Klaus: The DNA of a Vampire (article)
LOL I can't wait for some of you to pick stuff out of this, I saw it on tumblr (it's long as fuck okay)
“Charles Bromley” from the 2009 Film Daybreakers. (Played by Sam Neill) Of the mindset that vampirism is a ‘gift’, Charles (Sam Neill) was the leader of a company that farmed humans for their blood. His thirst for control ultimately leads to his demise; Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) uses Charles’ desire to be unafraid against him. From what we know of Klaus, he too cannot stand being weak. The power he wields over his hybrid army may very well be his downfall. It also stands to reason that Klaus “farmed” his wolves while he was on the prowl to create his hybrids. It takes a certain type of gentleman to carry the same charming demeanour and charisma as Sam: likewise to speak as articulately or command the same presence. I believe Morgan has all these qualities and more. Also, dare I say it? He looks even more impeccable than Neill in a suit.
“Barnabas” from the 1966 TV series Dark Shadows. (Played by Jonathan Frid)
If there is a vampire with an eerily similar history to Klaus, it’s Barnabas (Jonathan Frid) from Dark Shadows. The Gothic-looking hellion was the cause of his Aunt’s, brother’s and mother’s deaths: their lives were sent into a tailspin after he became a vampire. Filled with blame and guilt, he brought about pain and suffering to those around him. Sound a tad familiar? But where the two are strikingly the same is their ability to change – if we are to believe that Klaus is indeed changing. Will he reach the somewhat selfless and heroic point that Barnabas did? Will Morgan envelop our souls with warmth like Jonathan Frid was able to? Whether yay or nay, we can be sure that Joseph Morgan will bring about the change so beautifully that we will find ourselves shaking our heads in surprise (if we aren’t already – catch a glimpse of his infatuation with Caroline and you may already be sold).
“Marius de Romanus” from the 2002 Film Queen Of The Damned. (Played by Vincent Perez) While the movie itself was of a strangely satirical nature and hardly similar to the show where our character Klaus resides, Vincent Perez (who plays Marius) bears a striking physical resemblance to Morgan. Aside from being somewhat older than him, Perez is as dashing and mesmerising: both carry a certain air which bewitch those who watch them. The character Marius, ignited into being by author Anne Rice, is one of the oldest vampires known to mankind and is immensely powerful. Not unlike Klaus, Marius can block his own mind from being ‘read’, or in Klaus’ case, from being compelled. Marius was also born of an illegitimate nature like Klaus; additionally his thirst for new things has led him across most continents of the world. If you can imagine Klaus embracing his softer side then Marius is who he would become; perhaps led to live and love much the same way Marius managed to.
“Spike” from the 1997 TV Series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Played by James Marsters)
The character Spike (James Marsters) is of a fickle nature. When soulless, he is loving and loyal with a driven artistic nature. But when ensouled his fervour for violence and terror is amplified. He is typically remembered for his dry and sarcastic wit, though we would be fools to forget his intelligence and insightful nature. We know that Klaus is loyal to the point of madness – carrying his family around in coffins for decades. But his cleverness and virtuoso qualities are hardly brought about by wit – rather, we have come to appreciate that his cultured side arises when around Caroline. The undeniable draw of Klaus’ emotion and passion is due to the versatility of his actor Morgan. The fans loved Marsters as Spike so much that his death was avoided. It is my own belief that Morgan’s role has been (or will be) extended for the same reason. We love Klaus more than we ever dared to.
“Henry Fitzroy” from the 2006 TV series Blood Ties. (Played by Kyle Schmid)
Reminding us of a younger, longer-haired Klaus, Henry emanates the kind of confidence we could deem both obnoxious and alluring. Preferring a quiet life until he meets Vicki Nelson (Christina Cox) and discovers a purpose, Henry’s skill as a graphic novelist and his 470 years of experience allows him to assist her in hunting a demon and eventually gain her trust. The two become partners and he her loyal bodyguard. While I view Henry and Klaus in very different ways, I can see their ability to gain allies is an essential part to who they both are. While Klaus may have been dubbed “promiscuous” years ago (flashbacks to when Klaus met Katherine insinuate such notions) and Henry was devoted to one woman he sacrificed his mortal life for, the two understand the merit of a close friend. Where Henry has Vicki, Klaus has Rebekah (or Stefan, briefly), and while both relationships have an antagonistic element to them, there is also a fun aspect. In terms of Schmid and Morgan, there is a definite sex appeal to both that add to their characters. Similarly, their pleasant personalities allow for us to “like” not only love or adore Klaus and Henry.
