Hope’s turn to amoral vampirism on Legacies may look a little too familiar to fans of The Vampire Diaries who recall Elena’s transformation.
As a spinoff of The Originals, Legacies inevitably borrows from The Vampire Diaries from time to time, but Hope’s Tribrid transformation is cribbing a lot of its details from Elena’s vampire arc on the earlier show. Debuting in 2018, Legacies is the second spinoff of ‘00s paranormal soap opera The Vampire Diaries. Like the earlier The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals, Legacies carries over some characters from the first show while also introducing a slew of new faces.
However, Legacies has proven less popular with fans than both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, possibly due to its campier humor and possibly because of its lighter tone. Legacies struggled to win over fans of the earlier, darker shows in The Vampire Diaries universe due to these issues, but Legacies season 4 has upped the brutality significantly in recent episodes and won back some longtime fans of the franchise as a result. That said, moving closer to the tone of The Vampire Diaries has also meant that Legacies has borrowed some plot points from its predecessor.
When The Vampire Diaries heroine Elena first became a vampire, she turned off her humanity (the ability to feel and process human emotions) to escape the pain and grief of all the people she had lost, as well as all the people she killed to feed on. This soon proved to be a bad decision, changing Love Hard star Nina Dobrev’s likable protagonist into an unfeeling monster and ultimately setting back her development by allowing the series heroine to ignore the empathy at the core of character for episodes at a time. Now Hope’s transformation into a Tribrid (a werewolf, witch, and vampire hybrid) has essentially done the same to the Legacies heroine and looks set to hinder her character’s self-actualization too.
Before their respective vampiric transformations, both Hope and Elena had been defined by how much they cared for the people they love and how they’d do anything for them. However, turning off their humanity stripped both heroines of those emotions, turning Elena into an absolute monster in The Vampire Diaries. Now that Hope has finally died to become the Tribrid, her character is seemingly set to go down the same path in Legacies and the plot is playing out much like it did in the earlier series. After four seasons of heroism, it is fun for viewers to see the previously unimpeachable heroine finally display her dark side. However, the extremity of Hope’s transformation — which saw her kill the kindly father figure Alaric immediately after she turned, despite saving the entire Salvatore School only one scene earlier — is a massive swerve for the character.
Neither The Vampire Diaries nor Legacies have been able to really sell the transition since it means making the show’s heroine a nigh-on-irredeemable villain overnight. That said, the premise of the heroines being able to switch their emotions off and on is compelling, and with Rebekah back to potentially right Hope’s course, Legacies could still pull off this plot better than its predecessor. Lizzie and Finch’s love interest Josie may well kill the heroine for what she did to Alaric before that, but so many characters have tried to take down Hope with no luck so far that it seems unlikely. Thus, the fact that The Originals spinoff Legacies is repeating a plot from The Vampire Diaries can be forgiven if the series manages to make the story more engaging than that earlier iteration.