Shades of Blonde – A Short Look at the Symbolism of Blonde Hair in The Originals

Symbolism in fiction takes many forms. Sometimes it’s an old man singing in the background of a suicide, sometimes it’s a sprawling desert or a title which references a poem or even just a colour. I think in case of The Originals there’s symbolism to hair colour in two isolated cases. Basically, something I noticed was how both Klaus and Marcel share a prediliction for blonde haired girls with blue eyes. In fact, neither have shown any true feelings for anyone that doesn’t fit that mold. I think this may in fact be a very intentional move by the writers for both of these characters. So if this is symbolism, then what does it mean? Well, in my opinion… 

I think Rebekah reminds Klaus of his mother Esther. Not only do they also have a very close familial relationship, as Esther and Klaus had before everything with Henrick happened, but she looks very much like Esther, like the mother who abandoned him. Because of this, and his general abandoment issues, I think he clings to Rebekah especially strongly. Not only that, but he seems like he wants to own her fully, even sexually, in an almost incestuous way. Wants to own her body and soul and never let her escape. After all, subverting people’s free wills by taking ownership of them so they can’t betray or hurt him is something Rebekah and Klauswhich is undeniably part of Klaus’ MO (the hybrid sire bond for example). To expand on this, not only does he kill her lovers, much like a jealous jilted lover would, but look at how he talks to her and handles her in the scene where we first see them together (with Stefan in End of the Affair). He immediately grabs her close and pulls her away from Stefan, another love interest. Interestingly enough Rebekah even says “I’m not your girlfriend” in that scene. Now, clearly Rebekah doesn’t mean for that to be literal, but the writers, well that may be a different story. Another example is the quote “They come and go for her, but I am the constant” from House of the Rising Son which again, sounds like an attempt to keep all other men away from her. Like he’s placing himself in that role instead. I’ve even heard, though I cannot cite the source, that Julie Plec would have done something more clearly incestuous between the two if they were on a channel like HBO.

Either way, personally I think a lot of the way Klaus acts towards Rebekah (the possessiveness, jealousy and the way he touches her sometimes) indicates this. Not only that, but both Caroline and Camille were also blonde women like Esther and Rebekah. Both of whom managed to get under Klaus’ skin and which he has shown romantic and sexual interest. I think this is a case of projecting his desperate desires for his mother’s love and approval, which he feels he lost after she put the hybrid curse on him, unto these three women.

Now unto Marcel… Not only does he share the trait of a man who acted as his adopted father and with whom he has a competitive and dysfunctional love-hate relationship, not only is there a thematic question on The Originals about children behaving like their parents but of course there’s, once again, Rebekah. Marcel had a very close relationship with Rebekah when he was younger. First she acted as a guardian of sorts, an adoptive aunt. As he got older she also became, presumably, his first lover. Much like his adoptive father’s behaviour, there’s an almost incestuous idea here (even though in this case Rebekah isn’t actually his kin).

Rebekah and MarcelWe don’t know very much about exactly what happened in the relationship between Marcel and Rebekah, but if I had to guess she was a safe haven for him. With Elijah snubbing him to protect Klaus, Klaus’ overbearing and often mercurial nature and no one else in sight, I bet the beautiful, kind Rebekah was the only person in his life who offered him some real sense of stability and safety. Something which is bound to bring a person closer together with someone. In addition, much as often happens between siblings it’s quite possible that Rebekah became the standard by which he ended up judging all women he would encounter in the future and consider as partners. So I think his instant attraction to Camille (another strong-willed, beautiful, blonde woman) is part of this unfulfilled desire that he has towards Rebekah. The one that got away for him (and continuing his competition with Klaus, his father figure).
Obviously this is all speculation, and you could argue about what the writers did and did not intend, but I think there may be truth to it.

What about you guys? Am I just crazy? Is it all just coincidence? Am I reading into this issue too much? Or do you too, think there’s more to it than that? Leave a comment in the comment section telling me what you think.

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Copyright: The images used in this article are screenshots taken from the episodes of the show. We are allowed to use them under section 107 of the US Copyright Act of 1976. The Originals belongs to the CW and Alloy Entertainment.

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