What if the Originals family wasn’t immortal? Sure, it seems like a silly question now, but in a recent Entertainment Weekly article, Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec let us in on the biggest debates of the TVD writers’ room over the last five seasons, including whether or not the Original family should be immortal. Which, obviously, led us down the Rabbit Hole of Television What-Ifs. What if the Originals hadn’t been immortal?

They would probably all be dead

Let’s get this one right out of the way. The Original family started on TVD as the full-on villains of the show. And what do villains, generally, eventually do on television programs: die. Julie admitted that TVD fully intended to kill Klaus at the end of Season 3, if the network hadn’t intervened: “And Klaus, we were going to kill at the end of season 3 because he was the villain, and if your heroes can’t vanquish your villain then what the hell good are your heroes for? When we started pitching that, the studio and the network had a heart attack. They looked at us and they said look guys, from a strictly studio network point of view, it is so rare that you get a character and an actor like this that connects with the audience, that breaks out, that the actor is so talented and works so well on this show. If you kill him, you are making a major mistake.”

Wow. You hear a lot from television creators about the ways in which a network can ruin their show, force them into narrative decisions that don’t make sense. It’s refreshing to hear a story that makes the opposite point. Well done, television bigwigs.

Klaroline would not have happened

A world with Klaus dead at the end of the third season is a world without Klaroline, and that is not a world we want to live in. No Klaus-drawn horse pictures. No dress-giving. No adorable-reading-of-Caroline’s-Miss-Mystic-Falls-application scenes. And worst of all, no 100th episode steamy Klaroline hookup. Guys, this ship may allegedly be docked (though, truth be told, we’re not completely buying that, and neither are the Klaroline fans), but we’ll always have these moments. If the Original family weren’t immortal, Klaus would have died a total baddie known only for killing Aunt Jenna. Which, yes, he’s still terrible. But...he paints pictures of giant snowflakes! We never would have known that! (Oh, and p.s., if Klaus had died circa Season 3, then Tyler wouldn’t have had to break up with Caroline to go revenging in his mother’s name, which means Forwood might still be a thing. Is it wrong that we’re willing to pay the Carol Lockwood price for the Originals’ continued existence? R.I.P., Carol. Thanks for taking one for the team.)

The Originals would never have happened

And, finally, the biggest and most grievous changes in a TVD legacy without an immortal Original family? We likely never would have gotten our new favorite show: The Originals, aka the spin-off to end all spin-offs. We wouldn’t know Marcel or Davina or realize that the French Quarter is secretly run by vampires and witches and Father Kieran. Worst of all, we never would have discovered that Elijah and Klaus hold vampire book club or that Rebekah started her very own Louisiana holiday. Yes, the world without an immortal Original family is truly a dark place.

Can you think of any other ways the TVD mythology would have changed if the Original family hadn’t been immortal? Sound off in the comments below!

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!