'Vampire Diaries' Director Breaks Down His Dream Ending For Elena Gilbert

Vampire Diariesdirector Breaks Down His Dream Ending

Fans of ' The Vampire Diaries ' were devastated when Nina Dobrev announced she was leaving the series at the end of season six -- and longtime 'TVD' director Joshua Butler was one of them.

'I went through the same type of mixed emotions I think as a lot of fans of the show do, because I float in and out of the story's narrative when I direct,' Butler told MTV News ahead of last week's penultimate episode. 'The last episode I directed was right before our one month hiatus and could very well turn out to be one of the very last Delena kisses in the show's history.'

Butler's episode, 'A Bird in a Gilded Cage,' saw Damon and Elena traveling back to the 1903 prison world to rescue Mama Salvatore. The episode, which ended with Damon receiving the Cure to vampirism, was a memorable one for Delena fans, as Damon and Elena shared plenty of adorable OTP moments including a steamy kitchen hookup.

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'I actually like the fact that in that episode she says, 'It’s a good thing we have forever,'' Butler said. 'She said that, not really comprehending or remembering the full relationship they had, it was almost like falling in love with Damon again for the first time. There’s also that nice moment where she says, 'I like seeing you like that, as your mother’s son,' which I think made me love the fact that Elena loves Damon regardless of what she remembered from the past.'

Dobrev announced her departure just two weeks after the episode aired -- a decision Butler is grateful didn't happen sooner. 'Had that happened prior to my episode, I don’t think people would’ve enjoyed it as much,' he said. 'I would have been very unhappy.'

At the time of shooting the season's 17th episode, Butler told MTV News he had no idea Dobrev was planning to depart the series at the end of the season. 'There were rumors of Nina leaving at the time but as a director you just sort of immerse yourself into the script they give you, so I was just really immersed in making 'A Bird In A Guilded Cage' the best episode it could be,' he said.

'So my concern, just as a fanboy, was what is next season going to look and feel like without Nina Dobrev, who really was the soul of the series.'

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Butler doesn't hide his affection for Delena on social media. In fact, he's become a bit of hero for the passionate fandom. Remember: these are the fans that turned a hashtag (#DelenaRainKiss) into an actual plot point on the show. Having directed some of the most iconic (and heartbreaking) Delena moments in the show's history -- like the season two standout, ' Daddy Issues ,' and Delena's ' crappy day ' kiss in season five -- Butler's 'TVD' career is forever intertwined with Delena.

Throughout our conversation, Butler told us that he didn't actually have any inside information from mastermind Julie Plec about next season sans Dobrev. All he knows at the moment is that he'll be back to direct more episodes for the upcoming season, but speaking as a fan of series, he'd like to see Dobrev return for an episode or two.

'When you have such an iconic love story at the center of that show, which is really Delena’s story, you either make the choice to move on dramatically with the character and have them find new love, or you just play whatever they're planning in the finale, that Damon has lost the love of his life and is now going to spend season seven mourning the loss of her -- it’s a very clear decision one way or the other,' he said. 'As a director I’m curious to see what happens and where things are when I go back to Mystic Falls.'

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When we asked Butler to tell us his perfect ending for Elena Gilbert ahead of Dobrev's final 'TVD' episode, it obviously included Damon Salvatore. Although it looks like Delena may not get their happily (human) ever after in cannon (after all, there's only one Cure left), Butler was pretty confident that Damon and Elena are endgame.

'There was an interesting theory online where somebody thought that maybe Damon’s arc next season would be to decide whether he himself would want to leave behind being a vampire and become human,' he said. 'So I think for me, my fantasy, and again this is just from me as a fanboy, my feeling is that there would be something really epic and wonderful about both Elena and Damon turning away from being vampires and becoming human and deciding to spend the rest of their lives together and actually being able to have a family and live knowing that they had the shot at immortality.'

'Their love, even though it’s in a finite amount of time now, is more important than to live a life where they can be living forever but not necessarily have a union and have a family,' he added. 'That’s part of my theoretical happy ending for her.'

That definitely sounds like the happy ending we've envisioned for Elena since she was turned at the end of season three, but given the tragic events of the penultimate episode, we're not so sure Damon will have the opportunity to join Elena as a human. But we won't give up hope -- and neither will Butler.

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