The Originals is a supernatural fantasy drama and a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries. The first television expansion of The Vampire Diaries franchise, the series follows the life of Klaus Mikaelson and his original vampire family as they get entangled in politics in New Orleans.
Julie Plec, the creator of The Vampire Diaries, created The Originals. The series ran for five seasons from October 2013 to August 2018 on The CW.
It had a total of 92 episodes.
The series features a talented cast that brought the originals and other characters to life. Some of the actors also featured in The Vampire Diaries in recurring roles.
The main cast consists of Joseph Morgan playing Klaus, Daniel Gillies playing his noble brother Elijah and Claire Holt playing his sister Rebekah. Holt was a part of the main cast in season 1 and starred as a ‘special guest star’ in the following seasons.
Apart from the Mikaelson siblings, the show also features Phoebe Tonkin as Hayley, Charles Michael Davis as Marcel, Leah Pipes as Cami, Danielle Campbell as Davina, and Yusuf Gatewood as Vincent, Riley Voelkel as Freya, Danielle Rose Russell as Hope Mikaelson.
The storyline starts with the return of the Mikaelson siblings to New Orleans. Hayley, pregnant with Klaus’ child, is also in the city.
The originals had built the French Quarter in New Orleans but had to flee the city because their father, Mikael, was on a mission to kill them. After their departure, Klaus’ protege and Rebekah’s ex-lover, Marcel Gerard, took control of the French Quarter.
After learning this, Klaus and his siblings plan to take Marcel down and win back their city amidst a war between the supernatural communities of vampires, witches, and werewolves.
Season one lays down the details of the supernatural war. It also tells us about Klaus’ and Hayley’s unborn child, how it will threaten the Originals, and how they will have to protect the child.
The second season marks the return of the Mikaelson parents, Esther and Mikael, and Dahlia, Mikaelson’s aunt who wants the unborn child. It also showcases the return of Freya Mikaelson, who returns to help the Mikaelsons protect the unborn child from Dahlia.
Season three talks about a prophecy about the downfall of the Mikaelsons. The first vampires sired by Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah- Lucien, Tristan, and Aurora, respectively- reunite to save the original siblings.
Set in a timezone five years after the events of season three, Marcel is back ruling the city, but this time with more power, as he is now an upgraded original vampire. Hayley manages to save the Mikaelson siblings, except Klaus. A new danger in the form of ‘Hollow’ awaits the originals.
After a time leap of seven years from season four, we meet a teenage Hope, away from the family and studying at the Salvatore School. The originals split up to keep the Hollow away, but what happens when they come together forms the crux of the penultimate season.
Reception and Accolades
The show received favorable mixed reviews from critics and the audience. The popularity of the series gave rise to another spin-off, Legacies.
The Originals received several awards and nominations, from which Joseph Morgan won the Favorite Actor in a New Series at the People’s Choice Awards 2014.