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Myrtle Snow is a quirky and honest witch. She is a character in American Horror Story primarily portrayed by Frances Conroy. She is the head of the Witches' Council, and has a strong dedication towards the coven of the Salem descendants.

Background

Myrtle Snow is an alumnus of Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, having attended with Fiona Goode and several other witches during the time Anna Leigh Leighton was the Supreme. She and Fiona acted as rivals towards one another throughout their schooling.

After the disappearance of Anna Leigh (the audience is aware that Fiona killed her), Fiona was questioned by the Council. She lies, claiming that she does not know where Anna Leigh disappeared to, and further encourages the Council's notion that Anna Leigh intended her to be the next Supreme, despite Anna Leigh telling Fiona before her murder that she was going to make sure Fiona would never be Supreme.

During a party held in the Academy to announce Fiona's appointment as Supreme Elect, Myrtle did not cheer with the rest of the witches and confides with a friend that, as the "Guardian of Veracity in the Vernacular"[3], capable of detecting falsehoods, she detected Fiona lying to the Council. She whispers to Fiona that she suspected her of murder, but Fiona just laughed and used her telekinesis to drop Myrtle's glass onto the floor.

Knowing that Spalding would likely have aided Fiona in "cleaning up her mess," that night, Myrtle enchanted Spalding's tongue to prevent him from lying and summons the Council to question him. She confided this to her friend, but unfortunately, Spalding overheard. Out of love and devotion to Fiona, he cut out his own tongue before the Council could arrive. Myrtle noticed that Fiona was in the bathroom with Spalding before the headmistress could arrive, and suspected Fiona to be the one who cut his tongue out.

With no witnesses, Fiona managed to become the Supreme, while Myrtle became the next Head of the Witches' Council. She remained rivals with Fiona, whom she believes to be absent in necessary duties a Supreme should fulfill.

When Fiona's daughter, Cordelia, was abandoned at the Academy as soon as she began manifesting powers, Cordelia and Myrtle formed a very close bond. Myrtle later claimed that she was more of a mother to Cordelia than Fiona was, but didn't want to have children of her own because she wanted to devote her life to the Coven. [4]

Personality and Appearance

Myrtle is a woman with the air of a traveled sophisticate, who is usually seen wearing haute couture. Her red hair, legendarily associated with witches [5], formed a mane around her face in a yaki style, and she wore vintage cat eye glasses. Her black lace gloves often gripped a cigarillo on a long-stemmed holder. Myrtle possesses telekinetic powers and an affinity for truth spells, but her true extent had never been revealed throughout the series. Although gifted with spellcraft, Myrtle never really showed any proper use of the Seven Wonders other than the use of Telekinesis.

As well as a being a gifted witch, Myrtle Snow is also obsessed with fashion given her numerous couture outfits. Her love of fashion is even more defined when she is sentenced to burn at the stake following the murder of her fellow council members. She walks to the stake, black umbrella in hand, wearing a long, flowing red dress with matching gloves and heels, as well as a pair of sunglasses. As she is asked for final words, she screams out "Balenciaga" (while wearing Carolina Herrera), after the French fashion house founded in 1914 by Basque-Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga. This was her tribute to couture, her ultimate love. She also violently criticized Cecily Pembroke before murdering her for her faux-pas regarding Pembroke's 40s-era hat, claiming that it would give her nightmares.

Story

Coven

After Zoe Benson discovers her Black Widow powers, Myrtle and her albino man-servants escort her from her home to the Academy in New Orleans. She turns down Mrs. Benson's plea to at least drive her daughter to the train station, saying it will only hurt Zoe. [6]

After Nan summons the Witches' Council when she believes Madison Montgomery to be dead, since she can no longer hear her thoughts, the Council begins questioning the students and Cordelia. Nan lets slip the incident in the Ramsey house where Madison's pyrokinesis surfaced, and that other than herself, Fiona is the only other witch who knows about it; Myrtle deduces the possibility that Fiona killed Madison in fear that she would take Fiona's powers.

