Spoiler alert: This post contains plot from the May 30 episode of The Originals.
The Originals has never shied away from death. After all, its central characters are all technically dead. However, they’re also immortal… or perhaps more accurately, they’re just very difficult to kill. Because as the show has taught us, there are varying levels of immortality. Some vampires — cough, the Mikaelsons — are more difficult to kill than others. And yet, we’ve seen many Mikaelsons fall. More than that, we’ve seen the people they love fall.
As Hayley once said to Elijah after Jackson’s death in season 3, “Loving any of us is a death sentence.” And unfortunately for Hayley, she wasn’t wrong. In the sixth episode of season 5, Hayley allowed a witch to bind her werewolf side, therefore turning her from a hybrid into a regular vampire. (Read: Slightly less immortal.) And when a fight with Greta took a bad turn — Greta literally had her hand on Hayley’s heart — Hayley made a choice. As she looked around the room and saw a defeated Klaus and an unconscious Hope, she knew she had a chance to take out the current threat against her family. So, she ripped off Greta’s finger, the one that had her daylight ring, and then she pulled Greta out into the sunlight. In doing so, Hayley also burned. And that was the end of the immortal Hayley Marshall.
Star Phoebe Tonkin reflected on Hayley’s goodbye in an email interview with EW. “This was Charles Michael Davis’ episode,” Tonkin said of her costar, who directed the hour. “I love him so much. He’s incredibly focused even though he’s wearing both actor and director hats. And he has a really great knack for giving great direction while still respecting that he’s working alongside us as an actor. I was so grateful to shoot that scene with him. He did it with such grace and sensitivity to an obviously heartbreaking moment.”
Although Tonkin won’t say if we’ve seen the last of her this season — “you’ll have to watch and see” — she was prepared to say goodbye. “Every season we prepare to say goodbye for good as we never know if we will come back for another season or not till very last minute, but knowing this season would be [the end], it definitely made it easier to plan wrap gifts and say proper goodbyes to my buddies who I’ve spent 5 years with,” Tonkin said. “My last scene sadly was at one in the morning, and the core cast weren’t there, nor were some of the main crew members as there were two units shooting that day, so I basically ran around the studio yelling anyone’s name so I could give as many tearful hugs and goodbyes before I left the studio for the last time.”