Ryan Murphy has long promised fans that there is a connection between American Horror Story’s five seasons. But apart from a common thread introduced here and there, Murphy has yet to tie the various seasons together in a satisfying manner. Now, a new theory attempts to do just that and make sense of what appears to be five disparate seasons.
According to Vanity Fair, the theory is based on the first part of Dante Alighieri’s famous literary work, Divine Comedy. The first section, titled “Inferno,” follows Dante’s perilous passage through hell. The famous poet Virgil offers Dante advice as he makes his way through nine different circles of the underworld, including Lust, Limbo, Gluttony, Greed, Hersey, Anger, Fraud, Treachery, and Violence.
Working off the theory, TV Guide is reporting that each season of American Horror Story matches up with one of the circles of hell. Considering the S&M creature in the first season, Murder House could be placed in the circle of lust. Season 2 fits nicely inside the fraud circle as many of the residents in Asylum were held illegally. Season 3’s coven of witches featured plenty of treachery while Elsa Mars in the fourth season was the perfect picture of greed. Lastly, one could place Hotel’s Addiction Demon in the circle of gluttony.
The theory was first put out there by Red Herry’s Jacqueline Bircher, who also noted that each season is placed in a distinct setting, much like Dante’s vision of hell. The fact that Murphy recasts the same actors to play new roles in the different seasons could also be a representation of a soul’s journey through the various stages of hell.
This could be one reason why Jessica Lange is no longer a part of the show. The actress ended her run after her appearance in Season 4 when her character, Elsa Mars, was granted a place in a heavenly paradise with her friends. This could have been Murphy’s way of showing how her character’s soul is now at peace and has escaped the circles of hell.
However, there are a few inconsistencies with the theory. For starters, Uproxx is reporting that the seasons are not in the same order as Dante’s circles of hell. Even still, there have been four circles that have not been featured in the series, including Limbo, Violence, Heresy, and Anger. Does this mean that fans can expect American Horror Story to continue for another four seasons?
At the same time, one could make an argument that some of the seasons match up with more than one circle. For instance, lust was also a component of Season 5, while all of the seasons could match up with violence.
That being said, it is clear that Murphy has some kind of grand connection between seasons. In fact, he said as much during a 2014 interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“They’re all connected,” Murphy explained. “There’s definitely a rhyme or a reason and a connectedness to all of these seasons… They’re all very separate but there are clues every season that we’re now telling you how the different worlds are intertwined.”
So far, the Dante theory is one that actually makes a lot of sense. Not only does it connect the storylines from the various seasons of the horror drama, but it also places the series in a much larger context. Even more, if the theory turns out to be true, then fans can expect at least four more seasons from Murphy.
The next season of American Horror Story, the setting of which has yet to be revealed, is expected to air sometime in 2016.
Tell us! Do you believe this particular theory about how each season of American Horror Story is connected? Let us know in the comments and check out this video to learn more about the backstory of the show.
[Image via FX]