‘The Originals’: Elijah and Hayley Seemed ‘Forced’ According to Some Fans

The Originals debuted on The CW in 2013. It was the first spin-off of the hit supernatural fantasy drama The Vampire Diaries.

Other companion shows in the shared vampire universe including Legacies, The Vampire Diaries: A Darker Truth, and The Originals: The Awakening. Despite its popularity, the fifth and final season of The Originals came to a close in 2018 and the show wasn’t renewed.

Today, fans look back at some of the core relationships in the supernatural soap — specifically, the romantic connection between lead vampire Elijah and werewolf-turned-hybrid-vampire Hayley — and question how natural and authentic those relationships feel in retrospect.

‘The Originals’ aired for five seasons

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In the lore of The Vampire Diaries, there are five original vampires from whom all modern vampires are descended.

These five were transformed from humans into vampires by a ritual conducted by their mother, a witch who was seeking to protect her children from the threat of werewolves. The Originals documents the lives of these original vampire siblings.

The show features three of the core vampire siblings: Klaus Mikaelson (played by British actor and director Joseph Morgan), Elijah Mikaelson (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah Mikaelson (Claire Holt).

Audiences catch up with the Mikaelson siblings as they relocate to the city of New Orleans. The show documents the siblings’ struggles to take back the city from the control of feuding witches and werewolves, while also navigating the daily dramas of dating, sibling rivalries, and parenthood. 

The Vampire Diaries spin-off was an immediate ratings success, with TV Line calling it one of the best spin-offs in TV history. “The Mikaelsons proved their memorable run on TVD was no fluke as the richer and more adult spinoff dug into the clan’s tortured history,” the outlet explains. “And when you’ve been around for a thousand years, there’s plenty of family dysfunction to mine.”

Elijah and Hayley were a foundational couple in the show’s relationship dramas

Phoebe Tonkin
Phoebe Tonkin | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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Hayley Marshall-Kenne, played by Australian actor Phoebe Tonkin, was introduced in the first season of The Originals as a werewolf. She becomes friends with Rebekah and becomes pregnant with Klaus’ child. 

Klaus’ brother Elijah finds out that she’s pregnant and takes on a protective role over Hayley, which slowly evolves into a romantic bond. Critics have hailed the couple as being the source of some of the show’s most memorable moments. 

For example, Entertainment Weekly calls episode nine of season two (“The Map of Moments”) one of the best episodes in The Originals‘ five-season run, in part because of Elijah and Hayley. “This Christmas episode is all about relationships,” explains the outlet. “Together, the Mikaelsons get some time away, which leads to a major milestone in Hayley and Elijah’s relationship: The two sleep together after she tells him about her upcoming marriage to Jackson.”

Yet some viewers aren’t so convinced, and a few fans even argue that the entire relationship between Elijah and Hayley doesn’t feel natural.

Fans claim there’s a lack of chemistry between Elijah and Hayley

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In the final season, Elijah doesn’t remember Hayley nor his own siblings because his memory has been erased. The two characters move on with their lives, with Hayley staying in New Orleans to raise her daughter while Elijah falls in love with a vampire woman. During a battle, the two ex-lovers run into each other and Hayley realizes that Elijah still doesn’t remember her.

In the fight, Elijah doesn’t help Hayley, and the latter sacrifices her own life to save her daughter. As the final season wraps up, Elijah gets his memories back and fans see him overcome with grief when he realizes that Hayley is gone.

Julie Plec, the series creator of The Originals, tells TV Line that killing off Hayley was an intentional choice. “To those who ask, ‘Why doesn’t Elijah get to live his own life now?’ I would look at what happened this season,” she said. “He did get to live his own life, one free of his family. He got to fall in love and have that whole experience, but he came out of it to find that one of the consequences was his hand in the death of Hayley.”

However, she hints that the two may be reunited one day in the vampire afterlife.

On Reddit, fans disagree. “Hayley and Elijah seemed forced,” wrote one user. Others agreed, and argued that Elijah had more chemistry with other characters. Some also pointed out that it didn’t feel natural for Elijah and Hayley to be together because Hayley had just given birth to the baby of Elijah’s brother.