'When Calls the Heart's Erin Krakow and Kevin McGarry Dish on Their Characters' Iconic First Kiss (Exclusive)

Erin Krakow and Kevin McGarry are breaking down their 'When Calls the Heart' characters' iconic kiss.

One of Hearties' most anticipated moments has officially happened! After seasons of build up, on Sunday's episode of When Calls the Heart, Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and Nathan (Kevin McGarryfinally kissed.

Before the long-awaited smooch, viewers saw Elizabeth pour her heart out to Nathan.

"I think it was Elizabeth's turn to finally tell him what I think everybody [has been] waiting to hear [since] three seasons ago when Nathan did it," McGarry told ET's Deidre Behar. "... He opens the conversation by coming and saying, 'I think moving further into a relationship will only jeopardize you and put you in danger.' I don't think he knew where it was going. It was Elizabeth, finally, who put her foot down [and] was like, 'I have to say this.'"

What followed was an epic declaration of love that was well worth the wait, Krakow told ET.

"I think that Elizbeth had gone through quite the journey of self-discovery and analysis and late-night chats with Rosemary. She did all of that work in season 10 to kind of figure out what she really wanted and what didn't feel right for her anymore," the actress said. "We spent so much of season 11 doing this dance of, 'Are those feelings still mutual? Should I put myself out there? I don't know.'"

"Finally, there was this moment in episode 11 where Elizabeth realized life is short. We have just experienced this hostage situation, it's time to move, and she could feel that Nathan needed that clarity from her before he was able to take a step forward again," Krakow continued. "She had to get some things off her chest."

While Krakow acknowledged that Elizabeth felt "vulnerable" while giving her speech, she noted, "Maybe it was her turn to experience that. Nathan has been so vulnerable with her in the past."

Given that, McGarry said, his character was stunned by Elizabeth's confession.

"As she was saying all these beautiful words to him, there was nothing to do but just sit in it presently," he said. "You can't believe that she's finally saying all these things that he wanted to hear for so many seasons, and yet he reacts the way that he does."

Nathan's response was to walk over to Elizabeth and kiss her.

"Five seasons coming, we finally got that moment!" McGarry exclaimed, before opening up about what it was like to kiss his real-life pal.

"We're professional actors and great friends, so it's part of the job," he said. "We both knew how important it was, so maybe there was a bit of nerves going into it. It was a new realm that we haven't really done yet."

From Krakow's perspective, Elizabeth and Nathan's smooch showed how meant to be the characters are.

"The dynamic completely changed once the pent up angst was finally gone and they were able to just kind of be themselves in front of each other, and fall into this easy relationship where they both knew what each other wanted," she said. "... It's all very easy at this point and earned, finally, because it's been so tense for so long."

As for what comes next for the characters, Krakow noted, "We've got to tell the kids."

"I think that they want to make sure they have approached the kids and talked it through first before they are making any kind of PDA," she said. "Elizabeth also wants to have a conversation with Lucas to make sure he doesn't feel disrespected by a sudden display of affection between Elizabeth and Nathan."

That conversation should be an easy one though, as McGarry quipped, "Most characters on this show are like, 'Yeah, we know. It's about time'... Like, this is going to surprise no one."

Once the cat's out of the bag, McGarry predicted that Elizabeth and Nathan will "be in the honeymoon phase for a little bit."

"When they're not in the honeymoon phase, I think both of them will go back to the roots of being helpers and protectors of the town, and they'll combine their strengths," he said. "That will dictate a lot of the storyline of those two characters going forward."

"What's so great about the relationship that Nathan and Elizabeth have had is a lot of it has been built on this strong foundation of friendship and support and this idea to help others," McGarry continued. "On top of the new romance, [that's] going to be a big part of season 12. We're going to see them combining their strength to move forward."

Krakow agreed, adding, "And then getting to see them starting to combine their families in some ways... I think there will be some lovely moments there."

"We have spent so much time seeing them as friends," she additionally noted. "We had this very slow burn for season 11, so we have only just had the opportunity to see them as a new couple briefly, so I think let's explore what that looks like for a while. Let's see them getting to know each other as boyfriend girlfriend."

When Calls the Heart airs Sundays on Hallmark Channel.