Saturday’s Comic-Con panel turned out to be a farewell party for The CW’s Vampire Diaries.
Executive producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec made the announcement that the upcoming eighth season would be the drama’s last. The producers, cast and crew marked the occasion with a farewell video.
“This show originated out of a very dark time in my life,” Williamson recalled in the clip. “Someone had died and I was in grief. My best friend Julie was like, ‘you need to work again. You need to write again.’ And this book, The Vampire Diaries, came along.” He went on to say that what resonated for him was Elena (Nina Dobrev, who left the show in 2015), who was grieving the loss of her parents.
“Being cast in The Vampire Diaries has changed the trajectory of my life, to say the very least,” said star Paul Wesley, who plays Stefan Salvatore. His TV brother, Ian Somerhalder added, “This show has enriched my life greater than anything I’ve done in my career and it will live in my heart. We are a family and I will miss you. Thank you again to this amazing cast and crew, Kevin, Julie, Warner Bros., The CW and the most loyal fan base the world has ever seen. Wow, what a ride.”
Knowing ahead of time that Season 8 would be its last was a comfort to Plec. “It’s so rare for a show to get to last this long, and what a privilege that Mark Pedowitz and Peter Roth have allowed us to choose the time to end the journey on our own creative terms,” she said. “It’s been eight of the best years of my life. I will miss it terribly, but I’m so proud to be here to see it to its proper end.”
The final season, which will consist of 16 episodes, premieres Friday, Oct. 21 (8 ET/PT).