American Horror Story: Nine Circles of Hell

Credit: American Horror Story Credit: American Horror Story

Dante’s Inferno nine circles of hell is a main theme that plays out in American Horror Story seasons. With each season embodying a different circle of hell. This isn’t just something fans came up with, but from the creator himself Ryan Murray. He confirmed that each season represents a different circle and revealed which season represents which one. The two that haven’t been covered yet are Lush and Violence, which will be the final two seasons.

Murder House is Limbo

The Harmon house exists betwen the earthly existence and Hell. Anyone who dies in the house is doomed to be stuck in the house forever; thus in Limbo or stuck in between unable to move on. This is shown through every character dying in the house returns at some point to haunt the inhabitants that live there. Including Violet who commits suicide and becomes a permanent member of the estate.

Asylum is Fraud

Everything at Briarcliff Asylum is a lie. The institution is merely a front for Dr. Arden’s horrible experiments. The church is heavily involved in the inner workings of the asylum, but it’s entirely corrupt. Dr. Thredson is actually a serial killer. Sister Mary Eunice is actually a demon! Nothing is real. Not even that fabulous musical number.

Coven is Treachery

Coven centered around the crowning of the next Supreme, who is the great witch that governs all witches for the entirety of her life. Every episodes was filled with backstabbing; with each character ruthlessly attempting to prove that they are the next Supreme. Fiona slits Madison’s throat and the previously Supreme before her. Marie Laveau seems intent on killing Fiona. Madison traps Misty in a tomb. Cordelia’s husband is the one who blinds her with acid. Everyone is just trying to destroy everyone.

Freak Show is Greed

Elsa Mars’s little collection of curiosities is all about exploitation. She herself is on a journey to get rich and famous and find stardom. At the same time, she’s taking advantage of her employees by making money off of their deformities and imperfections. By the time we reach the end of the story, it’s clear that Elsa is keen to sell the freak show without a second thought. Add on Danny wanting the Twins and then killing the Freak Show when he couldn’t have them, the theme of Greed is everywhere you look in this season.

Hotel is Gluttony

From the vampires to the addiction demon, Hotel Cortez is more or less filled with gluttony. And for a good portion of time there is a band of blood-sucking children running around and wreaking havoc. The gluttonous tendencies are clear from the very start, when Lady Gaga and Matt Bomer’s sexual foursome quickly devolves into a grisly bloodbath. The trend continues. Iris feasts on those insufferable hipsters. It goes on and on.

Roanoke is Anger

The focus is on pure, unadulterated rage. The Butcher is just so, so angry that people are invading her land, and she kills everyone who refuses to leave. There are some nuances, of course. But more or less, that’s it. That’s basically the whole season. And a lot of people die because of it. It’s just a season filled with spiteful, violent, angry deaths.

Cult is Heresy

A lot of fans have been questioning the theme of this season. Heresy usually has to do with beliefs that contradict a kind of religious doctrine. In this context, maybe the members of this creepy new clown cult are killing anyone who disagrees with them. Alternatively, the cult itself could represent the “heresy” in America. We have lost sight of God, and this is what has happened because of it.

What do you think of American Horror Story being tied to Dante’s Inferno?


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