Vampire Academy Showrunners on What's Next for Lissa and Rose

Peacock's Vampire Academy concluded its first season this week and the season finale, "Ascension", saw a lot of changes for just about everyone at St. Vladmir's — but especially Lissa Dragomir (Daniela Nieves) and Rose Hathaway (Sisi Stringer). After a season of challenges and changes for the two friends, the finale sets the stage for even bigger shifts to come and now showrunners Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre are talking about what's next for the pair.

Warning: spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Vampire Academy, "Ascension", below.

The season finale of Vampire Academy ends with Lissa and Rose fleeing the Dominion in the wake of the attack on St. Vladmir's. Despite being named Queen Marina's eventual heir, following her death by poisoning and Tatiana Vogel's seizing of the crown, Lissa is a wanted woman and the only place "safe" for her and Rose to go is out in the human world — at least for now. But all of that is further complicated with the brief return of Lissa's brother, Andre who manages to tell Lissa that Tatiana isn't who she claims to be and gives her a mysterious wooden coin of sorts before he's taken from her once again, attacked by a strigoi right in front of her. And as for Rose, right before she and Lissa head out into the human world, she. not only is hugged by her mother Janine, but she's given a card with a number and told that if the two of them need anything while out in the world to call it because that number? Connects them to Rose's father, a man she's never met and doesn't even know who he is. It's a lot to deal with, for both characters, but they ultimately head out into the world together — and for Plec and MacIntyre, it was important to give Lissa and Rose that win.

"I just want to add one thing to all of the drama that we heaped on for Lissa in the finale, she also gets the win as being as close to Rose as she's ever been with after what they've been through, which is the core relationship of the show," MacIntyre told "So, to me, if somehow all that led to her not being with Rose at the end of the episode, it'd be too devastating. We couldn't do that."

"I loved the evolution of Lissa in the books, but it was told through Rose's point of view," Plec said. "And so, we got to see it in pieces. We didn't get to be on the ride with her all along. And so being able to give her own ride, her own journey and to escalate it and accelerate it in the first season so that what we're doing is really showing the birth of a revolutionary from pampered pretty girl to revolutionary. So, Lissa's one of my favorite characters for that reason."

And for Rose, it's the evolution of family that is such a big component of things.

"I would say what I found satisfying is to have that awkward hug. Which is this beautiful payoff from the stress and tension and their relationship that is so fraught for reasons that are as much about the system they live in as anything to do with them as the individual women that they are," MacIntyre said. "That system has been put upon them that has made all the stresses between them. And now they're both fighting against that system essentially in this episode. They both know it. And so that hug is this thing that she's probably wanted all of her life. And the one that Janine, her mother, probably could never give her because maybe she'd never let her go. She's still a mom, she cares, you can tell. So, she finally has this moment of connection and in some way resolution with her mother.  And we've heard [Rose] say, when she's talking to Dimitri, 'half of us don't even know who our father is, it doesn't matter". And then just as it gets good with her mother, 'Hey, by the way.' So, it's got to be mind-blowing."

"In the first episode, Lissa says [to Rose], 'I lost my parents, but they were your family, too,'" Plec added. "Rose says 'they were literally the only family I've ever known.' So, in the beginning of the season, Rose has nothing. And at the end she has a renewed relationship with her mom and the hint of a promise about her dad, whatever that leads to."

The first season of Vampire Academy is now streaming on Peacock.