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Friday in Review: A Goodbye to the Originals

Well, get ready for lots of sadness and nostalgia! Despite the new show Legacies continuing, well, the legacy of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, I feel like this is the end to an era for me. A little dramatic, I know, but really, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals changed me as a writer and helped me through a lot of difficult times in my life. Both of those shows gave me a distraction when things got hard.

***Spoiler Alert***

Where do I begin? I guess I should begin with this:

Always and Forever. That's the Mikaelson family motto. Even when they do horrible, awful things to each other, even when they hate and despise each other, they would still die for one another all because of that one promise they made together when they first became vampires. To stay together, to protect each other and love each other for always and forever.

I didn't start watching this show until like the second season I think? I was in the middle of the Vampire Diaries and had gotten past the season where The Originals branched off into their own spin-off before I gave it a try. At first I wasn't sure how I would like it. I loved Klaus and the entire Original family obviously, but it was much darker than The Vampire Diaries. More mature, with not as much drama and teen romance. But after the first few episodes I was hooked. It helped to already know so much about the Original family, to have already spent several seasons getting to know them. As I was rewatching The Originals before this final season ended it hit me just how... complex this show is. Yeah it's about vampires and is supernatural and not real, but they deal with real things, especially concerning family. There aren't a lot of shows out there that is at their core, about family.
That's what The Originals is all about. It's not about the romance or the drama or the violence. It's about family. A dysfunctional, centuries old family, but I mean, that's what happens isn't it? Could you imagine spending hundreds of years with your siblings? Most siblings can't stand to be in the same room as each other for ten minutes! So imagine being stuck with them forever! I love my brothers, we have a better relationship than most other siblings do, but I don't know... I think there would be a few problems we were stuck with each other for hundreds of years. I think I would go a little crazy. So it's no wonder the Original family has so many problems. Plus, through in two messed up parents and a crazy aunt, and you have the makings of a real disaster.

What made the show for me were all the complex relationships between the siblings. Its what made the show so compelling and unique. Like I said, there aren't many shows that revolve around a family. Not like this. You get to see all the different relationships between the different siblings and the ups and downs of those relationships. I think I'll start with one of the first relationships that truly became compelling and interesting: Rebekah and Klaus.
Their big brother, little sister bond started in The Vampire Diaries and throughout the entirety of The Originals Rebekah says time and again she was always the one to stand by him. Even when he did horrible things to her like kill off every single one of her boyfriends, dagger her and leave her in a coffin for centuries and pretty much make her life miserable for centuries, she always came back to him. She always forgave him and she always stayed with him and loved him because he was her big brother and even though he did horrible things to her, she couldn't stop loving him.
It's been interesting to see their relationship change and evolve over the years. In The Vampire Diaries Klaus was a demeaning, rather cruel big brother to her who did bad things for "her own good." He said mean things to her and made her feel lesser and never truly returned the love and devotion she gave to him.
By this last season he's a better big brother. He's willing to let her go. He wants her to be happy even if that means "leaving" his side and finding someone romantically speaking. He protects her and returns the love and devotion she's given to him for years. They have a better relationship.

I feel like learning about Elijah perfectly explains his relationship with Klaus and the deep, brotherly bond they have. He is totally an Enneagram 2. He is so completely selfless, one of the most selfless characters I have ever seen. He is devoted completely to his family, especially to Klaus. Devoted to keeping his family together, trying to right the many wrongs of his brother and heal them, find their redemption.
Throughout their time on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals he does nothing for himself. He doesn't allow himself to get close to anyone because he's so preoccupied with Klaus and Rebekah and all the craziness going on there.
Despite all the crap Klaus puts him through he remains at his side through all of it, pulling him back, putting him in his place, fighting by his side. All of it. He's always there and at the beginning Klaus just takes that for granted. He takes Elijah's love for him for granted, but by the end he truly understands what he has in his brother. He loves Elijah and returns that devotion and selflessness he has for Klaus back to him.
At the end Elijah finds a balance. He had his memories erased at the end of last season and was unburdened from Klaus and his entire past. He got to start over and fell in love with someone else. When he got his memories back he wasn't the same Elijah. He fought on the side of his family once more. Is devoted to them and loves them, but I also am routing for him to get his happy ending. To have his family and Antoinette (his love interest) too.

