'My Roanoke Nightmare'. With just three words, the Season 6 premiere of American Horror Story answered the question that fans have been dying to know the answer to. After months of teasing and misdirection, Ryan Murphy and co. finally revealed the Season 6 theme. However, it wouldn't be American Horror Story if the show didn't keep us guessing, so it came as no surprise then that 'Chapter 1' of Season 6 ended up raising more questions than answers.
Obviously, the biggest question raised by the premiere of American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare was "Huh?", followed by "Whaaaat?" before giving way to a final "WTF!?" in the episode's final scene. It was only after the credits rolled that the real mysteries of American Horror Story's sixth season started to become apparent.
For more messed up moments from the show, check out the video below:
As we're only one episode in, Ryan Murphy and his team are keen to keep audiences in the dark. But that won't stop us from getting our sleuth on, and breaking down the 10 biggest questions the premiere raised — once we've managed to calm ourselves down and stop screaming.
1. Where's Lady Gaga?
Is Lady Gaga's role in Season 6 just a 'Perfect Illusion'? It's certainly looks that way, as Mother Monster failed to appear even in a cameo role in the premiere of My Roanoke Nightmare. As so little has been revealed about the plot so far, it's hard to say what part the former Countess could take in Season 6 of American Horror Story, although there's a chance that Gaga's already appeared in the Episode 2 teaser.
Either that's one of Lady Gaga's 'Little Monsters' desperately trying to get in on the action or we may very well have our first glimpse of Gaga. If that truly is her, she looks to be playing some mad cult figure alongside Kathy Bates. Check out the full teaser for American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare Chapter 2 below and see if you can spot Lady Gaga for yourself:
2. Where's Evan Peters?
Along with Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters is one of the most recognizable members of the cast, appearing in every season of American Horror Story to date. Fan girls (and boys) may have been disappointed, then, to find out that the pin-up didn't feature in the Season 6 premiere.
That's not necessarily a bad thing though. One of the most promising fan theories circling the net recently suggested that Peters could be set to play a Charles Manson style character who leads his own sinister cult. The pitchfork-wielding invaders did look rather cult-like in the Season 6 premiere, which means that we may see Peters play a pivotal role here in later episodes.
3. Who Are Those People In The Woods?
Speaking of that creepy cult, where did they come from exactly? Whether they're alive or dead, it appears that the torch-wielding invaders are the closest link we have to the Roanoke Colony right now. Based on the limited information we have so far, there are two potential explanations for the cult's origins:
1). The people that Shelby encounters in the final scene are the spirits of the Roanoke Colony who have returned to seek revenge and reclaim their land. This would explain how Kathy Bates's character was able to recover so quickly after Shelby hit her with a car.
2). The cult are real people descended from those who were initially responsible for the disappearance of the Roanoke Colony, snatching people away for some kind of evil ritual.
Either way, these guys are scary AF.
4. Was The Ground Breathing?
That final scene featuring Shelby's encounter with the cult was a clusterf**k of freaky imagery and surreal moments that heightened the fear factor to almost unbearable heights. Amongst all of the screaming and scalping though, one particular moment stood out as the strangest, and that was when the ground began to move underneath Shelby, almost as though it were breathing.
Is this a manifestation of some demonic force or a ritual that the cult practices? We think that this bizarre phenomenon could be linked directly with the disappearance of the Roanoke colony, who were literally swallowed up by the earth itself.
5. How Do The Rednecks Fit Into All This?
Rednecks are a staple of any horror set in rural America, so it's no surprise that their unwashed faces pop up early on here in the Season 6 premiere. At first, the major reason for their inclusion appears to be so that they can be blamed for the creepy occurrences at the house.
However, we wouldn't be surprised if the rednecks appeared again sometime soon, either posing a real-life threat to balance out all of the supernatural shenanigans, or simply as an extension of the cult figures who plague Shelby and Matt.
