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The Original Vampires, known as "The Originals", are the world's first vampires from which all current vampires descend from and most dangerous in the fictional universe of The Vampire Diaries. They were created through an occult blood ritual performed by their powerful witch mother, Esther, due to Henrik's death. She turned her husband, Mikael, and her five children, (Elijah, Finn, Niklaus, Rebekah, and Kol) into vampires in the ancient times, in order to protect them from werewolves.
The Original Family comes from 10th century Viking era Europe, probably Norway or Sweden because in the episode "Après Moi, Le Déluge", Elijah is explaining that where his mother came from, witches were called häxa, both the Norwegian and Swedish word for witch. They traveled to the Americas in order to escape a plague that had overcome their home, killing their son.
Mikael was the patriarch of the Original Family. He is portrayed by Sebastian Roché.
Mikael was searching for Klaus and the rest of his family for a thousand years. He desired to kill Klaus, in order to get revenge for his wife's infidelity. He also never liked Klaus, as he was the product of an affair Klaus' mother had with a werewolf. As such, Mikael was condescending, cold, and abusive towards Klaus. This treatment contributed greatly to Klaus' narcissism, hunger for power, and psychosis.
Mikael was imprisoned in a coffin by Bonnie's mother Abby, when he came to Mystic Falls looking for Elena when she was a small child. He wanted to kill the Petrova doppelgänger in order to prevent Klaus from breaking the curse and creating a hybrid army. Katherine awoke him in order to get information on how to kill Klaus.
Klaus eventually killed Mikael in a bizarre series of events that were supposed to have resulted in the death of Klaus himself.
When the Originals throw a ball in order to introduce themselves to the Mystic Falls community, they use the last name "Mikaelson", as a tribute to the patriarch. Ironically, Klaus also refers to himself as Mikaelson, despite his deep resentment of Mikael.
She was not a vampire, but was a powerful witch. She was the apprentice of one of the world's most powerful witches, Ayanna, during her first years in America. Esther was responsible for turning her family into vampires. She did so by summoning life from the sun and immortality from a White Oak tree, then making them drink the blood of Tatia Petrova, the original Petrova, before having Mikael kill them.
She was referred to as "The Original Witch", though she was not the first witch in the world. This was a reference to the fact that she was the witch who was a part of the Original Family.
Esther was murdered by Klaus in the 10th century, because she used her powers, and those of some other fellow witches, to suppress his werewolf abilities and bind them to the moonstone through the use of a curse, and for making him the target of Mikael's hatred through her affair. Esther comes back to life during season 3 of the show, when she was awakened by Bonnie and Abby Bennett. Esther tries to kill all of her vampire children, whom she now believes to be abominations after seeing the violence that they embody. She obtains the help of her son Finn, who becomes willing to be sacrificed in order to end the pain that his siblings bring to the world. Esther also seeks the help of Bonnie Bennett and her mother Abby (descendants of the powerful ancient witch Ayanna) by channelling them and their blood line, in order to gain more power to perform the spell that will kill her children. However, Esther's son Elijah finds out about the plan, and teams up with his siblings to force the Salvatore brothers to prevent his mother from killing the family by kidnapping Elena and threatening to kill her if the Salvatores do not stop Esther's endeavours. Damon ends up turning Bonnie's mother into a vampire, which ends her witch abilities and thus destroys the spell. Esther then flees from Mystic Falls to avoid her family.
In the season three episode, "Heart of Darkness", Esther returns to Mystic Falls. She tells Rebekah that she was dying, and wanted to see her daughter one last time; however, she had ulterior motives for returning. She grabs Rebekah's hands, and performs a spell in order to switch bodies with Rebekah, using her as a cover for safety. Esther was desperate to stay safe from Klaus and her other Original Vampire children who want her dead after learning of her plans to kill them all and ending the vampire race. After she returns to her own body, she was killed by Alaric's normal self, but not before she successfully performs the ritual on his dark side, and her body was put back into its coffin by Klaus.
