With all its crazy twists and turns, there were still many unexpected moments that could've happened over The Vampire Diaries' eight seasons that wound up getting cut before they ever made it to the screen. Many plotlines could have turned out extremely differently had it not been for significant tweaks or huge changes of direction along the way. Some characters would have very altered futures if some of these wild plotlines made it past the writing stage. Not all of them would have benefited the show, either. However, some others would have been fascinating to see, and it’s easy to start questioning whether or not we really missed out.
Of course, the greatest number of changes (and the most surprising ones of all) revolved around the series finale. With The Vampire Diaries being nearly a decade in the making, there were a lot of opinions on how it should end. Producers changed their mind many times about the series’ resolution, and some factors were completely out of their control. Whether or not you were satisfied with the ending we got, you will be surprised by the twists that nearly made it to the script. Producers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson made a lot of these tough calls, but in the end they did what they thought was right with whatever they had to work with.
Here are 14 Canceled Twists That Would’ve Hurt Vampire Diaries (And 6 That Would’ve Saved It).
20 Hurt: The controversial ending
Since season 2, Julie Plec had been planning a very different ending for the show than what actually happened. She claims this version of the finale even brought her to tears. It included Damon and Stefan both passing away and watching over Elena as ghosts as she goes on to live a full life. Supposedly, it demonstrates their love for her since they would have sacrificed themselves to save her.
This clearly all had to change when Nina Dobrev left the show, and it was no longer a story about Elena, but it probably would have been changed even if that didn’t happen. After all the back and forth between Damon and Stefan, this ending could hardly leave viewers satisfied.
19 Saved: Stefan and Elena dating again
Yes, you read that right. After Damon and Elena got together, producers decided Stefan and Elena would find their way back to each other. Had it not been for Nina Dobrev’s exit after season 6, we would have had a controversial plot twist on our hands. Contrary to what a lot of fans might think, Damon and Elena’s relationship was meant to be a temporary detour before Stefan won Elena back. Producers weren’t even close to being done with playing around with Stefan and Elena’s drama.
When Elena was no longer a part of the show, producers had no choice but to leave her storyline where it was. Julie Plec made it no secret that she thought Stefan and Elena belonged together, so it must have been disappointing that there was no way for her to achieve this. There were plenty of fans hoping for this extra drama as well.
18 Hurt: Elena marries Matt
Part of Plec’s initial grand plan for the finale included a crazy twist regarding Elena’s choice. At the same time the producers were planning to off Stefan and Damon as part of the show’s ending, they decided Elena would end up with Matt Donovan. Though we know Elena and Matt dated before the start of the series, any romantic chemistry they had seemed to be long buried.
Maybe it’s a nice thought that Elena would be free of all the supernatural drama that followed her since meeting the Salvatores. Still, they found a way to do this for Elena without making her end up with a seemingly random choice. The decision probably wouldn’t have stuck by the end of the series, considering they wanted Stefan and Elena back together.
17 Hurt: Klaus perishes after one season
Klaus entering the show as the main antagonist did not disappoint. There’s something about what Joseph Morgan brings to the role that endeared viewers to Klaus, despite him originally being written as pure evil. This wasn’t what stopped producers from writing him out after one season. Surprisingly, it was Morgan himself who asked to stay because he liked playing the role so much.
The character of Klaus was supposed to be the primary villain only for a short time, but looking back it all worked out for the best. If the actor hadn’t stayed on, we likely wouldn’t have him on the spinoff series, and possibly The Originals wouldn’t exist at all.
16 Saved: The backup plan for the spinoff's storyline
For a while, it was up in the air whether or not The Originals was going to go to series. Even if it ended up getting pulled, producers loved the proposed storyline so much that they would have aired it on The Vampire Diaries during season 5. This would mean Klaus and Hayley’s wild hybrid pregnancy plotline would have affected a lot more TVD characters.
It also would have thrown a wrench in everything else we saw unfold during this season. Klaus still taking up a significant amount of airtime would have made things pretty interesting in Mystic Falls. In the end, we lost him to the spinoff, but it's good to know he would have still been a huge part of the show had it not happened.
