|“||When the full moon crests in the sky, whoever is unlucky enough to fall under the werewolf curse turns into a wolf. [...] If it were a choice, it wouldn't be called a curse. Werewolves will attack humans, but instinct and centuries of rivalry have hardwired them to hunt their prey of choice -- vampires.||”|
Werewolves (also called Lycanthropes, Loup Garou, Rougarou, Beasts, or even just Wolves for short) are a supernatural shapeshifting species of individuals who unwillingly transform into large, fearsome, and extremely hostile wolves on the night of the full moon. They were created by the witch The Hollow as revenge against her tribe for killing her. Even in their human form, werewolves possess superhuman physical prowess, though not to the same level as a vampire, and their abilities are not as powerful compared to those they possess on the full moon while transformed. These creatures are the most dangerous enemies of vampires due to their venomous bite, which is lethal to them. Werewolves are also hardwired to kill vampires on sight in their wolf form, though they still hunt human prey whenever there are no vampires to kill.
Triggering The Werewolf Gene
Lycanthropy is an inherited genetic condition, and a person can only be a werewolf if they are born to at least one werewolf parent; they cannot be turned by bite or scratch as is commonly believed in folklore. Furthermore, the werewolf gene must be "triggered" by taking the life of a human, either intentionally or by accident, in order to gain access to their enhanced physical abilities, though this comes at the cost of transforming into a wolf during every full moon. It does not matter if the kill was accidental or intentional, premeditated or out of self-defense-- if a werewolf causes the death of a human in any way, their werewolf gene will be activated.
Because difficult-to-control anger and aggression are common personality traits in even those werewolves who have not activated their lycanthropy, the likelihood of them losing control of their rage and inadvertently triggering their werewolf gene by accidentally killing someone is quite high; it is even speculated that the anger and aggression inherent in werewolves is intended to increase the likelihood that a werewolf will activate their lycanthropy. However, it is possible for an untriggered werewolf to go their entire life without killing; in fact, this happens frequently enough that in some cases, a family's lycanthrope heritage will be kept a secret that will ultimately die with an ancestor, causing the knowledge of their heritage to be lost and remain unknown for generations that follow until a member takes a life and unintentionally triggers their curse; this has happened at least twice in the Lockwood Family's history.
After the gene is triggered, the werewolf's eyes will turn black and gold, and their latent powers (such as increased strength and accelerated healing) will activate instantly; from then on, they will be cursed to painfully transform into a wolf on the night of every full moon (although there are unique circumstances that will prevent a werewolf from having to turn, such as pregnancy (in the case of females), being an Evolved Werewolf, or possessing a Moonlight Amulet). A werewolf who has yet to trigger his or her curse only exhibits one characteristic of lycanthropy: increased aggression and anger on a general basis, which can become overwhelming fits of violent rage leading up to and during the nights of the full moon. Also, until their werewolf genes are activated, untriggered werewolves can be compelled by vampires just like any human, as proven when Damon Salvatore was easily able to compel away Tyler Lockwood's memories of seeing Vicki Donovan "vamped-out" before Tyler had triggered his werewolf gene. After the gene is triggered, however, they become immune to vampire mind control.
In Voodoo in My Blood, the origins of the Werewolf Curse and Werewolves were revealed. A powerful witch, that was known as "The Hollow", cursed the members of her tribe that were responsible for her murder and created the Seven Werewolf Bloodlines.
The Middle Ages
Werewolves actively populated the New World during the early Middle Ages during the time that Viking invasions began in Europe. Many villages across the land were highly populated by werewolves and they lived along side one another in villages. They also lived alongside humans, although to protect their human and untriggered loved ones, the wolves made sure that they had access to natural means of protection during the time that they were changed. One of the most notable locations of a werewolf village was in what is now present-day Mystic Falls. Beneath the area was a series of tunnels that provided protection for the humans while the werewolves were turned on the full moon. One clear rule of the village was that the humans were forbidden from being around the wolves while they were transformed for their own safety, as the majority of werewolves are unable to control themselves when transformed and could easily maim or kill any non-werewolf species in their vicinity.
A notable event in the history of the werewolves comes with the arrival of inhabitants of the "Old World," where a plague had been devastating the population. The newcomers included Mikael, his wife Esther, and Esther's witch mentor and friend, Ayana, as well as Esther and Mikael's young sons Finn and Elijah. Having lost their first-born daughter Freya, the sister of Finn and Elijah, in Europe, Mikael and Esther wanted to be able to raise a family in a place free from illness, and Ayana eventually led them to the New World where they could live in peace. The villagers accepted the new family and they became an integral part of the village life, with Ayana acting as the local healer and the conduit to the Spirits. Mikael and Esther, desperate to rebuild their family after the loss of Freya, eventually conceived and gave birth to Niklaus, Kol, Rebekah, and Henrik, who followed their eldest brother Finn and second-eldest brother Elijah.
However, when Henrik and Klaus broke their village's rule one full moon night and went to watch the wolves turn, Henrik was accidentally attacked and killed by the turned wolves. Determined to not lose any more family, but also not wanting to move away again, Mikael convinced Esther to tap into Dark Magic to perform a modified version of the witch Qetsiyah's Immortality Spell in order to turn Mikael and their children into nearly-invulnerable beings. Once turned, Mikael and their children gained enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, and healing superior to the werewolves that would ensure their protection from their supernatural neighbors, and their new species eventually became known as the vampires. However, the ritual had unexpected side effects, and the newly-turned family's lust for blood eventually led them to inadvertently shatter the peace of their village, as their lack of control over their newborn vampire hunger led to them being unable to resist feeding on the innocent inhabitants of the town.
Shortly after being turned into a vampire, Klaus made his first human kill, which resulted in Esther's darkest secret coming to light; Klaus was not Mikael's son, but instead was the product of an affair Esther had with the Alpha of their village's werewolf pack, Ansel. Killing a human activated Klaus' werewolf gene, which turned him into the world's first werewolf-vampire hybrid. Furious at his wife's betrayal, Mikael slaughtered Ansel - whose pack was also responsible for Henrik's death - along with half of the remaining werewolves in their village, igniting the war that still exists to this day between the werewolves and the vampires. However, enough of Ansel's family survived the attack to continue the bloodline, which still exists into the 21st century.
