When Nina Dobrev exited The Vampire Diaries last night (May 15), fans bid goodbye to her character Elena — and they also mourned all of the friendships and love affairs she left behind in Mystic Falls.

The actress announced her departure in early April, and she's been sharing photos and behind-the-scenes memories on social media ever since. While Nina moves on to other projects in film and TV, Elena will (spoiler alert) remain in town, sleeping in a magical coma induced by witchy villain Kai. She'll remain out of sight in Season 7, but Elena got to share final moments with everyone in her circle last night, often referring back to much-loved scenes from past seasons.

During the broadcast, showrunner Julie Plec summed up many viewers feelings with this tweet:

The finale had some epic moments — here's just a few:

  • Jo's death. Alaric has the worst luck in love of anyone ever.
  • Liv's death. Poor Tyler.
  • Alaric's all-caps text to Damon, "KAI VAMPIRE TYLER WEREWOLF." That was supposed to be funny, right?
  • Damon finally taking care of Kai. "Heads it is."
  • Bonnie and Elena's flying feathers throwback from Season 1. Actual ugly-cry tears.
  • Jeremy's super-brief return!
  • Damon and Elena's final dance. It narrowly avoided being a Dancing With the Stars-style schmaltzfest, and that's a testament to Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder.

It's difficult to imagine the direction TVD will take without its protagonist. Dobrev's Elena embodied the human element of the show (even after she turned into a vampire) and she was the connecting thread between so many characters. If Season 7 picks up where the finale left off, it looks like things are going to get apocalyptic — and the blossoming friendship between Bonnie and Damon will only grow deeper. Goodbye #Delena, hello #Bamon?