15 Hurt: All main characters perish in the finale
At the writers’ table, no character was safe from meeting their demise at the tail end of the show. Having survived up to eight seasons, it would have been tragic for anyone not to survive the whole thing just because of the last episode. According to producers, nothing was out of the question. We already had to deal with one major character being eliminated (Stefan), and the fan base was already up in arms about that.
Plec even describes one scenario in which nobody survives. Suffice it to say that the ending could have been a whole lot darker than it was. In comparison, we really lucked out!
14 Hurt: Aging Elena and Damon
Using prosthetic makeup was the original plan for aging Damon and Elena in the finale. However, there were multiple reasons for not going down this route. Thankfully, we said goodbye to the characters while they looked as young and vibrant as they did throughout the whole series. Apart from the makeup having the potential to turn out looking strange, producers had hesitations about what the finale should indicate. Julie Plec describes Kevin Williamson as saying, “I like stories that end in the here and now. I don’t think you need to rely on 50-year flash forwards to deliver the same emotional closure.”
We certainly got a lot of closure in the final episode anyway. It did show that Damon and Elena lived a full life without literally portraying them as Grandma and Grandpa!
13 Saved: Bonnie marries Matt after losing Enzo
Bonnie and Enzo had to be one of the most beloved couples of the whole series, but after losing him we’d still want Bonnie to find happiness. For Julie Plec, this meant having a nice, normal future with Matt Donovan. Is he just the go-to guy for giving characters a standard human life?
In any case, this could have been a cute ending for Bonnie. Regardless of how much we were mourning Enzo, Bonnie losing her soul mate didn’t have to mean the end of her love life. Unfortunately the producers didn’t all agree on this one, and Bonnie and Matt never ended up being a thing.
12 Hurt: The Sun and the Moon curse was real
A large chunk of the series was spent with characters agonizing over the Sun and the Moon curse. There were many parties with different stakes in the curse being broken, not to mention many risks for those wanting to protect Elena from her part in it. The best part of this storyline was arguably the fact that Klaus made the whole thing up, and the Sun and the Moon curse was really his own hybrid curse.
Now it’s crazy to think that the writers were going to make the curse real, and not having anything to do with Klaus’ hybrid nature. That certainly would have taken a lot of excitement out of one of the show’s best seasons.
11 Hurt: Damon or Elena take the Cure, not Katherine
The journey to the Cure was drawn out for a while, but once the characters had it within reach, a much bigger question emerged. There was only one dose of the Cure during season four, so who would get it? Producers must have loved playing around with all the possibilities, since some characters desperately wanted to be human and others didn’t. Of course Katherine turned out to be a fascinating choice because she never wanted to lose her supernatural abilities. This choice didn’t come easy at first for the writers, who considered Damon or Elena for a while.
At this point in the show, neither of these picks would have been nearly as interesting as Katherine. Elena had just become a vampire, and Damon could have lost a lot of charm.
10 Hurt: Putting Damon and Elena get together earlier
Everyone who followed the show as it was unfolding can probably remember the huge push for Damon and Elena to get together. Right from the beginning, fans made their opinion known on social media, and the producers definitely felt the pressure. They were going to give in and put the couple together in the first three seasons, instead of waiting until after Elena became a vampire.
However, Julie Plec stuck to her guns in the end and let their relationship grow for longer. She wanted Elena to be a vampire when it happened, since she knew it would change Elena enough to break up with Stefan and go for the more villainous brother.
9 Saved: Anna and Pearl appearing in the finale
We haven’t seen Anna and Pearl since season 3, but that didn’t stop producers from wanting to finish their story in the very last episode. Maybe there’s a bit of a nostalgia factor, but the writers thought it was important to bring them back. Given the violent and tragic past that these characters have, this moment could have changed the way we remember them. They would have been portrayed as finding peace, but we had to do without this final closure.
This cancellation had nothing to do with the producers calling it off. Instead, the actress’ availability was the only factor that robbed us of this potentially powerful moment.
8 Hurt: A spinoff nothing like The Originals
The Originals was the perfect fit for a spinoff series, and were spoiled to get to follow some of TVD’s best characters on this successful show. However, things could have gone a lot differently, and it’s hard to say whether or not the original idea for a spinoff would have been nearly as effective. Given the basic outline Kevin Williamson described, the chances are not high. The show was meant to focus on paranormal investigation, and was going to be set on a college campus.
