Family, as I’m sure all viewers know, is a very central theme to The Originals. More specifically how parents shape their children, is a very important topic. From how Klaus shaped Marcel, to how Mikael shaped Klaus, to how Klaus might shape Hope. But despite a great focus on Mikael in this regard, and Klaus greatly demonizing Mikael, there’s not quite as much of a focus on Esther’s actions (or rather lack thereof). Now yes, Klaus certainly hates his mother too for various reasons, and he’s not shy about expressing that, but there’s one reason I think Esther is in fact far worse than Mikael: Her inaction.
Mikael’s treatment of Klaus was undeniably horrific and abusive, but it wasn’t deceptive. In addition, you could hardly say that Mikael was acting with a clear mind. As twisted as it may be, Mikael’s treatment of Klaus was most likely born out of a combination of the emotional trauma he experienced with Freya, how his own father treated him and a genuine conviction, at least at first, that this was needed to make Klaus strong. Esther however is quite a different story.
Esther not only played the loving mother throughout Klaus’ life, only to turn her back on him later, but in addition to that, and most importantly, she was clear-minded and powerful and yet did nothing to stop Mikael.
As a powerful witch, it would’ve been completely within her power to stop Mikael’s abuse, even if through force, since at the time he was a mere human. A strong and skilled fighter to be sure, but just human nonetheless.
Instead however what she did was give Klaus a necklace that weakened him, ostensibly to protect him from his curse, but clearly to cover her own ass. Why? Because she didn’t want her infidelity to become known and fracture the family she’d always wanted. Even though she knew that Mikael greatly valued strength and this would likely worsen how he treated Klaus, she still did it. In other words, she made this decision fully knowing that it would worsen Klaus’ life because of her selfish fears and desires.
And finally, after turning her own children into vampires she condemns them and tries to kill them all while claiming the moral high-ground. Kill them for being the people she shaped them to be and for what they did because of her magical interference. This makes her not only a hypocrite but, in my opinion, a worse parent than Mikael and possibly even the worst human being in The Originals’ universe.
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