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The Vampire Diaries: 5 Times Klaus Mikaelson Proved He Was The Villain (& Times He Was Actually The Hero)

Klaus Mikaelson might just be The Vampire Diaries’ best villain. But, when did Klaus actually become the hero of the story?

The CW’s long-running supernatural series The Vampire Diaries was home to many fantastic villains over the years, but it seems fair to say that Klaus Mikaelson may have been the very best of them. This super dangerous Original hybrid made a huge impression as soon as he arrived on the scene, and he became such a popular character that he and the rest of the Original family earned their very own spinoff.

For most of his tenure on TVD, Klaus was a total monster. But, he showed glimmers of humanity and kindness on occasion as well. So, when was he at his most villainous, and when did he almost seem heroic?

Proved He Was The Villain: Killing Mrs. Lockwood

Although Tyler Lockwood was initially on Team Klaus because of his sire bond, when he decided to resist Klaus’ enslavement, he really went all out. He didn’t just un-sire himself, he helped all of the hybrids destroy their own sire bonds.

Klaus unsurprisingly didn’t take very kindly to that, so as revenge, he quite brutally killed Tyler’s mother, proving that no matter how much it may have seemed like he’d gone soft, he was still every bit the bad guy on the inside.

Was Actually The Hero: Saving Caroline

Klaus didn’t have any affection for nearly every single person he met in his insanely long life, but Caroline Forbes was one of the few that actually piqued his interest.

So, when he heard that Pastor Young and the Council had abducted her, he didn’t hesitate to come to her rescue, despite the fact that he was currently occupying Tyler Lockwood’s much more fragile and easy-to-kill body.

Proved He Was The Villain: Killing The Hybrids

Klaus is an extremely entitled person who thinks that everyone around him should be in his service, and he took that entitlement to its greatest extreme when it came to creating his hybrid army.

While any rational person would understand why these people wouldn’t want to be his literal slaves, when he discovered that they had all broken their sire bonds to him and were planning on rising up against them, he brutally massacred them all.

Was Actually The Hero: Not Killing Tyler

Klaus may have only had eyes for Caroline, but her gaze was consistently aimed towards someone else during most of Klaus’ tenure on The Vampire Diaries.

And, while simply not killing someone wouldn’t be particularly heroic in normal circumstances, given that Klaus never lets go of a grudge, it was actually huge that he decided to let his need for vengeance go and let Tyler live for Caroline’s sake.

Proved He Was The Villain: Tormenting Elena

Given that Klaus actually killed Elena in his ritual sacrifice, it seems like just torturing her wouldn’t be that bad in comparison. However, it really points to what a sadistic jerk Klaus could be.

Elena already had to come to grips with the fact that the most dangerous person on the planet was going to murder her, so the fact that Klaus went so far out of his way to mess with her head, both before and after the ritual, was overkill.

Was Actually The Hero: Curing Damon’s Werewolf Bite

In theory, Klaus was gaining something he wanted by saving Damon, as it was part of the agreement to get Stefan to accompany him on his werewolf hunt.

However, Klaus could have just compelled Stefan to do what he wanted or threatened him into submission in another way. And, given how much Klaus does care about his own siblings deep down, it’s not hard to believe that Klaus used Damon’s werewolf bite as leverage, but also saved Damon because he didn’t want Stefan to lose his brother.

Proved He Was The Villain: Daggering His Siblings

It’s clear that there is a pattern with Klaus, and a lot of his most villainous behaviors seem to stem from his crippling sense of loneliness and rejection.

But, that explanation doesn’t excuse it. And, although his siblings, or at least Rebekah and Elijah, do genuinely love him, he can’t seem to stop betraying them. While he never killed his brothers or his sister, the fact that he robbed them of decades or even centuries of life and kept them prisoner was exceptionally cruel.

Was Actually The Hero: Saving Elena From The Hunter’s Curse

Perhaps Klaus only saved Elena because he felt like she could still be of use to him, or maybe he did it because he knew what it was like to suffer because of the Hunter’s Curse, but the fact is either way, he did truly try to save her from the curse.

Stefan and Damon intervened and made the situation worse, but Klaus still did try to protect Elena from herself.

Proved He Was The Villain: Hunting Katherine

Klaus seems to constantly operate under the delusion that anyone who isn’t willing to fall on a literal sword for him is somehow betraying him, and there is no better example of that than Katherine.

She turned herself into a vampire to avoid becoming his sacrifice, and for this transgression, Klaus hunted her down and tormented her for five centuries, never letting her know even a moment of peace, all because she was scared to die.

Was Actually The Hero: Facing Off Against Alaric To Help Caroline And Elena

Clearly, Klaus Mikaelson never does anything unless there’s something in it for him, and clearly, when Esther turned Alaric into an indestructible vampire hunter, it was a problem Klaus was going to have to deal with either way.

But, in order to help Caroline (and on a lesser level, Elena as well), Klaus actually willingly faced off against someone who posed a legitimate threat to him, which was a very rare moment of real bravery for him.

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