‘Legacies’ EPs Say Goodbye to ‘TVD’ Universe — Inside the Ending & [Spoilers]’ Returns

Danielle Rose Russell as Hope Mikaelson and Jenny Boyd as Lizzie Saltzman in Legacies
Spoiler Alert
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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Legacies series finale “Just Don’t Be a Stranger, Okay?”]

After 13 seasons as a staple on the CW, the Vampire Diaries Universe has come to an end … for now? Legacies was one of several CW shows canceled in May, after its finale had already been filmed, but executive producers Julie Plec and Brett Matthews knew that it could be the end of the series when they wrote the episode.

“We were lucky, if you can put it that way, in that the network gave a bunch of shows the heads up [it could be the end],” Plec tells TV Insider. “They just encouraged us to honor the audience in whatever way we could … so we were able to do that in a way that allowed us to tie up all the loose ends of the season, but also emotionally tie up all the characters’ journeys with the idea that were we to come back, we would start fresh. We would have maybe a little bit of a time jump or maybe mess with the timeline a little bit at the hands of one of the gods, but we gave ourselves the freedom to really give everyone closure.”

Adds Matthews, “I think more so with this show than any others, seeing these kids, who have been the best of us and sacrificed for each other and for themselves and to ultimately try to make the world a better place truly, happy was very important to us and very on-tone for what this show was.”

Chris Lee as Kaleb, Quincy Fouse as Milton ”MG” Greasley, Jenny Boyd as Lizzie Saltzman, Danielle Rose Russell as Hope Mikaelson, and Ben Levin as Jed in Legacies

Chris Reel / The CW

That was certainly true of the finale, which focused on the aftermath of the battle against Ken (Luke Mitchell). Having that in the penultimate episode reflects back on The Vampire Diaries. “I always thought it was brilliant Julie would often do the very big one the one before and just have the actual finale be a lot of that great deep, emotional stuff that makes people love the show,” Matthews explains. “We’d always wanted to do one and once we got our heads around this being the end, we had to get the battle out of the way.”

And so the episode showed where everyone ended up and who ended up together (more on that below), as well as featured two major guest spots: Candice King (with TVD from the beginning), returning as Caroline (Lizzie and Josie’s mom) to be interim headmaster, and Joseph Morgan (who was on TVD before leading the Originals spinoff), with Klaus, having found peace, sending a final message to his daughter Hope (Danielle Rose Russell).

The conversations with King and Morgan were “very easy,” Plec shares. “‘Hey, this might be the end. Would you like to come say goodbye?’ And the answer was yes on both parts. Very easy yes, which is really gracious of both of them.”

Overall, the Vampire Diaries Universe ran 331 episodes, and with Legacies ending, “we have to look back and reflect on the actual legacy of the whole franchise,” Plec acknowledges. “It’s a pretty emotional thing to both be proud of but also to say goodbye to, so there’s a lot of feelings attached to this moment.” For both Plec and Matthews, that includes the people they worked with who became lifelong friends and family.

There is, of course, always the question of whether there could be a fourth series to join The Vampire DiariesThe Originals, and Legacies in this franchise. “There’s always an opportunity to continue the story, and it’s really more a matter of when and not if,” Plec says.

Read on to find out where everyone ended up, with insight from Plec and Matthews on that and those returns, plus what could have happened next.

Candice King as Caroline in The Originals - 'What, will, I, have, left'
Tina Rowden/The CW

Caroline's Return

Alaric (Matthew Davisalmost closed the school, only to be persuaded in time (thanks to a pendant spelled by his daughter Josie) to keep it open — but Caroline took over as interim headmaster.

“That was always the pie in the sky plan and we’ve always been very open to Candice returning,” Matthews says. “She’s obviously a huge part of the show, huge part of the history, huge part of the characters of our show. It just finally worked out.”

Joseph Morgan as Klaus in The Originals - 'Every Mother's Son'
Quantrell Colbert / ©The CW / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Klaus' Return

While trying to figure out where to spread her father’s ashes, Hope turned to Landon (Aria Shahghasemi) for help, and he came through, with a message from Klaus, who had found peace: “My dearest Hope, my littlest wolf, my miracle child, what a gift to be able to leave you one last message, so please carry it with you in the years to come. I want you to know this: You will make mistakes in your life, that comes with being a Mikaelson. You will go through hard times, for no one with your power always knows how to use it properly. You will find love, and you will lose it for such is the burden of immortality. The most important thing about your life is that you live it because you are my peace. And I regret a lot of things, but I don’t regret a single moment I spent with you. I love you so much, always and forever.”

“Klaus was the dream that we didn’t know if we’d be able to actually deliver,” shares Plec. “So we’ve always wanted to build to a moment that we could give peace to Klaus and Hope together metaphorically or literally. And so that was a ‘boy, I hope he says yes, because if he doesn’t, we don’t know what this story’s gonna be.'”

