American Horror Story: Coven

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American Horror Story:
Coven
AHSCovenPoster.png
Promotional poster
Starring
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 13
Release
Original channel FX
Original release October 9, 2013 (2013-10-09) – January 29, 2014 (2014-01-29)
Season chronology
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List of American Horror Story episodes

American Horror Story: Coven is the third season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. It premiered on October 9, 2013, and concluded on January 29, 2014. American Horror Story: Coven takes place in 2013, in New Orleans, and follows a Coven of Salem witches as they fight for survival. The season also features flashbacks to the 1830s, 1910s, and 1970s.

Returning cast members from the previous season of the series include: Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, and Robin Bartlett. Taissa Farmiga, Jamie Brewer, Denis O'Hare, and Alexandra Breckenridge also make their returns to the series.

Like its predecessors, Coven was met with both mostly positive reviews, and strong ratings, with the premiere episode attracting a series high of 5.54 million viewers. The season garnered seventeen Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Miniseries and five acting nominations for Lange, Paulson, Angela Bassett, Conroy, and Kathy Bates, with Lange and Bates winning their respective acting categories.

Plot[edit]

The third season primarily follows the antics and events of a Coven of Salem descendants who reside within a boarding school, Miss Robichaux's Academy, centered in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Academy is run by headmistress Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson), who has always lived in the shadow of her mother, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange). Fiona is the Coven's "Supreme", a witch born every generation who embodies countless gifts and magical abilities, namely, the Seven Wonders of Witchcraft; the Supreme is the head of the Coven. Danger lurks inside the Academy's past due to the mysterious butler Spalding (Denis O'Hare) and his relationship with Fiona. The entire Coven is assessed and evaluated by the Council of Witchcraft, which includes Fiona's old rival and Cordelia's mother figure, Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy).

Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) is sent to the Academy after discovering that she too shares this strange genetic affliction that traces back to the days of Salem. She is a descendant from the Salem Coven and therefore is a witch herself, with the power to magically induce brain hemorrhage in any man by having sexual intercourse with him. Upon arrival, she meets Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), who was once a child movie star and now a recovering drug abuser, capable of moving objects with her mind. She also meets human voodoo doll Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), who is one of the few African-American descendants from Salem. She has the power to inflict wounds on others by harming herself (she feels no pain while doing this). Lastly, she meets enigmatic clairvoyant Nan (Jamie Brewer), who can hear the thoughts of others. One night, Zoe and Madison attend a frat party and meet a fraternity headed by Kyle Spencer (Evan Peters), who takes a liking to Zoe. Madison is gang-raped by the other frat members and vengefully flips their bus with her powers, killing seven on board, including Kyle. Two of the boys from the accident survived and are in critical care.

Zoe goes to the hospital, hoping to find Kyle, but instead finds the ringleader of the rapists. Embracing her new life as a witch, she mounts the boy against his will, activating her new power and liquifies his brain. To repay Zoe for killing the rapist, Madison attempts to revive a maimed Kyle by attaching the severed limbs of his fraternity brothers to his head and casts a resurrection spell. The revival works, but Kyle returns as a frightened, simple-minded boy. It is revealed that Kyle's mother abused him, and her abuse makes it hard for him to be trusting of physical touch. The presence of a revived corpse attracts Misty Day (Lily Rabe), who has the power of Necromancy and even resurrected herself after being burned at the stake. Misty begins a friendship with Zoe and often takes care of Kyle.

Meanwhile, Fiona is cursed with an untreatable cancer due to a new Supreme rising to power within the Coven. Fiona tries to cure herself and regain her youth at all costs. A famed voodoo priestess and rival of the Salem witches named Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett), has regained her youth and immortality by bargaining with the voodoo devil, Papa Legba (Lance Reddick). To get a rise out of Marie, Fiona frees the immortal and buried alive Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates), a 19th-century slave killer, who mutilated Marie's lover by transforming him into a Minotaur. Delphine becomes a maid at the Academy and struggles with adjusting to the modern world due to her past history as a racist.

The past slowly unravels as it is revealed that Fiona killed the previous Supreme in order to prematurely take charge of the Coven. Myrtle discovered the truth and tried to reveal it by enchanting the tongue of the only witness, Spalding. Spalding later cuts his own tongue out in order to protect Fiona, and has remained mute ever since. Spalding also helps cover up the secrets of the Coven, including when Fiona slits Madison's throat, after believing her to be the next Supreme. Zoe discovers Spalding's secrets and kills him, turning him into a ghost that haunts the Academy. Cordelia is blinded by acid in a freak attack by witch hunters, one of whom she is married to. Myrtle is framed by Fiona as the attacker and is burned at the stake.

A flashback reveals a notorious serial killer named The Axeman (Danny Huston) was killed by former students of the Academy in 1919. Since then, his spirit was confined inside the Academy's walls, but is freed when the current students are trying to contact the ghost of Madison via ouija board. The Axeman later begins a romance with Fiona. Later, Misty revives Myrtle along with Madison, all of whom return to the Coven with vengeful notions, as Madison seduces Kyle behind Zoe's back and Myrtle slaughters the rest of the Council of Witchcraft.

Recruited by Marie, Queenie joins the voodoo women and in turn gives over Delphine, who is immediately tortured and beheaded, but remains alive due to her immortality. Cordelia's husband Hank slaughters the voodoo tribe and nearly kills Marie before Queenie uses her 'voodoo doll' powers on Hank by shooting herself in the head, which kills him. Marie hopelessly joins the Academy. Nan is killed by Fiona and Marie to get rid of a Supreme candidate and fulfill a deal with Papa Legba. At the funeral, Queenie returns with a reattached Delphine due to new powers developing. Marie, Fiona, and the Axeman slaughter the witch hunters. Delphine and Spalding manage to knock out Marie and dissect her, spreading her body parts all around various parts of town.

Cordelia is cured of blindness by Myrtle, only to blind herself again in an attempt to regain powers she had developed while blind. New powers develop throughout all the witches. Kyle chooses Zoe over Madison and is also mentally revived by Fiona. Kyle becomes a "watchdog" for the Coven. Madison also knocks out Misty, locking her in a coffin in order to eliminate Supreme competition, but she is later freed and revived by Queenie and Cordelia. Confident after killing Laveau, Delphine leaves the Coven to become a tour guide at her old house. Queenie kills her by dealing with Legba to return her mortality. Marie and Delphine become trapped in Hell for eternity due to their murderous life actions and are forever taunted by Legba.

The Axeman is believed to have killed Fiona, as Cordelia envisions her death. Zoe, Madison, Misty and Queenie kill the Axeman in return. The Coven sets out to find the new Supreme through the test of Seven Wonders: seven acts of magic that, when performed successfully, determine who is next in line for the Supremacy. Zoe and Misty are killed when attempting to perform different tests. Queenie is disqualified for not being able to revive Zoe. Madison is able to but refuses and then angrily leaves the Coven after also not being able to complete a test. Cordelia enters the competition, after being advised by Myrtle.

Madison is strangled by a mournful Kyle who kills her after she refuses to bring Zoe back. Cordelia performs the Wonders successfully and revives Zoe. Cordelia becomes the new Supreme, regains her sight, and reveals the Coven to the world on television. Myrtle wishes to be burned once again for her murders of the Council and Cordelia tearfully agrees. Zoe and Queenie become the new Council of Witchcraft and Kyle becomes the new butler. Cordelia finds Fiona alive but withered from the cancer. In a vision, Cordelia foresees Fiona, who implanted a false memory in the Axeman. Fiona and Cordelia make amends after a life of disapproval. Fiona then dies in Cordelia's arms and is banished to Hell with the Axeman, where she is also taunted by Papa Legba. Cordelia, Zoe, Queenie and Kyle open the doors to the Academy, welcoming the Coven's new recruitment of witches.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, and Emma Roberts (left to right) portray lead roles, Fiona Goode, Cordelia Foxx, and Madison Montgomery, respectively, who appear in all episodes.
Kathy Bates, Frances Conroy, and Lily Rabe (left to right) portray lead roles Marie Delphine LaLaurie, Myrtle Snow, and Misty Day, respectively.

Special guest[edit]

Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, and Patti LuPone (left to right) guest star as Marie Laveau, Queenie, and Joan Ramsey, respectively.

