When Legacy began, it made perfect sense for viewers to expect the remaining Mikaelson family or members of the Mystic Falls gang to show up at the Salvatore boarding school. After all, the show focused on Hope Mikaelson, Lizzie, and Josie Saltzman, all of whom were key to the other characters in The Vampire Diaries and The originals. But, while some appearances were quiet, like Matt’s return as town sheriff or Jeremy’s search for Landon and Rafael, others played a much bigger role in the plot. For example, although it might have taken a while, Hope was finally reunited with her family and Josie had an unpleasant reunion with her sociopathic uncle Kai.
Meanwhile, more long-awaited surprise appearances from Klaus and Caroline helped bring the series to a close. While the various guest appearances allowed previous central or supporting characters to interact with different Super Squad members, some had a significant impact on the story as a whole. Of course, bringing back so many characters was exciting for the nostalgia. Yet it also helped connect the three shows, continuing to understand it as a shared universe with so much history shared between everyone involved. But, who had the best guest appearance?
10/10 Matt Donovan
Matt Donovan appears twice in Legacy in his first season, then it is later mentioned that he was elected mayor. Matt Donovan remained human throughout the chaos that occurred in Mystic Falls during his teenage years and young adulthood. Seeing Matt as the town’s sheriff shows that he continued to be involved with the town and put Vervain in the town’s water supply to protect humans from vampires and the students of the Salvatore boarding school. While it’s fun to see Matt in his brief appearances, they’re pretty forgettable in the grand scheme of things.
9/10 Jeremy Gilbert
Jeremy appears at the start of the first season after Landon and Rafael leave the Salvatore boarding school. Jeremy’s job is to find the duo and send them back to school. Jeremy explains to Rafael and Landon that Alaric had taken care of him as a child, further connecting the two shows. Unfortunately, Jeremy’s reunion with Alaric is a background moment that is never brought to the fore. Given Jeremy and Alaric’s history, it’s a shame that Legacy didn’t give the duo a moment to allow the public to see them reconnect.
8/10 Kol Mikaelson
Kol returns to New Orleans with the rest of his family in a plan to give Klaus a funeral, which doubles as a plan to reactivate Hope’s humanity. For the most part, Kol’s only appearance on Legacy is to remind Hope that her family is there for her and to confirm that he and Davina are still happy together, even though she couldn’t be there for the reunion.
7/10 Marcel Gerard
Marcel is in a boat similar to Kol, only appearing once in the same episode. However, Marcel recalls moments from Hope’s childhood and confirms that he and Rebekah were married. Marcel, along with the Mikaelsons, pushes Hope to confront her feelings about her father’s death, pushing her towards her humanity. At the end of The originals, Marcel promised to be there for Hope whenever she needed him. In this episode, Marcel finally keeps that promise after being away for so long.
6/10 Rebecca Mikaelson
Appearing twice in Legacy, Rebekah’s first appearance is filled with fun at a bar. However, it takes Rebekah some time to figure out the plot twist. Rebekah thinks Hope is having a hard time adjusting to being a full-fledged Tribrid, but once she knows Hope’s humanity is off, it’s a slightly different reunion. Rebekah’s appearance involves funny country music jokes, reminders of Klaus stabbing Rebekah in the past, and the emotional reminder of Klaus and Hayley’s deaths. When Rebekah returns, it’s to help restore Hope’s humanity.
5/10 Freya Mikaelson
Of all the Mikaelson siblings, Freya appears the most. Her first appearance is in season two, and while she spends almost no time with Hope, her storyline is primarily with Josie. Josie had traveled to New Orleans to get Freya’s help with a spell to restore everyone’s memories of Hope. When Freya reunites with Hope, all of her memories intact, they share an emotional hug. Freya returns to Mystic Falls later to stop Hope’s heart to activate her vampire side. Freya for the third time Legacy is for Klaus’ funeral. Every time Freya appeared on Legacythis was during an important time in Hope’s life.
4/10 Kai Parker
If the Monster of the Week formula didn’t do it for longtime fans of The Vampire Diaries and The originals, The return of Kai Parker reminds viewers precisely what a well-designed villain is capable of.. Kai is as psychotic and charismatic as ever when Josie encounters him in the prison world. Yet he’s still dangerous with a dark, comedic twist. Kai’s return triggers two of the show’s most important episodes.
While it could be argued that Kai’s death felt like a scam so Alaric could finally have his moment against Kai, Kai’s impact remained after he was gone. Kai’s influence encouraged Josie to break the sand clock to help her family escape the prison world, putting together a few final pieces of the Dark Josie arc.
3/10 Aurora of Martel
Considering Aurora stuck around for several episodes in the final season, she certainly made an impact. However, she also gained character development and conversation that The originals never gave it to him. On The originals, Aurora was called “crazy” and her mental health was never discussed. Considering the time she grew up, discussions about mental health weren’t as often discussed as they are today. However, a thousand years after her transition, her brother still resorted to cruel acts while the Mikaelsons wrote her off.
In Legacy, Aurora’s sanity is gifted with more conversation as she bonds with Lizzie through the trials and tribulations of having to work on sanity, especially with the heightened emotions of vampirism. Aurora’s appearance even resulted in her choosing redemption, refusing to kill Hope and ending the circle of violence that Klaus had initiated.
2/10 Caroline Forbes
Since everyone knew Caroline was alive and was looking for a way to stop the merge, it seemed only a matter of time before Caroline appeared. But, for a time, she never did, with the twins explaining that they had gone to visit Caroline without her ever appearing. Finally, in the series finale, Caroline returns to Mystic Falls and reunites with Lizzie and Alaric. It’s even been suggested that Caroline’s return will take longer, with Alaric officially revealing that Caroline will step in as temporary manager after she leaves. Had the show continued for another season, Caroline might have continued to attend the Salvatore School. However, in the show’s final moments, under Caroline’s leadership, the Salvatore School finally seems to be back on track to gaining more students.
1/10 Klaus Mikaelson
Klaus certainly had the most emotional return as Hope finally gets the sense of closure she desperately needed. Although Klaus is only on screen for a few minutes, that’s all he needs to encourage Hope to live his life and know that he loves her and has no regrets. Klaus’ final speech is not only something Hope demands, but also for longtime fans.
Klaus’ death had come without closure, as his mutual death and Elijah’s had not been endowed with the certainty of peace that Stefan and Damon had received. Instead, the necromancer told Hope that Klaus wouldn’t find peace until she did. The Legacy series finale showing Klaus found peace also concluded his arc of The originals.