The Vampire Diaries made what could be their final appearance as a cast at San Diego Comic-Con this year, and we’ve learned a ton about what to expect from this upcoming season!

The CW’s hit vampire drama has been on for seven long years, but this year at their Comic-Con panel, executive producer Julie Plec announced that season 8 is going to be the last season for the show.

Fans of the series quickly took to Twitter to express their mixed reactions to the big news. It’s bittersweet at best, but as sad as the cast will surely be to say goodbye, we’re sure they’re excited at the prospect of working on new projects!

At the end of the panel, they revealed an emotional tear-jerking farewell that the cast and crew put together for the fans. Check it out below:

Here’s a comprehensive list of things we learned about the eighth and final season of The Vampire Diaries, including some juicy tidbits as to what we can expect from the final season! (Items of particular excitement can be found in bold.)

  1. Kevin Williamson will be returning to the show after several years of not being a part of the series he helped co-create with Plec.
  2. According to Plec, Williamson’s big return will be part of the show’s goal to return to its roots and bring back a simpler storyline.
  3. The Big Bad of the season is going to be an evil force known as “Evil Herself.” And no, it’s not Nina Dobrev!
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  5. Dobrev has promised that she will return to help bring Elena’s story full-circle, so we should definitely be seeing some Elena/Damon drama — at least at the very end of the season.
  6. It’s actually possible that “Evil Herself” could be played by Dobrev if she wants to come back early enough to do the plot, but with the way it’s planned, it’s looking more likely that the part will likely be played by someone else.
  7. Caroline will not be moving to New Orleans after the show is done and there are a few good reasons why. For one, The Originals is set to jump five years into the future when the series returns. Additionally, when asked about whether she’d want to bring Caroline into play with the Mikaelsson’s in The Big Easy, actress Candice King said it “wouldn’t make sense for her story” to go back after she’d now become a mother, and additionally fully dedicated herself to Stefan.
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  9. The cast has so far only shot one episode, but King says that the premiere episode is very dark. “I’m excited for fans to get goosebumps at the tease of what’s to come,” said the actress.
  10. Even though Damon and Enzo are taken over by this horrible, evil monster, Michael Malarkey revealed they will be conscious of what’s happening at some point. “There are glimmers of humanity that take surface, and they question what the hell is going on,” said Malarkey.
  11. Enzo may not necessarily want to be saved from this evil monster, but we’ll find out what his thoughts are on the matter during the first episode.
  12. Caroline and Bonnie fans, rejoice! Actress Candice King confirmed that you can expect to see these two ladies sharing some more screen time in this final season. “I think it’s important to have young female characters together,” said King when she was asked about whether we’d get more Bonnie/Caroline moments. “I think having them together, and having the vulnerability, and having women in the show is great. We have great moments coming up, [and] I think episode 3 is a great episode for Caroline and Bonnie.”

The final season of ‘TVD’ begins Friday, October 21

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