The Originals: 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About The Mikaelson Siblings

The Originals was the first spinoff of The Vampire Diaries. Yet, the first vampires played a major role on that show before they took center stage on their own series. When the Mikaelson siblings were introduced on The Vampire Diaries, they were a menacing presence, and for years one of the major goals of Elena, Stefan, Damon, and the rest was to bring an end to the Originals, especially Klaus. Although Elijah occasionally attempted to work with them, more often Klaus and his siblings threatened and terrorized the people of Mystic Falls.

Nonetheless, the story of the Originals — siblings who had been turned by their mother over one thousand years ago — caught on with fans. Despite all the awful things they did, viewers wanted more. The fans’ passion for these characters resulted in the Originals moving to New Orleans to start their own series, leading Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah to evolve from antagonists to the stars of the show. Their adventures remained as compelling as ever as fans watched them fight with, support, and sacrifice for one another.

At the center of The Originals was the idea that the Mikaelson siblings had sworn to be there for each other "always and forever." However, after living for a millennium, that story was necessarily intricate and complex. Over three seasons on The Vampire Diaries and five seasons of The Originals, there were many small details and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it facts people overlooked about the first vampires. Below, we shed some light on things you might have missed about the Originals and their inner circle.

Here are 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About The Mikaelson Siblings.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now


When the Originals were first mentioned in the second season of The Vampire Diaries, they were introduced slowly. First viewers met Elijah, then Klaus. In season 3, Rebekah came to Mystic Falls. That trio constituted the most prominent Originals, but they weren’t the only ones. Brothers Kol and Finn were also introduced on The Vampire Diaries. And fans got a brief glimpse at doomed youngest brother, Henrik, too.  There was a seventh Mikaelson sibling as well. The family’s first-born daughter, Freya, who supposedly passed away from the plague but, in fact, lived and was finally introduced to her family during season 2 of The Originals.

While Klaus was the Mikaelson that was shown to have the biggest hold on the lives of the others, he was actually their half-sibling, a product of their mother’s infidelity. He was also the middle sibling — Freya, Finn, and Elijah were older than him, while Kol, Rebekah, and Henrik were younger.


Of the seven Mikaelson children, only five became vampires: Finn, Elijah, Klaus, Kol, and Rebekah. It was the untimely passing of youngest sibling Henrik at the hands of a werewolf that motivated the Mikaelson parents to turn their children into vampires. Their intention was to protect their children, although they got much more than they bargained for.

The spell that made the Mikaelsons vampires didn’t include Freya, who unbeknownst to everyone but mother Esther and oldest son Finn, was given to her aunt Dahlia as a child. Through Dahlia’s teaching, Freya became a powerful witch. In addition, because Klaus was the result of his mother’s affair with a werewolf, Klaus held the potential to become that creature as well. When he had his first meal as a vampire, Klaus triggered his werewolf side and became the first vampire/werewolf hybrid.


Much is made of the Originals' advanced age. They have existed for over a thousand years as a result of their vampirism and are considered the most powerful creatures on earth. Yet, the Original vampires weren’t the oldest supernatural beings in the world. That dubious honor went to Silas and Amara. Silas was a powerful witch, but he wasn’t nearly as powerful as his fiancé Qetsiyah who he tricked into making an immortality elixir for the pair to drink on the night of their wedding.

Silas betrayed Qetsiyah and took the elixir with the woman he truly loved: her handmaiden, Amara. This made Silas and Amara the first immortals 1000 years before the Originals were born. Qetsiyah took her revenge on the couple by sealing Silas in a tomb and making Amara the anchor to The Other Side, a holding area for deceased supernatural creatures. As the anchor, Amara felt every supernatural being cross to the Other Side. The pair lived their separate plights for over 2000 years before they were finally set free.


