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Opinion: Tyler: The Unlikely Klaroline Shipper

There have been a host of characters that have been deemed as Klaroline shippers from the ever-teasing Damon to the bitchy remarks of No-Emotions Elena to mind-confusing Silas, we have held onto the comments made by these characters as proof that we are not alone. Even the quirks by Stefan and Rebekah have warmed our hearts, shown us that it isn’t only in our imagination. But for me, I always took my cue from Tyler’s reactions. This could have been Michael Trevino’s interpretation or the way the character is written, but I have always believed that Tyler was so much more than a jealous boyfriend, he saw the inevitability of Klaroline before even Klaus and Caroline saw it.

The scene in season 3, episode 19 when Tyler found Klaus’ drawing in Caroline’s bedroom was so monumental for us at the time. We thought this was the beginning of the crumbling of the Forwood relationship. Tyler came back, him and Caroline were all happy in love before he found the picture that Klaus drew for her and immediately got on the offensive, understandably so, while he was attempting to break the sire bond to Klaus so he can be with Caroline she was romancing the enemy (or so he thought). And even though she placated his feelings by saying that it meant nothing, her inability to simply throw the drawing away seemed to stir something in Tyler, and the fact that he was so put off by this action and chose to leave her house demonstrates so much more than just a jealous boyfriend. He could see something in Caroline, he saw through he scoffs and insults, and saw that Klaus might be a potential threat to their relationship, as ludicrous as it seemed to her.

Who can forget the 1920s dance in episode 20? We have had so few Klaroline scenes so we practically remember the lines off by heart but what got to me was Tyler’s reaction in the scene. When he came to the dance, he risked being chastised by Klaus, but he came to state his claim over Caroline and while she told him he had no reason to feel jealous. He said that he was and that he was competitive, showing that whatever doubt he felt, he was willing to fight the inevitable, to fight for Caroline. When Klaus came and cut in, it seems as if his conviction wavered. Klaus’ words saying that one day Caroline would come to him seemed very unlikely to Caroline, and if Tyler felt the same way I think he would have scoffed too or shown an expression other than the sad look that he had on his face. But somehow I feel that he realised that no matter how much he fought for Caroline, someday she would end up at Klaus’ door.

One could argue against this and say that Tyler is a werewolf, he is possessive over what he considers to be his and it is natural that he became jealous and territorial about Caroline but I find it strange that he is only that way with Klaus. He doesn’t bat an eyelash when Caroline spends an immense amount of alone time with Matt, who she hadn’t ended things that long ago with, who she was very much in love with when Tyler first kissed her. He doesn’t get jealous over Stefan who she has a close relationship with or Damon, who was also an ex-boyfriend.

If you look at the way that the rest of the gang react to Klaus’ feelings for Caroline, it is very nonchalant, like they recognise Klaus’ feelings for Caroline, they find it odd and don’t mind using it in their favour but they mostly think that Caroline is too strong and moralistic to ever truly be enticed by him. But somehow I feel that Tyler knows Caroline a lot better than the rest of them because while everyone else was distracted by Elena drama, Tyler’s storyline has greatly been about his own transition, first into a werewolf and then into a hybrid and his relationship with Caroline. She was with him, supporting him and I think he has seen aspects of her, as a vampire, that the others have not and that’s why he doesn’t find her attraction to the ‘allure of darkness’ as far-fetched as the others do. I think he agrees with Klaus, he knows that a small town boy and a small town life won’t be enough for Caroline, and Klaus can offer her what she truly craves.

Episode 6 of season 4 was different in where Tyler allowed Caroline to play as a distraction to Klaus. The episode allows us to believe that Caroline had as much say in the decision as Tyler, she wanted to help Tyler and Stefan to break out Elena, even if it meant distracting Klaus. I also think in that episode Tyler was feeling confident in himself and their relationship: he was running a successful plot against Klaus with the unsiring of the hybrids (he probably thought that Klaus would be dead/dessicated long before he could get his hands on Caroline) and Caroline had gotten over her jealousy over Hayley and the two of them were engaging in a secret romance while allowing Klaus to think he was with Hayley. The scene where it all breaks apart is when Tyler and Caroline are talking after Chris’ death.

