"I was more nervous than I thought I would be," she tells EW.
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Warning: This article contains spoilers about Thursday's series finale of Legacies.

Legacies ended essentially in the same way it began — Caroline Forbes (Candice King) made sure the Salvatore School was a safe place for all supernatural kids and teens to call home.

After grieving the loss of yet another student, Alaric (Matthew Davis) made the decision to close down the school. But Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) and many of the other students refused to let their home be destroyed, so they called in reinforcements in the form of the person who actually opened the school in the first place way back in the series finale of The Vampire Diaries. Caroline agreed to step in as interim headmaster and saved the day, paving the way for the Salvatore School to live on with a bright future full of prospective new students ready to tour the campus.

"I could not have been more thrilled to be able to be a part of what obviously would become the series finale of Legacies," King tells EW. "I had discussed with [showrunners] Julie Plec and Brett Matthews before, I was like, 'Do I start teasing it?' And they were like, 'No! Let's wait. Whoever watches it live, when they find out, it would be a great experience.' So it was also fun to keep this secret for anyone who's still watching live TV because I do sometimes and it's the best."

Below, EW got King to unpack what it was like returning one final time as Caroline Forbes, that "torturous" Klaroline missed connection (as Joseph Morgan also returned in the finale as Klaus Mikaelson but didn't share a scene with Caroline), and more.

Legacies
Candice King on the series finale of 'Legacies'
| Credit: The CW

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you find out that Caroline was coming back in such a big way for the Legacies finale?

CANDICE KING: Julie and I have talked about having Caroline head over to Legacies for a while now. It's just always been timing. I did need some time after The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. I was still a relatively new mom to my youngest and I needed to be with my family for a little bit because I had been working through my pregnancy and our whole first year so by the time we were like, we're ready, it's time, let's do this, all of a sudden the pandemic hit and I was pregnant again. [Laughs] So this really has been a long time coming.

A few months ago Brett Matthews called me up and inquired about my interest and I said, "Of course, I will be there in a heartbeat." And then my one ask — because I have, like, one very serious, weighted condition about my return — I said, "I just want to ask you about potentially a featured guest role for a precocious six-year-old," which got him laughing. So not only was I able to return for the series finale, but Brett was so kind and Julie was so kind to invite me to bring my six-year-old daughter to be able to be a featured extra in the final scene of the episode.

That's amazing!

The funny backstory on that is, going into [The Vampire Diaries] season 7 right before Comic-Con is when I called the writers' room and said, "Surprise! I'm pregnant." It was quite the curveball, considering I've now learned that they had the whole season and the whole story of season 7 broken already and they had to go back to the drawing board rather quickly. Julie found herself pitching a story of babies going from Jo's belly to Caroline's belly and then trying to protect them and the Gemini curse, but lo and behold, my pregnancy was what brought out the characters of Josie and Lizzie who would go on to be in Legacies.

Julie always jokes, "You got pregnant and then you gave birth to a baby and I gave birth to a whole new show." [Laughs] And so to have my daughter Florence [May King], who was the original Josie and Lizzie in my belly, be there for the opening of the Salvatore School at the closing of the series was really special.

Wow, talk about a full-circle moment.

Yeah, very, very full circle.

That must have been so surreal to finally get to share with your daughter a big part of your life, since I'm assuming she hasn't seen any of the shows yet.

Yes! Vampire Diaries is a darker show, I think we can all agree. [Laughs] So she hasn't been able to watch it. She's been asking. But between the violence and how many people Caroline dated throughout the series, I'm like, I don't think she needs to see Mommy making out with that many people that she's met before. [Laughs] Maybe one day. But she knows about the show. Whenever anyone is kind enough to stop and say that they loved Caroline or The Vampire Diaries, she knows all of these things, so for her to actually see this, she was asking one of the PAs, "Is this what my Mommy does?" She could actually see it which is nice, because I think any working parent can relate to the struggle of always feeling like you're at work when you need to be at home and you're at home when you need to be at work. When you can actually show your child what you do, so they have some sort of understanding of when you're gone and why you're gone, I think it is really special.

You mentioned there were plans to try and bring Caroline back to Legacies sooner — was it always going to be showing her taking over as headmaster of the Salvatore School or were there different stories that were scrapped?

