Warning: This article contains spoilers from American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare.
*Article Updated 10/7/2016*
If there is one thing that American Horror Story fans love to do, it's speculate about how all of the seasons of the hit anthology drama are linked. We're only four episodes into the latest season — Roanoke — and there have already been tons of fan theories about how Roanoke is connected to previous seasons. Some believe that Roanoke is linked to Coven through Shelby Miller, arguing that she is a witch.
It sounds crazy, but there is evidence to support it. Others have put forward evidence to suggest that Roanoke is directly related to Murder House, basing the argument on similarities in storyline and the supernatural entities. There is even an argument that we could see Hotel's the Countess popping up this season.
Series creator Ryan Murphy confirmed that Roanoke is tied to Freak Show and that we will see the exploration of the heritage of the Mott family — who played a massive role in the Freak Show season — but that is the only official connection that has been made.
Since it's becoming more and more evident each week that there is definitely a connection to Coven, we're combing through each episode of Roanoke to see all of the potential ways that this season is tied to Coven and theorising about what they could mean for the show.
The third episode of Roanoke explored the backgrounds of some of the key characters and in doing so, I couldn't help but notice several things that make me more certain than ever that Roanoke is definitely tied to Coven.
Is Cricket Marlow Coven's Quentin Fleming?
When psychic Cricket Marlow showed up in the Millers' home I immediately recognized actor Leslie Jordan who had previously played Quentin Fleming on Coven. AHS recycles actors in new roles all the time so I thought nothing of it. Marlow tells the confused home owners a bit about himself to make them feel more at ease — including that he hails from New Orleans. It was a passing comment that could amount to nothing, but I couldn't shake that statement for the remainder of the episode because Coven was primarily set in New Orleans.
Again, this could be a total coincidence, but if so then why was his hometown brought up in the first place? Also, the character could've hailed from anywhere in America, why did the producers feel it was important to make the character come from a previously used location?
Let's not forget that Marlow is a psychic and a damn good one at that — his supernatural ability is excellent. If we are to believe that all of the American Horror Story seasons take place in one complete shared universe, then we know that New Orleans is the center of supernatural activity in this world. During Coven we saw just how supernatural the town was with residents being able to practice witchcraft and voodoo, as well as bringing the dead back to life — as zombies. It also explored Hell in detail. Marlow's hailing from New Orleans is more than likely a connection to Coven.
Another thing that I couldn't shake — Marlow tells the Millers that he is a well known psychic and that he has a celebrity "reputation." Jordan's character in Coven, Quentin Fleming, tells supreme witch Fiona Goode that he has little time to himself because he travels to "one book signing after another," insinuating that he is also a celebrity of sorts. Goode tells him to remember that it was her magic that made him a star — the interesting thing is that we have no idea what Fleming is famous for.
Marlow's ability in Roanoke is so good that Matt Miller actually referred to it as "magic." If we connect the dots, the similarities between the two characters are uncanny — could Quentin Fleming actually be Cricket Marlow in disguise? Cricket Marlow could be a stage name — his celebrity persona. The timeline is the only thing that bugs me — if we are to believe that Coven is set in 2013 and that Roanoke is set in 2014 then the only thing that doesn't add up is the fact that Quentin died in Coven. But this is American Horror Story and people have been known to come back from the dead before. A timeline discrepancy doesn't change the similarities.
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Is Lady Gaga's Character A Witch?
Very little has been known about GaGa's character in Season 6, but "Chapter 3" filled in some of the blanks. It appears that she can communicate with others through her mind — the other person knows what she is saying without her having to say it aloud. She also appears to take part in blood rituals including eating hearts and having sex with the living — not things that the average dead person would do. It's becoming more and more obvious that she is a witch. Again, Coven was entirely witch centric and the eating of the heart ritual sounds eerily similar to something that we would have seen in Coven.
She was also able to break Thomasyn White's chains without touching them — she did it with her mind. Gaga's character also asked White to "surrender thy soul" to her. All this time we assumed that White has been in charge — this scene likely means that the witch is the one with the power but she communicates with everyone else through White.
Was Shelby Supernaturally Summoned To The Farm House?
I've noticed a few discrepancies with the character of Shelby throughout Roanoke such as her constantly changing mind and acting rather stupid on occasion. For example, in "Chapter 1" she is convinced that she no longer wants to live in that house after everything that happened to her. In fact, she's so convinced that she gets into a car to drive off the site on her own. A few episodes later, she is keen to stay on the land and "Chapter 3" saw her refuse to sell the house — despite the fact that she now knows what haunts the land around her. At first I just assumed that these character continuity errors were merely to add excitement and to give the show a reason to continue, but what if there is more to it? Bear with me for this one.
As I mentioned, there is a theory going around that Shelby is a witch — what if Shelby was summoned to the haunted farm house by forces beyond her control? If both her and Gaga's character are witches, then Roanoke could be setting up a much bigger storyline than we'd originally suspected. The two characters have interacted twice, the mysterious witch scalped a man in front of Shelby in "Chapter 1" and then in "Chapter 3" Gaga's character was having sex with Matt. Also, notice how the witch smiled at Shelby. There was definitely more to it than just sex— perhaps the witch is taunting Shelby?
