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This article is about The Originals from the shows. You may be looking for The Old Ones from the novels.

It was euphoric. The feeling of power was indescribable. But the witch Ayana was right about the consequences. The Spirits turned on us, and Nature fought back. For every strength there would be a weakness. The sun became our enemy -- it kept us indoors for weeks. And though my mother found a solution, there were other problems. Neighbors who had opened their homes to us could now keep us out. The flowers at the base of the white oak burned and prevented compulsion. And the spell decreed that the tree that gave us life could also take it away... So we burned it to the ground. But the darkest consequence was something my parents never anticipated -- the hunger. Blood had made us reborn and it was blood that we craved above all else. We could not control it. And with that, the predatory species was born.
Rebekah about her family's transformation into vampires in Ordinary People

The Original Vampires, or simply the Originals, are a group of extremely powerful vampires that are the first generation of vampires and progenitors of their respective bloodlines. They are the oldest, fastest, strongest, and most powerful vampires in the world. The term was initially introduced when Rose-Marie revealed their existence to Elena, Stefan and Damon, which primarily referred to the Mikaelson Family. The term's use, however, has expanded as the spell that created the Originals has been modified twice over and two additional types of "Original" vampires have been created; the Enhanced and Upgraded Original vampires.

A number of characteristics differentiate an Original from the vampire bloodline that they begat, but the fundamental difference is that Originals became vampires through a spell. Unlike non-Original vampires, Original vampires are indestructible and cannot be killed by anything on earth aside from the White Oak Stake, a large enough source of magic, the conditions suitable to reverse the original spell, or by the advanced venom of the Upgraded Original vampire. They also can only be temporarily neutralized by a White Oak Ash Dagger, one of the Cursed Stakes, or through various spells or rituals.

The creation of the Originals dates back to the turn of the 11th century, after Mikael — the patriarch of the Mikaelson Family — sought to transform his children into immortal beings superior to werewolves. Mikael wanted his children to become stronger, faster, more agile, and have fangs of their own. His motivation to undergo this transformation was a result of the death of his youngest son Henrik, who was killed by a member of their neighboring village's werewolf pack during a full moon. Ayana, Esther's mentor and best friend, refused to do the spell to create such beings and warned that doing so would unleash a plague upon the world. Ignoring Ayana's warnings, Mikael convinced his wife Esther to do the spell instead.

History of the Term[]

The term was first used on The Vampire Diaries series when Rose revealed the existence of a few ancient and immensely powerful vampires while she and her friend Trevor held Elena hostage in hopes of trading her to an Original named Elijah in exchange for their freedom. When this plan failed and Damon and Stefan had rescued Elena, she rejoined them at the boarding house and spoke with fear of the Original vampire known as Klaus, from whom she had been running for half a millennium. She then reluctantly agreed to help Damon get in contact with people who might know how to find him, though they were largely unsuccessful in this endeavor.

The legend surrounding the Original vampire named Klaus remained pieced together by hearsay and shrouded in mystery until Elijah, who was believed to be one of Klaus' foot soldiers, agreed to tell his story to Elena after she removed the White Oak Ash Dagger from his heart in Klaus. He eventually revealed that he and Klaus are half-brothers, and referred to his family as "the Original family," explaining that it is from them that all vampires were created.


The Original vampire siblings.

The rest of the Mikaelson family were introduced throughout Season Three: Rebekah through Flashbacks in the 1920s and in present day when Klaus undaggered her in The End of the Affair; Mikael and Esther as Rebekah recounted the vampire origin story to Elena in Ordinary People; and Kol and Finn when Elijah undaggered them in Bringing Out The Dead. When Rebekah told the story of how their family became vampires, she revealed that their mother, Esther, had performed the spell that made them immortal, and referred to her as the "Original witch."

