After three seasons, Elena Gilbert finally -- and accidentally -- became immortal on The Vampire Diaries' finale Thursday.
When Nina Dobrev's character drowned -- she begged Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) to save Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) instead -- her friends presumed her to be dead. What they didn't know, however, was that Elena had vampire blood in her system, and she would soon join Stefan, Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) and Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola) as a vampire.
Dobrev, 23, visited Us Weekly's New York City offices Friday to chat about how her character's surprising transition will play out during Season 4 of hit series, which returns this fall on The CW.
"I liked having one human and one vampire, because then I get the best of worlds and I get to do a variety of things," said Dobrev, who also plays a vampire named Katherine Pierce. "But, then again, it is going to be different for me and it's going to be challenge. It's going to be more fun to sort of explore that world."
"We're definitely going to see her whole transition into becoming a vampire. We're not going to skip over it, as we have with others," Dobrev assured Us. "Becoming a vampire, everything you feel is heightened. . . We know what Elena's like: She has high morals, she looks out for other people. So what's Elena going to be like with those things accentuated?"
Teen witch Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) won't likely be pleased to learn Elena is now a vampire. "Their relationship is probably going to be so strained because of that. Her best friend, the one person she's been fighting to protect, is now what she's been fighting against all this time," Dobrev explained. "It's going to be interesting."
Prior to her death, Elena also made a tough decision when she chose to be with Stefan instead of his brother, Damon.
"It does kind of feel like you're disappointing half the people. But you're always going to disappoint half the people with this kind of storyline," Dobrev said of the series' central love triangle. "I think we gave them both what they wanted at some point or another during the season, so it's not like we shunned them or disregarded their wants."
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. Previous seasons can be streamed via Netflix Instant Watch.