Comic-Con
The Originals Spoilers

The Originals @ Comic-Con: Hayley's Journey, a Grown-Up Hope, the Future of 'Haylijah' and More Season 4 Scoop

A motley (yet smolder-y) crew of witches, vampires and hybrids on Saturday descended upon San Diego Comic-Con to preview The Originals‘ upcoming fourth season.

Stars Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin, Charles Michael Davis, Yusuf Gatewood and Riley Voelkel — along with executive producers Julie Plec and Michael Narducci — were all on hand to tease the madness to come when the show returns midseason on The CW. Here’s what we learned:

* A short video confirmed Season 4’s extended time jump, and ended with Hope asking — yes, asking, as in talking — Hayley if they’re going to go save her dad. Narducci later confirmed the five-year time jump.

* “She was two years old when we left her … and she’s now a little person,” Narducci said of Hope. “She’s got dialogue and hopes and dreams, and she misses her dad and understands her family has suffered a great loss. … Hayley’s a great mom.”

* “When we met Hayley, all she ever wanted was family,” Tonkin acknowledged. “Through the events that happened, she created a family on her own with her daughter. I don’t think she feels alone — one, because she has five bodies in the back of her car — and because she has a purpose, a family-driven purpose.”

* Hayley’s journey to save everyone will require her to “locate the seven werewolf packs … so she has a very difficult journey ahead of her,” Narducci said. “She has to explore the werewolf side that’s going to connect her to those packs.”

* “I don’t think Marcel is a villain,” Narducci said. “I don’t think he’s wrong. … We’ll have to see if there’s anything in the world that might be able to mend these fences.”

* We’ll “absolutely” learn more about Vincent’s backstory, Narducci confirmed.

* “With Hayley and Elijah, we felt they’d gotten to dance around each other early on, then become terribly separated, emotionally and physically,” Plec said. “Knowing this family was going to be split apart for the next five years, giving them the opportunity to [get together one more time] felt right. … Time will tell how much happiness they’re able to have — or not have.”

* “It was emotional,” Morgan said of his all-day final shoot with Leah Pipes. “She’d been a part of the show for three years. It was surreal, though. Until she was gone, I didn’t think she was going.”

* On why Cami and Davina’s deaths were necessary: “It’s a hard thing to explain,” Plec began. “You start to feel a redundancy of heroes. If you continue down a certain storyline, you’ll end up taking people in a direction that will isolate them. You get the urge to mix things up and to make things very tragic … so that you can always feel fresh, and you don’t have nine people telling the same story. … We needed to pull the family as tightly together as possible, and excise some of the characters who might conflict with [that plan].”

Your thoughts on these Season 4 teases? Hopes for the show’s future? Drop ’em all in a comment below.