Those who never watched The Originals before diving into Legacies might be forgiven for thinking that Hope was raised & influenced by a single parent.
Warning: SPOILERS for the Legacies series finale below.
Despite the series finale providing some closure for its characters, Legacies completely failed one of the most important characters in The Originals from start to finish. Throughout the four seasons of Legacies, the influence of parents on their kids was a theme regularly explored. This was especially the case with Hope (Danielle Rose Russell), whose relationship with her complicated, late father, Klaus (Joseph Morgan), was unsettled, to say the least. Hope had no idea if he’d found peace after death, or if he was proud of her.
This was finally resolved in the Legacies season 4 (and series) finale. Speaking to Hope from the afterlife, Klaus made a surprise appearance to send his daughter one last heartfelt and emotional message. It was a beautiful, bittersweet moment, and audiences who have long followed the saga of Hope and Klaus throughout The Originals and Legacies were moved by the touching scene. Still, Legacies offering such a fitting ending tribute to Klaus–and weaving his influence into Hope’s story throughout the series–made one glaring oversight even more egregious.
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Those who never watched The Originals before jumping into Legacies might be forgiven for thinking that Hope was raised by a single parent–her dad–as well as her aunts and uncles. But Hope had a mother, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), who was just as much a part of Hope’s life and just as big an influence on her daughter before her death as Klaus ever was. Yet, while Hope and other characters constantly referenced The Originals’ Klaus in Legacies, Hayley was barely mentioned at all, and when she was, it was usually indirectly. Similar to how the Stark kids constantly spoke of their father, Ned, but never mentioned their mother, Catelyn, after their deaths in Game of Thrones, Legacies’ refusal to acknowledge the important role Hayley played in her daughter’s life grew perplexing after a certain point.
The commonly held theory among viewers is that Hope didn’t talk about Hayley as much as Klaus for two reasons. The first is that, however sad her death was, Hope at least knew her mother had moved on in the afterlife and found peace before the events of Legacies. Hayley sacrificed herself in The Originals to save Hope and Hope later got to speak to her in the afterlife. Through this talk, she knew how much Hayley loved her, and that she had found peace in the afterlife with the rest of her deceased loved ones. Hope had no such certainty about Klaus, however. She believed that him finding peace in the afterlife was tied to her finding peace in the living world; with her life being so tumultuous, she assumed her father was a restless spirit and not yet at peace, which is why she worried about him more often.
But the second theory about why Hope rarely mentioned Hayley throughout Legacies in comparison to Klaus was that Hope had only inherited good things from her mother. Hayley’s toughness, tenacity, bravery, and fiercely protective streak all reside in Hope in Legacies, Tribrid or not, as well as her mother’s tendency toward compassion in her best moments. Klaus, however, was always more of a mixed bag. While he softened after becoming a father, Hope was under no illusions as to who her father was and what he’d done in the past. As she had from her mother, Hope inherited a number of her father’s good qualities. However, the question remained of whether or not her father’s worst traits–cruelty, vindictiveness, paranoia, insecurity–would surface once she died and activated her vampire side. There were no such worries with the legacy Hayley left for her daughter, but Klaus’ uncertain legacy was a Sword of Damocles forever hanging over Hope’s head.
While those explanations certainly make narrative sense, it’s still a shame that The Vampire Diaries’ second spinoff show did so little to incorporate Hayley’s memory into her daughter’s story. During her time on The Originals, Hayley grew to become one of the best-loved and most interesting characters and Hope is as much a product of her mother as her father. It simply would have been nice had Legacies ever acknowledged this.
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About The Author
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Alisha Grauso is a features editor at Screen Rant, as well as the editorial lead for Atom Insider with Atom Tickets. Previously, she was the editor-at-large and editor-in-chief for Movie Pilot. Her work can be found, or expertise cited, at Forbes, CNN, CBS, Variety, CNBC, Marvel, Business Insider, Birth.Movies.Death, Film School Rejects, and more. She’s also the co-leader of California Freelance Writers United, a grassroots organization advocating for smarter legislation and forward-thinking labor law for freelance writers in California and across the country.
Alisha has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Dallas and spent her years before jumping into entertainment journalism as an adjunct professor, a background that has come in handy in her editing roles. As a kid, her nose was always in a book or eyes glued to a screen, so it was inevitable she’d end up in two different worlds that are all about storytelling.
When she’s not working, you can find her on Twitter chirping about movies & TV, books, politics, ADHD, history, and sharing pictures of her cats @alishagrauso. Or you can contact her directly at alishag(at)screenrant(dot)com.
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