I really liked how they added Marcel in there too. Klaus found him in New Orleans in like the 1800's at some point (I don't remember the specific year). He was a slave and was being beaten and Klaus saved him, gave him a name and adopted him into his family.
Marcel was raised by the Original family of vampires. He had a father-son relationship with Klaus. Klaus taught him everything he knew, made him the man he was. And as he grew up he came to fall in love with Rebekah. When he was an adult and still human he told her he wanted to be with her, that he loved her and he didn't care if Klaus disapproved. Klaus turned him soon after and Marcel has been a vampire ever since, ruling over New Orleans and living in the shadow of Klaus. Their relationship was rather... rocky. There were times when they really were a family. Marcel was adopted into the Original family, permanently making him one of them and permanently stuck in all their drama.
And even though he hated Klaus sometimes he never could kill him. Even when he despised him and wanted him gone, he could never bring himself to do it because he still loved him. Klaus was the same way. He may have said love was a weakness, but he never stopped loving Marcel like a son and a friend. Even when Marcel disobeyed him, ruined his plans, hated him, tried to hurt his siblings, he could never off him or get rid of him.
Rebekah's relationship with him was on and off and mostly in secret for years since Klaus couldn't stand the fact that Marcel and Rebekah's love for each other might out-weigh their love for him. He didn't want them to leave him and so eventually he sabotaged their relationship, making sure Rebekah and Marcel would never happen. But years later their relationship rekindled and then ended and then started up again and then came to a head in this last season, where it fizzled out again... But like I said, I'm still hoping for them to be together at the end of it all.

Ah and then there's Kol. He was introduced in TVD and I had hoped that he would get an actual storyline to himself.
There's three in the family that were truly bonded together, that were like the inner circle: Rebekah, Klaus and Elijah. Kohl and their oldest brother Finn didn't make the cut. Since Kol was never tied down by their promise of always and forever and because his siblings mostly ignored him, he felt no obligation toward them. He despised them most of the time. He never had any self-control and was a murderous ripper most of the time that had no problem sabotaging his family, throwing them under the bus or just leaving them for years on end.
When he returned to The Originals he came back in a witch's body. Turned out he had always had a love for the magic arts like their mother and being a witch and mortal again was something he enjoyed. That was probably one of my favorite seasons because his romance with Davina was so sweet and beautiful. Because Kol didn't allow himself to get mixed up in his sibling's messes (most of the time) his relationship with Davina flourished and they ended up getting married. Throughout the entire series, he did grow to learn that he wasn't the outcast of the family. His siblings loved him and that he was part of always and forever, but he still remained selfish and did the very least he could to help his family.
Especially in this last season. He has everything he ever wanted. A beautiful, loving wife and a life away from the drama of his family, so when he was forced back into that life he did everything he could to help them so that he could leave. Though of course, he had a sweet spot for Hope, his niece. For her he stuck around and helped.

Freya came in a little later as the surprise big sister to the entire Mikaelson gang. At first she wasn't my favorite. I didn't know her like I knew the other characters and she just seemed kind of... weird. But as the season went you, and the other characters, grow to trust her. I love how she just walked into her family's lives and instantly embraced them and their always and forever.
She's been the voice of reason in the family and the resident witch, so she's the one who gets everyone out of trouble most of the time.

And let's not forget Vincent. I honestly feel so bad for the guy. He's had it rough. A wife who went crazy and started killing people, then having to kill her and then having two love interests stripped away in a matter of two seasons. Since the very beginning he was dragged into the Mikaelson drama, though he wanted nothing to do with them. He doesn't hold a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings for the family and has been working against them since the moment they entered his city.
Throughout the seasons he's been the character who makes the most sense. Who is level headed and doesn't make excuses for all the horrible things the Mikaelson's did and that's one of the reasons why I like him so much. I also loved his friendship with Freya. Especially in this season. They're like best friend and its so sweet to see, especially because they balance each other out so well. When they're having hard times each other are always there to given advice.

Then there's the romances. The Originals isn't as full of romances as TVD is, but when there is a romance it's epic. Camille and Klaus was the best... Seriously everyone still hates that they killed her off. They were so good together and besides Caroline, Camille was the only other woman I think he truly loved and could have seen a future with. Though their relationship started out rocky with Klaus manipulating her the whole time, by the end they really did see eye to eye and were equals and in love to the very end.
And in this season all the Klaroline moments is killing me! Especially in that last episode. I really want to see them be together. Klaus had promised Caroline in TVD that Stefan might be her recent love, but that he intended to be her last. That he could wait and in this season you can see that he really did mean that. I'm excited to see what happens between them in this last episode.

Kol and Davina is probably one of my favorite romances. It took me a little getting used to Davina, but I quickly warmed up to her. She was such an amazing character and actually reminded me of Bonnie a bit because she sacrificed so much for her friends.
Davina didn't really have any family, but she did everything she could to protect her friends and those she cared about the most. Her relationship with Marcel was really sweet too.
He was like a father to her and it was cool seeing the ups and downs of that relationship. But Kol and her? That is an epic romance right there. It reminded me of TVD. They are perfect together.

