A panel today at San Diego Comic-Con turned from a proverbial hang-out between cast and fans to an unwittingly-attended goodbye party pretty quickly.
The Vampire Diaries–which has been a staple on the CW’s menu of most popular shows for years–will be drawing to a close after the eighth season, Deadline reports. That’s according to executive producers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson, who crafted a video for the fans that explained that this particular crowd’s beloved characters (those still living anyway) would be saying farewell for the final time.
The video began highlighting the important themes of the series, strung like so many glowing Christmas lights in a couple of the scenes over famous moments from The Vampire Diaries–friends, family, passion, “and even a little danger.” Most notably, ex-star Nina Dobrev kissed multiple brooding vampire men, both stars–brothers in the show–Ian Solmerhalder and Paul Wesley.
It then cuts to Williamson before a gothic room and flickering fireplace flames. He said, “This show originated out of a very dark time in my life. 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.”
For Williamson, Elena was therapy of a kind. He created a girl who had lost her parents, experiencing grief.
The reminiscing continued as Wesley appeared on the screen, and stated, “Being cast in The Vampire Diaries has changed the trajectory of my life, to say the very least.”
Then continued Solmerhalder, who plays Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries, “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.”
Actor after actor and both executive producers admitted what they loved about the shows. Their thoughts encompassed the passion of fans, the discipline of working towards twenty-two episodes a season, the writing, and for Williamson, “a love story.”
The video then, of course, showed brief clip after clip of characters saying goodbye and thank you and crying.
The actors then, addressing the Comic-Con audience and fans who could watch the video around the world, said their own personal thank yous and “we love yous” and then Williamson closed the looming realization the video focused on.
“Thank you for being part of our family,” says Williamson, “as we begin season eight, our final vampire journey. We promise you adventure, passion, even a little danger.”
That eighth and final season will premiere October 21st at 8pm ET on the CW, and will run for sixteen episodes.