When viewers first met Klaus, he had been pursuing his goal of becoming a true vampire/werewolf hybrid for years. After he became a vampire and triggered his werewolf side, his father was horrified to learn that Klaus wasn’t really his son. His mother placed a curse on Klaus to repress the werewolf in him. Hurt and damaged by the rejection of his parents and the secret his mother kept of his true origins, Klaus became determined to break the curse, and then to create a race of vampire/werewolf hybrids like him so he wouldn’t be the only one of his kind.

Klaus required some very specific ingredients to break the spell, which delayed his success for centuries. It wasn’t until he found Elena, the doppelganger he required, that he was finally able to become the true hybrid he’d always dreamed of being.


Elijah was obsessively loyal to his siblings, and especially his brother, Klaus. While his relationship with Klaus was codependent and unhealthy, Elijah nonetheless always reunited with him, hoping to push and prod Klaus towards redemption.

Yet, through the centuries there were several points at which Elijah got so frustrated with Klaus that he all but gave up on his brother. When he was first introduced on The Vampire Diaries, Elijah enlisted Elena’s help to take out Klaus. Elijah was furious at him for putting an end the rest of their family — that is, until Klaus informed him that their siblings weren’t actually gone. He also threatened to leave Klaus permanently and became estranged from him after Klaus dispatched his lovers. At these times, Elijah seemed determined to let go of his allegiance towards his brother. In the end, though, the pair always reconcile, and Elijah resumes his role as his Klaus' moral compass.


The Originals was set in New Orleans in and around the French Quarter. The location gave the show a distinctive look and feel that distinguished it from The Vampire Diaries. Yet, in reality the series was rarely shot on location. Instead, a majority of the series was filmed in the suburbs of Atlanta., including the French Quarter where the show’s characters spent so much time. What viewers saw on screen was actually a street in Conyers, Georgia dressed to look like the famous area in New Orleans.

Yet, the show did occasionally come to New Orleans. The backdoor pilot for the series that aired during The Vampire Diaries' fourth season was shot almost entirely in the city, and the show continued to travel to New Orleans for quick shoots through its five seasons. Of periodically shooting The Originals in the city where it was located, co-executive producer Matt Hastings said, “That sense of place, we replicate it as best we can on stages...But…when we’re all here, it’s like we load up on New Orleans and what it feels like.”


Fans who also watched The Vampire Diaries know that Klaus and Rebekah spent some quality time in Chicago during the 1920s. And it turns out they almost returned there for their own series. Chicago was the first choice of location considered when the show’s creators considered a spinoff.

The problem was that the production was going to be shot in Atlanta and, as a result, they needed a setting that better resembled that location’s terrain. The producers considered Nashville but ultimately settled on New Orleans. Given how integral the city’s setting became to the mood of The Originals it’s hard to imagine the show being set anywhere else now. While New Orleans was chosen for practical reasons, it ended up having a strong impact on the series.


When The Originals debuted in 2013, it became the CW’s first successful spinoff. Its success paved the way for many additional spinoffs on the network. While it seems like the Arrowverse has always been with us, the first spinoff of Arrow actually didn’t happen until The Flash debuted in 2014. The success of that series was then followed by Supergirl in 2015 (which spent its first season on CBS but moved to the CW for season 2) and Legends of Tomorrow in 2016.

Meanwhile, The Originals has spawned a spinoff of its own. After its series finale in August 2018, Legacies, a show focused on Klaus’ teenage daughter, Hope, debuted in the fall. The series brought back characters from The Vampire Diaries as well and continues storylines from both series.


The Originals’ mother Esther was a powerful witch. She did the spell that made her family into vampires and repressed Klaus’ werewolf side. She also figured out multiple ways to return to the land of the living in order to correct the mistake she felt she made when she turned her children into monsters. Despite the substantial amount of magical power Esther wields, however, her sister, Dahlia is an even more impressive witch.

Dahlia’s magical skills were exceptional. She figured out how to enhance her magic by linking it with others and she also conceived of a way to be somewhat immortal by going into a magically-induced sleep for 100 years while only waking up — and aging — for a single year. This enabled her to live for centuries and eventually meet, and magically challenge, her nieces and nephews in the present day.


