From executive producer Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals), The CW series Legacies tells the story of the next generation of supernatural beings. Set at The Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted, Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis) is in charge of helping to teach and nurture young vampires, werewolves and witches – including 17-year-old tri-brid Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell), witch twins Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and Josie Saltzman (Kaylee Bryant), vampire MG (Quincy Fouse), newly triggered werewolf Rafael Waithe (Peyton Alex Smith) and the mysterious Landon Kirby (Aria Shahghasemi) – to become the heroes they want to be, as opposed to something more nefarious.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, showrunner Julie Plec talked about when she realized that there was enough story to tell for a third TV series set in The Vampire Diaries universe, finally making Alaric Saltzman the Dumbledore that she’s always wanted him to be, Easter eggs, the Miss Mystic Falls episode, being a tri-brid, the legacy that comes with being Hope Mikaelson, the Hope-Alaric dynamic, Lizzie and Josie’s sister bond, Jeremy Gilbert’s appearance, getting Lauren Ridloff for a guest spot (as a character named Dragon), and what Caroline (Candice King) is up to. Be aware that some minor spoilers are discussed.
Collider: I loved what you set up in the first episode of the series and can’t wait to see where things will go, this season. At what point did you realize that not only was there more story to tell in this universe, but that you were actually excited enough about telling it, that you wanted to extend this world into a third series?
JULIE PLEC: It’s funny because it’s something that weirdly has always lived in the back of my head, and certainly once we gave birth to the twins and Hope Mikaelson, many years ago, on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. It was about probably somewhere in Season 4 of The Originals, when we were talking about the Armory on The Vampire Diaries and what it could be used for, that I said, “God, that would make a great boarding school. Maybe I can finally get Alaric Saltzman to be the Dumbledore that I’ve always wanted him to be.”
You’ve talked about how you’re sprinkling Easter eggs from The Vampire Diaries universe throughout the series. How many do you think you’ve had, so far, and have any of the writers ever tried to slip some in that you haven’t noticed?
PLEC: We spend a lot of time trying to remind ourselves how to not break our own roles because there are about 250 episodes of mythology, leading up into this, so we have to ask ourselves, “Wait can we do that?” But the fun of the Easter eggs is just being able to layer things in, with little props and allusions to past stories and characters. We’re having a good time with that. They’re small and they’re scattered, but they’re there.
Have you ever wanted to put one in that you had to hold off on?
PLEC: All I will say is that getting actors to clear their likeness for photos is a lot harder than you’d think it would be.
Are you also going to be making any bigger and deeper references to characters, events, or moments, that we’ll definitely notice?
PLEC: Well, I will say that yesterday in the writers’ room, we started breaking our Miss Mystic Falls episode.
What does being the only tri-brid mean for and to Hope, and how has that shaped who she is, in this series?
PLEC: If anything, it has given her a bit of a crutch and an excuse for self-isolation that she’s adopted, as a result of feeling like she needs to keep her distance from people. Embracing the idea that she’s a loner and that she’s the only one of her kind, and therefore is a freak, has given her a little bit of a psychological mission to keep herself removed from everybody else.
After having had to deny being a Mikaelson for a bit, what does it mean to her to be a Mikaelson now?
PLEC: Well, she carries this legacy – and sorry for this use of the word, it’s not deliberate – of a very powerful family that was plagued by a lot of darkness and a lot of violence, but also beautifully had a lot of love. There’s the weight of history on her, at all times. This series is really about her breaking out of the shell of her past and growing into this idea of who she is supposed to be. She’s not just an orphan. She’s not just a unicorn tri-brid. She’s a young woman who has hopes and dreams and desires, and she has to realize that perhaps what she really wants is to be happy.
Hope now has a father figure in Alaric, instead of having an actual father around? What is that relationship going to be like? What can we expect from that dynamic?
PLEC: That is, without a doubt, one of my favorite relationships on this show. Alaric and Hope are very similar, in that they have both experienced tragedy, especially surrounding their loved ones, and they’ve built all of these walls to prevent themselves from getting to close to anybody. Alaric has to be very careful in how he’s raising his daughters, but outside of that, he doesn’t really have a lot of friends, with good reason, or a girlfriend ‘cause you know how that goes. So, they’re two peas in a pod. They’re kindred spirits. Alaric is probably sublimating his awareness that he needs to go out and get cultured to people by trying to force Hope out of her shell and tell her to go make friends.