“10 Hidden Details You Missed In American Horror Story: Coven Episode 1”
The incredibly popular third season of American Horror Story, a horror anthology series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, premiered on FX in October of 2013. American Horror Story: Coven follows a coven of witches as they fight for survival against extinction as increased attacks occur against their kind.
Although Coven relies heavily on images of horror and gore to tell its story, the season is a modern coming of age story complete with thrilling storylines and killer fashion. Because the season is so eventful, it’s easy to miss hidden details in each episode. Here are 10 hidden details you may have missed in episode one of American Horror Story: Coven, “B**chcraft.”
10 Salem Witch Trials: from Salem to New Orleans
AHS: Coven rewrites the history of the Salem Witch Trials. While Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) is on the bus to New Orleans, she studies the history of witchcraft. Through Zoe’s narration, the audience learns that although Salem was the hotspot for witches to practice their craft during the 1690s, everyone killed in the Salem witch trials was innocent.
After the events that transpired from 1692 to 1693, the Salem witches moved south to start a life away from persecution. This is how New Orleans became the “new Salem” and hotspot of modern magic. Once a witch discovers her powers, she is sent to Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies in New Orleans, established in 1790.
9 The Transition from Coven to Freak Show
As fans of AHS know, viewers go into a frenzy when the new season’s theme is announced. In “B**chcraft,” Jessica Lange’s character, Fiona Goode, hints at the fourth season’s theme. In a scene where Fiona and her daughter, Cordelia Goode (Sarah Paulson), discuss the potential of using social media to promote Miss Robichaux’s Academy. Instead of seeing this as a positive, Fiona believes social networking will cause outsiders to look at the witches as “some viral freakshow.” The following season of AHS is about a freakshow.
8 Queenie’s Family Lineage
“Bi**hcraft” introduces audiences to Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), who possesses the power of inflicting her pain upon others–a power she professes makes her a “human voodoo doll.”
Because the creators are talented at incorporating American history into American Horror Story, Queenie is a descendent of Tituba, the first woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. Tituba was an enslaved woman from Barbados, and historians theorize that she told Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams tales about voodoo and witchcraft. Although Tituba originally denied participating in witchcraft, she later “confessed” to practicing the occult after Samuel Parris beat her into making a false confession.
7 Foreshadowing of the Next Supreme
Coven chronicles tumultuous transfer of power from the old Supreme, Fiona Goode, to the new Supreme, Cordelia Goode. Although “Bi**hcraft” is just the first episode in the season, it foreshadows that Cordelia will become the Supreme.
The first clue in the episode is very subtle. When Zoe first meets Cordelia, Zoe asks Cordelia if she is the Supreme. Although the answer is “no” at the time of Zoe’s question, the answer to the question will be “yes” by the last episode of the season, “The Seven Wonders.”
Another clue that Cordelia will become the next Supreme comes from Fiona herself. In a conversation between the mother and daughter, Fiona states, “You never realized the extent of your power.”
6 Madame LaLaurie’s Beauty Ritual
In “Bi**hcraft,” Murphy and Falchuk introduce the audience to Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates). To maintain a youthful appearance, LaLaurie practices a disturbing beauty ritual–she uses human blood as a face cream. Later in the episode, the audience learns LaLaurie drained the blood used in her routine from one of the slaves she kept in the attic for human experimentation. Although the scene is disturbing, LaLaurie’s obsession with beauty and youth is still reflected in modern society.
Toward the end of the episode, LaLaurie’s daughter begs LaLaurie not to use human blood as one would use a face cream. LaLaurie explains that her husband cheated on her with a much younger woman, and his infidelity resulted in the birth of a baby boy. This is why LaLaurie’s takes such extreme measures to preserve her youth.
5 Fiona and Cordelia Goode: Possible Family Roots
Queenie is a descendent of Tituba. However, Queenie’s family lineage isn’t the only one who is linked to the Salem Witch Trials.