Myrtle accuses Fiona of murdering Anna Leigh and Madison, and of severing Spalding's tongue to prevent him from telling the truth. She asks Spalding to write down the name of the one responsible for cutting his tongue off. As Spalding would not have had to cut it off, had Myrtle not enchanted it, she is the one responsible. The sight of her name on the paper is enough to send Myrtle into an uproar, claiming that Fiona always gets away with everything. But Cordelia is quick to defend her mother, stating that Fiona had no reason to murder Madison since Madison had a secret heart murmur and could not have been the next Supreme, as one of the hallmarks of a rising Supreme is radiant health. [3]

After accusing Fiona of neglectful behavior, she and the Council demand Fiona's resignation. Fiona accuses Myrtle of trying to take a back-door to the Supremehood and accuses her of attacking Cordelia. Fiona then shows evidence of Myrtle stalking Fiona and being inside New Orleans the time Madison was killed. However, Fiona "proves" (with the help of Queenie) that Myrtle was the one who attacked Cordelia by using Queenie's voodoo doll powers to put acid burn marks on Myrtle's hand. Cecily and Quentin unanimously vote to burn Myrtle at the stake, which occurs with each member of the coven present at the execution. She was then resurrected by Misty Day and is, later, seen under mounds of dirt in Misty's garden, slowly healing. [1]

After an unknown enemy attacks Misty's shack, the two flee to the Academy. Once there, Myrtle, convinced that Misty is the next Supreme, gathers the others to participate in the ritual "The Sacred Taking" to allow a new Supreme to rise with the sacrificial death of the old. As it is extremely unlikely Fiona will kill herself for the good of the coven, Myrtle and the others set out a plan to make Fiona commit suicide out of desperation. Playing the piano, she is amazed to learn that Fiona is still alive. [7]

Feeling saddened and appalled by Cordelia’s attack and subsequent blindness, Myrtle reminisces with Cordelia about the time when Cordelia was brought to Miss Robichaux's. Since that day, Myrtle stands clear to have loved Cordelia like a daughter, and questions her if she believes that Myrtle attacked her. Cordelia states that she knew this whole time it was not her doing. Myrtle, still affected, calls her former co-workers, Cecily and Quentin over to discuss her resurrection over food. Myrtle then tricks them into eating monkshood-laced melon balls and they are temporally paralyzed. Myrtle then takes the melon baller, and carves out one of each of their eyes with a melon baller. Myrtle places the eyes in Cordelia’s sockets and she can finally see again. [4]

When Cordelia was having an emotional crisis at the greenhouse, Myrtle tried to calm her down. She plays the theremin, which Cordelia remarks that it makes horrible and awful noise. [8]

When conflict erupts between Madison and Zoe, Myrtle and Madison snipe at one another. After Cordelia blinds herself with garden shears, Myrtle meets Fiona outside Cordelia's rooms. Myrtle tells Fiona that Cordelia is something Fiona can never understand: a hero, willing to sacrifice for the good of the coven. Later that night, Myrtle calls Zoe to the greenhouse, encouraging Zoe to run away with Kyle, in order to save herself from Fiona. Myrtle goes so far as to give Zoe a piece of rare, and valuable, jewelry to use for money, and displays her passion for romance. [9]

In the legacy room, Myrtle brings flowers while Fiona is sitting for her portrait. That night, over a bouquet of Atropa belladonna, Myrtle and Madison discuss Misty's entombment before being interrupted by Kyle and Zoe, who have returned to the Academy after the latter of the two comes to believe herself to be the next Supreme. When the girls attacked the Axeman, Cordelia stayed behind with Myrtle. In the last scene, she is with the others admiring Fiona's portrait. [10]