Recurring[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
26 1 "Bitchcraft" Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk October 9, 2013 (2013-10-09) 3ATS01 5.54[1]
Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) plans to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time, but something goes horribly wrong when the loss of her virginity leads to the discovery of a hidden power. Zoe learns she is a descendant from Salem and is in fact a witch. Her unique power causes violent hemorrhaging and certain death to whom ever she has sex with. Fearing their daughter may become a hazard to the ones around her, Zoe's parents send her to a mysterious all-girls private school in New Orleans that teaches young witches how to survive in the modern world. Upon arriving, she meets her classmates: Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), a spoiled brat teenage movie star, who can move objects with her mind, Nan (Jamie Brewer), a girl with Down syndrome, who can hear the thoughts of others, and Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), a witch from Detroit who descends from one of the only African-American lines of Salem witches: she is a human voodoo doll who can transfer her own wounds onto someone else. The school is owned and run by Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson). After a young witch named Misty Day (Lily Rabe) is burned at the stake, Cordelia's estranged mother, reigning Supreme and most powerful witch of her generation, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange), arrives to ensure their protection. However, Fiona also has her own agenda: finding a way to regain her youth. Zoe and Madison go to a local fraternity party only for it to end in tragedy when Madison is drugged and gang-raped by several frat brothers. She then takes quick and lethal revenge against them. Zoe later kills the last surviving frat boy by using her new power.
27 2 "Boy Parts" Michael Rymer Tim Minear October 16, 2013 (2013-10-16) 3ATS02 4.51[2]
Still seeking to be perpetually young and beautiful, Fiona questions her new captive, Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates), who in the previous episode was dug up from an unmarked grave, still alive. Delphine tells Fiona that 180 years ago, a voodoo priestess named Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) gave her an immortality elixir, killed her family, and buried her alive. In hopes of becoming immortal as well, Fiona visits the still-living Laveau in a 9th Ward beauty salon and creates a renewed rivalry between the Salem witches and the voodoo practitioners. Meanwhile, Zoe and Madison decide to cast a resurrection spell in order to bring Kyle (Evan Peters), one of several frat boy members that Madison murdered, back to life. When Kyle reanimates as a scared, angry monster, Zoe must seek help from a reclusive Necromancer, Misty Day. Elsewhere, Cordelia and her husband Hank (Josh Hamilton) have trouble conceiving a child, so he wants her to perform a fertility ritual.
28 3 "The Replacements" Alfonso Gomez-Rejon James Wong October 23, 2013 (2013-10-23) 3ATS03 3.78[3]
Madison and Nan take a liking to the new next door neighbor, Luke Ramsey (Alexander Dreymon), but have problems with his overly-religious mother Joan (Patti LuPone). After an encounter with the Ramseys, Madison develops the power of Pyrokinesis. A weakened Fiona learns she has terminal cancer and believes it to be caused by one of the students rising to take her place as the Supreme. After hearing of Madison's growing power, Fiona takes her under wing. She shows Madison what it means to be a real witch, and gets her to reveal another new power she possesses. Realizing she is the next Supreme, Fiona plans to get rid of her. Meanwhile, Zoe visits Kyle's distraught mother (Mare Winningham) and takes him home, not knowing of her true colors. Cordelia is told by her doctor that she can never have a baby and goes to Marie Laveau for help. As punishment for her crimes of torture and abuse of slaves in 1830, the racist Delphine LaLaurie is forced by Fiona to be a maid to the students, causing tension between her and Queenie.
29 4 "Fearful Pranks Ensue" Michael Uppendahl Jennifer Salt October 30, 2013 (2013-10-30) 3ATS04 3.71[4]
Fiona tells the house butler, Spalding (Denis O'Hare), to get rid of Madison's body and rescues Queenie from the Minotaur, a mythological beast that was sent to the Academy by Marie Laveau. At Kyle's house, Zoe hastily cleans up the mess that he created after killing his mother, but ends up losing him as Halloween commences. Away on a "business" trip, Hank cheats on Cordelia with his girlfriend, Kaylee (Alexandra Breckenridge), whom he then murders in his hotel room. The Council of Witchcraft pays a surprise visit the Academy to discuss Madison's disappearance. After receiving a gruesome present from Fiona, Marie officially ends the truce between the witches and voodoo practitioners and calls upon the dead to wreak havoc on the Academy.
30 5 "Burn, Witch. Burn!" Jeremy Podeswa Jessica Sharzer November 6, 2013 (2013-11-06) 3ATS05 3.80[5]
