|“||And the man that pretended to be a family friend, but actually hated us for an eternity, has turned himself into some creature. Here which, for all we know, could be the bloody beast the prophecy said would end us!||”|
An Upgraded Original Vampire, is a term used to describe the type of Original Vampire that Lucien Castle and Marcel Gerard became when a reversed engineered Immortality Spell was used to turn them. It was prophesied to be the undoing of the Mikaelson Siblings or created from the destruction of the Original Family.
This is a branch of Original species similar to the Enhanced Original Vampire, like Alaric Saltzman was formerly, which was designed to be superior to that of the Originals in very specific ways; being capable of fighting, defeating, and killing normal Originals. As an Upgraded version of an Original Vampire, it possesses a bite that is capable of killing an Original as it secretes an extremely potent strain of engineered Werewolf Venom with an altered predator face and more fangs. Unlike hybrids, an Upgraded Original is a vampire infused with a werewolf bite, further distinguishing the species.
So far, only two people have become Upgraded Original Vampires, namely Lucien Castle and Marcel Gerard, both of whom were originally regular vampires before transitioning into Upgraded Original Vampires, which makes the transition unusual (regular vampires are turned as humans through another vampire or through magic). After the death of the former, Marcel took the second serum and drank it. He is currently the only Upgraded Original Vampire in existence.
One notable difference between the Upgraded Originals and other Originals is that the former don't seem to require human blood to complete the transition from one form to another, indeed, the typical transition period seems to have been bypassed altogether with simply death being the only step needed to transform into a Upgraded Original. Both Marcel and Lucien displayed their new powers and vampire face immediately upon resurrection, something which is not normal for those currently in transition.
- Main article: The Prophecy
A prophecy was predicted about the Beast's rising by Alexis, Lucien Castle's prophetic witch, that explains the Beast will either be the product of the Mikaelson Family becoming undone, or be the reason the family falls. However, it could also mean that after everything and everyone regarding the Mikaelson Family has fallen, the Beast will rise from the ashes. The full meaning of the Prophecy is currently unknown.
- "Drink deep but beware
What you broke is past repair
All your oaths you betray, your sacred vows you sever
And now you see that nothing lasts for always and forever
Three yet remain, two already crossed
Yet in one year's time, you'll all be lost
As your family is undone
You will seed the beast that is to come"
- — Alexis announces the prophecy in For the Next Millennium
Powers and Abilities
Upgraded Originals possess roughly the same powers befitting an Original vampire, but with a few modifications due to the nature of the spell that created them as well as the introduction of werewolf venom.
- Super Strength: They are considerably stronger than any supernatural species seen thus far. Lucien was shown to be much stronger than Elijah and Finn when they fought. Lucien even proved to be much stronger than Klaus the Original Hybrid during their confrontations. Marcel was shown to also be stronger than the originals and Klaus, fighting them with ease but recently his strength seemed inferior to Lucien's, whether this is because Marcel was reluctant to fight or is simply inferior to Lucien due to being a younger vampire when turned or even both is unknown.
- Super Speed: They are also considerably much faster than most supernatural species seen thus far. They are quite possibly the fastest creatures in the series universe, Lucien was able to dodge Klaus' attacks effortlessly, It is possible that if Klaus transformed he may have been fast enough to match Lucien in speed.
- Super Agility: They possess more superhuman agility, flexibility and dexterity than any other supernatural species. They can move quickly, jump very high, climb and run incredibly fast without difficulty or exhaustion.
- Super Senses: They have extremely keen senses of hearing, sight and smell that far exceed any other supernatural species.
- Super Durability: They can take far more trauma than any other supernatural species. No Original vampire has ever been dismembered, or attempted, implying that their durability may be close to invincibility.
- Immortality: They are immortal just like any Original Vampire. Unlike their strength and resilience, Upgraded Originals seem to be no more or less eternal than a common Original. It is currently unknown if there is something powerful enough to kill them.
- Healing Factor: They able to heal much faster than any other supernatural species, possibly equal to that of Immortals.
