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August 01, 2018 at 10:15 PM EDT

Spoiler alert: This post contains plot from the series finale of The Originals.

It all started in The Vampire Diaries’ third season, when Tyler bit Caroline on her birthday, leaving Klaus Mikaelson to swoop in and save the day. And in doing so, the big bad Klaus revealed another side of himself: the side that could show compassion. The side that could love. In that moment, a ship set sail, and it was called Klaroline. Instantly, fans started rooting for Klaus and Caroline’s love story, which finally came to an end during Wednesday’s Originals series finale.

With Klaus’ decision to sacrifice himself to save those he loved, Caroline paid New Orleans a visit to say goodbye and tell Klaus she’ll never forget him. With a kiss, she left Klaus behind. But that wasn’t always going to be the couple’s ending. “Early on if you would’ve asked me, ‘Where does Klaus go when this is all over?’ I’d say, ‘He goes to Paris with Caroline Forbes,’” Originals and Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec tells EW.

RELATED: The Originals showrunner Julie Plec on series finale deaths and the story they never got to tell

But something in the Klaroline story changed when The Vampire Diaries ended. Quick refresher: At the end of The Vampire Diaries, Caroline married Stefan, only to lose him soon after when he too sacrificed himself to save the day. “This is the right way to have honored Stefan,” Plec says of the Originals finale. “Because once Caroline and Stefan found love and got married and she lost him, it never really felt right to have Caroline move past Stefan’s memory to go travel the world for all eternity with Klaus Mikaelson, as much as they have a connection and a powerful bond. I really felt like Stefan’s memory was important to protect.”

Watch a deleted Klaroline scene from the series finale above.

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