New Orleans is a major city on the southeastern coast of the United States that was built and founded by the Mikaelson Family many centuries ago. It is the location of one of the biggest and most diverse supernatural communities in the The Vampire Diaries universe. The Mikaelson family was in control of the city until 1919, when they were all forced to flee town when they were found by their own father. In their absence, Marcel, Klaus' former protégé and surrogate son, took over, unbeknownst to the Mikaelsons, who were under the impression that Marcel died in the chaos of their father's presence.
In the modern day, Klaus returned to the city with the hope of taking over again and reuniting his family after learning that he had impregnated a young werewolf, Hayley, which revealed a loophole that Klaus, despite being a vampire, was able to have children. However, the family's return had the effect of further aggravating the already major ongoing conflict between the witches, vampires and werewolves of the city. The conflict started less than a year prior to the Mikaelsons' return, when Marcel interrupted The Harvest, a sacrificial ritual that acted to strengthen the bond between the witches in New Orleans and the magical power of their dead ancestors, from whom they drew power. Marcel's intervention resulted in the deaths of the majority of the witches in attendance, including all but one of the coven's Elders.
The The Vampires Diaries-spin off, The Originals, mainly follows the story of the Mikaelson Family as they struggle to regain control of the city that was once theirs and, in the process, face off against powerful enemies from their past while they attempt to form alliances with the various human and supernatural factions.
In the year 1942, Damon Salvatore lived in New Orleans with a woman named Charlotte, who, he had turned into a vampire after she had begged him to do so. Unbeknownst to Damon, Charlotte was sire-bound to him, which unconsciously and unvoluntarily made her want to do anything and everything to make Damon happy. Once he witnessed Charlotte killing a man after he had made an off-hand joke, he realized that she had a sire-bond to him, and turned to a witch named Valerie LaMarche for help. Valerie told him that he needed to commit the sacrifice of twelve humans in order to break the bond, which he did. Damon ultimately ended up telling Charlotte to count every single brick in every building in the city until he returned, and left town thereafter, hoping that his attempts to break the bond would work.
Before Damon left Charlotte, he was found by his brother Stefan Salvatore and Stefan's best friend Lexi Branson, who had insisted that Stefan reconcile with his brother as part of his Ripper-rehabilitation program. The brothers reunited and ended up having a good time catching up together. Stefan revealed that he had joined the Army and was about to ship off to Egypt for the war effort. Damon was very interested in going away to war with Stefan, but was later talked out of the idea by Lexi, who pointed out that he had killed twelve people without remorse, and that if Stefan knew he had done so, he would think that he could do the same and relapse back into his bloodthirsty ways. Damon ultimately ended up standing Stefan up and leaving him, so he would not be a bad influence to his little brother.
Decades later, in the year 2010, Damon and his brother returned to New Orleans after they realized that Elena also had a sire-bond to Damon and wanted to find answers on how to break it. While there, the brothers stumbled upon Charlotte, who was still sire-bound to him. Realizing that Valerie LaMarche's spell did not work, Damon returned to the voodoo shop where Valerie LaMarche used to work, and learned that her granddaughter, Nandi, was now in charge of the shop. Nandi explained that Valerie had lied to Damon in the 1940s, and that she tricked him into killing twelve people so she could use the sacrifices to fuel her Expression magic. Nandi then informs Damon that there is only one way she knows of to break a sire-bond, which is for the sire to tell the vampire they're sire-bound to that the only thing that will make them happy is for them to leave and live good lives without them. While Damon uses this method to break his bond to Charlotte, he doesn't have the heart to do the same to Elena.
Later on that year, Hayley was told by Klaus that she bore a birthmark that identified her as belonging to specific werewolf bloodline that hailed from New Orleans, so she traveled there to see if she could learn more about her parents and the rest of her family. Though she ultimately did learn that she is a member of the royal Labonair bloodline, as well as part of the Crescent wolf clan, a pair of witch sisters learned that Hayley had become pregnant by Klaus, and used her to leverage the Mikaelsons into helping them take down Marcel. Eventually, the Mikealsons agreed to help the witches and moved back to New Orleans, where they learned more about Marcel's totalitarian regime and the subjugation of the witches in the French Quarter. In time, Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah learned that, though the witches really did want the Mikaelsons to take down Marcel, their real aim was to find the witch Davina Claire, who was saved from the Harvest ritual by Marcel and who was also helping him restrict the use of magic in the Quarter by informing him whenever a witch did magic. Eventually, Klaus did regain control over New Orleans, though, he quickly tired of the position and was replaced by Elijah. However, after The Battle of New Orleans, it appears that the Guerrera/Correa werewolves are now in charge of the city. However, in Rebirth after the demise of Guerrera family and their allies at the hands of the Elijah and Klaus, Hayley, Marcel and their allies, the city once again without leadership.
