7 Main Vampire Diaries Characters Who Left The Show Early (& Why)!

featured centuries-old vampires, formidable witches, fearsome werewolves, and powerful hybrids, so it was no surprise when characters started dying left and right and exiting the television show. Of course, minor characters were typically the ones to die or leave Mystic Falls. But now and then, a central figure in the CW supernatural teen drama series would depart, leaving fans confused as to why the actor was leaving the show.

ran for eight seasons on the CW, and the cast was constantly changing. However, over the years, the main cast (at one point or another) included Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert, Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore, Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore, Candice Accola as Caroline Forbes, Kat Graham as Bonnie Bennett, Steven R.

McQueen as Jeremy Gilbert, Sara Canning as Jenna Sommers, Zach Roerig as Matt Donovan, Kayla Ewell as Vicki Donovan, Michael Trevino as Tyler Lockwood, Matt Davis as Alaric Saltzman, Joseph Morgan as Klaus Mikaelson, and Michael Malarkey as Enzo St. John. Unfortunately, a handful of these stars left the show early.

7 Elena Gilbert

's leading lady, Elena Gilbert, sadly left the fantasy drama series during the season 6 finale. Elena started the series as a human who fell in love with not one but two vampires and later turned into a vampire herself following a car accident where she died with Damon's blood in her system.

She lost so many loved ones over the seasons and experienced so much heartbreak and trauma, so it was only fitting that her exit was tragic. Thankfully, Elena didn't die, but Kai cast a sleeping spell on her and linked her life to Bonnie's. So, as long as Bonnie was alive, Elena would be in a comatose state.

6 Jeremy Gilbert

Even when Elena had no one in , she (usually) had her little brother/cousin, Jeremy Gilbert. Jeremy was a troubled kid who had turned to drugs following the death of his parents, but he eventually recovered and fell in and out of love numerous times.


He also discovered his true calling as a vampire hunter, which led to Jeremy leaving Mystic Falls to pursue his newfound line of work. However, just like Elena, Jeremy returned for the series finale, even though his cameo was short-lived and was just enough to inform viewers that he was teaching at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted.

Like Nina Dobrev, Steven R. McQueen, who played Jeremy, left because he and the writers felt it was time for him to move on from the show. Jeremy's story had been played out, and there was no more room for him to grow within the confines of the series.


As a result, the audience had to say goodbye to Jeremy in the middle of season 6.

5 Tyler Lockwood

Tyler Lockwood was Mystic Falls' resident bad boy in . He was the quarterback on the high school football team, best friend of Matt Donovan, and boyfriend of Vicki Donovan. However, Tyler had a short temper and often bullied those around him, and all of those qualities made sense when he found out in season 2 that he was a werewolf. Tyler experienced a lot of character development over the seasons as he fell in love with Caroline, was turned into a hybrid by Klaus, and became a human again.


He eventually left Mystic Falls after he triggered his werewolf gene again but returned in season 8 when Damon killed him.

4 Vicki Donovan

Vicki Donovan, played by Kayla Ewell, was a lost soul just like Jeremy in season 1, which is why they were drawn to one another. Sadly, once Vicki and Jeremy were starting to figure out their relationship and try to better their lives, Damon turned Vicki into a vampire. Sadly, she was unable to control her bloodlust and was not cut out for the vampire life, and Stefan was forced to kill her when she tried to attack Jeremy.


As a ghost, Vicki would make appearances occasionally in the show, and she also returned in the series finale when she finally found peace in the afterlife.

It was not Ewell's choice to leave . Instead, her exit was a creative decision by the writers since they wanted to kill off her character to move the story forward and raise the stakes. Vicki's passing was arguably the first significant death in the fantasy drama series, and it had a ripple effect on the show.

3 Jenna Sommers


Before the pilot of , Elena and Jeremy's parents died in a car crash, and they went to live with their aunt, Jenna Sommers, once they became orphans. Jenna meant a lot to both of them since she was the last remaining parental figure in their lives. So when Klaus turned Jenna into a vampire and killed her to trigger his werewolf side, her death devastated Elena, Jeremy, and the viewers. Sara Canning as Jenna returned in the series finale alongside many other actors on this list when Elena eventually died (after living her life to the fullest) and reunited with her aunt in the afterlife.

Like Vicki's exit from


, Jenna's departure was a creative decision by the producers and writers. They thought that Elena had not suffered enough, so they killed off her aunt. This was the nature of the show, and Jenna was, sadly, another casualty of moving the story forward and raising the stakes.

2 Klaus Mikaelson

Klaus Mikaelson was the villain that everyone loved to hate and hated to love in . When viewers first met the Original vampire in season 2, he was the main antagonist, who longed to trigger his werewolf gene, making him the first vampire-werewolf hybrid in the world.


Klaus wanted power, and he would do whatever it took to get it. However, Klaus developed a lot over the seasons, and the audience realized that his character was much more complex than they initially thought. Nevertheless, Klaus exited the series as a main character after season 4.

1 Alaric Saltzman

season 1 introduced fans to Alaric Saltzman, played by Matt Davis. He was a history teacher at Mystic Falls High School and (secretly) a vampire hunter. Alaric wanted to kill Damon because he believed that Damon murdered his wife, but the truth was complicated, and Alaric and Damon later became great friends.


Alaric served as a father figure to Elena and Jeremy once he started dating Jenna, but their parental figures were seemingly cursed because Alaric died in the season 3 finale. Thankfully, he was resurrected in the season 5 finale, and Davis resumed his series regular status in season 6.

Davis initially left the CW series because of creative differences with the writers. They disagreed on a path forward for Alaric, and, as a result, Alaric was killed off, and the actor exited the show. However, Davis couldn't stay away from for too long and soon returned to the series.

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