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Esther Mikaelson (also known as the Original Witch) is the primary antagonist of The Originals, serving as the main antagonist of both the first season and the first chapter of the second season. She is also one of the main antagonists of the third season of the Vampire Diaries, alongside her family (mostly Klaus). She is the mother of the Original Vampires and the wife of Mikael. She was ultimately devoted to her family and would do anything to protect them. When her youngest child Henrik was killed by werewolves she decided to turn her remaining children into vampires, as to protect them.
As she is the primary antagonist of The Originals, she has ordered the assassination of Klaus and Hayley's daughter, Hope Mikaelson, because of a deal she made with her sister, Dahlia, whereas she will get a fertility spell provided that every firstborn of her descendants get killed and if she fails, Dahlia will come after Esther and her whole family.
In a way, this makes her a complex antagonist and, along with her husband Mikael, they are the archenemies of their sociopathic illegitimate son, protagonist villain Niklaus.
She is originally portrayed by Alice Evans but thanks to her pregnancy, Natalie Dreyfuss and Sonja Sohn portray Esther in The Originals.
It is revealed that she made the order on the murder of Klaus and Hayley's child.
In the finale, it is revealed that she has possessed harvest witch, Cassie and Finn has possessed an African-American warlock named Vincent Graffith.
In the next season, she has made a deal with Francesca, that she will make the werewolves moonlight rings and prevent vampires from entering the French Quarter. Her other son, Kol, is possessing a witch names Kaleb.
Cassie/Esther never cared about Francesca anyway. Esther controls the werewolves of New Orleans and when she has a meeting with Klaus in the cemetery, Klaus insults Esther in front of Cassie (not realizing that Esther is possessing her) and when Cassie lectures Klaus, the anti-villainous protagonist realizes that it is his mother and he tells Elijah, who has told Klaus about Mikael's return.
Esther and Finn then have a dinner with Klaus and Elijah, Klaus gives Esther a cold-hearted piece of his mind, blaming her for being the main reason of what he is today, as well as her children being monsters and Esther later possesses the protagonist's ally, Lenore Shaw (who has made a spell of putting a symbol on a hand to show when that person is being possessed by Esther) and Esther offers Hayley a proposition-to possess a mortal so that she can go back to being a werewolf and have a family of her own (and even politely introduced herself) and when Klaus and Elijah arrive, Esther reveals most of her motive-she offers Klaus and Elijah the chance to be reborn by possessing/taking the life of a mortal and leave their vampirism so that they can be a "family again". She then disappears, causing destruction to the place. Esther then reveals her full motive to Finn-she wants Klaus and Elijah to rejoin their family but as witches by possessing mortals and leave their vampirism and she will make their lives hell, hurting the ones they love until they become so desperate that they will end up taking her offer and because she "loves" them, she will do that.
Her and Finn then take teenage werewolves to turn into werewolves by night so that they can give more power but one of the werewolf Alphas, Aiden wouldn't want that because his younger brother is one of those boys so he teams up with Oliver, Hayley, Elijah and Marcel to transport them back to the bayou, where they'll be safe and they succeed but Esther sends the werewolves to attack Elijah and Oliver but they kill them. However, Finn and Elijah battle but when Elijah is about to kill Finn, Esther weakens him by stabbing him with wood and she holds him hostage in the cemetery.
Esther then psychologically abuses Elijah's mind by making him a monster trying to kill Hayley/Tatia and revealing about a Petrova doppelgänger that he loved, Tatia and how she died and Elijah thought that Esther killed her but she reveals that Elijah killed her and he brought her to Esther and Esther erased his memory of him killing her. She then makes Elijah have nightmares of how he is a "monster". In the next episode, Klaus and Esther meet and Klaus expresses his hatred for Esther and Esther still tries to convince him to take the life of a mortal and become a werewolf and when Klaus tells Esther about Mikael's return, Esther promises that she will kill Mikael and Klaus saves Elijah and tells Esther that he hates her so much because she tried to kill his daughter Hope and we see a flashback of why Esther wanted to kill Hope-back in the day, she had an older sister named Dahlia and Esther struggled too have children and Dahlia was more powerful than Esther and agreed that she will perform a fertility spell for Esther on one condition-that she kills the firstborn if every firstborn that her descendants and family tree has, as she did with Esther's first child, Freya and if she doesn't, the she'll go after her and her whole family, even her children. Therefore Esther was afraid that Dahlia would come after her family, so this makes her a true neutral character and Dahlia is possibly the bigger bad. Finn knows this and he understands. Esther has brought Klaus' father, Ansel back to life so that Klaus can reunite with his father but Klaus doesn't want anything to do with him.
He kills him and sends it as a message to Esther, breaking her heart and Marcel, Josh, Cami, Aiden and Hayley have ensnared Finn and Kol and this upset Esther, as Finn truly understood Esther. This was an act of going after everything she loves. As revenge, Esther kidnaps Cami so that she can make her Rebekah's vessel and she has traced the whereabouts of Rebekah, but not the child.
Finn tells Klaus about why Esther was after Hope and Kol chooses to join Klaus on his fight against Esther, while mommy's boy Finn still remains loyal to Esther and Klaus traps him in a coffin.