But the big romance of the entire show is Hayley and Elijah. Their romance was so frustrating most of the time because Elijah never let himself truly get into a real relationship with her because of Klaus. But there were so many moments between them where it was just perfect. Plus there was Hayley's arranged marriage with Jackson and I actually sort of shipped them... That was a difficult time cuz I liked her with both of them. And then... their relationship never truly blossomed or came to a head which was unsatisfying, but I was happy Hayley got to have peace at last. Even if it meant Elijah and her never really got to have their happy ending.

Speaking of Hayley, she was sort of like Marcel and was brought into the family. She was pregnant with Hope, her and Klaus' child and at first everyone (except Elijah) only tolerated her, but as the seasons went on she became a real part of the family. Hayley became a part of always and forever and protected the Originals as fiercely as they protected her. It was also really cool to see Klaus' toleration of her grow to a true platonic love and respect for her. I feel like she was one of the few people that he truly respected and had equal ground with. He trusted her with his life and his daughter's life and vice versa.

How could I forget Josh? Josh was like the Matt Donovan of The Originals. Even though he was a side character and just sort of there, always on the outside looking in, he always managed to somehow survive. He was always good friends with Marcel and that was a really cool friendship to see. His friendship with Davina was really sweet too and I loved it so much!
It was so sad when Josh didn't make it this season. But I did like how they carried through the theme of finding peace in TVD to The Originals. In TVD in the last episode they showed everyone who had died finding their peace either amongst family or lost loves. Stefan got to be with his best friend Lexi again. Elena was reunited with her family. Damon got to be with Stefan again. Tyler was with Vicki and they were all looking over their loved ones. In The Originals Josh found peace with his past love interest and Hailey was reunited with her parents, her pack and Jackson.

 At one point (because you know I have nothing better to do than to analyze fictional characters in my head), I thought over all of the characters, dissecting them and figuring out all of their problems. I think I was doing it as a way to analyze character motivations and drives and weaknesses so that I could apply it to my own writing. Anyways, it's so interesting to dig into these characters. They all have so many problems. The big three, the easiest to figure out are Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah who promised each other Always and Forever from the beginning. Klaus was abused by a cruel father all his life. He has self-destructive tendencies, he has a fear of abandonment and that's why he never wanted Rebekah or Elijah to find romance with anyone else because he was afraid they would leave him for that other person. He sees love as weakness, but I'd say his biggest driving force and problem was his abandonment issues.
It's what drove him to dagger his siblings for centuries if they didn't agree with him, what caused him to want to create a hybrid army. What caused him to do all those horrible things to his siblings, so that they could never leave him. But by the end of The Originals Klaus has a beautiful daughter who he loves more than anything. He realizes that love is a strength, not a weakness. He respects his siblings and loves them. He's made emotional attachments and has moved past his self-destructive tendencies (more or less) to be the best father he can be to his daughter Hope. It was so amazing to see his character development cuz he really was a horrible guy when he was first introduced. The true Big Bad to outmatch all Big Bads of the TVD universe. And now he's a loving, respectful father who would do anything to protect his daughter and his family.

And then there's Rebekah who is so desperate for attention and love that she will do anything for it. Throughout both shows she throws herself at any guy who will pay attention to her. Stefan, Tyler, Matt (which that whole relationship was actually pretty sweet).
Then there was Marcel who she has love for centuries and he has loved her back for centuries. She was confident in herself but had a lot of self-esteem issues. By the end though she's more self-assured, is self-confident enough to not need the constant attention of a man. She even turned down Marcel, sort of friendzoning him but still remained happy with herself. Though I'm still routing for a happy ending for them too, I think it was a testament to her character development. Her biggest thing was she always wanted to be human and despite how the finale ended, I was glad to see she at least got her wish and her happy ending.

There's so much more about this show, but what really made the show was the core theme: family love. Sibling love. The fact that even though they do horrible things to each other, they always have each other's backs. They stick together always and forever even when it means sacrificing things for one another. And now Hope is a part of that always and forever. I'm excited to see how that theme carries over to Legacies and what kind of a person she becomes. I am so excited for Legacies and to see the, well, legacy of TVD and The Originals to carry on to the next generation in that world. Seriously it's so amazing and inspiring to see how one TV show can create an entire world that can branch off into not just one, but two spin-offs!

The Originals, it's been amazing and I look forward to seeing cameos of all of those characters in Legacies and to continue Hope's story for many, many seasons to come (I hope).

So, as Elijah said: it was a glorious ride. There was betrayal, romance, drama, forgiveness and a bittersweet ending that I am still trying to process.

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