Give Me Strength, At Least Give Me a Light: Why We Can't Wait to Be Under the American Horror Story: Coven Spell

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Give Me Strength, At Least Give Me a Light: Why We Can't Wait to Be Under the "American Horror Story: Coven" Spell

By Cindy Davis | Seriously Random Lists | September 4, 2013 | Comments ()


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:

“Winter Song”

“House of the Rising Sun”

3. The Newcomers:

Christine Ebersole


Patti Lupone


Leslie Jordan


Gabourey Sidibe


Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett (with Sarah Paulson at the Television Critics Association tour)


4. The Veterans:

Alexandra Breckenridge


Taissa Farmiga


Jamie Brewer


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:


Cindy Davis, (Twitter) equally despises snakes of any color.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • e jerry powell

    What is up with Lange's teeth?

  • Viking

    Leslie Jordan was one of my favorite things about Will and Grace. He had an occasionally spastic quality that cracked me up. I hope he gets to be bitchy because he is good at it!

  • Strand

    "Emma Roberts stars as Madison, a young Hollywood starlet type who attends Fiona’s school."

    Isn't that basically the plot to Wild Child?


  • koko temur

    Finally! A thoughtful retelling of my friendship with emmalita and maguita nyc.

  • emmalita

    Except it was scotch and not a snake we were sharing. I hope they don't get the other details wrong. For example, we don't decimate our enemies, we fry them and then ignore them?

  • koko temur

    There are also suspucious amount of multicoloured raffled sleeves in our coven.

  • emmalita

    You never know when you will have to run away from Gloria Estephan and the Miami Sound Machine.

  • koko temur

    Oh nooo! The rythm *is* going to catch me!

  • emmalita

    Run, koko! Or at least walk very quickly. They might do you like a Velox Window, which is to say, roughly.

  • koko temur

    That Gloria Estaphen. We should have never allowed her to swim with the boat. And i have a sneaky suspicion she is the one going around making swans of lady's knickers too!

  • emmalita

    Well, it's certainly not this guy. He's innocent I tell you.

  • Maguita NYC

    What was our nightly prayer again?

    May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your crotch.
    And may your arms be too short for you to scratch.


  • emmalita

    And we will testify in court that the dead are pricks to psychics, always getting basic information about themselves wrong.

  • koko temur

    Or - may your vagina full of sand... And your hands to short to.. Etc etc

  • Those are some slick promos, but they lose a lot of cool points for resorting to "House of the Rising Sun" for a show set in New Orleans airing in 2013. Come on now.

  • I've loved that song ever since I heard a version of it on Wild Palms. I was fairly young and has never heard it before. It's ominous and I like this particular cover. I think it suits the show.

  • Walt Jr

    Leslie Jordan! That is all.

  • e jerry powell

    I love when shows double down on the older gays, but Leslie Jordan playing a southerner is far too easy.

  • Wait. Are they going to let Ms. Lupone sing? That'd be bombalicious.

    And frankly, "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" sounds very ominous to me. And not a good kind of ominous.

    Also, what the Hell is up with Netflix only streaming Season 1. C'mon Netflix. I'm needing a reason to not ditch you here....

  • lowercase_ryan

    Wait, Lange as Madea is just...Tyler Perry ruins EVERYTHING!

  • lowercase_ryan

    needs moar Quinto, but his absence couldn't keep me away from this show. Can't wait.

  • "And white snakes are supposed to be good, but anyone who’s heard this song knows better." This sentence makes me doubt your ability to make good decisions.

    I don't blame you for this, but whoever did write it should know better. "...determined to protect the Coven and hell-bent on decimating anyone who gets in her way." 'Decimate' means 'to reduce by one tenth.' Every time someone uses it wrong, it makes me think of Inigo Montoya.

  • Ben

    TWIST: Decimate is being used correctly, and she uses her magic to make them 1 tenth smaller so they're just kind of weirdly shorter then they were.

  • Bodhi

    I loved the first season, but the 2nd scared me too much to watch more than a few episodes. I'm going to try to overcome my innate 'fraidy cat to watch this one; it looks like a hell of a lot of creep fun, but oh I don't know.

  • Mrs. Julien

    My response to stuff like this is: I don't like scary programs. They scare me.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Is Frances Conroy playing Grace Coddington this season?

  • Mrs. Julien

    Where is the rest of that snake? WHERE IS THE REST OF THAT SNAKE?

  • lowercase_ryan

    it's actually 3 snakes...

  • Exactly where you think it is.

  • janetfaust

    I really love this show; the first season more than the second season. Angela Bassett joining the cast makes me happy on many different levels!!

  • stella

    Taissa! Girl, I am so happy to see you!

  • AngelenoEwok


  • lowercase_ryan

    I'm guessing for this reaction.

  • The LaLaurie mansion creeps me right the fuck out, possibly partly because it was the last stop in the haunted French Quarter tour I took and right afterward, as we were all returning to Bourbon Street, the power went off... but only in that particular section of the Quarter. I could see half of Bourbon Street lit up in the distance, but I was completely enshrouded in darkness, with throngs of confused partiers and more than a few oddly desolate side streets between me and that relative modicum of safety. That's New Orleans in a nut shell, I guess, to me anyway: mortal fear mixed with the absurd belief that everything will be okay if only one is able to reach the "Huge Ass Beers To Go" guy.

    Long story short, that is why I am super, super psyched for this season.

  • Samantha Klein

    They've just ruined one of my favorite Christmas albums for me. Great.

  • John W

    You had me at Alexandra Breckenridge.

  • Anna von Beav


  • The suburbs, catholicism, and now snakes. They really know how to creep me out, and I love it.

  • emmelemm

    Witches, man.

  • Laura

    Is that like "Bitches, man."?

  • emmelemm


  • zeke_the_pig

    I know only of one American Horror Story, and that's your foreign policy,

    HA-YOOOO! I'll be here all week.

  • Mrs. Julien

    It's quite a tome.

  • zeke_the_pig

    It sure is. I flicked to the end first though. Doesn't end well. For anyone.

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