When the Mikaelson family was first introduced during the third season of The Vampire Diaries, I initially wrote them off as being just another set of villains Elena and the Salvatore brothers would have to overcome. Yet they quickly became so much more than that. These complicated and intriguing characters went on to worm their way into our hearts — so much so that it even earned them their own spinoff series. Now, five magical seasons later, The Originals is ending for good this week, and while the idea definitely makes me sad, I can't help but also be grateful for the many lessons the series has taught me over the years, particularly in regards to family.
For the record, yes, I do realize that The Originals is a work of fiction. But even though immortal vampires don't actually exist (that we know of) that doesn't mean there aren't still real life lessons to be learned. Say what you will about the Mikaelsons — and believe me, these supernatural beings have their fair share of flaws — but their undying love for one another and unyielding support is enough to warm even the coldest of hearts. Because if existing for over a thousand years has taught them anything, it's that nothing is this world is more important.
As an only child, I was always envious of my friends who had siblings. The thought of someone always being there if I needed them sounded so comforting. Don't get me wrong, my parents lavished me with attention and provided an unending amount of support. But the special connection that exists between siblings is something that I felt would always be out of my reach. But then the Mikelsons came along and I saw that strong bond play out firsthand.
Now, obviously, a lot of the scenarios that Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, Kol, Finn, and Freya have found themselves in aren't exactly typical for the average, everyday family. (Again, I'm not expert on the ways of sibling interactions; however, I'm pretty sure it usually involves a lot less neck-snapping and blood drinking — but don't quote me on that one.) So yes, a lot of these situations had to be taken with a grain of salt, but the underlying concept was always clear: this family was there for each other through thick and thin. No matter what mistakes they made or betrayals they suffered, at the end of the day, they had each other's backs. In fact, they even created their own family motto: "Always and forever." And when you're a family who can literally exist forever, that sentiment carries a whole new meaning behind it.
That doesn't mean that they were perfect, though. Far from it, actually. (Remember when Klaus kept them all staked and locked in coffins for years and years?) But even at their lowest, most murderous and controlling points, family always seemed to be the thing that snapped them out of it. None of them chose to be vampires. It was a decision that was forced upon them by their mother and a burden they've had to carry with them ever since. Some like Klaus went on to embrace their immortality while others like Rebekah always resented it, but it's that shared experience that bonds them together so fiercely.
They may want to kill each other some days (OK, fine, most days), but no amount of resentment or frustration can outweigh the love they share. And in a world that's currently filled with so much unnecessary hate, that's a lesson I plan on carrying with me always and forever.