"The Originals" has an abundance of morally grey characters who regularly oscillate between silver and charcoal. So much so, that it can be hard to differentiate between our heroes and our villains. Take our resident egocentric monster, Klaus Mikaelson.
When we first met Klaus on "The Vampire Diaries," he was known as the most fearsome vampire in the world. He was indomitable, an arrogant Original vampire with a thirst for doppelgänger blood. But behind that hostile temper and narcissistic charm, there was an undeniable vulnerability. He had an insatiable desire to be loved and accepted. This made Klaus a compelling villain. There was a reasons for his gleeful unpredictability.
Now, three seasons in on "The Originals," and Klaus has been fully cemented as the anti hero of his own story. He's the flawed hero we're supposed to root for, despite his moral shortcomings. But there is something -- or rather, someone -- who has played an integral part in his evolution from villain to flawed hero: his daughter Hope.
"It's funny," Joseph Morgan told MTV News. "One of the writers asked me the other day, 'Who do you want to have more scenes with? What character? Let me take something back to the writers' room.' And I said, 'Hope.' I want more scenes with his child. I think those are really beautiful moments. That's who he's doing it all for."
"He's evolved in so many ways since coming in as the villain in the end of Season 2 of 'The Vampire Diaries,' but I have to say the biggest change is having his daughter," he added. "Having someone in his life who loves him unconditionally and doesn't judge him -- at least, not yet, not until she's old enough to see what kind of man her father is -- and having that responsibility has really changed him."
Of course, Klaus doesn’t seem to care much about the collateral damage (or intentional damage), and the people it affects, especially when it comes to keeping Hope safe. Sometimes, even from her own mother.
"Going from a point at the beginning of 'The Originals,' where he was prepared to let his child die, in fact he wanted it, to the point where he'd tear apart armies for her," Morgan said. "It's allowed him to have these moments, like last season when he's telling her the fairy tale, and like the end of Season 1, when he has to hand her over to Rebekah to keep her safe. These are real moments of tenderness and vulnerability that I believe are unparalleled."
There's no doubt we've seen a different side to Klaus since Hope's birth. The fact that he is capable of that kind of unconditional love gives him a sense of humanity, which is something we haven't seen in Klaus since he saved Caroline's life on "TVD" and drew her a pony. Now Klaus knows that he's capable of love, an emotion he hasn't felt in over 1,000 years. Will that eventually inspire Klaus to pursue a romantic love in the future?
"We talked a bunch of times -- Julie [Plec], Mike [Narducci] and I -- about what kind of person Klaus would find himself with," the actor said. "Because really, he's been lacking in love, and lacking in love interests, over the last few years on the show. Other than fleeting moments, nothing has stuck. So I think the idea of this girl who's as destructive as he is and completely intoxicating and passionate... those were the words I used to describe the kind of person I thought he should be with."
Enter Aurora, Klaus's first love and a member of the Trinity, the first three vampires ever turned by Rebekah, Klaus and Elijah. Aurora's existence was not only a shock to fans of the show, but also Morgan himself.
"I was surprised that it wasn't someone he was meeting in present day, that it was a story that had already happened," he said. "I thought it was wonderful. I loved playing the parallels -- the present-day Aurora and Klaus who are jaded by this 1000 years of betrayal and mistrust and resentment and regret, but then the innocent versions of themselves. They were children who were able to fall in love and find brief happiness with each other."
But any chance of a happily ever after for Klaus and Aurora went up in flames when she kidnapped Rebekah's body. As cruel as Klaus can be to his baby sister -- and this is a man who put her in a coffin for 80 years -- he's very possessive over his siblings.
"When she took Rebekah's body as a hostage to tried to manipulate Klaus into doing whatever she wanted, including coming back to bed, that probably changed things for him," Morgan said. "It kind of ruined their romantic future together. I think he was up for rekindling something. He was definitely interested in that, and it was starting to happen, but then she went a little too far."
"Is it something Klaus might have done?" he added. "Yeah, I guess. So I can't fully blame her for it, but I guess he will."
He'll do more than blame her. In fact, he's out for blood. The Trinity -- Aurora, Lucien and Tristan -- pose a huge threat to Klaus because of their unpredictability. Their loyalties, to each other and to their sires, are constantly changing.
"We cannot seem to decipher who's working with who, and they're constantly betraying each other and forming these alliances that are there one minute and gone the next," Morgan said. "It's very frustrating to Klaus. It's constantly shifting. One second, Lucien is my friend and Tristan is my enemy and then everything changes."
See what we mean by morally grey? Lucien, Tristan and Aurora have every right to be angry. Thanks to Elijah, they spent a century compelled to think they were Elijah, Klaus and Rebekah as a decoy to keep Mikael from finding his real children. And Elijah only did that because he knew Klaus killed their mother and he wanted him to suffer without Aurora. No matter what they do, the Mikaelson brothers can't stop hurting each other.
"Despite their issues, of which there are many, Klaus and Elijah will have to bond together and form this uneasy alliance so that they can deal with the enemies at hand."