Comic-Con: 'The Originals' Season 3 to Focus on Sire Lines

As The CW series dives into the lines of vampires that the Mikaelson siblings created, showrunner Michael Narducci tells THR, "We're going to double-down on this being a vampire show."
Annette Brown/The CW

The CW's The Originals is poised to double-down on being a vampire show in its upcoming third season.

Klaus (Joseph Morgan) will again find himself at odds with the people closest to him but, unlike his past indiscretions, he has been unable to make any progress in getting his family to forgive him in the six months since he went rogue and betrayed Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) to save his daughter Hope.

"Rebekah has pointed out in the past that Klaus' cycle is, he's abusive and terrible, and then he warms up to you and asks for forgiveness and does nice things," The Originals showrunner Michael Narducci told THR. "And just when you think you can forgive him, he does something terrible again. That is the endless cycle of Klaus Mikaelson. But this time his actions were so cruel and violent and vicious and reprehensible, that it's months later and his family has not forgiven him."

But when faces from the family's past resurface, that changes things. Narducci shared some tease about season three's big theme, amping up the vampire action (and where that leaves the werewolves) and more.

What's theme of The Originals this year?

If season two was about the return of the parents and the brothers, and this notion of your family coming back and haunting you, and all of the problems of the bloodline, this is definitely the season about the sire lines. We are going to meet some of the people who, in their early days as vampires, Elijah (Daniel Gillies), Klaus and Rebekah turned. We're going to see the first time someone was turned into a vampire. We're going to see what life was like for the Mikaelson siblings, not long after Esther turned them; not long after Klaus killed his mother, not long after they went on the run from their father, Mikael (Sebastian Roché). And then we will see what that family legacy begat as they interacted with other people and more and more people started to be turned into vampires. That will be our backstory and flashback story.

In the present, we will see the return of some of these faces, and what their feelings are today -- knowing full well if an Original vampire dies, the entire sire line dies. And what their point of view of that might be.

What can you share about the new faces who will be popping up?

We get to explore the larger world of vampires. Our family Mikaelson has been running around dealing with Mikael, dealing with Esther, with Klaus trying to break the curse of the sun and the moon up [on Vampire Diaries], and then he seemed hellbent on creating hybrids. Since then he's being dealing with Silas and has gone to New Orleans, and ushered in a whole new period of vampire-hybrid control over New Orleans by ousting Marcel (Charles Michael Davis). And then they had to deal with Esther and Dahlia (Claudia Black). But now we're going to take a larger look at what is going on in the world of vampires. Are these sire lines friendly with one another? The Elijah sire line, the Klaus sire line, the Rebekah sire line -- do they have any opposing opinions or differing perspectives? Is it kind of like warring nations? Are there people who have strong antagonistic feelings toward each other, and if so, how does it relate towards the sires themselves? We're going to double down on this being a vampire show. There's going to be a lot of vampire-on-vampire violence. There's going to be a lot of vampire intrigue. Some of these people will be enemies; some of these people will be allies. And there might be some potential love interests as well.

Read more: 'The Originals' Boss on Deaths and Betrayals: "The Family Is in Complete Disarray"

Where does this vampire-focus leave the werewolves?

The wolves are at an all-time low point in the wake of season two. The wedding [between Jackson (Nathan Parsons) and Hayley] was this beautiful success where they gained a political alliance, they were united as a pack, and they now have this superpower in being able to control their werewolf form, so they are no longer bound by the curse of the moon. But it was that very wedding which left them vulnerable, because when Hayley was cursed, so to were all of them. Now they're in the bayou, they're werewolves, 30 days out of the month, and they have one night, during the full moon, when they can walk around in human form. So they're in a pretty bad place. So it's going to be up to Hayley, Jackson, and a mysterious third party alliance to change that and deliver a new status quo for the wolves pretty early in the season, which I think is exciting, and I'll let the viewers enjoy as we air those episodes.

Given the curse, how is Hayley using her one day in human form per month?

That one day a month, probably she really wants to see her daughter, and she's worried about her friends and family among the pack. And she probably doesn't want to see Klaus Mikaelson. There has to be a reckoning between Hayley and Klaus. There is one, it will come very early in the season, and it's one of my favorite moments, sequences, scenes that we've done in the show. 

Aside from Hayley, how is everyone treating Klaus in the wake of his actions last season?

He's realizing -- in the little bit of the time jump we've had since the end of season two [into the] beginning of season three -- that he hasn't been able to mend fences the way he normally does. Rebekah has pointed out in the past that Klaus' cycle is, he's abusive and terrible, and then he warms up to you and asks for forgiveness and does nice things. And just when you think you can forgive him, he does something terrible again. That is the endless cycle of Klaus Mikaelson. But this time his actions were so cruel and violent and vicious and reprehensible, that it's months later and his family has not forgiven him. He's trying to raise his daughter. He's stayed out of vampire politics in New Orleans; Marcel has taken over. But things are not good. Elijah is still furious with him, and rightfully so. The mother of his child is off in the bayou, trapped in werewolf form. Klaus will even believe, in his own mind, that he did everything he did at the end of season two to defeat an enemy [in Dahlia]. And he will say it was all a part of his ploy by turning Hayley into a werewolf, he managed to keep her alive when Dahlia wanted to kill her. If anything, everybody should be thanking him. But of course, that's not the way anybody with a right mind is going to react toward the vicious and terrible thing Klaus did. There's going to come a moment when he going to realize he's burned a lot of bridges, and he may have left not only himself vulnerable, but his family as a whole, because if they don't trust him, he can't protect them. That's going to be bad news when there are nefarious forces, around the perimeter, looking to do damage to the Mikaelsons.

