Welcome back to Mystic Falls! The Vampire Diaries fans' prayers have been answered, as Nina Dobrev announced on Thursday, January 26, that she is returning to play Elena Gilbert for the show's upcoming series finale.
The actress, who has not appeared on the CW's supernatural drama since the season 6 finale that aired in May 2015, posted a pic to Instagram on January 26 of her copy of the script for the show's final episode, titled "I Was Feeling Epic."
"I know it's Thursday, but this is not a TBT. #BackOnSet #TVDForever," Dobrev, 28, captioned the pic. She later tweeted about her return, "It's officially official."
Rumors have swirled for months that the star might be returning to play her signature character, who was written out of the series at the end of season 6 after falling into a decades-long sleep. It was announced during TVD's San Diego Comic-Con panel in July that the eighth season would be its last.
The CW president Mark Pedowitz told reporters at a press event in August that the network was in "discussions" to bring Dobrev back for a final hurrah. "We'd love to have Nina back," the exec said at the time. "She was great for the CW — she was integral to The Vampire Diaries."
Showrunner Julie Plec told reporters in January 2016 that she would welcome Dobrev back to the fray with open arms. "I miss her deeply and would take her back in an instant if she called and said, 'Hey, can I come back and play?'" the series' executive producer said.
The Vampire Diaries, which launched in September 2009, stars Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore) and Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore). The series finale airs on the CW Friday, March 10, at 8 p.m. ET.
Tell Us: Are you excited to see Elena return to the show?
Want stories like these delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter!