SPOILERS included for more than just The Originals. Read at your own peril!
THE SHOW: The Originals
THE PAIRING: Klaus and Cami
THE EPISODE: “No More Heartbreaks” (Aired April 29, 2016)
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT: Klaus finally tells Cami he loves her before she dies in a scene all about “soul love.”
“She Burned Too Bright For This World” – Wuthering Heights
If you’ve been watching The Originals, then you know about the death of Camille O’Connell in last week’s episode, “No More Heartbreaks,” which put a tragic stake into the heart of the Klaus and Cami romance. While a disappointing blow for the series, her exit was incredibly romantic and brought the love story between Klaus and Cami full circle.
If you haven’t been watching, I can’t recommend this series enough – even when they decide to do something like kill off this series’ “Beauty” – leaving the “Beast” behind to mourn in agony. Especially if you enjoy a good Byronic gothic love story. You know, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, the love story between Annie and Mitchell from Being Human…I could go on! But seriously, if you love these types of impassioned tales, then The Originals and the Klaus and Cami love story should make for an entertaining treat!
The dark, redemptive love between Klaus and Cami and their “romantic kindred ‘twin’ soul” romance is a rare type of love story to find on television (or anywhere for that matter). I think the reason for this is that there doesn’t seem to be many people out there who truly understand it. (Maybe I imagine I do since I’m an identical twin who also happens to love Byronic Heroes, classic gothic literature and L.M. Montgomery novels all about kindred spirits.) This type of soul love in stories is rather archetypal, however, and can accidentally seep into stories without any kind of author’s intent. Whether or not that was the case with The Originals, I do not know.
Still, we know Emily Bronte understood it. As did her sister Charlotte.
So what then is this “soul” love I speak of and what the Bronte sisters wrote about so profoundly?
ROMANTIC KINDRED SOUL LOVE
To clarify, when talking about this form of soul love, I’m not referring to soulmates – as in the idea that there is only one other person for you in the universe. I’m referring to a romantic, more emotional version of kindred spirits. Two people so alike in spirit (not necessarily personality – they can still be complete opposites) they become one. A connection so deep it is as if two souls merge. Often, this type of “love” can be found in gothic romances including a Byronic Hero, usually because of the Byronic’s deeply emotional nature steeped in imagination and Romanticism.
So, let’s go to the sources and then use that as a lens to appreciate the Klaus and Cami love story.
First, let’s take a look at a quote from Jane Eyre. This is a quote of Mr. Rochester talking to Jane as he tries to describe what he feels for her:
“I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you — especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.”
Not soon after, Jane responds with this emotional outburst of feeling:
“I grieve to leave Thornfield: I love Thornfield: — I love it, because I have lived in it a full and delightful life, — momentarily at least. I have not been trampled on. I have not been petrified. I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every glimpse of communion with what is bright and energetic and high. I have talked, face to face, with what I reverence, with what I delight in, — with an original, a vigorous, an expanded mind. I have known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you for ever. I see the necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of death.”
Bleeding inwardly…the necessity of death…these are not light phrases. They both fear being separated from the other because that would mean symbolic death. They are that connected.
In the 2006 film adaptation of Jane Eyre, the screenwriter Sandy Welch interpreted the “bleeding inwardly” speech from Edward like this, which is very interesting:
“We’ve been good friends, haven’t we Jane? It is difficult to part from a friend and know you will never meet them again. And you know–it’s like we’re a pair of Eshton’s twins – bound together in some unworldly way, sharing a spirit, we’re so alike. When we are parted – when you leave me – I believe that bond will snap. And I will bleed inwardly…”
Interestingly enough, the British series, Being Human chose to show a literal interpretation of this type of connection in its season two finale, which may help explain this type of love further.
While Mitchell and Annie (much like Jane and Rochester actually) have not revealed their “romantic” intentions for each other at this point in the series, their love for each other is obvious and profound. If you’re not familiar with the show – a quick rundown. A vampire, a ghost and a werewolf all live together in a house as they attempt to understand what it means to be human. It’s much more brilliant than it sounds with some of the best writing to ever be on TV. Personally, I think it comes down to the writer’s obvious knowledge of literature.
Basically, in the season two finale, Mitchell (he’s a vampire and also a Byronic Hero) has given into his dark desires and murdered innocent humans. Meanwhile, Annie (a ghost who also happens to represent goodness) has been taken by an extremist who is the leader of a group who hates supernaturals. Mitchell, in a vengeful rage, attempts to take down one of these extremists for betraying him.
And just as he’s about to kill this woman, Annie is ripped from this world and sent to hell. At that precise moment, Mitchell feels it happen in his “ribs” just as Rochester described. They are supernaturally linked and then split apart. There is no other way to describe this scene.
Mitchell collapses to the ground in agony as if he is “bleeding inwardly.”