Continuing from the last episode set on Halloween night, Zoe and the others go on the defensive when zombies attempt to get into the school. Faced with death, Zoe unleashes a new power. Madame LaLaurie deals with the fact that she was a horrible mother when she sees her own daughters amongst the hordes of zombies. After an attack on Cordelia leaves her blind and helpless, Fiona also deals with the fact that she was a bad mother. The Council returns after the attacks on Cordelia and the girls, but Fiona manages to persuade them into believing head of the Council, Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy), attacked Cordelia due to her grudge against Fiona. Myrtle is sentenced to burn at the stake for harming another witch. At the end, Misty Day appears and resurrects Myrtle.
31 6 "The Axeman Cometh" Michael Uppendahl Douglas Petrie November 13, 2013 (2013-11-13) 3ATS06 4.16[6]
Zoe, Queenie and Nan decide to come together as a Coven and use a spirit board to make contact with the other side in order to find Madison. The girls end up making contact with the spirit of legendary serial killer, The Axeman of New Orleans (Danny Huston). Queenie warns Zoe to stay away from that kind of witchcraft because it has dangerous consequences, but Zoe is determined to find out what happened to Madison. Zoe uses the spirit board alone, and summons the Axeman, who wants something in return for helping her find Madison. After decades of being held inside the Academy's walls, he asks Zoe to release his spirit that was trapped there by its former students. A now blind Cordelia develops the power of Second Sight and finds out about Hank's indiscretion, causing him to worry that she will find out his real secret of being a witch hunter. Madison is revived by Misty, and Kyle is kept at the Coven. Also, Fiona desperately wants to have one last whirlwind romance before she inevitably dies.
32 7 "The Dead" Bradley Buecker Brad Falchuk November 20, 2013 (2013-11-20) 3ATS07 4.00[7]
Fiona has a tryst with the Axeman, which is complicated by the side effects of her chemotherapy. Meanwhile, Zoe casts a spell to restore Spalding's tongue and interrogates him, killing him after he admits Fiona was Madison's real murderer. A newly revived Madison bonds with Kyle over being undead. Delphine and Queenie also become closer, and Delphine tells Queenie that the other witches will never truly accept her because of her race. Queenie visits Marie, who offers to let Queenie join the voodoo practitioners if she brings her Delphine. After walking in on Kyle and Madison having sex, Zoe feels betrayed by them both, but Madison claims the two should simply share him. Zoe refuses, knowing that the minute they have sex her power will kill him. Madison insists that she can't kill him because he is already dead; that night Madison, Zoe and Kyle engage in a threesome.
33 8 "The Sacred Taking" Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Ryan Murphy December 4, 2013 (2013-12-04) 3ATS08 4.07[8]
Fearing for their lives, Misty and a resurrected Myrtle arrive at the Coven to escape a witch hunter. The Coven prepares for the Sacred Taking ritual; which is only invoked to protect the Coven in which a Supreme witch takes her own life to ensure the safety of the Coven, hastening the arrival of the next Supreme. As Fiona's health begins to fail, she finds Madison dancing around her bed. Madison claims to be the next Supreme by reviving herself, and Fiona's punishment will be to burn at the stake. She convinces Fiona to avoid that fate and swallow a handful of pills given to her. Fiona takes ipecac syrup, and vomits up the pills. She vows that she will avenge both Spalding's death and her own. At Marie Laveau's, Delphine is being held in a cage with no food or water. Delphine scoffs at Marie's taunts, pointing out she cannot die. Marie produces a large sword, mocking Delphine's lack of imagination. She hacks off Delphine's hand, warning that she's just getting started. That evening, an attack is carried out when an unseen witch hunter shoots and kills Joan Ramsey and injures Luke while Nan escapes injury. Misty, at Fiona's insistence, resurrects Joan. The next morning, with no servants to be found, Fiona answers the front door, only to find a cardboard box on the porch. She scans it with magic, takes it inside and opens it. Inside is Delphine LaLaurie's severed head staring back at her.
34 9 "Head" Howard Deutch Tim Minear December 11, 2013 (2013-12-11) 3ATS09 3.94[9]
Marie scoffs at Fiona's offer of an alliance, but must later reconsider when witch hunter Hank turns his attention on her voodoo tribe. Hank's back story is revealed, showing how his father trained him to be a witch hunter and how he met and charmed his way into Cordelia's life. Myrtle finally gets her revenge upon the Council that betrayed her. Meanwhile, Queenie attempts to force the disembodied Delphine to appreciate the modern African-American heritage. Nan's clairvoyance allows a comatose Luke to reveal a dark Ramsey family secret. Also, Myrtle restores Cordelia's eyes and allows her to see again. In doing so, Cordelia loses her power of Second Sight.
