After five seasons, "The Originals" closed the chapter on their New Orleans adventures with two epic deaths that will change "The Vampire Diaries" universe forever, but according to creator Julie Plec, it had to happen this way.
If you haven't figured it out yet, there will be spoilers for Wednesday night's series finale of "The Originals" in this story, and if you're a fan and haven't watched it yet, you're totally going to want to sooner rather than later. Let's just say fandom is not going to be able to say quiet about the conclusion of the Mikaelson's story for long.
The series finale also served as the staging ground for the next series in the "TVD" franchise, so they had to save Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) so she could take the lead in "Legacies" in the fall. And in doing so, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) fulfilled the series' mission of finding redemption and the ability to love unconditionally, while Elijah (Daniel Gillies) is fulfilled in his own mission to find the good in his brother.
"A Happy Ending"
How do you reward two immortal vampires for finally completing their life's missions after a thousand years? According to Plec, you give them their happy ending. "It was important to me in a show about immortal beings who had been cursed with that immortality and who had been left on earth to just live a lifetime after lifetime — to me, the release from that and finding a path to peace is actually a happy ending," she told Deadline.
And she truly believes that this is a satisfying ending for the Mikaelson brothers. "I don't feel like they got the raw end of the deal personally," she explained. "I think that they got freedom and peace and an understanding of the power of love, which for them, after a thousand years of dysfunction and abuse and a lot of damage and drama, is a really necessary and important thing for them to understand."
When asked if she thought the original "Vampire Diaries" would be able to air as it was in today's #MeToo climate, Plec expressed doubt. "It was rooted in a lot of gothic tropes — much like 'Twilight' or Anne Rice, which is very masculine, predatory, and filled with sexuality. Lots of damsels in distress and young, impressionable ingenues. It's what I call 'the bodice-ripping tone.'"
She went on to add, "Damon Salvatore was 160-some years old, shacking up with this high school girl. It just doesn't work today in that way. And maybe one day the gothic element of the vampire trope will cycle back into a more non-predatory tone. I hope it does because there's something very beautiful and very Victorian about it, but right now it's just too sensitive."
But while "TVD" was about romance and "The Originals" was about family, "Legacies" is a coming-of-age story set in a gothic fantasy world, which removes it from any creepy undertones. "It's about rising above the things inside your brain, or your body, that might betray you and figuring out how to be the best version of yourself," Plec explained. In other words, it's not about old vampires hooking up with underage teenagers.
"Legacies" features Hope and the Saltzman twins as they attend the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted, and is expected to feature guest appearances from across the "Vampire Diaries" universe. Think X-Men but with supernatural, instead of mutant powers.