According to Jackson Kenner, at least two werewolf packs have been around since what he calls the "beginning," which could be referring to the genesis of the werewolf race - the Crescent Wolf Pack and the North East Atlantic Pack. In the episode Home, the spell the Travelers cast to break The Travelers' Curse and undo Spirit Magic and other non-traditional forms of magic resulted in Tyler Lockwood's werewolf gene being deactivated, returning him to an untriggered werewolf.
It was revealed in The Brothers That Care Forgot that the werewolves' power can be traced back to the myth of the Unification Ceremony, a ritual that bestowed certain unique abilities onto every member of a pack. While most of the history of werewolves remains unknown, it has been said that at the earliest point of their existence, each werewolf bloodline was distinct, and each had their own power—some possessed heightened speed, others had heightened strength, and some even had the ability to sense their enemies from long distances, presumably among other unique abilities. It was only after centuries of intermarriage that all werewolves ended up having the same powers, which is why there is a lack of diversity in werewolf abilities in the modern age.
In Behind the Black Horizon, it was revealed that there are actually seven original werewolf bloodlines, which evolved into seven packs, six of which, according to a werewolf saved from Lucien Castle's experimentation by Hayley Marshall and Niklaus Mikaelson, are the Deep Water, Malraux, BasRoq, Barry, Poldark, and Paxon packs. It is implied that the seventh pack is the Crescent Wolf Pack. Hayley went on to explain that she, as a Labonair, is from one of the original seven bloodlines, while Klaus is descended from another. This creates some confusion as to which bloodline Klaus' father Ansel belongs, and how other known werewolf families, such as the Kenner Family and the Lockwood Family, fit into this revelation. The venom of these seven packs was combined with a spell used to create the Upgraded Original Vampire known as the Beast; together, they make a venom potent enough where Klaus', Hope's nor the Beast's own blood can cure if a vampire is exposed to it.
After Mikael decimated the werewolf community in the northeast Atlantic region of the New World, and after Esther died at Niklaus' hands out of rage at her betrayal, the Mikaelson siblings returned to the "Old World" and began traveling from country to country as they followed the Normans, feeding on the locals and turning new vampires as they went. The war between vampires and werewolves came to a head at some point in the centuries afterward, when the vampires discovered that the bite of a werewolf was lethal to their kind. This spurred the vampires to preemptively commit mass murders of werewolves to protect themselves from death at their hands. As a result, the werewolves were driven to near-extinction by these massacres, and vampires who were turned in the period of time following this Werewolf Genocide began to believe that werewolves were nothing more than a myth or legend.
In reality, many werewolves had survived the genocide, keeping their supernatural identities a secret as they began to reorganize themselves into packs in order to help them evade the vampires. These packs, which varied in size from one dozen members to upwards of a hundred, also helped give the werewolves a support system to assist them through their very painful transformations each month during the full moon.
Even still, the mass killings of werewolves has continued on into the modern day, beginning with Niklaus Mikaelson's attempt to create an army of werewolf-vampire hybrids using his blood and the blood of the human doppelgänger, Elena Gilbert, which caused the deaths of dozens of werewolves who then transitioned into werewolf-vampire hybrids themselves. Additionally, a large population of werewolves continues to live in the area surrounding New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Due to the tensions that exist between the witches, the werewolves, the vampires, and the humans, the werewolf community continues to experience a significant death rate as a result of the infighting between factions.
According to Klaus, werewolves exist throughout the United States from the East to the West coasts, though they are not always easy to find. Most werewolves gather in packs, where some of them, such as Ray Sutton's pack, remain on the road, only gathering at the full moon so they turn freely in remote mountains or parks. Nevertheless, some werewolf communities will gather in one place and settle there to create long-term homes in towns and cities where they may make up a significant fraction of an area's supernatural population, such as the Crescent Wolf Pack and the Bayou Pack, who have settled in the greater New Orleans region on the southern coast of Louisiana.
Werewolves have existed in the area of Mystic Falls since the late 10th century. When the Mikaelson Family moved to the New World after the "death" of their first-born daughter, Freya, their witch matriarch, Esther, felt so alone as a result of Mikael's emotional distance following Freya's death that she began to have an affair with a man named Ansel, who was the Alpha of their village's werewolf pack. This relationship resulted in the birth of Niklaus, though everyone (except Esther and Ansel) was under the mistaken belief that Klaus was the biological child of Mikael, like the rest of Esther's children.
Years later, their youngest son Henrik was attacked and killed by a werewolf in Ansel's pack when Henrik and Klaus had secretly sneaked out to watch the wolves shift during the full moon. Mikael, not wanting to lose any more of his children, convinced Esther to use a modified version of the ancient Traveler Qetsiyah's immortality spell to ensure that their family would live forever and remain safe from the werewolves. This resulted in the creation of vampirism, as well as The Hybrid Curse, which Esther placed on Klaus using the power of the doppelgänger Tatia's blood to suppress his werewolf side shortly after his first vampire kill triggered his latent werewolf gene. After Mikael learned of Esther's affair with Ansel and his pack's role in Henrik's death, he massacred Ansel and the majority of the werewolf villagers, which set off the rivalry between the werewolves and the vampires that rage on to this day.
Werewolves were presumed to be extinct for centuries until 1864, when George Lockwood at some point triggered his werewolf curse after killing in the line of duty during his time fighting for the Confederacy in the American Civil War; it is assumed that neither George, nor the rest of his family, knew the truth about their supernatural status. When George returned to Mystic Falls, he began accidentally killing various townsfolk in his wolf form during the full moons. However, he placed the blame for these deaths on Mystic Falls' sizable vampire population, which led the Founding Families to begin to organize what became known as the 1864 Vampire Round-Up. During the first Founder's Day ball, Katherine Pierce informed George that she knew what he was, and used that information to blackmail him into helping her escape the vampire hunt that the town was planning. In exchange, George wanted the moonstone Katherine had stolen from Klaus centuries prior, which he believed could someday be used to break the mythical "Sun and Moon Curse." They both helped each other by keeping their secrets, and once Katherine escaped town, she never spoke to him again.
During the centuries, various Lockwood family members have triggered their werewolf curse, typically due to the anger issues that came as a result of being a werewolf and being provoked into a fight that turned lethal, such as in the case of Mason and Tyler Lockwood. However, there were many Lockwood family members who never learned of their family's werewolf heritage or triggered their curses, such as Richard Lockwood. Unfortunately, following Tyler Lockwood leaving Mystic Falls in early/mid-2013, there are no longer any known werewolves who currently live in Mystic Falls.