“Louis de Pointe du Lac” from the 1994 Film Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. (Played by Brad Pitt)
I feel drawn into the world of Interview with the Vampire whenever I think of Klaus and The Vampire Diaries. The story of Louis (Brad Pitt) and Lestat (Tom Cruise) holds an exceptional closeness to Klaus’ relationship with both Elijah and Stefan. Undoubtedly I have caused confusion by comparing Louis with Klaus – after all, isn’t Klaus more similar in nature to Lestat? But I feel that we have missed a vital ingredient of Klaus’ integral being – his humanity. Louis could not bear Lestat’s blatant disregard for human life. While he planned to leave Lestat and his wretched ways behind, Lestat turned a young girl named Claudia to compel Louis to stay. However it was through Claudia (for a time) that he found solace, love and hope. It is difficult to say where Klaus’ humanity lies: most likely through protecting his family or wooing Caroline. But we can be sure it is there – through flickers of devastation or moments of heartbreak. This is where I see his similarity to Louis – through his despair. We can all attest to Pitt’s exquisite acting skills, and his role as Louis was flawless. But we cannot deny that Morgan has taken his own humility and placed it into Klaus; a move that surely lifts him in the highest esteem.
“Max Schreck / Count Orlok” from the 2000 Film Shadow of the Vampire. (Played by Willem Dafoe)
Devised into a fictionalised account of the 1922 German “expressionist horror” film ‘Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror’, Shadow of the Vampire utilised silent film techniques to capture the essence of an old-time vampire movie. Nosferatu is the story of a young man named Thomas (played by Gustav von Wangenheim) who encounters a vampire named Count Orlok (Max Schreck) who at first does not understand who or what he has come across. It was only when the Count decided to reveal his true nature to Thomas that he realised the Count’s desire for his wife Ellen. Oddly, Orlok does not kill her (at first) but decides that his plan to kill the town of Wisborg is more important. Shadow of the Vampire sees Max Schreck played by Willem Dafoe, and takes place when the ‘plague’ has begun to overtake Wisborg. We find the similarities between Klaus, Max and Orlok lie in their masterful skill of deceit. All three allow themselves a hint of “otherworldliness” when they meet a stranger; just enough to cause unease but not enough to (typically) create alarm. Klaus enjoys toying with our beloved characters as they fight relentlessly to bargain with him, but (much like Max) he has no intention of letting them win. I see Morgan’s crafty smiles living up to the disconcerting old-fashioned facial expressions by Schreck‘s, as much as I see how Morgan’s dialogue chills our bones like Dafoe‘s does, and how Klaus’ words seep terror into our stomachs akin to the nightmarish wording on the intertitles. Compare “Hello my lovelies. Are we ready?” to the creepy intertitle from Nosferatu below and you’ll hopefully see what I mean.
“Count Dracula” from the 1931 Film Dracula. (Played by Bela Lugosi)
Count Dracula: the king of ‘Dracula’s’, the the father of the traditional vampire and the one who coined the phrase “I am Dracula”. From fangs to capes to coffins, Count Dracula has become the one vampire we fear the most and the one from which legend and myth has stemmed. But Dracula would never be the icon he is now without Bela Lugosi – a renowned Hungarian actor who laid the foundation for all future ‘Dracula’s’ that would ever grace the screen. Lugosi’s Dracula was an expert of cordiality and carried a deep pride for his aristocratic background. But where Dracula sleeps in a coffin and dons a cape, Klaus is a little more hip and resilient. I would dare to say that Klaus is the king of all ‘hybrids’: a new breed of villain which incorporates the best of both vampiric and werewolf worlds. Can we deny that Klaus is fiercely strong and immune to the typical vampire and werewolf weapons such as vervain and wooden stakes? No we cannot. And much like Lugosi, Joseph Morgan is laying the groundwork for his own iconic standpoint in the vampire realm.