During the Trial of the Seven Wonders, Myrtle pushes Cordelia to find her true power and become the Supreme. Sometime later, after Cordelia's powers as Supreme fully manifest, Myrtle, Queenie, and Zoe cry at the beauty of Cordelia's televised invitation to the Academy, which resulted in more than 30 girls expressing interest in attending. Myrtle suggested that Queenie and Zoe become members of the Council, and encouraged Cordelia to "cut away the old rot" in order to bring the coven into a Golden Era. Myrtle insisted Cordelia burn her at the stake for killing her former colleagues. She is last seen on the stake in a beautiful, long red dress and sunglasses. Her last words are "Balenciaga!" [2]

Apocalypse

Due to unknown circumstances, Myrtle was resurrected. She eventually rejoined the Witches' Council following Queenie's death and disappearance.

In 2017, whilst Cordelia and Zoe were instructing young witches, including Mallory, on how to change the color of a rose, Myrtle informs them that an emergency meeting of the Council has been requested by the warlocks of Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men

Cordelia, Myrtle, and Zoe arrive at the academy, greeted by Ariel Augustus and another member of the Council. Inside the building, Ariel thanks his fellow witches for accepting their invitation and for giving him the opportunity to share with them their discoveries. He goes on to talk about Michael and that they have recently sheltered him, something in which Zoe finds no interest. He then continues talking about the extraordinary feats Michael conducted and the fact that he passed their various tests, and claims that his abilities are on the same level as those of the Supreme. Myrtle scoffs at this and causes Cordelia to giggle.

Ariel reassures her that if he wasn't serious, they wouldn't be holding the council. Cordelia denies the Warlock as, according to her, no male has ever come close to being as powerful as the Supreme, due to the testosterone not fully conducting magical energy from the Ethereal Realm, with Myrtle quipping that women are better than men in more than magic. John states that the witches are not making an effort to hear what they have to say but Myrtle tells him that they have nothing to hear and assertively denies the possibility of a male Supreme ever existing.

Ariel is frustrated by the witches' judgment and asks Cordelia to put Michael's abilities to test through the test of the Seven Wonders. Cordelia refuses to administer the test, as she is afraid of putting the boy's life at stake and recalls the death of Misty Day, who took the test before it was her time and, as a result, died. Ariel questions her caring for her students, bringing up Queenie and her mysterious disappearance.

The Supreme says that she knew about her missing and her eventual death and narrates her visit at Hotel Cortez to free her spirit. She assures the warlocks that she indeed cares about their kind and will not risk administering the test. When Ariel asks her why she is the one to get to decide this, Cordelia angrily answers that it's because of her status as Supreme.

The warlock snaps at her saying that she is a bigot against men and afraid of a male reigning as the Supreme, something that must happen according to him. Cordelia does not falter and decisively ends the Council.

As the three witches exit the building, in the distance, she sees Michael, accompanied by resurrected witches Madison Montgomery and Queenie. Cordelia is shocked and collapses to the ground as Myrtle and her fellow witches rush towards her to see if she's fine.[11]

After tending to Cordelia, Myrtle learns about her vision of being eaten by zombies under the control of a white-faced demon. When Cordelia tells the warlocks that Michael Langdon will take the Test of the Seven Wonders in two weeks time under the Blood Moon, Myrtle is shocked and furious at the pronouncement.

When they return to Miss Robichaux's Academy, Myrtle storms into Cordelia's room and lets loose her "apoplectic" anger. Cordelia says that she's seen what's ahead and that she's scared that if she doesn't let Langdon take the test she'll become just like her mother. Cordelia says that at some point she has to identify a successor. Myrtle mentions Mallory and how she healed a dead doe. Cordelia tells Myrtle that she can't deny Langdon's power and that she is fading. Her powers are growing weaker and that she's dying. Myrtle suddenly becomes overwhelmed by emotion and begins to cry upon Cordelia's lap, distraught over her daughter-figure. Mallory interrupts them and tells Cordelia that her two o'clock is here to see her.

