Kol Mikaelson is a protagonist/anti-hero of the second season of The Originals, as well as the main protagonist in its prequel webisode series, The Originals: The Awakening. He was also an antagonist/anti-hero and antagonist of the Vampire Diaries.
He is portrayed by Nathaniel Buzolic and when possessing Kaleb, he is played by Daniel Sharman.
Next to nothing is known of Kol's personality when he was a human for the first time, before Esther turned her children into vampires. However, it was shown that he was close to his family, and this is reaffirmed by Kol's sadness at the disintegrating relationships between his siblings over a thousand years later. Kol loved being a witch, being something of a prodigy with magic, and out of his siblings was one of the only one to actually tap into his power aside from his oldest sister Freya. He specifically loved the power that magic gave him and hated having to lose it when he was turned into a vampire.
Kol became a witch when he was brought back from the other side to possess Kaleb. His personality seems to be quite similar to how he acted previously, though less directly hostile, a combination of being not as invincible and powerful, as well as no longer having that part of him heightened by vampirism. He remains cheeky and even a little bit self absorbed - as when he mocked Davina's music taste before crediting himself with being able to help her improve it. He also showed previously known traits when he says that he loves his new body, demonstrating his vanity while sucking up to his mother at the same time.
However, Kol quickly showed disdain for no longer being indestructible, hating that he could get hurt and that his wounds wouldn't heal quickly, saying that it had been a thousand years since he had received a scar. He also continued to demonstrate a love for culture that was only previously hinted at, hanging out at the record store and once again mentioning his love for modern music. Kol's previous interest in magic was even more prominent, now that he could practice it personally again as a witch. Due to being more vulnerable and in a weaker witch body, Kol had to rely on cunning deception to win his battles.
Kol is menacing, unpredictable, dangerous, wicked, cheeky, somewhat unreasonable and cocky to a fault. He can quickly go from being a respectful gentleman to direct and aggressive. When Kol is presented to Carol Lockwood, he greets her with dignity and charm, but when Damon Salvatore is introduced to Kol, he speaks to him very condescendingly. Kol patronizes his siblings often, challenging them with snark and contempt, especially Rebekah and Klaus, demonstrating his clear irreverence. He enjoys breaking the rules, and is naturally very defiant; Finn even aptly describes him as being the wildest one in the family. Kol is also not short on ego, a fact Klaus has remarked on, and considers himself to be "handsome". Additionally, Kol comes across as a playboy and hedonist, taking great pleasure in his vampire nature. One of Kol's defining characteristics is his vindictiveness. Much like Klaus, Kol does not hesitate to get retribution on those who have caused him harm; plotting for decades against both Klaus and Rebekah for sleights that caused him pain. Kol does not forgive easily, though may pretend to further his goals of vengeance.
As a vampire, Kol finds child-like enjoyment in his acts of violence, sometimes comparing them to games like hide and seek and believing that there is always time for games when he is told to take a situation seriously. A sadistic facet to Kol's character has also been shown such as when he compelled an acting troupe to murder each other while performing Hamlet just for his own entertainment. This example also illustrates his dark sense of humor, resulting in Elijah to opine that his brother has a "vile imagination". Later, in 1914, Kol callously slaughtered half a church parish, including a young alter boy, just to kill one woman who's house he needed to be able to enter. Kol had no regrets about the massacre, happily going to a family dinner soon after.
However, part of Kol missed being a witch. He missed the power that magic had given him and to make up for it, he turned to violence and mayhem, embracing his vampire nature. Kol's longing for his magic drove him to spend a lot of time over the centuries with witches, teaching them his extensive knowledge of spells and magic. Having his witch colleagues use a distinct form of magic, they were able to create curse objects, allowing him to, in a way, wield magic while being a vampire.