Seeing as the characters of The Vampire Diaries aren’t too concerned with how magic happens, only how it affects their lives, this idea probably wouldn’t fit well.
7 Hurt: Bonnie sacrificing herself for Elena to wake up
We needed Nina Dobrev back for the finale, but we definitely didn’t need to sacrifice Bonnie for her return! Thankfully, producers shut this idea down after realizing that Bonnie had survived many magical incidents. She should have control over her powers by now, and fans deserved to leave our favorite witch knowing how far she’s come.
Besides, there was already a huge sacrifice made by Stefan in that same episode. Loyal viewers didn’t deserve to have their hearts broken twice in one evening. With Elena simply sleeping and not actually gone, the producers left enough room in the script to bring her back with easier methods.
6 Hurt: Damon being the martyr for Mystic Falls
The writers knew there had to be a martyr in the finale in order to justify saving everyone else. They also knew that it had to either be Damon or Stefan, and the impact of such a major character passing would be huge. Though they ended up settling on Stefan, Damon fulfilling this role was not out of the question.
To be fair, Damon has grown enough as a character throughout the series that his sacrifice would be believable. Whether or not fans would be on board is a different story. After everything, if Damon had passed on and Stefan ended up with Caroline, there would have been a lot of questions about Elena’s future. It probably just wasn’t worth trying to work that out.
5 Saved: A crossover with Supernatural
We feel a little bit robbed of what probably would have been an epic crossover. At the time, these were two of the greatest genre shows on the air. The Vampire Diaries’ producers were the ones to shut this one down, mainly because they didn’t see how the worlds could perfectly overlap. There weren’t the same types of creatures and world-building rules in both shows, and it’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to muddy the waters.
It’s safe to say this would have gotten a lot of attention and viewership, but in the en d The Vampire Diaries proved it could do that all on its own.
4 Hurt: Stefan and Caroline running away
A conversation at the writers’ table nearly became a reality, but we got a much more tragic end to Stefan’s story than what could have happened. Stefan and Caroline were originally meant to run away from Mystic Falls and find gifted children. They would then bring them back to the school to take care of them. Instead, Caroline and Stefan’s happily-ever-after didn’t last long.
Still, it wouldn’t have made a lot of sense for everyone to get their perfect ending. This canceled twist seems a little too good to be true, and we can be glad for the sake of the show that it was averted.
3 Hurt: A new character saving Alaric's children
No one can forget the tragic wedding scene in which Alaric loses his unborn children. The series went so Game of Thrones on us that it was almost too dark, even for a show about vampires. Naturally, the producers wanted to find a way to magically save them and bring them back for future episodes. They ran through a lot of ideas, and the one they had decided on had nothing to do with Caroline carrying the children.
A brand new character was meant to be the savior, but we never get to meet whomever this might have been. Before this could make it into the script, Candice King, who plays Caroline, called and said she was pregnant. Talk about good timing!
2 Hurt: The finale backup plan if Dobrev couldn’t return
We never really stop to think about what would have happened if Dobrev never got the chance to play Elena and Katherine again. Tying up loose ends would have been a whole lot harder, if not impossible. Julie Plec did have a twist in mind if Elena couldn’t physically make a new appearance. The only problem is that, according to her, it “sucked.” The only thing she’ll let on is that it involved Elena appearing only in flashback scenes and a bright white light.
It sounds like a cheesy montage was in the works, but that crisis was avoided thanks to Dobrev’s return.
1 Saved: Nina Dobrev returning for the entire final season
Wouldn’t it have been a dream come true if Elena and Katherine could have been written back into the script for 16 whole episodes? We were lucky enough to get Nina Dobrev back to give us some much-needed closure in the finale. Yet we still feel like we missed out, after hearing that this was a possibility.
It was massively unfortunate that Dobrev’s filming schedule for other projects didn’t allow her to return for such a long period of time. We can only imagine what would have happened, since Plec indicated that they wanted to see Elena and Stefan’s story continue. It’s very possible they would have gotten their fairy tale ending had Dobrev not been otherwise occupied.
Which canceled twists would you have liked to see play out on The Vampire Diaries? Tell us in the comments!