Oct 01, 2015 08:07 AM EDT

Nina Dobrev’s Elena Gilbert In ‘Vampire Diaries’ Season 7 Sneak Peek? Ian Somerhalder Gets Hot & Shirtless In Promo Clip

Surprise! Nina Dobrev’s Elena Gilbert is going to be part of “Vampire Diaries” Season 7’s premiere episode. Well at least in spirit, she is. A sneak peek at the pilot episode of The CW’s returning series can confirm that Elena is not forgotten.  

The Hollywood Reporter got an exclusive clip from "The Vampire Diaries" ahead of its seventh season premiere this Thursday night, and from the looks of it, Elena is still part of the show. In the clip, Ian Somerhalder's Damon Salvatore could be seen with Kat Graham's Bonnie and Matt Davis' Alaric.

The three are in Amsterdam and it seems that Damon and Alaric are already drunk, and Bonnie wants them to snap out of it. "Dear Elena, yep! Halfway across Europe and they're still drunk," Bonnie says in the clip. Alaric then asks her if it's necessary. And Elena's BFF responds that her sleeping friend would be curious when she wakes up, perhaps in sixty years, why Alaric "died of alcohol poisoning."

Inebriated Damon joins the conversation and jokes that if Bonnie were to die through choking on cocktail peanuts, he could tell the reason to Elena himself. To which Bonnie responds sarcastically saying, "So sweet."

There's more to come for Damond and Alaric, who is also as depressed as the former after his pregnant fiancee was murdered on their wedding day. Entertainment Weekly has learned that the bromance is real between the two based on the teaser clip Somerhalder himself dropped on Instagram.

The clip showcases a lot of scenes from "Vampire Diaries" Season 7, but one in particular stands out because it involves Damon's love for nudity. Toward the end of the clip, a wet Damon could be seen wearing only a towel in front of Alaric. Interestingly, he throws the towel at Alaric's face, leaving himself exposed. Other scenes tease about Stefan and Caroline's romance and Caroline and Bonnie's bonding without Elena.

Somerhalder recently opened up about "The Vampire Diaries" Season 7 and he focused on his character's life now that Elena is in deep sleep. "Elena said, 'Go have fun and live your life. He waited for Katherine for 150 years and he sure as hell wasn't a saint in that time. Damon's a pretty sadistic guy, but he's also very logical - even if his logic is a little skewed sometimes," Salvatore told TV Line.

He then added, "He's thinking that he's got 60 years to chill ... so if he makes enemies and gets into fights and s-t's going down with these heretics, he's like, 'Yeah, let's get in there. Let's f-k it up!'"

Meanwhile, Elena Gilbert actress Nina Dobrev recently addressed the rumors about her appearing on the show despite her official exit after last season. According to her, she is done playing Elena because "that chapter is closed, sadly — bittersweet."

Despite this however, Ian Somerhalder's ex-girlfriend said that she's excited to see the upcoming season. "I can't wait to see what the new season will look like," she says. "I'll be watching. I'm very excited for my friends," she was quoted as saying by Entertainment Weekly.

Don't miss the premiere episode of "The Vampire Diaries" Season 7 this week. Tune in on The CW at 8 p.m. EDT.

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