35 10 "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks" Alfonso Gomez-Rejon James Wong January 8, 2014 (2014-01-08) 3ATS10 3.49[10]
Marie and Fiona form an uneasy alliance in order to protect themselves from the witch hunters. Meanwhile, Nan develops new powers of being able to read and control people's thoughts. Madison tries to sabotage Zoe and the other witches in the race for the Supremacy. Fiona tries to show Misty the wonderful things a Supreme can enjoy, by introducing Stevie Nicks to her. It is also revealed how Marie is still beautiful and alive after so many years. Nan learns that Joan murdered Luke in his hospital bed after he threatened to reveal a family secret, and Nan turns to a dark path by exacting an equally cruel and lethal revenge against Joan.
36 11 "Protect the Coven" Bradley Buecker Jennifer Salt January 15, 2014 (2014-01-15) 3ATS11 3.46[11]
A flashback to the 1830s reveals the origins of Delphine LaLaurie. After she moves back to New Orleans from Paris, she fears she will tire of the city's atmosphere. She then discovers her shocking attraction to blood and torture. In present day, a newly reassembled Delphine takes up an old hobby to pass the time. Marie and Fiona have a deadly face off with witch hunters of the Delphi Trust, while Cordelia makes a desperate sacrifice to protect the Coven. Meanwhile, a jealous Madison doesn't accept the fact that Kyle is in love with Zoe. The two argue over who deserves him more and Madison uses magic to hurt Zoe.
37 12 "Go to Hell" Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Jessica Sharzer January 22, 2014 (2014-01-22) 3ATS12 3.35[12]
Knowing her death from cancer is approaching, Fiona attempts to make amends by saying goodbye to Cordelia, giving her a family heirloom. Cordelia regains her power of Second Sight and foresees the harrowing future of the Coven. Cordelia goes to the Axeman and shares her visions with him, which later leads to the murder of Fiona. With Fiona gone, the girls finally band together as a Coven. Also, Queenie summons Papa Legba (Lance Reddick) and visits her own personal Hell. Later Queenie kills Delphine LaLaurie, inadvertently killing Marie (as Papa Legba terminated their immortality after breach of contract) and the two find themselves in their actual Hell, which is an eternity of Delphine being tortured by Marie in her own torture chamber.
38 13 "The Seven Wonders" Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Douglas Petrie January 29, 2014 (2014-01-29) 3ATS13 4.24[13]
In order to identify the next Supreme, Zoe, Madison, Misty and Queenie undergo the test of the Seven Wonders. The Seven Wonders are seven acts of magic so advanced, each pushes the boundaries of witchcraft. The one who performs them all successfully is the next Supreme. At first, the girls pass each test of magic with ease, until they reach the test of Descensum, where they must send their spirits to Hell and return before sunrise. All pass the test except Misty whose spirit remains trapped in her own personal Hell. When the sun rises, her body turns to dust. They recommence the tests with completing the act of Transmutation (teleportation). This leads Zoe to her own demise when she teleports herself through the iron gates of the Academy, impaling and ultimately killing herself. Queenie tries, but can't resurrect Zoe. Madison has the power to perform the resurrection, but refuses. By process of elimination, she believes she is the new Supreme. Fearing Madison as Supreme will be no different from Fiona, Myrtle convinces Cordelia to join the competition. Cordelia completes all the tests successfully while Madison fails at Divination. Cordelia brings back Zoe and is crowned Supreme. Myrtle later requests to again be burned alive for her dishonorable actions of murder. Kyle kills Madison for refusing to resurrect Zoe, and Spalding takes her body. Cordelia makes peace with her dying mother after inheriting her powers and title of Supreme. Fiona then joins the Axeman in her personal Hell where, as he informs her, they will spend the rest of eternity. At the end, Cordelia comes out to the public on television, informing people of the witches' Coven. Along with new Council members Zoe and Queenie, and the new house butler Kyle, she offers hope to young witches everywhere.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In January 2013, series co-creator Ryan Murphy hinted that a clue about the third season would be hidden in the tenth episode of the second season.[14] In a later interview discussing that episode, he stated: "I sorta feel like for the third version I want to do something that's a little bit more 'evil glamour.' Just something that's a little bit more...one of the things that I missed this season was I really loved having that Romeo and Juliet youth story with Violet and Tate [from the first season]. I want something like that again and we're doing something like that in the third season. And we're contemplating shooting the show in a different place. We're contemplating shooting it in a place in the country where true horror has been."[15] In a later interview, Murphy added that the season would be set in the modern day.[16]

