If you're a fan of The Vampire Diaries, then it's bloody likely that you're still recovering that season finale bombshell. Damon's death seemed pretty real, but would The CW really kill off one of the show's most popular characters? Like any desperate fanatic, after I watched the episode, I did a lot of rewinding and head-shaking — and then I started digging for information. Since we'll have all Summer to speculate on whether or not Damon will be back for season six, here's where we currently stand on both sides of the argument.

The Supporting Arguments: Why Damon Is Dunzo

  • The Vampire Diaries has now killed and brought back pretty much all of its major players, which seriously lowers the emotional stakes of the show in general. Remember when Elena switched off her humanity for the first time when she was grieving for Jeremy? That was for nothing. Or how Alaric's death was so important because he was the last parental figure Elena and Jeremy had in their lives? Also for nothing (though at least he actually went away for a while). By killing off Damon and Bonnie, the writers are finally taking a stand about killing off characters once and for all, instead of continuing to tease the audience, because let's face it — at this point, we're all just assuming that nobody is ever gone for good.
  • As far as the character is concerned, Damon finally got everything he wanted: most notably, he got the girl. It's possible that the writers wanted Damon to go out on top (especially after a long season of self-loathing). Plus, that final goodbye between Elena and Damon felt pretty real.
  • In an interview earlier this week, Nina Dobrev all but confirmed that no more characters will be coming back from the dead, saying, "We're going to reset everything and make it so that once you die, you're dead." This does not bode well for Damon.

The Opposing Arguments: Why The CW Will Never Let Ian Go

  • Would The CW really get rid of Ian Somerhalder? Not likely. Not only is Damon a fan favorite, but Somerhalder (and his onscreen chemistry with Dobrev) are a huge part of the show's ratings. Killing him off, unless Somerhalder explicitly wanted out, would just be stupid. Which brings me to my next point . . .
  • It's almost a sure bet that Somerhalder has a contract that runs through season six. In 2012, Paul Wesley said in an interview that "we have six-year contracts." That "we" absolutely would include Somerhalder.
  • Want more evidence? Take this for what you will, but 13 months ago, Somerhalder shared this snap on Instagram with the caption "From the Vampire Diaries Year book-with two more years to go I'm technically still a sophomore..." This would mean that Somerhalder is locked in for at least one more year. That said, he might only come back on the show via flashbacks (or maybe as a ghost), though how lame would that be?
  • Now let's get down to the nitty-gritty facts of the episode. Damon and Bonnie were very pointedly holding hands as the episode came to a close. This could just be a touchy-feely send-off to these characters, or Bonnie could be going back to the real world and taking Damon with her. Remember when Grams cryptically says, "You're not the only member of this family that knows how to make a sacrifice"? She also says that she's going to ensure Bonnie will find peace, and wherever Bonnie is going, Damon is going too. The fact that the episode cuts off abruptly is definitely a hint that their journey might not be over yet.

Clearly we have more evidence to support Damon's return (yay!), but where do you stand?