The Vampire Diaries came to an end in 2017 after eight intense seasons, and the finale was entirely rewarding to some fans and absolutely heartbreaking to others. By the end of the episode, Stefan was permanently dead, Elena was back and reunited with true love Damon, Bonnie didn't have to die for it to happen, and Caroline was widowed but moving on with a school for her twins. Although it delivered a lot of closure, Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder has a way that it could have been better. Somerhalder had this to say about what he would change about the series finale:
I don't think I would have changed anything, other than I think that Paul and I should have just been on the beach in our speedos with a bottle of rum. Honestly, by the way, I am actually not kidding. I don't think that these brothers should have lived. I don't think that Damon should have had the happy ending with Elena. I don't think that you guys should have gotten what you wanted. Because it's just not fair. These guys raped and pillaged and killed probably hundreds of people from Season 1 to Season 8, and I think they should have come and gone, and humanity should have won. Not Damon and Elena. But that's just me.
Ian Somerhalder shared his thoughts on the Vampire Diaries series finale at the recent Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans, and he was careful to clarify afterward that his idea for a change didn't mean that he hates Elena as a character or Delena as a relationship. Instead, he was looking at the ending from an ethical standpoint, and he's definitely not wrong that the Salvatore brothers wreaked a lot of havoc during their long lives. Between Stefan the Ripper and Damon the human blood-drinker, they killed a lot of people and did a lot of damage to the world around them. The damage wasn't always intentional, but many people might have still been alive in the Vampire Diaries universe if the brothers had never become vampires.
Of course, such an ending might have been even more heartbreaking than the final as it aired. Stefan's death was already sad enough, especially considering he had just married Caroline. Killing Damon just as Elena woke up would have been a real bummer. That said, the relationship between the Salvatore brothers was arguably the most important of the show by the end of the final season, and there would have been a sort of poetic justice in them going out together. Ian Somerhalder's idea for change certainly paints an intriguing picture of what might have been. Interestingly, showrunner Julie Plec recently revealed that The Vampire Diaries actually could have had a different ending.
You can catch all eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries streaming on Netflix if you want to relive the saga of the Salvatore brothers. For all the current and upcoming shows you can watch on the small screen, check out our midseason TV premiere guide, our 2018 Netflix premiere guide, and our 2018 Amazon Prime premiere schedule. If you're not up on all the shows other than The Vampire Diaries that came to an end last year, be sure to swing by our rundown of all the 2017 TV cancellations.