'The Vampire Diaries,' 'The Originals' Teams on Evolving Endgames and What's to Come

Julie Plec talks about the evolution of 'The Vampire Diaries' planned ending, and the panelists preview what to expect from the remainder of their respective seasons
Annette Brown/The CW

There are few storytelling modes that are as fluid as television, and the massive success of The CW's The Vampire Diaries has led to an evolution of sorts for the drama's endgame.

"[The Vampire Diaries co-creator] Kevin [Williamson] and I came up with and cried over our perfect ending … and really stuck to that for many, many years," The Vampire Diaries co-creator Julie Plec shared at Sunday's Television Critics Association press tour panel, where the series shared the stage with spinoff The Originals. "And now the show will go on longer than we ever dreamed of. So it's evolved, but it's still rooted in that same idea. We're still on that same path."

But before the show can get to the end (and the series was renewed Sunday for an additional season), there's more immediate drama to resolve. "Our main throughline this season has been learning more about the Gemini Coven, which is where Liv and Luke came from," The Vampire Diaries executive producer Caroline Dries teased. "We met them last season, and now we're starting to learn who their family is. We met Kai this season, their psychotic brother, and he's been in prison [world] for years. And Kai has now absorbed all the magic in Mystic Falls, and he's super powerful, and he has one thing in mind: I want to merge with my twin sister, and become the leader of the Gemini Coven. And so we'll watch that story culminate with a lot of drama and death."

But there will be a tinge of light ahead: Damon and Elena's relationship is seemingly headed back on track. "We have Damon and Elena finally working their way toward each other, and trying to reach a happy state of a functioning relationship, which is the one thing we never got to play with them — seeing them be comfortable and happy with each other without dealing with a lot of internal conflict," Plec teased.

"Ultimately, there were these three or four or five months that were skipped over in this honeymoon phase [last time the show coupled them up]," The Vampire Diaries star and upcoming director Ian Somerhalder (Damon) pointed out. "Listen, you don't typically get to see Damon in a space and time where he's happy … and, also, too, you don't really get to see Elena very happy. Though she tries, with varying degrees of success … I think it's wonderful to see these two people happy. … How long will it last, considering the drama will always ensue [remains to be seen]. But they're very deserving of it. I think it's a time when they've been through a lot, and … love trumps all."

As for The Originals, the drama will remain very internal for the Original family. "We saw in the midseason finale how the vampire family neutralized Esther," The Originals executive producer Michael Narducci acknowledged, referencing the Mikaelson matriarch being turned into a vampire. "And now Michael and Finn are together. And [Finn] kind of has a leg to stand on, because he told Cami, 'I'm kind of a hero. I'm trying to neutralize the threat of vampires by going against my wicked siblings.' So it's going to be really interesting to see his strategy and his agenda coming into the new [year]. Very quickly he becomes a threat and he uses Mikael … to help him accomplish that."

"And we've eluded some things about Esther's origin as a witch, and what kind of deal she had to make to even be a mother to this family," he continued. "And with the long-lost sister, Freya, and the powerful witch, Dahlia, taking the first-born children of the Mikaelson bloodline, the big question is will she show up, and will she come for [Hope]. … The question becomes, what will [Klaus] do to protect that child? And will that force him to be into conflict [with his family]; do they have a different strategy? And so it becomes a circle the wagons, all hands on deck situation. And Klaus is not necessarily going to follow orders, so what does that mean for the family?"

It seems it won't be good things for the clan: The Originals star Joseph Morgan (Klaus) shared that "the last thing I shot was [Klaus] walking in with a bag of severed heads."



Twitter: @MarisaRoffman