First, my confession: I'm a good chunk of episodes behind on the first season of The CW's “The Originals.” I fell behind on both of my CW vampire dramas this past season, but I was able to catch up on “The Vampire Diaries” in recent weeks. I'll catch up on “The Originals” before the second season premieres, but I'm not there yet. Hopefully I won't embarrass myself with this live-blog, but if I say anything stupid, you'll know why. Apologies.
That was an intense two hours in Hall H.
I live-blogged the “Walking Dead” panel, which included a premiere date.
And I live-blogged the “Game of Thrones” panel, which included a bunch of casting for Season 5.
Now it's time for an afternoon of CW live-blogs.
Up first, The CW's Hour With Phoebe Tonkin panel, which has been mislabeled as “The Originals” in your Comic-Con program and features a lot of people who aren't Phoebe Tonkin at all.
Then it'll be time for “Arrow.”
But follow along for vampire, werewolf, witch and New Orleans updates…
4:19 p.m. They're three episodes into production on Season 2 of “The Originals,” so we're going to get a sizzle reel from that.
4:20 p.m. The sizzle reel begins with the bedlam that ensued at the end of last season, set as a counterpoint against fairy tale narration. Yay! It looks like it's going to be a Phoebe Tonkin-heavy start to the season. She's getting savage as she tries to protect her baby. There are gangsters and some guy named Caleb and street brawls and lots of biting and Marcel tearing somebody's arm off. “I am Mikael, the vampire who hunts vampires,” says Sebastian Roche's character. I wonder if that's on his business card. Chatter about a white oak stake. And a 1000-year-old witch crafting moonlight rings. She seems to know Klaus. And Elijah facing off against their father and talk about their mother, too. “Which of our parents do we kill first?” Klaus asks.
4:24 p.m. Our panel: EP Michael Narducci, Leah Pipes, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin, Joseph Morgan, who outdraws Gillies in the shrieking, Charles Michael Davis, Danielle Campbell and Julie Plec.
4:26 p.m. “I think we talked a lot about the sins of the past coming to haunt us in the present,” Narducci says of the season's theme, including the return of departed family. Narducci says the season will have a “dark, warped fairy tale component.” “This is the season where our heroes are dealing with the return of their monstrous parents and what that means to them,” Narducci says.
4:27 p.m. The season premiere is titled “Rebirth.” Plec says that everything has a New Orleans context and this title refers to the brass band, but it's also about people experiencing grief and how they begin again.
4:28 p.m. “He's locked himself away in the compound. He's like a caged animal waiting to make his move,” Morgan says of Klaus, noting that Klaus has been doing a lot of painting, which helps him control his emotions. But he's failing. He wants “violent, bloody, merciless revenge.” “That, in fact, is what has excited me most,” Morgan smirks.
4:30 p.m. “I hope the characters can get back to a point where they're working together a team,” says Charles Michael Davis of Marcel's ties with Klaus, but it's an unease alliance.
4:30 p.m. Phoebe! Woo. The baby bump is gone. “I was kinda wanting to burn that baby bump by the end. It got very big and uncomfortable,” Tonkin says of the baby bump that she wore for nine months. “I've got nowhere to hid my phone, my glasses,” she says of losing the bump, which could also hide a book. As a hybrid now, Phoebe gets to be vicious. Hayley will be looking to Klaus as a mentor, saying that Klaus is teaching Hayley about different ins-and-outs of being a vampire.
4:32 p.m. Plec says that when we met Hayley on “Vampire Diaries,” she just wanted answers about her family and she got those answers, but after all of that, she lost all of it. “What do you do? You're a mother without your child, you're a Mikaelson and you can't really accept where you fit with that family, you're a prideful hybrid,” Plec says of Hayley's arc this season.
4:33 p.m. Last season we liked the Hayley/Elijah bond, but have we moved beyond the idea of a love triangle? “I think that Elijah would observe a degree of distance to give Hayley her dignity,” Gillies says. He wants to see what emerges and blossoms. He loves working with Tonkin. As you would.
4:35 p.m. Leah Pipes time. Cami spent a lot of time learning and forgetting last season, but she's on vervain this season and she wants to leave, but she keeps being drawn back. “She's really attracted to great bone structure, unfortunately,” Pipes laments. “I really want to see her be the person she always has been,” Pipes says confusingly. “I'm excited to see her be more comfortable in her environment, or just aware of her environment,” Pipes says. Leah Pipes also makes a YouPorn reference, which is a bit awesome.
4:37 p.m. What excites Danielle Campbell about Davina? “She's not really taking it from everyone now. She's dishing it out now,” Campbell says. “She's lost way too many people that she cares about… her biggest strength is the people she cares about and loves and at the same time, that's her biggest weakness,” Campbell says.
4:38 p.m. Klaus will be dealing with lots of daddy issues this season. Gillies says it's about the definition of family and what that means to Klaus and Elijah, rather than just a blind quest for family.
4:40 p.m. Bringing Mikael and Esther back “explodes” the show, Plec says. Knocking down The Other Side on “Vampire Diaries” let them do this. Narducci says that being a vampire and treating humans as food strips away your connection to humanity. The Originals are bound together by familial love, but now their mother is about to tear everything apart. “This person is coming back to judge them as abominations,” Narducci teases. “The people that should love you the most, your mom and your dad, want to destroy you,” he says, which is especially bad when you're already a bit nutty, as Klaus is.
