April 6 was a hard day for The Vampire Diaries fans as they were informed through social media that Nina Dobrev, one of the main characters on the show, would be leaving at the end of this season. Dobrev shared the upsetting news with fans on Instagram, writing, “I always knew I wanted Elena’s story to be a six season adventure.” Though Dobrev and executive director Julie Plec both sounded off on her decision to leave, speculation began to circulate about Dobrev’s real reason to leave.
As rumors spread about Dobrev’s exit being caused by Ian Somerhalder’s engagement to Nikki Reed, co-star Michael Malarkey set the record straight for TVD’s fanbase. “She’s always known she was going to leave at the end of this season, so I think there was a lot of speculation about that,” Malarkey said. “Like ‘Oh, is she leaving because of this or that.’ People just need to stop reading tabloids!”
Malarkey, who joined the show in season five, says he understand Dobrev’s decision to leave after playing Elena Gilbert (and Katherine Pierce, and Tatia, and Amara) for 100 episodes. “Everybody has different reasons for doing what they want to do, but in this business, it’s very important to know when it is your time to move on and she’s grown up on this show. She was 20-years-old when she started it and now she’s 26. I think it’s exactly the right thing for her to do, in someone in her position in this business. I’m very, very happy she’s moving on, although I’ll miss her. I think she’s doing the right thing and I’m looking forward to see what she does next.”
With the endless tears also came a celebration as the TVD family spent a weekend together in Georgia to properly send Dobrev and Michael Trevino, who is also leaving the show, off in style. Along with photos posted on Instagram by the cast, there was a decapitation of a pinata demolished by none other than the beloved Nina Dobrev.