Adds Matthews, “When we sort of got our heads around this actually could be the end of the show, certainly Joseph felt like we would be really sad if that hadn’t worked out and it felt like if this thing had to end, it was really the only way that it could.”

Danielle Rose Russell as Hope and Aria Shahghasemi as Landon in Legacies
Annette Brown/The CW

Hope & Landon

With Landon in limbo and losing bits of his humanity due to the help he’s given his friends (and getting that message for Hope from her father), it’s not the best news for their relationship.

“Not many of us end up with our first loves,” Matthews points out. “I think that would’ve been a question that would’ve driven the show from there: Would they have found a way back to each other? Would they have not? All fair questions, but at the same time, I think their relationship is rock solid. It has just evolved in the way so many young loves do and they’ve hopefully both come out the other side from knowing each other as better people. The relationship is no less close and no less intimate. It’s just different…. he is gonna do a lot of good over there and he and Hope can visit as necessary.”

For Plec, that ending was great for a season for who she calls “one of the most selfless characters I’ve ever written,” but “I might have wanted to see him really combat this idea of the loss of his humanity and this dullness of his feelings. I would’ve loved to dramatize him trying to fight past that so he could have that kind of powerful love again before he passed on to his own peace.”

Jenny Boyd as Lizzie Saltzman and Quincy Fouse as Milton MG Greasley in Legacies
Chris Reel/The CW

Lizzie & MG

Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and MG (Quincy Fousefinally kissed in the finale (and were again interrupted, this time by her mother).

“It’s well-timed,” Matthews says of the couple only getting together at what turned out to be the end of the series. “I think it puts a period on the four season story of the show. I’m sure were the show to continue there would be a lot more obstacles in the way and it would be less final. And who’s to say how it would’ve all shaken out at the end?”

Ben Levin as Jed in Legacies
Chris Reel / The CW

Jed & Ben

After some conflict throughout the season, Jed (Ben Levin) and Ben (Zane Phillips) did end up together — and both have some figuring out to do as to who they are, with Jed’s death and resurrection resetting his curse so he’s no longer a werewolf.

“They always kind of were weird soulmates, and so, the person you end up with is the person who understands you uniquely well, and they are hard characters to truly understand,” notes Matthews. “I think Jed is much deeper than everybody gives him credit for, and one of the great joys of the show is finding the depth of that character. He’s such a different character than he started the show. But they really do get each other in a way that’s hard to get. Ben is very pure and very simple and very driven and very moral. And so, they’re a really good fit and a pairing we absolutely wanted to see happy and together.”

According to Plec, “the thing I regret the most that we don’t get to do this for many seasons to come is that I felt like we were just getting started with that beautiful relationship. It was so enjoyable to watch, and the actors were so wonderful, had become such good friends and it was all positive across the board. And to have to cut that one short was the bummer.”

Kaylee Bryant as Josie Saltzman in Legacies
Tom Griscom/The CW


Kaylee Bryant left Legacies earlier this season and didn’t appear in the finale, but we did hear that she found another school to attend in Europe and is the one Hope is entrusting with the only weapon that can kill her.

“It was written for her not to appear which was her choice,” Plec says of the finale. “It felt like we were able to bring the spirit of Josie back in all the right ways, so we could have an emotional closure for her, even if we didn’t get to see her.”

Matthew Davis as Alaric Saltzman in Legacies
Chris Reel / The CW


Alaric left behind the school to write the definitive history of the supernatural beings he has known, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have been part of a Season 5 if there had been one.

“Alaric is one of those people you just can’t quit,” explains Plec, pointing out he’s been with the universe since the eighth episode of The Vampire Diaries Season 1. “I don’t think there’s ever a world in which he goes away forever. No, he would not have been the headmaster. He would not have been in the day to day world of these kids, but I’m sure, in the alternate reality where Alaric lives on and he and his crossbow are traveling the country writing about supernaturals, there’s a web series that they can make outta that… it’s time for him to time for him to go out and search what his identity and real meaning was.”

As Matthews (rightfully) adds for the character who has died and been an enhanced original vampire, “at some point he’s a crazy person for thinking he’s gonna live through these encounters.”

Chris Lee as Kaleb and Omono Okojie as Cleo in Legacies
Chris Reel / The CW

Cleo & Kaleb

In the finale, Cleo (Omono Okojie) saw her and Kaleb’s (Chris Lee) “beautiful” future, and what we do know is that he’ll “change the world for many supernaturals.” Then, it looked like she was getting a taste of her own future when she sat down at the headmistress’ desk.

“Hell, yeah,” Cleo’s going to be running the school one day, Plec confirms.

“That was what we always saw for her and what would be the right end for that character,” reveals Matthews. “She and Kaleb got a lot to overcome and I sure as hell wouldn’t bet against them. But we really thought that was an appropriate ending for this girl who came to the school and wasn’t sure she wanted to be there and ultimately is coming to realize that she’s going to run it one day and have this home and be responsible for the wellbeing of other kids so they’ll never go through what she did. It just felt like the right move, turning her back on revenge and sort of putting her eyes towards the future.”