- Enhanced Emotions: They experience emotions more powerfully than humans. Emotions like love, joy, and happiness are intensified for vampires allowing them to live life more intensely. This ability allows Upgraded Originals to feel emotions at their peak regardless of their age.
- Emotional Control: They have a limited degree of control over their own emotions. It has been stated that Emotional Control fades over time.
- Mind Compulsion: They can control and influence the thoughts, emotions, behavior, actions and memories of humans, non-original vampires and non-original werewolf-vampire hybrids.
- Sire Bond: Although rare among them, Sire Bonds can be formed when a human is turned with the blood of the vampire whom they had strong human feelings for.
- Telepathy: They have the ability to enter the minds of others as long as theirs is stronger than them although, as they are more powerful than Original vampires, they have one of the strongest minds in the world. Normally, this ability works in a tactile fashion and the vampire requires physical contact in order for it to work successfully.
- Dream Manipulation: They can control dreams and subconscious. They can produce and modify dreams, bestow nightmares or lucid dreaming. Other effects of this ability is the ability to distort perceptions of reality and being able to trap someone in their dreams.
- Illusions: They have the power to trick the minds of others into seeing/feeling things that aren't actually happening.
- True Face: Their true face is the appearance they are hiding under their normal human face. When Lucien's true face was revealed, his iris turned blood-red, dark veins appeared under his eyes as the blood pumped forcefully through them, and he grew multiple fangs. This is different from the Original Vampire's and non-original vampire's true faces in the sense that Original Vampires and non-original vampire's sclera turn red when the blood forcibly pushes into their eyes while their iris stays the same color, and the red veins under the Upgraded Originals eyes go down further on their face like an Augustine Vampire. Original Vampires and non-original vampires usually only have two sharp fangs on their canine teeth, but they have multiple sharp fangs as well bottom ones, not just the canine fangs.
- Advanced Werewolf Bite: They possess a bite that is deadly enough to even kill an Original Vampire. Klaus' blood, though it can alleviate some of the effects of the venom, such as hallucinations, cannot cure it as the venom that was used in the Immortality Spell was a new strain created from all seven werewolf bloodlines and was designed to have no known cure. Even the blood of an Upgraded Original could not cure the venom; this was evident with Camille. It is unknown how it would affect Klaus or any non-original werewolf-vampire hybrid as Klaus' and Hope's blood had no chance of curing it. Davina, however, attempted to use Marcel's venom by introducing it directly into Klaus' blood in an attempt to sacrifice him; this implies that even though he's a hybrid, Klaus is susceptible to its fatal effects. It is unknown if Upgraded Originals are immune to their own venom as their own blood could not cure the symptoms. However, Freya was able to create an anti-venom by using the venom from all seven packs and Klaus' blood along with a spell.
- Broken Neck: Breaking an Upgraded Originals neck will not kill them, but it will render them unconscious.
- The Cure: If an Upgraded Original takes the cure, they will revert back to being mortal again. Once taken, the cure prevents them from being immortal again, causing the body to reject vampire blood.
- Desiccation: Being completely drained of blood or the heart stopping will cause an Upgraded Original to desiccate like any other vampire, losing most of it's strength and any ability to move. The desiccated beast will appear as a corpse and can only start functioning again once they feed on blood. This process can be replicated artificially by a witch casting a desiccation spell.
- Invitation: In order to enter any house owned by humans, they had to be invited by that person. Once invited the vampire cannot be uninvited, only if ownership of the house is changed can they be removed until re-invited. If a vampire lives in a house, other vampires can enter freely and if vampire is in the house without being invited in it will become disoriented and will begin to suffocate. It was shown that vampires can be pulled out by extreme force making them have to exit, if ownership changed while inside.
- Magic: Upgraded Originals are susceptible to the powers of witchcraft. A witch/warlock with enough magical power at her/his disposal could harm or even kill it. Magic can also be used to trap an Original through boundary spells, and magic can also be used to desiccate an Original. It is revealed thus far, that the only way to kill an Upgraded Original in the absence of a White Oak stake is to channel the power of the ancestors who helped make it and reverse an Upgraded Original back to a normal vampire. This is inclusive of mystical objects such as the Gilbert Device, Papa Tunde's Blade, the Cursed Stake, and other Dark Objects. It is possible, but equally as unlikely that a Siphoner can also siphon the magic from a vampire.
