While The Originals won’t be back until the winter season, we couldn’t help but try to get some juicy tidbits out of the show’s cast and executive producer when they stopped by San Diego Comic Con 2016.

Unfortunately, the cast had yet to start filming season 5 of the addicting vampire and werewolf drama, but many had some insight on their character’s future and some new casting surprises to share.

When the show picks up next, we will find that a five-year jump has occurred. Now, this is one of the longest jumps I have heard of on a show of this magnitude, so I am eager to see how Narducci, the writers, and actors pull this off.

When we last left the Mikaelsons, Freya had placed herself, Elijah, Kol, and Rebekah under a sleeping curse to prevent themselves from dying from Marcel’s deadly bite while Klaus had sacrificed himself to save his family and had given himself over to Marcel, who became the new ruler of New Orleans.

Meanwhile, Hayley was left all alone to not only find a cure for the Mikaelsons, but also to raise her daughter Hope on her own. It sounds like Hayley has a lot of work ahead of her.

Michael Narducci, executive producer of The Originals promises more action, romance, and family drama that The Originals is known for but also claims a new darker monster may be facing them down. He also spoke about the good and bas aspects of the well loved character Klaus. Narducci hinted that he somewhat prefers the “bad Klaus” and that he will never completely become “good,” but that his past experiences have made him more self-aware.

When Narducci spoke of Marcel’s journey this past season, Narducci said they had included hints at Marcel’s journey throughout the season. While not a true villain, Narducci believes that Marcel is one of the most stable vampires they’ve created on both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Narducci says “he’s got rules” and that his past experiences with brotherhood and time in the war have lent themselves to his present day decisions.

Narducci admits that the delay in the season may benefit fans as they experience the longing and time passage that parallels the show’s own time jump. During this 5-year gap, Narducci reveals that “it will have been a time of peace for the people of New Orleans.” Marcel and Vincent will have controlled their city and done well. The Mikaelson’s absence will be a good thing.

Meanwhile, Hayley hasn’t had any luck finding a cure for 5 long years until just recently, when Narducci says that at the cusp of Season 4, Hayley will find something that will maybe give her a chance to get her family back.

Having become a powerful female character on the show, Phoebe Tonkin sat down to talk about her character’s evolution and difficult challenge ahead. Tonkin believes that after 5 years, Hayley is incredibly ready to see her family, and not be alone with her daughter. When asked about how Hayley’s relationship with Elijah will be if and when they find a cure, she hopes it will be awkward at first.

One of the most exciting aspects of the coming new season I believe is seeing Hayley and Klaus’ daughter Hope and her growth and evolution as a child. Tonkin admitted that they had just cast the actress that is going to play the older version of Hope and while Tonkin couldn’t reveal the young actresses’ identity, a few days later it was officially announced that Summer Fontana had been cast in the role. Fontana is relatively new actress but I’m sure will do fabulous playing the dark and light aspects of Klaus and Hayley’s daughter.

Tonkin still thinks that Klaus and Hayley’s relationship will be very complicated when and if Klaus escapes from his dire situation. Tonkin talks about Hayley’s evolution throughout the season and how Hayley has truly found something worth fighting for now.

While Daniel Gillies had a lot of talk about concerning his character Elijah Mikaelson, he also had some strong feelings and opinions towards the Star Trek movies and some of JJ Abrams’ choices concerning the new movies. Maybe Gillies has a future in movie critiquing, but I’m impressed by his knowledge of the Star Trek films.

Last season, Gillies’ character Elijah made a number of difficult decisions that inadvertently affected their future drastically. Elijah made the choice to kill Davina and Marcel in order to save his family and when asked about the potential regret and weight of that decision Gillies would have liked to see more of that potentially explored, despite Gillies’ claims that “Elijah is not a guilty soul.” Gillies believe that “Elijah is the only one with any remaining conscious in the family and propensity for human compassionate and empathy.”

Charles Michel Davis sat down with us to talk about his character Marcel and his deep journey this season. Before he was able to delve into much, Davis was soon joined by the charismatic Joseph Morgan, who plays title character Klaus Mikaelson. The two quickly struck up a playful banter that was fantastic and riveting to watch.

When asked if we’ll see Klaus and Marcel make amends in the future, Joseph was quick to respond that he “hoped not initially, because one of his favorite dynamics to play are when Marcel and Klaus are butting heads.” Davis heartily agreed, claiming that Morgan is a great actor to work with, so that when Davis works with him, it just shows how much better of an actor he is. Morgan talked a bit about Klaus’ heroic or nicer side this past season and claims that both Hope and Cami have played into that.

Morgan reveals that we will get a glimpse of the darker side of Klaus in episode one of season 4, considering he has been daggered for 5 years and in a constant state of pain. Davis also promises that we will also see some great interactions between Marcel and Klaus in episode one.

Newcomer Riley Voelkel seemed to be enjoying herself at her first appearance at San Diego Comic Con.

Voelkel, who plays the newest Mikaelson sister Freya, talks about Freya’s new malicious side and believes that she has the potential to be “the female Klaus in some elements.” Voelkel also believes Freya deserves some love interests and hopes to see that in the near future.

Freya made the difficult decision along with Elijah last season to sacrifice Davina for their family and Voelkel believes Freya is extremely loyal to her family. Voelkel claims that Freya’s strength stems from that family dynamic, something Voelkel can relate to.

Freya and Vincent seemed to share a lot of screen time last season, considering the two characters are both witches. While Voelkel hopes that the two can work together in the future, she believes Freya’s loyalty to her family will ultimately win out.

Yusuf, who plays a powerful witch, talks about his character’s incredible development and arc this past season. Vincent lost his close friend, Cami, and Yusuf shares that when the fourth season opens, Vincent has held true to his promise and has brought all the supernatural communities together and held peace in New Orleans. Yusuf reveals that there will be some new threats coming into town and that Vincent will have to figure out how best to deal with them.

When asked about Vincent’s potential relationship with Marcel, Yusuf claims that while he doesn’t trust Marcel he recognizes that Marcel has similar desires in protecting their city and that the two may have a strained alliance of sorts.

Yusuf gives a hearty shout out and thank you to fans for watching and hanging in with them. Yusuf does bring up a good point that The Originals is a show that can be watched independently from The Vampire Diaries and even claims that this coming season will almost be like a stand alone season. This coming season will consist of a truncated 13 episodes.

From the words of Yusuf Gatewood himself, you don’t have to have too much knowledge about The Vampire Diaries or previous Originals seasons in order to enjoy the perfect time to start. The Originals is one of my guilty pleasures and never ceases to impress me with their talented cast of actors, shocking twists and turns, and deeply rooted magical/supernatural lore and history.

Season 4 of The Originals premieres in early 2017 on the CW.

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