If Shelby has been summoned to the land, then this is likely why she now refuses to leave, because it's out of her hands. "Chapter 3" ended with her refusing to see what was clearly in front of her — she wouldn't speak to Matt after seeing him with the witch. Moreover, she got Lee arrested because she was angry that Lee made a deal to give the house back to the colonists. Shelby is definitely becoming desperate to hold onto the house, i just don't think she knows it yet.
Moreover, we discovered in "Chapter 3" that White doesn't want settlers on this "sacred" land, but, if we use this ideology, then why did she stop Shelby from leaving in "Chapter 1"? I'll tell you why — as we've already established, Gaga's character is the one in charge and if there is a supernatural connection between her character and Shelby, then White prevented Shelby from leaving the land on behalf of her master — GaGa. Similarly, in "Chapter 2" when White spots Shelby in the woods she orders her tribe to "seize her". At first, I just assumed it was because Shelby was trespassing on her sacred land but if you re-watch the scene GaGa's character whispers in White's ear before she shouts. Not only does this confirm that GaGa is in charge, it further insinuates that Shelby serves a purpose.
Also, it's worth noting that in "Chapter 1" when Matt and Shelby moved into the farmhouse for the first time, the "real" Matt told us that "it felt like it was meant to be, like the universe just wanted us to be there at that moment." Maybe the bigger picture required Shelby to be at this location at this particular moment in time. This is American Horror Story that we're talking about — everything happens for a reason.
If you thought "Chapter 3" was full of potential connections then wait till you see what "Chapter 4" had in store for us. The episode went deeper into the background of the Roanoke spirits and contained more easter eggs that could possibly link Roanoke to Coven.
Is Rhett Snow Related To Coven's Myrtle Snow?
In "Chapter 4" of Roanoke, the Uber driver that collected Marlow from the farmhouse was named Rhett Snow. Although it may seem like this has no relevance, one of Coven's main characters was named Myrtle Snow — Quentin Fleming's friend and fellow witches council member — played by Frances Conroy. Out of all of the possible surnames, there is no way that this is a coincidence — Rhett must be related to Myrtle Snow. Also, the documentary style scene with the "real" Rhett Snow felt rather insignificant — it didn't show us anything we didn't already know — yet the producers went to the bother of showing the character's name on-screen possibly to make sure that the viewer would become aware of the connection.
It has also been heavily rumored that Frances Conroy will be popping up at some stage in Roanoke so perhaps she will be donning the fabulous red hair and nerdy glasses to bring our beloved Myrtle back to us once more. I know that this would be technically impossible as Myrtle was burned at the stake during Coven's conclusion, but stranger things have happened in American Horror Story and who wouldn't want to see another appearance from Aunty Myrtle?
Myrtle was always an important character to the AHS universe because she was part of the witches council. It was also due to her nurturing and help that Cordelia Foxx was able to fulfil her potential and become "the one true Supreme". Myrtle was a huge asset to the coven and if given half the chance, she could be offer a helping hand to the characters on Roanoke.
Gaga Confirmed To Be A Powerful Witch Named Scatcach
"Chapter 4" finally gave us the name of GaGa's character — Scathach. There have been all sorts of theories about Scathach — viewers have been wondering what the hell she is. Some people have put forward powerful theories suggesting that she is the devil. However, "Chapter 4" more or less confirmed that Scathach is a witch after the Roanoke colonists referred to her as the "witch of the wood". It was also her idea to enslave the colony under Thomasyn White's control for all of eternity, highlighting that she practices magic and rituals. Scathach and White's relationship is open to debate but at the moment they appear to be in cahoots.
We also found out a little about her past, including that she had been an English girl once and that she stowed away on a ship to America. There is an interesting theory suggesting that Scathach is the Supreme witch and perhaps the woman responsible for starting the witches coven in the first place. If this comes to pass then we have a solid link to the Coven season. There has been no relation between Scathach and New Orleans as of yet but now we know that she is a witch and there is no doubt that somehow, someway she must be tied to the Coven season.
Cricket's Loss of Sight Made Him See Clearer Like Coven's Cordelia
Another thing that I thought relevant happened during Cricket's confrontation with Scathach in the woods. Taking the psychic by surprise, the witch blinded him with some sort of magic. Although he appeared distraught at this loss of sight he was able to immediately see inside her soul. He was able to read her a lot better when he lost his sight. This sounds familiar, right? Bear with me.
In Coven, Cordelia Foxx had very little abilities until she was blinded. After losing her eyesight she could read everything and everyone as well as seeing into the future. This gift allowed her to predict the fate of the coven so that they could change it before it happened.
The ability was so strong that, after regaining her sight, she later blinded herself again to be able to use her gift. I find it rather interesting that both Cordelia and Cricket needed to lose their sight before they could truly see what was going on.
Check out the promo for next week's episode:
There is definitely enough evidence between the four episodes of Roanoke to suggest that this season is tied to Coven. Let's not forget that Murphy promises a massive twist in the coming episodes — maybe this is it. Murphy also confirmed that "many" characters from previous seasons will show up in Roanoke — perhaps we will see other characters from Coven popping up soon. One thing is for sure: American Horror Story never fails to surprise us. Murphy may have said that we won't see the twist coming, but that's not going to stop us guessing. There is definitely a link to Coven, I just know it.
Remember to check back every week to see if there are any more possible connections between Roanoke and Coven.
American Horror Story: Roanoke airs on Wednesdays on FX. Tell me your theories about how Roanoke is tied to the previous seasons of the show in the comment section below.