Executive producer Tim Minear has stated that, while this season's tone might be lighter with more humor, the global themes of it will be "oppression of minorities of all kinds, and within that idea, minority groups going after each other and doing the work of the larger culture." He added: "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."[17]

Casting[edit]

Series executive producers and co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk stated that, as with the second season, "many actors" would return for the third season in different roles.[18] Jessica Lange, Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson all confirmed their returns. Murphy added that Lange would portray a "real glamour-cat lady",[16] whose name was later revealed to be Fiona Goode.[19] Paulson said in an interview that her character would "definitely [be] different [to her season two character]." She added: "Basically, she's going to look different, and my relationship to Lange is going to be quite different this time. At the beginning of last season, no one knew that Lana would be the hero, so it's possible I could end up the evil one this year. As of right now, there will be some of Lana Winters' qualities in my character, but I don't know for sure."[20] Taissa Farmiga, who played a lead role in the first season, starred as Zoe Benson, a character involved in a prominent romance during the season with Peters' character.[21] Lily Rabe and Frances Conroy portrayed series regulars Misty Day and Myrtle Snow, respectively.[22][21] Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates co-starred as Delphine LaLaurie, an evil woman from the past who tortures her slaves.[23] Murphy stated that Bates' character would be "five times worse than [her] Misery character" and is also inspired by a "true event".[24] It was reported on May 22, 2013 that Scream 4 actress Emma Roberts would co-star as Madison Montgomery, a difficult Hollywood starlet.[25]

In May 2013, Murphy announced via Twitter that Oscar nominee Angela Bassett and two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone had joined the cast.[26] In July 2013, Bassett confirmed she would be playing voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau. In a June 2013 interview, LuPone said that her character, Joan Ramsey, would not be a witch but "the personification of the religious right, 'like Piper Laurie in Carrie.'"[27] Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe recurred throughout the season as Queenie, a young witch, whose prominent ability allows her to become a human voodoo doll.[28] First season actress Jamie Brewer recurred as Nan, a young witch who is clairvoyant.

In July and August 2013, Murphy announced through Twitter that first season alums Denis O'Hare and Alexandra Breckenridge had joined the cast in unknown roles, later known as Spalding and Kaylee, respectively.[29][30] Later in August 2013, Murphy announced that Saturday Night Live veteran Christine Ebersole would be playing a "good witch-type gal", who is Fiona's predecessor. In an August 23, 2013 interview, Jessica Lange revealed that Mare Winningham had joined the cast as Peters' character's mother, Alicia Spencer.[31] On August 28, 2013, Sordid Lives star Leslie Jordan announced that he had joined the cast as Quentin Fleming, a high-ranking witch.[32] In September 2013, Alexander Dreymon was cast in the role of Luke Ramsey. Described as "the handsome young man who moves in next door to the Academy".[33]

The Aviators' Danny Huston, J. Edgars' Josh Hamilton, and Fringe actor Lance Reddick all recurred throughout the season as The Axeman, Hank Foxx, and Papa Legba, respectively. Murphy also invited singer Stevie Nicks to be a part of the season. She appeared in two episodes, "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks" and "The Seven Wonders".

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for the season began on July 23, 2013,[34] in New Orleans, Louisiana.[35][36] "After two seasons shooting in Los Angeles, the series moves to [New Orleans] for its third season," writes the casting call. "Filming begins July 23, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana and completed on January 17, 2014."[37] Despite Ryan Murphy stating that the third season would take place in multiple cities,[16] New Orleans is the primary setting of the third installment.[17]

Marketing[edit]

Similar to the show's prior seasons, FX published mini teaser trailers for Coven on the show's Facebook page.[38]

Reception[edit]

Reviews[edit]

American Horror Story: Coven has received positive reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 81% approval rating with an average rating of 7.1/10 based on 36 reviews. The site's consensus is: "A noteworthy ensemble cast combined with creepy storytelling and campy, outrageous thrills make American Horror Story: Coven a potently structured fright-fest."[39] It scored 71 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 24 reviews.[40] The ratings slipped for the second episode, delivering 4.5 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 – down 17% from the premiere.[41]