In New Orleans, in the 1900's, a family of werewolves known as the Guerrera Pack was known to be involved in criminal activity. Members of their crime family made a deal with Elijah and Klaus that would both keep the Mikaelsons' existence in the city a secret while also allowing the Guerreras to profit off of the alcohol that would be smuggled into their ports after Prohibition became law.
In the year 1919, many of the Guerreras were killed by Papa Tunde when they refused to cave to his demands, and he put their heads on pikes as a warning to others of the consequences of not cooperating. In 1925, the rest of the Guerrera Pack, which, at the time, was composed of roughly one hundred members, were killed over a two-day guerrilla-warfare-style attack in 1925 by Marcel Gerard and his vampire army; the only survivor of the Guerrera family was a baby named Gabriel, who was then adopted by another family and renamed Gabriel Correa.
Decades later in the early 1990s, the leaders of the royal Labonair Family, along with the leaders of the other royal bloodline of the Crescent Wolf Pack, the Kenner Family, wanted their children, Andréa Labonair (later renamed Hayley Marshall) and Jackson Kenner to get married in order to once again reunite the Crescents as one after years of infighting over whether or not they should form a truce with the vampires had divided them. However, a radical werewolf and former Alpha of the Kenner bloodline within the Crescent Clan, Richard Xavier Dumas, became so furious that Hayley's parents had decided to propose a truce with Marcel that he killed them both while baby Hayley laid in her cradle. Once Marcel realized what had been done to Hayley's parents, he became so angry that he convinced a witch to cast what became known as The Crescent Curse on the remaining Crescent wolves; this curse worked by essentially reversing their nature, forcing them to stay in their wolf form at all times, with the exception of the night of the one full moon a month when they would briefly return to their human forms for the duration. Before the curse was cast, Marcel brought baby Hayley to Father Kieran, who found her an adoptive family out of town so she could escape the supernatural war in New Orleans that had killed her parents.
In 2011, the Originals returned to New Orleans and moved to the Mikaelson Mansion with the werewolf Hayley Marshall, one of the last surviving members of the Labonair family who was pregnant with Klaus Mikaelson's hybrid child. She soon discovered soon that a werewolf was watching her after the witch Sabine (who at the time was, unbeknownst to anyone, possessed by Céleste Dubois) told her that the wolf was drawn to her due to the "miracle child" she and Klaus created.
When a faction of witches tried to kill Hayley and her unborn child, the werewolf following Hayley attacked and killed all the witches, saving her life. A short time later, after Hayley was stuck in The Bayou with Elijah while he suffered the effects of Klaus' hybrid bite, someone left a Bible with her family's names and birth dates recorded inside on the porch; it was later revealed that a distant relative of Hayley named Eve had left it for Hayley. Eve later explained that the vampires made a witch curse all the surviving werewolves who bore the crescent-moon-shaped birthmark on their shoulder blades that indicated they were members of the Crescent Wolf Clan.
Klaus, desperate to regain control of New Orleans and knowing the vampires didn't trust him, quickly gave the vampires permission to kill all the werewolves to win their favor with the intention of assuring them that he would not be using his daughter's blood to make more hybrids. However, Hayley, afraid for her family, begged Elijah and Rebekah to protect and save them from the vampires, which they begrudgingly did. They soon discovered that werewolves from all over America, both nomads and pack members alike, were coming to New Orleans to see Hayley and her yet-unborn hybrid baby for themselves. One of these werewolves, a member of the North East Atlantic Pack, Cary, had a ring that identified him as a descendant of Klaus' biological father, Ansel, and was thus kin to both Klaus and his daughter.
With this news, Klaus reconsidered his plan to slaughter the werewolves, and asked Father Kieran to help protect his people in secret. During the first full moon after Hayley had learned about her pack and family, she decided to have a full moon party at the plantation house for the Crescents, as their curse only allowed them to return to their human forms during the few hours the full moon was at its peak and she was eager to meet them after learning they were her family. Unknown to anyone, some of the werewolves, including Oliver, had made a deal with some witches who led him to believe that they would break their pack's curse in exchange for them attacking and neutralizing Rebekah. In order to fulfill his end of their bargain, Oliver began to flirt with Rebekah in order to lower her guard so he could lead her out to the woods to be attacked by The Bayou Pack werewolves who weren't under the Crescents' curse. Meanwhile, Hayley finally got to meet Jackson, and he told her some of her family history.
During their talk, Jackson revealed that he was the wolf that had been protecting Hayley all this time, and explained that their parents intended for them to be married in order to finally unite the Crescent Wolf Clan and take back control of New Orleans from the vampires. He told her that the other wolves would follow her because of her family legacy and insisted that she was going to be the one who changed everything for them. Jackson then informed her that a witch said they would lift their curse because of Hayley, but Hayley immediately realized that it was a trap because she hadn't made a deal with any witches. Rebekah was attacked by the werewolves in the woods and incapacitated by their bites (though, as an Original Vampire, their bites were not fatal to her). Meanwhile, the witches trapped Jackson and Hayley inside and set the house on fire. The two were only saved by Elijah, who managed to break into the house and escort them to safety at the last minute, at the expense of Klaus and Rebekah, who were being attacked at the same time.
After Elijah ultimately took over control of the city from his brother Klaus, he quickly met with representatives from the vampire, human, and witch factions in order to draw up a new peace treaty. Angry at these leaders for having excluded the werewolves, Hayley crashed their meeting and insisted that her people be given a seat at the table as well, and threatened them with violence if their demands weren't met. After discussing it with Klaus, Elijah ultimately decided to have a party for The Faction, which was made up of the five New Orleans supernatural factions (the Originals, the vampires, the witches, the werewolves, and the humans), and though there was a lot of in-fighting between the groups, they eventually agreed to all sign a peace treaty that pleased everyone, including the werewolves, although they were still banned from the French Quarter as they had been for almost two decades.
Unhappy with the fragile peace between the factions that had been organized by Elijah and Hayley, Klaus sought his own agenda by allying himself with the werewolves in hopes that he could create a new army of empowered werewolves using a "moonlight ring" spell of his mother's creation dating back to the late 10th century. It was later explained that these moonlight rings were created using black kyanite stones that had been enchanted to not only prevent the werewolf from turning on the full moon, but that would also allow them access to the powers they would only ordinarily be able to use while in their wolf form, such as their venomous bites and augmented physical abilities equal to that of vampires.