4:43 p.m. Rebecca/Claire Holt will be back at least once in the first three episodes. Plec says that the writers are dying to see Hayley and Klaus hold their child again, but they're still working to build to that moment.
4:44 p.m. The crowd likes Daniel Sharman, who plays Caleb. And talking about him makes Campbell giggle. She says that Davina is smitten with Caleb, but also has trouble trusting people, as you do.
4:45 p.m. “There's definitely some romance I think carried over from Season 1,” Davis says. “The doors also open for any additional shipping and romance,” Davis says, but mostly Marcel is going to be working on rebuilding his vampire community with Josh. Plec says that she originally wanted to kill Josh, but that the writers refused to let her kill Josh. Killing the people fans love is something Plec learned from Kevin Williamson. “He's Josh. You can't quite give that guy the boot,” Plec says. Narducci says that there's a chance of love for Josh this season.
4:48 p.m. When is it approach to “Vampire Diaries”/”Originals” crossovers? There are two sides: reative and logistic. Plec says that the story has to require being told in the world of “The Originals” and that they have a story on the table that could work. But actually getting actors from one show to another is a logistical challenge. So it's unclear if that will happen.
4:49 p.m. Joseph Morgan has a story about a prank war in which Daniel Gillies dented his car. The total damage? $600.
4:51 p.m. Fan Questions! But first? We're singing “Happy Birthday” to Paul Wesley. I can't tell if he's actually in the room right now and… He is! He runs on the stage in a t-shirt with a backwards hat and announces, “Daniel Gillies, I love you!” and Paul Wesley leaves.
4:52 p.m. The first question is about choosing music and whatnot. They have a team of editors who are dialed into their musical voice.
4:54 p.m. A mention of the show's Emmy nomination. Plec points out that it was a flashback episode and that the episode also featured one character with 10 hair styles in a minute, so Plec figures it was well-earned.
4:55 p.m. Will Klaus be able to be redeemed after Season 2? “I like to hope there's a chance of redemption for him. I like the idea that the series ultimately could be that journey for him,” Morgan says. “I don't know, but I would like to hope,” he adds. “Their standards of morality are far different,” Gillies says of the way The Originals function. “I don't really think of these guys in terms of good and evil. I do think they admire humanity,” Gillies says, or at least aspects of humanity.
4:57 p.m. A questioner wants to know their favorite moments from Season 1. Pipes' favorite moment was Cami saying good-bye to her uncle for the last time. Gillies liked watching Klaus' farewell to his child. Tonkin loves the flashbacks and says she's jealous of the styles and makeup they get to go through. “I can't pick one!” Morgan says. He chooses two, but I miss them because people were parading into my row at the back of Ballroom 20. Oh well. Davis liked Episode 11 in the aftermath of Davina's death. Davis also likes a scene in which Morgan cries a single tear. “I was like, 'Denzel!'” Davis says to a pleased Morgan. Campbell liked the moment before Davina died. Plec liked a line between Rebecca and Klaus, a line that Narducci wrote. And Narducci liked a different Rebecca scene that Plec wrote. We cheer for Claire Holt.
5:04 p.m. The next questioner is rooting for Hayley and Elijah. How will Hope impact the supernatural world in “Vampire Diaries” and Mystic Falls? Plec says that for now, Hope is just a baby and if Rebecca does her job, she'll never experience her powers. But Plec doesn't figure Rebecca will do her job perfectly. So figuring out Hope's powers and her place in the supernatural world will be a part of the season.
5:06 p.m. What inspiration did Phoebe draw on? She says that we pick up a few months after the finale and when we find her, she's a bit lost and she's on a kamikaze mission. Tonkin has been enjoying learning the technical part of getting to play a vampire. She recalls her first time having to bit a character on the neck and she thought she knew how to do it, but she didn't and she did “a sound effect” the first time she did it.
5:08 p.m. “We have more selection of entrees,” Morgan says of why the “Originals” set is better than the “Vampire Diaries” set — Better catering.
5:09 p.m. A questioner wants to know what's coming with Klaus and Caroline from “Vampire Diaries.” “Sweetheart, your guess is as good as mine,” Morgan says. “In order for Caroline to enter the New Orleans universe and engages with Klaus on any level, it's gotta be a fit, an organic fit. And that could take some time,” Plec teases. “We have to wait for an organic opportunity to bring these two together,” she says, but admits that they have “unfinished business.”
5:10 p.m. And “H20” question! What drew her to this world after doing that mermaid show? Tonkin talks about being introduced to the world on “Secret Circle” and then she got the opportunity to go over to “Vampire Diaries.” She's impressed with how her character has evolved over the “Vampire Diaries” time and onto “The Originals.” “Thank you for watching 'H20,'” she tells the questioner. “No one believes I played a really innocent mermaid girl just nine years ago,” Tonkin laughs.
5:12 p.m. “I believe that Hope was his hope. She was hope for him to be a better man-hybrid-creature. She was hope for his redemption,” Morgan says.
5:13 p.m. I'm impressed that Morgan knows the differences between Klaus in the books, which have pretty much nothing to do with this world, and on TV. Klaus killed Vicky in the books? Apparently that's where Morgan got Klaus calling people “sweetheart” and “using terms of affection in really creepy ways.”
That's all, folks…