Read more: 'The Originals': Julie Plec Previews Klaus and Dahlia's Finale Fight

Where does Elijah stand when season three kicks off?

There's a singular focus on Elijah's part to do right by Hayley. And she asked him, at the end of season two, not to just leave. I think if this was any other point in the history of the family, Elijah would have left, just like Rebekah did. Rebekah left with a mission: she's going to live her life, and she's going to find a way to bring Kol back, and she's going to be gone for a little while. Elijah is sticking around because Hayley asked him to. Because Hayley doesn't want to go through life knowing her baby is alone with Klaus. Now, between you and me, I think Klaus will do everything possible to protect that child and keep her safe. But that's not the same as being under the roof of a loving, caring parent. And Hayley isn't sure that Klaus is that, so she wants to make sure Elijah can be there. Elijah is in the difficult position of having to honor Hayley's request, be there to safeguard Hope and make sure Hope is being taken care of. And at the same time, he has to live under the roof of someone he absolutely despises. It's a very difficult dilemma for him to find himself in. At the start of the season, six months after season two, he still has not been able to find any traction towards forgiveness or towards mending the bridge that has burned down between the two brothers.

The Vampire Diaries also is doing its own time jump, albeit one where we, at this point, don't know the length of. Though the shows don't often massively intersect at this point, what conversations are had when you look to do a time jump like this?

We knew we wanted to do a substantial -- in terms of months -- time jump, because we wanted the imprisonment of Hayley and her people to feel real. We didn't want it to be, "Oh, we're going to cure her next month." We needed some time to pass for this new status quo to arise. In other words, Marcel has taken a firm control over New Orleans in the past six months. Klaus has tried desperately to show his family he's turning over a new leaf, and yet nobody is hearing it; no one is listening, believing it. If he had just been trying for a few weeks, and no one was listening to him, it wouldn't have felt as substantial. The big thing is Davina (Danielle Campbell) has been Regent for six months; Marcel is now leader of the vampires for six months; Klaus has been on his best behavior for six months, and it's had no effect on Elijah; Elijah is furious because Hayley has been trapped in wolf form, away from her daughter for half a year. So I think these characters are still -- even though it's been a considerable amount of time -- burdened by the events of the last few episodes of season two. And at that time, still burdened, still weakened, still vulnerable, and they will be met with a new threat which is going to come in the form of some of these people from their past.

Both actresses who have played Rebekah (Claire Holt and Maisie Richardson-Sellers) are series regulars on other shows right now. Where does she fit into the show's landscape next season? And what can you say about Freya's (Riley Voelkel) place now that she's free of Dahlia?

The Mikaelson sisters, for sure the one we can expect to see a lot of is Freya. She desperately wanted a family, and she escaped Dahlia, and she made it to her family. And she slowly but surely, won them over, and now they trust her. Even Klaus realizes that Freya has to be a part of this family, because Freya is a first-born Mikaelson witch, just as Hope is a first-born Mikaelson witch. He needs Freya to be a mentor and someone who can help his daughter, as she grows up, to control her power. So there's this interesting new kind of relationship between Klaus and Freya. I wouldn't go so far as to say they like each other, but "you are family and I need you around" [is where they are at]. She is a witch, she has power, but one of the questions we'll be asking now is what happens now that she's no longer connected to Dahlia. What happens now that she has been trying to find this family for a thousand years, and they're more divided than ever; they're at their all-time low. Will she take it upon herself to be one the healing agents, a catalyst for change in that broken family.

As far as Rebekah, I can tell you we will be seeing Claire Holt pretty early on. I don't want to say too much about that. But we're very excited about her appearance in the show. We plan on bringing the character of Rebekah back -- we have some story to tell before it makes sense to bring her back. But she is a vital part of what we have planned, and we'll be seeing her, and I can guarantee you will see both of those actors. Because both of those actors have made that character of their own.

Read more: 'The Originals' Boss on an "Emotional" Hayley and Elijah Scene, Mysterious Freya, More

As you look to the season, overall, what has you the most excited right now?

The idea of returning to the core idea of vampires as being young and beautiful forever. This idea you can become immortal, and there's a price to becoming immortal. In season two, you had family to deal with, but in season three, it's the humans you made like you; the vampires who were turned. The first sired are returning with a definite perspective: maybe they have gratitude, maybe they have incredible jealousy, maybe they look to the Originals almost like parents, because they will never be the most vampires in the world as long as the Originals are around. And there's also this sense of connection in, if you die, I die, so I can never, truly, be free of you…I just really like the idea of the Originals and their sired line of vampires. There's something about being immortal peers that I think will be fun to explore.

The Originals returns Oct. 8 on The CW. To sign up for Live Feed TV alerts for news and scoop on your favorite shows, please go to THR.com/FeedNews.
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