Elijah is the oldest son of the Original Family. He is portrayed by Canadian actor Daniel Gillies.
Elijah first appears in episode eight of season two, entitled "Rose". Elijah is brought into the Vampire Diaries circle by two vampires named Rose and Trevor. They make a deal to be allowed immunity from Elijah and the Originals, if they hand over Elena Gilbert, the new Petrova doppelgänger. It is later revealed that Rose and Trevor were the vampires who failed to keep Katerina Petrova (Katherine Pierce) alive for Klaus to sacrifice in the ritual required to release his werewolf abilities. They were subsequently hunted by Klaus and Elijah for centuries. Elijah was in love with Katerina in 1492 and tried to save her from Klaus; however, she did not trust Elijah and chose to flee, which broke his heart. Therefore, he chose to punish her by compelling her to stay in a tomb.
Elena is rescued by the Salvatore brothers not long after Elijah kills Trevor, who had betrayed Elijah in the past by helping Katerina escape. The Salvatores attack Elijah and succeed in staking him; however, he comes back to life at the end of the episode. Elijah then works with a witch to locate Elena. The witch is able to locate her, so he goes to Mystic Falls to confront her, where he ends up saving her from a group of vampires who also wanted to take Elena. It is revealed that those vampires wanted to hand her over to Klaus. When Elijah discovers this, he makes peace with Elena and her friends, because he wants to use Elena as bait to draw out Klaus and kill him. He thus makes a deal with Elena that if she helps him kill Klaus, he will leave her friends alone. However, he intends for Elena to be successfully sacrificed as once Klaus breaks the curse and starts transforming, he will be left vulnerable enough to be killed. During a series of events, Elijah is "killed" when Elena stabs him with the dagger that can kill an Original.
When Klaus comes to town, Elena un-daggers Elijah, and he then reveals to her his family's history and the fact that Klaus killed the rest of his siblings. Elijah thus at first tries to help Elena and her friends kill Klaus, but ends up saving him instead in the season two finale episode, because Klaus promises to take Elijah to their family if Elijah spares him. In season three, however, it is revealed that Klaus double-crossed Elijah once again, and daggered him.
In season three, Stefan, Elena, Bonnie and Damon work together to un-dagger all of Klaus's family, because they believe that one or all of them can help kill Klaus. Elijah is thus released once more and frees his siblings and they proceed to seek their revenge on Klaus. However, before they can make their move, Esther reappears and convinces the siblings to be a family again, which later turns out to be a front for her true motives. After Elijah foils his mother's plans to kill him and his siblings, he leaves Mystic Falls a tortured soul, ashamed of his own barbaric actions and those of his family's.
He is shown to be one of the most sophisticated and peaceful of the Original siblings, alongside Finn. He is normally kind, caring and selfless. He is the most compromising regarding Elena and her friends. Elijah and Elena develop a sort of understanding during the series, and Elena comes to be fond of Elijah's company. She thus feels especially betrayed when Elijah threatens to allow Rebekah to kill Elena if the Salvatore brothers are not able to stop Esther Mikaelson from killing the Original Family. However, in the 18th episode of season 3, Elena professes that she hopes that her vampire friends are descended from Elijah's bloodline, so that he can be spared.
Elijah returns to town in the season three finale episode, "The Departed", in order to make a deal with Elena and her friends. Elijah proposes that he be allowed to take Klaus's desiccated body with him and his siblings and leave town, and in exchange, he would make sure that Klaus would not be resurrected within Elena's lifetime or even that of her children. However, Klaus is staked, and Elijah and Rebekah believe him to be dead, even though Klaus actually switched bodies with Tyler Lockwood and lives on; thus, even though his body burns to ashes, none of his bloodline are affected. The same episode confirms that Klaus was the one who created the bloodlines of Rose, Katherine, the Salvatores, Caroline, Tyler and Abby Bennett and elena .
Finn was the second oldest son of the Original Family. He is portrayed by Casper Zafer.