He then stumbles out of the room, hunched over in pain to find the man who “killed her.” He quickly finds this extremist and plans to kill him. This man asks: “Did you feel her go?”
And that is exactly what happened. They were torn apart. Mitchell left behind in this world and Annie stuck in the next. That separation nearly kills Mitchell. Of course, he then does everything it takes to get her back and SPOILER succeeds. But it is this literal display of the connection which may help explain what both Bronte sisters meant.
Later, in Jane Eyre, when Rochester and Jane are separated – Mr. Rochester calls out to Jane in anguish. Many miles apart, Jane hears him. Again, a supernatural link of two souls helps to reunite them.
Now, let’s take a look at Wuthering Heights. While Cami is much more like Jane Eyre than the selfish and wild Catherine, Wuthering Heights is closer in style to the love story in The Originals simply because Klaus is a Heathcliff type Byronic Hero. Klaus is more villain than hero. More vengeful than simply self-destructive.
Here is how Emily Bronte chooses to describe this type of love. First, Catherine reveals her “eternal” love for Heathcliff:
“My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”
And another quote:
“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
Now, let’s look at Heathcliff’s reaction after Catherine dies:
“Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you–haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe–I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”
Klaus and Cami
The first time Cami dies in The Originals (only to later become a vampire), Klaus creates a destructive path in the room where she died – so filled with inconsolable rage at losing her. This type of love in a way is both selfish and selfless at the same time. Nothing else fully exists outside of this love. There is a near type of possession and obsession which verges on unhealthy (if not completely becoming unhealthy depending on the story). These Byronic Heroes who experience this form of love cannot handle losing it – and if they do, they typically become obsessed with finding a way to be with them even beyond the grave or they become vengeful or both.
But there’s also something redemptive about it. Something “immortal.” Mr. Rochester finds redemption and the two are reunited. Heathcliff dies and reunites with Catherine in a sort of afterlife. Mitchell brings Annie back only to soon die himself shortly after. In the end, however, it’s implied that they reunite on the other side. Some form of redemption, however, must take place which also hints to an influence from the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.
Of course, there are “lighter” versions of this type of soul connection. Anne and Gilbert. Scully and Mulder. Max and Liz. Emily and Teddy in the Emily of New Moon trilogy.
What do all these stories and romances have in common? Ultimately, they reveal the transcendental power of romantic kindred soul love.
The list goes on and on.
As far as Klaus and Cami goes, their love story is based on similar elements as the above-mentioned examples. Let’s take a look at a quote I wrote about Klaus and Cami in relation to this type of love:
“With Klaus’s vampirism a metaphor for struggling with the beast within and Cami’s own struggle to live in a lonely world without her twin who died, it’s no surprise that these “twin souls” find each other in a way similar to that of Jane and Rochester. She, his confidante who can listen without judgment. Cami, being a twin, needs to have that kindred connection in her life (which she no longer has), and which is also one reason why she stays in New Orleans. In other words, she “needs” to be near Klaus because she feels a kindred connection to him, like that of a twin. Their relationship is literally the romantic equivalent of twin souls finding each other.”
This “kindred souls” connection only deepens further between Klaus and Cami as the series continued into season three and up till the very end.
But what do all these stories and romances have in common? Ultimately, they reveal the transcendental power of romantic kindred soul love. And on that note, let’s look at the lead into the romantic moment with Klaus and Cami.
THE LEAD IN – KLAUS AND CAMI
Klaus and Cami have been separated for a while due to Cami lying about her own feelings for him. Could it be this lie that ultimately kills her? Certainly, Cami would have been more under Klaus’s protection had she been under his roof instead of under her own where she remained vulnerable.
Still, Lucien (one of the main villains of the season) realizes that Cami is the love of Klaus’s long, immortal life and decides to kill her in a moment of strategic vengeance. He bites Cami with a lethal vampire bite that has no cure.
Cami makes her way to Klaus, weakened from the poisonous bite. Even near death, she tries to bring out the goodness in Klaus. She pleads with him not to get upset or do something crazy when he sees what’s happened to her. But Klaus instinctively knows before she tells him. He reaches for her arm where she’s been bitten and lifts up her sleeve to see the bite. He stares in a moment of shock.
Cami: I love you and I won’t let you get yourself killed.[Cami nearly faints from weakness.]
Klaus: Camille! [said as he catches her.]
Cami: I just needed you to know.
Klaus: I can tell you I love you tomorrow. You’re not dying today.
And in an epic, gothic as well as swoon-worthy moment of gallantry, Klaus carries Cami away determined to save her.
The rest of the episode plays out with one futile attempt after another to save Camille. But, in the end, there is no cure. Cami will die. Klaus creates a dream world for Cami to enter (this is one of his abilities) as she dies so she will feel no more pain. Still, Klaus won’t reveal how he feels for her. Nor will he accept that Cami is actually going to die as she reminds him repeatedly that he is loved by her despite his monstrosity.
