At the end of The Vampire Diaries Season 5, Episode 15 (“Gone Girl”), Katherine Pierce finally met her end, but instead of crossing over to the Other Side, she was swept up into the unknown. Was that some loophole to keep Katherine around? Now, executive producer Caroline Dries is shedding some light on what really happened to Katherine in the episode’s final moments — and Katherine Pierce fans, you may want to sit down for this one. Katherine is dead, and she’s not coming back.

It's unlike anything we've seen before," she told TVGuide.com. "We've seen characters appear to Bonnie [Kat Graham], the anchor, and go through Bonnie and that's their initiation into the other side. When Katherine died, that didn't happen and [instead] she's ripped out of Bonnie's arms and sucked into wherever by some dark void. We don't say anything religious like Heaven or Hell, but that's the implication — she's going to a dark world.”

This isn’t the first time The Vampire Diaries has killed someone off, but this is the first time it’s 100 percent permanent. We’re used to seeing our TVD favorites make appearances from beyond the grave — thanks to Bonnie’s new role as the anchor to the Other Side — but Katherine didn’t make it to the Other Side. And there’s no coming back from the dark world.

"What we wanted when we were writing the Katherine story line this season was to really deliver on her as a character,” she said. “This show is known for bringing people back to the dead, so death didn't ever feel final; they could hop over from the other side if we feel desperate. So we wanted to say, 'No, she's gone.'"

Yikes! So it looks like Katherine’s death is pretty final. We have to admit: the TVD Powers That Be made the right decision in killing off Katherine. She’s been a Big Bad on this show for five seasons now, so it’s about time we get a new villain. Seeing as she left a little parting gift for Elena inside her body, in the form of the vampire ripper virus, we’re hoping Elena steps up to the plate to fill the bad girl void left by Katherine.

Are you said Katherine is gone for good? Or was it her time to go? Sound off in the comments!

Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.

Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fangirl for all things The Vampire Diaries. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!