Rebekah in The Originals

Fans were shocked when Rebekah left New Orleans during episode 16 of The Originals’ first season. On the one hand, it was a great character moment. Klaus finally gave Rebekah her freedom after many lifetimes spent under the thumb of her damaged family. On the other, viewers weren’t expecting one of the show’s major characters to drive off into the sunset so early in the series’ run.

According to Claire Holt, the actor who plays her, Rebekah’s departure was discussed from the beginning of the show. During a 2014 PaleyFest panel, Holt explained that she had been away from her home for so long that she made a “life choice” to take the time to go reconnect with the people she loved. However, she thought of her absence as a “temporary hiatus” and was looking forward to coming back at some point. Rebekah did come back multiple times over the seasons, including for the series finale.


Well, kind of, sort of. Unlike his siblings who are pure vampires, Klaus’ hybrid status grants him certain powers that they don’t share. One of the most important of these is also one of the most biologically human — the ability to procreate. While vampires are unable to conceive children, werewolves can. Even though Klaus is often dominated by his vampire nature, his werewolf side eliminates infertility that is traditionally part of the vampire condition. It’s a loophole that enables him and the werewolf Hayley to have a child together.

Unlike Klaus, whose undead status is open to interpretation, his daughter, Hope, is truly alive. Despite the fact that she is the world’s first and only tribrid — a combination of vampire, werewolf, and witch — she ages just like anyone else. Also, unlike most vampires who are unable to practice magic, Hope can, allowing her to take advantage of her family’s origins in all three supernatural species.


The cure for immortality was first put into play during The Vampire Diaries. Even then, Rebekah expressed a desire to take it. She had always wanted to be human, to get married, and have a family — opportunities she was denied because she became a vampire. However, when the cure was discovered it wasn’t Rebekah who was able to drink it. At the end of The Vampire Diaries, Damon took it in order to live a mortal life with Elena.

Then, in the series finale of The Originals, Klaus asked Caroline to procure the cure for Rebekah once Damon passed away. Rebekah has to wait a few decades until Damon is ready to end his life, but when that happens, Rebekah will be given the gift of mortality as well.


The Mikaelsons became vampires because of magic, but their very existence was the product of magic too. When Esther initially married Mikael she discovered that she was unable to have children. She badly wanted a family, though, so she asked Dahlia, her more powerful estranged sister, to cure her infertility.

Dahlia felt that she had been abandoned by Esther when she chose to marry Mikael instead of staying with her and was bitter and resentful towards her sister as a result. Nonetheless, she granted Esther’s request on the condition that she promised her first-born child and every subsequent first-born child in the Mikaelson bloodline to her. Esther went on to have the large family she dreamed of. However, she also had to give first-born, Freya, to Dahlia when she was five years old. Esther’s decision also came back to haunt her children when Dahlia comes to collect Klaus’ daughter in The Originals.


Over the years, The Originals shed a great deal of its audience. While it debuted to an audience of over 2 million in 2013, only 870,000 viewers saw its finale in 2018. Given the decline, many believed the series was canceled. However, this wasn’t exactly the case.

Series creator Julie Plec took to Twitter to make the announcement that the series would be ending before the fifth season went into production. She wrote, “It’s both a gift and a burden to be able to control the ending of a series. Many shows are not lucky enough to have a hand in deciding when the end has come.” Her statement indicated that the network and producers came to an agreement about ending the series and the CW gave the producers the time they needed to finish the story the right way.


Klaus adopted Marcel when he was a young child. Although Marcel was born to a slave, Klaus saw something in him and made him part of the Mikaelson family. Marcel loved Rebekah from an early age. Of course, Rebekah didn’t see him the same way at first. Once Marcel reached adulthood, however, Rebekah’s feelings changed towards him and they soon started a relationship.

Marcel always wanted to be a vampire like the rest of the Mikaelsons. So when Klaus daggers Rebekah in retaliation for her secret romance with Marcel, he gives Marcel a choice: become a vampire and leave Rebekah to sleep or un-dagger Rebekah and live out his life as a human with her. Although he loved Rebekah, Marcel decided to become a vampire, leaving Rebekah daggered in a coffin for 52 years.