This usage of the term "Original" makes it clear that it was initially only used as a self-referential way for the Original vampire siblings to establish their status as a powerful, elite group - the foundation for all other vampires created from their blood. However, in Do Not Go Gentle, when Esther begins the process of turning Alaric into a vampire using magic, Elena uses the term "Original" to describe what Alaric would become should she succeed. Lacking another word to describe the progenitor of a bloodline of vampires, the term's use has extended to describe vampires created using the Immortality Spell rather than by the blood of another vampire.

Powers and Abilities[]

Due to the nature and purpose of the spell that created them, the Original vampire's powers and abilities are the most advanced and, by far, superior to other vampires. Rebekah said herself that they are the strongest creatures in the world. This was the case until the creation of the Enhanced and Upgraded Original vampires. It is unknown if Original vampires grow stronger with age like non-Original vampires.

S02e14 D

Elijah breaking a werewolf's neck with a single punch.

  • Super Strength: Original vampires are considerably much stronger than immortals, Supernatural Hunters, non-Original vampires, werewolves, evolved werewolves, non-Original werewolf-vampire hybrids and humans. They are able to decapitate other species with a single chop of their bare hands, shatter windows and doors with small objects, and single-handedly tear out the hearts of younger vampires and other creatures with little to no effort. Their strength has been used to break necks and spines, and break and move heavy objects. Their impact can send anyone flying. Their strength is also enough to rival that of their own kind. While Original vampires are more powerful than werewolves in either form, transformed werewolves still rival enough of their strength to take down an Original vampire in small groups as it was shown that four of them were capable of overwhelming Rebekah (although she managed to kill half of them), while two took down Elijah (these wolves were channeling the power of their werewolf forms through enchanted kyanite stones, and Elijah was taken by surprise and briefly passed out from their venom). Vampires of 900 years or more may present a slight challenge. However, given how Originals seem to have the peak power of their condition, they currently remain the most powerful of their kind. Lucien was much stronger than any of the Originals while an Upgraded Original, and with him dead and Marcel now the only remaining Upgraded Original, he is now stronger than them physically as well, though possibly not to the extent that Lucien was.
  • Super Speed: Original vampires are much faster than immortals, supernatural hunters, non-Original vampires, werewolves, evolved werewolves, non-Original werewolf-vampire hybrids and humans. They are able to stop other supernatural species in their tracks, run miles in mere minutes and can easily catch up to any species of creature, supernatural or not. Their reflexes are similarly heightened. It is unknown if they grow faster with time. Lucien was shown to be incredibly fast, more so than an Original.
  • Super Agility: Original vampires possess more superhuman agility, flexibility and dexterity than immortals, supernatural hunters, non-Original vampires, werewolves, evolved werewolves, non-Original werewolf-vampire hybrids and humans. They can move quickly, jump very high, climb and run incredibly fast without difficulty or exhaustion.
  • Super Senses: Original vampires have extremely keen senses of hearing, sight and smell that far exceed those of immortals, supernatural hunters, non-Original vampires, werewolves, evolved werewolves, non-Original werewolf-vampire hybrids and humans.
  • Super Durability: Original vampires can take far more trauma than supernatural hunters, non-Original vampires, werewolves, evolved werewolves, non-original werewolf-vampire hybrids and humans can, without much discomfort or injury. No Original vampire has ever been dismembered throughout the series, implying that their durability may be close to invincibility. Wood seems to be ineffective at weakening them, though being stabbed in the heart with it will often incapacitate them for several minutes until they recover. Ordinary bullets, knives and blunt objects can hurt an Original vampire as seen with Finn, Kol and Klaus. Rebekah once stated to Matt that she never feels cold. When running from Mikael, she also stated how her siblings and her ran through winter and autumn, sleet and snow.
  • Healing Factor: The injuries of Original vampires heal faster than those of supernatural hunters, non-Original vampires, werewolves, evolved werewolves, non-original werewolf-vampire hybrids and humans. Original vampires also seem to heal much more quickly when exposed to vervain or wood. They can heal/recover/regenerate from any and all injuries in a matter of seconds. Even a werewolf bite is no threat to them, it is only painful to them and will cause weakness and hallucinations as they are not wholly immune to the bite, but it wears off. Vervain-laced liquid has also been shown to weaken them, though they recover from the effects much more quickly. If they are stabbed with Papa Tunde's blade and its removed, the healing process becomes much slower due to the dark magic within it, this applies to werewolf venom as well. Mikael still bore the scars of his attack for a day or so as he still had venom in his system. Human blood has also known to make the healing process faster.
  • Immortality: Original vampires are immortal. They do not physically age and are immune to all illnesses, toxins, poisons and human diseases or physical conditions. The only physical weapon that can bring permanent death to an Original is the White Oak Stake, and the only other substance being poisons from the advanced strain of werewolf toxin contained in the bite of an Upgraded Original vampire, as well as the similar toxin from the enchanted thorns grown by The Hollow from an Upgraded Original's blood.
  • Enhanced Emotions: Original Vampires experience emotions more powerfully than humans. Emotions like love, joy, and happiness are intensified for vampires allowing them to live life more intensely. This ability allows the original vampires to feel emotions at their peak regardless of their age. They have been shown experiencing emotions as powerfully today as they did 1,000 years ago.
  • Emotional Control: Original vampires have a limited degree of control over their own emotions. It has been stated that Emotional Control fades over time. It is unknown if the Original vampires still possess the ability to "switch off" their emotions completely.
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Rebekah compels Elena.