Unlike most of his siblings, he is seemingly morally sound. He wishes to put an end to the evil and pain that his siblings have created. Thus, Finn agrees with his mother's viewpoint that he and all of his siblings are abominations. His mother regrets creating them all and wants to kill them. Finn tries to help her do this by offering to be a sacrifice and letting his mother kill him. This would in turn result in the deaths of all of his siblings, as they are all linked through a spell Esther has performed.
Finn was responsible for turning the 900-year-old vampire, Sage, with whom he is in love. Sage and Finn reunite shortly before his death.
He is killed in the season 3 episode "The Murder of One", when Stefan, Elena and Matt kill him, thinking that it will kill all of the Originals due to their "linked" status. However, Klaus manages to force Bonnie into unlinking the siblings moments before Finn is killed. It is revealed through Finn's death that when an Original dies, all vampires of his or her bloodline die as well.
After the Original couple moved to the Americas, Klaus's mother had an affair with a member of the neighbouring werewolf tribe. Niklaus was born as a result. The mother's infidelity was later revealed.
When Esther turned the family into vampires, Klaus' blood-lust became particularly strong and he transitioned into a hybrid after his first kill, due to his werewolf gene. However, Esther later bound his werewolf powers to the moonstone, due to her believing that his hybrid status made him an "abomination". In order to obtain his werewolf abilities, Klaus had to perform a ritual in which a werewolf, a vampire and a Petrova doppelgänger had to be sacrificed. Klaus first hunted Katerina Petrova, later known as Katherine Pierce, who was from the line of supernatural Petrova doppelgängers. In order to avoid being sacrificed by Klaus and allowing him to gain infinite power, Katerina drinks the blood of a vampire and then kills herself in order to transform into a vampire. She then becomes useless to Klaus because his ritual requires a human doppelgänger. Katherine subsequently spends centuries on the run from Klaus, who is enraged at her actions. As a result, Klaus kills her entire family.
Continuing his quest to release his werewolf abilities, Klaus compels Isobel Saltzman to locate the latest Petrova doppelgänger, Elena Gilbert, her own daughter. Klaus is then able to perform the ritual. He sacrifices Tyler Lockwood's werewolf friend, Jules, and turns Jenna Sommers into a vampire before killing her. Finally, Klaus drains Elena of blood (though she lives thanks to a sacrifice made by her biological father, John Gilbert) and thus completes the ritual, becoming a fully functional vampire-werewolf hybrid.
A major plot line of the show is Klaus' quest to create a hybrid army. Klaus can only sire other hybrids by using the blood of the supernatural Petrova doppelgänger, Elena Gilbert. Thus, he is often a threat to Elena and is a major kill target for the Salvatore brothers.
At one point, Klaus blackmails Stefan into helping him create more hybrids, by threatening to kill his brother Damon. Klaus forces Stefan to return to his old, deadly ways, and returns Stefan to the Salvatore's former sociopathic persona, known as "The Ripper". When Klaus discovers that he needs Elena's blood to create his hybrid army, he sends Stefan back to Mystic Falls to keep an eye on her, but also forces Stefan to turn off his humanity (an ability that vampires have on the show). Tyler Lockwood ends up becoming Klaus' first hybridized victim.
It is also revealed that Klaus murdered his own mother, because she suppressed his werewolf powers through a curse, and because he blames her for making him the target of Mikael's hatred by her conception of him through an affair. When his sister Rebekah learns of this, she initially disowns him. However, when Elena's friends release Klaus' family from their coffins, Rebekah forgives him, though only after their mother convinces them that she wants them to reunite as a family.
Klaus' humanity is shown very rarely. His affection for Caroline Forbes represents a more human side to Klaus, such as when he invites her to his family's ball, sending her a gown to wear. Glimpses of his humanity can also be seen in regard to his siblings, such as when he saves his little sister's life when Kol was about to stab her with the white oak stake, in spite of the fact that he had previously disowned her and the two were at odds, or when he became infuriated over his brother Kol's death. There are also small instances when it's revealed how deeply he cares for his unborn child, and even the child's mother Hayley.
