In what Order Should You Watch ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ ‘The Originals,’ and ‘Legacies’?

The Vampire Diaries and The Originals might be over forever, but their stories live on in Legacies. The hit series on the CW is the second spinoff within the TVD universe. Given the vast universe these three shows have made, is there an order to watch The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies that better matches the timelines?

How are ‘TVD, ‘The Originals,’ and ‘Legacies’ connected?

TVD: The Vampire Diaries cast members Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley
‘The Vampire Diaries’ co-stars Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley in 2010 | Fred Duval/FilmMagic

Though the timelines of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals are close, Legacies happens years after TVD ends. Legacies Season 1, Episode 10, reveals that the married (and human) Elena Gilbert and Damon Salvatore still live in Mystic Falls, and Elena is the town’s doctor. Their daughter, Stefanie Salvatore, is a student at Mystic Falls High School.

Legacies centers on Hope Mikaelson (Klaus and Hayley’s daughter, the first tribrid), Alaric Saltzman from TVD, and his daughters, Josie and Lizzie Saltzman, among the school’s other students. Matt Donovan is also a Mystic Falls police officer in Legacies.

Now that you understand how all three of these TV shows are connected, try the following suggestion for the best order to watch them.

What is the best order to watch ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ ‘The Originals,’ and Legacies’?

What’s the most intriguing order to watch these three series in the TVD universe? For avid fans, simply rewatching all from start to finish might not be as fun. According to a fan discussion on Quora, there’s a more interesting way to binge the shows.

One daring fan listed their preferred order by episode, which is a ton of episodes to list, but we’ll summarize it here for you. You start by watching The Vampire Diaries Season 1 through Season 4 straight through, and then watch just the Season 5 premiere before moving on to the first two episodes of The Originals Season 1.

Next, jump back into The Vampire Diaries Season 5, Episode 2, and then alternate between the two shows until you hit TVD Season 5, Episodes 7 and 8. This user mapped out the entirety of TVD and The Originals and then recommended Legacies Season 1 and Season 2 be watched last. Season 4 is airing on the CW, with new episodes Thursdays at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

What comes 1st, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ or ‘The Originals’?

Legacies aired a musical episode that was a tribute to The Vampire Diaries. The musical, staged by students of the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted, was an homage (both within the show’s universe and in real life) to the events that transpired in TVD, leading up to the school’s creation.

“That episode is a love letter to our past,” Legacies showrunner Brett Matthews told Collider. “It’s where we come from. Seeing characters familiar from other shows in the franchise portrayed by the current show, it’s meta in all of the right ways, but it also functions as a true musical.”

If that musical episode made you nostalgic for The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, a rewatch might be in order. Though Klaus and his siblings were the first vampires and hybrids created within the TVD universe, The Originals wasn’t a prequel.

Klaus first appears in The Vampire Diaries Season 2; then his siblings enter in Season 3. Hayley arrives in Season 4, and that storyline leads to the plot of The Originals Season 1. There are some crossover episodes throughout the two shows, but you don’t have to have seen all of TVD and The Originals to understand them.

RELATED: ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Star Ian Somerhalder Auditioned to Play Christian Grey in ’50 Shades of Grey’