When The Vampire Diaries airs its series finale at the end of this season, it will truly be the end of an era. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Before we are forced to say goodbye to our favorite vampires, witches, werewolves and humans, there is a whole season full of game-changing twists, heartbreaking deaths, romantic moments and so much more to enjoy.
So what about a final crossover between TVD and its spinoff series The Originals? As of now, logistically, a crossover wouldn’t work since the timelines between the two series don’t line up. However, with the Original family all sleeping in coffins over on their series while Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) searches for a way to cure all their curses, could the timelines eventually match back up, leading to one final crossover before TVD ends? At Comic-Con, the showrunners revealed that there would be a five-year time jump on The Originals for season four, so what does that mean for the shows’ shared universe?
“The timelines won’t end up lining up episode to episode, but I would expect that somewhere in the series finale, there will be some sort of time shift that will allow us at least the opportunity to touch in one final time with our Original family,” executive producer Julie Plec tells Nerdist. “But that goes into the same category as Elena [and Nina Dobrev’s potential return to TVD], which is, there’s what we want to do and what we can do. So we’ll have to wait and see.”
The CW deciding to slate The Originals for midseason, circa early 2017, actually had a big impact on how Plec developed the final season of TVD. “Weirdly, it freed us from the pressure of having to do a crossover,” Plec says with a laugh. “Crossovers are so fun creatively but they’re so wildly, intensely hard to pull off. Knowing that we weren’t going to have to jump through those scheduling hoops gave us a sense of peace, although it is always creatively fun to be able to go down that road.”
The question on all fans’ minds is how TVD ending is going to affect The Originals moving forward, and Plec has a very exciting answer for that. “My hope is either that it doesn’t affect it at all or if anything, it makes The Originals a playground of opportunity to see some of these characters again,” she says. “That would be my desire is to keep that show going and to use it as a platform to have some very special visitors over time.”
Yeah, that’s right: Plec wants to have TVD characters migrate over to The Originals, potentially in a series regular capacity. But don’t get your hopes up just yet, since it’s too early to confirm any plans. But let the speculation begin!
“It’s all speculative until there is an Originals [season five renewal],” Plec says with a laugh. “But absolutely. I’ve got a ton of ideas in my head of how the two universes could collide again as we move forward in The Originals.”
While Plec and the rest of the TVD writers didn’t plan on season eight being the last season when they first began plotting out the year of stories, they quickly came to the realization that it should be, hence the Comic-Con announcement. “I am just so excited to be writing towards an ending because that’s when you feel like a real storyteller, when you’re not treading water but you’re heading towards the finish line,” Plec says. “Everything snaps in with such great clarity and everything you write, structurally it seems so focused. And it just feels like you’re really finishing the story you’ve been telling for years. That’s a real thrill that not everybody gets to have.”
Plec is very aware that many series, even long-running, fan-favorite shows, don’t get the luxury of planning out an entire season ending. Some shows don’t even get to craft a series finale, and so fans are left with cliffhangers when a season finale becomes a series finale after the fact.
“Yes! Yes, that was the goal,” Plec says of developing the final season with a true, satisfying end in mind. “When I spoke to [CW President] Mark Pedowitz and [WBTV boss] Peter Roth over all the time leading up to making this decision, I said, ‘I don’t ever want to get in a situation where we don’t know that we are ending.’ The legacy of this show deserves to have it self-declared when it’s a final season when it’s time. And Mark doesn’t like to declare final seasons because Mark believes shows that could stay on, should stay on, and thank god, because they do! [Laughs] So I really had to convince them that it was the right way to bring the show to a close, and they were so gracious in agreeing.”
When a final season is announced before it premieres, Plec believes that the show then takes on this different kind of energy, as fans can prepare for the beginning of the end.
“The one thing that Mark Pedowitz does so well is that he will finish a series, even if it’s just a nice six-episode chapter at the very end the following season,” Plec says. “There was always a way to do that as well. I just really felt like once we saw where the stories that we wanted to tell this season were going, it felt like this needed to be the end.”
What do you hope to see before TVD ends for good? Tweet me your thoughts, wishes and favorite TVD gifs at @SydneyBucksbaum!
The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Images: The CW