'The Originals' PaleyFest panel: Claire Holt's 'temporary hiatus,' Joseph Morgan talks 'Klaroline' and more scoop revealed

the-originals-paleyfest.jpg When the cast of The CW's "The Originals" took to the stage for their PaleyFest panel on Saturday (March 22), the main question on every fan's mind was about Rebekah's recent exit from New Orleans and the show in general. Claire Holt decided to put the topic to rest once and for all, explaining how it was actually her decision to leave the series, and that had been the plan since the very beginning of "The Vampire Diaries" spinoff.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is a temporary hiatus," Holt says. "I'm taking a little vacation in the sun but I'm going to return to my New Orleans family. I just want to make it clear to everyone that these incredibly talented writers did not run out of story. They never will."

In fact, Holt made sure to let fans know that she wasn't "pushed out," or that she "quit mid-season."

"This was something that we'd discussed from the start, and I completed my initial commitment," Holt explains. "And I made a life choice, and not a career choice. I made a choice to come home for a little while and I realized that I hadn't seen people that I loved and cared about for a long time and it was so tough for me. And it really was a toss-up right to the very end, and even having this little space that I've had, I do realize that I am so not ready to let go of the Mikaelsons. And so I hope that there's many more stories to tell."

When a fan asked if this was the last we'd see of Rebekah, Holt immediately replied, "I sure hope not," and the theater erupted into cheers and screams of joy. She then set the room on fire once more when another fan asked if Rebekah might return to Mystic Falls on "TVD," and she said, "Listen, there's a very handsome quarterback in Mystic Falls ... I like that idea."

So what other scoop did the cast of "The Originals" reveal at their PaleyFest panel?

Joseph Morgan liked the 'Klaroline' dynamic at first

A "TVD" or "The Originals" event isn't complete until a fan asks about Klaroline -- the "TVD" and "The Originals" polarizing crossover ship pairing of Klaus and Caroline. So when a fan asked if there was hope for that ship in the future, Joseph Morgan paused before giving a long and detailed answer about how he once rooted for the relationship, but now is content with how it ended, seemingly for good.

"I think in the beginning, definitely, I was in favor of the two characters because she opened up a side of Klaus that we hadn't seen before, and I really wanted to see that vulnerability, and I was in favor of all the dynamic between them," Morgan says. "I never thought it was a good idea for them to just be together and that's the end of it, because then where's the drama and the interest?"

He continues, "One of the things about [Klaus] that's so wonderful is he can't find love because he just messes it up for himself. So as much as he may want to be with Caroline, I think he would mess it up for her as well. And I think that the character of Caroline Forbes doesn't deserve to be messed up in that way."

And as for their most recent meeting -- that included some sexy time in the woods -- he was glad they got to have that before going their separate ways on different shows. 

"I was a fan of the dynamic and I'm a fan of where that story has gone to now," Morgan says. "He went back to Mystic Falls to gloat over Katherine's body, and then they had that moment where all of what had built up for so long was -- for want of a better way of describing it -- consummated. These characters have been down this road together, and then had their road split off and they've grown apart."

He continues, "Klaus has a child on the way and he's involved in a war, and Caroline is going to college and has all of these things going on. They can't be together, but they could have that one moment."

Bottom line, Klaroline fans: Don't expect Caroline to jump shows, as creator Julie Plec has made it clear that Caroline is deeply connected with the story in Mystic Falls.

Elijah's downward spiral

When asked about a recent line that Klaus said to Elijah, about how the moral brother was "beginning to sound like" villainous Klaus, Gillies confirmed that the show has "always felt to me like the redemption of Klaus and sort of the undoing of Elijah. It seems to be where we're creeping towards."

Morgan agrees. "[Klaus] likes to see Elijah embrace the darker side a little bit," Morgan says. "I think there's an excitement, definitely, to the idea that my brother is slowly coming over to the dark side."

And even though Elijah has temporarily united all the supernatural factions in the city with a treaty of peace, he knows it's very tenuous. "He's starting to understand there's a lot of method to Klaus' madness and a degree of mayhem he can't avoid," Gillies says. "I think he's expecting poor results, but he's giving the factions this one final opportunity to do the right thing -- which is his thing."

The magical miracle baby is on the way

While all of this is going down, there's one major event that's still to come: Hayley and Klaus' baby is almost here. And that is what's most important to Hayley.

"Throughout Hayley's life, she's been looking for a family," Phoebe Tonkin says. "Now she's just trying to work out where her loyalties lie and what she wants to fight for. She's a woman on a mission to protect her baby and protect what she thinks is right."

The return of Kol?

It turns out we haven't seen the last of psychotic and charming -- and deceased -- Original brother Kol. 

"There is absolutely opportunity for especially Kol" to return, Plec says. "Finn was in a casket for a thousand years, so there's not as much to tell with him. But Kol on 'The Vampire Diaries' talked about running with the New Orleans witch, back in the day. He was in new Orleans and he ended up with a dagger in his chest in the early 1900s, so I'm like, 'I wonder how that happened.'"

Plec continues, "Given that our Originals were in New Orleans at the time, there's probably a story to tell there."

Watch the full panel below:



"The Originals" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The Paley Center