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Moira O'Hara is the housekeeper of Murder House, and has been there for the stay of many families. She is a character in American Horror Story portrayed by Frances Conroy (older) and Alexandra Breckenridge (younger).

Personality and Appearance

To women she appears as an aging lady with one working eye (the other is gray and clouded) and a sensible uniform dress but to men, she appears as a beautiful, unscathed young woman with a short skirt and stockings. According to Moira, this is because women's intuition gives them insight on the true nature of people, whereas men see only what they desire - however, if the man can resist the compulsion to see her as a sexual object, they too will see her as who she "really is".

In her "true" visage she is pleasant, professional and somewhat 'kooky'; in the younger, she is seductive and manipulative; a femme fatale. She despises men as liars and cheaters, having met her end because of such a man. As such, she also sympathizes with women who have been cheated on, such as Vivien Harmon. She also has a deep desire to leave Murder House, and is willing to kill or have killed anyone who will prevent her remains from leaving; the building of the gazebo and the burial of Hayden brings a deep despair to Moira.

She seems hold a deeply affection for her mother, as she requests to have her remains buried in the same tomb, and she also demonstrate to have a profound sense of gratitude, emoting by be free from the house, thanking Madison effusively. According to Billie Dean Howard , Moira was likely the saddest soul of all ghosts in the Murder House.[1]

Story

Murder House

Moira's knowledge of how to maintain the house impresses Vivien, the new lady of the house, enough that she is permitted to continue in her position. She begins a campaign of trying to seduce Ben. Vivien was unaware of just how long or deep Moira's connection to the house ran. Constance revealed, in passing, that Moira had worked for her before. Certainly, Moira was comfortable enough with the history of the house to bury bodies alongside Constance and Tate.[2]

While still alive, she once had sex with Constance's husband, Hugo, due to "feeling lonely". When he made another advance towards her she refused him saying that what they did was a mistake. In 1983, not happy with being denied, Hugo forced himself on Moira and attempted to rape her only to be caught in the act by Constance. Constance shot Moira in the eye and Hugo in the heart. Constance then buried her in the backyard of the house.[3]

On Halloween 2011, Moira left the premises to visit her dying and comatose mother (Molly) in a long-term care facility. Moira felt guilty that she hadn't been there for her, and resolved to set her free. Moira unhooked the respirator, and her mother died. Molly's ghost bids that Moira should come with her, but Moira cries that she can't. She returned to the house shortly before sunrise.[4][5]

Moira showed her dedication to Vivien when she reluctantly prepared the offal meals Constance brought for Vivien's babies.[6] She shows resistance to the will of the house by seducing Joe Escandarian so that he will buy the house and put in a pool, requiring him to unearth her body in the backyard (and hopefully release her trapped spirit). She was horrified to realize he intended to pave the land as a parking lot instead. She responded by biting off his penis during fellatio, and a team effort between Constance, Larry, and Moira kills him off-site.[7]

Moira urged Vivien to leave the house as soon as possible while she still could, fearing for Vivien's safety from Hayden and other influences. It was revealed that she helped to orchestrate the scene in which Chad Warwick and Patrick were found after their deaths.[8]

Moira continued to try to seduce Ben during Vivien's committal, which he would still have none of. Exasperated, she and Elizabeth Short had sex on Ben's couch, and Moira tried again to entice him. He responded by firing her. She returned to find Ben holding the Rubber Man mask, putting facts together. He rejected her one final time; convinced he truly loves Vivien, Moira congratulates him. She appears in her older form to him from that point on.[9]

Moira cleans newborn Harmon baby, and becomes the godmother to ghostly Jeffrey Harmon when he is later discovered. She is considered an equal to them and a friend after their ordeal, and work to keep unsuspecting families away from the violent elements in the house.[10][11]

Apocalypse

When Constance kills herself in the Murder House, she is reunited not only with her children but also Moira and the two spend their time verbally sparring, as Moira is now equal to Constance because she is a ghost even if Constance treats Moira as a servant. 

