The Originals comes to a conclusion after a five-season run. Am I slightly sentimental? Yes. Will I cry? Probably. But I shall cry to amazingly emo indie soundtrack, making my former high school self super proud. The spinoff to The Vampire Diaries first aired in 2014, with the first Original making an appearance in the show’s second season. I don’t think when the Twilight series was adapted into film anyone could have predicted the longevity in telling a story about immortality, but here we are. To commemorate the occasion I have chosen 5 things for the final fifth season that made The Originals the epic vampire series it is:
1. ALWAYS AND FOREVER: The thousand-year-old pledge that has saved the family, plagued it, haunted them, led to the isolation of some characters, and the redemption of others. This pledge was undertaken by three siblings Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah during simpler (Viking) times. It was the beginning of their immortality and defined what it meant and means to be a Mikealson. It has been a thread throughout the seasons, making one question the stakes of family – excuse the pun. It’s a promise hard to be a part of and so easy to fall out of – ask Kol and Finn. If The Vampire Diaries was about the love of a soulmate, then The Originals is about the people we call family, who we are because of them, despite them, and for them.
2. Marcel Gerard (special shout out to my mom who would not watch an episode without Charles Micheal Davis): King of the Quarter or the Prince (depending on which season you are on), charismatic, tenacious and honorary Mikealson. The first time the audience is introduced to this character is him singing How You Like Me Now by The Heavy in a karaoke bar. This character goes through numerous arcs as a friend and an adversary. His relationships with characters always intrigued me, as his immortality is a product of love by someone considered twisted and unloving. A character with heart created in the image of his mentor, it is through him and his struggles that one better understands the complexity of family, and what it means to be self-made.
3. Antagonist: Whether it was their mother Esther, their father Mikael, a prophecy, powerful witches, or civil war between fractions that were once wronged, the show has always created formidable adversaries for the immortal beings. Immortality meant years of mistakes, enemies, and individuals on an endless pursuit of vengeance. Although having lived for a thousand years, each sibling is flawed in a human way. Klaus seeking validation, Elijah believing his redemption was tied to that of his brother, Rebekah’s preoccupations with an unattainable mortality, or Kol who clung onto a former self, each flaw leaving them open to death in ways darker and often more painful than a stake to the heart.
4. New Orleans: If there is a place in the world to set a story about magic, immortality, and life, it is New Orleans. Although a tiny fraction of the city is explored, much of it is recreated on a studio lot. New Orleans lent itself to the story as a character. The city could be as unforgiving and turbulent as the monsters of the mystical world, or a haven and salvation. Known as the true home of the 1000-year-old vampires, the city’s struggles – be it fires or hurricanes, made one hyper-aware of the resilience and power of a place. Whether a camera shot was of the busy streets or a cemetery, New Orleans as a sacred space cannot be taken for granted.
5. Music: Storytelling in film and television is vast and can so easily be thrown off-balance by too much of one thing. The complexity of the music is that it tells it’s own story, and finding the balance between two distinct mediums is a skill reserved for the art Gods. The Originals as a series has a combination of original pieces composed by Micheal Suby, as well as tracks by musicians such as Daughter, Louis Armstrong, Miike Snow, Gary Clark Jr, Ruelle, Phantogram, and The Neighbourhood. With a playlist that had you believing in the possibility of a veil between to world’s falling apart, or a reckoning by witches, the show dabbled between Motown, jazz, indie rock, electronic rock, and folk seamlessly.
An Honourable Mention: Hayley Marshall. Alpha, Hybrid, and Mother. Hayley Marshall has been the heart of the Mikealson family for the last few years. Kicks ass and takes names. Whether you shipped her with Klaus, Elijah, or Jackson, she was never defined by the relationships she had, but instead by the type of leader she was, and the sacrifices she was willing to make. A protector of her people and probably the only woman who could handle the Mikealson household, her strength and grace echoed when egos and tempers would flair. Never perfect, and at times far from it, a family is still family. Always and Forever.
Goodbye Originals x
Let me know what has been the five things that have made the series a special one for you!