Tyler was a leader, he was responsible for the first time in his life and he let himself and his pack down when Chris was killed, even though he assured Chris that he would be safe. His confidence in himself was already on shifty grounds when Caroline told him that Klaus traded Chris’ life for a date with Caroline. Before this episode I think Tyler believed Klaus’ interest in Caroline to be pure attraction and curiosity, not really anything deeper than that. Klaus liked her and he was attempting to woo her, but when Klaus willingly traded the life of a hybrid, he upped the stakes majorly. At this point, Klaus was still very invested in the lives of his hybrids, even Tyler who he knew was unsired, he still wanted to protect him after Connor attacked him. He could not make more hybrids, and it was obvious that they were kind of important to him, but he gave one up just so he could spend a couple of hours with a girl that is barely interested in him. Tyler’s rage during this scene was so palpable, not only because his friend’s life was given up for something so simple but because he realised how much being with Caroline meant to Klaus and he knew that Klaus would not give up on her without a fight.

At the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, you could smell Tyler’s jealousy two continents over. Caroline was obviously having a good time, and while she probably argued with herself later that she was pretending to keep up the Tyler/Hayley ruse, Tyler saw through all that, which was evident by his soap opera-esque glare he gave them as he eavesdropped on their whole Miss Mystic application moment. He saw Caroline get roped in as Klaus told her the hummingbird story. The entire episode he was lurker in their scenes, and at the end he had a new surge of energy to get rid of Klaus. And in many ways one could say that other than his other reasons, Tyler saw eliminating Klaus as the only way that his relationship with Caroline would be an unobstructed.

The compilation of episodes 4×13 and 14, what I like to call the Gilberts’ Living Room series, is the moment when I knew without a doubt that Tyler knew what’s up. We all know that scene when Klaus bites Caroline and he says he’s going to let her die because of Tyler’s indiscretions, and she’s on the couch and she asks Tyler to take her away from him because she ‘can’t even look at him’ and she’s disappointed in him and he’s disappointed in himself and we all want to cry, but then there’s Tyler. Tyler’s role in all of this is so important but so often overlooked. He respected Caroline’s wishes to be taken away but when she puts her trust in him as a leader, he does the unexpected and takes her back to Klaus.

Tyler believes that Klaus would be able to watch Caroline die and he knows that Klaus loves her enough to save her. And that’s exactly what he did, even though Caroline said she knew that Klaus loved her, I don’t think she believed he would get out of his way in order to save her. But Tyler had no doubts. I think if he thought that Klaus would not have saved Caroline, he would have waited in the Gilberts’ home, standing guard, listening in but he knew that Klaus’ love for Caroline would prevail and in a way he believed in their love, their connection, far more than they did.

The deleted scene of 4×14 (if you haven’t seen it you can watch it here, it’s at 06:40) reveals further about Tyler’s views about Klaus and Caroline. He tells Klaus that every year he spends chasing him is another year that Klaus would not be with Caroline. On the surface level it just appears as if Tyler is jeering at Klaus reminding him that Caroline will never love him, using the fact that all Klaus wants is for her to reciprocate his love against him. But when I watched the scene, I interpreted what Tyler was saying to mean that if Klaus gave up his vendetta against him, he could actually have a shot at earning Caroline’s heart. That it was one of the main obstacles standing in his way, and I think that this (and along with episode 18) was what was going through Klaus’ head when he granted Tyler’s freedom back in episode 23.

All of this comes down to episode 7 of The Originals which Michael Trevino has claimed was the end of the Klaus/Caroline/Tyler triangle. Klaus mentioned Caroline in order to taunt Tyler, in the same way that he alluded to his past with Hayley to Elijah. But Tyler retorted that Caroline would never love Klaus which once again shows that this is Tyler’s go to comeback, he knows that’s what Klaus wants, and what Klaus ultimately fears.

Tyler broke up with Caroline because his revenge against Klaus was more important to him than chilling out and playing college. Unlike Caroline, I think by the time Tyler returned to Mystic Falls he held no delusions about their relationship. He knew that whilst they were good and happy together, the relationship that they had was not going to last forever, and he was wasting time that he could be using to plot against Klaus, also he knew that Caroline did not understand the hatred he felt for Klaus because she didn’t feel it.

Tyler knew from the moment Klaus began courting Caroline that their relationship was doomed, he attempted to fight against it,  but he knew that Klaus saw Caroline as more than a passing fancy but more than that he knew that one day Caroline would grow so much bigger than Mystic Falls, and she would stop fighting her attraction to Klaus. He might not like the fact that the two have a connection but he isn’t oblivious to it and he does not just ignore it, for him its just a matter of time.

Written by Caryn. Find her on Tumblr and Twitter