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Moira O'Hara

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Moira O'Hara
Moria
I'm not naive to the ways of men...
Portrayed by
Details
Species
Occupation
  • Housekeeper
Cause of death
Relationships
Appearances
Murder House Characters
Moira O'Hara is the housekeeper for the Harmon family, and has been there for the stay of many families. She is a character in the first season ("Murder House") portrayed by Frances Conroy (older) ; Alexandra Breckenridge (young).

Personality and Appearance

It is claimed that to women she appears as an elderly 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 is.

In her senior disguise she is pleasant and professional. In her prime she is seductive and manipulative. As a person, 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. She also has a deep desire to leave the 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.

Story

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.

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.

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.

Moira showed her dedication to Vivien when she reluctantly prepared the offal meals Constance brought for Vivien's babies. Around the same time, 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.

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.

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.

Moira cleans a newborn Harmon baby, and becomes the godmother to a 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.

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."

Notes

  • She is the first character to be portrayed by Frances Conroy. The second was Shachath and the third is Myrtle Snow.
  • She is also the first character to be portrayed by Alexandra Breckenridge. The second was Kaylee.
  • 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. [1]
  • 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.” [2]
  • 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 ghosts' age seemed to stop in time, retaining the way they looked upon death.

Gallery

References

  1. Behind the Scenes video- Casting
  2. Malloy, Tim, "TCA: Ryan Murphy's 'American Horror Story' Haunted by Redheads", The Wrap, 6 Aug 2011

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