"It's a very weird whirlwind of emotion," Joseph Morgan said of filming The Originals series finale, as he and the cast bid goodbye to characters that some of them have played for over seven years.

TV Guide spent the final days of shooting for The Originals' series finale on the show's Atlanta-based sound stages, talking with the cast about where the series has been, what it's meant and what they'd like the legacy (no pun intended) of the show to be moving forward. Most cast members where in a surreal state of disbelief that the show was actually coming to a close, and "bittersweet" was the word used most often when describing the tone on set as they all prepared to say goodbye to not only each other, but to the Mikaelson family and the little corner of New Orleans they'd carved out for themselves over the past five seasons. As they grew nostalgic about best moments of the series and fond memories making the show, it was hard not to get caught up in the emotion, especially whenever a raucous round of applause would carry over from another set, indicating yet another cast member had just wrapped their final scene of the series.

"There's a happy/sad moment," Nathaniel Buzolic explained, "because we know we're finishing something but we also know we're saying goodbye."

Watch The Originals Cast Give Touching Thank You to Fans

We all know the best way to say goodbye to family is around the dinner table with a whole lot of bourbon, a few absolutely outrageous stories, and maybe a few tears. One of the final scenes filmed of the series was exactly that, with all eight members of the Mikaelson family gathered together, sharing a scene that will no doubt be a highlight of not just the finale, but the series as a whole.

And at the end of the day, isn't that why we all came together to watch The Originals in the first place? To watch a family — even one as ancient and messed up as this one — come through all the craziness in order to share these little moments of love and laughter.

"The best thing I can say about this show and any kind of legacy I want it to represent is truly the power and the absurdity of family," said showrunner Julie Plec. "The one takeaway from this is family, always and forever."

The Originals airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

(Full Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, a parent company of The CW).

Joseph Morgan, <em>The Originals</em>Joseph Morgan, The Originals