The cast of The Originals gathered to say farewell to the Mikaelson family and the other supernatural denizens of New Orleans. Next season will be the fifth and final season of the Vampire Diaries spin-off, and the cast truly shared and felt the love in the room.

The panel included Charles Michael Davis (Marcel), Julie Plec (Executive Producer), Joseph Morgan (Klaus), Daniel Gillies (Elijah), Yusuf Gatewood (Vincent), Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley), and Riley Voelkel (Freya). They gathered to reflect on fond memories, discuss what may be possible for season five, and have a little fun at one another’s expense.

I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying

Charles Michael Davis gets a bit teary while discussing having to say goodbye to his 'Originals' cast mates.

The cast and crew were relieved after the threat of cancellation became an opportunity for one more season. Many of the cast didn’t even bother saying goodbye at the end of filming last season because they found the experience too heartbreaking. Charles Michael Davis recounted leaving set by pulling an “Irish goodbye,” sneaking out because he was afraid it was the end.

As the cast and crew speak, you can feel the gratitude have for each other as well as the fans. Julie Plec defended her decision to share news of the show’s cancellations with fans first on social media, instead of the press.

“What better way to give the news than to let them have it first?” she said.

joseph morgan originals sdcc17
As a regular on 'The Vampire Diaries', Joseph Morgan never expected he'd be playing the same role seven years on.

Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies both started as regulars on The Vampire Diaries, and never expected to be working in the same roles for seven years. Asked to reflect on what they would tell their younger selves, they both replied: “Cut your hair.” Expanding in a more serious tone, Morgan said “Enjoy the ride,” and the focused-on-the-craft Gillies said, “Take bigger risks.”

Now, none of them can believe it’s over. Speaking about coming to set and seeing the same faces every day, Phoebe Tonkin remarked, “other than being in high school or being in college, it’s something I’ll never experience again.” She said the cast made her feel welcomed, and familial right away.

Daniel Gillies agrees. He says he is going to miss the “sense of joy. There’s just such a lovely feeling going to the set. I’ve never been with such a group of people, so willing to laugh.”

He also claimed he’d miss the “incredible sense of peace I feel when Joseph is not in a scene with me.”

The Risks of Coming Together

The writers are still in the process of writing season five, so there’s still a lot that’s in the air. Even Julie Plec has little idea of what’s coming next. Plec has been known to kill off fan-favorite characters, so really, anything is on the table at this point.

Season four ended with the Mikaelsons being forced to split. Each took a piece of the Hollow living inside of Hope. And with each of them inexorably drawn back to New Orleans, things are bound to get ugly quick.

And fans of romance, fear not.

As season five starts, we jump ahead in time several years, a fact that leaves Phoebe Tonkin feeling a bit odd. “When I first came to Comic-Con, I played a 17-year-old witch… and now I have a 17-year-old daughter. It doesn’t feel that long ago!” Hope will be at the center of this season, Plec says, and we will start to see the negative consequences of the various characters coming into close contact again.

Phoebe Tonkin and Daniel Gillies the originals

So, fans of romance, fear not. Phoebe Tonkin and Daniel Gillies hinted at future romantic entanglements between Hayley and Elijah, though Tonkin seemed skeptical of the wisdom in such a pairing.

Yusuf Gatewood, too, said that “Vincent will find a woman who likes her men like she likes her alcohol: old and brown.”

Plec and Joseph Morgan also teased that we’ll see the return of Candice King playing Klaus’ love interest, Caroline Forbes. Both spoke about the difficulties facing Klaus in navigating a relationship with her as both potential lover and headmistress of Klaus’ daughter, Hope’s school. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up in this final season, and it’s safe to say that not all of them will end happily.

Making Something Original

The-Originals-TV-Show Elijah Mikaelson
Elijah Mikaelson has become much more than just a 'filler villain'.

Plec shows pride in the talents and camaraderie of her cast, especially given the show’s unconventional origins. “We had started with just a villain that we had introduced to basically stall before we could introduce the villain from the books. And from that, we got Elijah Mikaelson.” His brother Klaus soon followed. She told a story about watching them play out a scene at 3am in the French Quarter and feeling amazed at the emotional range they displayed.

The Vampire Diaries cast took notice of the favoritism Plec showed these characters. One cast member asked of Plec, “‘How come The Originals are getting so much screen time? And I said, ‘Have you watched them act?'” Indeed,

The emotional heart of the panel came at the very end when Charles Michael Davis tearfully lauded his cast mates. “I just wanna work with people I respect, and love. And I respect and love these guys.”

What’s Next?

So, what’s next for the actors who play the Mikaelsons? “Joe’s not gonna learn as much about acting being away from me,” Daniel Gillies jibed. Joseph Morgan had a fast retort, telling Daniel “There’s your future, Dancing With the Stars. A guest role as a villain on Doctor Who.” Such good natured needling can only come from a place of genuine respect.

And what will Joseph Morgan take away? “I’m going to take away all of my wardrobe… and probably my director’s chair.”

R.W.V. Mitchell
R.W.V. Mitchell is a Fan Contributor whose proudest accomplishment is winning the Star Wars trivia contest at the midnight showing of Revenge of the Sith. You can call him Robert.