It wouldn't be "The Vampire Diaries" without a vengeful villain, a ton of dangerous magic and a major death.

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As the series finale approaches, everything in Mystic Falls is pointing towards mayhem: Katherine (Nina Dobrev) is back from the dead and has released hellfire on the town, Vicki Donovan (Kayla Ewell) is waiting in the wings as a minion from hell -- literally -- and Bonnie's (Kat Graham) life might actually be over. How else would we get the privilege of Elena's (Nina Dobrev) return to the land of the living?

Screener spoke with Julie Plec this week about the major death headed our way -- as well as how she approached giving each character the ending they deserved.

What can you say about Katherine's vendetta to bring hellfire to Mystic Falls?

Katherine has set up what is, in her mind, the perfect revenge. She is ready, to as she says, "Make the town burn, and make everybody burn along with it." So she's feeling very smug.

Without spoiling who it is, can you say why you decided to kill off a major character in the finale -- and how you decided who it would be?

It felt like we're trying to "save the world," and that kind of heroism doesn't often happen without a sacrifice, so we needed to feel like somebody was making the ultimate sacrifice for the best interest of everybody else. We had lots of conversations about who that would be, and are very bittersweet but pleased with where we landed.

How worried should we be about Bonnie, given how she ended last week's episode?

Bonnie has been knocked around and knocked down, and has had to pull herself up, a lot over the course of eight years. She's a trooper, and she's strong -- but we can never discount the power of an overuse of magic and what it can do to a witch.

Stefan & Caroline finally got their happily ever after, but there's still one episode left. Is their future still in jeopardy?

I think you should be nervous about everybody's future. Specific to Stefan and Caroline, they almost didn't get married because he's human and she's a vampire, and so if they do ride off into the sunset together, it's just the beginning of a lot of complications in their relationship. But they're best friends and they're partners, and that's the kind of foundation of a long-term relationship that everybody wants -- so my money would be on them surviving.

nina dobrev The Vampire Diaries: Julie Plec talks Elenas return and a final sacrifice

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How will everyone (especially Damon and Stefan) react to seeing Elena again?

I think that everyone is shocked, surprised, happy and then recognizing the weight of how important it is to save the day -- because in saving the day, it's saving her too.

Can we expect to see Enzo again in the finale?

He will be seen, in his way. We haven't seen the last of him.

How close is this ending to the one you and Kevin Williamson had envisioned from the start?

It's emotionally very similar, but the details are completely different.

Was there ever a point where you were afraid that the scheduling wouldn't work out and you wouldn't get Nina?

Yes, there were a thousand moments of terror! I'm just glad it worked out the way it did.

With so many different fans wanting different things from the finale, how did you guys balance honoring the story and honoring those fans?

We like to honor the fans in details, and in moments, moreso than in giving them what they demand, by way of who should end up together or not. For us, it wasn't as much about making a specific section of the fandom happy. It was about really feeling like we'd taken these characters on a complete journey, and that who they were going to love and be loved by as they move into the future felt organic and right to the whole eight year run.

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ian somerhalder paul wesley The Vampire Diaries: Julie Plec talks Elenas return and a final sacrifice

How did you guys approach finally giving a true end to Elena's story?

We met Elena as a young girl who had just lost her parents, and wasn't sure if she'd be able to smile through the entire day -- and I think our goal was, obviously, to end the series at some point knowing that she would be okay. So we set out to do what we could to represent that.

Damon and Stefan -- a.k.a"Defan" -- have always been the real love story of this show -- what can you say about paying off that relationship?

The "Defan" endgame! [Laughs] All I can say is there's a moment that pretty much cements their relationship. For me, it's probably one of my favorite moments of the whole series.

Can you tease if there's any kind of tie-in with 'The Originals?'

Yeah, there are definitely opportunities. We've already announced that Matt Davis, as Alaric Saltzman, will show up in Episode 8 of "The Originals." Of course "The Originals" season is already shot -- but if we are lucky enough to move forward into a Season 5, I would love to explore the opportunities of how to get other familiar faces into that world.

Do you have a wish list, or is it just everybody and anybody you can get?

It's anyone who's still alive!

"The Vampire Diaries" series finale airs Friday (March 10) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. "The Originals" returns March 17.

Posted by:Lindsay MacDonald

Lindsay MacDonald is a Los Angeles based entertainment reporter with an affinity for CW superheroes. She graduated from Pepperdine University with a major in Media Studies and a borderline unhealthy obsession with TV in 2012. She would much rather spend the day binge-watching ‘The Flash’ or sorting ‘Game of Thrones’ characters into Hogwarts houses than venturing outdoors. TV words to live by: “Never ignore coincidence. Unless, of course, you’re busy. In which case, always ignore coincidence.”