After Madison and Behold come to the Murder House to learn about Michael, Constance makes a deal with them: if they'll get rid of Moira, she'll tell them all about Michael. Madison has Behold dig in the yard for Moira's bones. They take the collection of limbs to Moira and she hugs Madison in gratitude. They ask her where she'd like to be buried. She chooses to be taken to the cemetery. The same cemetery that her mother is buried in. Moira reunites with her mother and confesses to her that she killed her, but Molly thanks her for putting her out of her agony. Then they depart together to a peaceful afterlife.[1]

Associated Characters

Molly O'Hara

Molly O'Hara is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Marilyn O'Connor.

Following the disappearance of her daughter, Molly O' Hara moved on with her life until, in old age, she was hospitalized in a long-term care facility. Moira visited her during the window of opportunity given at Halloween. Feeling guilty because she wasn't there for her mother for thirty years since her death, and wanting to let her free, Moira unhooked the artificial respiration machine and Molly died peacefully. Moira then turned away and began to cry as Molly got up as a ghost offering to come with her to Heaven but Moira refuses. Moira later goes home at sunset like all the other ghosts.

After Madison and Behold come to the Murder House to learn about Michael, Constance makes a deal with them: if they'll get rid of Moira, she'll tell them all about Michael. Madison has Behold dig in the yard for Moira's bones. They take the collection of limbs to Moira and she hugs Madison in gratitude. They ask her where she'd like to be buried. She chooses to be taken to the cemetery. The same cemetery that her mother is buried in. Moira reunites with her mother and confesses to her that she killed her, but Molly thanks her for putting her out of her agony. Then they depart together to a peaceful afterlife. 

Quotes

  • To Vivien Harmon: "Sometimes, people just go mad."
  • To Constance Langdon: "Your sense of humor was and continues to be a delight."
  • To Constance Langdon: "You need to pay for what you've done."
  • To Violet Harmon: "You'll come to understand, Violet, that the word 'ancient' will lose all its meaning when your entire existence is one long today."
  • To Vivien Harmon and Ben Harmon: "I'm not naive to the ways of men. Their need to objectify, conquer. They see what they want to see. Women, however, see into the soul of a person."
  • To Vivien Harmon: "They come, they go, I stay."
  • To Vivien Harmon: "No. Your denial is impressive. You're a ghost, Mrs. Harmon. I don't take orders from ghosts."
  • To her mother: "It's beautiful here. I feel like I can finally breathe."

Notes

  • She is the first character to be portrayed by Frances Conroy and Alexandra Breckenridge. For a complete list of their characters, see Cast.
  • The Greek word moira (μοῖρα) literally means a part or portion of the whole and by extension one's portion in life or destiny, which consisted of bad and good moments distributed by the Fates. The three Moira were demons/goddesses (depending on the Ancient Greek source) who determined every person's moment and manner of death.
  • The actress who portrays the older version of Moira, Frances Conroy, actually has a discolored iris, she is not wearing contact lenses. She was in a car accident and then had eye surgery. Frances mentioned her eye problem in the casting sessions and the writers decided to make this a plot point so that she would not have to wear contact lenses. That is why Constance shooting Moira in the eye was written in.[12]
  • The fact that the Moiras and the twins Troy and Bryan have red hair is a plot point. Ryan Murphy has revealed that the redheads have something to do with Ben's childhood. “It’s something that happened to Dylan’s character as a child that involves redheads,” Murphy said. “It’s a beautiful childhood thing for him that will be explained.”[13]
  • Among all the ghosts in the house, Moira is the only ghost to have a change in appearance even after her death. All the other ghost's age seemed to stop in time, retaining the way they looked upon death.
  • Moira is one of three ghosts who managed to get out of the place of their death, the other two being The Axeman and Queenie.

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Episode: Return to Murder House
  2. Episode: Home Invasion
  3. Episode: Murder House (episode)
  4. Episode: Halloween: Part 1
  5. Episode: Halloween: Part 2
  6. Episode: Piggy Piggy
  7. Episode: Open House
  8. Episode: Rubber Man (episode)
  9. Episode: Spooky Little Girl
  10. Episode: Birth
  11. Episode: Afterbirth
  12. Behind the Scenes video- Casting
  13. Malloy, Tim (6 Aug 2011). TCA: Ryan Murphy's 'American Horror Story' Haunted by Redheads. The Wrap.