  • Mind Compulsion: Original vampires can control and influence the thoughts, emotions, behavior, actions and memories of humans, non-Original vampires and non-original werewolf-vampire hybrids. They cannot however compel witches, immortals, or werewolves/evolved werewolves.
  • Sire Bond: Although rare among them, Sire Bonds can be formed when a human is turned with the blood of the vampire whom they had strong human feelings for.

Tactile telepathy

  • Telepathy: Original vampires have the ability to enter the minds of others as long as theirs is stronger than them although, as Original vampires, they have one of the strongest minds in the world. Normally, this ability works in a tactile fashion and the vampire requires physical contact in order for it to work successfully. However, Elijah has been shown to mentally communicate with others from a short distance sending distress calls and mental images. Klaus and Elijah have also been shown sharing their memories with others.
    • Dream Manipulation: Original vampires can control dreams and subconscious. They can produce and modify dreams, bestow nightmares or lucid dreaming. Other effects of this ability is the ability to distort perceptions of reality and being able to trap someone in their dreams.
    • Illusions: Original vampires have the power to trick the minds of others into seeing/feeling things that aren't actually happening.
  • True Face: An Original vampire's true face is the appearance they are hiding under their normal human face. When an Original vampire's true face is revealed, the sclera of their eyes turns blood-red, dark veins appear under their eyes as the blood pumps forcefully through them, and their canine teeth extend into razor-sharp fangs. An Original vampire's true face can be revealed whenever they wish, but it will appear against their will whenever they are aroused by the scent of blood, or are feeling intense emotions such as anger, lust, sadness, etc. An Original vampire's fangs are extremely sharp which gives them the ability to tear into almost any substance (including and especially flesh) and tear off limbs. With the fangs come the darkened veins under the eyes as well.


Even though the Original vampires are the first and strongest vampires in the world, they still have some weaknesses, although fewer as compared to non-Original vampires. Original vampires are immune to most of the weakness of non-Original vampires.

  • Sunlight: Sunlight will burn an Original vampire, but cannot kill them. All members of the Original Family possess lapis lazuli rings to combat this. Klaus is not affected by sunlight due to being a werewolf-vampire hybrid.
  • The Cure: If an Original Vampire takes the cure, they will revert back to being mortal again. Once taken, the cure prevents them from being immortal again, causing the body to reject vampire blood.
Klaus Desiccated

Klaus desiccated.

  • Desiccation: Being completely drained of blood or the heart stopping will cause an Original vampire to desiccate like any other vampire, losing most of its strength and any ability to move. The desiccated body of an Original vampire will appear as a corpse and can only start functioning again once they feed on blood. This process can be replicated artificially by a witch casting a desiccation spell.
  • Invitation: In order to enter any house owned by humans, they need to be invited in by a living person that officially lives there or the person of entitlement. Once invited, the invitation cannot be revoked. Should an Original vampire be in the house without being invited in, such as being in a dessicated state, they will become disoriented and will begin to suffocate upon recovery. If the ownership to a house changes while inside, an Original, like normal vampires, would likely become disoriented and pulled from the house against their will.
  • Witchcraft: Witches can perform a wide range of spells that can have a variety of effects upon an Original vampire. For example, there is a spell that can be used to effect supernatural hearing with the use of burning sage. A witch with enough power can dangerously affect and even kill a being as powerful as an Original vampire. Witches, such as Bonnie and Davina, empowered by extremely potent sources of magic (the violent deaths of a hundred witches and the power of the Harvest, respectively) were able to cripple Klaus, bringing him close to death. Specifically, Bonnie would have succeeded in killing Klaus had Elijah not saved him. Witches have also created dark objects that also have a variety of effects that are capable of harming Original vampires, such as Papa Tunde's Blade, Cursed Stakes and many other objects.
  • Physical Trauma: While any physical trauma can slow an Original down, minor ones such as cuts and bruises, are essentially ineffective due to the healing factor of an Original vampire. More significant injuries along the lines of gunshots, stab wounds, broken bones, and organ damage can incapacitate one due to the combination of pain and lack of their bodies proper function. However, the most effective way to neutralize an Original is to inflict injury normally fatal to a human such as breaking their neck. However, this is temporarily as they will completely heal in a short amount of time.
  • Vervain: Vervain prevents Original vampires being able to compel anyone who's ingested or wear it. Plants and other forms of vervain will also burn them upon contact, but they will heal very quickly if not for prolonged exposure.
1x08 The River in Reverse-Elijah-Hayley

Elijah ill from being bitten by Klaus' werewolf bite.

  • Werewolf Venom: While werewolf venom can't kill Original vampires, it greatly weakens and incapicates them and causes them to experience hallucinations based on their memories. The effects are temporary and only last for a few hours. Mikael, however, has overcome pain from the venom and fought through the effects rather than suffer and hallucinate given his mental fortitude.
    • Advanced Werewolf Venom: Lucien Castle invented an advanced strain of venom derived from the seven werewolf bloodlines with no known cure. The venom is infused in the bite of an Upgraded Original Vampire. It is fatal to Original vampires in a manner similar to that of a werewolf or hybrid bite on regular non-Original vampires, although working twice as fast and more painfully. It is so potent that not even the blood of Klaus or Hope Mikaelson can cure it.
  • Wood: A wooden stake through the heart will desiccate an Original vampire and temporarily "kill" them. However, wood from the White Oak Tree can permanently destroy an Original vampire. Once staked with this wood, the stake will ignite in flames and ingulf the body of the Original, rendering both into ash.
  • White Oak Ash Daggers: A collection of enchanted silver daggers dipped in the ash of the white oak tree will neutralize an Original vampire when stabbed through the heart. If the dagger is removed, it must be dipped again in White Oak Ash to re-neutralize the Original vampire. Otherwise, it will have no effect and the Original vampire awakens within a few hours.

Former Weaknesses[]

  • Doppelgänger Blood Magic: If blood from the last pair of doppelgängers are used in the Magic Purification Spell, all vampires' abilities will be stripped from them little by little and then they will be brought back to the last stage of their human life: Death. They will then relive the way they died when they transitioned into vampirism. Kai absorbed the magic purification spell and as such, it is no longer there.
  • White Oak Stake: The only weapon on earth that can permanently kill an Original vampire, it comes from an ancient White Oak Tree that existed during the creation of the Original vampires and was used as the source of their immortality. Dahlia destroyed the stake, made indestructible by Esther, in Ashes to Ashes, and it was revealed that an Original can slowly die by inhaling white oak splinters. In Wild at Heart, the Wooden Knight Klaus carved as a child was made of white oak wood and it was fashioned into seven wooden bullets. The last bullet was destroyed in Lucien's spell to become an Upgraded Original vampire. It was later revealed that Klaus secretly kept a white oak stake for decades in case he ever wanted to commit suicide, but he identified it as the last remaining white oak stake in existence. Klaus and Elijah later broke the stake in half and used the pieces to kill each other as part of Klaus' plan to destroy the Hollow for good. It is presumed that the existence of white oak wood is now extinct.
  • Enchanted Thorns: Enchanted thorns created by the Hollow that were magically infused and grown in the ground laced with Marcel's blood, as an Upgraded Original vampire. A single scratch from these thorns will kill an Original; as of Phantomesque, the rosebush and thorns have all been destroyed.

Known Original Vampires[]

Main article: Mikaelson Family
Vampire Description Status Age
Mikael was a wealthy landowner in a village in Eastern Europe, as well as a Viking warrior from the Kingdom of Norway, before he and his family moved to the New World. They made their new home in what would eventually become Mystic Falls, and found themselves neighbors with a pack of werewolves. After their youngest son was killed by a werewolf and his wife Esther turned their remaining children into vampires, Klaus revealed his true paternity when, after his first kill as a vampire, he triggered his werewolf gene; revealing that Mikael was not his biological father. Furious, Mikael hunted down and killed Klaus' father and his entire family, not realizing that he was igniting a war between vampires and werewolves that persists to this day. After a lifetime of hunting Klaus, he was killed by Klaus with his own weapon. However, he was revived by the powerful witch Davina Claire and they plotted an attack on Klaus. Mikael seemed to be the strongest of all the Originals and is an exceptionally skilled fighter, being able to defeat his children and step-son. Klaus killed Mikael again, to procure Viking ash for a weapon against Dahlia, and for not receiving his love like Mikael's love for his first beloved daughter Freya. Deceased 1,060+
Finn Mikaelson
Finn was the second oldest sibling (following Freya). He spent most of his immortal life daggered and is even more moral than Elijah, as well as self-loathing. Although he was willing to sacrifice himself and his siblings in order to rid the world of vampires, he showed a more relaxed side of himself while reconnecting with his lover, Sage. Before he had the chance to even consider the life he could now live, he was killed by Matt Donovan with a White Oak Stake. All of the vampires from his bloodline, including Sage, died within hours of his death. Thanks to his mother Esther, he possessed the body of Vincent along with his brother Kol who possessed Kaleb, however after a fair amount of time and an attempt on Hope's life, Freya sealed Finn's soul in her talisman, thus freeing Vincent. In An Old Friend Calls, it was revealed that Finn was freed from the talisman by the spell Davina used to revive Kol, and was an Original Vampire once again, however this was short term as he was killed by Lucien after being bitten by him and injected with a venom lethal to Originals. Deceased 1,039+
Elijah Mikaelson
Elijah was the third oldest sibling. He is handsome and sophisticated, with a highly developed sense of morality. Although he loved his younger brother Niklaus, he became vengeful when Klaus hunted down and neutralized his family, and swore to take his revenge. It wasn't until Klaus revealed that their siblings were safe that Elijah began to reconsider, though a few days later Klaus betrayed him by neutralizing him with the White Oak Ash Dagger. He was later released by Damon Salvatore and, with Damon's help, revived his siblings from their daggered sleep and stood up to Klaus before threatening to leave him. Still, after he and Rebekah thought Klaus was dead, they both mourned him, and to this day Elijah holds family above all else. In When The Saints Go Marching In, Klaus and Elijah kill each with the pieces of a White Oak Stake in order to destroy the Hollow for good, Elijah deciding to die alongside his brother. Deceased 1,035+
Kol Mikaelson
Kol is the fifth oldest sibling. Much more of a wildcard than Elijah or Finn, he shares Klaus' affinity for violence and seems to quite enjoy inflicting pain on others. Klaus daggered him in the early 20th century for attempting to create a weapon to use against him, but Elijah revived him along with Finn and Rebekah. Not much is known about his long life; he is said to have made the Original family infamous early on, presumably through indiscriminate killing, and over the years he spent quite a lot of time in the company of witches, from whom he had learned about the legend of the immortal Silas. He was killed by Jeremy Gilbert and the death of his entire bloodline effectively completed the Hunter's Mark. He later made his return as Kaleb, along with his mother Esther and brother Finn who possessed Cassie (and later Lenore) and Vincent respectively. Eventually Kol attempted to help Davina free a group of Vampires that were taken by Finn. As a consequence for Kol's betrayal, he was hexed by Finn, and later died. Davina consecrated the body of Kaleb, by doing so Kol (and presumably Kaleb) joined the Witch Ancestors of New Orleans. In A Streetcar Named Desire, Kol was successfully resurrected as an Original vampire by Davina Claire. Undead 1,000+
TO-S4-RebekahRebekah Mikaelson Rebekah is the sixth sibling (being only older the Henrik) in the Original family and the second daughter of Mikael and Esther. Although she often appears to enjoy the perks of being a vampire along with her brother Klaus, left on her own she reveals a more delicate, human sensitivity beneath her tough façade. Of all the Original siblings, she alone has demonstrated an active desire to become human again. Her relationship with Klaus is complicated: she loves him unconditionally, but they are both quick to anger and Rebekah is usually the one that ends up hurt, often getting daggered for her defiance. Klaus left her daggered for 90 years before reviving her in his quest to create hybrids, and she has since rekindled a relationship with Stefan Salvatore, whom she had fallen in love with in the 1920s. Rebekah briefly possessed the body of a now deceased witch named Eva, in her quest to revive her late brother, Kol. Rebekah was returned to her original body when Aya killed her host body. After Rebekah easily defeated Aya and the Strix members she had brought with her, Aya staked Rebekah with a cursed weapon, the Cursed Stake, as a last resort, condemning her to insanity should the stake be removed, by turning her into a Ripper. Rebekah had Elijah dagger her so she would no longer be a liability or a threat. Undead 1,000+


