Why did Legacies Season 5 get Canceled?

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Legacies, the second spinoff of The Vampire Diaries after The Originals, was axed after its fourth season. But what would have happened in season 5 if it had been renewed? Legacies had a different approach than its predecessors, focusing on younger characters and a lighter, more humorous tone. The show followed the adventures of the students at the Salvatore School, who faced various enemies in a monster-of-the-week format.

However, the show’s ratings kept declining, and amid the Warner Bros.-Discovery merger, it was decided to end it with season 4. That does not mean the showrunners had no plans for season 5, though. Julie Plec, the creator of the TVD universe, and several Legacies writers have shared some of their ideas for the next season. These included bringing in some new characters that fans had eagerly awaited in the TVD universe.

What Happened After Legacies Season 4?

What Happened After Legacies Season 4? | AWSMONE
The CW

Legacies season 4 wrapped up the stories of some of the main characters, but it also left some intriguing questions for what could have been Legacies season 5. According to Legacies showrunner Brett Matthews, the fifth season would have featured a time jump that would have explored the lives of the characters after leaving the school:

“We wanted to see how they would cope with different challenges and opportunities outside of their comfort zone. How would they reconnect with each other after being apart for a while? How would they grow and change as individuals and as a group?”

A time jump makes sense for Legacies season 5, considering how much the characters have evolved in Legacies season 4. Kaylee Bryant, who played Josie, exited the show, and other characters seemed to have reached a natural conclusion to their arcs. It would be hard to continue their stories without a significant shift in the status quo. A time jump would have allowed the writers to introduce new conflicts and dynamics for the characters.

Legacies Season 4 Set The Stage For Legacies Season 5

Legacies Season 4 Set The Stage For Legacies Season 5 | AWSMONE
The CW

Legacies season 4 did not end without some hints for what could have happened in Legacies season 5. Jed and Ben, who had lost their werewolf and vampire abilities, decided to leave the school together and start a new life. Legacies season 5 could have followed their journey of discovering their true identities and finding new ways to use their skills. Kaleb and Cleo also had more potential for development in Legacies season 5; Cleo’s newfound power as an Oracle suggested that she would have a bigger role in the supernatural world.

She had a glimpse of a dreadful future for her and Kaleb in the season 4 finale, implying that their fate was doomed. Meanwhile, Landon became the Ferryman of Limbo, the Purgatory-like realm in The Vampire Diaries universe. His story could have ended there in season 4, and it would have been satisfying. But it would have been intriguing to see him deal with his new job as the Ferryman, especially since he sacrificed some of his humanity and emotions to save his friends in the living world.

It would have been a very different Landon in season 5 of Legacies, and given the underused Aria Shahghasemi a lot to explore. Finally, the Legacies series finale surprised the viewers when Alaric Saltzman announced he was quitting the Salvatore School and giving up his headmaster position. Instead, his old friend and co-parent, TVD’s Caroline Forbes-Salvatore, was taking over as the new headmistress. The Salvatore School would have been very different in season 5 of Legacies, and maybe a bit more peaceful with Caroline in charge — though not for long.

Legacies Season 5 Would’ve Introduced Elena & Damon’s Child

Legacies Season 5 Would've Introduced Elena & Damon's Child | AWSMONE
The CW

One of the main attractions of Legacies, like all spinoffs of The Vampire Diaries, was the characters and their intertwined lineages (a key theme in a show about vampires and immortals of all kinds). Legacies season 5 was going to both continue this trend and turn it upside down. The biggest change would have been the introduction of Stephanie Salvatore, the daughter of The Vampire Diaries’ Elena and Damon in season 5 of Legacies. As creator Julie Plec revealed,

One of the characters that the showrunners had in mind to introduce in the future was Stephanie, the daughter of Damon and Elena. In the original timeline, they had kids who were already teenagers, as hinted in the genie episode. But in the Legacies timeline, their kids were much younger, maybe around two or three years old.

This means that there would have been a big time jump if Stephanie had joined the Salvatore School in the planned Legacies season 5 story. Julie Plec, the creator of the Vampire Diaries universe, has confirmed that another spinoff is in the works after Legacies, which was supposed to follow the events of the canceled show. However, fans would have loved to see the offspring of other fan-favorite characters in Legacies season 5. Maybe there is still a chance to meet them in the third spinoff, if it ever happens.

What Are The Options For Continuing The Legacies Story?

The fact that there was a clear vision for Legacies season 5 does not mean that it has to be abandoned completely. There is another way to tell the story of these young vampires, and that is through a comic book. That’s what another popular teen vampire show did: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After Buffy ended in 2003, it had a spinoff series called Angel, but also a comic book series that continued Buffy’s adventures.

Julie Plec’s stories have a loyal fanbase, and they would surely appreciate a different medium for Legacies season 5. The show was canceled too soon, despite its low ratings. The show still had many potential stories to tell, as shown by the plans for Legacies season 5. Therefore, the Vampire Diaries creators could consider adapting Legacies to a comic book format to satisfy their fans.

Julie Plec, the co-creator of The Vampire Diaries, was devastated by the lack of a fifth season for Legacies. The show’s cancellation by The CW marked the end of the TVD universe, which had been on air for 13 years, and also signaled the network’s shift away from genre shows. Plec expressed her grief on Twitter, comparing the situation to the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones, a notorious episode where several characters were killed off. She promised to share her appreciation for the fans, cast and crew in future tweets, but for now, she said, “we mourn.”

This was a hard blow for Plec, who also worked as a producer on Roswell, New Mexico. With both shows gone, she lost her presence on The CW. Fortunately, she found a new opportunity on Peacock, where she will adapt the Vampire Academy novels into a series. This will allow her to return to her comfort zone of vampire stories. However, for the fans of The Vampire Diaries, the hope for a fifth season of Legacies was crushed by The CW’s decision, and the answer to “will there be a season 5 of Legacies” became a definitive no.

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Nikhat Parveen
Nikhat Parveen
Nikhat Parveen is a Literature Enthusiast. She is Currently Pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi, India. She holds the position of Entertainment Writer at AWSMONE and also is a Published Poet. She has been working as a Content Writer and Interviewer for the past 3 years and as an Honorary Reporter.