- Physical Trauma: Minor physical injuries such as gunshots, stab wounds and broken bones will cause an Upgraded Original pain and may also slow them down. However, this is momentary as they will heal completely within seconds. It seems physical trauma can hurt them anywhere on the body (ex-eye gouging, drowning). Lucien showed resistance to wooden bullets.
- Poison: There have recently been various poisons shown invented by people such as Dr. Wes Maxfield and Aya that are capable of incapacitate or desiccate a vampire when administered. Klaus also used a poison to kill Tim that not even vampire blood could cure. Davina used a spell that made her blood toxic to Klaus, paralyzing and rendering him unconscious. It is unknown what effect any of these poisons would do if ingested by an Upgraded Original.
- Sunlight: Sunlight will burn an Upgraded Original, but cannot kill them. Lucien possesses a lapis lazuli ring to combat this.
- Wood: A wooden stake through the heart will desiccate an Upgraded Original vampire just like ordinary Originals and the Original vampire will appear as if they were dead, but will revive within a few hours.
- White Oak Ash Daggers: A group of enchanted silver daggers dipped in the ash of the white oak tree will neutralize an Original vampire when stabbed through the heart. If the dagger is removed, it must be dipped again in White Oak Ash to re-neutralize the Original vampire. Otherwise, it will have no effect and the Original vampire awaken within a few hours. It is unknown if the Upgraded Original can be daggered.
- White Oak Stake: The only weapon on earth that can permanently kill an Original vampire, it comes from an ancient White Oak Tree that existed during the time of the genesis of The Original Vampires and was used as the source of their immortality. It was at first thought that the stake used to kill Mikael was the last White Oak wood that existed, but it was soon discovered by Rebekah and Klaus that there was a sapling of the original tree to replace the old; the wood of which was used to build the Wickery Bridge. Julie Plec later confirms this is the only thing in existence that can kill an original. Dahlia destroyed the stake and only its ashes presumably remain. The white oak from the Wickery Bridges presumably exist in the Prison Worlds. However with the death of Kai the Gemini leader the prison worlds are destroyed because they are linked to the leader of the Gemini Coven. It was also revealed in Ashes to Ashes, that an Original can slowly die by inhaling what is presumably white oak ash or splinters. In Wild at Heart, it was revealed that the Wooden Knight Klaus carved as a child is made of white oak wood and it was fashioned into seven wooden bullets. The last bullet was destroyed in Lucien's spell to become an upgraded Original Vampire. But at the moment this wood is extinct.
- Freya's Dagger: A dagger that was made by Freya with the help of Keelin's expertise in medicine and biology. The dagger was made by using Freya's blood, Esther's magic, Marcel's venom, and the ashes of Lucien Castle. It holds the power to specifically kill an Upgraded Original Vampire.
- Cancer: Although vampires cannot catch diseases and illnesses such as cancer, if a human has active cancer and is turned into a vampire, the effects of the cancer will increase. The regenerative properties of vampire blood will speed up the replication of cancer cells of and exceed normal stages of the condition. This was first proven when Caroline fed a terminal cancer patient vampire blood to test if it could cure cancer. When Jo ran tests on the patient after he was turned into a vampire, she referred to his tumors as "stage 10. It is unknown what would happen if a person with cancer is turned into an original vampire. The effects on an Original Vampire would be presumably the same as the rest of the species because they have the same healing powers.
Known Upgraded Originals
- Lucien Castle: Niklaus' first sired, he devised an intricate plan to reverse engineer the original vampirism spell to become a being superior to the Mikalesons. He was the first recipient of the spell, having turned at Mystic Falls when Finn, using Matt Donovan's hand to pull the trigger, shot and killed him. He struck a deal with the ancestors to force Vincent Griffith to perform the spell which allowed him to kill Finn with a bite. He was ultimately killed by Niklaus when Freya used the power she stole from the ancestors to reverse his spell.