They spend the perfect day in New Orleans together. A date at a corner café, a stroll down the street hand in hand, and then ultimately a recreation of the first night they “truly” met. But time is running out. Which brings us to the romantic moment between Klaus and Cami. Will Klaus tell her he loves her before it’s too late?
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT – KLAUS AND CAMI
Cami looks around at the perfect recreation of Klaus’s memory.
Cami: This is the night we met. You remember every detail. I must’ve made an impression.
Klaus: You know very well you did. [Laughs]
Cami: We talked about the artist wanting to control his demons. Do you think he ever did?
Klaus: Some demons will not be tamed.
Cami: We just do the best we can… and never give up.
Cami’s heart begins to slow and she begins to stumble even in the dream.
Cami: I’m getting tired.
Klaus catches her as she loses her balance. She turns to look at him, revealing the truth.
Cami: It’s funny. Even though we’re so different, I feel like I’ve always known you [this is the kindred soul love I’ve been talking about]. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in your mind. Or maybe that’s just how you know you love someone.
Klaus: I do love you, you know.
Realization and fear cross Cami’s mind in that moment.
Cami: I thought you were gonna tell me that tomorrow. I really don’t have another tomorrow, do I?
While Cami had planned to face death bravely, the truth hits her. She only has moments left to live and she’s afraid. The noise of the “imagined’ crowd begins to make Cami anxious. She wants quiet in her final moments alive. She asks Klaus to make the noise go away until it’s just them alone together on the streets of New Orleans.
Cami: Klaus? What’s happening?
Klaus leaves the dream world for a second to look at Cami dying on the bed, his heart clearly breaking.
Klaus: Your heart is slowing. But it still beats. You’re fighting. Because you want to live.
Cami then breaks down in a moment of honesty, Leah Pipes giving a fantastic performance.
Cami: I wanted to be brave. I wanted to handle this with dignity. But I… I-I can’t. I… I don’t want to go. I’m so scared.
Klaus: I’m here. I’m here. [Klaus says attempting to console her.]
Cami: [Emotionally breaking down] So much for the brave bartender, huh? When I said I was ready to die, I was full of it. [Laughs] And I just wish I had done more than to serve a few drinks and fail completely as your therapist.
Klaus: Don’t you think for a moment that you failed me. You stayed my hand. You quelled my rage. You inspired goodness in me. And unlike ALL of the souls I’ve encountered and forgotten in the long march of time…I will carry you with me.
Cami: I guess that makes me immortal.
One of the most epic quotes from any show ever! At that moment, Cami begins to fade away. She can no longer stand.
Klaus: No, no, no, no, no, no. Not yet. Just stay a bit longer!
Klaus sits Cami down on a bench not ready to face losing her.
Cami: [her breath slowing, each word taking every ounce of effort she has to speak] Do you remember the Bible verse on John’s headstone?
Klaus: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Cami: I was never naive enough to think that I was your light. But there is light in you. All that anger, the cycle of abuse that Mikael began, you can end it. You have to. So you can be the light for your little girl. For Hope.
Cami then collapses into Klaus’s arms, her eyes closed and her breathing slowing.
Klaus: [speaking bravely and with comfort] Do not be afraid. You go now where many have gone before you. And where even I will go in time. Just know… there will be no more pain. No more heartbreak. You will find peace.
At that moment, the street lamp goes out, letting us know Cami has taken her final breath. Klaus comes out of his daydream and continues to hold onto Cami’s now dead hand. The heartbreak on his face says it all. He clings to her sobbing quietly, not letting go. He doesn’t speak one word for the remainder of the episode. It was a tragic moment for Klaus and Cami fans everywhere yet still somehow beautiful.
In this week’s episode, “Where Nothing Stays Buried,” it’s clear Klaus had chosen to keep himself in the same room as her body. A Byronic move for sure. However, Klaus attempts to be more of that light Cami believed he could be. But the heartbreak remains obvious. He also refers more to the connection he felt with Cami to Hayley (the mother of his child who loves his brother Elijah), again supporting this understanding in Klaus’s mind of “romantic kindred soul love.”
Death is never the end of a good Byronic love story. It’s only the beginning. After all, Byronic Hero love stories are immortal.
Ultimately, Klaus does defeat Lucien – killing the vampire who murdered his beloved. It’s a nice moment for Klaus and Cami fans!
While we’ve yet to see the full aftermath of Cami’s death on Klaus, for now, it’s pretty safe to say Klaus will be in mourning for quite some time. Besides, all of us Byronic fans know that death is never the end of a good Byronic love story. It’s only the beginning. After all, Byronic Hero love stories are immortal.
Did you watch last week’s episode of The Originals? What did you think of Cami’s goodbye? Did you think it was tragically romantic? Are you a fan of Klaus and Cami? Sound off below!
Photos From The Originals: CW
Photos From Being Human: BBC
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