When it comes to killing off characters we know and love, The Vampire Diaries pulls no punches. Even during Season 1, when we were still getting to know the lay of the land, the writers were sharpening their knives, getting ready to take out Vicki Donovan (Kayla Ewell), the perpetual-ice-cream-eater Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) (go check, so much ice cream), and one day even Alaric (Matt Davis). There was nothing we could do to stop them. The good thing about the show being centered around the supernatural is the possibility that dead doesn’t necessarily mean gone forever. Sometimes characters come back — exhibit Vicki.

This was the hope a lot of folks had when Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) was sentenced by Katherine (Nina Dobrev) to go and meet the big vampire in the sky. Could he come back? Would he? Thus far we’ve only seen him as Silas or in Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) dreams, but maybe with the veil coming down...

Between Jeremy’s recent death and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Elijah’s (Daniel Gillies) move to New Orleans, there’s a lot of concern over who could be next.

Given the ratio of human to not-so-human, the odds of someone dying seem slim at this point. Having just killed off Jeremy, would the show be so cruel as to remove another person so close to our hearts? It’s easy to wonder if Matt’s (Zach Roerig) life is on the line. He’s been fed upon more times than we can count, and he’s always the only mortal hanging out when the going gets particularly tough for mortals. That said, the most recent episode seemed to indicate an arc for Matt in terms of him feeling trapped in town, and his fears about the future. Hopefully he’ll keep that Gilbert ring.

If any other main character were to go bye-bye, our money would be on Katherine. Between Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) fervent need for revenge and the doppelganger’s history of angering pretty much everyone who crosses her path, it makes sense that this might be the end of the line for her. That said, we’d hate to see her go. Katherine brings a dark sense of trouble and fun to the story and it’s her antics that very often set off major plot-point powder-kegs. Plus, with Katherine, one can’t help but get the feeling there’s still so much she’s hiding, so much that could help all our heroes down the line.