Although Ian Somerhalder has been known to make an early exit on shows before (we all remember his untimely death as Boone on Lost), his character on TVD is much less disposable. It's likely they will find a cure to Tyler's werewolf bite, or that the bite isn't fatal at all - if you recall Rose didn't actually die from the bite, but from Damon staking her in an attempt to ease her pain.
According to EW.com's recent interview with Nina Dobrev, “It’s a very, very interesting turn of events. Because Damon force-fed Elena his blood, and she was just so heartbroken by it, and so angry and upset, it’s almost like something finally clicked in his brain and he realized that he did something that was not right. It’s his final act of good grace — he doesn’t want to burden them with it. He’s already kind of written himself off, and he doesn’t want to make everyone around him suffer because of it. He just wants to go gracefully and try to redeem himself before he dies. It’s actually a really beautiful episode.”
Dobrev never admits that Somerhalder's character will actually die, but on this show death never seems to be a finality anyway. There's still questions as to if John or Jenny will return, however their death (at least for now) seems to mark an end.
Watch the extended preview below for a look at the TVD season finale, and watch this Thursday on the CW @8pm to find out if Damon will survive.
Summary: While Mystic Falls presents a screening of "Gone with The Wind" in the town square, Damon's (Ian Somerhalder) memories of Katherine (Nina Dobrev) in 1864 mix with the reality of Elena (Nina Dobrev) in the present day. Stefan (Paul Wesley) pays a terrible personal price for his attempt to prevent a tragedy, and Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) makes a deadly mistake while trying to keep everyone safe. More than one life hangs in the balance as the consequences of the sacrifice ritual play out to a horrifying conclusion. Steven R. McQueen, Katerina Graham, Candice Accola and Matt Davis also star. John Behring directed the episode written by Turi Meyer & Al Septien & Michael Narducci.