Despite his flaws he is shown to truly care for his family. However, due to not being included in the "always and forever" pact made by Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah, Kol has always felt excluded and isolated from his siblings. His extremely violent and aggressive antics are a result of wanting attention from them. Once Marcel joined the family, Kol's jealousy and bitterness grew worse since Marcel seemed to take his spot in the family. When threatened by Rebekah, he was even shown to be ashamed of what his family had become, and was saddened that Elijah was so disgusted by their fighting. He also was upset by how quickly Rebekah seemed to move on from his death when he returned from the Other Side. He has also stated his appreciation of witches, holding them in high esteem. He seems closest to Rebekah and Klaus, though he has stated he views some of Klaus' actions as "horrors". He along with the rest of his siblings (excluding Finn) seemed to look up to Elijah, seeing him as the noble one. However, Kol's violent, reckless, and impulsive nature often clashed with his family, despite really caring for them beneath his vain personality.
Like Klaus, Kol has a sense of honor as he will not go back on his word, however, like his half-brother, he will always look for loopholes in the deals he makes.
Like Klaus, he is not a hypocrite, as he is honest about his nature.
Despite being intelligent and calculating, Kol is known to draw unwanted attention to himself.
Kol is shown to be genuinely intimidated and fearful of Silas. This stems from stories he used to be told when he was young about Silas and believes fully that Silas can't be stopped if he's unleashed. He would do anything to ensure that Silas would not come back, including disobeying Klaus' order to leave Jeremy Gilbert alone and even threatening his sister with the White Oak Stake. This seemingly irrational behavior over a legend made his siblings think his fear of Silas had driven him to paranoia and insanity. During a conversation with Elena, Kol further elaborated on his feelings about Silas. He said that he had faith in the immortal's existence unlike the rest of the world, which had lost faith in such things, now not knowing who they should fear.
Essentially nothing has changed the personality of the Original Vampire Kol, however, his idea on the Other Side has changed dramatically, as after having been there for a long time, at the "hell", as he calls it, Kol becomes eager to drop the veil and to bring back himself, and consequently all other dead supernatural beings, back to life. He also explained his joy of being able to connect with someone again, since on the Other Side, it was complete isolation. In that isolation, though, he had thought of countless ways to make Elena suffer for her part in his death, apparently having manifested as a ghost towards her so he could recount his various ways for revenge. Although he hated the Other Side, he seemed to value his survival because he feared disappearing into darkness as Vicki Donovan had. He was brought back by Esther before the collapse of the Other Side.
Powers and Abilities
Kol possessed all the standard powers and abilities of an Original Vampire. As an Original Vampire, Kol was stronger and faster than any non-original vampires, he was one of the most powerful supernatural beings in the TVD/TO universe, with the exception that Klaus is stronger and faster due to his werewolf side. However his powers have never been seen used against his family, as Elijah has been seen fighting with Klaus almost evenly and Rebekah has been easily subdued and she fears Klaus, Kol doesn't fear Klaus and is not afraid to get in a confrontation with him, as shown many times, it may be possible that he too can fight almost evenly with Klaus as Elijah does, he just hasn't shown it yet.
He was also able to kill 12 vampires single handed and without getting as much as one scratch on him although the vampires he killed were newborn and didn't know how to use their powers exactly. Like his brothers, and his maternal half-brother, he was trained from a young age by his father Mikael who taught him how to fight with swords and bows, and how to protect himself, he was a killing machine.
Since Rebirth, Kol has lost all his Original Vampire powers and abilities, due to taking over the body of Kaleb and taking all of Kaleb's witchcraft powers abilities as his own. It is yet unknown how strong Kol is as a witch. Though it is known that he is quite gifted in the art of telekinesis.
Kol has been shown to know how to use and control Kaleb's magic, although it is possible that this is influenced by Kol's amassed knowledge of magic. He is first shown to use his powers to prank people in Alive and Kicking, telekinetically making a table of apples fall and using aerokinetic powers to blow a woman's dress up.
It is unknown how powerful Kol is as a witch having only been shown to use magic while possesing Kaleb. And only having the extent of Kaleb's abilities at his disposal.
Kol is also the mastermind behind the creation of almost all known Dark Objects from the The Originals Universe, such as the rosary of madness, the bracelet of obedience and the Devil's Star, Mary-Alice Claire being his apprentice along with her close friend Astrid. He has revealed to Davina that he has the ability to create a dark objective dagger that can neutralize Klaus like the silver ones do the other original vampires. Klaus has since enlisted his help to fight in the coming battle against Esther in order to save Rebekah and Camille from the Body Jumping Spell.