Klaus worked closely with the Crescent wolves and a witch, Genevieve, with whom he had been hooking up, to create the rings, though they ran into several obstacles; namely, the interference by Marcel and his army, who knew that these rings would result in the extinction of vampires and who destroyed their first stash of stones. In the end, Klaus was forced to work with Francesca Correa, a well-known matriarch of a drug cartel and casino enterprise, to gain the black kyanite stones that were needed to create the rings.
The majority of the supernatural population of New Orleans, including Klaus and Hayley, were under the impression that Francesca and her many brothers were humans, but they were ultimately revealed to be untriggered Guerrera werewolves who had been pretending to be human while they plotted to take back the city they believed belonged to them. They were also revealed to be working with Genevieve against the Mikaelsons and Hayley and stole the stones for the Guerrera wolves instead of the Crescents (though Oliver was given a ring for his help in their plan) so they could finally trigger their werewolf genes without being forced to turn on the full moon.
They also handed over Hayley and her unborn child to the witches so that they could both be sacrificed on Esther's orders in the name of more power for the witch community. Unbeknownst to them, the baby's hybrid blood remained in Hayley's system, which caused her to transform into a hybrid as well instead of dying. When Hayley woke up after being killed, she joined the Mikaelson brothers, and the three of them ended up rescuing their baby, who they named Hope before she could be sacrificed. Still, the Guerrera werewolves, led by Francesca, gained control over the city and banned all vampires from the French Quarter.
After Marcel's defeat, the werewolves became the dominant force of the city. With the death of the witch Elder Genevieve, the last resurrected Harvest girl, Cassie, returned from the dead. Secretly, she was being possessed by the leader of the French Quarter Coven, Esther, the mother of the Originals and creator of the vampire race. Determined to rid the world of her creation, Esther continued Genevieve's alliance with the Guerreras and earned her trust by producing moonlight rings for them. Gradually, more and more werewolves began to join the Guerreras in their new dominion within the city. The first to join were many members of the Crescent Wolf Pack, who had been led by Oliver in Hayley and Jackson's absence. The humans did not care much about the politics involved in this change of leadership as long as tourists (and more importantly, the tourists' money) continued to travel there in large numbers. As a result, since any vampire who entered the Quarter was sentenced to immediate execution, and no witch or human was allowed to interfere with their rule, the Guerrera werewolves experienced very little resistance from any of the factions following their family's coup.
After losing control of New Orleans, the Mikaelsons (including Hayley) sealed themselves away from the world in their compound, selling their grief to the community while the Guerreras strengthened their hold over the Quarter. However, secretly, they were assessing the lay of the land; Elijah Mikaelson was focused on locating the twelve rings that could incapacitate Klaus so that they could identify their first targets. Meanwhile, Marcel was obtaining large stashes of wolfsbane and making plans for the rebuilding of a vampire community from his new loft in Algiers. Once it became clear that the Guerreras did not possess the missing White Oak Stake, Elijah, Klaus, Hayley, Marcel, Joshua Rosza, and Joe Dalton worked together on a scheme during the full moon that resulted in the group killing eleven of the twelve owners of the moonlight rings forged with Klaus' blood, including Francesca and her brothers, so the rings could be taken and destroyed. The only survivor was Oliver, who Hayley allowed to live because he was a Crescent but who was still stripped of his ring to return Klaus to full strength.
Esther was pleased about Francesca's demise, as it gave her the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the power vacuum by recruiting all of the werewolves in the Bayou to her cause, giving her control over both the witches and the werewolves in New Orleans. She knew that Klaus wanted to one day lead the werewolves, so having control over them gave her leverage in her plan to place her children's spirits in mortal bodies of witches (or, in Klaus' case, in the body of a werewolf.) She had the witches in her new coven working day and night to create dozens and dozens of moonlight rings in order to gain the wolves' allegiance. After learning of Esther's plans, Klaus encouraged Hayley to go to the Bayou to reclaim her title of queen of the Crescents and to convince them to join their side instead of Esther's in the name of returning the city to its peaceful state so that Hope could return home to them. Hayley was ultimately able to convince the pack to allow her to lead once again; she instructed Oliver to work as a double agent and inform her of Esther's plans and had the rest of the werewolves move into the compound so they wouldn't have to live in the encampments.
Meanwhile, Finn was put in charge of the rest of the werewolves his mother recruited, and he and Esther came up with a scheme to capture Elijah. One part of the plan involved forcing the untriggered teenage werewolves of the Crescent Wolf Clan to kill any humans in the city who weren't aligning with Esther, which would activate their werewolf genes during the blood moon, a rite of passage used in by the werewolf packs in the late 10th and early 11th century. Unwilling to allow their young pack mates to be conscripted into the supernatural war, Hayley, Aiden, and Oliver teamed up with the vampires Marcel, Josh, Gia, and Elijah to help them rescue the children before they could be forced to kill and send them away to a safe house. Oliver and Elijah were chosen to be the decoys to distract Finn and Esther's werewolves while they sneaked the children to safety, only to learn that this was their plan all along. Finn and Esther used their magic to incapacitate and capture them both.
Oliver was put in stocks in Lafayette Cemetery as a message to the other wolves of what would happen to traitors, and the werewolves were ordered by Finn to spread word that Oliver would be executed for his crimes at midnight. When Hayley heard this news, she went to Marcel and Gia for help rescuing him, knowing that finding Oliver could help them figure out where Elijah was being kept. Cami distracted Finn while Marcel and Gia distracted Finn's guards and assured that she wouldn't be harmed, allowing the recently-resurrected Ansel and Hayley to sneak into the Lycée to save Oliver. Once he was found and unbound, Ansel held off the werewolves with his blade while Hayley and Oliver went out the back. They ran into another group of werewolves, led by Aiden, who initially intended to capture them both, but after Oliver reminded them of how they were being manipulated and used as slaves for people who want to control them, they eventually relented and allowed them to leave. Unfortunately, when Oliver and Hayley returned to the Bayou, Oliver was eventually stricken by the witches' spell and died despite being freed from captivity.
