Last night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries was brutal! We had to sit by and watch one of our favorite characters — the “elusive” Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev) — die. But death on this show is rarely permanent. Is Katherine really gone for good?

"It's unlike anything we've seen before," executive producer Caroline Dries told TV Guide, referring to the scary, dark void that sucks Katherine’s immortal soul out of the church and into a hellish after-life. "We've seen characters appear to Bonnie, 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." Yikes! Is there a return ticket available?

"I don't think we'll explore it so much as in the future,” Caroline said of Katherine’s after-life. “We'll use something similar happening like that on the Other Side where it becomes a bit of disarray over there and people get sucked into oblivion. What we wanted when we were writing the Katherine story line this season was to really deliver on her as a character. 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.'"

There you have it folks: Katherine is gone. For good. We’re not sure if there’s any wiggle room, but it sounds like — as of right now — the show doesn’t have any plans to bring K back. As sad as that makes us, we have to respect the show for committing to a death. It’s not exactly their strong point.

Are you sad the show killed Katherine off? Do you think she should come back? Sound off in the comments below!

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

Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!