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Myrtle Snow

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Myrtle Snow
Mryty
"Balenciaga!"
Portrayed by
also portrayed by
  • Michelle Page (1971 flashbacks)
Details
Species
Occupation
  • Former head of Witches' Council (after 1971 - 2013)
  • Guardian of Veracity in the Vernacular
Cause of death
Relationships
Appearances
Coven Characters
Myrtle Snow is a character. She is a main character in Coven primarily portrayed by Frances Conroy.

Background

A graduate of Miss Robichaux's Academy, the eccentric Myrtle Snow serves as the Head of the Witches Council. Despite her complicated past with Fiona Goode, Myrtle has a very close relationship with Fiona's daughter, Cordelia. [1] She defines herself as "a Guardian of veracity in the vernacular". [2] She also has a great adoration of fashion given her numerous, elegant, high couture outfits. She is always seen wearing fashion gloves and vintage cat eye glasses.

Story

Myrtle Snow was a student in Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies the same time as Fiona and several other witches during the time Anna Leigh Leighton was the Supreme. It is obvious that she disliked Fiona.

After the disappearance of Anna Leigh, (the audience and Spalding are aware that Fiona killed her) Fiona is questioned by the Council and she lies, claiming that she does not know where Anna Leigh disappeared to, and further backs up 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 does not cheer with the rest of the witches and confides in a friend that she detected Fiona lying to the Council, since it's a guardian that can detect when lies are told. She whispers to Fiona that she suspects her of murder, but Fiona just laughs and uses her telekinesis to drop Myrtle's glass onto the floor.

That night, Myrtle enchants Spalding's tongue to prevent him from lying. Knowing that Spalding cleans up Fiona's messes, he probably cleaned up Anna Leigh. She confides this to her friend, saying that she summoned the council to question him. Unfortunately, Spalding hears this and, for his love for Fiona, cuts out his own tongue before the Council can arrive. Myrtle notices that Fiona was in the bathroom where Spalding cut his tongue before the headmistress could arrive, and suspects Fiona to be the one who cut his tongue out.

With no witnesses, Fiona manages to become the Supreme, while Myrtle becomes the next Head of the Witches Council. She remains rivals with Fiona, whom she believes to be absent in the necessary duties a Supreme should fulfill. At one point in the past, Fiona has a daughter named Cordelia with an unknown husband (since Fiona mentioned that she had three husbands in her lifetime) and abandoned her daughter in the Academy as soon as it became evident that Cordelia began showing witch powers. There, Cordelia and Myrtle form a close bond, which is why Cordelia's personality in using witchcraft is more similar to Myrtle than Fiona's reckless usage. Myrtle claimed later on that she was more of a mother to Cordelia than Fiona was, but didn't want children of her own because she wanted to devote her life to the Coven.

After Zoe discovers her Black Widow powers, Myrtle and her 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.

Nan summons the council when she believes Madison to be dead, since she can no longer hear her thoughts. If it can be proven that a witch killed Madison, a fellow descendant of Salem, she will be executed by fire. They begin 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.

She 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. Spalding would not have had to cut it off, had Myrtle not enchanted it, making her 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 it. 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, since one of the hallmarks of a rising Supreme is radiant health.

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 and 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 vote to burn Myrtle, which occurs with the coven and council members looking on. She was then resurrected by Misty and is, later, seen under mounds of dirt, slowly healing.

After that an unknown enemy attacks Misty's Shack, the two flee for the Miss Robichaux's. Already in the academy, Myrtle convinced that Misty is the next Supreme, she starts the ritual "The Sacred Taking" and, along with the other witches, she sets out a plan to make Fiona commit suicide. She is seen at the end of the episode ringing piano and is amazed to learn that Fiona is still alive.

After feeling appalling for Cordelia’s affliction, Myrtle recalls 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 caused her blinding. 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 for melon balls and discusses her resurrection. Myrtle then tricks them into eating monkshood located in their melon balls and they are temporally paralyzed. Myrtle then takes the melon baller, and carves out one of each of their eyes. Myrtle places the eyes in Cordelia’s sockets and she can finally see again; however her power departed. It is shown later that Myrtle completely butchered Cecily and Quentin.

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. Cordelia soon then breaks things and while Myrtle still continues playing the theremin.

Myrtle was in the dining area with the others and admires the soup that Delphine made. When there was a commotion at Madison and Zoe's room upstairs Myrtle and Madison had a little fight as Myrtle made remarks about Madison. At some time at night. Myrtle meets Fiona at the staircase saying now that Cordelia is a hero now and she should let her test by the power, Fiona goes downstairs instead. At some time at the Greenhouse, Myrtle calls Zoe there and gave her a jewelry and use it to leave the academy with Kyle.

In the legacy room, Myrtle brought flowers while Fiona was being painted for her portrait. At night, Madison discuss Misty's entombment with Myrtle and as Kyle and Zoe returns she was in a state of shock later discovering that Zoe actually enjoyed what happened in Florida with Kyle. When the girls attacked the Axeman at some time. Cordelia stayed behind with Myrtle. In the last scene she is with the others admiring Fiona's portrait. In The Seven Wonders, Myrtle pushes Cordelia to find her true power and become the supreme. Some time later, after Cordelia's powers as supreme fully manifest, Myrtle, Queenie, and Zoe cry about the beauty of Cordelia's televised invitation to the academy, which resulted in more than 30 girls expressing interest in attending. Myrtle had suggested that Queenie and Zoe become members of the council since she was leaving by fire. Myrtle insisted that Cordelia burn her at the stake for killing her former colleagues. Myrtle is last seen on the stake in a beautiful, long red dress and sun glasses. Her last words are "Balenciaga!" and tell Cordelia to burn her. Cordelia lifts her hand and uses her power to end Myrtle.