The priority of the Crescent wolves then became about breaking free from Esther and Finn's control, and Hayley, as the Alpha of the Labonair bloodline, and Jackson, as the Alpha of the Kenner bloodline, decided to get married and perform the Unification Ceremony, which would allow Jackson and the rest of the pack to mystically inherit Hayley's hybrid ability to transform into a wolf at will and no longer be forced to turn on full moons. With this ability, the werewolves would no longer be dependent on the moonlight rings provided by Esther and the witches in her service, and they could finally live on their own terms, without being in exile or forced to live as slaves.
After engaging in many trials and rituals, the Unification Ceremony was performed by the werewolf elder Mary Dumas, and every werewolf who participated in the ceremony became an Evolved Werewolf. Afterward, Hayley and Klaus' daughter Hope was introduced to the pack, who then swore to protect her as one of their own as the threat of the witch Dahlia, the Mikaelson children's aunt who sought to take Hope and use her to increase her own power, came ever closer. Desperate to save his daughter at any cost and feeling betrayed by Hayley and Jackson's attempt to smuggle Hope out of town without his permission, Klaus temporarily teamed up with Dahlia, giving her the idea to punish Hayley, Jackson, and the Crescents by recasting a modified version of the Crescent Curse on them that would work on the hybrid, Hayley.
The Crescent Curse remained on the Crescent Wolf Pack for several months until it was finally removed by the Harvest Witch Davina Claire. Afterward, though Hayley and Jackson got an apartment in the French Quarter for the two of them and Hope, the rest of the werewolves went into hiding upon the revelation that Lucien Castle's Kingmaker Land Development Inc. was hunting werewolves in the Bayou. It was later revealed that Lucien's men had captured werewolves from all seven of the original packs-- Crescent, Deep Water, Malraux, BosRoq, Barry, Poldark, and Paxon-- in order to harvest their venom, which, when combined, would create a venom so potent that, once exposed to a vampire's system, could be cured by neither Klaus nor Hope Mikaelson's blood. It was soon revealed that Lucien created this potent venom as part of his mission to become an Upgraded Original Vampire known as the Beast that is a vampire with the bite of a werewolf; however, though Lucien was ultimately killed, Marcel Gerard also took the serum as well, making his bite more lethal than a werewolf's in that a cure for the bite remains unknown, and unlike regular werewolf bites, it can also kill an Original.
Afterward, Hayley set off to find a cure to this combined venom, which will likely require researching into the seven original packs.
A national park in the Smoky Mountains is one of the open grounds where werewolf packs gather for the full moon, a place where they can turn freely without needing to restrain themselves and without fear of hurting humans. This was once a popular gathering place for Paige's Pack before they were turned into unstable hybrids by Klaus and ultimately died due to having no doppelgänger blood upon which to feed after they awakened in transition.
Like normal humans, werewolves can eat human food if they wish. However, because they turn into ferocious beasts during the full moon, they are carnivores. When in wolf form, they can feed on human or vampire body parts and organs, but they are not required to ingest them in order to prolong their existence, like vampires, must do with blood. There are no known consequences from abstaining from human or vampire flesh while in werewolf form. It seems that most werewolves do not get to feed on humanoid flesh, because most tend to lock themselves up during the full moon, or are scared or distracted away from their victim before they can eat them.
Werewolves have not been seen to attack each other in human or lupine form, but have been known to hunt both human and vampire prey while transformed under the full moon. Jules, for example, was seen to be horrified when she woke up to find she'd slaughtered a group of campers after she had attacked Rose the previous evening. Unstable hybrids also have the urge to attack vampires regardless of what form they are in, as witnessed in The Hybrid when a werewolf, Ray Sutton, instinctively attacked the vampire Damon Salvatore instead of pursuing its first choice, Elena Gilbert.
Werewolves in their wolf form are quite similar to natural wolves, although unlike natural wolves, werewolves have glowing yellow or orange eyes, wicked fangs, and a much more feral and predatory appearance. They can also be distinguished from regular wolves by their displays of supernatural strength, blurred speed, and size which is comparable to fully grown humans. The fur color of wolf forms differs from one to the other (e.g., Tyler Lockwood's fur color is dark brown, Mason Lockwood's is white and grey, Jules' is light brown with a hint of white, and Hayley's is tan and brown). Werewolves appear the same as any other human the rest of the month, aside from their enhanced abilities of speed, strength, and healing.
A werewolf will only transform into a wolf under a full moon. The first transformation is quite slow, and the person is subjected to at least five or six hours of intense, bone-breaking pain before the actual transformation. After the first transformation, the experience does not last nearly as long, but it is still painful and something many werewolves come to dread. Klaus mentions that embracing the transformation rather than fighting it as most werewolves do, would make the process faster. Hope Mikaelson, who was on her first transformation followed this advice and her transformation was considerably faster, taking only moments instead of hours. It is unknown if this is due to her unique nature or possible for any werewolf that accepts the transformation rather than fights them.
During the transformation, the body of the person is twisted in an unnatural manner as bones reshape and shift to form a wolf’s skeleton, causing the person immense physical and psychological pain. Later, the werewolf grows excessive body hair and becomes feral. Their irises turn golden-yellow, their sclera turns black, and their teeth elongate into canines before they finally transform into their wolf shape. A werewolf returns to their human form after a few hours, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. After the first transformation, the werewolf will experience muscle aches.
Older werewolves can control themselves to some extent on the night of the full moon, but many find it necessary to dose themselves with wolfsbane to weaken them before they lock themselves up in chains to prevent hurting anyone while they're transformed. The Crescent werewolves have seemed to gain much more control over their actions in wolf form than typical werewolves, most likely, as a result, spending all of their time in wolf form while they were cursed by Céleste Dubois. Werewolves also feel everything more sharply in their animal form, especially familial ties. Ansel, for example, would wake up from his transformation closer to his son's village after each full moon. Since he was brought back to life he would wake further from Klaus and New Orleans, drawn to his granddaughter, despite not even knowing she was alive. This shows familial ties in their werewolf form prioritizes the younger generation over the old.
Werewolves are known to be aggressive, strong and fast, even in human form. Tyler Lockwood often had trouble controlling his temper, especially leading up to and during the full moon. Those with the werewolf curse still latent can exhibit some supernatural traits which can be triggered by aggression, along with unusual physical strength for the person's given size and age, but they cannot fully transform, and they also have a tendency to black out when they become overwhelmed in fits of rage. Werewolves seem to have a strong sense of duty and loyalty to protect their own and feel a responsibility to help their fellow werewolves whenever they can.
