If all goes according to plan this season, Hope Mikaelson will become the first TV character in history to be conceived in one show (The diary of vampires), born on a second (The originals), then die on a third (legacies).
And if you think Hope’s impending death is a spoiler, you probably shouldn’t watch legacies‘ official season 4 poster, which places the character’s face behind three giant words: “Hope. Must. Die.”
“I had no idea they were going to make that poster until… [showrunner Brett Matthews] sent it to me,” Danielle Rose Russell (aka Hope) tells TVLine. “I was shocked. It’s a great poster. Even if I didn’t know what was going on with Hope or the show, I’d still watch this season because of that cool poster.
Of course, Hope’s yellow eyes on the poster are a reminder that death is just the beginning for legacies’ leading lady, whose dormant vampire side is activated when she takes her last breath — a messy but necessary step to defeat Malivore once and for all.
And Hope’s evolution into a full-fledged tribrid isn’t just something we’ve been anticipating ever since legacies premiered three years ago. This is a waiting game fans have been playing ever since Hayley (RIP!) found out that she and Klaus (RIP!) were expecting a baby during The originals‘back door pilot on The diary of vampires.
“There are producers and directors who have been involved [with this franchise] ever since The diary of vampires, and we’ve talked about how we’ve built this up for seven or eight years, when Hope was just a concept,” says Russell. “I don’t think anyone expected it to get this far, but here we are. It really feels like stepping into this character’s legacy.”
Russell remembers sitting down with Matthews when the show first began discussing Hope’s trajectory, including how she became a tribrid “something that had to happen eventually,” she says. “We predicted she would have to make that decision around season 3 or 4, so it’s happening at the right time. I started playing Hope when I was 17, and now I’m turning 22, so she’s really grown up with me.”
On the other hand, it’s a lot easier to be a vampire these days than it was when Stefan Salvatore walked the streets of Mystic Falls. “The nice thing is that we do that [all of the vampire effects] now through VFX,” says Russell. “No more contact lenses, no more fake teeth — it’s pretty good.” (Nobody tells Paul Wesley!)
Still, Russell knows there will be a bit of a learning curve, should Hope really become a tribrid. “I’ve been a witch on the show most of the time, and it’s really easy to just hold up your hand and say a spell,” she says. “It’s very different — and a little more intimidating — to have to suck on someone’s neck.”
And if any undead faces from Hope’s past want to drop by the Salvatore School to show her the vampire’s ways, just say so. “I’d love to have someone come over,” Russell says. “It’s always so nice for me to revisit Hope’s roots.”
legacies returns on Thursday, October 14 at 9/8c on The CW. What are your expectations for season 4? Post them in a comment below.