In the season three episode, "Before Sunset", Klaus is temporarily "killed" by the Salvatores and Tyler Lockwood. He tries to kill Elena by draining her of all her blood in order to kill two birds with one stone: (1) have a supply of her blood with which to create a hybrid army, (2) kill the vampire form of the vampire-hating Alaric Saltzman, who desires to kill Klaus and all other vampires and whose life is tied to Elena's by the witch Esther. Subsequently, Elena's friends neutralize Klaus in order to protect her. Instead of staking him, which could potentially kill them all (see "Mythology" section), the Salavatore brothers use Bonnie's magic and a dark spell to stop Klaus' heart, which "desiccates" him and leaves him immobile and starved of blood, and thus in a seemingly "dead" state. A similar spell was performed on Klaus' father, Mikael, by Bonnie's mother, Abby Bennett. In the season three finale episode "The Departed", Klaus is staked in his coffin by the vampire form of Alaric Saltzman, and subsequently, his body burns to ashes, (see "Mythology" section). However, Klaus lives on by switching bodies with Tyler Lockwood, through a spell which Bonnie Bennett performs. In "Bring It On" Klaus sleeps with Hayley Marshall and provides her with information in regards to her family, because he noticed a crescent moon shaped birthmark on her shoulder. In "The Originals" the backdoor pilot for the spinoff show, Klaus is told that Hayley is carrying his child, by a group of witches which blackmail him in helping them or they will kill the child and Hayley. Klaus decides he wants this child. So he vows to protect Hayley and their Unborn child, whatever it takes.
In "500 Years of Solitude", Klaus returns to Mystic Falls when he hears that Katerina Petrova is on her death bed. At first, he came back to gloat over her corpse, but when Caroline asks him not to, he obeys. Later, he asks Caroline for her confession about her feelings for him, and the two have a one-night stand in the forest, only after he promises to leave and never return. Caroline does not come back until late at night.
Kol is the youngest surviving son of the Original Family, since the death of his younger brother Henrik and the second youngest child still living, being older than Rebekah. He is portrayed by Australian actor Nathaniel Buzolic
He tries to kill Matt Donovan for entertainment during the Originals' family ball, but is stopped by Damon Salvatore.
In the season three episode, "Heart of Darkness", Kol appears in Denver, Colorado, where Elena and Damon had sent Jeremy, to get him away from Mystic Falls and protect his life. He threatens to hurt Jeremy, in order to prevent Elena and Damon from trying to find out the history of Damon's blood line, (if they managed to do so, they might find out that Elena's friends are not descended from Kol, which would allow them to kill him—see "Mythology" section). Damon drives a baseball bat through Kol's body in order to debilitate him so that he, Elena, and Jeremy can escape. Kol later appears at the house of Mary Porter, the vampire who sired Rose. Kol kills Mary, so that she is not able to tell Elena and Damon about the history of her bloodline, which could lead them to find out which Original vampire Damon, Stefan, Caroline and Abby Bennett are descended from; (Mary sired Rose, Katherine Pierce forced Rose to sire her, and Katherine later sired Damon and Stefan; Damon sired Caroline, Abby and Elena).
In season four, Kol returns to aid Rebekah in finding the rumoured "cure" for vampirism. He tortures Professor Shane, who supposedly knows how to get the cure. When Kol realizes that Shane plans to release Silas, the first and most dangerous immortal being of all time, Kol stabs Shane through the torso with a wooden object, killing him. However, Bonnie is able to save Shane's life through an "expression", or dark magic spell.
Kol compels Damon to kill Jeremy so that they cannot find Silas, but Stefan locks Damon away so that he cannot. Elena and Jeremy decide to try and kill Kol because he is trying to stop them from getting the cure. Since Jeremy needs to kill vampires to complete the map to the cure, they conclude that if they kill Kol, which also kills his whole line of vampires, the map will be complete.
