Hope Mikaelson is gone. She’s been erased from the memory of, well, everyone. That was the sacrifice she made in Legaciesseason 1 finale when she jumped into the hell dimension known as Malivore. And now, the Salvatore School must go on without her … at least for now.

Although we don’t know how long Hope will be gone, EW spoke with Legacies showrunner Julie Plec about what she’ll be up to — and what else to expect — in season 2 of the CW drama.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is Hope in Malivore when we pick up?
JULIE PLEC: Yes, Hope’s in Malivore, and it looks like what you’d expect it to look like. The first episode is really about her coming to an understanding of where she is, of what happened, of the fact that whatever she left behind is still out there and she wants it back. And for a character who spent so many years isolating herself, the desire to get back home to her new “family,” to her squad, is big and it’s going to really drive her to do everything she can to get the hell out of there.

Credit: Jace Downs/The CW

How have the other characters changed now that Hope’s been erased?
Much like time travel, if you ask too many questions and apply too much logic, the entire system breaks down, so what we had to do was apply just enough logic in what we showed with Landon’s mom and all the other characters that disappeared into Malivore, which is that even though they are forgotten, the experience and the wisdom learned from them is not gone. So Landon is a more confident person now than he was when he started, even though Hope has been erased from his memory. So these are characters that had all those experiences last year. It’s just that the blanks have been filled in for them by their subconscious so they don’t realize that there was one person who’s responsible for all of it. So as such, they don’t realize that what they’re missing is that person and that while everything seems fine and their life seems good, there’s a hole that they don’t know how to fill because they can’t identify it. It’s been fun and it just provides all kinds of opportunity for great new tension and romantic shifts and big life moves and all those things.

What is Ric up to now that he’s no longer headmaster?
It’s sad because Alaric is a character who’s been through so much and had so much loss and who really found his way and found his place at that school as the headmaster. Now that he has been removed from [the headmaster] position, he’s lost. He doesn’t quite have a role that he fits well in and when he shows up at the school to see his daughters, he’s showing up as a guest, as a visitor, not as the man in front of everything. So he’s having a hard time figuring out who he’s supposed to be, which of course is what everybody’s going through in their own way.

Are we seeing Caroline this season?
We are not seeing her yet. But we are always talking to Candice [King] and she is absolutely game. It’s just gotta be the right time, the right story, the right moment. And we will find it. I am convinced.

The twins ended season 1 by finding the ascendant. Are you all digging more into the Merge and Gemini coven this season?
We launch the season with all those questions and then the twins realize that they’re spending more time worrying about dying than they are living and that puts it to bed for a little while, but not forever because ultimately, on the other side of that ascendant lies a whole bunch of answers.

More generally, now that you laid the groundwork for the show in season 1, how does season 2 differ?
Season 1 was such a delightful experience as a showrunner of discovering what the voice of the show could be and discovering the reality that there are no rules to this show. What I want to do in season 2 is challenge ourselves to keep living in the world of pushing the envelope and keep trying to find the place where the show can’t survive and then recognizing it before we get there, but really embrace the comedy as much as we embrace the melodrama, really digging deeper into the monsters, the culture, the folklore, trying to find stronger thematic connections between the monsters of the week and what’s going on in the episode. We’re experimenting with monsters from other cultures so that it’s not just the greatest hits of monsters that we grew up with but it’s lore and interesting takes from other countries and other cultures. But honestly, the goal is to keep things romantic and keep things emotional and keep things honest and to let our characters grow and shift and change and yet have all the fun that we’ve been having. We just want to keep doing it and keep making it better and better.

Legacies returns Thursday, Oct. 10 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

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