After 8 successful seasons, the TV series The Vampire Diaries ended on Friday.

The final episode, titled  I Was Feeling Epic, brought beautiful reunions, a heartbreaking loss and finally, peace. Executive producer Julie Plec directed the episode and co-wrote it with fellow EP Kevin Williamson.

Read below to find out who died, who lived, and how the series ended. (Which means lots of spoilers  are ahead.)

Some characters in the show were not very lucky, such as Stefan. True to his journey on the show, he sacrificed himself to save his brother, and to kill villain Katherine. While he saved everyone, the loss of this character was truly heartbreaking. 

Access Hollywood reports that the producers had long since decided that one of the main characters was going to die in the finale. They finally decided on Paul Wesley’s character, Stefan.

“At one point, pretty much everybody was discussed, but there was a hard case made for Damon for quite awhile before Stefan emerged the ultimate victim,” Plec said.

“Paul didn’t realize that we’d made the choice to kill him because I kept saying that everyone was going to have a happy ending just to mess with him because he’s Mr. dark/indie … guy, like silent films and the Laemmle theater, and he was like, ‘Noooo, you can’t do that. That’s such a cop out. You can’t have a happy ending!’ And so just to keep toying with him, I would say, ‘Oh, yeah, no it’s all good, you’re gonna live on, grow old, be happily ever after.’ He’s like, ‘That sucks, you have to kill me, you have to kill me.’ He’s like, ‘That’s the way it should end for Stefan. You gotta kill me.’ And up until the moment he read the script, he didn’t know how Stefan’s story would end, and he was very moved by it.”

Although Stefan died, the show ended on a generally happy note. Stefan’s sacrifice and Bonnie’s magic paved the way for Damon to reunite with Elena. But before that, Stefan and Elena shared a brief moment in his afterlife world of peace – one that took place inside the halls of Mystic Falls High School.

As the show skipped to the characters’ futures, Caroline and Alaric open a school for supernaturally gifted young girls, one their children could grow up in and thrive in. Elena and Damon appear to be married.

The final scene of the show provided a heartwarming reunion as in peace Stefan was reunited with his beloved brother, Damon.

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