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Warning: spoilers ahead for the penultimate episode of The Vampire Diaries, "We're Planning a June Wedding."
The Vampire Diaries started off in 2009 as the story of a girl and the two boys who fell madly, passionately, and obsessively in love with her. Unfortunately, the two boys happened to be century-old vampiric brothers, and Elena was pulled into a love triangle that would come to dominate a lot of the show's stories during the first several seasons. The Vampire Diaries fandom has been divided for years about which brother would end up with Elena's heart. Would it be Damon and Elena or Stefan and Elena? Well, the penultimate episode of the series may have answered the question for good. Sorry, Stelena fans, but Stefan took himself off the market by getting hitched to another woman. Stefan and Caroline finally got their June wedding.
Admittedly, the wedding was hastily thrown together in an attempt to draw Katherine out, and Caroline probably would have liked to have longer to put her full wedding binder to good use, but the emotions coming from both bride and groom were clearly genuine. Stefan wasn't being forced or compelled or blackmailed, and he delivered wedding vows that can objectively only be described as "dreamy." There were no indications that he was picturing Elena as he delivered his vows. Stefan is a married man, and he seemed pretty darn happy that he was finally making it happen with Caroline.
Of course, the wedding surely wasn't the one that he or Caroline had in mind either of the times that he proposed, but all things considered, they might have gotten off easy with just an explosion at their reception. At least the bride wasn't murdered by a villain right as she was preparing to deliver her vows, a la poor Jo in the Season 6 finale. It's not much to be able to say that their wedding went better than Alaric and Jo's, but the entire affair could have gone a lot worse, especially now that Stefan is human.
Stefan's humanity is really the one aspect of the wedding that is truly tragic. Caroline is still a vampire; unless something in the finale happens to turn her human or somehow find a loophole to transform him back into a vampire, the happy couple will only have Stefan's lifetime together before they're parted forever. Steroline fans who were weeping tears of joy at their wedding may want to keep the tissues handy for next week's episode, which promises to be a doozy. We already know that somebody is going to die, and Stefan's a lot more fragile than he used to be.
Elena is also human at the moment, although she's stuck in a magically-induced coma with her life connected to Bonnie's. I suppose there is the possibility that The Vampire Diaries could pull a switcheroo and stick the two humans together rather than ending the series with two vampire/human couples, but the show went so far in selling the Steroline in "We're Planning a June Wedding" (and the last few seasons) that it's hard to imagine that a series finale would undo all the years of development and ruin the June Wedding culmination at the last minute. This isn't How I Met Your Mother.
After all, Stefan's been pretty over Elena as his One True Love for a while now; now that we've seen him go all-in with Caroline, the finale would undersell a lot of his character growth if he suddenly started swooning over Elena again. Will they always love each other? Sure. They've been through too much not to care for one another deeply. But the Stefan/Elena/Damon love triangle is almost certainly done for good, and I'm more than okay with it. A lot needs to happen in next week's series finale, and there will be more room for fond farewells now that the triangle has already been pretty much settled.
Tune in to The CW on Friday, March 10 at 8 p.m. ET to see the series finale of The Vampire Diaries. Nina Dobrev will be back as Elena, and we can bet that there will be plenty of action through the whole hour. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what you can watch once The Vampire Diaries has concluded.