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Saying Farewell To The Vampire Diaries

TVD Forever. This is a safe space for grieving.

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I kid.

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That’s better.

The Vampire Diaries ends on March 10, 2017. Disclosure: I’m writing this in advance—I haven’t seen the final two episodes.

No more Mystic Falls. Damon’s one-liners—Gone. Stefan’s Hero Hair—Gone. There’s a chance Bonnie could actually stay dead. No more retconning the missing parts of the Salvatore brothers’ lives that occurred between Petrova Doppleganger sightings. No more Other Sides. No more confusing lore. No more of all the supernatural quirks that have taken up so much of my brain for so long.

The worst day of loving someone is the day that you lose them.

Another disclosure: I fell into this fandom late and by accident. Before Winter Break during my first year of grad school, my friend Katja suggested that I watch the episodes on Netflix. Looking back, it’s entertaining how she floated the idea so casually. We had only known each other for a couple of months in class, and most of you probably understand the general inclination to keep vampirism on the down low. Nevertheless, she recognized something in me. Plus, Winter Break in Alabama—what else would I possibly be doing? I watched through Season 3 on Netflix before you can spell Alaric Saltzman. What a finale! Since then, Katja and I have had weekly meetings to discuss the goings on in Mystic Falls.

Dear Diary, Today will be different. It has to be.

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Dear Diary, Let’s be real.

With any show, you start to wonder after about the fourth season why you keep watching. You’re suddenly suspending a lot more disbelief than you were in the beginning, and we’re currently talking about a vampire show. At least TVD itself is aware of this descent into crazy. TVD makes more fun of TVD than I ever could.

How has Bonnie survived so many deaths? How has Alaric? I think I mentally blocked a few of those Doppleganger situations. Remember Damon and Bonnie stuck eating pancakes in the 90s? I have to ask: are we all actually going to go with this Steroline thing? Doesn't it feel a tad forced when you think about it? We’ve all seen Klaroline right? No chance Caroline will run along to New Orleans?

Before you decide to hate me completely: I love Caroline. She’s one of the most relatable characters on the show. Bonnie has nine lives. Tyler is the quintessential frat boy. Jeremy is "Elena's brother" and forgettable otherwise. Matty has the best blue eyes, but is generally useless. Elena gets to make decisions for the group, with or without the group's consent.

Then you have steadfast Caroline ready to jump in whenever she’s needed. Her love stories are so normal. She’s bounced around from one option to the next, and nothing is a perfect fit (sorry, I know the fans hate me). Something always goes wrong. She’s always left to figure out her life on her own, and she does it, dammit, without a blond hair out of place. She deserves happiness if anyone does, so I'm here for it.

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Being honest with you—what’s a fandom without terrifying honesty?—I have always been hard on Elena. I kid again. Reality: I have never liked Elena. I have never understood her purpose in the narrative except as damsel in distress. She’s that person in your life that gets all of the good things with little effort. Is anyone actually Elena? Does a human representation exist?

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You know I’m telling truths here.

“Elena’s upset.” Isn’t she always?

“Elena’s in trouble.” Isn’t she always?

“We need Elena to complete [insert witchery here].” Don’t you always?

“I’ll sacrifice myself to save Elena.” No kidding. The line starts over there.

These are TVD truths. They just are. One teenage girl should not control everything. And yet!!!

Thank the Bennett Witches for Katherine, who turned out to be my favorite TVD character of all time.

She does what any logical supernatural, super-ancient creature would do—save herself. Humans live. Humans die. Whatever. Let’s not pretend the world is different.

I started out writing this with no real purpose. What do I say about a show ending? Is there something that should be said? I know people may think vampires and television and pop culture in general don’t matter, and maybe that’s true. On the other hand, I’ve gotten a dog, graduated school, changed states, started a job, changed jobs, and still kept up my weekly meeting with the Mystic Falls Town Council. At a time when nothing seemed constant, the Salvatores remained in all their shiny CW glory. So it matters to me.

I’ve been on a rewatch binge lately, and Elena has been driving me to bourbon as per usual. As the story goes along, she loses everyone (repeatedly). She loses her house. She loses the life and the future she thought were ahead of her. Her stability after all this time? The Salvatores. Phasmatos me to the Other Side—am I making a connection after all of these years? Don’t get me wrong—the overdramatic guilt and love and self-righteousness of it all is exhausting and overdone. But maybe I should cut her some slack.

Stefan, note this in your diary.

“Your compassion is a gift, Elena. Carry it with you.”

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Could I pick between the Salvatores? Would I? LOL NO.

I like to think I’m a Damon. Let’s embrace our vampirism with witty banter and little emotion! Self-preservation above all else! Unfortunately, Elena has the idea of redemption rolling around in his head these days, but he could snap out of it by the end.

Then I find myself taking up for Stefan. Face it—Ripper Stefan is one of the more entertaining parts of this show. He tries so hard to fight against the darkness, but he’s barely holding it together. The love of his life claims forever and then ditches. Dude, we have all been there. Brooding is a lifestyle.

Look, you've got to have both brothers—a Salvatore sandwich.

For over a century I have lived in secret; Hiding in the shadows. Alone in the world. Until now. I am a Vampire. And this is my story.

Stefan told us in the first line of the show—this show is about Stefan. It’s about Damon. It’s about family and loyalty and life and death. It’s about being the last ones left once death has come for everyone else. Death has no mercy, and neither does TVD.

On the way back to grad school in North Carolina after binge watching the show for the first time, I stopped in Mystic Falls (Covington, GA) for the first time. I’ve gone back several times since then to walk my dog during road trips and to bring friends for lunch at Mystic Grill. I assume I can still visit the clock tower next month. But will it be the same? Will it feel the same?

Remember that summer that Stefan spent locked in a safe at the bottom of the lake? I kept thinking of it over and over again during the hiatus.

“Sure this dinner is great, but does anyone care that Stefan is locked in a safe?” (My friends are used to it.)

Soon enough I won’t have a clue what's happening with my favorite Timberwolves. Are they safe? Are they dead? Who’s the latest evil villain? FOMO for fiction.

My fellow fans: As we all head into this finale, I wish us all closure. I wish happiness. I wish heartbreak. I wish to feel all of the feelings we’ve felt so many times for one last time. I wish for one-liners and brooding and sappy lines. Let’s cringe through the tears together for one last time.

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