I don't know. There's always a fluidity to the storytelling of any show. At one point I had heard that the intention was for Caroline to come in and be the headmistress. However, having been lucky enough to be on a long-running series, I can't tell you how many times we'd be in meetings in the first part of the season with all these story lines that we were getting ready for and then a few episodes in it's like nope, we're doing a total change up, we're going a totally different direction. You just never know where a story is going to go. For anyone that watched the series, to know the root of the Salvatore School and how it came about through Caroline and Stefan, I think it was a nice full circle story arc for Caroline's mark that she wanted to leave on the world for the person that she loved.

What was it like stepping back into this role after having so much time away?

I was very nervous, actually. I was more nervous than I thought I would be stepping back into Caroline Forbes' shoes. I genuinely love the character of Caroline. She has walked me through some formative years of my own life, having the privilege and honor to play her. With this whole 2020 experience, a lot of people have found themselves at home rewatching shows to feel comfort again. We've all gone back to those comfortable places. I found myself rewatching and binge-watching a lot of TV. And I've heard so many people who've been kind enough to share their stories with me about how they've rewatched the show, they've now got their kids watching the show and they were a kid watching the show, and so knowing that I have the opportunity to not only selfishly go back home with a lot of crew members I know, a lot of cast members I know, in a city that I know very well, but also knowing that it was going to mean so much to fans of the series, I just wanted them to feel fulfilled by Caroline's presence and return to the show.

Klaus was also in the finale, but Caroline and Klaus obviously couldn't share a scene together since he's dead and found peace. How do you think Caroline feels about that?

Oh, man, I don't know. Just as someone who's followed the trajectory of the three series, I love that there is an element of peace. As a TV watcher, I feel satisfaction in that. Leaving a show so heavy-hearted is really tough, so the fact that Klaus does find peace, I think for any viewer of this series, it feels really good. For so many people that love Caroline and Klaus, and those characters together, it felt somewhat torturous to them to have both characters reappear in the finale but nothing to do with one another. [Laughs] But I'm glad that people got to see that their characters' lives pan out the way that they did, and I hope they still felt happy with the ending.

Have you and Joseph Morgan kept in touch and did you talk about how you both got to return for the Legacies finale?

No, I haven't talked to him in a minute! I'm trying to think if I'll be seeing him anytime this year. No, but I love how he was doing all these fantastic teases on Twitter. He was writing out these little hints and riddles that if you looked at all the first letters, it would spell Legacies. I was actually with Julie and Brett at the time, and I was like, "Guys, he's killing it. I gotta step up my game. Should I be teasing this? He's so creative. He's on top of it!" And we all agreed we'll let him be the one who's teasing stuff. They didn't use me for any of the promos, so hopefully, there are a number of people that were watching the show that got to actually be surprised by live television.

How do you feel about how Legacies ending means there is no more Vampire Diaries series on the air anymore?

I know, it's wild to think. I think it was, what, a total of 13 years? It's a great run. It's a fantastic run. There were people who watched that show when they were a teenager and who are now adults having babies. I look back on various TV series that I watched that were long-running and that meant a lot to me, and what a privilege to be able to be a part of something that truly did leave a legacy within the world of TV. We really got to live out so many full lives, all of these characters within the whole universe of The Vampire Diaries and Originals and Legacies. It's bittersweet, but I am glad that the way that it all ended was in a really beautiful way.

What kinds of plans do you think Caroline has for the future of the Salvatore School?

I'm sure she's going to redo the office, Alaric's office, really brighten it up. [Laughs] Bring in some flowers. Maybe she'll bring in the Home Edit team and just really get organized.

And what's coming up next for you?

I actually have a movie premiering tomorrow night on Lifetime, it's called The Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story. I'd actually not heard of this case before working on the movie, but it's a fascinating case in which Melanie McGuire was a fertility nurse in New Jersey married to Bill McGuire, and on a fateful night, Bill McGuire was shot, dismembered, placed in suitcases, and his body was horrifically thrown over the bridge into the Chesapeake Bay. All the circumstantial evidence pointed fingers to Melanie McGuire, his wife.

However, once you start digging into the actual case, there's zero forensic evidence that ties her to the crime. She's serving out a life sentence for this crime and still maintains her innocence. We have this wonderful opportunity within this story of this true-crime, ripped-from-the-headlines story of being able to present what the prosecution claims happened, and then also be able to tell the story of what Melanie claims happened. It invites the audience to put their detective hats on and do some sleuthing themselves. It was wild, I went down such a rabbit hole with this case. [Laughs] I was in the deep Reddit threads of conspiracy theories.

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