‘The Originals’ Star Daniel Gillies Teases Elijah’s Future and Life Without the Mikaelsons (Exclusive)

Daniel Gillies The Originals Elijah
Annette Brown/The CW

It’s a whole new chapter for Elijah Mikaelson.

As the final season of The Originalsbegins getting down to its most intense and heartbreaking moments, Wednesday’s episode, “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” showed fans what the suave suit-wearing vampire has been up to since his memory was erased by Marcel (Charles Michael Davis).

The emotional ride saw Elijah relearning his vampire ways, meeting his new love interest, Antoinette (Jaime Murray), rejecting his brother, Klaus (Joseph Morgan), and shedding his Mikaelson name for good.

ET spoke with Daniel Gillies about the events in the third episode, his transformation as “E” and what Elijah’s future looks like.

“I prefer to be in the suits. I like them tremendously,” Gillies tells ET over the phone about Elijah’s stylish outfits in the episode, adding that he regularly dresses “like a homeless person” and uses the suits to get into character. “It’s an immediate character transition where you’re getting ready to play the role. You put it on and you suddenly feel like this other animal. It’s unique in that way, I love it. That’s how he’s known.”

The Originals Elijah Daniel Gillies
The CW

As the new Elijah awakens, all his memories, including that he’s a vampire, get destroyed, but he slowly starts figuring out more about himself.

“It’s interesting to see what returns to him, and we just had to collectively make the decision that he has a degree of muscle memory,” Gillies explains. “He’s cannibalistic, he’s immediately consuming people. That alone can be disturbing. It was strange because he has basic education, he understands how to speak and communicate.”

One thing that the revived Elijah was certain about was leaving his old life as a Mikaelson behind. The final scene features him taking off his daylight ring, opening the curtains and being engulfed in flames as he rids himself of the past.

“That’s badass, he’s quite literally shedding his own skin,” Gillies boasts. “He’s not a Mikaelson anymore. He doesn't have any memory of that. He doesn't have any allegiance to that. I think if he returns to being a Mikaelson, he returns to being discontent and lost inside that strange sickness that he has. Which is fine because that is what the show is. But, I don’t know, he’s not a Mikaelson at the moment.”

So is there anyone that can save Elijah and take him back to his family?

“As far as who can save him, I think he needs to make that decision himself,” the actor explains. “But then it depends on your definition of saving Elijah, because is it truly saving him returning him to his family? He seems pretty content where he is and he’s not being this sort of clinician who is constantly cleaning up after his incredibly destructive brother.”

“So, he might be more content where he is. Perhaps, saving him might be leaving him alone,” he continues. “It might be the only time that Elijah has ever made complete sense to me, during that speech.”

The Originals Daniel Gillies Elijah
Annette Brown/The CW

Meanwhile, Gillies says that Elijah is "either going to get his memories back or he isn’t."

"The whole purpose of him walking into amnesia was about the demolition of ‘always and forever.’ I think that he had to obliterate that and in doing that, it perished,” he explains. Now that we’re at “the beginning of the end” (as Gillies sums up the final season), Elijah is at a junction.

“He can either be where he is, in this sort of euphoric space living with this woman, away from his former family, which is an end in and of itself -- in terms of the way we understand the mythology of the show, given that he would no longer be a participant,” Gillies breaks it down. “Or, he returns to the Mikaelsons and peril ensues. We know that we’re at the end, we know that we are approaching the end of the show, so that's what it is.”

The Originals airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.


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