Candice King Says Her ‘Legacies’ Finale Appearance Was Years in the Making: ‘I Felt Right at Home’

·6-min read

The CW’s “Legacies” ended on Thursday with not one, but two very special appearances from beloved characters.

Joesph Morgan’s Klaus Mikaelson spoke with his daughter Hope from the afterlife to let her know that he’d finally found peace — which showrunner Brett Matthews told TheWrap was an integral part of bringing the show to a close. Fans might have guessed that Morgan was making a return, after he cryptically teased it on social media, but they likely weren’t expecting the surprise return of Candice King as Caroline Forbes — a character from the original “The Vampire Diaries.”

“I hope that there was a whole bunch of people that actually get to watch it live and be totally surprised,” King told TheWrap. “That was the goal. We’ve been trying to have Caroline Forbes get back into the ‘Legacies’ world for a while now.”

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Caroline returns to the Salvatore School to see her surrogate daughters Josie and Lizzie, and we eventually learn that she’ll be taking over for Alaric as Headmistress to usher in a new era of (hopefully) peace after the teens once again defeat a huge supernatural threat.

Below, King chats about how it felt to return to Mystic Falls, how they kept her appearance in the episode a total surprise, and how she thinks Klaroline fans might feel about her and Morgan both appearing in the finale (though in separate scenes).

I was so thrilled to see Caroline return to Mystic Falls, finally. Can you tell me how the appearance came together?

I hope that there was a whole bunch of people that actually get to watch it live and be totally surprised. That was the goal. We’ve been trying to have Caroline Forbes get back into the “Legacies” world for a while now. When the show first started, I just needed some time and wanted time with my family and I needed to kind of step away from Caroline Forbes for just a little bit. By the time we were ready to ramp it up and get the character on the screen, a little thing called 2020 happened. I also found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. So that unfortunately got put on the back burner again, but by the time I got a phone call from Brett Matthews a few months ago, he’s like, ‘Hey, this is either a season finale or potentially a series finale. We don’t know. We really want Caroline back.’ I could not have been more thrilled.

I saw that your older daughter had a cameo in one of the scenes with you. I’m sure that was special.

I jokingly told Brett I had one really harsh condition coming back to Caroline, and it was that I wanted a featured extra role for my precocious 6-year-old. He had a good laugh over it. It’s really full circle. When I told them that I was pregnant, it was a very big surprise to production, and they had to do a lot of rewriting the storylines that they had already arc’d out for the season. So, now we know that’s the whole Kai [story] and Joe having her babies planted in Caroline to hide them from the Gemini coven — the chaos of it all. My daughter Florence, when she was in my belly, was essentially the conception of the characters Josie and Lizzie. Julie likes to joke that I gave birth to a baby and she got to give birth to another series.

What an incredibly full circle moment.

It was very full circle and also just the context of the scene, the school is opening up with all these new students representing the next generation. So the fact that she got to be one of the kids stepping up to welcome them, I mean, it just kind of broke my heart open in the most beautiful way. It could not have been a cooler experience for me personally.

How did it feel for you to get back into Caroline’s shoes again?

I was nervous to get back into Caroline’s shoes because I wanted to make all the fans of this series happy. This has been such a build up to this point. Then I just felt right at home. I was so excited to be there. I also was thrilled when I read like there’s no big fight scene, you know, Caroline’s not covered and I’m not having to like run in heels or cry over a dead body. I just like ‘Yeah, this is just happy, joyful Caroline as a Headmistress.’ It definitely was always her destiny within the school.

So, Brett let you know they wanted Caroline to be Headmistress before you signed on?

Yeah, Brett went ahead and let me know that that’s the direction that they were thinking of going in with Caroline’s storyline.

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I have to say, I really loved that arc for her. It felt like such a natural next step.

Also, The Salvatore School was created was for her to honor Stephan and it also, I think, ties into [the fact that] obviously we know a lot of the funding came from Klaus. It’s just kind of all these tie back to the great loves of her life, and the children that she gave birth to have been there, and it’s all rooted in Caroline’s own personal trajectory. So for her to be able to end her storyline at the forefront of that school was so happy as someone who cares about that character so much to see that come full circle.

So, Joseph Morgan is also in the episode. I know you didn’t appear in a scene together, but I think for a lot of “The Vampire Diaries” fans, that was still really special. Did you know that you’d end up both appearing in this episode?

I know, I did hear that he was able to be a part of the episode. Obviously, having to film it somewhere else. It’s so funny. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is great.’ I think both him and myself, we get asked a lot about the Caroline and Klaus storyline. People gravitated towards it very well and really loved it, which is great. But what a cruel twist of fate that we’re finally both in an episode together and it’s nothing to do with one another. It actually services those two individual storylines so well. But it was very funny to realize like after all these years, these characters are the same episode with like, nothing to do with each other.

I had an inkling Joseph would be in the episode, because he was teasing it so much on social media. But I was so pleasantly surprised to see Caroline.

I’m happy that you were surprised. I really did. I even talked about it with Julie and Brett. I was like, ‘If you guys want me to tease it, like Joseph is killing it with his little word game on Twitter.’ And we agreed, as long as the network didn’t use it for any promotion, what an incredible experience for someone watching the show live to actually be surprised. You don’t get to do that too often these days.

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