When Calls the Heart showrunner reveals if Daniel Lissing is returning after finale bombshell

Daniel Lissing on When Calls the Heart.
Is Daniel Lissing returning to When Calls the Heart? Pic credit: Hallmark

When Calls the Heart staged quite the return to form with Season 11, which set the wheels in motion for Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and Nathan’s (Kevin McGarry) reunion.

Despite getting close in the past, Elizabeth had moved on with Lucas (Chris McNally).

Because nothing’s ever plain-sailing on the Hallmark hit, Elizabeth called off her romance with Lucas last season.

As a result, the series has focused on her rekindling things with Nathan this season, and the relatively subdued storyline has allowed them to understand each other on a different level.

Sunday’s season finale found the pair debuting as a couple at Mike and Mei’s wedding, and they looked so good in doing so.

While the episode was slower paced than prior finales, it ended with a shocking cliffhanger that threatens to send shockwaves through Hope Valley on When Calls the Heart Season 12.

Just as Elizabeth and Nathan’s love story was heating up, a face from Nathan’s past returned to reveal something about the late Jack Thornton.

Is Daniel Lissing returning to When Calls the Heart?

Daniel Lissing played Jack, Elizabeth’s first husband, in the series’ first five seasons.

However, his arc concluded with Jack being killed off in one of the series’ most shocking moments.

Hargraves asked to speak with Elizabeth during the Season 11 finale and said the following:

“Mrs. Thornton, it’s about your late husband.”

With such a cliffhanger, we believe that there’s a chance Jack somehow survived the landslide on When Calls the Heart Season 5.

Although his body was apparently found, many fans have been holding on to hope that he could return.

The finale certainly left us with teases about bringing him back, but series showrunner Lindsay Sturman is scuttling any notion of a return for the character.

In an interview with TV Guide, the executive revealed that “Jack is not coming back.”

Instead, Sturman said the show intended to “keep his memory alive.”

The mention of Jack complicates Elizabeth and Nathan’s relationship

“From the beginning of the show, it was a story about widows and for Little Jack, as he’s hitting these milestones growing up, how does Elizabeth keep Jack alive for Little Jack and hold his memory and the complexity of that when she’s in a new relationship? Sturman adds.

“It was a way to complicate [Elizabeth and Nathan’s] new situation, which ends on a sweet note and then, oh no, there’s this new complexity. It can’t always be simple.”

Despite the revelation that Daniel Lissing is not coming back, the character of Jack could, of course, cause something huge to happen.

The very mention of her late husband had Elizabeth’s attention, so of course, there had to be a payoff during When Calls the Heart Season 12.

The good news is that the series scored a very early renewal, and filming has already been underway for a while, so theoretically, we shouldn’t have to wait too long for the next season.

The likely scenario is that it will premiere in the first quarter of 2025, but that could depend on when The Way Home Season 3 airs.

Monsters and Critics will keep you updated on the latest updates, so stay tuned.

When Calls the Heart is currently on hiatus. Season 12 is expected to premiere on Hallmark in 2025.

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