“The ending had been in the works for about two years. In the first series of books, that’s what happens to her. When Kevin [Williamson] and I first came on the show, we said, ‘Well, it can’t happen to her the way it happens in the books,’ which is on, like, page 200 of the first book. [Laughs] That felt obviously too soon, and rushed, and we didn’t want to make a show about a teenage girl who instantly becomes a vampire. But we always knew that her journey would take her there eventually, and we just kept riding the wave of when it felt right. You’ve got a girl who just sorta lost her last adult living family member when Aunt Jenna died last year, so when we started this season, what we really wanted to do was begin this relationship with Alaric as her guardian and mentor, and then tear that away from her at the end leaving her and her brother with nobody. It felt like now was the time — when you’re left with no grownup, no adult supervision, no parent, no guardian — for Elena to experience the next evolution of her journey. All the stuff that we did with having her get stronger over the course of the year, training and getting in touch with her physical self, and all the grief and all the emotion that she went through, all the compassion that she has for everybody, it will all play into next year and what kind of person and vampire she will actually be — if she should choose to see the transition through.”—Julie Plec on the decision to make Elena transition into a vampire (via vampirediaries101)
Let’s talk about Elena’s goodbye speech to Damon when she told him if she had to choose, it would be Stefan. What we’ve said all year is that this is the choice for who she is at this moment in her life, and what she wants out of her life, and who she wants to have in her life in a romantic way. Though she has obviously grown to love Damon, and probably be in love with Damon, over the course of three seasons, what she said was 100 percent true: Even at its worst, she never fell out of love with Stefan, and you just can’t let somebody like that go. So letting Damon go was the right thing to do for her. Of course now, who knows what’s gonna happen? Her life just got completely turned upside down and ripped inside out. God only knows how each brother is gonna handle it? If they have opposing viewpoints [read: Damon definitely would have saved Elena first, so she’d still be human], then how are they going to handle each other? They just miraculously survived this year tighter than ever as brothers, what will this new development due to that relationship? There’s all kinds of great questions that are gonna come up as a result of all this.
One of the twists we didn’t see coming — conveniently after Elena said maybe her choice would have been different if she’d met Damon first — was that Damon HAD actually met her first on the night of her parents’ crash, but he compelled her to forget because he didn’t want anyone else to know he was in town. Damon now has a small collection of things that he’s compelled her to forget. If there’s one thing that everyone knows about our vampire rules is that when you die and are in transition, your memories start to come back. So, there’s some new information that will be introduced to Elena in the first episode of next season. I think it’s just all part of the ongoing friendship and romantic entanglement that Elena has with Damon. She’s never gonna be able to shake it completely, and new information is only gonna get under her skin and embed itself into her even more. And so, it will cause complications with Stefan, of course. But she’s committed to Stefan. She loves Stefan. We’ll get to actually see them be together for a little while.
So she made her choice, but you set up that it’s not necessarily final — the sexual tension will still exist, even if it’s just simmering. I feel like fans on both sides should be happy with this. No. No. The most passionate of the opposing teams are never quite happy unless they get exactly what they want. But, I would say everybody else can understand that end game means end of series. We’re in the middle of the journey, and our heroine just made a life decision and then EVERYTHING in her life is about to change. We’re starting Part 2. We’ll continue to ask the question “Why was it right for her?” and answer it as we move into next season. Elena as a character will continue to evolve and change, as will our boys, as will their feelings for each other and for her. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
“There’s definitely some murder and mayhem, and if all goes well, there will be some epic tears, too,” exec producer Julie Plec promises of the season 3 finale. Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley), head out of town on “bloodline-related business.” But when they get the news that Elena (Nina Dobrev) is in the hospital—-and in danger, with both the Originals and vampire hunter, Alaric (Matt Davis) after her—-they must determine who returns to protect the woman they both love. As the hour comes to a close, Elena finally makes the choice fans will debate all summer. “We’ll put Elena in a situation where there’s only one brother that she can see in a very important moment, and she needs to decide which one it is,” Plec says. “We’ll know which brother she wants to be with at this point in her life.”—Entertainment Weekly’s Season Finale preview by Mandi Bierly (via salvatoredarling)