Give Me Strength, At Least Give Me a Light: Why We Can't Wait to Be Under the "American Horror Story: Coven" Spell
Filming of “American Horror Story: Coven” has been underway since the end of July, and even before then, delicious tidbits were sneaking their way onto our interwebular plates. What can we do but say, “Mmm…thank you Mr. Murphy, may we have another?” After brilliant first and second seasons that left us cringing, laughing, horrified and screaming, “Was that a nipple lampshade?!” we are positively foaming at the mouth in anticipation of season three. And just how far does Murphy want to take this thing? If he has it his way, forever—the showrunner already has a season ten theme (to be addressed in an upcoming post).
1. This Poster:
You know the drill, people. Snakes are known liars, poisonous, and completely icky. On the other hand, as a part of New Orleans voodoo culture, the snake is believed to possess great knowledge and is often worshiped as a deity called “Li Grand Zombi” or “Ouncongo.” And white snakes are supposed to be good, but anyone who’s heard this song knows better. I’ve a feeling we’ll see both sides of the snakey coin.
2. The Glorious Teasers:
“Pins and Needles”
And the Wonderfully Creepy Music:
“House of the Rising Sun”
3. The Newcomers:
Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett (with Sarah Paulson at the Television Critics Association tour)
4. The Veterans:
Lily Rabe (On the “Coven” set)
Frances Conroy (On the “Coven” set)
Denis O’Hare (On the “Coven” set)
Evan Peters (with girlfriend and New Cast Member Emma Roberts on set)
Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson (at the Television Critics Association tour)
5. The Tidbits:
The official “Coven” synopsis:
American Horror Story: Coven tells the secret history of witches and witchcraft in America. Over 300 years have passed since the turbulent days of the Salem witch trials and those who managed to escape are now facing extinction. Mysterious attacks have been escalating against their kind and young girls are being sent away to a special school in New Orleans to learn how to protect themselves. Wrapped up in the turmoil is new arrival, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), who is harboring a terrifying secret of her own. Alarmed by the recent aggression, Fiona (Jessica Lange), the long-absent Supreme, sweeps back into town, determined to protect the Coven and hell-bent on decimating anyone who gets in her way.
Bates will play serial killer/socialite Delphine LaLaurie aka Madame LaLaurie, who was known to have tortured and killed slaves in the comfort of her mansion…
…(once bought by Nicolas Cage), which still stands—and is rumored to be haunted—today.
Bassett stars as famed voodoo practitioner, Marie Laveau. Laveau had a pet snake she named Zombi (after the aforementioned “Li Grand Zombi” snake god).
Lange is “Supreme witch” Fiona, returned to New Orleans to teach young witches how to defend themselves against the recent attacks. Jessica has described her character as “ruthless, selfish and Medea-esque.”
Paulson plays Fiona’s daughter, Cordelia, noted by executive producer Tim Minear to be akin to this Cordelia. It is unknown whether Cordelia is also a witch.
Farmiga is Zoe, who attends Fiona’s school and harbors that “terrible secret.”
Frances Conroy plays a character named Ruth; it’s been reported that casting was looking (once again) for an actress to play young Ruth, so perhaps Breckenridge is reprising that role.
Lily Rabe and Gabourey Sidibe share character last names; Monica and Berta Startville…hmmm. (At one point, IMDB listed Angela Basset’s character as Olivia Startwell; perhaps there’ll be some hidden connection.)
Emma Roberts stars as Madison, a young Hollywood starlet type who attends Fiona’s school.
Lange has stated that “the show moves back and forth in time.”
Minear describes season three thusly: “The fun quotient is higher this year … There is a lot of humor and we’re embracing a kind of velocity and fun with the series … I feel that it might be a little more welcoming to an audience,” he said, adding, “Some of the bigger themes this year are oppression of minorities of all kinds, and within that idea, minority groups going after each other and doing the work of the larger culture … While there is a strong feminist theme that runs throughout ‘Coven,’ there are themes of race and themes of oppression, and themes of family — especially mothers and daughters.”
“American Horror Story: Coven” premieres on FX, October 9th.
La Lange on the “Coven” set: