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The power The Originals fandom has. The Originals cast, including Joseph Morgan and his co-stars, are eternally grateful to the show’s loyal viewers. Not just because they helped them have a successful five-season run, but also because they helped make the show happen in the first place. In a recent interview, Klaus Mikaelson himself dished on how The CW‘s first successful spinoff was made and how fans contributed to its creation.

Daniel Gillies and Joseph Morgan of 'The Originals'
‘The Originals’ cast members Daniel Gillies and Joseph Morgan | Smallz+Raskind/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. via Getty Images

How did ‘The Originals’ start?

Morgan thought being killed off The Vampire Diaries would be a great jumping-off point for the rest of his career. But then, things changed. He said:

“Then a few things happened. One was of course the degree of passion with which the fans responded to the character and the other was that I was just having so much fun playing [him] and I always felt that for the character there wasn’t enough room to grow in the setting of The Vampire Diaries.”

As the Ben-Hur alum told Collider in 2013, the inspiration behind The Originals was one grandiose scene in The Vampire Diaries Season 3: The Mikaelson Ball. He said:

“We did The Originals ball in season 3, and there’s a photo of all of The Original siblings, standing on this big, lavish staircase. Julie [Plec] sent that to Peter Roth saying, The Originals, and three hours later, he said, ‘We need to do this.’ That’s where it started. Though, originally, it was going to be set in Chicago.”

Morgan said he begged Plec to continue Klaus’ story past season 3, but he never imagined getting his own show.

Joseph Morgan smirks as Klaus Mikaelson in 'The Originals'
Klaus Mikaelson from ‘The Originals’ | YouTube

Joseph Morgan says fans named the ‘Vampire Diaries’ spinoff

Morgan told DiDario that he and cast mates Daniel Gillies and Claire Holt felt the momentum behind The Originals building. And it was fan-made videos that ended up cementing the show’s title. He said:

“All of these fan-made trailers kept happening for The Originals. The fans named that show. It was them creating all these online trailers for the show, to the point where Claire [Holt] and Daniel [Gillies, who played Mikaelson siblings Rebekah and Elijah respectively] and I were thinking ‘You know this would be really great, this could be a real thing.'”

Attention, CW fans. This is your sign to keep on making your own trailers. It might just end up inspiring the next Vampire Diaries spinoff that runs for five seasons.

Which is first: ‘The Originals’ or ‘The Vampire Diaries’?

The Originals is set during the same timeframe as The Vampire Diaries up until a time-jump later in the series. If you were to watch The Vampire Diaries and The Originals in order, an extra entertaining way would be to overlap the two shows corresponding with the merged timelines. Here’s a full breakdown of the best viewing order, which includes Legacies.

Elijah Mikaelson is the first of The Original siblings to appear in The Vampire Diaries. He makes his dapper debut in season 2 episode 8, “Rose.” Klaus first appears in season 2 episode 19, “Klaus.” The plan for Klaus, Elijah, and their siblings was for Klaus to be the villain who is ultimately defeated. Clearly, that didn’t happen. He lived long past season 3. As Morgan told Tommy DiDarion during an Instagram Live in December 2020:

“From the beginning it was always thought that Klaus would die at the end of season 3. So I would come in at the end of season two, season 3 would be my big season of being this villain throughout the whole season and then the good guys would defeat me at the end of season 3.”


‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘The Originals’ Filmed in Towns Less Than 20 Minutes Apart

The Originals ended its run on The CW after season 5 in 2018. For those with Netflix, The Originals is currently available to stream.