Get On Board With This Ship!
Rebekah’s relationship with her half-brother Klaus on The Originals is borderline incestuous and it is incredible! Here is an in depth look at the obsession that is Klebekah.
So, due to my tumblr dashboard constantly being on fire with “Klebekah” posts, and getting various messages that I should check out the show The Originals, I gave in to temptation and finally watched it! And I couldn’t stop! I finally finished my 17 episode splurge last week and now I feel like I am on a sugar rush! But that 16th episode was basically my ship hitting an iceberg!
The Originals is a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries that focuses on the worlds original family of vampires, The Mikaelsons, who are a thousand years old. The series takes place in the supernatural crucible that is the French Quarter of New Orleans and centers on Niklaus (Joseph Morgan) and his relationships with his elder brother Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and his younger sister Rebekah (Claire Holt). Also thrown into the mix is his diabolical former protege Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), who now runs the city. Also included is Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), a werewolf that is pregnant with Klaus’s child after what Klaus called “a liquor infused one night stand.” The show also features witches and a human female named Camille who is a psychology student fascinated by the study of Human Behavior. Cami is allured to the aberration of the French Quarter, resolute on answering the unanswerable question – what makes someone evil?
I knew it was going to center on The Mikaelsons and their family dynamic when I saw promos for the show, but I had no idea it would be as fantastic and suggestive as it was. I am not exagerating when I say there is a huge amount of incest subtext for Klaus and Rebekah.
I always loved the family whenever they made an appearance on The Vampire Diaries, but stopped watching that show late last year. But now I have started it back up again, to give it another try, and at the very least see how the original family gets their exit. Klaus and Rebekah already had this subtext on The Vampire Diaries, but it is really amped up in The Originals. And I think this show is just light years ahead of The Vampire Diaries. I adore the cast, and I think it’s smarter, darker, edgier, deeper, and of course more family based. I also like that it takes place in New Orleans. Overall it is just more grounded. Plus there is just so much Rebekah and Klaus!
Klaus’ complex character is really explored in the series. His incestuous entanglement with his sister and serious daddy issues, make up his complexity. He’s flawed, capable of mass destruction, but he’s not a monster, for he retains aspects of his humanity he lost millennia ago. Klaus doesn’t want to change, though. Reluctance is an essential part of a story because it leads to change anyway.
The man has so many issues and I love that we’re getting more glimpses inside his mind. Klaus is very possessive. Especially when it comes to Rebekah.
In episode one (aptly titled Always and Forever) Rebekah reveals that Klaus has murdered virtually every man she’s come close to loving. Klaus tells Marcel that he is her “constant”, and essentially the only man for her. Klaus feels like he is the only man she is allowed to love without strings. In Klaus’s eyes, Marcel doesn’t have the right to love Rebekah. No one does. Only him, because he makes it that way.
“I love my sister,” Klaus said, “but she lacks fortune when it comes to men. They come and go for her but I am the constant.”
Klaus wants her love all for himself. Even Hayley noticed something is “up” with them to point out and comment on how Rebekah is one of the only people Klaus seems to love. The only other person being their brother Elijah, who has plenty of subtext with Klaus and Rebekah as well.
Rebekah, despite how much Klaus continually hurts her, keeps coming back to him and loving him unconditionally. And don’t even get me started on Rebekah talking about Klaus being like a part of herself.
There’s also some weird not blood siblings-type subtext between Marcel (who Klaus treats as a son) and Rebekah (who helped raise Marcel). Weirdly enough, it almost comes off as weirder than the Klaus/Rebekah stuff, as Rebekah seemed like something of a cool aunt to Marcel when he was a child.
Adding to the subtext is the fact that Klaus is constantly “daggering” Rebekah. No, I’m serious. Rebekah was daggered for 52 years after Klaus found out she was seeing Marcel. Klaus doesn’t have the best track record with her boyfriends does he? Will he ever approve of a guy for her? Here is what Joseph Morgan said:
JM: I think if there was something that he was getting out of it then he may be OK with it. The thing is, with his relationship with both of his siblings who are still living, he wants all of the attention and love, and affirmation he can get from then. So the idea of them having some exclusive thing with someone else that he’s not a part of makes him…it goes right back to his childhood. He’s feels like an outsider again. He feels rejected. He feels like he’s not having the love and affirmation of his parents and family. I think that’s why he has a real problem with that. He’s very possessive and protective over her, no one will ever be good enough for her.
Klaus is boiling over with angst and pain. It’s a good thing that Joseph Morgan is such a stellar actor or this could get old very quickly. It is amazing what he has done with the character, and with this show especially, there are a lot of man tears! We all know Klaus loves to emote and is just a big baby underneath his beastly exterior. Get it, beastly? And why is he constantly angry? Seems like he is in some sort of conflict – perhaps with the way he truly feels about someone?