6. What's The Significance Of The Pigs?
First, a dead pig appears on the doorstep of Shelby's and Matt's new house, and then their sexy time is interrupted by unnerving pig noises. As if that wasn't bad enough, Shelby is then forced to watch a disturbing home video that depicts a horrifying creature who possesses the body of a man and the head of a pig. Fortunately, no bear elements can be seen, so it looks like ManBearPig wasn't involved in these scary shenanigans.
The significance of the pig is unclear at this stage, although if you cast your minds all the way back to Season 1, you may remember that there was a freaky pig guy who would appear when you spoke his name into a mirror, much like the iconic Candyman. Could this be one of the ways that My Roanoke Nightmare hearkens back to Murder House?
7. Where Did The Teeth Come From?
'Teeth rain' is a phrase I hoped I would never have to write, but here we are, dissecting a show where it's normal for human teeth to fall from the sky like some kind of ungodly rain.
The question, of course, is where the hell did this freaky hailstorm come from? Although it seems like Shelby is the only character to actually witness this phenomenon, we'd be hesitant to suggest that this all happened in her mind.
Judging from our past experience with American Horror Story, it's far more likely that this quasi-biblical occurrence is directly linked with the cult somehow, who may have invoked such a shower using the kind of dark magic previously seen in Season 3's Coven story arc.
Alternatively, there's also a chance that the aliens from Season 2 will have returned. After all, it's not the first time that American Horror Story has dealt with numerous threats in one season, which means that Shelby and Matt could be in for a whole world of hurt before the Season 6 finale.
8. Where Did The Opening Credits Go?
One curious omission from the Season 6 premiere was the lack of an opening credits sequence. For each ad break, the show used a simple title card instead, featuring the phrase American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare.
There's a number of reasons why the show runners could have gone down this new route (and laziness isn't one of them);
- First, there's a chance that American Horror Story may have decided to present the show in a new way that mirrors this season's unusually clandestine marketing campaign. Previous title sequences have provided fans with symbolic clues of what each season has in store for us; clearly, the creators are keen to adopt a far more secretive approach this time around.
- Secondly, things are still up in the air as far as the shows new format goes. What if My Roanoke Nightmare isn't the overall theme after all, but is simply the name of the fictional documentary that's filmed within the continuity of the show? The teaser for 'Chapter 2' continues the story of Shelby and Matt, but later down the line, we may switch to a new story within the show's continuity that brings with it a different name.
9. Why Are There Two Different Sets Of Actors?
Two different sets of actors are currently being used to play the same characters as we alternate between the 'real-life' figures and their re-enactment counterparts. Obviously, this is being used as a way to differentiate between the two layers of the story — but is there more to it than that?
American Horror Story has already played with the ideas of actors playing multiple parts in the past thanks to its anthological approach. What if Season 6 decides to take this to a whole new level by taking a behind the scenes look at the reenactment itself, following the actors in between takes on set? Such a move would take the show to a whole new level of complexity that could alienate casual viewers, but if handled right, this approach would be an absolute game-changer.
10. How The Hell Does Any Of This Tie Into The Roanoke Disappearance?
Murphy's revelation that the show will take place in two different time periods led fans to assume that the scenes set in the past would directly flash back to the initial Roanoke disappearance. While there's a chance that this may still happen, it could be a while before the original vanishing is explained in full.
In the meanwhile, it's safe to assume that the cult and perhaps the 'breathing' ground are tied to Roanoke in some way. However, ultimately, the premiere episode did very little to explicitly link the supposed theme with the story itself.
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Quite frankly, it would be pretty disappointing if the opening episode failed to set up the kind of enigmas that we've come to expect from American Horror Story. From the unnerving pig noises to that hellish teeth rain, Chapter 1 grabbed us from the very start and with any luck, My Roanoke Nightmare could be the best season of American Horror Story yet.
Check out all the other ways that American Horror Story has been tied to true events in the video below:
Can you help us answer any of the questions raised by the Season 6 premiere of American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare?