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THE VAMPIRE DIARIES’ Julie Plec Reacts to Kat Graham’s Surprise Exit Announcement

Kat Graham’s game-changing The Vampire Diaries announcement may have been a little bit premature. When the actress announced her plans to leave The CW’s hit, long-running series after next season, it took everyone by surprise …including the showrunners.

“I’ll be honest, Kat is thinking further ahead into the future than I even was,” The Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec told Nerdist. “I was still wrapping my head around what the hell is in store for season eight and she’s jumping ahead to season nine.”

On Tuesday, Graham told Us Weekly that “season eight will be my last season” on The Vampire Diaries. Season seven is currently airing right now, and the show has only been renewed for an eighth season, so there isn’t a ninth season for any of the stars to return to yet. But on the bright side, now that Plec and the rest of the writers know Graham’s desire to leave after season eight, they can plan out how The Vampire Diaries universe will say goodbye to her fan-favorite character Bonnie Bennett.

“I feel like knowing that she is feeling ready to move on and say goodbye to Bonnie, now it’s my challenge and the writers challenge to do right by that,” Plec says. “We have a year to do it so I’m excited to come up with all the different ways that her character can say goodbye.”

When Graham announced her plans to exit the series after eight years, she revealed she didn’t know what she was doing next, but she knew she was ready to move on.

“I just hope that whatever I do after, the crew can come with me. If the crew can come with me, then we’ll be good,” Graham said. “The crew is going to be the hardest thing to let go, because we are a family. But you know what, another season is a whole other year, and we’re going to blow it out.”

The Vampire Diaries

Plec reveals that Bonnie’s story will pick up major steam in the last few episodes of this season, and Graham couldn’t wait for fans to get to see what happens now that story has caught up to the future flash forwards.

“There’s some really intense stuff with my character this season,” Graham said. “I think the biggest episodes I’ve ever had are [episodes] 20 [airing April 29] and 21 [airing May 6]. It’s pretty major for the character — huge turns, a lot of stunts and cool shit!”

And while the timeline has caught up to the flash forwards, Plec promises fans will get to see how Bonnie and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) ended up in love over the missing three years, calling their relationship “lovely” and “beautiful.”

Are you sad to know that we’re only going to get one more season with Graham as Bonnie? Does this make you nervous that with so many original stars leaving, season eight might be the final season of The Vampire Diaries? Hit the comments section below to weigh in, or tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!

Images: The CW

The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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