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Julie Plec Talks ‘Originals’ and ‘Vampire Diaries’ Finales, Nina Dobrev’s Exit

With mother issues, wicked witches and leads in danger, this season has been another wild ride for CW sister dramas “The Originals” and “The Vampire Diaries.” Ahead of the shows’ finales — “The Originals” season two finale airs at 8 p.m. Monday and “The Vampire Diaries” season six finale airs at 8 p.m. Thursday — executive producer Julie Plec discusses impending character departures, family dynamics and the loss of “Vampire Diaries” star Nina Dobrev.

Both “The Originals” and “The Vampire Diaries” had major storylines involving the main characters’ moms. It’s pretty funny that both of the shows end the week after Mother’s Day.

Yeah, “The Originals” especially. This is definitely the season of the dysfunctional family for sure.

Is there a hidden meaning there?

I have to have somebody remind me when Mother’s Day is every year so I remember to call my mom.

I know “The Originals” is about the first vampires, but sometimes it seems like witches get most of the attention on the show.

I think we’ve been a lot more successful on “The Originals” on witchcraft and our witch mythology that we were ever able to accomplish on “The Vampire Diaries,” mostly because New Orleans is a place that lends itself to some pretty great references for spells and attitude about witchcraft. I do know that we’re very much looking forward to season three of “The Originals” when we’re talking more about vampires and less about witches. You need a break every now and then.

When all is said and done, it’s a show about family. Everyone has a different definition of what that means. For Davina (Danielle Campbell), it’s trying to find her place within her coven even though she doesn’t necessarily want to be connected to them.

Speaking of family, poor Elijah (Daniel Gillies). Will he ever get a girl who is able to stick around? Will he ever get revenge on his brother, Klaus (Joseph Morgan)?

Elijah has a thousand years of experience in which he’s gone through quite a lot of grief, quite a lot of betrayal in his ups and downs with his relationship with his brother. I think right now he’s definitely in a dark place and we’ll see if he’s going to be able to pull himself out of that or if Klaus is going to be feeling the wrath of his big brother for quite some time.

Onto “The Vampire Diaries”: Lead Nina Dobrev is leaving the show this season and the big question after last week’s episode is whether her character of Elena Gilbert is dead. Judging from the preview, things aren’t looking good.

Well, we all know she’s leaving. The way in which she leaves is the mystery of the episode and I think that, as everyone can tell from the promos, her life is in jeopardy. But I can’t speak to whether the show ends with her actually losing her life or there are other ways to say goodbye to that character. Everyone’s going to have to tune in and watch. But I will say that it’s extremely emotional and also, strangely, powerful and beautiful. It will be satisfying with the outcome.

Elena isn’t the only character leaving at the end of this season. You’re also saying goodbye to Michael Trevino, who plays Tyler Lockwood, a friend of Elena’s who is trying not to fulfill his destiny of becoming a werewolf.

With Tyler, it’s much less definitive. He’s just kind of going off to make new choices in his life and there’s many opportunities for us to see him again. I certainly don’t think it’s the last we’ll see of Michael on the show: when or how or what, I don’t really know.

You’ve had so many characters leave — some of whom have come back. How do you handle that on set?

Every time we have to kill someone that we love it is a terrible funeral all around the show. When we had to say goodbye to Matt Davis (who plays vampire hunter-turned-college professor Alaric) the first time, we missed him so much that we brought him back. It’s never easy. Even Kayla [Ewell, who plays Vicki Donovan], who died six episodes into the first season — we’re still sad about that.

So obviously saying goodbye to Nina after six years has been especially bittersweet, but she’s our friend and we love her and she made the decision for how she wants to live her life and we support that. You can be sad about it or you can be happy that she can do what she wants.

This must be such a bittersweet time for you. In the midst of Nina’s final episode, you also received a series pickup for your new CW drama, “Cordon.”

I know. Just one more job! I’m excited about this one though. I’ve been lucky enough to be working off of a 10-episode Belgian format that is so wonderfully executed and such a powerful and emotional and suspenseful show that I have an embarrassment of riches of characters and ideas and stories and everything you can hope for in diving into a new show, and I am so honored to get to bring it to American television.

What are the chances James Corden will ever guest star on it?

Well, considering the way that half the social media universe keeps spelling the title of the show I can see what it’s easy to get them mixed up.

Do you think Elena will live or die in the “Vampire Diaries” finale? Share your predictions below.

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