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Gather Up the Killers
Credit: Annette Brown/The CW
When the Saints Go Marching In

It’s almost time for a family reunion.

In the season 3 finale of The Originals, Mikaelson sacrificed himself in order to save his siblings. For all he knew, that sacrifice meant an unending amount of pain, suffering, and worst of all, solitude. And when season 4 picks up five years later, the audience will see what that time has done to the former king of New Orleans. As for the current king, Marcel has been in charge of the Quarter — again — and with Vincent at his side to keep him in check, he has managed to restore a balance to the city they all call home.

“Marcel is unchallengeable,” says executive producer Michael Narducci, referring to the fact that Marcel’s bite can still kill an Original. “He’s unstoppable, but he’s decided to try and usher in a new era of peace, and Vincent is there to keep him honest. So, as we begin, five years have passed and there is a relative peace. There is a relative agreement on all the parts of the different supernatural denizens to get along and agree to do what’s right for the city.”

But that doesn’t mean the city is going to stay that way. “On this five-year anniversary of the trial of Klaus Mikaelson and the defeat of Klaus Mikaelson, there’s all these unsired vampires who are basically saying, ‘Okay, five years of imprisonment and torment, that’s great, but I want to see him dead. I want to know that he is wiped off the face of the earth for good and forever.’ So Marcel finds that he’s got all these tourists coming to town who are going to challenge his decision to incarcerate Klaus. So that’s the first inciting incident of our season: How is King Marcel going to react to that?”

And although Narducci says we’ll see “bits and pieces” from the past five years, the season will focus much more heavily on the future. Specifically, that means a 7-year-old Hope. “Hope has been on the run with Hayley and has grown up to become this very interesting 7-year-old child who wonders about her family and wonders about her dad,” Narducci says. “The key moment that we’re all waiting for and that I was so excited to see was: What’s the moment where Klaus comes face-to-face with Hope and she’s no longer just this little bundle of joy?

Narducci adds: “She’s a person who can ask questions and have a perspective. She barely remembers him and, over the course of the five years they’ve been apart, he’s almost become this mythical figure in her mind, so what does a 7-year-old kid think of Klaus Mikaelson, who we in the writers’ room refer to as the Genghis Khan of vampires? Is she afraid of him? Is she amused by him? Does she know that he will always protect her? That is going to be a big part of Klaus’ headspace — coming to terms with this new person in his life. We know family is more important than anything for him, and now he’s got a new family member who he’s interacting with this season and that’s a great joy to see.”

Aside from the familial stories to be played with Hope, there’s another kind of story she’ll find herself involved with this season. Speaking specifically to a rather creepy poster for the season — which features Hope surrounded by a circle of dead crows — Narducci says, “Hope does play a major part in the season and there is something out there that is coming that is very dangerous and very deadly. We wanted this season to feel, more so than seasons in the past, like a proper New Orleans ghost story, and that is a big part of it.”

The Originals season 4 premieres Friday, March 17 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Episode Recaps

When the Saints Go Marching In
The Originals

Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies star as Klaus and Elijah Mikaelson in this Vampire Dairies spin-off about the first family of vampires, their life in New Orleans, and the witches and werewolves who live there.

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