Also, werewolves have a higher body temperature than humans. When Tyler first activates his curse, he states that his skin feels as if it's on fire. Once a werewolf has triggered their gene, their eyes turn gold (the eyes of a wolf) while enraged, as Mason's eyes did when he stopped the fight between Tyler and Carter (Brave New World), or when feeling threatened, such as when Hayley's eyes turned yellow while she was defending herself against a group of witches. Activating the curse is also painful, as werewolves have been seen to double over in pain before their eyes change for the first time.
While some werewolves prefer to keep to themselves and keep their beastly natures hidden, most seem to aggregate themselves into packs and residing in areas isolated from general human society so they can run free on the full moons without fear of hurting or killing anyone.
In 1864, George Lockwood attacked several humans and killed them, leaving horrific wounds on the corpses that were so severe that it looked worse than a typical vampire attack. This became evident when Henry told Katherine that the wounds were "worse than anything he had ever seen before." Despite this, and with the cooperation of Katherine Pierce, who was running from the Originals, George was able to convince the Mystic Falls Founder's Council that vampires were responsible, which leads to their round up. It is unknown if George continued his attacks afterward, or if he adapted to his nature.
Code of Loyalty
Werewolves are very similar to witches when it comes to their own kind. Unlike vampires, werewolves have an unwavering sense of loyalty, and will often bond with other werewolves they meet. They form packs and work with each other as sort of an extended family. The bond of loyalty between werewolves is so strong that while changed under full moons, the only beings they do not attack are other werewolves (regardless of whether or not they have activated their werewolf gene). This code does seem to extend to Klaus' hybrids, as well. It's possible that another reason why Klaus' hybrids were so loyal, aside for the Sire Bond between them, was because of their werewolf heritage.
La Luna Sanguinis
According to Finn, the werewolves had a ritual a thousand years ago by which, on a blood moon, they would hunt and purposefully trigger their curse by killing a human, willingly enduring the pain of their transformations in exchange for the strength they gained as warriors. This ritual was meant to be a rite of passage, where young werewolves embraced their nature rather than shying away from it; this is in stark contrast to many modern-day werewolves, who do whatever they can to avoid triggering their curses and having to deal with the pain of their monthly transformations.
According to Emma Tig, lunar psychosis is a very rare occurrence among werewolves in which the werewolf's mind is in flux, trapped between their wolf and human state. When a werewolf is affected by this, they have a harder time bridging the gap between the two states and to access their memories as they normally would. This only happens after a premature reversion from wolf to human, when something causes the body to shift back before the full moon is over, typically something caused by extreme trauma. Given that a werewolf prematurely returned to their human state, left unattended, there is a danger that they could revert back to their wolf form. In order for a werewolf to overcome the issue, their mind needs to be surrounded by all the things that are familiar to them so that it can connect them to their humanity, and not their lycanthropy.
Given the Crescent Wolf Pack's ability to control their turns at will, they had access to both sides of their minds and developed an elixir to access the division between the two sides. According to Hope, the elixir is a family recipe stemming from Hayley's side of the Crescent Pack and has a copy of the recipe in her possession. The instructions for the elixir are as follows:
- Heat deep cast-iron pot or cauldron over open flame. Test heat by sprinkling water over pot; water should evaporate before touching the metal.
- Muddle Valerian Root with sea water in cauldron, simmer until reduced.
- Submerge silver in reduction at a ratio of 2:1, keeping only pleasant thoughts in your mind. Stir well, allow silver to fully oxidize. If you see corrosion, you've gone too far.
- After peeling protective wax coating from eye of newt, you have approximately one minute before corneal membrane begins to shrivel. Using granite mortar and pestle, pulpify eye of newt and gradually add to elixir being careful not to splash the pot. Do not use marble mortar and pestle or the corneas will ferment!
- Gently stir elixir twice clockwise and thrice counterclockwise, repeated for three minutes, with intense focus and calm demeanor. When all bubbles are cleared from the surface, elixir is ready for consumption.
Powers and Abilities
Werewolves' strength and speed are enhanced and are at their peak during time under a full moon. When angered or threatened, these powers and abilities are temporarily enhanced;
- Super Strength: Werewolves possess supernatural strength that makes them far stronger than immortals, Supernatural Hunters, and humans. There have been several occasions to suggest that untriggered werewolves possess more strength than any average humans, which would indicate some form of enhanced strength even before the activation of their curse. However, werewolves in their human form are not as strong as a vampire and have even been shown to be far weaker on several occasions. But they've also shown to be strong enough to at least defend themselves, such as when Mason punched Damon across the room, or when Hayley pinned Diego up against a wall. When they are in their wolf form, their powers amplify to a degree that excels that of the non-Original vampires, making them more powerful than non-Original vampires. In wolf form, a werewolf can overpower and kill any non-original vampire with ease. Such examples include when Mason, in wolf form, tackled and overpowered Caroline, a new vampire at the time; when Tyler was turning and overpowered Damon, a vampire over 170 years old; or when Jules, in wolf form, tackled and bit Rose, a 560-year-old vampire.
- Super Speed: Werewolves are much faster than immortals, supernatural hunters, and humans. They possess this ability both in and out of transformation with an animalistic quickness. However, the power is faster at night than in the day, due to the moon's presence, and their speed increases greatly when the werewolf is transformed during the full moon. Examples include when Mason was able to hunt down Caroline and Stefan in the woods easily while transformed, even despite their vampire-enhanced speed. Some werewolves are shown to become nearly a blur like their vampire enemies; others have not. In wolf form, however, while under the influence of the full moon, they can use their speed to swiftly chase down their choice of prey; even vampires.
- Super Agility: Werewolves possess superhuman agility. Either in wolf or even in human form, they have demonstrated that they can move, jump very high, climb, flip, and run incredibly fast without difficulty or exhaustion. They can also jump down from incredible heights with almost gravity-defying grace.
- Super Durability: Werewolves can take far more trauma than humans without nearly as much discomfort or injury, however, not as much as vampires. They can also exert themselves for longer periods without tiring.
- Healing Factor: Werewolves possess superhuman regenerative abilities, meaning that if they are physically injured, their bodies will heal rapidly. Like vampires, werewolves can heal from the most grievous of injuries, even in human form, albeit more slowly in comparison to vampires. However, unlike vampires, when a werewolf’s neck is broken, they stay dead.
