The March 11 episode of The Originals ended with Rebekah Mikaelson (Claire Holt) driving off into the distance after being set free by her brother, Klaus (Joseph Morgan). But unlike she has in the past, this time Rebekah won't make a U-turn and head back into the chaos of New Orleans; this was the last fans will see of the character for the near future.
BuzzFeed has confirmed that Episode 16, the aptly titled "Farewell to Storyville," was Holt's final installment as a series regular. According to sources close to production, it was entirely the actress's decision to leave The Originals, but everyone involved with the freshman series hopes she might return for future guest appearances.
This revelation will undoubtedly come as a shock to fans since Rebekah is effectively the female lead of The Originals, and has been deeply interwoven into the show's complex mythology. In expanding upon Holt's character, who was a villainess for much of her time on The Vampire Diaries, The Originals had her forge a deep bond with werewolf Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and revealed her Romeo and Juliet-esque history with Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), a vampire sired by Klaus centuries earlier.
Holt's character was first introduced on The Vampire Diaries in 2011, and her initial three-episode Season 3 guest arc turned into much, much more. Eventually, the entire Mikaelson family — which, in addition to Klaus, also includes eldest brother Elijah (Daniel Gillies) — got its own series, The Originals, which began airing in September 2013. A source close to Holt told BuzzFeed that the actress never intended to play Rebekah for as long as she did.
Neither Holt nor The Originals creator Julie Plec would comment for this story.