Opinion: The Paleyfest Story: A Series of Unfortunate Events

I’m sure by now, all of you have seen, read, or heard of the Klaroline mentions that happened at this weekend’s Palyefest Panels. Short and sweet, it was nothing we hadn’t heard before, but we got a little peek behind the curtain. I’ll try to make this as coherent as possible, but a lot of these opinions come from my drunk blogging last night as I watched the panels.

 Fair warning to all of you, I was not a happy camper.

If you’re looking for an optimistic and glowing outlook on the shows, this might not be the article for you.

Let’s start with the lack of Klaroline questions from the moderator at the TO panel. He clearly was aware of the ship and the fandom, as he used it in Joseph Morgan’s stage intro (props to referencing the now deceased pony drawing), but he didn’t ask any direct questions to the producers or the actors. I thought this meant that they had just issued a no-questions edict, but then the TVD moderator asked it out-right. This is SO telling, since they are clearly trying to keep all mention of Klaroline away from The Originals, while TVD is free to discuss it to it’s heart’s content. It mirrors the way that Klaus’ name has appeared on every episode of TVD since 5×11, but we can’t even get a small allusion to Caroline on TO. Ridiculous.

On to the brave and loyal Klaroliner who stood up and asked Joseph once and for all if he was Team Klaroline. You are adorable and the fandom salutes you!

His answer was… is there even a word that combines nervous, condescending, and disappointing all together?

Fan: I know you have great chemistry with Leah, and well…everyone. But are you on Team Klaroline?

Joseph: Ok, let’s have a little chat, shall we? With this elephant in the room. So, I uh… So here’s the way I see it. I think, um, in the beginning, uh definitely. I was in favor of the two characters because she opened up a side of Klaus that we hadn’t seen before, and I really wanted to see that vulnerability. And I was, uh, in favor of all the dynamic between them. I never thought it was a good idea for them to… just be together and that was the end of it. Because then where’s the drama and the interest? And because ultimately Klaus, uh, I believe one of the things about him that’s so wonderful is he can’t find love because he just messes it up for himself. You know? And so, as much as he may want to be with Caroline, I think he would mess it up for her as well. And I think that, um, the character of Caroline Forbes doesn’t deserve to be messed up in that way. I think, you know, for him to go back to Mystic Falls – initially to gloat over Katherine’s body – and then, you know, to have that, uh… that moment with Caroline… where all of this that we had built up for so long… for want of a better way of describing it was consummated… But, and also to have this idea that these characters, who had been down this road together, had-had… the road had split off, and they had grown apart, and they had realized, look Klaus, he has a child on the way and he’s involved in a war, and Caroline has, you know, is going to college and has all of these things… the idea that they couldn’t be together… but they can have this one moment…

Charles: Short answer he’s Team Caroline…

Joseph: So it’s not as polarized as that, but look you know I was a fan of the dynamic, and I’m a fan of where that story has gone to now…. It’s not really an answer at all, is it?

He was clearly told to address this issue in the most diplomatic and vague way possible, and he succeeded. I couldn’t tell if he was pro or anti by the end because I was struggling to even hear a full sentence. Joseph is so articulate and intelligent, that it made me sad to see him dissolve into a stuttering mess the way he did. I could tell that he wanted to be respectful of Klaroline fans, while still toeing the party line of NOT HAPPENING.

But ultimately, it fell flat.

The part about not being able to love Caroline because he would ruin it was actually really on point though. Especially at this stage in his life, Klaus is self-destructive, antagonistic, and violent. He would certainly mess up any attempt at a mature, committed relationship with Caroline. But what I don’t like is the implication that she would be passive in this relationship, and just let him drive the whole thing. The writers are really like playing with the idea that the darkness in one person can somehow diminish the light in another – that is what they’re trying to do with Damon and Elena on TVD. But somehow, I think they’re not giving Caroline enough credit here. She survived the WORST thing that can happen to a person – vampirism – and came out the other side stronger, tougher, and better. She can handle Klaus. Moreover, I don’t want to see her show up in NOLA, declare her undying love, and then skip off into the sunset with him. I want her down there struggling with her feelings and pushing him away. I want to watch the destruction of their relationship and then see it get built up again.

Overall, Joseph’s answer was not what made me angry. It was only more of the same, and he did try to say as best he could that he was a fan of Klaroline. What made me angry was the way that he full on panicked when asked the question. In all honesty, he seemed like a man being interrogated, worried to give one wrong word.

If you didn’t watch, then you didn’t see the way his face FELL when Klaroline was mentioned. There was no sneaky smirk, no smiles with the cast, not even an eye roll. I couldn’t tell if he was angry, upset, terrified, frustrated or WHAT. But he looked like he’d rather be anywhere in the world right then than up on that stage answering a Klaroline question. That is hurtful. This was NOT a question he wanted to answer. That, to me, says Joseph now either hates our fandom, resents the attention the ship gets, or he is risking serious ramifications for saying the wrong thing. I think it’s probably a little of all three.

All night, it seemed like there was some gag order implemented on the topic of Klaroline. I mean, they got rid of those god-awful buzz words like closure, for now, and ending. But it still feels like we’re getting the same crap they’ve been dolling out since the 100th episode. I would say that is partly because of this anti-KC mentality that has so obviously been spread around the cast and writers, but also because of the anti-fandom mentality they have all adopted.

