First, a quick recap: In The Vampire Diaries Season 8, Episode 16, Elena's voice-over revealed that she went to med school, then returned to Mystic Falls, since that's where she wanted to grow old. She lived the epic life she wanted, giving thanks to Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), Damon's brother and Elena's former love. Here's what Elena said about Damon in the finale:
Even after our long and happy life together, Damon is still worried he'll never see Stefan again, that he'll never find peace. But I know he's wrong, because peace exists. It lives in everything we hold dear. That is the promise of peace, that one day -- after a long life -- we find each other again.
The end shot for Elena showed her finding peace in the afterlife with her family, and then Damon found peace with Stefan. Damon's final words were "Hello, brother."
Here's what Ian Somerhalder recently had to say at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming in Australia (via The Music), when asked how he thought Damon spent his human life before seeing Stefan again in the afterlife:
I can only imagine Damon lived out the rest of his years really grateful to just have the chance to breathe fresh air on a warm summer day and not have to worry about some otherworldly, powerful being trying to kill him or anyone he knows. The simple yet rich moments in our lives all string together to create what we hope to call a life well-lived.
It was already revealed on The Originals that, post-Vampire Diaries, Dr. Elena Salvatore opened a family practice in Mystic Falls:
Do you think Damon raised their kids while Elena was busy at work? We do know they had kids. During last year's San Diego Comic-Con, while The Vampire Diaries Universe creator Julie Plec was plugging the upcoming spinoff Legacies, she talked about Damon and Elena's future:
So, [Elena] has her family clinic in the town square. You know I think that when Damon and Elena finally had children, they'd be younger kids by now. So maybe the spinoff of this spinoff can be the Salvatore children!
DO IT. Legacies -- the joint spinoff of both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals -- already mentioned Elena and Damon's kids. Legacies Season 1 Episode 10 showed an alternate timeline, with Josie Saltzman first referencing the Salvatore kids this way:
Damon Salvatore has been as generous as he can be, but he and Elena have kids of their own that they need to take care of.
Later in the same episode, we got an actual name for one of Damon and Elena's kids -- Stefanie Salvatore, in honor of Stefan.
Ever since then, fans have hoped to hear more about Stefanie Salvatore, and maybe even see Damon and Elena's daughter on Legacies. Julie Plec actually addressed that question after the Legacies Season 1 finale:
I'd have to figure out why a child of theirs would be supernatural and in boarding school. But it's on my list of things to think about.
But even if Stefanie stayed fully human, why not still drop by the Salvatore School, since it used to be her family home?
Two years... wow. I think all finales are what they are. It's a winding down of an eight-year emotional saga, for the most part. I wish that we had been able to shoot a two-hour finale and lose the retrospective, but it was powerful the way we finished.
Ian Somerhalder previously said he didn't think Damon should've gotten a happy ending with Elena, after all of the horrible things he'd done. But that's what happened anyway. Here's how the show finished Damon and Elena's storylines in The Vampire Diaries finale scene:
Ian Somerhalder shared a Damon vampire photo during the airing of Legacies Season 1, and that got some fans thinking he might actually bring Damon onto the spinoff. But that didn't happen -- and anyway, Damon would be human in this timeline, not a vampire.
Ian Somerhalder is busy preparing for his new V-Wars show, which should be coming soon to Netflix. But considering Damon is still alive in the Legacies timeline, we can always reserve hope that Damon and/or Elena stops by at some point. If not, maybe we'll just get more Gilbert-Salvatore family references in Legacies Season 2, which will premiere on The CW this fall.