When Calls the Heart” has stirred hearts of faithful viewers into a fervent frenzy of loyalty ever since the Hallmark Channel drama made its 2014 premiere. “Hearties” do much more than tune in every Sunday night for the family-friendly saga that delves into the lives and loves of Hope Valley-- they make themselves heard on everything “When Calls the Heart”-related on social media.

The leading lady, Erin Krakow, who brings the affirming optimism and indubitable resolve to her character, Elizabeth Thornton, brought the announcement that Season 8 was secure during the Season 7 finale, “Don’t Go.” While the news made every “When Calls the Heart” fan overjoyed, the same cannot be said for the final few moments of the beloved series.

As reported by Showbiz CheatSheet on May 20, many fans felt that Elizabeth's rushing and relieved embrace of Constable Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry) was the moment of the season. In contrast, others steadfastly stand in the corner of the saloon owner, Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally) who already has declared his love for Elizabeth, and his commitment to everything important to her.

Wide Open Country offered a wrap-up of seven seasons of “When Calls the Heart” action and emotion on May 19, but the relationships and issues of Hope Valley’s cherished residents cannot be recounted in a few paragraphs. Only time will tell who truly and completely earns Elizabeth's heart, and the anticipation is part of the joy.

Men of ‘When Calls the Heart’ don’t feel anything is certain with Elizabeth

More than one faithful viewer declared that the final embrace was “the moment” that many “have been waiting for all season!” “I just hope it means what I want it to mean,” another watcher expressed.

During a candid and humorous talk with Deidre Behar of Entertainment Tonight last month, Chris McNally and Kevin McGarry related their feelings about the emotionally jolting scene.

Chris McNally related that the final embrace “takes his feet out from under him,” referring to Lucas. The actor describes that his character “didn't think those ties were that strong.”

Lucas allowed himself to be more vulnerable and open with Elizabeth than ever on their overnight trip to attend a lecture from Virginia Woolf.

He described how he came to Hope Valley because it was a good community to raise a family. He also described his father's patience in pursuing his mother, comparing Elizabeth as his own soulmate.

“I will wait as long as I have to to win your heart,” he assured Elizabeth as only her delighted escort as a friend. Their romantic dinner was one of the most unforgettable and beautifully intimate, without being untoward, in all of “When Calls the Heart” memory.

Kevin McGarry, on the other hand, describes how his character has been shaken by the loss of a fellow Mountie during a prisoner transfer. The “When Calls the Heart” protector is not in an emotional place to interpret the gesture fully. Only recently has he been able to speak “you matter to me” to Elizabeth after “he exploded” on the mountain, as McGarry, stressed.

Now that the communication hurdle has lessened, the actor hopes to probe more deeply into why he has such difficulty opening himself up to Elizabeth.

Erin Krakow is also an executive producer on “When Calls the Heart,” and the insightful actress elaborated that there were many meetings about the final scene and its implications, such as whether Lucas would even witness the embrace. In the end, he does see powerful emotional release, and as Chris McNally relates, “He has to rethink his whole situation,” after feeling confident that he had done all he could to pronounce his love.

Conflict and being counter-predictable could be fun for ‘When Calls the Heart’ fans

Whenever “When Calls the Heart” resumes production, it will be a day of rejoicing for both “Hearties” and all their beloved cast members.

TV Shows have been left hanging in limbo since early March with the self quarantined restrictions necessitated by the coronavirus crisis, so any semblance of normal life on the set will be a refreshing treat but may come later than anyone wishes.

Chris McNally would like to see some turbulence before the tender romance of ultimately wooing his soulmate. He doesn't mind if “things get messy” as he told ET before they get better between Lucas and Elizabeth. It's clearly evident that “Lucas is madly in love with her. Everything he does is for her,” as one fan posted. If buying the library, forwarding her book to his mother, filling the Hope Valley skies with lanterns, and his lavish declaration of love has not been proof enough, there's no telling what he plans next for his love.

One fan bemoans that the Hallmark Channel is “pretty predictable, and fears that another Mountie falls into the too pat category. Elizabeth’s response could have been a fearful reflex after reliving a situation much like the one that took her late husband.

One thing is certain, Elizabeth won’t be showing her affections anytime soon. When Behar asked if there was any talk of “sneaking in a kiss” on the dinner date with Lucas, Erin Krakow answered: “Not that I'm aware of, and I would've given a ‘hard No’,” in light of proper courtship in the era of the show, and the fact that Elizabeth isn't even ready to mention the word “date” yet. Season 8 will likely reveal the man she chooses, but there is no rush to a romantic deadline on “When Calls the Heart.”

Favorite friends still around on ‘When Calls the Heart’

Viewers have much more to celebrate in the coming season than Elizabeth’s willingness to love again.

Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith, who portray Rosemary and Lee Coulter, have both voiced their strong feelings that the Coulter’s family expansion is “deserved” and should be a prominent storyline throughout the coming “When Calls the Heart” season.

Andrea Brooks is half of another devoted couple, portraying nurse Faith Carter to Paul Greene’s Dr. Carson Shepherd. The two very openly declared their love with a kiss, and Carson encouraged Faith to pursue career training to become a doctor in Chicago. The on-screen absence will allow the real-life mom of an almost toddler to spend more time at home, but there is no official word that Brooks plans to depart from “When Calls the Heart.”

Fiona lost her job with the telephone company but not her love for Hope Valley at the end of Season 7.

Kayla Wallace adds savvy, spunk, and a touch of sass to her independent lady on “When Calls the Heart,” and her new path will be an adventure as it unfolds.

If that's not enough, newlyweds, Clara and Jesse (Eva Bourne and Aren Buchholz) will have more back-and-forth as they navigate love and life together. Henry Gowen (Martin Cummins) will need a kind soul to nurse him back to health and help him discover that he matters more than crude oil.

Season 8 of “When Calls the Heart” will take some patience, from the stars, the production team, the writers, the crew, and the millions of fans. Storytelling this rich is its own reward, however, and is always worth the wait.

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