- Super Senses: Werewolves have the extremely keen and heightened senses of smell, sight, taste, hearing, and touch that exceed their wolf counterparts and that of regular canines. With this, experienced werewolves such as Jules could sniff out vampires - something vampires themselves are incapable of - and Tyler could taste vervain placed in his coffee, which would otherwise be impossible since coffee's intense flavor typically masks the taste of the herb. Untriggered werewolves are also gifted with more sensitive hearing such as when Tyler Lockwood was able to hear the Gilbert device.
- Lycanthrope Enhancement: Werewolves are able to make their eyes glow when angry or threatened, but only for a short amount of time. When a werewolf is furious or forced to defend themselves, their anger increases all their power and abilities for a short period of time, which allows them to access some of the power of their wolf form to give them an edge.
- Shapeshifting/Transformation Control: During a full moon, they will unwillingly transform from their human form and into their wolf form. However, if a female werewolf is pregnant, they will not turn for nine months as the transformation would kill the baby. Unique to the Crescent Wolf Pack, after Hayley and Jackson went through the Unification ceremony, every Crescent wolf in attendance gained Hayley's ability to transform at will, which stemmed from her Hybrid nature. With this control over their transformation, they can access the full potential of their wolf forms at any time regardless of the moon phases by turning at will. In addition to the transformation control, the unification ceremony also gave the werewolves in attendance significantly augmented strength, speed, reflexes, thus making them physically more powerful than before, even in human form.
- Werewolf Bite: A werewolf's venom is extremely lethal to non-original vampires. While an Original vampire cannot die from the venom, they are not wholly immune to the effects of the bite. For non-Original vampires, the venom acts as an poison of sorts that will enter the bloodstream and deliver the toxin throughout the body, producing discomfort and weakness. All vampires who are bitten will ultimately develop uncontrollable hunger that progresses to delusions, hallucinations, rabid rage, and dementia culminating in death.
- Full Moon: A werewolf's strength, speed, agility, and all their powers are enhanced to their peak during a full moon.
- Immunity to Silver: Werewolves are immune to magic bonded to silver. Weapons made of silver might wound them, but the wound still heals at supernatural rates and will not be fatal to them.
Former Powers and Abilities
- Lie Detection: During a conversation between Jules and Caroline. Jules revealed that there is a werewolf ability allowing werewolves to sense if you're speaking the truth. However, this ability has never been demonstrated by any werewolf, Jules included, so it is possible that she was lying to scare Caroline or was otherwise being hyperbolic.
Vampires and werewolves can be damaged in the same ways humans can, and in most cases will only be briefly weakened. However, werewolves are still mortals, and thus can be killed or incapacitated in various ways.
- Blood Loss: If a werewolf is severely wounded and bleeds out before they can heal, they can die. This was demonstrated when Stefan threw a stake into a werewolf's neck, hitting their carotid artery and causing the werewolf to bleed out and die before they could fully heal. Another instance was when Klaus impaled the werewolf Paige through the chest.
- Broken Neck: Breaking a werewolf's neck will result in instant death.
- Decapitation: Decapitation will result in instant death for a werewolf.
- Fire: (Presumably) Fire can presumably kill a werewolf just as it can any mortal. It can also hurt them, though their regenerative cells allow them to heal burns much faster than an ordinary human.
- Heart Extraction: Ripping a werewolf's heart out will result in instant death.
- Magic: Werewolves are susceptible to the powers of witchcraft. This is inclusive of mystical objects such as the Starling Necklace, Gilbert Device, Papa Tunde's Blade, and Dark Objects. It has been confirmed that a Siphoner can siphon the magic from a werewolf, as seen in Hope is Not the Goal. It was also shown in I'm Thinking Of You All The While that the magic of a werewolf bite can also be siphoned in order to cure a vampire of its fatal effects. Multiple spells have been performed by witches against werewolves to cause several effects against them, such as slowing down or speeding up a werewolf's transformation during a full moon, inducing a werewolf transformation earlier than they would normally begin to change, telekinetically ripping a heart from a werewolf's chest, and cursing a pack of werewolves to be trapped in their wolf form at all times except for a few short hours during the full moon when they return to their human forms.
- Mortality: Werewolves can die of old age and share many of the same weaknesses as non-supernatural beings (e.g. suffocation).
- Physical Trauma: Minor physical injuries such as gunshots, stab wounds and broken bones will cause a werewolf pain and will also slow them down. Fortunately for them, this is only temporary, as they will heal completely within minutes. However, certain injuries, such as a slit throat or a snapped neck, have been shown to kill werewolves, as demonstrated by Hayley Marshall and Tyler Lockwood, respectively, prior to their transformations into hybrids.
- Wolfsbane: When ingested, wolfsbane causes a werewolf to become severely weak and feverish. Also, If a werewolf's skin is exposed to wolfsbane, it will burn them.
- Doppelgänger Blood Magic: If blood from the last pair of doppelgängers is used in the Magic Purification Spell, all activated werewolves revert back to being a mortal with an untriggered wolf gene like Tyler. Kai absorbed the magic purification spell and as such, it no longer exists.
- Silver: Contrary to popular belief, werewolves are not weakened by or allergic to silver, as Mason explained after Damon stabbed him with a silver knife. Mason guessed that the myth was probably started by werewolves. Silver actually has the opposite effect – when a werewolf is wounded by silver, it heals. This is why Klaus can't be neutralized by the white oak daggers.
- Wolfsbane: Several myths have surrounded the use of this herb and its relation to and effects upon werewolves, including the myth that wolfsbane supposedly either causes or cures lycanthropy. These myths are false.