Myrtle is present at the Test of the Seven Wonders, where Langdon effortlessly masters all of them. She also witnesses Misty Day be brought back from Hell, which results in Cordelia having a nosebleed and the title of Supreme be passed onto Langdon. Myrtle and Misty tend to Cordelia, who reveals that she only gave him the test to see how powerful he was and that Langdon has given them the advantage of having all of her witches with her. Myrtle also watches Stevie Nicks, the White Witch, serenade Misty Day to help her heal. [12]

On Halloween 2021, several months after the nuclear catastrophe, Myrtle, along with Cordelia and Madison, arrive at Outpost 3 and effortlessly breach the building. After Cordelia's command to "find their sisters", Myrtle and Madison gather the corpses of Coco, Mallory, and Dinah for the Supreme to resurrect by using Vitalum Vitalis, revealing their statuses as witches.[13]

Myrtle reveals that Mallory and Coco had identity spells placed on them to protect them, blocking their memories of who they were because they're "special". Coco is upset at being stabbed in the head by BrockDinah, a Voodoo Witch, balks at the behavior of the witches; this is not her conflict and she has no desire to throw in with the coven. Myrtle turns to Langdon, who wonders aloud how the world can be saved when it's already been destroyed, but Myrtle shows off her great wit to Langdon and comments that the world can be saved. Cordelia squares off against him and appears to have a plan. Langdon says that when he's done they will all wish they were still dead.[11]

Powers

Myrtle is a powerful natural born witch and is shown to have mastered three of the Seven Wonders.

  • Telekinesis - One of the Seven Wonders, the magical ability to manipulate objects with the power of the mind.
  • Divination (Presumably) - One of the Seven Wonders, the magical ability to obtain direct knowledge about an object, person, location, or physical event through means other than the user's physical senses. This can be activated by just being around a person, focusing on specific tasks, searching for information, or touching objects.
  • Transmutation - One of the Seven Wonders, the magical ability to move instantaneously from one location to another. This power is more commonly known as Teleportation.
  • 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. Myrtle used this power on Fiona Goode in an attempt to make her take her own life, showing her a possible future where her lover, the Axeman, leaves her to die alone of her cancer.
  • Potioncraft - Affinity for an extensive knowledge of "Green Magic," including conventional herbalism as well as more sophisticated botanical science and potion brewing.
  • Spellcraft - Affinity for casting spells and performing rituals, including but not limited to Restoration Spells, Truth Enchantments, and Preservation Spells.
  • Radiation Immunity - When Madison, Myrtle and Cordelia came to Outpost 3 they walked freely on the toxic atmosphere of the outside world caused by the nuclear bombs without suffering any ill effects from the radiation. Either this the cause of some protection spell or some other means remains to be seen.

Quotes

  • Myrtle Snow regarding Misty Day: "Behold our next Supreme!"
  • To Fiona Goode: "I've got a book of matches in my pocket, Fiona, and I'm just dying to light this fire."
  • To Fiona Goode: "This will not STAND! You killed Anna Leigh because she was the last Supreme and you killed an innocent girl because she was the next Supreme! YOU GOT AWAY WITH IT! She keeps getting away with it!"
  • Regarding Misty Day: "She's brought more people back from the dead than Jesus Christ."
  • Nan
    How did your hair grow back so quick?
    Myrtle Snow
    Oh, little bird, I've been buying in bulk from North Korea for years!


  • To Fiona Goode (regarding Cordelia's new eyes)
    The generous donors wish to remain anonymous.


