A case for klaus

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Title: a case for klaus
Creator: emiv
Date(s): 2012-01-11
Medium: online
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV)/The Originals
Topic: Klaus Mikaelson
External Links: http://with-lemonade.livejournal.com/12779.html
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a case for klaus is a meta essay by emiv about Klaus Mikaelson with spoilers up to TVD episode 3x10 - The New Deal.

Author's Notes

For arabian, who challenged me to make her care about Klaus. ;)

Please note: This meta is a mix between the serious and the silly. There are some moments when I get very scholarly and wordy and others when my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. You have been warned.

Excerpts

On some level, Klaus’ parents really are the root of all his problems. First there’s Mikael, the domineering and distant father who actively disliked him and disapproved of all he did. And then Esther, the once-loving mother who abruptly turned her back on him. His parents certainly loved him, as is obvious his inclusion in the protection spell that created vampires, but that doesn’t outweigh the tremendous impact their actions had on him, nor does it change how their many betrayals shaped him into who and what he became.
Klaus is clearly starved for a father’s approval, especially as a human, but the silver-lining for him back then was that at least his mother loved him. His mother defended him. Klaus had her unconditional love until the day the truth came about his paternity. Then his loving mother, who went against the laws of nature to preserve his life for all eternity, slaps him with a curse that suppresses an entire facet of his nature and then disowns him for something he had absolutely no control over. He didn’t choose to be a vampire. He didn’t choose the blood lust. He didn’t choose to be born illegitimate and with the werewolf gene. He is cursed and disowned for apparently nothing of is own doing by a mother he trusted and loved. Add that to the heightened aggression of the were-gene heightened even more by vampire-ism. Of course he cracked. Who wouldn’t?

Daggering his family isn’t killing them to Klaus; to him, it’s protection. It’s punishment. It’s a holding pattern until Klaus can get all his ducks in a row. It’s a way to keep them safe and in his control until a time he sees fit to bring them back, until the time is right.

A good example of this can be seen in his dealings with Elijah. When Elijah is about to kill Klaus at the end of The Sun also Rises, Klaus looks genuinely shocked; he knew Elijah wasn’t exactly happy with him, but he didn’t know that it went that far, that his own brother wants him actually dead. This is very disappointing for Klaus. When the plan doesn’t work out, of course Klaus had to dagger Elijah; it’s neutralizing, true, but mostly it’s his punishment for his disloyalty.
His own sister says that Klaus has no tolerance for those who disappoint him and that their whole family has done just that. Given how grandly Esther and Mikael disappointed him, it is no wonder this is a major issue with Klaus. One by one, his siblings let him down and the wonderfully impetuous Klaus daggered them all but he still keeps them with him, suspended in time, waiting for the perfect moment for them all to be a family again. And it seems like that time is near: in The New Deal, we see that Klaus is preparing a grand mansion in Mystic Falls, and he tells a daggered Rebekah that he has brought her home. There is something so reveling about his choice of Mystic Falls, a sense of things coming full circle. Klaus is fixing what is broken and recreating the circumstances in which his family was last together and happy, before everything fell apart. Precious, right?
Klaus, either himself or his actions, has set every major plot point in the show in motion. Klaus took his brother Henrik out to see the werewolves change. Henrik died and vampires were created as a result. Klaus himself, being made a vampire from a werewolf bloodline, was the reason for the curse in the first place. Klaus’s obsession with breaking the curse had him looking for the Doppelganger, bringing Katherine to his attention in 1492 and setting off the chain of events that would lead to the Salvatore brothers being turned in 1886 and subsequently, Stefan saving Elena from drowning in 2009. Remove Klaus from the equation and we are left without a heroine, hero, antihero, antagonist, conflict or plot.
On the surface, Klaus is the bad guy. He’s spent the majority of his very long life lying, manipulating, and killing anyone that gets in his way (and several who didn’t). He has no regard for life, human or otherwise. He is an unmitigated magnificent bastard. When he is first introduced, before we learn anything real about the character, Klaus is irredeemable evil; he is more plot point than character, the obstacle our protagonists must overcome. And if he had died in The Sun also Rises, that’s all he would have ever been. However, Klaus did not die and since then we’ve continued to learn more and more about him, his family and his motivations. In his interactions with his siblings, we see less of a monster and more of a man, trying in his own twisted way to set everything right again. As his back story is further reveled, we begin to see exactly why Klaus is the way he is, we learn what drives him,and we see that it goes much deeper than simply the enjoyment of being evil.