Landon finally grew in season 3 of The Originals spin-off Legacies, so why is the series now hinting at undoing the character arc he has undergone?
The Vampire Diaries spin-off Legacies was just beginning to emerge from the shadow of its predecessor The Originals by making Landon more self-sufficient and engaging in season 3, but the show now risks undoing this promising development. Debuting in 2018, Legacies is the third television series based on bestselling LJ Smith book series The Vampire Diaries.
Now in its third season, Legacies has largely failed to recapture the fan adoration that the original Vampire Diaries series and its first spin-off The Originals earned. As a spin-off of a spin-off, it is arguably inevitable that Legacies would struggle to feel fresh, but the story of Hope, Landon, and the rest of the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted has run into narrative issues unrelated to its origins since the show began.
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One of Legacies’ biggest issues is the show’s focus on Hope and Landon’s relationship, with the pair’s on-again-off-again romance dominating the story of the series for its first two seasons at the expense of fleshing out subplots and supporting characters. The relationship would not be so frustrating if Landon received more character development, but as it stands, the character spends most of the first two seasons as a dude-in-distress who needs Hope to save him from every perilous adventure of the week. However, Legacies recently made promising strides with Landon’s character, which makes it all the more disappointing that this apparent growth could be undone by the revelation that he’s not the “real” Landon.
Since Landon escaped the prison world, he has been a different character from the somewhat helpless deuteragonist of Legacies seasons 1 and 2. More confident and more capable, this new and improved Landon has proven more able to stand up for himself and has even been capable of pushing back against Hope when she needed it. Season 3 of Legacies has finally given Landon the story arc he needs (seemingly) and, as a result, his love interest has been respecting him as an equal, rather than treating him as someone fragile who will injure himself if left to his own devices. The relationship that had fallen into a tired routine over the last two seasons finally seemed to be picking up potential as Hope and Landon were placed on equal footing in this third season.
However, the most recent episode of Legacies threatened to undo this promising development by hinting that whoever (or whatever) it was that came out of the prison world is not Landon — or at least, is not Landon as the fellow students of the Salvatore School know him. If that does prove to be true in the coming episodes, the twist threatens to undermine the smartest choice that Legacies has made for its characters in a few seasons. Unlike The Vampire Diaries, Legacies focused on its central pair at the expense of the supporting cast, and fans hoping for more of Lizzie, Finch, and MG’s stories have been left to watch Hope and Landon’s familiar dynamic play out over and over. As a result, the apparent growth of Landon’s character into a more self-sufficient, proactive figure was exciting for the fandom, and if Legacies undoes this with a predictable twist, the series risks losing even more audience goodwill as a result.
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