Coven was also met with negative reviews from some critics. The A.V. Club gave this season a low rating of D+, with critic Todd Van DerWerff remarking: "It lurched drunkenly from idea to idea, never settling on one long enough to build anything of worth."[42]

In their post-season reviews, The Michigan Daily gave Coven a B+ saying: "And while its conclusion, appropriately titled "The Seven Wonders", never quite matched the high standard it set for itself throughout the season, Coven‍ '​s reputation will nonetheless remain a solid one."[43] Entertainment Weekly gave the season a B and said: "I can't deny my experience: Week to week, the excesses of Coven were wickedly amusing. Next year, I hope American Horror Story can be more than that, and with less."[44]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In its third season, the series was nominated for 59 awards, 12 of which were won.

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2014 Critics' Choice Television Awards[45] Best Movie/Miniseries American Horror Story: Coven Nominated
Best Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actress Kathy Bates Nominated
Best Movie/Miniseries Actress Jessica Lange Won
Dorian Awards[46] TV Performance of the Year – Actress Won
TV Drama of the Year American Horror Story: Coven Nominated
Campy TV Show of the Year Won
66th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Miniseries Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (for "Bitchcraft") Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (for "Bitchcraft") Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special Robert J. Ulrich, Eric Dawson and Meagan Lewis Nominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Lou Eyrich, Elizabeth Macey and Ken Van Duyne (for "Bitchcraft") Won
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Monte C. Haught, Michelle Ceglia, Yolanda Mercadel and Daina Daigle Won
Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Eryn Krueger Mekash, Kim Ayers, Vicki Vacca, Mike Mekash, Christopher Nelson and Lucy O'Reilly Nominated
Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special James S. Levine (for "The Seven Wonders") Nominated
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Eryn Krueger Mekash, Mike Mekash, Christien Tinsley, Jason Hamer, Christopher Nelson, David L. Anderson, Cristina Patterson and Rob Freitas Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Gary Megregian, David Klotz, Timothy A. Cleveland, Paul Diller, Brian Thomas Nist, Steve M. Stuhr, Lance Wiseman and Noel Vought (for "Fearful Pranks Ensue") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or Movie Bruce Litecky, Joe Earle and Doug Andham (for "Fearful Pranks Ensue") Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Period Series, Miniseries or a Movie Mark Worthington, Andrew Murdock and Ellen Brill Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Kathy Bates Won
Frances Conroy Nominated
Angela Bassett Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Sarah Paulson Nominated
Jessica Lange Won
71st Golden Globe Awards[47] Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Best Miniseries or Television Film American Horror Story: Coven Nominated
Golden Reel Awards[48] Best Sound Editing in Television – Short Form: Dialogue & ADR Episode: "Bitchcraft" Nominated
NAACP Image Awards[49] Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special Gabourey Sidibe Nominated
Angela Bassett Nominated
18th Online Film & Television Association Awards[50] Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Nominated
Kathy Bates Won
Frances Conroy Nominated
Lily Rabe Nominated
Gabourey Sidibe Nominated
Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Jessica Lange Nominated
Sarah Paulson Nominated
Best Mini Series American Horror Story: Coven Nominated
Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Nominated
Best Direction of a Motion Picture or Miniseries Nominated
Best Music in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Editing in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Cinematography in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Production Design in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Costume Design in a Non-Series Won
Best Makeup/Hairstyling in a Non-Series Won
Best Sound in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Visual Effects in a Non-Series Won
Best New Titles Sequence Nominated
40th People's Choice Awards[51] Favorite TV Movie/Miniseries Won
18th Satellite Awards[52] Best Television Series – Genre Nominated
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Jessica Lange Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Kathy Bates Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on Television Nominated
Best Guest Starring Role on Television Danny Huston Nominated
Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series American Horror Story: Coven Nominated
Best Actress on Television Jessica Lange Nominated
20th Screen Actors Guild Awards[53] Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
30th TCA Awards[54] Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Mini-Series and Specials American Horror Story: Coven Nominated
2015 26th Annual Producers Guild Awards[55] Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television Brad Buecker, Dante Di Loreto, Brad Falchuk, Joseph Incaprera, Alexis Martin Woodall, Tim Minear, Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Salt, James Wong (also for Freak Show) Nominated
30th Annual Artios Awards[56] Television Movie or Mini-Series Robert J. Ulrich, Eric Dawson, Carol Kritzer, Meagan Lewis (Location Casting) and Eric Souliere (Associate) Nominated

References[edit]

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External links[edit]