[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.”
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 Diaries, The 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.