The gang in Mystic Falls spent most of seasons two and three attempting to dispatch Klaus — and they almost succeeded. In an interview, Julie Plec, mastermind of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, confessed that the Original Hybrid was supposed to finally meet his demise at the end of The Vampire Diaries’ third season. The move was meant to be a happy ending to a long struggle against a formidable villain. Then plans changed.

“When you have actors [like Klaus actor Joseph Morgan] who are that good, making such a distinct mark in the roles that they are playing, you have to let your storytelling evolve… a little bit,” explained Plec. So, the writers changed their strategy, deciding not only that Klaus would stick around but that there was a lot more story to tell about the whole Original family.


As far as the historical record is concerned, no one from Europe found America until 1492. However, Originals lore puts the date much earlier. In the tenth century, Mikael and Esther decided to bring their young family to the New World after Esther tells Mikael that their eldest, Freya, passed away from the plague. They settled with other Vikings in a land where they were told everyone was healthy. It was an area they soon discovered was populated by werewolves who they co-existed with peacefully for years. Centuries later the land became the town of Mystic Falls.

Of the Mikaelson children, only Freya and Finn were born in the Old World. Esther was pregnant with Elijah when the family made the trip to the New World. His birth was followed by those of Klaus, Kol, Rebekah, and Henrik.


Many fans hoped to see Klaus get together with Caroline from The Vampire Diaries in The Originals’ series finale. Klaroline had been an extremely popular couple since they first demonstrated their chemistry in The Vampire Diaries’ third season. And Caroline showed up periodically throughout The Originals to keep the fan buzz alive.

According to showrunner Julie Plec, her endgame for Klaus during the early seasons of The Originals was in line with many fans’ wishes. She originally envisioned Klaus going to Paris with Caroline after the series ended. What changed? Caroline married and then quickly lost Stefan in the series finale of The Vampire Diaries. To honor and protect that relationship, Plec no longer felt comfortable having Caroline be with Klaus as she believed any relationship between the characters would be at the expense of Stefan’s memory.


The Originals -- "'When the Saints Go Marching In" -- Image Number: OR513c_0232b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Daniel Gillies as Elijah and Joseph Morgan as Klaus -- Photo: Skip Bolen/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

One of the things that make the Originals special is their bond with their sire lines. Each and every vampire that was created by them or by someone connected to them was destined to perish should the originator of their sire line perish. So, each vampire had a vested in interest in making sure the Original they traced their lineage to stayed alive.

When Klaus and Elijah decided to end their lives together at the end of The Originals many viewers were confused about what happened to their sire lines. However, their passings didn’t impact any other vampires. Klaus’ sire line was broken by the witch Davina in the series’ third season. In the fourth season, Elijah’s sire line was destroyed when the Hollow took him out in order to power her physical resurrection with his end and the ends of all those bonded to him.


The Originals -- "The Battle of New Orleans" -- Image Number: OR121b_0178.jpg -- Pictured: Daniel Gillies as Elijah -- Photo: Quantrell Colbert /The CW -- © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Of the many characters on The Originals, Elijah is the most well-liked among the characters who fight for good. Elijah comes across as kind, moral, and fair-minded. He enhances this virtuous impression by always appearing impeccably dressed in a suit. Yet, as much as Elijah wants to be honorable, he’s just as brutal and unforgiving as his siblings. In fact, when his mother, Esther returns, she calls out Elijah specifically for the havoc he's wreaked over 1000 years. While he claims to be noble, his outward appearance disguises the monster he really is.

Throughout his time on both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, Elijah has shown on more than one occasion that he is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, especially when it comes to anyone threatening his family. Elijah’s ability to go from calm and reasonable to deadly and remorseless is disturbing, and repeatedly undercuts his desire to be genuinely honorable.


Is there anything else that people get wrong about The Originals? Let us know in the comments!

More in Lists