'legacies' cast
Source: The CW

The 'Legacies' Timeline Is Super Confusing, but We *Think* We Figured It Out

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Mar. 11 2021, Published 9:12 p.m. ET

The CW has been able to capitalize on The Vampire Diaries franchise since 2009, and since then, its universe has taken many twists, turns, and time jumps. Its second spinoff show, Legacies, is the only series still churning out new episodes. However, with overlapping timelines and multiple time jumps, Legacies takes place far in the future, but exactly what year does Legacies take place?

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To make matters even more confusing, the characters in Legacies do make references to their ages. However, this sometimes doesn’t line up with the timeline based on time jumps. So, which timeline is the true Legacies timeline? Let’s investigate.

legacies
Source: The CW
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We can figure out what year ‘Legacies’ takes place by when its main characters were born.

Legacies relies on the offspring of many of the original The Vampire Diaries characters (which is why they are called “legacies”). So, based on when the characters were born in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, we can figure out when Legacies takes place thanks to their current ages as stated by the show.

One of the main characters, Hope (Danielle Rose Russell), who is Klaus and Hayley’s daughter, was born in the first season of The Originals. This season, however, was simultaneous in canon to the fifth and sixth seasons of The Vampire Diaries. Based on that information and a very helpful Vampire Diaries wiki, we can gather that Hope was born on May 2, 2012. 

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legacies
Source: The CW

In The Originals, we learn that Hope is 15 years old when her parents die, and Legacies is supposed to pick up two years later, so that would make Hope 17 years old, which would place Legacies’ first season in 2029 or early 2030. In addition, Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and Josie (Kaylee Bryant) are born in the seventh season of The Vampire Diaries on March 15, 2014, according to canon. However, they celebrate their Sweet Sixteen in the first season of Legacies, which would then make the year 2030.

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There are some discrepancies of what year ‘Legacies’ takes place in because of the time jumps.

Even though we can surmise that Legacies takes place in 2030 based on the main characters’ ages who are born during The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, there are also many time jumps throughout those series that cause some inaccuracies in this. As we know, The Originals’ first season took place in 2012, and the first two seasons were continuous. Then there was about a five-year time jump after the third season, placing The Originals fourth season in 2019. 

From there, there was another major time jump in The Originals to give us a starting point for Legacies. Before its fifth and final season, there was a seven-year time jump in The Originals, which places its finale in 2026. If Legacies starts two years after The Originals ends, as is canon, then it would only be 2028, so there’s a two-year discrepancy.

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legacies
Source: The CW

However, one commenter so astutely points out that we don’t know exactly how long the fourth and fifth seasons of The Originals are, so even if the fourth season starts in 2019, it could end in 2020. Then, if there’s a seven-year time jump, the fifth season could start in 2027 and end in 2028. This would mean that two years later would be 2030, right on track to match up with Hope and the twins’ ages in Legacies.

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So far, there haven’t been any major time jumps in Legacies, so we can assume the third season takes place some time in 2031, since seasons are not full years in The Vampire Diaries canon. It is confusing, but at least we can all agree that Legacies takes place far in the future, and the characters we know and love are probably way younger than us.

Watch Legacies every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.

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