  • The slogan for the third season of The Vampire Diaries was "Year of the Originals".
  • Alaric was an Original vampire through species — possessing the same powers or even superior but even less weaknesses than other Originals. Likewise, Lucien Castle and Marcel Gerard, are another type of Original vampires that have been upgraded to be superior to the Mikaelsons.
  • In the novels, the Original vampires are called "The Old Ones". The Original's have been called "The Old Ones" twice; once by Hayley Marshall in The Rager, upon meeting Klaus, and in Always and Forever, by Davina Claire in reference to the family of Originals.
  • When an Original vampire dies, all of the vampires created from their bloodline die along with them.
  • Michael Narducci states that Mikael's accentuated strength is due to human traits as a Viking warrior and his vampirism heightened it. Additionally, Mikael feeding on vampire blood is a specific preference of his and it doesn't make him any stronger than feeding on humans.[1][2]
  • Despite being indestructible, Rebekah rhetorically asks Elijah "Do you ever want to just rip out [Klaus'] heart and see how long it takes to grow back?" in Savior. Her question is likely just an expression as the validity of the action is questionable. However, the original means to kill Klaus in The Sun Also Rises, given unique circumstances, was in fact heart extraction. With Klaus being vulnerable during his werewolf transformation, weakened by Bonnie's magic, and on the brink of death, Elijah would have dealt the final blow by ripping out his heart. This, however, was never completed nor has heart extraction ever been performed on an Original vampire.


See also[]