) caption from Instagram for yourself:

Julie Plec backed up Nina’s reasons for leaving the show in a statement of her own, released after Nina made the announcement. 

“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,” she said. “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.”

It’s true that Nina wore a lot of hats (a lot of fangs? A lot variations of the same long, luscious locks? Whatever it was, she wore a lot of them) on TVD. Since the epic workload of playing not just Elena, but Katherine, Doppelgangers, and more, seems to have contributed to Nina’s decision to leave the show (and take a well-deserved breather), what better way to honor her time in Mystic Falls than by looking back on all of the characters she brought to life in her six years on The Vampire Diaries.

Elena Gilbert 

Also known as Nina Classic, for the purposes of this post. Elena was Nina’s first and main role on The Vampire Diaries. Elena is innocent and good and kind. She’s a hero.

Katherine Pierce

Elena is a good girl and Katherine Pierce is the exact opposite. Katherine is Elena’s main Doppelganger, the version of her line that originally wooed the Salvatore brothers (oh, and sired them — NBD). Katherine is a survivor and she’s always out for herself, but in a delightfully villainous kind of way.

Katherine Pierce pretending to be Elena Gilbert

Naturally, since Katherine is evil and hellbent on surviving anything and everything, she’s not afraid to assume Elena’s identity when it suits her. She even goes so far as to body snatch Elena when she’s cured of her vampirism and dying as a human. Playing two characters is one thing, but playing a character pretending to be another character is a mind-blowing level of acting chops that earned Nina mad respect from her TVD fanbase.

Elena Gilbert pretending to be Katherine Pierce

Even though Elena is a good girl and not as quick to impersonate as her less goody good Doppelganger, Katherine, she’s also been known to pull a switcheroo when the occasion calls for it. That was the set-up behind this kiss with Elijah that blew fans’ minds.


The Doppelganger line goes way further back than Katherine Pierce. Amara is the first immortal woman and the beginning of the line of Doppelgangers that Katherine and Elena belong to.


Between Amara and Katherine came Tatia, another of the Petrova Doppelgangers and, yes of course, played by the oh-so-talented (and soon-to-be oh-so-missed) Nina Dobrev. The Petrova girls have a habit of wooing powerful vampires and Tatia won the hearts of two Originals, Klaus and Elijah.


Finally, Nina even took a turn stepping into Silas’ shoes. Even though Silas’ true form was revealed to be Stefan (he was Stefan’s original Doppelganger), the powerful witch was able to shape-shift and he briefly took on Elena’s form when speaking to Stefan, giving Nina yet another character to play on the show.

(Images via here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)

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