Fans said goodbye to Mystic Falls and its supernatural inhabitants during "The Vampire Diaries" Season 8 Episode 16 finale. A major character death made many viewers cry, but it certainly tied up all the character arcs in a satisfying way. The show's executive producer and showrunner, Julie Plec revealed that it wasn't the original ending they planned.
It was in 2009 when the CW aired the first episode of "The Vampire Diaries". Fast forward to March 10, 2017 when "The Vampire Diaries" Season 8 Episode 16 "I Feel Epic" aired. The titles for the Season 8 were taken from lines during Season 1, according to Mic. In Season 1 Episode 8, Lexi arrives in Mystic Falls and helps Elena deal with Stefan being a vampire. She tells Elena to give him another chance and when Stefan thanks Lexi, she merely says, "I was feeling epic, whatever."
The show started out as a love triangle between Stefan (Paul Wesley), Elena (Nina Dobrev), and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). After Dobrev's exit in Season 6, though, the show focused more on the Salvatore brothers' redemption and humanity. Several characters returned for "The Vampire Diaries" Season 8 though, including Dobrev.
The season finale ended with Bonnie getting her magic again, Stefan sacrificing his life to give Damon a chance for a human life with Elena, and other characters living their lives happily. Mystic Falls was in danger of exploding with hellfire, but Bonnie is able to redirect it with the help of several familiar characters from previous seasons. The last episode of "The Vampire Diaries" Season 8 featured so many former characters and it served as the show's final reunion.
Julie Plec, the show's showrunner revealed to Entertainment Weekly, however, that the original series finale was different. The producers had originally wanted the ending to feature both Damon and Stefan sacrificing themselves for Elena, who would have either gotten married to Matt Donovan or just lived her own life and become a doctor. "The Vampire Diaries" Season 8 finale eventually changed after Dobrev initially left the show.
According to Plec, the focus shifted from whether Stefan will get back with Elena to exploring the brothers' humanity and love for one another. She said it was imperative that at least one brother should have a happy ending. Plec also talked about the letter that Klaus Mikaelson sent Caroline during the last moments of "The Vampire Diaries" Season 8. It gave many fans hope that the two could get their own happy ending after Stefan's death.
The producers and writers really brought out the big guns for the season finale. Viewer saw Stefan sacrificing his life and meeting his friend Lexi on the other side for a reunion that mirrored their dialogue in Season 1. The other characters get the ending they deserve, with Bonnie traveling the world and Ric and Caroline establishing a school for gifted children. "The Vampire Diaries" Season 8 finally ended with Elena reuniting with her dead family and Damon saying, "Hello, brother." Everyone had finally found their own pieces of heaven.