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‘The Originals’ Comic-Con Panel Highlights

The Originals cast and crew made their fourth trip to San Diego Comic-Con to talk about the big defining moment of last season and what’s in store for the Mikaelson Family in Season 4.

The panel was moderated by Buzzfeed’s Jarett Wieselman and included stars Joseph Morgan (Klaus), Daniel Gillies (Elijah), Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley), Charles Michael Davis (Marcel), Yusuf Gatewood (Vincent), and Riley Voelkel (Freya), as well as showrunner Julie Plec and Executive Producer Michael Narducci.

A Season of Loss

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Season 3 was a season of loss, as we see the Prophecy coming true. Klaus finally made a truly selfless decision and put his family first (it was about time and “pretty heroic,” describes Morgan). Narducci explains that these characters will do anything for their family. Klaus thinks he’s the center of the universe, and his family is there to service him; when they disobey him, he puts them in a coffin and wakes them up again when he feels like giving them a second chance. Narducci wanted to explore how a thousand-year-old character — who this season dealt with relationships with a new daughter, his brother, therapist, and parents — could change into the person who makes such a big sacrifice at the end of the season. It will be interesting to see if he continues on this path or takes steps backward.

Time Jump

Narducci says Hope, Hayley’s daughter is two years old when she leaves on a cross-country trip with her mother at the end of last season. In Season 4, she’s now a little person, with dialogue and hope and dreams. She understands her family has suffered a loss and has a very close connection with her mom, who has educated and protected both her and the unconscious Mikaelson siblings from Klaus’ enemies. Plec jokes that Narducci is circumventing the question about how time has passed between Season 3 and 4. So, the answer is five years have passed.

It All Comes Down to Hayley

As for Hayley, Tonkin says, all her character ever wanted was family. And through the events that occurred, she created a family on her own with her daughter. Tonkin jokes that Hayley probably doesn’t feel like she’s alone in the finale because she has five bodies in the back of her car. But she does have a new purpose now, a family-driven one, and that’s all she ever wanted in her life.

At the end of last season, there is a hint that the way to cure the bite that Elijah and Kol have and save Rebekah and Freya, and it lies on the shoulders of Hayley. The first thing she has to do is locate seven werewolf packs and they’re spread out all over the place. She has a difficult journey ahead of her, and that’s something that will be explored in Season 4.

Next Season’s Big Bad?

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Marcel’s decision in the finale was to exact vengeance on Klaus. Davis thinks Marcel could have gone even further and killed Klaus and says his decision was kind — “I’m going to go with heroic.” That leaves the question of whether or not Marcel will be next season’s Big Bad. Narducci jumps in and says he doesn’t think Marcel is a villain; he’s not wrong, but the Mikaelsons also had their own reasons for what they did. And Marcel won’t go on operating unchecked as Vincent will be keeping a close eye on him. Gatewood says the city has checks and balances now. Marcel and Vincent have different motivations but a common goal to keep New Orleans and the people who live there safe. They don’t necessarily have a friendship, but they are working together. We’ll learn a little more of his backstory in the upcoming season, why he’s so closely tied to the city, and what makes him willing to make a deal with a family of devils to protect it. Narducci says Vincent will be put through the ringer this year, and it will be awesome and challenging.

Hayley and Elijah

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Plec says there’s no recipe for a relationship. They felt that Hayley and Elijah had danced around each other early on, then got separated emotionally and physically. Now knowing that they family is going to be split apart for five years, the have the ability to consummate it again. Despite the dark situation, it felt like time for them to make plans for the future. But time will tell how much happiness they have (or not have).

The relationship between Hayley, Klaus, and Elijah is interesting and strange as Hayley’s baby daddy is her boyfriend’s brother. It’s a “very modern family,” and Hayley is trying to find her voice between these two powerful forces. After a five year separation, we will see Hayley take on a lot of qualities she learned from both of them, including how to use powers and demand respect.

Losing Characters

This season we said goodbye to both Cami and Davina. Morgan says the final scenes with Cami took a full day of shooting and were emotional and surreal. Plec explains that after 22 episodes of a story every year, you get to a point where there’s a redundancy of heroes. Sometimes you have to mix things up so people can feel tragedy and start fresh and you don’t have nine different people telling the same story in the same way. Losing certain characters is necessary to pull back the family to be as tight as possible.

Narducci adds that the job of good movies, literature, and TV is to make you care and evoke emotion and empathy. Cami isn’t a real person and she didn’t die in real life. But he hopes her storyline makes you turn to the person next to you and talk about life and death and makes a real impact on people.

Harrowing Scenes to Write/Shoot

Plec says the episode where Cami dies was tough. Barducci was excited and Plec was nervous about digging deep as a writer. She told him that if wasn’t on the floor of his office in a ball sobbing, then he hadn’t done his job. She really pushed Narducci to get ugly with it, and the end result wasn’t fun, but it was beautiful. Narducci says that scene is one of the pieces he’s most proud of, and he wrecked both himself and co-writer Celeste Vasquez in the process.

Voelkel’s hardest moment as Freya was killing Davina. It wasn’t something she wanted to do, but she had to do it to save her brother.

Morgan says the trial was hard. Klaus isn’t a character that is often afraid for his life. But the trial scene and the energy in the room made everything very intense.

Gillies says every scene is the most difficult to do. The show is outlandish and heightened and the stakes are so high in this world, so whenever there is a solemn moment, his natural instinct is to find something funny. Morgan confirms that Gillies is the biggest prankster on set and that he primarily uses Instagram as a tool to mock and prank Gillies.

Klaus’ Love Life

Morgan: “I know the answer, but I’m not going to tell you.”
Plec: “I have my own plans, but I haven’ shared them with anybody. We shall see.”
Morgan: “Either way, half of you will be pissed, some of you will be thrilled.”

Does Klaus still have feelings for Caroline? Morgan thinks he still has feelings for Caroline…as well as Aurora, Hayley, Genevieve, and also inappropriate feelings for Freya. “There’s a place in his cold dark heart for all of them.”

What’s Next

Narducci says every year they take one central idea and build the season around it. Season 1 was The Sopranos meets Interview With a Vampire. Season 2 was the darkest, most messed up fairytale possible, with elements of Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. Season 3 was a proper Shakespearian tragedy with Lucien as an Iago character whispering in Klaus’ ear and the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Season 4 will be a combination of all of the darkest elements of the Bible and Stephen King. Narducci calls it a “rip-roaring, very scary, New Orleans ghost story.” At the core, people will be fighting who they are after 1,000 years of committing murder and mayhem. They are disgusted with their family bond; Season 3 Episode 11 even says “loving any of us is a death sentence.” If there any redemption for these monsters, they may have to face something even worse than themselves.

The Originals will air midseason on The CW. The Originals: The Complete Third Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 20.


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