“Count Dracula” from a string of Hammer Horror Films, beginning with Dracula in 1958. (Played by Christopher Lee)
There are many layers to Dracula as the character has been portrayed by many actors across the years. However it would be poor form if I was to exclude a key figure in the Dracula revolution: Christopher Lee. Hammer Horror took Bram Stoker’s Dracula and gave him a Gothic-like twist; carefully incorporating all the expected characteristics of ‘Dracula’ but injecting more life into his dead being. A vital difference with Lee‘s Dracula is his fascination with a human woman named Mina (played by Melissa Stribbing). But as with other popular vampires, it was more about the game and conquest than love. Mina is drawn to Dracula, and we can see Caroline slipping into the same position – enraptured by Klaus’ talents, his smooth and enticing voice and his undeniable lure. Also akin to Dracula, Klaus becomes reckless and prone to outbursts of a violent sort when things do not go as he plans. But what is notable about Dracula is his stealth and “Plan B” mentality, which we often see in Klaus. To me, Lee‘s endurance as Dracula is most admirable, and his own character development throughout the Hammer Horror films equally impressive. Alongside Lee, Morgan has made substantial improvements to an otherwise ‘typical’ villain, allowing us to respect him in this role.
“Lestat de Lioncourt” from the 1994 Film Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. (Played by Tom Cruise)
Of all the qualities that Klaus possesses, the most notable we can attribute to Interview with the Vampire’s Lestat. Bold, defiant, somewhat altruistic and an avid musician and reader, Lestat enjoys being the centre of attention. It’s easy to draw lines between the two characters – Klaus is always forthcoming and beseeching (unless he’s compelling the humanity out of Stefan, of course). We know his passion for literature and art, and his desire to either buy or woo affection lands him alongside Lestat’s need to give large, over-the-top gifts. And if we are to go by what author Anne Rice describes, great emphasis is placed on Lestat’s mouth and facial features. Whether mean, generous or sensual, his face is often animated and his emotions easy to read. Likewise, it is not difficult to understand Klaus’ feelings on a certain matter. But what of Cruise and Morgan? Both are ridiculously handsome and have turned an otherwise vile demonic creature into an elegant and suave being of the night. Where we detest them for decisions they have made – often resulting in a character that we loved’s death (Claudia, Jenna), we are hypnotised by their character portrayal and find ourselves begging for more despite all odds.
A blend of charismatic and debonair, a dollop of intelligence and artistic pride, a dash of originality and defiance. With a devastating history and terrifying presence, Klaus is ‘vampire’ personified. While he incorporates fundamental characteristics of the most popular vampires of the ages, Joseph Morgan is distinctive because he takes these ingredients and becomes his own type of vampire. Conflicted, mistrusted and misguided provide little insight into who Klaus is, but when you see the way Morgan draws out his other instincts, such as love, devastation and loyalty, then you see why no other man could play this part. The qualities I’ve described in this post would mean nothing without Morgan – without his ability to see Klaus the way no other person does, without his whole-bodied embrace of Klaus’ persona, without his own vision for Klaus as more than “dysfunctional”. When you see the genetic make-up of these ten vampires then you witness how Klaus is inspired into being. Morgan’s name will be remembered as the man who embodied the DNA of some of the greatest vampires who ever lived.
Pretty much lol.
What the actual fuck? Henry Fitzroy is Klaus? Really? And the first one?
"Daybreakers" may has been a little bit confusing at the end, Charles still totally pawns Klaus.
WHY NOT ALSO SAY HE'S LUCIEN FROM UNDERWORLD?
Gurl I don't even know half of these vampires but I figured most of you would.
Preferring a quiet life
That's not what I call "quiet" *cough*
WHO THE FUCK WAS THE GENIUS WHO DECIDED TO COMPARE A KLAROLINE CRACKSHIP TO SPUFFY? WHAT THE FUCK.
Have not read tha tmuch bullshit in a very long time.
And Lestat, REALLY? FUCKING LESTAT DID NOT WANT TO BUILD A FUCKING HOUSE.
Whoever wrote that bullshit has serious lack of brains.
The character Spike (James Marsters) is of a fickle nature. When soulless, he is loving and loyal with a driven artistic nature. But when ensouled his fervour for violence and terror is amplified.
BULLSHIT. Soul or no SOul does not change who you are.
Spike was a poet who played a villain for the woman who was the first to give him any attention(Drusilla).
He is typically remembered for his dry and sarcastic wit, though we would be fools to forget his intelligence and insightful nature.
HOW DOES THAT MAKE HIM SIMILAR TO KLAUS?
We know that Klaus is loyal to the point of madness – carrying his family around in coffins for decades. But his cleverness and virtuoso qualities are hardly brought about by wit – rather, we have come to appreciate that his cultured side arises when around Caroline. The undeniable draw of Klaus’ emotion and passion is due to the versatility of his actor Morgan.