Personality and appearance

Myrtle is an aged woman with the air of a traveled sophisticate who is usually seen wearing couture. Her red yaki hair, legendarily associated with witches, forms a mane around her face and she wears vintage cat eye glasses. Her black lace gloves often grip a cigarillo on a long-stemmed holder. Myrtle displays telekinetic powers by opening the gates to the academy with a wave of her hand when the council arrives to investigate Madison Montgomery's disappearance. She also appears to have powers associated with intuitively knowing the truth, as she is seen casting truth spells, and states in a flashback, "I know when a lie is being told."

As well as a powerful 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, where 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.

Quotes

  • To Nora Benson while looking to the curtain's pattern: "I'm just mad for tartan."
  • To Fiona Goode: "I've got a book of matches in my pocket, Fiona, and I'm just dying to light this fire."
  • Myrtle Snow: "No need to bind me. I shall not resist. Why would I? I've been swimming against the tide my whole life. Look where it got me. I used to be an outcast, a freak, until I found my place in this coven. I thought I'd come home, but I was wrong. I go proudly to the flame. Go ahead; burn me."
  • Myrtle Snow: "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."
  • 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!"
  • About Misty Day: "She brought more people from the dead than Jesus Christ."
  • About Misty Day: "You miss the point darling,the Swamp Mud is a metaphor, her metaphor, she's a sophisticated witch with extraordinary gifts, hiding out as a hippie swamp rat."
  • Misty Day: "Oh, you probably have no idea where you are. Hmm. You've been through a terrifying ordeal, but you came back. You're safe now."
    Myrtle Snow: "Not likely, my dear. There's a man in the woods with a gun circling the shack. I saw the assassin when he nearly stepped on my face."
  • Cordelia Foxx: "Hello? Don't worry. You're amongst friends."
    Myrtle Snow: "Of course I am, Cordelia. So long as Fiona isn't with you."
    Cordelia Foxx: "Myrtle? Oh, my God. I thought I'd never see you again."
    Myrtle Snow: "Poor choice of words, girl. But given my wretched appearance, maybe it's a good thing you're blind as a butter knife."
  • 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!"
  • About obtaining Cordelia Foxx's eyes: "Forgiveness you say? Forgiveness is and always will be the high road."
  • Myrtle Snow: "So, before we move on to our lobster poché beurre, a little melon ball palate cleanser. Remember back in the day, Pembie? We'd always be served a palate cleanser at Sunday supper."
    Cecily Pembroke: "Such a sensible tradition, nobody bothers anymore."
    Quentin Fleming: "Now, Myrtle, Pembie and I were just saying in addition to how thrilling it was to get your phone call, we-we..."
    Cecily Pembroke: "I've... we've... just had terrible regrets about the whole misunderstanding."
    Quentin Fleming: "And we cannot get over your skin."
    Cecily Pembroke: "Ah. No burn scars."
    Quentin Fleming: "You look younger than ever. We-we've got to hear all about this Misty Day and her magical mud. Should we be looking into it? Selling it, perhaps?"
    Myrtle Snow: "You miss the point, darling. The swamp mud is a metaphor, her metaphor. She's a sophisticated witch with extraordinary gifts, hiding out as a hippie swamp rat. From humble hillbilly stock, she's been a witch since birth, her power and humanity separating her from everyone around her. In fact, those around her have tried endlessly to destroy her, in order to mask their own evil purposes. Yet she rose from the ashes, stronger than ever, more fully realized. A living testament to the greater ideals of our coven. Power, compassion, and uniqueness... We are lucky to have found her, and she us. It resonates with my own story, doesn't it?"
    Cecily Pembroke: "Myrtle, I want to toast you. For your spirit of... f... give..."
    Myrtle Snow: "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!""
  • To Fiona Goode about Cordelia Foxx's new eyes: "The Generous donors wish to remain anonymous."
  • To Cordelia Foxx: "Don't be a hater, dear."
  • To Madison Montgomery: "You are the worst kind of Hollywood Cliche. 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 about her soup: "Cumin. Coconut. Cardamom. Mulligatawny Soup! I've been transported to Rajasthan! Bravo Delphine. Magnifique."
  • Myrtle's last words: "Balenciaga!"
  • Myrtle Snow: "Girls, stop these vulgar fisticuffs. It's beneath us."

Notes

  • She is the third character to be portrayed by Frances Conroy. The first was Moira O'Hara in Murder House and the second was Shachath in Asylum.
  • 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 can play the theremin. She claims it soothes her soul in stressing times.
  • During the performance of the Seven Wonders, Myrtle notes that her favorite power is telekinesis.
  • Myrtle's last words "Balenciaga" is a notable French fashion house founded by Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga.
  • Myrtle was the only witch to be burned twice at the stake.
  • Myrtle Snow bears a slight resemblance with another witch, Professor Trewlawney, from the Harry Potter series, in both personality and apperance. Both "Harry Potter" and "Coven" respectively focus on schools for witches. 

Gallery

References

  1. FX Networks
  2. Episode: Fearful Pranks Ensue

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