Elena lures Kol into the house and waits for Jeremy to bring Bonnie, but he does not make it in time. Elena and Jeremy are talking later when Kol appears, storms into the house and tries to cut off Jeremy's hunting arm. Elena corners him and showers him in water mixed with vervain. Jeremy stabs Kol with the white oak stake and he dies. Meanwhile Klaus is watching furiously in the doorway, unable to help his brother because he has not been invited in. He vows to avenge his brother's death, swearing to kill Jeremy, Elena and anyone else involved.
Kol returned in the season four episode "The Walking Dead", along with several deceased characters as ghosts, longing for revenge against their killers and the residents of Mystic Falls. He clashes once more Matt Donovan, wounding him by throwing a glass bottle at his shoulder and taunting his sister, angered at her brief grieving period, before proceeding to attack Elena, grieving for her brother at his grave. His neck is snapped by Stefan before he managed to kill Elena, however appears in the next episode, "Graduation", threatening Bonnie into completely destroying the veil so he could return to life. Bonnie plays along with his plan, however deceives him by luring him into a trap, so he can't cause any more harm until the veil is returned.
Rebekah is the only daughter of the Original Family. She is currently the youngest member of the original family since Henrik died over a thousand years ago. She is portrayed by Australian actress Claire Holt.
She and her living siblings, Elijah, Finn, Klaus and Kol were turned into vampires by their parents, Esther and Mikael Mikaelson. Their father slipped human blood into their wine then stabbed them all. Then, their mother who is an original witch, performed a spell using white oak ash for eternal life. When they woke, their father forced them to drink human blood. The intention of turning them into vampires was so that they could survive in their village and be stronger and faster and even more vigilant than the werewolves, who killed their youngest son. However, the great hunger and lust for blood was a bad effect that their parents didn't plan on. Vervain, a plant by the white oak tree burned as did sunlight which caused them to be forced to wear daylight rings or necklaces. The only thing that can really kill an original is a white oak stake, while a dagger dipped in white oak ash can kill them until the dagger is pulled out and they come back.
Rebekah shares a deep bond with her brother Klaus, and was the only family member that remained loyal to him throughout his vicious behaviour. Klaus thus kept her by his side, while he kept the rest of his family daggered and stored away in boxes for hundreds of years.
She had a romantic interest in Stefan Salvatore during their encounters in the early 1920s. During that time period, Klaus and Rebekah are once again forced to go on the run after the arrival of their vengeful father Mikael. Consequently, Rebekah professes an interest to stop running and desires to live a stable life with Stefan by her side. Klaus subsequently forces her to choose between himself and Stefan. She chooses the latter, leading Klaus to dagger her. He brings her back to life during the period in which the show takes place, in order to obtain her necklace (which is originally Esther's). The same necklace is gifted to Elena by Stefan during the series first season. Rebekah and Klaus thus head to Mystic Falls. Rebekah develops a deep hatred and envy of Elena, and continually tries to hurt, kill, and emotionally distress her, until her brother makes her stop. Later on, Rebekah tries to be Elena's friend and helps with her and her friends' plan to kill Klaus once she found out he killed her mother but is betrayed once again daggered by Elena, to simplify the Salvatores' plans of killing Klaus. In season three, Klaus makes Elena reveal Rebekah's location, and takes her body with him. She is eventually un-daggered by Elijah.
During her time in Mystic Falls, Rebekah enrols at the local high school, much to the disgust of Elena and her friends. There, she at first makes romantic advances towards Tyler Lockwood, Caroline Forbes' boyfriend. She later develops a fondness for Matt Donovan, and invites him to her family's ball.
Rebekah is shown to be lonely and insecure, though she hides this by being cruel and violent. This is demonstrated quite well through her sexual rendezvouses with Damon Salvatore, an enemy of her family, and the subsequent torture she makes him endure upon being betrayed and used by him.