Appearances in Wolf Form
The Vampire Diaries
|Inadu's mother was a powerful witch who lived as a Native American in 500 A.D. She and everyone who was present the night they killed her overpowered daughter were turned into werewolves by Inadu, better known as The Hollow. Inadu's mother is the first werewolf to be created and the first member of the Crescent Wolf Pack. She is an ancestor of Hayley Marshall-Kenner and Hope Mikaelson.||Deceased|
|Ansel||He was an Alpha werewolf of the North East Atlantic Pack, the lover of Esther Mikaelson, biological father of Niklaus Mikaelson and the grandfather of Hope Mikaelson. He was resurrected by Esther and later killed by Klaus.||Deceased|
|Jacob Lockwood was the mayor of Mystic Falls in the 1800s.||Deceased|
|Benjamin Lockwood||Benjamin Lockwood was the mayor of Mystic Falls in 1864.||Deceased|
|Barnette Lockwood||Barnette was a member of the Founder's Council and a carrier of the werewolf gene.||Deceased|
|George Lockwood||George was the first known member of the Lockwood family to trigger the werewolf gene. He is the son of Benjamin Lockwood.||Deceased|
|The Guerrera Family||The Guerrera Family were a crime family of werewolves who worked with the originals in the early 1900's. They were killed by Papa Tunde.||Deceased|
|Lana||Lana was an Alpha and queen of the Crescent werewolf clan in 1919. She was killed by Mikael.||Deceased|
|Mary Dumas||Mary is Jackson's grandmother and a member of the Crescent werewolf pack.||Deceased|
|Richard Xavier Dumas||Richard was Jackson's grandfather and was the one responsible for Hayley's parents' deaths.||Deceased|
|Richard Lockwood||Richard was an untriggered werewolf and the mayor of Mystic Falls before being killed by Charlie. He is also the older brother of Mason Lockwood and father of Tyler Lockwood.||Deceased|
|Mason Lockwood||Mason was Richard Lockwood's brother and Tyler's uncle. He aided Katherine Pierce in her attempt to find the moonstone.||Deceased|
|Jules||Jules was an Alpha werewolf and friend of Mason Lockwood. She and her boyfriend Brady kidnapped Caroline Forbes so that they could leave with Mason's nephew, Tyler, and help him adjust to his new life as a werewolf. She was killed by Klaus as a sacrifice to break the hybrid curse.||Deceased|
|Brady||Brady was the boyfriend of Jules and friend of Mason. After the disappearance of Mason, Brady and his wolf pack traveled to Mystic Falls to avenge his death.||Deceased|
|Stevie||Stevie was a member of Jules' pack. He helped Jules capture Damon in an attempt to find the moonstone.||Deceased|
|Eve||Eve is a werewolf relative of Hayley Marshall who lives in the Louisiana bayous with others of her family, and helped shed some light on Klaus' werewolf family. She had never activated the wolf gene. She was killed by Oliver.||Deceased|
|Cary||Cary is a descendant of Ansel and relative to Klaus. He is also a member of the North East Atlantic Pack. After he and his friends were rescued by Elijah and Rebekah, his origins were revealed when he was shown to be in possession of Esther's ring.||Alive|
|Chance was a werewolf in Brady's pack.||Deceased|
|Francesca Guerrera||Francesca was an Alpha and a descendant of the Guerrera Family. Her family spent decades hiding their werewolf side but activated it once they had control of the Quarter. She was killed by Hayley.||Deceased|
|Jerick||He was an Evolved Werewolf and one of the top werewolves in New Orleans. He was killed by Mikael.||Deceased|
|Jackson Kenner||Jackson was an Alpha Evolved Werewolf and the husband of Hayley Marshall. He was killed by Tristan de Martel.||Deceased|
|Oliver||Oliver was a member of the Crescent werewolf pack.||Deceased|
|Aiden||Aiden was an Evolved Werewolf and the boyfriend of Joshua Rosza. He was killed by Dahlia.||Deceased|
|Tyler Lockwood||Tyler Lockwood was a werewolf before his transition into a hybrid. He later became a werewolf again when he killed Liv Parker. He was killed by Damon Salvatore.||Deceased|
|Keelin||Keelin is a werewolf from the Malraux bloodline-- one of the seven original packs. Hayley found her in Texas and took her venom to cure Elijah and Kol from Marcel's bite.||Alive|
|Domonique Guerrera||Domonique was one of Francesca's brothers. He was killed by Elijah.||Deceased|
|Antonio Guerrera||Antonio was one of Francesca's brothers. He was killed by Elijah.||Deceased|
|Carlos Guerrera||Carlos was one of Francesca's brothers. He was killed by Elijah.||Deceased|
|Benito Guerrera||Benito was one of Francesca's brothers. He was killed by Elijah.||Deceased|
|Nick||He is Aiden's younger brother who is an untriggered werewolf.||Alive|
|Kurt||Kurt is a werewolf in Jackson's pack.||Alive|
|Rafael Waithe||Rafael is a newly triggered werewolf recruited for the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted.||Alive|
- There are seven original Wolf Packs, all of which can be traced back to the beginning of werewolf history. These bloodlines are considered royalty, and now are represented by the following packs: Crescent, Deep Water, Malroux, BosRoq, Poldark, Barry, and Paxon.
- Each bloodline has their own unique strain of Werewolf Venom.
- Every Werewolf is a descendant and can trace their origins to one of these seven bloodlines.
- The Northeast Atlantic Pack and the Crescent Wolf Clan are said to have been fighting against each other since the beginning of the werewolf species.
- Werewolves procreate sexually, and the werewolf gene is carried down through their bloodlines, rather than by turning others via a bite as in other forms of werewolf lore
- Werewolves are the antithesis to vampires, as vampires are typically solitary creatures due to their immortality, while werewolves are meant to be in packs/families.
- Hayley is the first pregnant werewolf in the series.
- This also makes her the first werewolf to not transform during a full moon without being a hybrid, an evolved werewolf, or while wearing a moonlight ring.
- Every werewolf to appear on The Vampire Diaries has been killed.
- Werewolves are an older species than vampires, as Klaus' father and other members of the Original family's village were werewolves long before the Originals were turned into vampires.
- In the books, the Original Pack, Tyler Smallwood, Caroline Forbes, Caroline's unborn twin children and Jacob Smallwood were the only werewolves.
- The Labonair Family is the only family to have a common birthmark.
- According to an interview on the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, Julie Plec stated that when werewolf women are pregnant that's the one time the curse releases itself so the werewolf bloodlines can continue to procreate, or else the shape-shifting would kill the baby in the womb. 
- A werewolf could also be a witch if one of their parents were a witch, such as Klaus when he was alive and his baby. However, it is still unknown within the television series if triggering the werewolf curse would allow them to continue to practice witchcraft.
- It is established through Ansel in Chasing the Devil’s Tail that at least some werewolves can sense and be drawn to the newly born members of their bloodlines in their wolf form; this is how Ansel knew Hope is alive.
- The Originals writer Carina MacKenzie confirmed that temporarily killing a vampire (for example breaking the neck of a vampire) would not trigger the werewolf curse. 
- List of Werewolves - a complete list of all werewolves that have appeared in the series.