- The French Quarter, the pivotal place of the events between vampires and witches. The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is located in the historic area of New Orleans and is one of the top holiday destinations. Marcel made it the heart of his kingdom, in fact his vampires feed on tourists.
- Garden District, in which the Elder witch Josephine LaRue lived, along with the rest of the Garden District coven. The Garden District is one of the most affluent areas of New Orleans, known for its colonial-style houses.
- The Docks, once the Mikaelson family managed the commercial traffic together with the Guerrera family. Currently the docks are under the jurisdiction of Marcel and the vampire who took care to handle them was Thierry.
- Algiers, headquarter of Marcel Gerard's new vampires community and Lenore Shaw's home. Algiers also has its coven, since one of the abducted from the Rite of Nines came from this neighborhood.
- Tremé, home of another Witch Coven of the same name; Vincent Griffith and Eva Sinclair were part of that coven; the Tremé neighborhood is known for a predominantly African-American population. In this place is located an ethnic market run by the Tremé coven, where is possible to find stalls selling esoteric items, as shown when Rebekah was attacked there.
- Arts District, frequented by Marcel and his followers. Gia used to make street performances here with drums and her violin. Unlike other districts, the Art District is a conglomeration of different cultures and social status. Generally it is frequented by street artists, hence its name.
- Ninth Ward District is a distinctive region that is located in the easternmost downriver portion of the city. It is geographically the largest of the seventeen wards of New Orleans. The part shown on the show is called Versailles, known for the high rate of Vietnamese population. This neighborhood belongs to the 9th Ward Coven, which includes the witches Kara and Van Nguyen.
New Orleans is introduced into the plot during flashback scenes of We’ll Always Have Bourbon Street, in Season 4. In The Originals, New Orleans made its first present day appearance in The Vampire Diaries universe when Klaus arrives in New Orleans seeking out Jane-Anne Deveraux, a witch plotting against him, and while there Klaus is reunited with his progeny, Marcel.
The Originals (Series)
The Vampire Diaries spin off, The Originals, will be set in New Orleans, Louisiana, and feature members of the Original Family with Klaus as the main protagonist. Klaus intends to reclaim the city that had once been his home and that he had built for himself and his family.
Stefan's Diaries (Novels)
In Stefan's Diaries: Bloodlust, Stefan and Damon are newly turned vampires who manage to escape Johnathan Gilbert and other assailing citizens of Mystic Falls. They escape on a train to New Orleans. Damon is still mourning the death of Katherine, but Stefan has embraced his vampirism and is out of control. Stefan later meets Lexi, a matriarch figure to group of vampires, who brings him back to his humanity and teaches him to live on an animal diet.
- Identical to the town of Mystic Falls, the werewolf species once dominated New Orleans.
- Kol mentions that he, Elijah, Klaus and Rebekah lived in New Orleans in the early 20th century, and that while Kol was in New Orleans, he had made friends with many witches, whom he held in high esteem.
- Since Anne Rice published her first Vampire Chronicles and located them in New Orleans, the city has been linked to vampires. The movie adaptation of Interview with the Vampire, starring Brad Pitt, made it even more popular. There are even tours offered in New Orleans to visit the places associated with the book and movie.
- Girl in New Orleans, was originally titled Interview with the Vampire, however was changed for unknown reasons.
- The magic of the witches that live here was controlled for almost a year by the vampire Marcel. However, once Davina was sacrificed in the Harvest ritual, Marcel lost the ability to restrict magic in the Quarter, and the witches in New Orleans began openly practicing magic again.
- Interestingly, it is possible that New Orleans could be used to set up yet another Expression Triangle, as three massacres have occured there: the twelve humans that Damon slaughtered in the 1940s, the group of witches that Hayley killed in self-defense, and the vampires that Klaus and Rebekah killed in the French Quarter.
- There are nine witch covens in the city as revealed in City Beneath The Sea.
Behind the scenes
- In We’ll Always Have Bourbon Street, the Union Station portrayed in 1942 New Orleans was located at Loyola Avenue in Downtown New Orleans. It was later torn down in 1954 and rebuilt in the same location, but renamed The Union Passenger Terminal.