The incestuous vibes between Klaus and Rebekah adds a darkness and complexity to their relationship, and reminds us that these are amoral creatures who have been the driving forces in each others’ lives for a millenium. You really start to feel every bit of it.
I think this is a pairing you can easily root for and “ship” because they are vampires and they are themselves unnatural (they are vampires, they drink blood, they’re 1000 years old, immortal) – they are not human. They are another species. Klaus is even another species from Rebekah being a hybrid (part vampire and part werewolf). And they are all killers, and well, crazy! So naturally, Klaus and Rebecca should be together.They can be together, since normal moral rules don’t apply to them. A really great article about why anyone can ship these two can be found here.
It also helps that Joseph and Claire have such sizzling chemistry AKA “Closeph!”
The second episode (The House of the Rising Sun), was basically just bursting at the seams with the incest. Confirmation that Klaus killed not just a couple but all of his sister’s suitors, and that when he really, really liked the guys, he stuck her in a box till they were over her. That was enough to have me sighing and giggling behind my hands. Him commenting on her penchant for quarterbacks because he’s secretly been stewing about her and Matt all summer? Her barging into his house yelling abuse at him? Her letting him back into the ‘Save Elijah’ fold at the end of the day even though he got them all into this mess? The mutual tears in their eyes when she told him that it’s okay for him to want something?
As if all of that wasn’t enough the show went so far as to have both Klaus and Rebekah comment on all of it, to have them openly acknowledge the strange, prickled intimacy of their relationship, the way that no matter what either of them does they keep coming back to each other.
And then there is this:
During the episode Camille mistakes Klaus for Rebekah’s boyfriend.
Cami to Rebekah: “Is he the infamous on-again-off-again.”
Klaus overhearing: “He’s the brother.”
This isn’t the first time that’s happened (see clip).
The other episodes are equally amazing with some scary (yet sexy) hunter/prey thing going on in an episode (see below), and lots of amazing and lengthy scenes with intense dialogue in others. I won’t go into each episode, because we could be here all day (or even a thousand years), but just do yourself a favor and watch the show!
This show is like Borgia fantastic.
And in fact, Klaus and Rebekah actually are a lot like Lucrezia and Cesare Borgia. Now, The Borgias TV series had canon incest. Very canon. This being a CW show, odds are this is as good as we are going to get, but even still the subtext has been through the roof. Klaus is a dictator like Cesare, and also shares his temper and obsessiveness over his sister. Rebekah and Lucrezia can at times see meek and mild, but they are also able to be strong and quite cunning when they need to be. Even their physicality are a little similar.
This bit of parallel possessive dialogue stood out to me:
The Borgias: “You will be naked, clean, and bloodless again…And mine.”
The Originals: “Stay away from her…She’s mine.”
The clip above also shows Rebekah drinking Klaus’ blood, and in a previous episode, he had to drink her blood (see clip). They are already exchanging bodily fluids, things are getting pretty personal!
Klaus is very needy, manipulative and sometimes abusive with all of his family. But it also feels like it comes from some deep dark battle that he is having with himself, his past, his future, and his true feelings. His family (Elijah and Rebekah) are very loyal to him and they all share this ‘Always and Forever’ pact. But even given his history, he has a particularly sick possessiveness and obsession with Rebekah.
He has never seemed half as interested in his brother as his sister. We’ve never seen Klaus kill Elijah’s girlfriends. We’ve never seen him dagger his brother simply to keep him near (because he must choose him over anybody else in the world.)
Klaus avenges himself with Elijah, frequently, but it is generally rooted in practicality and relates to a purpose outside of the act itself. With Rebekah it always seems to be all about… well… Rebekah.
Myself or the the other shippers out there are not the only ones picking up on all the angst and sexy brother/sister vampire innuendo. This reviewer said this:
As for Rebekah, Klaus fascination with her screams of incest. He is absolutely obsessed with her and the fact that he kills her lovers and daggers her when she steps out of line is one of the most sexist things on television today. To be clear Rebekah claims to love and hate Klaus all at the same time. I can understand the hate but most certainly not the love. She is like a prisoner in that relationship, who has identified with her captors. Though Rebekah makes it clear that she is angry at Klaus, I don’t think she is nearly angry enough. (Source)
Someone else said this:
That was the most incest-y hour of television I’ve ever seen. I almost can’t believe it’s real in that it’s so clearly canon that it gave me the creeps while also being weirdly hot.
Also here, and I could go on for a thousand years!
And need I not mention that Klaus definitely has a thing for girls with blonde hair:
So basically, there is so much incestuous subtext going on in this show that it’s not even really legitimate to call it subtext anymore, it is that obvious!
Long may this continue! Until we get this:
Or better yet, this!
- Find more of The Originals clips on my youtube playlist and sink your teeth into more of The Originals here.
- You might also want to check out The Hamiltons that feature brother/sister vampires as a canon couple.