Steven McQueen Leaving The Vampire Diaries: Will Jeremy Gilbert Be Killed Off?

The Vampire Diaries series regular Steven McQueen is exiting the show this season -- get the details Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Say goodbye to those perfect, chiseled abs. The Vampire Diaries series regular Steven McQueen is saying goodbye to Mystic Falls after this season's 14th episode. The CW show's creator, Julie Plec, made the (gut-wrenching!) announcement at the 2015 Winter TCA Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 11.

"We're saying goodbye to Steven McQueen," Plec told E! News. But does that mean his character Jeremy Gilbert will be killed off permanently?

"I wouldn't dare kill Jeremy. I think that would be all forms of cruelty," Plec clarified. "But I do think that he's a man now, he's not a little kid anymore and he's got to live his life. It's time for him to get started doing that."

She added to TV Guide: "We got him a cake and dressed as superheroes and gave him a big party!"

As McQueen's dreamy character goes off to art school, it begs the question: Will other Mystic Falls residents be making a swift exit?

"As we continue to grow and add new characters and grow up our characters, every year we assess where our characters are and we decide is it time for them to grow up and move on, is it time for them to die, where are they going, what can their departure do to other characters, what can their departure do for their own character," showrunner Caroline Dries added to E! News. "As we move forward in subsequent seasons, there might be more people we say goodbye to as well."

McQueen, 26, the grandson of Hollywood legend Steve McQueen, has played Nina Dobrev's on-screen brother on the teen favorite since 2009. TVD was recently renewed for its seventh season. It returns on Thursday, Jan. 22, at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.

Tell Us: What do you think of McQueen leaving?