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The Originals season 3: Joseph Morgan previews 'the best season yet'

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Quantrell Colbert/The CW

Klaus Mikaelson is a lot of things: paranoid, stubborn, murderous, deathly scared of being alone, and of course, a supernatural hybrid, which makes all of these characteristics even more prominent. The combination of all of these things is what led him to drive his family away at the end of the Originals second season. And when season 3 picks up a few months later, there’s been no healing between family members, namely Klaus and Elijah. (A rift tends to happen when you burn your brother’s girlfriend alive.)

“I think there was some discontent with his decision although [Klaus] would never admit it,” Joseph Morgan tells EW. “Elijah doesn’t seem ready to forgive him at the end of season 2 and certainly nothing has changed there in season 3. They are not on even talking terms. It’s very curt and functional, their relationship at the moment, and it’s all to do with looking after Hope. [The compound is] definitely not a happy place to be. Klaus is still clinging on to that idea that he was right in doing what he did. I think that’s something he clings to in general to justify these awful things he does.”

With Hope holding the family together and Freya sticking around to help out with Hope, Morgan did say that Klaus has managed to grow a bit closer with his older sister. “Riley [Voelkel] and I have been playing toward that,” he said. “Although, the truth of the matter is she knows just as well as the rest of his family does that the decisions he made weren’t necessarily the best ones, although he believed in them at the time, so I think she’s a little torn. But at the moment she’s grateful to have a family and she doesn’t want to take sides too much at this point.”

Speaking to how much actual parenting Klaus is doing, Morgan said “he’ll get his hands dirty, but it’s a family affair. He’s trying to do his part.” And yet, “I don’t know exactly how many nappies he’s changing but he’s doing his bit.”

But we all know that changing diapers can only occupy Klaus for so long, and it’s simply a matter of time until he regrets handing his kingdom back over to Marcel. “Well I’ll tell you this: theoretically he’s done that, but I’ve already done lines where he’s referred to it as ‘my city’ so I’m not sure how definite that is,” Morgan said.

However, Klaus might not have time to try to take his city back when a new set of villains comes into town in the form of the Trinity — the first vampires that Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah sired. “All of the characters believe that they’ve outgrown those relationships, that they left their sires behind and they pushed them out the nest,” he said. “Now the three of them coming to New Orleans and saying, ‘Hey this is going on you didn’t know about and there’s this you should really pay attention,’ it’s a lot for them to take in.” 

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After all, news of a war between the sire lines isn’t exactly the sort of thing an Original loves to hear considering that if you kill one Original, you kill its entire line. In fact, Klaus’ progeny, Lucien, will be the first member of the Trinity that fans meet, and he has his own idea of who exactly Klaus Mikaelson is. “Klaus’ sire knows Klaus pre-Hope, so his idea of Klaus the self-destructive, volatile playboy is quite different from the Klaus he finds now who had these responsibilities and these people he cares about in his life,” Morgan said. “There’s a sense of one of your old mates coming into town from years ago and going, ‘What do you mean we’re not going out all night? Come on, leave your phone behind, you’re not going to need it, we’re going to have some fun tonight.’ ” 

And Klaus won’t have the easiest time saying no to Lucien, because if anything creates a bond, it’s being the first vampire Klaus sired. “We learned how to make vampires when my sire was created,” Morgan said. “There’s definitely a bond there. We were friends as well and we have a connection. We owe each other a lot. There’s also this element that it’s not just the three of them but they’re in contact with a lot of the sire line for each of us so it’s like, ‘Hey, remember us? All those vampires that you turned who you’ve now abandoned? Well guess what, we’re not too happy about that and here’s why.’ They come to town with an agenda definitely.”

Combine that agenda with Lucien and Klaus’ bond and the Elijah-Klaus rift, and you’ve got the perfect opportunity to try to pin the always-and-forever siblings against each other. “There’s also the idea of a wedge being driven between the family, Morgan said. “[Lucien] comes to Klaus at a point where Klaus is vulnerable to that because his family pretty much hates him. He turned everyone against him at the end of last season and then in comes this sire who’s like, ‘Hey, I’m your best friend and I’m back. Let’s have some fun!'”

So yes, there will be fun, and there will more than likely be war. But even more than that, there’s going to be a lot of history. “I love playing scenes with new characters that my character has a history with because you learn something about your character,” Morgan said. “It’s a thrill. The vibe going on on set is this is the best season yet. It’s very vampire-centric. It’s very much based in the vampire world now, instead of the witches or the parents or whatever. It’s all about that, which is exciting to me.”

The Originals returns Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.