So after finishing up FX’s American Horror Story: Cult last night, I started thinking about how it held up against the other seasons. Before the premiere of AHS : Cult, Ryan Murphy, co-creater of the series, had posted the nine circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno:
Limbo (Murder House)
Greed (Freak Show)
Murphy had previous explained that each season is connected, but the link to the nine circles of hell invests the viewer into new theories and also suggests that the series will have an end after season 9. Perhaps it is all meant to keep fans on the edge of their seats, but it does make one really think about the similarities to each circle of hell and how they are all intertwined. After watching all of the seasons so far, I have ranked them in the following order (best-worst):
- Murder House
- Freak Show
While you may agree or disagree with my rankings, it really got me thinking about how this matches up with Inferno’s nine circles of hell. The last (ninth) circle of hell is “treachery” which matches up with my overall pick for best season, AHS: Coven. For me, the betrayal in “Coven” really scratches beneath the surface and tugs at your soul. On the surface, the witch-craft element is very entertaining and reminiscent of the movie, The Craft. However, there are a lot more elements going on in the show and treachery is at its core.
My second favorite season is AHS: Hotel which pairs up with “gluttony.” According to Inferno, “Gluttony” is the third circle of hell. Those who are guilty of “gluttony” are forced to lie in a slush created by an icy rain which is meant to represent those who have overindulged in “food, drink, and other worldly pleasures.” The icy rain that brings an eternal bitter cold to the sinner connects me to the Countess portrayed by Lady Gaga in AHS: Hotel. She is a vampire already representing eternity and feeds on the blood of others. What’s really interesting to me is that in this circle of hell, the beings punished are not able to see the other victims lying near them because of their own selfishness. Not being able to feel remorse or love for others is dangerous enough, but its combination with gluttony is even more so.
My third favorite season is the first season AHS: Murder House. Interestingly enough, this aligns with “Limbo,” which is the first circle of hell. This could be just a coincidence, but those who are trapped here are unable to move on to heaven and are forced to reside in an inferior version, much like ghosts who are unable to move on, which appear throughout Murder House.
If the theory is true, that would leave AHS with 2 more seasons representing “Lust” and “Violence.” While I am not sure if we will see any burning rain or violent winds, it really gives the viewer a lot to think about in terms of what type of premise we will see next.
As of August 2018, we now also know that the series has been picked up for a tenth season and will continue through 2020. I still think that the “nine circles of hell” idea is important and relevant to the show, but I am curious to explore more and see where we are headed. I am counting the days until the premiere on September 12th. How about you?
Feel free to post your thoughts and theories on AHS below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
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