The Originals Spoilers

The Originals Season 4: Are Hayley and Elijah Putting Their Romance on Hold?

In a perfect world, The Originals‘ Hayley would have ample time to divide between protecting her daughter and finding love for herself. But, really, when has this ever been a perfect world?

Phoebe Tonkin acknowledges that Hayley “spent five years thinking about the moment where she’d get to see Elijah again,” but notes that recent events — including the arrival of an ominous new threat — are forcing her to switch gears.

She tells TVLine, “As much as Hayley is happy to have [Elijah] back, her priority is still Hope’s safety. She can’t focus on a romantic relationship that might become too time-consuming. … As her daughter gets older and becomes a little human being, Hayley becomes even more protective. So that’s her focus, to protect her kid.”

This echoes what executive producer Michael Narducci recently told TVLine: “It’s the height of selfishness and irresponsibility to not put [Hope’s] needs and concerns first. I’m not saying Hope is an obstacle to anyone’s happiness — far from it, since she’s the source of their inspiration and possibly their redemption — but she’s going to be the center of a lot of what’s going on moving forward.”

In fact, Tonkin says that Hope — in addition to the season’s new Big Bad, which will begin to reveal itself over the next couple of episodes — is pretty much everyone’s top priority moving forward.

“Not only does she have a mother and father who are willing to do anything to keep her safe, but this little girl also has all these very protective aunts and uncles,” she explains. “It’s a nice thing to see all these grown adults who are just completely devoted to this young girl.”

We’ll have more Originals scoop in advance of Friday’s episode (The CW, 8/7c). For now, drop a comment with your thoughts Hayley and Elijah’s future below.