In 1962, Sarah Good was one of the first three women accused of witchcraft. Although Goode and Good are spelled differently, many theories suggest that Cordelia and Fiona are descendants of Sarah Good. Even if Cordelia and Fiona aren’t Sarah’s descendants, their surname is at least a nod to one of the first women accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials.
4 The Link Between Intimacy and Violence in Coven
Zoe discovers that she’s a witch when her boyfriend dies from an aneurysm during her very first sexual intimate. She learns that this curse, nicknamed “black widow,” runs in her family, and she’s sent off by her family to Miss Robichaux’s.
After arriving in New Orleans, Zoe befriends fellow student Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts). The two attend a party at Tulane University. Zoe quickly falls in love with Kyle Spencer (Evan Peters), a member of the Kappa Lambda Gamma fraternity. While Zoe and Kyle are hitting it off, Madison is abused by several of Kyle’s fraternity brothers. As revenge, Madison flips over the fraternity’s bus, eliminating all but two of the members.
The next day, the two girls watch the news and discover that two of the fraternity members survived the accident. Zoe, hoping that one of the two survivors is Kyle, visits the hospital. When she discovers that one of the two survivors of the accident is the young man who initiated Madison’s abuse, Zoe proceeds to be intimate with him in both an act of lust and a successful attempt to destroy him.
3 LaLaurie History Rewritten
Delphine LaLaurie was a powerful socialite until rescuers responded to a fire at her New Orleans mansion in 1834. When firefighters arrived, they found slaves in the attic who had endured abuse for long periods. LaLaurie was able to escape justice by relocating to France with her family. Although her house is located in the French Quarter, it was rebuilt after the mob burned down her original home.
In Coven, LaLaurie’s family is eliminated by Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett), the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, as retribution for LaLaurie abusing and destroying Bastien. Marie and Bastien were lovers, and Marie was pregnant with Bastien’s child. Additionally, Marie curses LaLaurie with immortality and buries her alive in an unmarked grave.
2 Madison and the Montgomery family from Murder House
If Madison’s surname rings a bell, that’s because the audience was introduced to her ancestors in Murder House.
In American Horror Story: Murder House, one of the characters that appears as a ghost is Nora Montgomery (Lily Rabe). In the 1920s, Nora’s husband, celebrity doctor Charles Montgomery (Matt Ross), built the Murder House for Nora. As her spending began to surpass Charles’ income as a doctor, Nora and Charles begin to fight more frequently. At Nora’s request, Charles begins to perform illegal abortions in the basement of their house as a way to increase income.
Nora’s plan fails, however, when an ex-patient tells her boyfriend about her abortion. Outraged, he eliminates Charles and Nora’s baby, Thaddeus. Distraught, Charles attempts to sew their child back together and uses a heart that belongs to another child. Although his plan works, the Frankenstein-like child does not behave like Thaddeus. Tormented by what had become of her child and her family, Nora ends her husband and then herself.
1 Fiona’s Return to Miss Robichaux’s
At the beginning of “Bi**hcraft,” Fiona is busy traveling around the world and living a lavish life. After the murder of Misty Day (Lily Rabe), Fiona returns to Miss Robichaux’s to fix her relationship with her daughter and to teach the younger generation of witches how to protect themselves. As one watches the season, however, it becomes apparent that this is not Fiona’s actual goal.
Fiona is obsessed with the idea of returning to her youth because she wants to remain the Supreme for as long as possible. Throughout Coven, Fiona murders students at Miss Robichaux’s who she believes can usurp her position.
The audience also later learns that Fiona became the Supreme through murder. After former Supreme Anna Leigh Leighton (Christine Ebersole) told Fiona that Fiona would never become the Supreme due to her insatiable lust for power, Fiona cut Anna Leigh’s throat. Fiona then succeeded at performing the Seven Wonders and served as Supreme from 1971 to 2013.
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