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Michael Langdon is the demonic offspring of a human and a ghost (Vivien Harmon and Tate Langdon), considered to be the bringer of the End of Days. He is a character in American Horror Story primarily portrayed by Cody Fern.

Background

Michael was first conceived when Tate, dressed as the Rubber Man, raped Vivien Harmon, who she believed to be her husband, Ben. [1] Psychic-medium Billie Dean Howard believed that a child born under these circumstances would be the Anti-Christ, and would be destined to bring about the End of Days. [2]

During Vivien's first ultrasound, the attending nurse fainted in horror at the sight of the then-unborn Michael in-utero, and quit her job immediately afterword; the ultrasound machine, mysteriously, broke moments after this. [3] Later, Vivien had a nightmare of a tiny clawed hand attempting to rip through her pregnant stomach, and soon after began to develop a taste for raw organs, consuming the liver and uncooked brain of a cow. Vivien was eventually able to contact the nurse from her failed ultrasound, who hesitantly agreed to meet her in a church, telling in her it was the only place where she "[felt] safe". She confided in Vivien that what she witnessed in her womb plagued her with nightmares and turned her into a believer in God, and, recalling what she witnessed during the ultrasound, whispered quietly to herself "...the hoofed feet". Vivien, thinking the woman to be mad, headed out the cathedral doors in frustration, while the nurse began to fervently recite quotes from the Bible, her face plastered with a look of dread. [4]

Personality and Appearance

Michael is viciously dangerous, concealing his true nature behind an innocent, almost angelic appearance; it is heavily implied these human features are merely a ruse. Even before his birth, he displayed a predilection for feeding off of raw flesh and was no stranger to acts of emotionless violence, slicing open his nanny's neck and creating handprints with her blood, giggling in the presence of his grandmother when she discovered the body.

At just eight years of age, Michael's preternatural growth has expanded at an alarming rate, allowing him to take on the appearance of a handsome man around thirty years of age. He has long, strawberry-blonde hair like that of his mother, Vivien Harmon, and striking blue eyes.

Story

Murder House

Vivien gives birth to him and his twin brother Jeffrey, who is stillborn. Michael is quickly snagged by Constance, and she and Moira admire him while washing off the placenta. This is interrupted by the ghost of Hayden who, angered by the loss of her own child due to being murdered, states that Michael will be her own baby and steals him. Hayden enlists the help of the ghosts of Dallas and Fiona to kill Ben before he can leave the Murder House for good, thereby preventing him from leaving with the baby; with all of the Harmon family now dead, she takes Michael for herself. Thanks to Travis incapacitating Hayden, Constance takes her nephew back and "adopts" him, moving to New York not long afterward. [5]

Sometime later, Constance comes home to find Michael sitting on a rocking chair in his room. The child, impressively already a toddler, smiles at his grandmother with blood on his face; he has murdered his nanny. [6]

Apocalypse

Michael arrives at Outpost 3 eighteen months after several atomic bombs killed off much of Earth's life and brought forth a nuclear winter. The gates open to a carriage drawn by iradiated, pus-riddled horses, baring Michael as an agent of the Cooperative with an unlimited clearance. Ms. Mead disposes of the horses while Michael parlays with Ms. Venable, who's in charge of the refuge.

Langdon explains that he is there to evaluate the residents for possible transfer to the last remaining sanctuary, as six have been overrun and the remaining three beyond Outpost 3 are soon to be. He could take any, all, or none of them; those who do not meet his say-so will meet the same fate as his horses. [7]

Powers

Due to his demonic heritage, Michael has displayed some supernatural abilities.

  • Telekinesis: The magical ability to manipulate objects with one's mind. After discovering Gallant strung up by his arms via chains attached to the ceiling, Michael reveals that it was Gallant's grandmother, Evie, who ratted out his sexual acts to Ms. Mead, resulting in him being tortured. Michael then uses this power to free Gallant from his constraints, knowing that Gallant would confront Evie about her betrayal.
  • Illusion Manipulation: The magical ability to create, shape and manipulate illusions, causing others to see, hear, touch, smell and/or taste things which do not actually exist or cause them to perceive things differently from what they truly are. Michael used this power on Gallant, conjuring up a fake manifestation of the Rubber Man in order to to seduce him and later drive him to a psychotic break, ultimately resulting in him murdering Evie.

Quotes

  • To Ms. Venable: "I've been assigned to evaluate the people here and select the ones most worthy of survival. I could take all of you, or none of you. Those who make it live. Those who don't, end up like my horses."
  • To Gallant: "No need for rules anymore, the chaos has won."
  • To Gallant: "If you lie I will know, if you try to trick me I will know."
  • To Gallant: "The hole you need filled isn't in your face or your ass. It's in your heart."

Notes

  • Ryan Murphy referred to Cody Fern, the new actor who will portray the adult Michael Langdon in the eighth season as: "...a brilliant addition to the cast. He appears to be as bad but intelligent as the possessed Mary Eunice. Which is exactly what we need", implying a connection between Michael and the Devil from Asylum.
  • During the season 8 premiere, Ryan Murphy jokingly described Michael's appearance as "Eyes like his Dad... Hair like his Mom." [8] However, Tate's eyes were brown, not blue. Murphy probably got confused with Ben Harmon.

Gallery

References

  1. Episode: Pilot
  2. Episode: Spooky Little Girl
  3. Episode: Halloween: Part 1
  4. Episode: Piggy Piggy
  5. Episode: Birth
  6. Episode: Afterbirth
  7. Episode: The End
  8. Ryan Murphy on Michael Langdon's appearance (@MrRPMurphy) (2018-09-12).