The news came as a real shocker to most fans of the show, however, her fellow actors and show creator Julie Plec found out earlier at a special lake party Nina had thrown this past weekend.
Nina's character, Elena Gilbert, has been the focal point of the show since its inception six years ago. The roller-coaster relationship Elena had with vampire siblings Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) led to a lot of steam. Some of that heat extended off camera as early on Dobrev and Somerhalder had a real-life relationship until they broke it off after about a year. However, their on camera love for each other has continued to smolder.
Nina sent fans an Instagram message explaining to them her reasoning behind calling it quits. She said that while it has been a "journey of a lifetime," there wasn't much more the writers could really do with her character. After all, explained Dobrev, "I was a human, a vampire, a doppelgänger, a crazy immortal, a doppelgänger pretending to be human, a human pretending to be a doppelgänger. I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there's still so much more to come before the season finale in May."
While the news may be sad for most viewers of the show, it will continue with a seventh season according to The CW and creator Plec who released a statement of her own."Nina is excited to spread her wings, get some rest, travel the world and also take it by storm, and we support her a thousand-fold. We will miss Nina and the four hundred characters she played, but we look forward to the insane and exciting challenge of continuing to tell stories of our Salvatore Brothers and our much-loved and gifted ensemble."
In this season most of the attention has been placed on that ensemble, particularly the role of Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola) and Mystic Falls' resident witch Bonnie Bennett, played by Kat Graham. With the relationship between Caroline and Stefan on the rise, as is their turned-off humanity kill mode and no doubt a new love interest on the horizon for Damon after Elena's departure (Bonnie anyone?), the next season could end up taking the show in entirely new directions that allows the growth of several of those ensemble cast members as well as the introduction of newbies. Also, visits from those ever-ready Originals to Mystic Falls is never off the table.