From the get-go, The Originals has treated the Klaroline fandom like a disease. Klaroline has become an easy scapegoat, which sucks for the fans who are genuinely kind and insightful viewers. It all goes back to a year ago, when drama was blown out of proportion and the fandom was labeled a “threat” to the new show.  When panels rolled around in the summer, the cast had quite a few moments where they mentioned their distaste for the Klaroline fandom. The word “hate” was never used, but they basically implied that they were scared of these fans and that they were not appreciated as part of The Originals fandom. It continued on into every interview that ever mentioned Klaroline, with even Claire Holt referencing that fandom’s bad behavior last month.

There are some bad eggs in this fandom, no doubt. But we’re getting sick and tired of hearing how awful we are.

Getting back on point, I find it ridiculous that writers and actors can make all these backhanded comments on twitter and in interviews without any kind of filter from PR, but when they’re on topic of hope for Klaroline’s future they have to censor. Our fandom is fighting an uphill battle, so it hurts that when we kindly ask for a little hope, they act like we’ve got a loaded gun to their heads.

Joseph should be able to say he’s on Team Klaroline without glancing over at Julie every ten seconds to see if he’s about to get a slap on the wrist.  It was insulting, to be honest. How unfair is it that Claire could freely say that she would love to pick back up with Matt again in Mystic Falls, but Joseph had to struggle and stammer his way through the Klaroline answer.

On another note, we should be able to ask questions about our ship just like anyone else. We have a LARGE fandom, and they HAD to know the questions were coming. I’m actually a bit surprised they didn’t have a speech planned. Did no one notice how flawlessly Claire mentioned Mabekah with no backlash? She practically swooned at the idea without a single piece of judgment. How is that any different?

Now on to Julie’s Klaroline answer, which was better and worse than Joseph’s in some ways.

Kristin: There are a lot of variations of this question: Will they be together? Are they endgame? Will Caroline go to The Originals? Will Klaus ever come back to Mystic Falls? Do you think that if they were on the same show right now, they would be together?
Julie: Happiness is not necessarily a drama magnet, you know? So if they were still on the same show together they might have found a brief moment of something, to be ripped terribly apart, only to come back together slowly but surely. Again and again and again throughout history. Um, but I think… you know look, here’s my feeling and unfortunately I actually get to do this part so…sorry? I feel like Caroline Forbes is such a crucial, crucial, crucial element as a sparkly personality, as a beautiful soul, and as a fascinating character on The Vampire Diaries. And I think taking her off that show would be very damaging to the show, whether or not we want to see these-
Ian: We are NOT losing Caroline!
Paul: But why can’t we all intersect?
Julie: I think right now Klaus has sh*t to do, excuse my language. He’s a busy guy. And it’s not ‘never say never’ it’s just that-
Ian: WE have Caroline. She’s staying with us.’
Julie: Exactly.
Kristin: I think the scene that sticks out to everyone is the one where he says, “Tyler is your first love, I intend to be your last.” If you were a betting person, how much would you say he’s be her last love?
Julie: Woah, that’s – um I mean they are eternal. They’re going to live a very long time, and I don’t know that I’ll be alive to write whatever that scene is.

Regardless of Ian interrupting at every opportunity, leaving us with no real straight answer, this was actually pretty informative of where they plan to go with Klaroline. And it’s not fun.

Strangely, I kind of liked Julie’s answer better than Joseph’s. Granted it was the hypothetical situation where they had centuries to come together and break apart, but it was truly how I think the Klaroline relationship would go. Caroline would give them a chance, and Klaus would do something horrifying and terrible to break them up. And then he would try to change himself and she would slowly start to trust him again, only for something tragic to get in the way. THAT is television. Why on earth can’t you translate YOUR own idea into canon, Julie?

She just had to ruin her ONE moment of clarity with the statement that Caroline would not be going anywhere since they needed her on TVD. Really?

I mean, not to be rude, but Caroline serves NO purpose as now on TVD. Julie said she carries this light and presence on the show, but plot wise, she is useless. This season, Caroline has been the Cami of TVD. She’s around to just kind of be around. I’m hopeful that next season there can be crossovers, and then when TVD ends she will move over permanently, but as of now they’re keeping her around to keep the Caroline fans around. Plain and simple.

Can we take a minute to talk about how great Paul Wesley is? When faced with all the Klaroline BS Julie was spouting he just goes “But like, why can’t we just intersect?”

Same here, Paul. Same here.

It’s not like it’s rocket science. It’s two shows that film in the same town, whose writers work down the freaking hallway from each other. Make it work designers.

So basically, here is my final opinion. We’ve reach the critical point in both shows where Klaroline has been firmly and repeatedly shut down. We can either give up and surrender to the world of fanon forever, or we can keep plugging ahead. After a day like that, I’m a little worn out from fighting for something SO hard and never making progress. I’m a little done.

But there is always hope. Season 2 of TO is a whole new ball game, and I think there is a VERY good chance that they’ll bring Caroline in for November sweeps the same way they did Tyler. They just know that when and if they do bring up Klaroline, it can’t be a casual thing. It has to be leading somewhere. So they are tentative to say that they ever will. Keep shipping, keep trending, keep on keeping on. Our ship isn’t over, but we’re going to have to fight for it guys.

Recharge your batteries and get back on that horse, we’ll make it there eventually.


Written by Lindsay. Find her on Tumblr