Casting. On January 26, 2017, it was announced that Nina Dobrev would return as Elena Gilbert in the series finale. At the end of the episode, “It’s Been a Hell of a Ride” on February 24, 2017, it was revealed that Dobrev would reprise her role of Katherine Pierce as well.
In late 2016, when it was announced that the eighth season would be the final season, Dobrev was in talks about returning to the television series to reprise her role in the final episode. Dobrev appeared in the final episode of the show as both Elena and her evil doppelgänger Katherine Pierce.