- Marcel Gerard: Niklaus' protégé, he consumed the second dose of serum having been extracted from Aurora by Vincent. He was turned in New Orleans when Elijah ripped out his heart during a confrontation about Davina's death. He sought revenge on the Mikaelsons and successfully drove them out of the city.
- An Upgraded Original is a species very similar to that of an Enhanced Original Vampire. The difference between the two superior Original Vampire species is that an Upgraded Original has an additional offensive power such as a venomous bite containing a werewolf toxin that can kill even the Original Vampires with one known cure: The Anti-Venom created by Freya, but still making Klaus' blood and Lucien's cure powerless to stop it. Also while Alaric was seemingly stronger than Originals, as Julie Plec once called Alaric a super original as well as the strongest vampire in the world at the time, an Upgraded Original variant is also noticeably much more stronger than an Original, capable of overpowering them with ease. However, the upgraded Original Vampire is likely vulnerable to a White Oak Stake whereas Alaric was immune.
- It can be assumed since it was the same spell used by Esther and Vincent, that the only real advantage of an Upgraded Original over an Original and the Enhanced version is its venomous bite, with their physical superiority possibly being the result of their initial vampirism.
- When asked by a fan on which species is stronger, Michael Narducci replied via twitter that he personally felt they were just as strong as each other but that ultimately an Upgraded Original, with it's venomous bite and nigh invulnerability, such as Marcel and Lucien, would beat the Enhanced Original Alaric in terms of a fight and superiority. However, the series itself contradicts this by showing Lucien overpowering Klaus with one hand with ease while Alaric could not with both hands.
- Their predatory faces are altered to be opposite of Original Vampires, and non-original vampires. An Upgraded Originals iris' turn bright red instead of their sclera becoming blood red, they have their blood red veins extend further down their face like Augustine Vampires, and they possess multiple sharp fangs, not just two sharp canine teeth.
- Upgraded Originals are the first creature who can kill Original Vampires without a physical weapon like the White Oak Stake, or magic as a weapon such as an empowered witch like Bonnie Bennett was when she tried to kill Klaus.
- Other than the addition of werewolf venom and the substitution of Mikaelson witch's blood for Doppelganger blood, the spell used was the exact same one as Esther's.
- Thus, it is possible the reason why Upgraded Originals are stronger and faster may be due to the fact they were turned from non-original vampires instead of humans.
- The spell was said to have been reversed engineered thus, it is also possible that there were subtle changes that were not observable to the spell that gave them their superior powers.
- Currently, there are only two known ways to truly defeat Upgraded Originals. One is by using the magic, i.e. from the Ancestors, that turned him into an Upgraded Original to cast the Immortality Reversal Spell, to turn him back into a non-original vampire again, like Freya did to Lucien in Where Nothing Stays Buried. The second means is how Freya was able to create a dagger with her blood, Esther's magic, Marcel's venom and Lucien's ashes, that together is powerful enough to kill an Upgraded Original like Marcel.
- With the Ancestor's return, they are capable of reversing the spell that upgraded Marcel through the same reversal spell themselves, or through a conduit, such as with Vincent or Freya.
- Lucien Castle originally thought the Prophecy had prophesied him as the Beast, the instrument to kill the Original Vampires, however, it was later revealed that the Beast prophesied was Marcel Gerard.
- It ultimately became a self fulfilling prophecy as Marcel only became the Beast as a result of the Mikaelson's trying to stop the Prophecy, by killing Lucien after sacrificing Davina is what made Marcel take the serum so he could get revenge for Davina's death.
- It is unknown whether they may sire a bloodline of vampires with a venomous bite while retaining the same speed and strength as "normal" vampires.
- Both Upgraded Originals were Vampires turned directly by Klaus and both were originally friends of the Mikaelson family.
- Both individuals were already vampires before becoming an Upgraded Original, which may or may not account for their increased physical powers.
- While staking with ordinary wood can neutralize an Original vampire, Marcel was seemingly neutralized with a metal spike by one of the Hollow's acolytes, whether this is a mistake on the writer's part or if any severe trauma to the heart can render a vampire temporarily dead is unknown.