  • To Cordelia Foxx: "Don't be a hater, dear."
  • To Madison: "You are the worst kind of Hollywood cliché. A bobble-head with crotchless panties."
  • Musing about the Salem Witches who migrated to New Orleans: "Can you imagine those poor Salem witches, traveling all the way down here in covered wagons without a proper charcuterie platter or a bidet? Absolutely savage!"
  • To Delphine LaLaurie: "Cumin. Coconut. Cardamom. Mulligatawny Soup! I've been transported to Rajasthan! Bravo Delphine. Magnifique!"
  • To the Witches' Council: "Forgiveness, you say? Forgiveness is, and always will be, the high road... the preferred road. Would that we had such luxury. Oh, Quentin. Not to worry. It's just a bit of monkshood in your balls. Causes temporary paralysis. "Human Statue Syndrome," we call it. I believe it's the nervous system first. You lose control over your limbs, the muscles harden into cement, and it feels like ice in your veins. Then the respiratory system. Or is it the other way around? Well, no matter. It's supposed to be quite terrifying, is it? Are you terrified? You should be. At any rate, I'm not going to kill you. Well, maybe after dessert. I put a lot of effort into the key lime pie. I do love a key lime pie, even more than a ile flottante. Call me a Philistine! Enough chit-chat. You've both wanted to eliminate me for years, so you could dominate the Council. But I was never worried you'd be hapless enough to try. Quentin! You're a fatuous fool and a drunk! Pembie, you're even worse. You're weak-willed, boring, and your fashion faux pas give me nightmares. I invited you here not to chastise you or exact revenge, But to help out the coven. To help out my beloved Cordelia. Ha! I bet you thought, 'Oh, she left the melon baller in there. She's growing old and forgetful!'"
  • Myrtle Snow: "I had a love like that once, Egon von Fürstenberg. He dumped me, but everything worked out all right in the end. You know why? Because he went on to marry the divine Diane. And without Egon’s support, Diane von Fürstenberg never would have created the greatest invention of the century: The wrap dress!"
  • Last words (first burning at the stake): "You're all toads in a pot, which Fiona is slowly bringing to boil. By the time you notice, it will already be too late. I'd rather burn than boil."
  • Last words (second burning at the stake): "Balenciaga!"

Notes

  • She is the third character to be portrayed by Frances Conroy. For a complete list of her characters, see Cast.
  • Myrtle Snow has been absent in four episodes overall throughout the season. Those episodes are: "Boy Parts", "The Replacements", "The Axeman Cometh" and "The Dead". This makes her the main character with the least amount of appearances throughout the season.
  • This is the third time that Frances Conroy and Jessica Lange are together on the show, and the second time that their characters are adversaries.
  • Myrtle Snow is a born fashionista and has made several references to fashion throughout the series.
  • Myrtle can play the piano, as well as the theremin. She claims its sound soothes her soul in stressing times.
  • During the performance of the Seven Wonders, Myrtle notes that her favorite power is telekinesis.
  • Myrtle was the only witch to be burned twice at the stake.
  • She may be related to Rhett Snow, an Uber driver that briefly appeared in Roanoke.
  • When being burnt at the stake in the episode, "Burn, Witch. Burn!", a mysterious and powerful force seemed to emanate from Myrtle; likely, this was either her raw magical power or her soul leaving her body.
  • In "The Seven Wonders", when Myrtle is being put to the stake for a second time, a birds-eye view of the affair makes out the face of a clown: two guards standing behind Myrtle make out a pair of eyes; Cordelia, Zoe, and Queenie, standing in front of Myrtle, make out a smile; and Myrtle herself - adorned in a red dress - makes out the clown nose. This was a subtle nod to the theme of the following season, Freak Show
  • Myrtle is briefly in a trailer for the eighth season, Apocalypse, alongside Cordelia and Madison.

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Episode: Burn, Witch. Burn!
  2. 2.0 2.1 Episode: The Seven Wonders
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode: Fearful Pranks Ensue
  4. 4.0 4.1 Episode: Head
  5. Prejudice and discrimination against redheads.
  6. Episode: Bitchcraft
  7. Episode: The Sacred Taking
  8. Episode: The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks
  9. Episode: Protect the Coven
  10. Episode: Go to Hell
  11. 11.0 11.1 Episode: Could_It_Be..._Satan?
  12. Episode: Boy Wonder
  13. Episode: Forbidden_Fruit