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 and briefly an anti-hero 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.
Having been revived in his original body by Davina, Kol was once again an Original Vampire, though he had changed as a person from the experience of his two deaths and his time possessing a witch. No longer wanting to relish in his violent nature as a vampire, Kol recognized how he had been perceived the first time he was a vampire and wished to change that, wanting to better himself from the chaotic and violent Original Vampire to someone Davina could still love. Kol believed that he would be able to better control himself from his bloodlust due to now having Davina this time; taking measures to improve himself by no longer feeding on fresh blood. Despite his hopes and attempts, Kol's bloodlust remained powerful and intoxicating and Kol soon fell back into feeding on humans, though this time, seemed visibly guilty for his actions.
With the return of his brother and murderer, Finn, Kol's rage became almost impossible to control. Elijah and Davina both came to realize that Kol was physically incapable of controlling himself. Kol could easily snap into fits of anger that frightened even himself. It was soon after revealed that magic was causing his heightened aggression, caused by The Ancestors, who sabotaged his revival as a way to get back at Davina, which they eventually succeeded in. The magical influence the Ancestors had over Kol ended when he was made to kill Davina, his unnaturally heightened aggression turning to remorse for the actions he was forced to commit against his lover.
After Davina's death and the role he was forced to play in it, Kol fell back to some of his more hostile tendencies. He murdered Van despite being told that Davina wouldn't have wanted him to. Pained by the memories of the time he had spent with Davina, he grew a severe disdain for New Orleans, only returning to save Klaus but anxious to leave the entire time. Kol had no qualms of draining and killing numerous humans to bring himself to full strength. When fighting a vampire in front of Davina's grave, an enraged Kol brutally punched the vampire repeatedly even after he was unconscious, only stopping after Rebekah convinced him to.
Following the resurrection of Davina and unlinking her new life to the Hollow, Kol seems to achieve a more calm, enlightened, content, and mellowed out personality. Kol reveals that loving Davina made him a better person as his prior vile nature was a coping mechanism for the loss of his humanity and witch abilities before Davina gave Kol both a sense of "Love and Peace".
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. Luckily, his spirit was brought back by Esther before the collapse of the Other Side, and placed into the body of a witch.
Kol returned to being a ghost after the death of his spirit's vessel, Kaleb Westphall, and his personality was slightly changed from his experience as a witch again, most notably that he had since grown feelings for Davina Claire. Due to Kol being in the body of a consecrated witch when he died, his spirit was able to stay in the Ancestral Plane of New Orleans witches. On The Ancestral Plane, unlike his mother who was revered by the Ancestors, he wasn't, which lead to him being tormented by them as he had no power to literally protect himself. He was noticeably selfless with his interactions with Davina who saw him twice as a corporeal spirit not wanting her to be under The Strix influence and offering himself up as bait so she would have time to escape The Ancestors. His concern for Davina was such that he didn't want to be resurrected if the means to do it hurt her in any way. Eventually, Davina managed to revive him back into his original body as a vampire.
Powers and Abilities
As an Original Vampire, Kol is one of the most physically powerful beings and most skilled fighters on the Vampire Diaries and Originals universe. He was shown to be 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. Kol also proved to be a better fighter than the fellow Original Vampire Finn and has even shown himself to be able to compete with Klaus, able to trade punches, grapple, and counter fairly well, however, he is shown to be still weaker and less skilled than both Klaus and Elijah, as Elijah could reach a stalemate with Klaus but Klaus showed less effort in defeating Kol than he did with Elijah.
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 he stated that he was quite gifted before becoming an original and the only one of his siblings, apart from Finn, to have tapped into the witch gene.
Esther herself saw Kol's magical knowledge and skill as a threat and thus purposefully gave him the body of Kaleb so he would be weaker and easily controlled. As such, Kol, in Kaleb's body, was no match for either Vincent or Esther, though he still shows a decent amount of power and skill. He was able to hold his own against Davina, telekinetically throwing her to a wall, but was no match for her as she easily pain-inflicted him, causing him to admit defeat. Kol was also shown to be still a formidable threat to vampires, even Originals, as he easily subdued Gia with pain-infliction and even managed to bring Klaus to his knees.
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, having mastered the theory of the magical science Kemiya that was used to create them and taught Mary-Alice Claire and her close friend Astrid, being literately the one who introduced Kemiya to New Orleans. Kol had even discovered that by bonding white oak chemicals to a golden dagger, it is possible neutralize Klaus, giving him the ability to create a dark objective dagger that can neutralize Klaus like the silver ones do the other original vampires, which he and Davina successfully created. Kol has proven to be likewise highly proficient in neutralizing magical spells and dark obejcts, as he was shown to be able to neutralize the Bracelet of Obedience that gave Davina control over Mikael and easily ruined the root of Davina's unlinking spell. Along with Davina, they also created a golden bracelet that could keep Hope's magic neutralized. He even managed to alter the Body Jumping spell planned by Esther to transfer Rebekah to Cami so that Rebekah's spirit would go to Eva Sinclair instead.
Due to his lack of power compared to his original body, Kol relied on channeling to be able to perform powerful spells, proving to be highly proficient in channeling therefore: He was able to channel the more powerful Davina to temporarily disable the White Oak Stake, a spell that he came up with on the fly using his proficiency of neutralizing magic, and later disrupt Finn's Boundary Spell on the compound along with the Vampires Daylight Rings, with no strain to himself. Using the paragon diamond he taught Claire and Astrid how to make, he was able to gain enough power to subdue Klaus to the point of making him bleed and dropping him to his knees and he could not overcome it without using his werewolf side. He along with Rebekah channeled many dark objects and even Klaus to overwhelm Fin with magic, forcing him to disconnect himself from Mikael and Esther, in the process displaying some knowledge of Sacrificial Magic as he used Papa Tunde's Blade to briefly kill Klaus for the boost he needed.