Her mother Esther comes back and tells Rebekah and her siblings she wants them to unite and become a family again. However, she really came to kill them all by linking them with a spell that would cause each sibling to die only by killing one of them. Klaus forces Bonnie to undo the spell but Elena and the Salvatores and others kill Finn, Rebekah's brother.
Rebekah's body is temporarily taken over by her witch mother, Esther, through a spell which Esther performs. She invades Rebekah's body in order to be able to go unnoticed while scheming to kill all of her Original children, (who are out for her blood, ever since they discovered that she tried to kill them by a blood-linking spell at the family ball). Esther later leaves Rebekah's body and stakes her; however, Klaus restores Rebekah to full vitality by removing the stake.
Rebekah supposedly leaves Mystic Falls in the season three episode "Before Sunset", in order to avoid the vampiric version of Alaric Saltzman, who wants to kill her and all other vampires. However, she then returns to Mystic Falls after witnessing the supposed "death" of her brother. Grief-stricken, she decides to kill Elena, therefore killing Alaric and taking away the last threat to her and her family therefore saving her family. She causes both Elena and Matt Donovan to drive off of the Wickery Bridge and into the lake to drown, and Elena dies, along with Alaric. However, Elena had vampire blood in her system, something Rebekah was unaware of.
In season four, Rebekah is yet again daggered by Klaus, after he believes she will be an obstacle in finding The Cure. However, she is then un-daggered by April Young, and sets upon finding it herself. After developing a 'no strings attached' relationship with Stefan, she reveals she wants to be human, feeling miserable as a vampire.
Henrik was the child of Esther and Mikael. He was killed by werewolves a thousand years ago, before the family had been turned into vampires. He is portrayed by Devon Allowitz in season three.
Being the oldest and most powerful, Originals are stronger and faster than all normal vampires. Also, werewolves prove little to no challenge for them, even in their wolf form (where they are at their strongest). Originals have the power to "compel" or hypnotize ordinary vampires in addition to humans, though they cannot compel each other.
Nothing can kill an Original Vampire, except for a heart-aimed stake made only of the ancient White Oak tree. If an Original is stabbed in that way, he or she will die and burn to ashes. Using a silver dagger dipped in the ashes of the White Oak tree will cause the Original to be neutralized as long as the dagger remains within them; however, that type of dagger would not work on Klaus due to his hybrid nature, and only a pure White Oak stake could kill him. Other stakes temporarily disable Originals, but they recuperate in moments, (as demonstrated through Elijah pulling out the wooden stake that Damon plunges into his chest when he attempts to rescue Elena from Rose and Trevor).
When an Original dies, all of the vampires from his or her blood line die as well. This is demonstrated when Damon, Stefan, Elena and Matt kill Finn, resulting in the deaths of Sage and Troy, (Finn had sired Sage and Sage had sired Troy, thus creating a blood line). Thus, if all Originals were to be killed, the entire vampire species would be rendered extinct, since all the vampires in the world are descended from the Originals.
However, it is necessary for the Original's spirit to cross the veil, in order for his or her bloodline to follow suit. In the season three finale episode "The Departed", Klaus manages to switch bodies with Tyler Lockwood before being staked and lives on; thus, even though his body supposedly burnt to ashes, none of his bloodline are affected.
On January 11, 2013, it was announced that a back-door pilot focused on the Originals, starring Joseph Morgan as Klaus titled The Originals will air April 25th for a potential series pick-up for the 2013-2014 season. This second spin-off attempt is carried out by Julie Plec. There is no involvement by Kevin Williamson.
On February 2013, it was announced that Daniella Pineda was cast as the witch Sophie for episode 4x20 of the CW's hitseries The Vampire Diaries. This episode serves as a backdoor-pilot for a possible spin-off series, revolving around the Originals and taking place in the French Quarter of New Orleans. If the series gets picked up for the 2013-2014 season, she'd be a regular cast member.
On February 11, 2013 it was announced that Leah Pipes was cast as the human Camille. Although there has been talk of a love triangle between Elijah and Klaus with this bartender/college student, it has yet to be validated or confirmed.