The Vampire Diaries' Klaus essentially put a target on his back by killing Mayor Lockwood. Nevertheless, Joseph Morgan says the baddie Original doesn't have a care in the world when the show returns from its holiday hiatus.
"In the episodes to come after break, there's a certain amount of him sitting with his feet up, looking at the carnage as it unfolds before him," Morgan tells TVGuide.com. "He's pulling the puppet strings and then letting them go to see what happens."
For someone with so many enemies, why the cavalier attitude?
Throughout this season, our main characters have turned against each other, helping Klaus' cause. First, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) broke up. Then, Stefan realized that Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena have had a little something-something between them. While the Salvatore brothers should remain focused, instead they're worried about a girl, finding a cure for said girl. (Not to mention the whole sire bond thing.) Bonnie (Kat Graham) is off trying to get her magic back from Mr. Shady Pants Shane (David Alpay), while Tyler (Michael Trevino) just lost his mom and his hybrid army. Then there's Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen). His new fate in life as a vampire hunter has caused an innate hatred for his friends, and more importantly, his sister. So yes, for Klaus, he's more than happy to keep the attention away from his recent actions.
"Our heroes are at odds with each other. If they could unite themselves like they did at the end of Season 3, maybe they would have a chance [at killing Klaus], but as long as he can keep manipulating and planting doubt in their minds, they won't be able to come together and defeat him," Morgan says. "Everyone has forgotten that they put Klaus down, but Klaus hasn't forgotten. It's like lining up chess pieces on a board — everyone is playing against each other and everyone's arguing!"
But life won't be that easy for Klaus in future episodes, especially when his bitter sister Rebekah (Claire Holt) becomes un-daggered and his angry brother Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic) returns. The two may have major bones to pick with the others (just look at this preview), but Klaus is certainly not excused.
"In the beginning, Klaus and Kol start off more on the same page, but Kol definitely comes in with his own objectives and motives," Morgan says. "They do end up at odds and issuing threats at each other and it does become quite serious." Klaus' relationship with Rebekah, though, is a little more complicated. "Klaus is the one who daggered her and he's really used her in a way that's unforgivable. They have both attempted to exploit each other, but are also bound by this love and his feeling of wanting to protect her from her own weaknesses. So it's all mixed up in there like a big old wasp's nest of emotions."
Comparing their relationship to real-life sibling dynamics, Morgan adds that he might always protect Rebekah from others, but not necessarily from his own wrath toward her.
"This is the thing I think that has won people over with the Originals, this bond that goes deeper than any other relationship," Morgan says. "It's like when someone can bully their younger brother, but no one else can. I like this idea of Klaus' that nobody daggers my sister but me. There is that element that if someone kills Rebekah or Elijah — not so much Finn, he wasn't so keen on Finn — there will be hell to pay. But if he were to do it, that would be OK. "
Are you excited for Rebekah and Kol's return to Mystic Falls?
The Vampire Diaries returns on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 8/7c.
Watch the cast play Shag, Marry, Stake!