The world's original vampires, brother and sister Elijah and Rebekah, return to New Orleans. In a flashback, 300 years ago, we see them arriving on ship on the Mississippi. Now in the present day, they are in search of their half-brother, Klaus, who is a vampire/werewolf hybrid. There's also a conflict between the vampires, led by Marcel, and the local witches. He has forbidden them to practice magic in the corridor--and kills one of them when this rule is broken. Elijah discovers that Klaus has impregnated Haley, a werewolf woman, who the witches are guarding. They want Klaus' help because they have this vampire problem. If he doesn't help they'll kill Haley. Klaus is pissed by this but walks away, saying that he doesn't care if they slay her. However, older brother Elijah intervenes. He wants them all to be a family.
In a flashback sequence we see how the first vampires were created a thousand years ago, when black magic was used by the sibling's mother to combat werewolves attacking their tribe. This battle is when Klaus had killed for the first time, which activated his werewolf curse. Their father is repulsed what his offspring have turned into--and hunts them down.
We find out that Klaus is actually Marcel's sire--and that Marcel had a relationship with the vampire sister long ago. Klaus even betrays his brother-and stabs him in the heart. This doesn't kill him, since nothing can kill an original, but it does put him in a state of suspended animation. You see, Klaus only thinks about his own needs and he wants to take over what Marcel has. And the first part of this, to show his loyalty, is delivering Elijah's body to him so he can't cause any more problems with the witches and the status quo.
I had never watched this series when it originally aired on tv, primarily because I couldn't stomach THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, but I did find it intriguing, if not a bit melodramatic. But after watching these first two episodes I'll definitely be watching more of this series. Recommended.